Copyright © December 31, 2012
Click here to go to the entire history of religious liberty in America.
Note. This is a modified version of Section IV, Chapter 2 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. Audio Teachings on the History of the First Amendment has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on the history of the First Amendment.
Secular and Christian Revisionism
The tactics of Christian and secular revisionists do not change. As Isaac Backus noted, concerning the revisionism and lies of the leaders of the established churches in the colonies:
“[I] appeal to the conscience of every reader, whether he can find three worse things on earth, in the management of controversy, than, first, to secretly take the point disputed for truth without any proof; then, secondly, blending that error with known truths, to make artful addresses to the affections and passions of the audience, to prejudice their minds, before they hear a word that the respondent has to say; and thirdly, if the respondent refuses to yield to such management, then to call in the secular arm to complete the argument” (Isaac Backus, A History of New England With Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists, Volume 1 (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Previously published by Backus Historical Society, 1871), p. 150. This comment followed and preceded illustrations of how those in favor of church/state marriage, infant baptism, etc. advance their cause. On pp. 151-152, Mr. Backus illustrated how those in favor of infant baptism argued their position, pointing out the fallacies of their arguments. Their tactics have not changed, although in America, due to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, they no longer can call upon civil government to enforce their beliefs.)?
Religious and secular revisionists (including many United States Supreme Court Justices) of our time are using the tactic mentioned by Backus today, absent the third component which is, to their dismay, unavailable to them.
“Christian” revisionists have either reconstructed and lied about our Christian heritage or relied on “Christian” authors who have reconstructed and lied about history. They refer to what the writers of their persuasion in times past wrote and said without placing those assertions in the context of other writings and facts surrounding their sources and in the context of biblical truth. They would have one and all to believe either that all “Christians” who came to this nation worked together for religious freedom and are to be given credit for giving us a “Christian” nation, that the Puritans and other sects which followed their principle of church-state establishment gave us a Christian nation, or that those sects of which they approved, the established churches and their leaders, had the truth and dissenters, such as the Baptists and others, were proponents of dangerous heresies. The result of revisionism has been chaos and an accelerating slide down a slippery slope to destruction as individuals, families, churches, and the nation.
What is their reason for doing this? Some are probably just ignorant of historical facts and rely on what others have written (the author of this book was in this category since he relied upon “Christian” authors and speakers until he began to do an independent study). Perhaps the motive of others who may be more knowledgeable is to influence those Christians who do not share their theology concerning church and state to get involved with helping them in their attempt to unite church and state in order to make possible their ultimate unattainable goal of bringing in the kingdom of heaven prior to the return of Christ. Perhaps they believe, contrary to biblical directives for the Christian, that it is all right for Christians to lie to “those who have no right to know the truth” and that Christians can better advance the cause of Christ by lying about irrefutable historical fact which true history has recorded.
Baptist historian James R. Beller builds a strong case to show that the modern day “catholic Reformed Reconstructionists,” under the leadership of Rousas John Rushdoony, justify lying based upon a perverted interpretation of certain biblical passages (James R. Beller, The Coming Destruction of the Baptist People: The Baptist History of America (St. Louis, Missouri: Prairie Fire Press, 2005), pp. 30-35). Rushdoony believes in “religious establishments in civil government and that it is acceptable to lie” to promote the cause he supports (Ibid., p. 32).
Andrew Sandlin calls Christian Reconstructionism “a version of the Reformed, Postmillennial Theology that emphasizes the concepts of Theonomy and Dominion” (Ibid., p. 33). The theonomist believes that the magistrate has the duty to enforce the Mosaic law.
- “Theonomists believe that Matthew 5:13-16 presents the Church with ‘a mandate for complete social transformation of the entire world.’ The Church is to play the key role in this transformation by spreading the gospel throughout the world, taking over the function of government, and enforcing the Mosaic Law. Thus, Chilton stated, ‘Our goal is world dominion under Christ’s Lordship, a ‘world takeover’ if you will; but our strategy begins with reformation, reconstruction of the church. From that will flow social and political reconstruction, indeed a flowering of Christian civilization.’ Again he said, ‘The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law.’
