Why I Believe in the Sovereignty of God

Obviously, I believe in the Sovereignty of God because I was predestined to believe it. I believe God overrules the will of man because God overruled my will and made me believe it.

I did not choose to be born. God chose to create me.

I did not choose where to be born. God chose to make America my birthplace.

And God gave me the willingness to listen to America's Founding Fathers, who believed in the Sovereignty of God.

To understand America's roots, we have to go back to the education received by the Founding Fathers. Concerning the Westminster Standards, Richard Gardiner writes:

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) In addition to being the decree of Parliament as the standard for Christian doctrine in the British Kingdom, it was adopted as the official statement of belief for the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although slightly altered and called by different names, it was the creed of Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian Churches throughout the English speaking world. Assent to the Westminster Confession was officially required at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Princeton scholar, Benjamin Warfield wrote: "It was impossible for any body of Christians in the [English] Kingdoms to avoid attending to it."

The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.

The purpose of this page is to show the influence of Calvinism on the Founding Fathers, by showing that they believed in the doctrine of Providence, that is, that a Sovereign God overruled the "free will" of the British to give victory to the colonists. I was raised a good American Calvinist, and that's why I believe in the Sovereignty of God. If you want to convince me that Calvinism is wrong, you must first convince me that the great Calvinists who created a land of Liberty Under God are not worthy of my respect, and that their understanding of the Bible is so seriously flawed that I should discard their theology entirely.

Teenagers in colonial America knew the answers to these questions:

Q12. What are the decrees of God?
A. God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will [t], whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time [v], especially concerning angels and men.
[t] Eph. 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
9:14-15 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. v.18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
[v] Eph. 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: v.11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
9:22-23 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Q13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A. God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory [w]; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof [x]: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleaseth,) hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice [y].
[w] 1 Tim. 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
[x] Eph. 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
2 Thess.
2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[y] Rom. 9:17-18 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
9:21-22 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
11:25-26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
2 Tim.
2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Pet. 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Q67. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace [i], whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto [k]) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit [l]; savingly enlightening their minds [m], renewing and powerfully determining their wills [n], so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein [o].
[i] John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
1:18-20 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
2 Tim.
1:8-9 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
[k] Tit. 3:4-5 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
2:7-9 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
[l] 2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2 Cor. 6:1-2 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
2 Thess. 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[m] Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
1 Cor.
2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. v.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
[n] Ezek. 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
[o] Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Q68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called [p]: although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word [q], and have some common operations of the Spirit [r]; who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ [s].
[p] Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
[q] Matt. 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
[r] Matt. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
[s] John 12:38-40 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
6:64-65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
28:25-27 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Ps. 81:11-12 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
Q60. Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?
A. They who, having never heard the gospel [n], know not Jesus Christ [o], and believe not in him, cannot be saved [p], be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature [q], or the laws of that religion which they profess [r]; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone [s], who is the Savior only of his body the church [t].
[n] Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
[o] 2 Thess. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
1:10-12 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
[p] John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
[q] 1 Cor. 1:20-24 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
[r] John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
3:4-9 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
[s] Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
[t] Eph. 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Here is a statement of the issue by the Westminster Confession of Faith, written in 1643-47, which Witherspoon probably made Madison memorize.
(I take that back; Madison probably had it memorized before he entered Princeton. They didn't have the ACLU screwing up middle schools back then.)

Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[a] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[b] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[c]
[a]. Ps. 33:11; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17
[b]. Ps. 5:4; James 1:13-14; 1 John 1:5; see Hab. 1:13
[c]. Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27-28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33

2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,[d] yet hath he not decreed anything because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[e]
[d]. I Sam. 23:11-12; Matt. 11:21, 23
[e]. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels[f] are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.[g]
[f]. I Tim. 5:21; Jude 6; Matt. 25:31, 41
[g]. Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; Prov. 16:4

4. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[h]
[h]. John 13:18; II Tim. 2:19; see John 10:14-16, 27, 28; John 17:2, 6, 9-12

5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,[i] out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto:[k] and all to the praise of his glorious grace.[l]
[i]. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:28-30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9
[k]. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15-16; Eph. 2:8-9; see Eph. 1:5, 9, 11
[l]. Eph. 1:6, 12

