Independence

My family and I went to visit with my father yesterday for Independence Day, so I have been disconnected from the internets until now. However, I didn’t want the opportunity to bypass me, so here are some little (belated) Independence Day treats…

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Also, I thought I’d take a brief moment to respond to Rick Phillips’ Ref21 post, “Why the Fourth of July Is a Presbyterian Holiday” with a few observations:

1. Phillips’ first observation is not unique to the WCF. In fact, the original WCF would differ from our founders’ view of government in that it promoted an establishment of religion by the government. The founding documents of America have always been anti-establishment. It is truly telling that, where the Westminster Standards and the founding fathers disagreed on this issue, it was the Westminster Standards that were ultimately compromised, not American principles. Baptists on the other hand have always led the charge in standing against state-sponsored religion. America is particularly indebted to the Virginia Baptists for the Bill of Rights, which ensures freedom of religion.

2. Phillips’ second point errs in the fact that America’s leaders are not appointed by Presbytery style caucuses, but are elected through common suffrage. There are certainly checks and balances within our government, but it is through the assembly that God raises up our nation’s leaders. This process is distinctly Congregational / Baptist.

3. In Phillips’ third point, Baptists, Puritans, and Congregationalists alike join with Presbyterians in denouncing tyrannical governments. This baptist would certainly like to see more inquiry into a present and growing tyranny in our own nation.

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