John Livingston

Our Christian Founding

I was challenged by several people last week regarding the connection between the Republican structures of government in ancient Rome and the Enlightenment Principles that were both instrumental in the Founding of The American Republic. As alluded to below our founding was unique because it not only incorporated the political philosophies of Ancient Greece and Rome, but also the Biblical—and this is key, rules for governance that were very much a part of the American contribution to Enlightenment political philosophy.

Below you will find an expression of my thoughts that I found in Hillsdale College Lecture on the Roman Republic. These two letters between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams at the end of their lives demonstrates their insight regarding the differences in our own Founding Principles and the Laws of the Roman Republic which in the end lead to its’ demise.

The Founders, however, did not idealize Rome. While Rome’s history provided important examples of virtue, its model of republican government required improvement. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams of December 10, 1819, wondered “what was that government which the virtues of Cicero were so zealous to restore, & the ambitions of Caesar to subvert? I do not say to restore it, because they never had it. . . . [S]steeped in corruption vice and venality as the whole nation was, what could even Cicero, Cato, Brutus have done? They had no ideas of government themselves but of their degenerate Senate, nor the people of liberty, but of the factious opposition of their tribunes.” o

On December 21, John Adams replied that he “never could discover that they possessed much Virtue, or real Liberty—there Patricians were in general griping Usurers and Tyrannical Creditors in all ages—Pride, Strength and Courage were all the Virtues that composed their National Characters.” America does not need to suffer the same fate as Rome because America is based on principles that were not found in Rome—that all men are created equal and endowed by God with inalienable natural rights.” The principles of the Declaration of Independence were foreign the Roman Republic.

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Classical Republicanism had no God for a moral or political predicate. All men were not created equal. The confluence of the ideas of Athens and Rome, Jerusalem, The Enlightenment—The Natural and Biblical Laws first exposed by church Fathers like Aquinas and then by the Enlightenments Fathers—Jefferson in my opinion is on the first team in that group, was what ultimately was memorialized in our Founding Documents.

The difference between The American and Roman Republics was that we were Founded by Christian people with a Christian moral predicate. Call it “Devine Providence” or God, being a believer or non-believer the history of our experiment speaks for itself.

We can continue to learn and be informed by the lessons of Classical Republicanism—or not.

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3 replies on “Our Christian Founding”


Thomas Jefferson was an anti-Christ* (as were many the contemporary founding fathers) and the Constitution is anything but biblically compatible. It’s instead biblically seditious.**

There’s only one moral standard by which everything (including the Constitution) is to be ethically evaluated: By Yahweh’s unchanging morality as reflected in the Ten Commandments and their respective statutes and judgments. Anything else is merely fickle man’s capricious humanism – that is man doing what’s right in his own eyes, per Judge 21:25 – aka We the Peopleism.

When the Constitution is actually examined by the biblical standard instead of dead politicians’ cherry picked quotations, it’s found to be anything but biblically compatible. In fact, there’s hardly an Article or Amendment that’s not antithetical, if not seditious, to Yahweh’s sovereignty and morality.

*For evidence that Thomas Jefferson was an anti-Christ from his own writings, Chapter 2 of free online book “Biblical Examination of the Declaration of Independence: Declaration of Liberty vs. Declaration of Independence” at

**For evidence that the Constitution is biblically seditious, see free online book “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective,” in which every Article and Amendment is *examined* by the Bible, at

Find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the sidebar and receive a free copy of the 85-page “Primer” of “BL vs. USC.”

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter…..

Sounds like a Christian Founding to me Ted. The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God….We are endowed by our Creator.

Our Founding was done by a devout Christian People who beleived in God. A Christian Founding by Christian people of a Christian country.

John, begin by reading Matthew 7:21-23! Then:

“…Because Christ’s virgin birth, resurrection, and ascension are intrinsic and therefore essential to the belief that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, anyone who repudiates the same must therefore be an anti-Christ.

“What’s this say about a man who not only cut the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and ascension of Christ out of his cut-and-paste New Testament but who, in a letter to John Adams in 1814, depicted those same attributes as a “dunghill”?19

“This would be none other than Thomas Jefferson, the chief architect of the Declaration of Independence, later to be invited to rule over America from the Unites States of America’s highest political house.

“Today, you’ll win no popularity contests identifying Thomas Jefferson as an anti-Christ, but what else would you call a man who identified Christ as a “dunghill”? If this doesn’t give you pause, not only regarding Jefferson but also the Declaration of Independence he authored, it may say something about your relationship with the One whom Thomas Jefferson blasphemed.

“According to 2 John 1:7-9, Jefferson’s God was not the God of the Bible. Consequently, neither was the generic God and Creator of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, and therefore that god cannot be used to make the Constitution a biblically compatible document….”

For more, see Chapter 2 of free online book “Biblical Examination of the Declaration of Independence: Declaration of Liberty vs. Declaration of Independence” at

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