Separation of Church and State Not a Myth, Not a Lie, But a Vital Baptist Principle of Civil Government
Keith Ellison Case: A Call for the Education of the American Public
By James R. Beller
Dear Brother __________,
This is an open letter to the leaders of the independent Baptists in America. I hope and pray that you will read this with great care.
What is THE lie among Baptists in America? THE LIE is that Baptists never existed. Not so, you say? The lie keeps showing up in the issue of Separation of Church and State.
Recently, Hakim Mohammad “Keith” Ellison of Minnesota became the first Muslim elected to serve in the United States Congress. He set off a firestorm in America by taking his oath of office by placing his hand on the Quran rather than the Bible. Well, my friends, you cannot argue against Ellison’s actions without believing in the Separation of Church and State in it’s historic context, nor can you argue against Ellison without the testimony of Baptist struggle in American history. More on Ellison in a few moments.
My heart is sick over my country. That there are problems in our nation is undeniable. That these problems need to be fixed is painfully plain. However, the solution to our problems must come from the Bible, and our true past, and our true principles.
For the past 30 years, the Religious Right, either knowingly or ignorantly, has promoted a false view of American history, causing a misunderstanding of the fundamental principles of liberty and church-state separation.
Baptist leadership has been compliant in these false views. In fact, Baptist leadership, in both denominational and independent circles has failed the Baptist public by neglecting Baptist history and heritage. This failure has caused a disconnection between Americans and their own principles of civil government. Baptists have lost their identity, causing an inability to argue correctly in the public square.
Comply with the Lie
America is suffering under the hand of not just one, but two re-writes of history. The first re-write of history occurred at the turn of the 20th century (1900-1910) in which pagan (godless) historians wrote all references to Christianity from school textbooks. This was done on purpose with a definite agenda to turn the nation’s youth away from God and godly principles.
The second re-write is more shocking and it involves Baptist history. Factions of the Religious Right, in their determination to fix American culture, released books documenting America’s Christian heritage. Here is a listing of them:
Calvinism in History, 1882, N. S. McFetridge
The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, 1932, Loraine Boettner
The Light and the Glory, 1977, Peter Marshall and David Manuel
The Separation Illusion, 1977, John Whitehead
Christianity and the Constitution, 1987, John Eidsmoe
Faith and Freedom, 1988, Benjamin Hart
The Myth of Separation, 1992, David Barton
America’s God and Country, 2000, William J. Federer
In the above books, no mention of the suffering of the ancient Baptists is made. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Winthrop are proclaimed the founding fathers of the American Republic. No distinction between freedom, liberty and toleration is made. Roger Williams, John Clarke and Rhode Island are either put in a bad light, or passed over. According to these books, the Puritans founded the country. There is elevation of Samuel Rutherford and downplaying of Jefferson, Madison and Washington. Virginia’s role in liberty is either downplayed or ignored.
These books are gravely in error as they omit the Baptist and dissenter struggle, first for tolerance, and then for complete Liberty of Conscience. The struggle for religious liberty produced the principles of the system of government adopted by the founders and framers of the American republic.
In the second re-write, those that held Baptist principles such as Williams, Isaac Backus and John Leland are held in derision or their views distorted, or again, they are simply ignored. (See documentation of this in the author’s book, The Coming Destruction of the Baptist People.)
Let me re-iterate: Omission of Baptist testimony from the history of the founding of our country causes a misunderstanding of the “separation of church and state” principle.
When Baptist testimony is omitted, the TYRANNY of forced baptism, banishment, whippings, hangings and such persecutions by the Puritans and the ESTABLISHED CHURCHES of the colonies is not revealed. Therefore, the meaning of liberty is skewered and the Bill of Rights is misunderstood. This is how important Baptist history, testimony, and theology are to the repairing of our nation. Moreover, this omission by Boettner, Marshall, Whitehead, Barton, etc., is a lie, a lie which in essence says, Baptists really do not have a heritage, really are not legitimate Christians, and really had no hand in the forging of our country. It is a lie in which Baptist leaders and educators comply.
And how do our Baptist leaders and educators comply with the lie? They comply by advancing the materials provided by the second set of re-writers. They comply by omitting Baptist testimony, heritage and theology from their own textbooks and college courses. They comply by never, and I mean NEVER mentioning Baptist testimony in their pulpits. The pulpits of every leading independent Baptist college and conference are SILENT about the ancient Baptists, the dissenters and the old time American Baptists.
The result of this lie is this: There is no separation between the church and the state. Oh friends, there is a separation and there better be. Our Baptist forefathers paid an awful price to break the Old World Order of church-state marriage. The state is not to interfere in religious expression, nor establish a national church or religion. Believers (people) are to bring their principles to the table of government to enact laws.
