CCU disputants find common ground at symposium

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CCU disputants find common ground at symposium

Prior to last week’s Colorado Christian University all-campus event, the “Symposium on Faith, Family and Freedom,” members of the CCU faculty and fellows of the Centennial Institute have engaged in a spirited debate over the proper role of faith in the public square. Part of this debate has turned on the question of whether or not our founders were Christian and the level that Christian ideas and values went into the shaping of our government. There was a discussion of whether some scholars over-emphasize, while others ignore, the role that Christianity played in the American founding.

As Christians we are, of course, conflicted between the two “cities” in which we reside. While our ultimate hope and aspiration is our residence in the City of God, our temporary residence leaves us concerned with the City of Man. As Christians, our ultimate concern is with salvation; as citizens of the earth, we are concerned with establishing the best possible political order in our temporary residence.

The tension that exists between these two cities is great. It has been central to our recent debate on our country’s founding fathers. As we consider our founders, most can be placed into one of two camps: Christians or Deists. As Christians, we know that our salvation is found only through the saving work of Christ. Deists do not subscribe to this belief and, as such, are not saved. This is of great concern to Christians, as God commands us to evangelize those who are lost.

When we turn to our consideration of the City of Man and the establishment of the best regime, we need to temporarily set aside our primary concern for the lost, and consider what pragmatic doctrines work toward the establishment of good government. As Christians, we can agree that Jefferson’s deism is indeed faulty and ultimately tragic. However, his worldview that recognized a Creator God who authored the proper order of how man ought to live in society is one that Christians can wholeheartedly endorse.

Doug Bandow and the CCU Symposium summarized well the common ground that our Christian and Deist founders shared: A common Christian moral worldview. Both sides of our recent debate concerning the role of faith in both the founding should agree on this.

So while the debate will continue regarding whether the role of Christianity in the shaping of our founding has been over- or under-emphasized, we can certainly share this common ground.

One Comment

  1. jRa October 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Doug Bandow and the CCU symposium may have done well in their summarization that this country was founded on a Christian moral worldview, but there seems to have been a disconnect between this summarization and the reality of the documents they created. The first amendment, which was numero uno for a good reason, says something like this, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The Christian worldview which may have influenced and compelled this was based in a humility and understanding that individuals were free to choose their religion and that government would not be another area in which religion could control. Much like the origins of higher education, an institution based on a Christian worldview and responsibility allowed for the integration of faith and freedom without the implicit indoctrination of Christian authority. An essential key to the faith in Jesus was the freedom to choose the lifestyle we were called to, not to impose it or coerce it’s way into society in the form of Government. The founding fathers understood this and created the separation or religion and state in our countries inception, Christian politicians today forget this and continue in the battle against secularization in government. "As citizens of the earth, we are concerned with establishing the best possible political order in our temporary residence." The founding fathers strongly agreed, and founded a free country with the best political order possible, one without religious control.

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