Was the West founded on Christian Values?

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Nathaniel
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Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#1

Post by Nathaniel » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:46 pm

Remember my quesion isn't "Were they Christian?". I have seen atheistic arguments state that the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen were based upon Enlightenment values and not Christian ones.

Edit: just noticed this is in the wrong forum, someone please move it, if that's possible
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#2

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:33 pm

Nathaniel wrote: I have seen atheistic arguments state that the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen were based upon Enlightenment values and not Christian ones.
The Declaration of Independence has echos of Rousseau's Social Contract. However, the Social Contract has very clear roots in Old Testament biblical values. So, this is like the question, «Which came first, the chicken or the egg?»

(the answer to this is: God is.)

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#3

Post by Gman » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:03 pm

Nathaniel wrote:Remember my quesion isn't "Were they Christian?". I have seen atheistic arguments state that the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen were based upon Enlightenment values and not Christian ones.

Edit: just noticed this is in the wrong forum, someone please move it, if that's possible
Contrary to popular belief... The laws that we enjoy in the U.S. today were based on the "Commentaries on English Common Law" by William Blackstone. Many of these laws were clearly based on Christian ideals...

http://www.christianlaw.org/index.php/a ... erica.html
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#4

Post by rodyshusband » Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:10 am

In the presentation, "Is American Really Christian?", Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden address this question. Zacharias asks the question, "Can America have been founded on any other worldview?" (Islam, Hinduism, naturalism?) There were those founders not sympathetic to Christianity and religion in general, who believed in the freedom to believe or disbelieve.
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#5

Post by B. W. » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:32 am

rodyshusband wrote:In the presentation, "Is American Really Christian?", Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden address this question. Zacharias asks the question, "Can America have been founded on any other worldview?" (Islam, Hinduism, naturalism?) There were those founders not sympathetic to Christianity and religion in general, who believed in the freedom to believe or disbelieve.
If founded on Islam - then there would have been no Frankie and Annette Beach movies… :mrgreen:

If on Hinduism — Texas would be famous for Tofu and not Steaks and Barbeque... :pound:

If on Naturalism — not much difference I suppose than the way it is now… y:-?
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#6

Post by rodyshusband » Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:40 am

B. W. wrote:
rodyshusband wrote:In the presentation, "Is American Really Christian?", Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden address this question. Zacharias asks the question, "Can America have been founded on any other worldview?" (Islam, Hinduism, naturalism?) There were those founders not sympathetic to Christianity and religion in general, who believed in the freedom to believe or disbelieve.
If founded on Islam - then there would have been no Frankie and Annette Beach movies… :mrgreen:

If on Hinduism — Texas would be famous for Tofu and not Steaks and Barbeque... :pound:

If on Naturalism — not much difference I suppose than the way it is now… y:-?
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I think the point Zacharias made in the message, is that America was founded on allowing its people the choice to believe or disbelieve.
“Christianity provides a unified answer for the whole of life.” -- Francis Schaeffer

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#7

Post by B. W. » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:41 am

rodyshusband wrote:....I think the point Zacharias made in the message, is that America was founded on allowing its people the choice to believe or disbelieve.
I would agree and therefore you could sum it all up as - America was founded upon the idea of Grace - a very bibical foundation...
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#8

Post by ageofknowledge » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:23 pm

The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are not books in the New Testament. As Christians, we put Biblical principles above all others.

When I read the Declaration of Independence it looks like a gripe list with a bunch of human assertions that ties God in as third party validation. It's not scripture.

Republics based on Constitutional Principles with guaranteed rights are nice to live under though.

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#9

Post by B. W. » Fri May 01, 2009 4:51 am

ageofknowledge wrote:The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are not books in the New Testament. As Christians, we put Biblical principles above all others.

When I read the Declaration of Independence it looks like a gripe list with a bunch of human assertions that ties God in as third party validation. It's not scripture.

Republics based on Constitutional Principles with guaranteed rights are nice to live under though.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776 - by George Mason:

"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

The Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1776.

"."We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#10

Post by Harry OK » Fri May 01, 2009 8:33 am

Whether or not the West was built upon Christian values is irrelevant... people should be free to choose whatever religion they want to follow. That's the case in (most) Western countries.
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#11

Post by jlay » Fri May 01, 2009 9:41 am

I would say that these documents were birthed out of a culture that had benefitted from Christianity. The cause of American independence is NOT a Christian cause. Taxation without representation stands in contrast to rend under Caeser what is Caesers. However, the faith of these men and their knowledge of the scriptures profoundly influenced the desire to found a nation of liberty where faith would be free and protected from the perverting hands of governement. Sadly today, freedom of religion has been reinterpreted as freedom from religion. The founding fathers knew all too well the dangers of a government implementing religion, and drew up documents that would prevent that.

Christianity in itself is peculiar in that it makes no attempts to govern, or overthrow government, but to be subject to the ruling authorities. That doesn't mean we shouldn't involve ourselves in government, or resist injustice.

The overwhelming majority of FF were overtly Christian. Jefferson and Franklin were the least religious with Thoman Paine being the only anti-Christian that I can find. Funny how atheist and Christians will both quote Franklin and Jefferson to prove something. But this ignores the other 70+ men intimately involved in shaping this country.

If you could take 100 highly intelligent scholars and strong followers of Christ, and have them fashion a government, what would it look like? Probably not much different than what was established by the FFs. A true Christian knows that faith can not be coerced through government. And a true Christian would know the dangers of a theocracy. However, all that said, the mess we have today would be almost unrecognizable to our FFs. I would say that if they knew that pornography would be protected by the 1st ammendment, they'd likely have tore it up and drafted with more clarity. They also would have put greater limits on the courts, no doubt. No matter the brillance of our FFs, hindsight is still 20/20. But we can't blame them for the moral failures of our country. I doubt our FFs could have ever imagined that these documents would rule such an immoral lot.

A New Testament worldview would preclude anything resembling a theocracy. Islam for example is pro theocracy. They want relgion shoved down anyones and everyones throat. Crude explanation but true. A study of Christian doctrine says this just can't be.
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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#12

Post by ageofknowledge » Fri May 01, 2009 12:04 pm

Sorry I posted this in another thread without coming back to this one. My mistake. But to look at this more closely. Here are the assertions made by the authors/signers of the Declaration of Independence. These assertions should be scripturally qualified:

1. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Qualify -->

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Qualify -->

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Qualify -->

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#13

Post by jlay » Fri May 01, 2009 12:40 pm

These assertions should be scripturally qualified:
Can you elaborate?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#14

Post by ageofknowledge » Fri May 01, 2009 2:33 pm

jlay wrote:
These assertions should be scripturally qualified:
Can you elaborate?
Sure, pick a question and look at each assertion being made and use your Bible to qualify rather that it is or is not a Scriptural position and then defend your decision.

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Re: Was the West founded on Christian Values?

#15

Post by jlay » Fri May 01, 2009 2:42 pm

what do you mean, pick a question?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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