Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reformation Day & The Founders:

"On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany," as this website notes.

Evangelicals and Roman Catholics still split on a number of issues, like justification. This document that attempted to bring Lutherans and Roman Catholics together claims that it "does not resolve the classic question whether such grace is God’s undeserved favor (Lutheran) or whether it is a spiritual power poured or ‘infused’ into the soul that enables one to love God and merit salvation (Roman Catholic).”

What I find ironic is, whatever their differences the Christian theology shared by Roman Catholics and evangelicals is far closer to one another than either are to the religion of the so called "key Founders."

For instance, here is Ben Franklin on justification, which is so different than the view of evangelicals and Roman Catholics that it makes their views look like differences without distinction:

Faith is recommended as a Means of producing Morality: Our Saviour was a Teacher of Morality or Virtue, and they that were deficient and desired to be taught, ought first to believe in him as an able and faithful Teacher. Thus Faith would be a Means of producing Morality, and Morality of Salvation. But that from such Faith alone Salvation may be expected, appears to me to be neither a Christian Doctrine nor a reasonable one….Morality or Virtue is the End, Faith only a Means to obtain that End: And if the End be obtained, it is no matter by what Means.

– “Dialogue between Two Presbyterians,” April 10, 1735.

Though George Washington was less specific when he discussed his views on the afterlife, there is not a SHRED OF EVIDENCE that George Washington held to a salvation scheme that was any more "Christian" than Franklin’s. Indeed, if anything Washington's view on the afterlife was LESS Christian.

As GW put it on the death of a loved one, suggesting she merited salvation through her good works, “She is now no more! But she must be happy, because her virtue has a claim to it.”

No orthodox Christian would state that someone’s “virtue” or works gives them a “claim” to eternal happiness.

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