6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[m] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[n] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified,adopted, sanctified,[o] and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.[p] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[q]
[m]. I Pet. 1:2; Eph. 2:10; II Thess. 2:13
[n]. I Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:14
[o]. Rom. 8:30; see Eph. 1:5; II Thess. 2:13
[p]. I Pet 1:5
[q]. John 10:14-15, 26; John 6:64-65; Rom. 8:28-39; see John 8:47; John 17:9; I John 2:19

7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or witholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.[r]
[r]. Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; Jude 4; I Pet. 2:8; II Tim. 2:19-20

8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,[s] that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.[t] So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God;[u] and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[w]
[s]. Rom. 9:20; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 29:29
[t]. II Pet. 1:10; I Thess. 1:4-5
[u]. Eph. 1:6; see Rom. 11:33
[w]. Rom. 11:5-6, 20; Rom. 8:33; Luke 10:20; see II Pet. 1:10

Of Providence

1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[a] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[b] from the greatest even to the least,[c] by His most wise and holy providence,[d] according to His infallible foreknowledge,[e] and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,[f] to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[g]
[a]. Neh. 9:6; Ps. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
[b]. Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 38:1-41:34
[c]. Matt. 10:29-31, see Matt. 6:26-32
[d]. Prov. 15:3; II Chron. 16:9; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 145:17
[e]. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
[f]. Eph. 1:11; Ps. 33:10-11
[g]. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7

2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[h] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[i]
[h]. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
[i]. Gen. 8:22; Jer. 31:55; Isa. 10:6-7; see Exod. 21:13; and Deut. 19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

3. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[k] yet is free to work without,[l] above,[m] and against them, at His pleasure.[n]
[k]. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
[l]. Hos. 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
[m]. Rom. 4:19-21
[n]. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[o] and that not by a bare permission,[p] but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[q] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;[r] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[s]
[o]. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28; see II Sam. 24:1 and I Chron. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chron. 10:4, 13-14
[p]. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
[q]. Ps. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
[r]. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:12; see verses 6-7, 13-15
[s]. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Ps. 50:21

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;[t] and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.[u]
[t]. II Chron. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam. 24:1, 25
[u]. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Ps. 73:1-28; Ps. 77:1-12; Mark 14:66-72; John 21:15-19

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[w] from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[x] but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[y] and exposeth them to such objects as their corruptions make occasions of sin;[z] and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,[a] whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.[b]
[w]. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; Rom. 11:7-8
[x]. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
[y]. Matt. 13:12; Matt. 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
[z]. Gen. 4:8; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
[a]. Ps. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
[b]. Exod. 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 8:14; I Pet. 2:7-8; see Exod. 7:3; Isa. 6:9-10; Acts 28:26-27

7. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[c]
[c]. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 8:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14


The doctrine of God's Sovereign Pre-Ordaining Providence Permeates American history.

From America OnLine's "Separation of Church and State" Bulletin Board. (Jump works only for AOL subscribers.)
Subject: Predestination in American History 
From: kevin4vft@aol.com (KEVIN4VFT)  
Date: 11 Feb 1999 06:47:24 EST 

In article <19990211000948.11138.00000318@ng122.aol.com>, assicon@aol.com (ASSICON) writes:

>In a prior post related to this thread, Kevin indicated that he was a
>proponent of the doctrine of Predestination, and denied that human freedom is
>a God ordained value.

"Political freedom" is a value; insofar as God commands you not to steal from me, I have freedom to use my property. Of course, stealing from others is the centerpiece of "liberal" politics and economic policy.

>Kevin asked me to provide biblical proof to the
>contrary. In this context I proposed taking a look at the creation story in
>Genesis in which we have God administering a test through the
>tree-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil. The very fact that this tree existed
>leads to only one
>conclusion--- God created freedom

God said not to eat of it or you will die. You call that "freedom?"

> and he presented humans with options-
>apparently options which He preferred would not be exercised.

In the same way God gave Pharaoh options. Pharaoh chose to exercise the option not to let God's People go, and he lost his first born. Eventually, after letting the People go, Pharaoh went after them again, attempting to bring them back, and God destroyed him and his army in the Red Sea.
The People of God rejoiced that Pharaoh and his army were destroyed by the mighty intervention of Divine Providence. In the New Testament, no less than the Old, we are told that Pharaoh had no freedom, that God had predetermined to drown Pharaoh, and so hardened Pharaoh's heart.