- “Another theonomist declared that ‘the saints must prepare to take over the world’s governments and its courts.’
- “Theonomists optimistically believe that ‘As the gospel progresses throughout the world it will win, and win, and win, until all the kingdoms become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
- “This optimistic belief makes theonomy a genuine form of Postmillennialism….
- “[R.J.] Rushdoony wrote: ‘Postmillialism thus believes that man must be saved, and that his generation is the starting point for a mandate to exercise dominion in Christ’s name over every area of life and thought. Postmillennialism in its classic form does not neglect the church and it does not neglect also to work for a Christian state and school, for the sovereignty and crown rights of the King over individuals, families, institutions, arts, scientists, and all things else. More, it holds that God has provided the way for this conquest: His Law’” (Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990), pp. 152-154, citing Meredith G. Kline, “Comments on the Old-New Error,” Westminster Theological Journal, p. 41 (1978), pp. 172-173; David Chilton, Paradise Restored: An Eschatology of dominion (Tyler, Texas: Reconstruction Press, 1985), pp. 12, 214, 226, 192; R. J. Rushdoony, “Government and the Christian,” The Rutherford Institute, 1 (July-August, 1984), p. 7; R.J. Rushdoony, “Postmillennialism versus Impotent Religion,” Journal of Christian Reconstruction, 3 (winter, 1976-77), p. 126).
Postmillennialism teaches that the ultimate progress of history is upward. Led by the church and the spreading of God’s Word by God’s people, eventually the whole world will be brought into subjection by that message. In other words, the church, working with civilization, science, and political agencies will bring in the Kingdom of Heaven before Christ returns.
This movement promotes a strategy of lying which states that Christians have “no obligation to speak truthfully to those who have forfeited the right to hear the truth,” and that the “commandment does not say that ‘thou shalt never tell a lie’” (Beller, The Coming Destruction of the Baptist People, p. 33). “Even the famous Reformed lawyer, John Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute, apparently approves of this strategy: Rahab risked everything in order to follow God, including telling lies” (Ibid., p. 34, citing John Whitehead, “Christian Resistance in the Face of State Interference,” Christianity and Civilization 3: The Theology of Christian Resistance (Tyler, TX: General Divinity School, 1983), p. 8). Based upon their reasoning, they justify lying about historical facts. Obviously, they do not want an honest debate of American history which would reveal that the theology of the established churches justified persecution to include banishment, taking of property, imprisonment, and murder.
These Christian revisionists lie and continue to lie and also to make their secular arguments, polished with allusions to God and maybe even Jesus Christ, even when the enemy is quoting historical truth. Those who observe what is going on must shake their heads at the ignorance of Christians, especially Christian lawyers. Instead of trying to get out the whole truth, which would aid the cause of Christ (at least if Christians including pastors and Christian lawyers and scholars had stood on truth from the beginning of the nation), they lied and continue to lie.