Which brings us back to Congressman Ellison. The issue here is LIBERTY. I don’t mean just HIS liberty, but the LIBERTY OF ALL OF US. Because of the Baptist disconnect, this is just another issue which we fail to argue correctly.
The opposition to Ellison from the Right for the most part focused on what he swore upon—the Quran. And the protest fell along the lines of “...This is a Christian nation…We have a Judeo-Christian tradition…Islam is not American…etc.” Because we are not sharp on our own principles, we missed the real point in this issue: It is not what document Ellison swore upon, it is the document Ellison swore to PROTECT. And that document is the CONSTITUTION. The Constitution protects us from the evil principles of the Quran. THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS, guarantee religious liberty. And religious liberty is the fundamental principle of our republic. The Quran does not stand on that principle. The Constitution in principle SEPARATES CHURCH AND STATE, the Quran does not. Every Muslim country in the world is a Church (Islam)-State monstrosity.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, with its Baptist principles of liberty and church-state separation, protect us from persons or ideologies that seek to destroy our religious liberties. In other words, no one can use our liberties to destroy our liberties, and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights covers the Ellison case after all. What needs to be done is Ellison needs to be questioned on whether he believes the principles of Islam in denying religious liberty. Why can’t we see this obvious line of reasoning? I will tell you why—we are ignorant of the struggles of the Baptists throughout the ages. In the minds of many, the Baptists and their struggles never existed. This is brilliant strategy by the devil and it works. And the leaders of the Religious Right, by denying the Separation of Church and State have disqualified themselves from engaging in the real debate.
There is obstruction of Baptist testimony and heritage in all of the leading Christian school curriculum. We have documented this. As I travel the country and speak about our heritage, I am both encouraged and discouraged at what I see. Some, especially home school parents, see the need to re-educated themselves and are beginning to awaken to the dangers of ignorance. A good number of preachers, growing daily, are concerned. What is discouraging is that some don’t seem to care. There is a happy state of blind stupidity on the part of Baptist leadership. And in their blindness, they swallow everything that both the Liberal Left and the Religious Right throw at them concerning both Baptist and American heritage.
Reclaim the name
A few years back an attempt was made to redefine fundamentalism. An effort was made to reclaim the name of old fashioned fundamentalism. What about the name “Baptist?” Mark this down, the Roman Catholic and the catholic Reformed would like for the Baptists to pass off the scene. In a real sense, we already have. Baptists don’t even study their own heritage. Think about what you know of Baptist heroes of the past. Name one from the year 100 to the year 500. Can you name one from the year 500 to the year 1500? Or do you think they didn’t exist. Name a great Baptist or Baptist group from the time of the Reformation and through the American Revolution. You cannot do it, can you?. Mission accomplished for our adversary.
The name “Baptist” is to be dropped, according to Reformed advocates such as Bill Gothard. The argument is to remove the name Baptist to remove offense. Nonsense. Can you not see, that the real reason for the drop is that in the future, liars may say “Baptists never really existed as true Christians?” This is the complaint against the Novatianists, Donatists, Albigensians, Waldensians and the Anabaptists of Europe. If the Lord tarries and we do not change our ways, that WILL happen to us.
What I propose is fairly simple.
1. Baptists need to reconnect with their persecuted forefathers. In them they will find the keys to good government.
2. Baptists need to reconnect with the Separate Baptist revival (1755 to the present) under Shubal Stearns, Daniel Marshall and Samuel Harriss.. In this they will find the keys to saving the country.
3. Baptists need to reconnect with Isaac Backus and John Leland. In them they will find the keys to effect change in civil government.
4. A concerted effort must be undertaken to teach our church members the fundamental principles of government from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These documents cannot be understood without an understanding of Baptist sufferings.
So far, all information concerning American heritage and the fight for liberty and justice has come from Liberal religionists on the Left or Reformed writers on the Right. Both the Left and the Right are wrong about church government, civil government, church ordinances, the church itself, and the second coming of Christ. We Bible-believing Baptists do not need either group. What we need to do is read, think, and write for ourselves. If we do not, we will fade into oblivion.
Because of ignorance, Baptist people lack proper tools for argument in the public debate which must shortly come to pass to save our form of government.
To save a nation is a weighty matter. I am asking you as a leader, to educate yourself in Baptist heritage and theology and civil principles. Instead of complying with the lies of some factions of the religious left and right, let us be educated and argue from our unique Baptist Christian perspective.
Note: The purpose of this website is to expose the work of the catholic Reformed and answer our enemies. As you read and become reacquainted with your true history you may be led of God to write an answer to those who would destroy you. Send your loved ones and friends here, distribute the materials offered and pray for our distracted country.