I have been searching for sometime—–for the answer to this question. Could it be said that America is founded as a Christian nation? The wording of the “Constitution” or founding documents do not come out stating——We were founded as a Christian nation. It states nothing like that anywhere I could locate. Oh yes—-it does say—– “One nation under God…” but the Atheist will say God with a small “g” or say it is not the God of the Bible or the one that has a son Jesus Christ that save HIS people——they would say or use it as some supreme being in a neutral state mysticism. So how do we say or prove that; at one time this was a “Christian—- a Bible believing Nation”.
Well I found the beginning of the path that proves without a doubt that this was a Christian nation at one time. I am going to quote at length a passage from Harry S. Stout’s book 1986 Oxford University Press “The New England Soul”. I will also be incorporating his footnotes which I think are critical in showing Stout’s research into the question is well documented.
I quote from the opening chapter of his book. (pages 3-4)
“The seventeenth-century founders of New England set out to create a unique and self-perpetuating “people of the Word” and be extending the sermon to all significant facets of life—-social and political, as well as religious—they achieved exactly that. Throughout the colonial era the religious “planting” of churches in most towns kept pace with the growth of population so that by the time of the Revolution there were 720 congregational churches in New England. In like manner the number of college-educated, ordained ministers grew with the population, resulting in a constant ratio of preachers to general population that was among the lowest—if not the lowest—in the Protestant world. (3) Twice on Sunday and often once during the week, every minister in New England delivered sermons lasting between one and two hours in length. Collectively over the entire span of the colonial period, sermons totaled over five million separate messages in a society whose population never exceeded one-half million and whose principle city never grew beyond seventeen thousand. The average weekly churchgoer in New England (and there were far more churchgoers than church members) listened to something like seven thousand sermons in a lifetime, totaling somewhere around fifteen thousand hours of concentrated listening. (4) These striking statistics become even more significant when it is recalled that until the last decade of the colonial era there were at the local level few, if any, competing public speakers offering alternative messages. For all intents and purposes, the sermon was the only regular voice of authority.”
(3) The Puritans’ rejection of ornamented, “Witty” preaching in the manner of “Metaphysical” Anglican preachers like Lancelot Andrews or John Donne is well known. For description of the Puritan “Plain Style” see William Haller, The Rise of Puritanism (New York 1938), 128-72; and John F. Wilson Pulpit in Parliament: Puritanism during the English Civil Wars 1640-1648 (Princeton N.J. 1969),137-65.
(4) New England’s mission to invent a way of “non-separating Congregation-ism” is developed extensively in Perry Miller, Orthodoxy in Massachusetts, 1630-1650 (Org. publ. 1933 reprinted New York 1970) 73-101. The millennial implications of national reform are traced in Katharine R. Firth, the Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, 1530-1645 (New York, 1979).
There is not much more needed to be said accept any and all doubters will need to look closely at Stout’s work and his 70 pages of footnotes and start to do their own research. It will also be noted that the peak of this type of preaching and religious belief—–along with this type of sermon and preaching had peaked in the final quarter of 1700’s and from that point forward the competition for the ear of the churchgoer started to intensify with secular teaching coming into play—–until we get to—today—-with nothing but PC (political correct) talk mixed with a perversion of double speak in “Progressive confused Thought & Logic”—-the percentage of serious intellect coming from the pulpit has fallen to almost nothing and with today’s separation of church and state—we have no Biblical teaching on political issues. The paths taken and decision made by the politicians remain unchallenged. A pathetic mess of shallow teaching by the church and no grasping of the times or understand by the citizens. A larger and larger percentage of the people being and acting lost and not knowing what to do to fix their life or anything within the social fabric.
If we conclude God’s word is sovereign—–then all human powers and authority would have to be limited—the Puritan believed in limited power for both Church and State knowing full well the final authority was with God and in the Bible “Scripture becomes final—-as they were people of the word”. We have none of this today—-while everyone is searching for answers—-finding none.
Finally: “YES” at one time we were people of the word “Christians” in a land that feared God and heard HIS word preached with seriousness—–believing their Pastors. But today—-not so—-we must understand how close we are to “Anarchy”—–a chaos with no law—were nothing will work.
We Shall see—Don’t you think?