Even the United States Supreme Court is accurate many times as to historical fact concerning persecution by church-state establishments. For example, the Court wrote in 1947:
“See e. g. the charter of the colony of Carolina which gave the grantees the right of ‘patronage and advowsons of all the churches and chapels … together with licence and power to build and found churches, chapels and oratories … and to cause them to be dedicated and consecrated, according to the ecclesiastical laws of our kingdom of England.’ Poore, Constitutions (1878) II, 1390, 1391. That of Maryland gave to the grantee Lord Baltimore ‘the Patronages, and Advowsons of all Churches which … shall happen to be built, together with Licence and Faculty of erecting and founding Churches, Chapels, and Places of Worship … and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to the Ecclesiastical Laws of our Kingdom of England, with all, and singular such, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Privileges, … as any Bishop … in our Kingdom of England, ever … hath had….’ MacDonald, Documentary Source Book of American History (1934) 31, 33. The Commission of New Hampshire of 1680, Poore, supra, II, 1277, stated: ‘And above all things We do by these presents will, require and command our said Councill to take all possible care for ye discountenancing of vice and encouraging of virtue and good living; and that by such examples ye infidle may be invited and desire to partake of ye Christian Religion, and for ye greater ease and satisfaction of ye sd loving subjects in matters of religion, We do hereby require and comand yt liberty of conscience shall be allowed unto all protestants; yt such especially as shall be conformable to ye rites of ye Church of Engd shall be particularly countenanced and encouraged.’ See also Pawlet v. Clark, 9 Cranch 292” (Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, fn. 6 at 9; 67 S. Ct. 504, fn. 6 at 508; 91 L. Ed. 711, fn. 6 at 720; 1947 U.S. LEXIS 2959; 168 A.L.R. 1392 (1947)).
The Court in Everson and in other cases also wrote of the persecutions going on in the Old World prior to the settlement of America, the persecutions going on in America, and the religious turmoil out of which our First Amendment emerged. Of course, the Supreme Court placed the above facts in a case which gave a new meaning to “separation of church and state.” Additionally, the Court never addressed the false theology versus the accurate theology that resulted in religious liberty and freedom of conscience in America. They never examined the true biblical principles concerning the sovereignty of God over all governments, religious liberty, and freedom of conscience. Had the whole truth been argued by Christian lawyers at that time, as well as before and after that time, the downfall of America may have been at least stalled. At the very least, the name of Christ would have been exalted rather than abased.
In addition, true Catholicism still despises separation of church and state. Of course, most Catholics “laymen” have no clue about Catholic theology on the relationship of church and state and Catholic interpretation of end-time biblical teachings. Catholic theology still calls for union of the Catholic “church” and state and believes that the “church,” working with civil government will bring peace and unity to the earth. In the first half of the nineteenth century, Samuel F. B. Morris discovered and publicized a Catholic political conspiracy against the United States of America (Ireneus Prime, The Life of Samuel F. B. Morse (New York: Arno Press, 1974), p. 730; Samuel F. B. Morse, Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States (New York: Arno Press, 1977), pp. 19-20, 28-29, 31; Samuel F. B. Morse, Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States Through Foreign Immigration (New York: Arno Press, 1969), pp. 7, 8; cited in Dr. William P. Grady, What Hath God Wrought: A Biblical Interpretation of American History (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications, Inc., 1999), pp. 221-222)). “At least 45 fanatically anti-Catholic newspapers and periodicals could be purchased in the … U.S. of A…. There were also well over 500 books and pamphlets written on this anti-popery theme as well” (Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, p. 225).
Dr. Morse [wrote]: “From whom is authority to govern derived? Austria and the United States will agree in answering,—from God. The opposition of opinion occurs in the answers to the next question. To whom on earth is this authority delegated? Austria answers, To the EMPEROR, who is the source of all authority,—‘I the Emperor do ordain,…’ The United States answers, To the PEOPLE, in whom resides the Sovereign power,—‘We the People do ordain, establish, grant,’… In one principle is recognized the necessity of the servitude of the people, the absolute dependence of the subject, unqualified submission to the commands of the rulers without question or examination. The Ruler is Master, the People are Slaves. In the other is recognized the supremacy of the people, the equality of rights themselves; the Ruler is a public servant, receiving wages from the people to perform services agreeable to their pleasure; amenable in all things to them; and holding office at their will. The Ruler is Servant; the People are Master.
