Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WND/Charles: "Was Benjamin Franklin a Christian?"

I'm critical enough of World Net Daily when they get their facts wrong as they often do. Joshua Charles seems to get it right here. A taste:
Franklin believed that Jesus had more regard “for the heretical but charitable Samaritan” than for “the uncharitable though orthodox priest and sanctified Levite” (see Luke 10:25–37), and “thought much less of these outward appearances and professions than many of his modern disciples. He preferred the doers of the Word to the mere hearers” (see James 1:22). In response to some of his family members who were concerned about the state of his soul, Franklin responded not by appealing to secular arguments, but like many of the other Founders, to the Bible, which he called “that excellent book.” “I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue; and the Scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined for what we thought, but what we did; and our recommendation will not be that we said Lord! Lord! but that we did good to our fellow creatures. See Matthew 25.”
That's right, Franklin didn't believe in the Protestant doctrine of "Sola Fide" that men are saved through faith or grace alone. But rather that good works/virtue were at the least a component for salvation.

Franklin also didn't affirm orthodox doctrines like the Trinity and Incarnation. Mr. Charles references Franklin's end of life letter to Ezra Stiles noting this.

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