What were Christians of the time of the writing of the Constitution of the United States thinking?
Today intellectual circles spill ink over whether Washington was a deist or a Christian (deist). They want to know if the founding fathers were believers (despite holding a secret society to write the Constitution, members of the Masonic Lodge, and deny biblical authority for civil government). Despite these aspects of the intellectual debate over the "Christian-ness" of the States, we need to ask, what were Reformed Christians thinking at the time of our national law's writing?
Here is a quote from WM Glasgow that sum up the position of the Presbyterians of the day:
While civil society is founded in nature, it is one of the “all things” that are put under Christ as Mediator, and the nation flourishes or decays as it is obedient or disobedient to His law. Now as our highest allegiance is due not to the state, but to Christ, it is the duty of every Christian to stand aloof from such a government and refuse to incorporate with the political society which refuses or neglects to acknowledge the authority of Christ and His word in its fundamental law. The document reads: “We, the people of the United States * * * do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” This declaration is historically, philosophically and scripturally untrue. The Constitution in all its essential elements was in existence before the document thus called was penned; constitutions are not ordained of men, but grow; and the Scripture affirms that the powers that are legitimate powers at all, are ordained of God. These glaring defects, with the denial of any religious qualification, the absence of the name of God from the oath, and the license of immorality and crime upon which it sets its official seal, give the document, called the Constitution, such a character of infidelity and irreligion that no true Christian ought to give it his full sanction.
For some further thoughts on this issue, check out this site.