Friday, February 17, 2012

Human Idolatry - George Washington





George Washington is known as the “father of our country” mainly because he led a violent overthrow of the British government over a dispute over taxes. Many thousands died in the Revolutionary War, and if you agree with war as a remedy for a dispute over taxes then you should revere Washington. But as a follower of Jesus Christ your Scriptural foundation for such a position is vacuous. In fact, that position is at odds with all that Jesus taught and lived. But in this day of nationalistic forever, even among professing believers, that point seems irrelevant.
George Washington inherited 10 slaves at the tender age of 11. He steadily increased his human portfolio throughout his earthly life. The human property were integral in Washington becoming our richest president. Later in life Washington seemed to be conflicted about trafficking in humanity, however it cannot be determined whether it was a genuine change of heart about slavery or his apprehension concerning his legacy. In any event Washington never freed one of his slaves before he died.
Washington ordered the administration of the whip on unruly slaves, and many who knew him were shocked at how differently his verbiage was when he spoke to his slaves. Even women slaves occasionally felt the whip as well. When one of his woman slaves was whipped, Washington supported his manager with these words, "Your treatment of Charlotte was very proper, and if She, or any other of the Servants will not do their duty by fair means, or are impertinent, correction (as the only alternative) must be administered."
Adult slaves slept on a bare wooden pallet while children slept on a dirt floor. They were fed with little variety and somewhat like animals. Washington attempted to appear compassionate when he insisted he never compelled a slave to work when they were “really sick”. And he directed a certain manager to administer the whippings since he wasn’t as harsh as the others. But the facts undermine any attempt to soften the harsh realities of owning slaves.
Perhaps the most grievous example of Washington’s treatment of his slaves involved a slave named Ona Judge. This slave served Martha Washington since she was 10 years old. When she was 22 years old she realized that she was to be sold away from her family. Upon hearing that news she ran away with the help of the underground railway in Philadelphia. George Washington was incensed. He called her an “ingrate” and the “little mulatto” since she was much lighter than the rest. One can only surmise how that came about.
Washington ordered her to return, but this young woman entered into negotiations for her return. Evidently she wanted some assurances for her remaining with her family. Washington again was incensed and refuse to negotiate with a slave. Washington attempted to deceive her into a meeting at which she would be kidnapped. Ona got wind of the scheme and did not show up. Sensing that his reputation would suffer if the situation continued, Washington let her go reluctantly.
Another one of Washington’s slaves was named Hercules. He was the long time cook at Mount Vernon. After Washington left the presidency Hercules escaped. Washington told those who would attempt to recapture him to do it surreptitiously since Hercules was very clever. He never was captured. But several years later a visitor at Mount Vernon asked the little six year old daughter of Hercules if she missed seeing her father. The little girl replied, “Oh no, he is free now!” This my friends was the father of this country?
In his last will and testament Washington commanded that at Martha’s death all the slaves should be freed. But Martha, fearing the negroes would murder her to be free, let almost all of them go free. It is evident that the public school romancing of Washington’s biography is fanciful and ignores large portions of his life. We can always expect men to elevate one of their own. It happens all over the world. Washington D.C. is home to these monuments: U.S. Grant, Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, George Mason, Roosevelt, LBJ, Martin Luther King, as well as many war memorials.
Visit Washington D.C. and see all the colossal monuments to the glories of men. The entire spectacle is no less abhorrent than the high places in the Old Testament or the worship of the golden calf. No monuments to Jesus. A Christian nation? It is much more modern, but it is nonetheless idol worship. But what is most disturbing and spiritually unsettling is that millions of professing believers actively participate in such idolatry as well as support the founding father’s fairy tale. We mock the Egyptian pyramids built to honor certain pharaoh’s while we built great monuments to our own human heroes.
But since we were raised in such idolatry we do not question it. And although we proudly proclaim to believe the Bible we never seem to apprehend what it actually teaches. I know, I was there and I am sure there are still many areas of blind spots that still remain. But this kind of human idolatry is an affront to Almighty God. And until we repent and start a journey of humble cleansing we will continue to see the visible church stuck in neutral and without the power available to the followers of Jesus.
I Cor.10: - Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was there, too, being born again and serving the Lord while holding a high esteem for american icons and idols. I never wanted to really think about how those men, or how the policies of the USA, violated the entire spirit of Jesus' teachings. No one else seemed to think there was any conflict there, so I didn't pursue it. Until I began to read anabaptist history and literature, and writings of early church leaders like Clement of Rome. And during a personal revival, I realized I needed to simply read, believe, and try to obey the simple words in red, and to read writings of some of the earliest Christian leaders. I had begun my Christian life with a good understanding of being called out of the world and its systems, but over time, sacralist error in the forms of the Religious Right activism, then theonomy, and dominionism and the cultural mandate, infected the american church scene so widely; it is fed to us all over the radion and in popular books by celebrity preachers that now it is ubiquitous. As another brother says, it is the default setting of the american church.