Romans 9:16-23 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, [or of him who claims he has "freedom",] but of God who shows mercy. {17} For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." {18} Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. {19} You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? ["How can you say man is responsible?"] For who has resisted His will?" {20} But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" {21} Does not the Potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? {22} What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, {23} and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

But Pharaoh was not an automaton; he was a human being created in the Image of God. He understood the command of God, and chose to disobey it. He was held responsible for his rebellion. [And if he hasn't already done so, Pharaoh will eventually admit that God was good and fair to predestine Pharaoh to destruction, because it helped pave the way for God's People to inherit the Promised Land

>The creation
>evidence of human freedom as being a God inspired value is but one of many
>biblical examples.

Still waiting for an example.

>As a post script here, I would say that Kevin's
>admission that he views freedom as something other than a value authored by
>God as significant because it is not difficult to suspect that much of his
>world view
>flows from this theological perspective.

Such is inevitable.
Just as Stalin's world view stemmed from his atheistic theological perspective.
Just as Washington's world view stemmed from his theistic gratitude for the intervention of Divine Providence in the crushing of King George's army.

>>Kevin responded to my post by saying that:
>>>>what you call ‘freedom’ is simply the nature of one created in God's
>Image. We are not random mutations, conglomerations of chemicals. God is a
>Person, we are persons.<<<
> >It is not really clear what Kevin is trying to say here,

Human beings are created in the image of God.

What do you mean by "freedom?"

  • Do you mean the ability to gather data, reflect on past experience and tradition, ask questions of your trusted counselors (and expect those questions to be understood), think through your choices rationally, and then take decisive action?
  • Do you mean the ability to decide which poem to read or music to listen to, and then to let the artist speak to your soul? Do you mean the ability to love your spouse and your children, and to experience tears of joy?
  • Do you mean the struggle of conscience you endure when the State orders you to pull the trigger and execute a Fundamentalist, or run their children over with a tank, or burn down their "compound" [home]?

All of these things are things human beings engage in, and animals do not.
This is because we human beings are created in the Image of God, as the Bible says.

The evolutionist says we are no different from animals; that we are a randomly-mutated conglomeration of chemicals, brought about by the cold, impersonal forces of time + chance.

  • A plant does not choose to be born, uses chlorophyll to convert the sun's energy into a flower, which withers in the fall, and dies.
  • A dog does not choose to be born, converts sunlight into energy, barks at the moon, and dies.
  • A human being does not choose to be born, converts sunlight into Vitamin D, barks at the driver who cuts in front of him, and dies.

If evolution is true, neither you, nor a cockroach, nor a rock have what you think of as "free will." The plant has "chlorophyll,"; you have "free will." Big Deal. There's no difference between the two.

The whole concept of a "will" is an illusion.

BUT . . . If you were created by the Loving, Sovereign Lord God of the Bible, and bear His Image, then you do have what you call "free will." The fact that this God predestines all that comes to pass does not "violate" your pre-existing "free will," it creates the necessary environment for all meaningful human action.

I choose to believe the Bible, not Darwin and Hitler.

>except that you
>notice he has not really responded to the creation evidence pertaining to
>human freedom. He has not demonstrated how God's invitation to humankind,
>with the garden tree, to make a choice, could be anything other than FREEDOM.

Have you even read the account? There was no "invitation." It was a command, and when Adam & Eve violated it, they hid from the wrath of God. Freedom?

> >For those of you who operate with theistic presuppositions, can we not say
>that if humans were not created by God into freedom as free moral agents, it
>logically follows that God created automatons.

I don't see any logic to your statement at all.
I am created in the Image of God. I am not an automaton.
Everything I do has been predestined by God. (God was not forced to create me knowing that I would do what God really didn't want me to do.)

>Now it is interesting to note
>that Kevin likes to talk about human responsibility, but I'm not sure how
>responsibility is possible, absent freedom.

God creates human beings in His Image, and commands them (in verbal communication which they have been created to understand) not to do X, under penalty of Y. They do X, and they receive Y.

Compare the result with a rock, which cannot understand God's commands.

>I even asked Kevin what
>automaton he knows who employs responsibility? Interestingly, and tellingly
>Kevin did not respond!!!

Oh, dear, how embarrassing. I "didn't respond."
Could it be because I don't know any automatons?
Human beings created in God's Image are responsible to obey God's commands. Pharaoh was held responsible even though his disobedience was inescapably pre-ordained by God.

