Previous | | Next | | E-Mail | | Contents | | V&FT
|you have put off the old man
with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is
renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
"Look to Abraham your
father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased
I am a new man in Christ
|In Virginia, where alone there was an arduous struggle
in the legislature, the presbytery of Hanover demanded the disestablishment of the
Anglican church and the civil equality of every denomination; it was
supported by the voices of Baptists and Quakers and all the sects that had sprung from the
people; and, after a contest of eight weeks, the measure was carried, by the activity of
Jefferson, in an assembly of which the majority were Protestant Episcopalians. Nor was
this demand by Presbyterians for equality confined to Virginia, where they were in a
minority; it was from Witherspoon of New Jersey that Madison imbibed the lesson of perfect
freedom in matters of cone science. When the constitution of that state was framed by a
convention composed chiefly of Presbyterians, they established perfect liberty of
conscience, without the blemish of a test. Free-thinkers might have been content
with toleration, but religious conviction would accept nothing less than
equality. The more profound was faith, the more it scorned to admit a connection with the
state; for, such a connection being inherently vicious, the state might more readily form
an alliance with error than with truth, with despotism over mind than with freedom. The
determination to leave truth to her own strength, and religious worship to the conscience
and voluntary act of the worshipper, was the natural outflow of religious feeling.
George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.5, p.123
|I patiently and cordially accept others as unique expressions
of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity.
Do you know why the men who signed the Constitution were opposed to "tolerance?" Do you know the legal difference between "toleration" and "liberty?" Find out here.
Important Cultural/Historical Note
In the modern world, "tolerance" means a repudiation of God's Standard of righteousness, and an "acceptance" of manifestly unlawful behavior and ideas.
In early American history, "toleration" meant that the State permitted some Christians to worship according to their consciences, but the State actually deemed those practices to be wrong, and at any time the State could withdraw its grace and punish that form of Christian worship deemed to be incorrect. Puritans such as William Perkins and Americans such as James Madison opposed "toleration" and fought for "liberty" of conscience.
Wise Christians will sometimes "tolerate" non-Christian words and deeds, as part of an overall strategy to destroy the root of these thoughts and practices and to bring the unbeliever to an unconditional surrender to Christ. We must never grant "liberty" to evil. Unrighteousness has no "unalienable rights."
Webster's, 1st ed., 1828
Westminster Larger Catechism (1648)
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, -- Ephesians 1:4-5
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. -- Psalm 119:97