Just a year ago, during a conversation about advocating for those who are suffering from evils like genocide and human trafficking, I had a brother in the Lord, sadly heavily influenced by reconstructionist and worldview culture war teaching, tell me that slavery is a perfectly biblical concept! Now that is true--he is correct; Paul writes especially the book of Philemon how both slave owner and slave should be Christlike toward one another despite wrongdoing, for the sake of order and for the testimony of Christ to a fallen world. But to say that slavery is perfectly biblical as an excuse for the Founding Fathers, (or for an excuse for not doing anything on behalf of genocide victims) but to ignore that they KILLED in a violent revolution over MONEY--to sweep that under the rug, has got to be deception. If nothing else, it looked like such an icey cold heart--a loveless frigid christianity that is all up in one's intellect.

Here I must ask the Lord to guard me from self-righteousness. I appreciate how you often remind of checking our hearts on self-righteousness because we did not always see what we do now.

The USA is a great nation with lots of good, and many good people over its history--yes. But it is only a transitory nation of this world destined for fire. We cannot let sentiment divide our hearts, but rightly give our hearts and allegiance only to the King and His Kingdom, as its citizens who are merely sojourning here.

This Sunday, I am baking biscuits for the fellowship hour we have after "service." My friend is making cherry tarts because of President's Day. It is so innocent, and done in ignorance, nothing malevolent; yet nowadays that kind of thing bothers my conscience. To ask some simple questions about the biblical-ness of such things, or whether we should mix such things with our ekklesia gatherings, or to mention that I don't observe such things nor sing patriotic songs anymore, makes me seem really wierd. But if the church would be united in singleness of citizenship again, it would be a witness again, and an ark, to the world.

We appreciate your blogs very much.

Victoria

Rick Frueh said...

Wow, Victoria. What a glorious journey. One day in the year 2000 my best friend asked me to provide scriptural support fro the revolutionary War. It was the question that led me back to the scriptures without a preconceived idea.

I am not saying washinton was not a believer. Only God can know that. But as you know my point was our idolatry with this nation and the founding fathers. yes, the anabapists are very interesting.

But the western church is so consumed with the culture and itself that self examination is almost impossible. And the patriotic thing remains deeply entrenched. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

If I were to comment on every writing here, it would be Amen and Amen. After a lifelong search of a church that just preaches the seriousness of the gospel (without holiness works, legalism, word of faith doctrines, prophetic ministries, television ministries), "Following Judah's Lion" is doing that. As I don't attend a church right now, this site is where I attend 'church' and get fed the daily bread.

Thank you. With the baggage that I've carried in church (guilt being one of them, for not tithing and donating to their newest technologically-updated systems), and the struggles at home,I was almost at the point of no return, emotionally. And the pastors were too preoccupied with their numbers to notice the difference. This is what I'm hearing from many others as well. The only motives I sense on this site are to bring us closer to Jesus, and that gives a peace to my soul.

Truly, if pastors don't ask themselves why so many are leaving, and they can't see how they've wrapped themselves up with the world, tangled in seaweed, feeling very proud of themselves, believing that their earthly rewards are a direct approval from the Lord, then the flocks will need more brothers like Rich Frueh to reach out to them.

May the Lord richly bless you, Brother Rick.

Rick Frueh said...

I so appreciate yopur kind words. I feel led to write a post about just what you and others have shared.

Cal said...

I'm quite glad the founders of the USA never made any statues to Jesus. Most of them were quite frank in their enlightenment nominalism ( the entrenched religion of the people is good for the commonwealth).

We should deeply reflect on ourselves that we let some crock like David Barton sell books telling how such good Christians all of them were!

In fact, the only Disciple among the lot that I'd put stake on being legit was Benjamin Rush. Not only did he attempt, by the scientific standard of his day, prove Africans were not inferior to whites in anatomy (and thus fully humans and fully image bearers), he advocated a Department of Peace. No wonder most patriotic Americans consider him a wing nut.

Pray their eyes are opened!

Rick Frueh said...

"I'm quite glad the founders of the USA never made any statues to Jesus."

Yes, cal, me too. We are to be His living and breathing statues (epistles)!

Anonymous said...

If you have time, you should watch the documentary "Riddles in Stone". It definitely puts a damper on the "America is a Christian nation" idea.

diana said...