“The fact and important nature of the difference in these antagonistic doctrines, leading, as is perceived, to diametrically opposite results, are all that is needful to state in order to proceed at once to the inquiry, which position does the Catholic sect and the Protestant sects severally favor? The Pope, the supreme Head of the Catholic church, claims to be the ‘Vicegerent of God,’ supreme ‘over all mortals;’ ‘over all Emperors, Kings, Princes, Potentates and People;’ King of kings and Lord of lords.’ He calls himself, ‘the divinely appointed dispenser of spiritual and temporal punishments;’ ‘armed with power to depose Emperors and Kings, and absolve subjects from their oath of allegiance:’ ‘from him lies no appeal;’ ‘he is responsible to no one on earth;’ ‘he is judged of no one but God’” (Morse, Foreign Conspiracy, pp. 34-35, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, pp. 226-227).
The Pope determines what writings are heretical, and reading those writings, according to the “Congregation of the Index”—an essential department of the papal court—shall be regarded as an offense against the church and against God (R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1876), p. 91, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, p. 227). In 1832, Pope Gregory XVI referred to “that absurd and erroneous doctrine, or rather raving, in favor and defence of ‘liberty of conscience,’ for which most pestilential error, the course is opened to that entire and wild liberty of opinion, which is every where attempting the overthrow of religious and civil institutions…. Hither tends that worst and never sufficiently to be execrated and detested LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, for the diffusion of all manner or writings…” (Morse, Foreign Conspiracy, pp. 41-42, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought, p. 228). Accordingly, the Provincial Council of Baltimore, in order to guard against error, forbade the reading of Scripture “without the advice and permission of the pastors and spiritual guides whom God has appointed to govern his Church” (Thompson, p. 79, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, p. 228). If Catholic principles had prevailed in the United States, the First Amendment would never have been adopted because the two are diametrically opposed.
The Vatican planned a Romanized America. The plan was to be expedited through Catholic immigration. Although men such as Samuel F. B. Morse, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and others warned against allowing immigration of those whose principles were contrary to those upon which America was founded, their warnings were not heeded and huge numbers of Catholics came into America, bringing with them their abominable religion as well as their base morality. A lot of money was spent on the significant number of immigrant paupers, and mob violence by immigrants became a new part of the American culture. Catholic mobs disrupted meetings where those of other faiths renounced Catholicism, and Roman shepherds bartered the votes of their flocks to politicians, and fought over the reading of the King James Bible in American’s public schools (What Hath God Wrought!, pp. 229-236, 244-253). Jesuit author F. X. Weninger wrote in 1862, “One of the most glorious enterprises for the Catholic Church to engage in at this day is the conversion of the United States to the Catholic faith” (Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, p. 236). “Vallestigny, a Jesuit priest and deputy of Alva, stated in his address to His Majesty:
“The mass of the human family are born, not to govern, but to be governed. This sublime employment of government has been confided by Providence to the privileged class, whom he has placed upon an eminence to which the multitude cannot rise without being lost in the labyrinth and snares which are therein found” (Morse, Imminent Dangers, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!).
Catholic clergy themselves admitted that there was a conspiracy against the United States and that Catholicism planned to take over America. For example:
“The Shepherd of the Valley, the official journal of the Bishop of St. Louis …, declared in 1851: The Church is of necessity intolerant. Heresy she endures when and where she must, but she hates it and directs all her energies to destroy it… If Catholics ever gain a sufficient numerical majority in this country, religious freedom is at an end. So our enemies say, so we believe” (Charles Chiniquy, 50 Years in the “Church” of Rome (Chino, Calif.” Chick Publications, 1985), p. 285, cited in Grady, What Hath God Wrought!, p. 254).
