Isaac Newton was a smart man. He is recognized as one of the most influential scientists of human history. He was born the same year Galileo died. This English scientist and mathematician gave us many discoveries that were foundational for physics. According to Kevin Hasson, author of "Believers, Thinkers, and Founders," Newton held that the beauty and order of the universe implied that it was the work of a Creator. This philosophy of faith in the God of the Bible was woven into Newton's respect for the ordered universe he investigated.
An examination of the thinking of the original founders of America (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington) shows that their worldview generally was compatible with Isaac Newton's. Theism or Deism was common in their philosophy. This was an attitude that was friendly, not hostile, toward faith in God and belief in the Bible. It included reverence for the Almighty and trusted in the Hand of Providence to guide their decisions. You can see these references in the letters to each other and in the Declaration of Independence.
The majority of Americans still believe in God and practice prayer. Historically, America was and is a Christian nation that is rooted in Judeo-Christian values. Our citizens freely and openly profess Christ without persecution, but the percentage of true believers is becoming more difficult to measure. Many believers are silent or secretive about their faith. Many followers of Christ don't regularly attend a traditional church. A large percentage of believers are ignorant concerning what the Bible teaches. Our lifestyle, culture and social codes seem less godly. Materialism, increasing personal and national debt, and hedonism increase as a consequence. Jim Wallis points to this in his book, "God's Politics." He quotes former Senator Joe Lieberman as saying, "The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion not freedom from religion."
Today, a large but vocal minority of America's politicians are openly atheists. Or they profess faith in God but have adopted beliefs that contradict biblical values. For instance, communism or socialism seizes or confiscates the property of citizens for redistribution. This flies in the face of the Bible's emphasis on private property ownership, the family as a source of wealth, and the mandate for personal responsibility and individual stewardship. Therefore, many elected politicians are, for all practical purposes, atheists.
An atheist is an avowed disbeliever. More than a skeptic, atheists are convinced there is no creator or deity. There is no infinite-personal God to whom we may worship or pray, no final judge to answer to, nor do human beings or unborn babies possess immortal souls. An atheist is free to invent his own moral code or have none at all. They feel free to try social experiments that devalue the underlying essence of humanity, whether it is the essential family unit of husband and wife as parents or the inherent binary nature of gender identity. In support of this liberal bias and its inevitable social chaos and ever larger requirements for government expenditures, the modern media are 95 percent in total agreement.
A modern Christian philosopher, Os Guiness, writes in his book, "A Free Peoples' Suicide," about the dissolution of the unifying thread that once held America steady. He discusses the issue of freedom of conscience, in which each person can choose to believe as he will, alongside the loss of a unifying culture which we inherited from our Founders. This had existed in Europe but is being overrun by Islam and overthrown by socialism. Partisan anger prevails. America may follow the same sad path.
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Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 01/30/2019
Print Headline: Godliness has gone missing