Excellent article and observations. I just recently read a book on this same subject but it really went into depth on the colonists, founding fathers, war, ect. It is called In God We Don't Trust by David Bercot. Very well documented book. I highly recommend it.

truthkeeper said...

Great article. Some of these things have been on my spirit for some time but remain unsettled. I'm 75. severed 4 years in the Navy as a young man because I thought it my civic duty, have voted since I was old enough. It's hard to get past all of that to think I was going against God during those times. I was saved in 1972 by some ex-drug addicts I had working for me. The path has always been an uphill climb. A lot more to add but this might not be the place. It would be nice to have some sort of open thread on this subject to draw others into. What do you??

Jim

Rick Frueh said...

I never thought of that. Watch in the future for a post that opens up a thread for perspectives and testimonies on the subject.

Thanks for the input!

Rick

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John Cole said...

The founding fathers were Luciferians disguised as Christians.
Watch this film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU24fJ4NQxo

And there is a good ongoing series at http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/
titled Dragon Flood.

Annette said...

thank-you, Thank-You, THANK-YOU for this educational post as it makes one think. I too was passionate at one time in the areas of politics and more recently, history. Our family drove many, many, miles on the 4th of July Sunday to specifically attend a pentecostal church that had a theatrical presentation focusing totally on our military. The voluminous church choir sany patriotic songs and we as the pew sitters sang The National Anthem and America, The Beautiful. The presentation was carefully planned and beautifully orchestrated, with each area of the military recognized. The soldiers from the army marched up to the front in uniform and the veterans paraded up to the front behind them; their names were announced and we all gave them standing ovations while applauding...many in the crowd were shedding tears. This continued with the navy, national guard, air force, coast guard, etc. Each area of the military had their moment of glory within the institutional building of man. For many years, I was taken in by this spectacle and reasoned with my husband to drive our family there as I believed this was really a service that "honored God" more than anything I have ever seen.
THANK-YOU LORD FOR OPENING MY EYES AND PRICKING MY HEART. One day I began thinking about this service, asking myself "Why was the name of Jesus not mentioned during the 4th of July services?" Then another, "Why didn't we open our Bibles to study the very Word of the LORD" like we had on other Sundays while visiting. God, the Holy Spirit, worked on my soul, and slowly I began to see the spirit behind the act of worship at work in this church. We were literally elevating the name of man, the works of man, and ultimately the spirit of "self" instead of Jesus and His redemptive work on the tree for all of us. Looking back, I stand ashamed before our LORD and was so caught up in the pagentry, believing that I was really doing a "good thing" by recognizing the military sacrifice of a people who served our government. Through God's mercy and grace, and by His power, I no longer get angry when discussing politics, my blood pressure no longer rises when conversing with those caught up in this Babylonian system, and I can now exhibit control and easily walk away from the beginning of a debate with those who know about my "new position" concerning the political realm. And yes, I can even withstand the name calling "whimp", one self professed follower of Jesus Christ said that I "had my undies in a bind" when I related God's position on citizenship..."For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Phillipians 3:20, and I can withstand even the jabs and the jaunts from my fellow believer friends who still have their names engraved on the pillars of Babylon. Only God, the Holy Spirit can do His work on those who cannot see;I know, because I was engaged in American idoltry too at one time....and not so long ago. And God, the Holy Spirit gives me recall on a verse I learned long ago, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts." At one time I tried in my own power to convince people that Republicans are far better than Democrats and "more Christian." I know now that I was deceived, and I also realize that a plethora of humanistic debate will NOT convince those sill worshipping a land, a people, and a lifestyle. To which I say now, in all humility from my chapped and bleeding heart, "Thank-You Jesus for removing those scales from my eyes. Following You is far greater. Blessed be Your Holy Name."

Anonymous said...

WOW, They should teach the real truth in school, but then if they did that, there would be no more idols. That would be a good thing, but to the powers of darkness it would put a damper on what they have built and lied about for years. The truth will come out eventually to all who hold these men as idols. Praise be to God Almighty, Amen

Rory said...

documentation would be a helpful additon in the article body. I reposted this on my page.

Rory said...

Yes, people-idolatry among God's people "respect of persons" and "flattering titles" is rampant, and to be deeply repented of. God bless.

Anonymous said...

These are just a few of the reasons why so many people are leaving the institutional religious system and choosing to worship and fellowship from house to house. About 7 years ago, the Lord impressed me that He was going to remove His people from the religious system. People balked when I told them, but now 7 years later and it is happening all over the country. Even believers in the "bible belt" are leaving. Just like the believers here:
www.thebreadoflifefellowship.com

I think people are tired of the apostasy, or either God is removing His people in order to judge the religious system.