Naturally, Catholic spokesmen and writers have attacked the phrase “separation of church and state” since religious liberty and separation of church and state are antithetical to Catholic theology and power. For example:
“Father John Courtney Murray described the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ as a ‘negative, ill-defined, basically un-American [sic] formula….’ After the McCollum decision the Catholic bishops of the United States, in a statement issued through the National Catholic Welfare Conference in November 1948, called the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ the ‘shibboleth of doctrinaire secularism.’ Father Robert I. Gannon, former president of Fordham University, in an address delivered in St. Louis in November 1951, used the phrase ‘the current fraud of separation of church and state.’ James M. O’Neill, a Catholic writer whose interpretation of the First Amendment was adopted by the Catholic bishops termed ‘spurious’ the ‘so-called’ ‘great American principle of complete separation of church and state,’ and affirmed that ‘There is no such great American principle and there never has been.’ Father Thomas F. Coakely, on the front cover of a pamphlet, ‘Separation of Church and State,’ published by the Catholic Truth Society, says unqualifiedly: ‘Church and State have never been separated in America.’ Even the Attorney General of the United States, in an address before the National Catholic Educational Association, charged that the Supreme Court had ‘distorted’ the First Amendment in referring to ‘a wall of separation of Church and State’” (Leo Pfeffer, Church, State, and Freedom (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1953), p. 118).
In publishing a false history, Christian revisionists have done a great deal of damage to the cause of Christ. Their theology concerning separation of church and state in contravening biblical principles resulted in the persecution of large numbers of believers by established churches and hampered the dissemination of the true gospel for over fifteen hundred years.
Satan’s emissaries have revealed to the public that “Christians” have revised history. Even the unregenerate who possess no true understanding and wisdom, although many have been given brilliant minds by God, can look at history and discover true facts when it is to their advantage. The world, or at least the unregenerate who are aware of the facts of history, even though they themselves are the masters of deceit and revisionism when it furthers their cause, must have been turned off to a “religion” which relies on lies.
The knowledgeable Christian is appalled that supposed brothers would lie about historical fact in an attempt to further the cause of the One who was tortured and killed because of His stand for truth. Our Lord never backed off from truth even though He knew that His stand would take Him to the cross. He instructed Christians to be light, not darkness:
- “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light” (Lu. 11.33-36).
- “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5.14-16).
All the apostles except John were martyred because of their stand for truth. David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, said, “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD” (Ps. 31.6). Other Bible verses condemn lying. “I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love” (Ps. 119.163). “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue” (Ps. 120.2). God hates lying: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Pr. 6.16-19). Notice that lying is the only sin He mentions twice.
Satan is the father of lies. God, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, stands for truth.
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (Jn. 8.44-47).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14.6).
Christian revisionists seem to forget about those verses while taking other verses and perverting them to rationalize lying to promote their cause. For example, they point out the story of the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1.15-22 who were rewarded by God because they did not obey Pharaoh’s order to kill all the sons born to the Hebrews and also lied to Pharaoh as to the reason they did not kill those babies; and the story of Rahab the harlot whom God commended in Hebrews 11.31 for lying to the authorities of the land in order to help the Jewish spies (Jos. 6.22-25). The proper interpretation of those Scriptures, taken in the context of the Bible as a whole, is that the Hebrew midwives and Rahab were confronted with a moral dilemma. The midwives could either lie or be a party to murder. They chose to lie in obedience to God and to protect innocent life. Rahab realized that the spies were of God’s chosen people on an errand for God. “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you” (Jos. 2.9). Those and other verses do not support lying as defined and practiced by Christian revisionists.
Attempts to hide truth are in vain:
“And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mk. 4.21-23).
Christian revisionists are obviously not interested in honest debate because that debate would reveal that some of the founders of this nation, such as the Puritans and Anglicans, were deceived and adhered to a theology which, as the world correctly points out, advocated and practiced the union of church and state, enforced all ten of the Ten Commandments, including those having to do with man’s relationship to God, and severely persecuted dissenters such as the Baptists and Quakers whom they labeled as heretics. The author was mislead by Christian revisionism for over twenty years. When he discovered that he had been lied to by other “Christians,” he had to be willing to face the truth. In this book he is publishing what he totally believes to be irrefutable facts and conclusions based upon biblical principles as applied to those facts.