Total Predestination

Isaiah's Doctrine of Predestination

God Sends Evil Why Calvinists are Anarchists

Jesus' Defense of Violence

The Predestined Pencil


Baalism vs. Predestination: Random Chance vs. Personalism

Radical Calvinism

Angelic Synapses and the Trinity

The Human Mind as "Inanimate"

Demonic Delusion vs. Angelic Synapses

My Computer-Like Mind

Habits: God's Gifts

Victory: The Inevitable Triumph of the Faith

Post-millennialism: The World-wide Predestined Spread of the Gospel

Edenization of the Earth: Reversing the Stalinization of Life

Exodus 9:16 "But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

Joshua 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

1 Samuel 2:25 "If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

1 Kings 12:15 So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfill His word, which the LORD had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

2 Chronicles 25:20 But Amaziah would not heed, for it came from God, that He might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought the gods of Edom.

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; {28} and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, {29} that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Romans 11:8 Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day."

Ephesians 1:4-5 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, {5} having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

Luke 22:22 "And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"

John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Acts 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

Acts 2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

Acts 3:18 "But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

Acts 4:27 "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

William Bradford wrote about God's "providence" in his "History of Plimouth Plantation," (1620):

And I may not omit here a special work of God's providence. There was a proud and very profane young man, one of the sea-men, of a lusty, able body, which made him the more haughty; he would always be contemning the poor people in their sickness and cursing them daily with grievous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help to cast half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end, and to make merry with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly. But it pleased God before they came half seas over, to smite this young man with a grievous disease, of which he died in a desperate manner, and so was himself the first that was thrown overboard. Thus his curses light on his own head; and it was an astonishment to all his fellows, for they noted it to be the just hand of God upon him….

The first Charter of Virginia, granted by King James I (of "King James Version" fame) on April 10, 1606, reads,

III. We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those Parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government; DO, by these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well-intended Desires;

In his description of the Settlement of Jamestown, 1607, Capt. John Smith describes how God "violated" the free will of the indians:

So to Jamestown with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they quartered in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this long time of his imprisonment) every hour to be put to one death or other: for all their feasting. But almighty God (by his divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the fort, where Smith having used the savages with what kindness he could, he showed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty servant, two demi-culverins and a millstone to carry Powhatan:

CAPTAIN EDWARD JOHNSON, who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 with Governor Winthrop, and founded the town of Woburn, was a typical Puritan farmer-colonist, pious, brave and fond of recording current events. For twenty-eight years, from 1643 to 1671, he represented the town in the General Court, and served on many important committees.
His history of the settlement of Massachusetts is best known under its sub-title, "The Wonder-working Providence of Zion's Savior," published anonymously in London in 1654. It is valuable as a minute record of civil and ecclesiastical procedure in the Bay Colony, and has been incorporated in the Massachusetts Historical Collection.

In 1669 the commissioners of the New England colonies requested Nathaniel Morton, Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to compile a history of New England. He called the work which he published at Cambridge, Massachusetts, "New England's Memorial, or a Brief Relation of the Most Remarkable and Memorable Passages of the Providence of God Manifested to the Planters of New England." In that work we have this account of the acts of Roger Williams:

He persisted, and grew more violent in his way, insomuch as he staying at home in his own house, sent a letter, which was delivered and read in the public church assembly, the scope of which was to give them notice, That if the church of Salem would not separate not only from the churches of Old England, but the churches of New England too, he would separate from them: the more prudent and sober part of the church being amazed at his way, could not yield unto him: whereupon he never came to the church assembly more, professing separation from them as antichristian, and not only so, but he withdrew all private religious communion from any that would hold communion with the church there, insomuch as he would not pray nor give thanks at meals with his own wife nor any of his family, because they went to the church assemblies. . . which the prudent magistrates understanding, and seeing things grow more and more towards a general division and disturbance, after all other means used in vain, they passed a sentence of banishment against him out of the Massachusetts Colony, as against a disturber of the peace, both of the church and commonwealth. After which Mr. Williams sat down in a place called PROVIDENCE, out of the Massachusetts jurisdiction, and was followed by many of the members of the church of Salem, who did zealously adhere to him, and who cried out of the persecution that was against him: some others also resorted to him from other parts.

The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties," the first code of laws established in New England, was compiled by Nathaniel Ward (c. 1578-1652) a leading English Puritan minister, who had been trained as a lawyer. He came to the colony in 1634, and was for a time pastor at Ipswich. The "Liberties" were established by the Massachusetts General Court in December, 1641. Section 4 reads:

4. No man shall be punished for not appearing at or before any Civill Assembly, Court, Councell, Magistrate, or Officer, nor for the omission of any office or service, if he shall be necessarily hindred by any apparent Act or providence of God, which he could neither foresee nor avoid. Provided that this law shall not prejudice any person of his just cost or damage, in any civill action.

