Gary discusses what it means to be a patriot and a Christian, and while the two are not mutually exclusive, they are also not the same thing.

Biblical elements often dominated when it came to establishing a moral foundation for the fledgling nation and suspicions of centralized political power. For example, the first legislative act of Pennsylvania, passed at Chester December 7, 1682, announced the following to be the goal of a true civil government. The preamble recites that, “Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of Mankind, is the reason and end of government, and therefore, government in itself is a venerable Ordinance of God,” therefore, it is the purpose of civil government to “establish such laws as shall best preserve true Christian and Civil Liberty, in opposition to all Unchristian, Licentious, and unjust practices, (Whereby God may have his due, and Caesar his due, and the people their due), from tyranny and oppression….”[1]

Benjamin F. Morris, author of the Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (1864), wrote the following:

[T]he frame of government which [William] Penn completed in 1682 for the government of Pennsylvania was derived from the Bible. He deduced from various passages ‘the origination and descent of all human power from God; the divine right of government, and that for two ends—first, to terrify evil-doers; secondly, to cherish those who do well,— a clear reference to the Apostle Paul’s admonition of civil government’s duties in Romans 13. Civil government, he said, “seems to me to be a part of religion itself;”—“a thing sacred in its institutions and ends.”[2]

George Bancroft, in his History of the United States, quotes a portion of Penn’s farewell address to the Pennsylvania colony: “You are come to a quiet land, and liberty and authority are in your hands. Rule for Him under whom the princes of this world will one day esteem it their honor to govern in their places.”[3] Penn acknowledged biblical principles of delegated human authority and divine sovereignty (Rom. 13:1-4). He expected the colonists to follow this pattern. The future of the colony, he believed, depended upon it.

In the 1892 Supreme Court case Church of the Holy Trinity v United States, the court, in its survey of previous court decisions, refers to the basis of law in the state of Pennsylvania: “It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania (Vidal v Girard’s Executors).” This is the same Pennsylvania Supreme Court that threw out a sentence of a murderer who killed a 70-year-old woman with an ax, on the grounds that the prosecutor had unlawfully cited biblical law to the jury in his summation urging the death penalty.[4] How times have changed.

America's Christian History: The Untold Story

America's Christian History: The Untold Story

Christianity is written on every page of America's amazing history. Gary DeMar presents well-documented facts which will change your perspective about what it means to be a Christian in America; the truth about America's Christian past as it relates to supreme court justices, and presidents; the Christian character of colonial charters, state constitutions, and the US Constitution; the Christian foundation of colleges, the Christian character of Washington, D.C.; the origin of Thanksgiving and so much more.

Buy Now

Gary discusses what it means to be a patriot and a Christian. While the two are not mutually exclusive, they are also not the same thing. We can’t rely on America’s Christian past and heritage to save us. We must continually move forward, taking the Gospel into every area of life today and tomorrow, and bringing it to bear on every social and political trend.

Click here for today’s episode

Click here to browse all episodes of The Gary DeMar Podcast

[1] Charter to William Penn, and Duke of Yorke’s Book of Laws (Harrisburg, PA: 1879). The Preamble and Chapter 1 of the Great Law can be found in Remember William Penn: 1644-1944 (Harrisburg, PA: The William Penn Tercentenary Committee, 1944), 85-86.

[2] Benjamin F. Morris, _The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States _(Powder Springs, GA; American Vision, [1864] 2007), 83.

[3] George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, 10 vols., 15th ed. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Co., 1855), 2:393.

[4] Cited in Nancy Gibbs, “America’s Holy War,” Time (December 9, 1991), 61.