Principle #5 – All Things Were Created by God, Therefore Upon Him All Mankind are Equally Dependent, and to Him They are Equally Responsible.
Through the writings of the Founding Fathers it is evident that they believed in the existence of a Creator, who has designed and brought forth the universe that we live in and set in motion the laws that govern His creation.
Wallbuilders.com comments: “It is not an exaggeration to say that without John Locke’s substantial influence on American thinking there might well be no United States of America.”
The Founding Fathers followed John Locke’s teaching. John Locke was raised as a Puritan Protestant and like Thomas Aquinas and many others that followed all gave great ideas on many subjects such as politics and education, but began to move away from some of the things that he formerly believed. Seeds that were planted in our main universities that were started to train pastors at that time began to germinate but now we see these great universities moving in a complete secular and human reasoning direction.
Historians Charles Taylor and Jerrold Seigal claim that Locke’s “essay concerning human understanding” marked the beginning of the modern Western conception of ‘self.’ John Locke started out well, but his human reasoning led him to doubt the doctrines of the Trinity, the sovereignty of God, the atonement of Christ, and the resurrection of Christ; which are essential to the Christian faith. This “human reasoning” progressively moved him into the camp of what was known as the Latitudinarians, who were a group of Anglican Christians active from the 17th through the 19th centuries and who were opposed to the dogmatic positions of the Church of England. They allowed ‘reason’ to inform theological interpretation and judgment.
A.W.Tozer said that “truth and error travel the same highway” and it is essential for us to distinguish between the two. Locke brought out that an atheist is one who is confessing that he has never dealt with the issue of the Creator’s existence. He went on to say that it is ridiculous to think that everything in existence “developed as a result of fortuitous circumstance.” He went on to say that just as watch complexities bring out the fact of a watch-designer so it is with the universe itself.
Locke brought out that man is capable of many good things because he is able to think and reason, and has a sense of love and compassion. Therefore we can know that the Creator also has these same qualities, since we are made in His image.
We see through many of the writings of the American Founding Fathers that they agreed with Locke. “They considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying ALL self-evident truth.” The Founders believed that to have a ‘just’ society the foundation had to be based on God’s revealed laws, because these laws clearly define what is right and wrong.
Since Americans have begun to move away from God’s laws we are losing the ability to discern right from wrong, and are moving into what Isaiah described: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” Isaiah 59:14-15
“William Blackstone (1723-1780) established the classes for the first Law School at Oxford in 1752. His lectures on the English Law were published in 1765 and were as widely read in America as they were in England.”
Blackstone operated on the premise that when the Creator formed the universe it was done with ‘order’ and certain principles, or laws that would govern henceforth. He called this orderly arrangement of the universe the ‘law of nature’ and he reasoned that there are laws for human nature just as ‘they exist for the rest of the universe.’ I saw one of Blackstone’s Law books and for every law there was a Scripture verse, but today he has been discounted because human reasoning has taken over God’s revelation.
We are told in Proverbs that the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” and reading the writings of these men who laid the foundation for this country we know that they were men who feared God; men who believed that God exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him. We know that the meaning of “ to fear God” is a reverential ‘trust in God,’ but also for me the ‘fear of God’ means that there is a Creator and one day I will stand before that Creator and give an account. This is a missing ingredient in many of our politicians today.
Perhaps this is why God said through Moses: “But select capable men from all the people — men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain — and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Exodus 18:21
Our politicians today would do well to heed the words of Benjamin Franklin who was perhaps one of the least religious of our Founding Fathers. In calling the Constitutional Convention to prayer he said: “God governs in the affairs of men. Except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it, and I firmly believe… that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.”