The Brief Narrative of John Eliot, missionary to the Indians, can be found in Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.147 - p.148:

Upon the 17th day of the 6th month, 1670, there was a Meeting at Maktapog near Sandwich in Plimouth-Pattent, to gather a Church among the Indians: There were present six of the Magistrates, and many Elders, (all of them Messengers of the Churches within that Jurisdiction) in whose presence, in a day of Fasting and Prayer, they making confession of the Truth and Grace of Jesus Christ, did in that solemn Assembly enter into Covenant, to walk together in the Faith and Order of the Gospel; and were accepted and declared to be a Church of Jesus Christ. These Indians being of kin to our Massachuset-Indians who first prayed unto God, conversed with them, and received amongst them the light and love of the Truth; they desired me to write to Mr. Leveredge to teach them: He accepted the Motion: and performed the Work with good success; but afterwards he left that place, and went to Long-Island, and there a godly Brother, named Richard Bourne (who purposed to remove with Mr. Leveredge, but hindered by Divine Providence) undertook the teaching of those Indians, and hath continued in the work with good success to this day; him we ordained Pastor:

In an undated description of Pennsylvania, written by William Penn as a prospectus to attract new settlers, we read:

I bless God, I am fully satisfied with the country and entertainment I get in it; for I find that particular content which hath always attended me, where God in his providence hath made it my place and service to reside. You cannot imagine my station can be at present free of more than ordinary business, and as such, I may say, it is a troublesome work; but the method things are putting in will facilitate the charge, and give an earlier motion to the administration of affairs. However, as it is some men's duty to plow, some to sow, some to water, and some to reap; so it is the wisdom as well as the duty of a man, to yield to the mind of Providence, and cheerfully, as well as carefully, embrace and follow the guidance of it….

General James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia, was the beneficiary of God's Providence, according to Joel Chandler Harris, in 1733:

Providence favored Oglethorpe in this matter. He had to deal with an Indian chief full of years, wisdom, and experience. This was Tomochichi, who was at the head of the Yamacraws. From this kindly Indian the Georgia Colony received untold benefits. He remained the steadfast friend of the settlers, and used his influence in their behalf in every possible way, and on all occasions. Altho he was a very old man, he was strong and active, and of commanding presence. He possessed remarkable intelligence; and this, added to his experience, made him one of the most remarkable of the Indians whose names have been preserved in history…. Thus, with Oglethorpe to direct it, and with Tomochichi as its friend, the little Georgia Colony was founded, thrived and flourished.

From John Adams' chronicle of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 1774:

7. Wednesday. Went to Congress again, heard Mr. Duche read prayers; the collect for the day, the 7th of the month, was most admirably adapted, though this was accidental, or rather providential. A prayer which he gave us of his own composition was as pertinent, as affectionate, as sublime, as devout, as I ever heard offered up to Heaven. He filled every bosom present….

George Washington describes his capture of Boston, 1776:

Upon their discovery of the works next morning, great preparations were made for attacking them; but not being ready before afternoon, and the weather getting very tempestuous, much blood was saved, and a very important blow, to one side or the other, was prevented. That this most remarkable interposition of Providence is for some a wise purpose, I have not a doubt.

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson had written:

And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

But Congress amended it to read:

And for the support of this declaration, [with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,] we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Samuel Adams, from a speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia, "to a very numerous audience," on August 1, 1776:

There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us. The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world.

Doctor Albigence Waldo was a surgeon from Connecticut, of Puritan ancestry, who had volunteered his services to General Washington in the Fall of 1777 and remained throughout that memorable winter with the army at Valley Forge. This is perhaps the best account of the heroism displayed in the darkest period of American affairs, before the French alliance assured money, ships and troops in aid of the Revolution. It is part of a daily diary kept by Dr. Waldo during his military service, beginning on December 12, 1777.

Dec. 24th.—Party of the 22d returned. Huts go on slowly—cold and smoke make us fret. But man kind are always fretting, even if they have more than their proportion of the blessings of life. We are never easy—always repining at the Providence of an All wise and Benevolent Being—blaming our country—or faulting our friends. But I don't know of anything that vexes a man's soul more than hot smoke continually blowing into his eyes, and when he attempts to avoid it, is met by a cold and piercing wind….

