Monday, December 10, 2012
Thomas Jefferson's bible and the danger of doubt
Reblogged from Elizabeth Prata´s the-end-time.blogspot.com
The Old Testament is overlooked by today's liberal, superficial, felt-needs Christian. I am a fundamentalist- I believe everything the bible records is literally true. That means I believe and celebrate the fact that God made the world and all the animals in six days. He sent the global flood. There was an ark and two of every kind of animal was on it, along with 8 God-honoring people. He is the all-powerful, supreme creator and has dominion over everything. The miracles happened. Hell exists. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected by the power of God. He ascended in a cloud and will return the same way, the second time to judge the living and the dead.
You would not believe how many people disbelieve one or more of those fundamentals. Christians, even church leaders, have said to me point blank, "Oh, I just take the Old Testament with a grain of salt." The reason so many Christians disbelieve the basics of the bible is that for many decades now, centuries even, non-literalists have chipped away at the truth of God's word.
They say that slow evolution and a Creator God are compatible doctrines. They say that there is no hell and our spirit expires at death. They say that all the animals could not possibly have fit onto the ark, and a flood could not possibly have covered all the world's mountaintops. (Genesis 7:19).
In the recent Presidential election cycle, I read much from the Republicans and the conservatives vaunting America's supposed Christian status as a nation. They turn to the Founding Fathers as "proof" that the writers of the Constitution were Gospel-saved, bible believing Christians and that their foundational documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution spring from biblical precepts.
The main writer of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. He wrote the famous line that opens the second paragraph:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Not many people know that Jefferson had in mind a different Creator than the bible presents. Jefferson was a product of the new secular humanism and the naturalism sweeping French and British philosophical circles. Jefferson was a Deist, which the LA Times defines in their article about Jefferson as,
Deists differed from traditional Christians by rejecting miraculous occurrences and prophecies and embracing the notion of a well-ordered universe created by a God who withdrew into detached transcendence.To that end, Jefferson took a razor blade and carefully cut out every single reference in the bible to the supernatural miracles of Christ. He also disbelieved "receiving of the Holy Spirit, angels, Noah's Ark and the Great Flood, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, a future kingdom, and eternal life, Heaven, Hell and punishment in everlasting fire, the Devil, prophecy, and the soldiers falling backwards to the ground in response to Jesus stating, "I am he." (source)
If necessary, Jefferson would even cut a sentence in half if the latter part of it contained a reference to a miracle.
In a letter to William Short in 1820, Jefferson wrote:
Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate therefore the gold from the dross; restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus. These palpable interpolations and falsifications of his doctrines led me to try to sift them apart. (source)He called the resulting text The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. We know it now more informally as The Jefferson Bible. "Jefferson said his "wee little book" of 46 pages was based on a lifetime of inquiry and reflection and contained "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
Imagine, excising God's word from its full and glorious revelation of our Holy and Graceful God, down to a wee little book of sayings.
I want to state with all fervency, that to begin to unravel one verse because it doesn't suit your sensibilities, or to excise one passage because it does not agree with your version of possible occurrences, is traversing down the same dangerous road Jefferson traveled. Cutting away the flood means you also call Peter a liar because he preaches the flood in 2 Peter 2:5. Disbelieving Jonah was swallowed by a fish makes Jesus out to be a liar because he said Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights, in Matthew 12:40.
The bible is a tightly woven tapestry of truth and beauty. Either you believe all of it or none of it. The good news is, God gives us the faith to believe and the courage to proclaim. He opens our mind to the truths He has delivered to us. He is great and wonderful.
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24:45)
Will you turn to the left just a bit, and begin to doubt the 6-day creation, the Flood and the ark? Or will you turn to the right a little bit and step into the eternal glory of His truth, all of it, without doubt?
If you are beginning to doubt, ask Jesus for help! He will give it! The Holy Spirit will strengthen you and bring to mind all the things you should know, if you read His word and pray for knowledge.
Here is Daniel of the T.R.U.T.H. Group showing what happens when you start to disbelieve the fundamentals. He is pointed from the beginning. He really gets going at 3:30 and at the end watch even after the music starts. He comes back to say something funny.
Beware of Jefferson's razor. He doubted. He began chipping away. At the end he was left with only a wee little book ... and a long eternity.