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Conversion to Christ meant incorporation into him, and thus membership within a Christian community. ” But that is not how the apostles viewed their work. Divining America 17th & 18th Centuries 19th Century 20th Century 17th & 18th Century Essays Native American Religion in Early America Deism & the Founding of the US Puritanism & Predestination The Legacy of Puritanism Witchcraft in Salem Village The First Great Awakening Religious Pluralism in the Middle Colonies Church and State in British North America The Church of England in Early America Religion, Women, & the Family Religion & the American Revolution Divining America is made possible by grants from the Lilly Endowment and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Among them was Patrick Henry, who countered by proposing a “general assessment” on all citizens to support Christianity itself as the established religion of Virginia.
“What we have to do I think is devoutly to pray for his [Henry’s] death,” Jefferson joked in a letter to Madison.
When the DMV gives you a driver’s license, you have the ability to drive wherever you want.
They give you the responsibility, and then you are on your own.
There are no driver’s-license pastors or shepherds whose work is to make sure you are growing in your understanding of motor vehicle safety.
Strangely, this is how some Christians hear Jesus’s Great Commission.
Did the apostles primarily fulfill the Great Commission through individual evangelizing and discipling only?
The command to make disciples certainly involves telling the message. Consider the story of the gospel’s spread in the book of Acts. Churches are at the center of God’s Great Commission plan. The point is, in the New Testament, the Christian life is the churched life.
It provided that “…no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever…nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.” It marked a signal victory for Madison and Jefferson.
In their view, civil governments should not only tolerate all forms of religious belief—neither penalizing nor encouraging any particular faith—but also uphold the principle, as Jefferson’s bill declared, “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Specifically, candidates for public office should not be judged based on whether they “profess or renounce this or that religious opinion.” But rougher sledding lay ahead for making their ideals of religious freedom those, which would guide an entire nation.