On September 23, 1780, Benedict Arnold's treasonous plot was exposed.


TREASON of the blackest dye was yesterday discovered.
General Arnold, who commanded at West Point, lost to every sense of honor, of private and public obligation, was about to deliver up that important post into the hands of the enemy. Such an event must have given the American cause a dangerous, if not a fatal wound; but the treason has been timely discovered, to prevent the fatal misfortune. The providential train of circumstances which led to it affords the most convincing proof that the liberties of America are the object of Divine protection. At the same time that the treason is to be regretted, the general cannot help congratulating the army on the happy discovery.

In November, 1783, General Washington bade his army farewell. The scene which attended Washington's farewell to the rank and file of his army at Rocky Hill, near Princeton, New Jersey, on Sunday, November 2, 1783, was only less affecting than his formal leave-taking with his leading officers at Fraunce's Tavern in New York a month later when Washington said: "With a heart full of love and gratitude I must now take my leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable…. I shall be obliged to you if each will come and take me by the hand." Many of the officers, including Washington, wept audibly.

His much more elaborate address at Princeton, written in the third person, is said to have been prepared by Alexander Hamilton. In tone it is very similar to Washington's splendid letter of June 8, 1783, to the Governors of the States with regard to the necessity of establishing a firm and dignified Federal Government. An excerpt:

A contemplation of the complete attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object, for which we contended against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.

The following letter, dated Princeton, New Jersey, July 15, 1783, was written by Elias Boudinot, the president of the Continental Congress, to our ministers plenipotentiary, Adams, Franklin and Jay, who were in Paris negotiating the treaty of peace with Great Britain, which concluded the Revolutionary War. It was Boudinot who signed its ratification.
A few days before this letter was written, Congress, being openly defied and menaced by a considerable number of Pennsylvania recruits, who objected to being discharged from the army without pay, had hurriedly adjourned from Philadelphia to Princeton.

The sergeants describe the plan laid by these officers as of the most irrational and diabolical nature, not only against Congress and the council, but also against the city and bank. They were to be joined by straggling parties from different parts of the country, and after executing their horrid purposes were to have gone off with their plunder to the East Indies.
However incredible this may appear, the letters from Sullivan to Colonel Moyland, his commanding officer, from Chester and the capes, clearly show that it was a deep-laid scheme. It appears clearly to me that next to the continued care of Divine Providence, the miscarriage of this plan is owing to the unexpected meeting of Congress on Saturday, and their decided conduct in leaving the city until they could support the Federal government with dignity.

The treaty of peace between Britain and America begins as follows:


IN the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts
—of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore; and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries. . . .
Treaty With Great Britain, Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.185

Madison records Ben Franklin's words in the Constitutional Convention:

In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.

Congress was sitting in New York on April 30, 1789, when Washington took the oath of office as Chief Executive. From his Inaugural Address:

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to the Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And, in the revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with a humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.
These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.

In his Farewell Address, Washington reminded the nation:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion, and Morality are indispensable supports.—In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. —The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.—A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.—Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.—Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure—reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.—

Yet ASSICON and other Secular Humanists would exclude religion -- and most of American history -- from the schools. Washington continued:

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.—Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it?—It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.—Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.—Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

Major General Henry Lee gave an eloquent tribute to the "Father of His Country" before the two Houses of Congress on December 26, 1799, twelve days after Washington died at Mount Vernon:

Desperate, indeed, is any attempt on earth to meet correspondingly this dispensation of Heaven; for, while with pious resignation we submit to the will of an all-gracious Providence, we can never cease lamenting, in our finite view of Omnipotent Wisdom, the heart-rending privation for which our nation weeps.

In short, according to the Founding Fathers, the United States of America is one huge, massive, cosmic violation by God of the "free will" of Great Britain.

I would add two things:
First, not a single one of these quotes came from David Barton. The search term I used in computer research was Providen*, and there are over 1300 additional references I could have cited.
Second, having spent over two hours culling through these documents, I have a renewed anger at the impudence and arrogance of Secular Humanists for ripping religion out of the schools, ostensibly based on the constitutional mandate of the Founding Fathers. Arrogance exceeded only by ignorance.

Kevin C. 
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares 
and sit under their Vine & Fig Tree. 
Micah 4:1-7