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Our founding fathers' vision and divine providence

Apart from the Bible, Peter Marshall Jr. and David Manuel’s The Light and the Glory has been the most fascinating book I have ever read. As these two historians, educated at Harvard and Yale, set out to publish a book about God’s involvement in American history, they understood how important it was to get it right! They therefore assiduously searched out every available document, including but not limited to, the personal journals and all obtainable writings authored by our forefathers.

Nolan Harkness
Rev. Nolan J. Harkness is the President and CEO of Nolan Harkness Evangelistic Ministries Inc. |

You can imagine my excitement some twenty years ago when I heard that Peter Marshall Jr. was coming to speak at a local venue! I immediately secured a ticket to the event. To my dismay, only about 25 people showed up that night! However, Rev. Marshall did not seem to even notice the small crowd. Speaking with both humility and with seasoned eloquence, he described how they had felt God led them to write this book. Their joint convictions centered around the fact that, even back then, modern educators were deliberately censoring the very devout Christian faith of our most famous forefathers out of history. Many times, to fill in the void, erroneous tales were substituted portraying our American heroes as uneducated and immoral. In reality, their personal faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrated by their enormous sacrifices in the forming of this nation, was clearly spelled out in their personal journals.

Perhaps due to the small crowd, when Peter Marshall Jr. concluded his talk that night, he offered to step down and speak to anyone who might have questions.

After all these years I am not quite sure if I hurried to the front, but I do remember I had a lot of questions for him. With a British ancestral line on my father’s side, I had always been extremely fascinated with American history. I cannot remember even one question that I asked him when it was my turn to talk to him, but I do remember that right in the middle of my star-struck enthusiasm, Peter interrupted me gently, personally challenging me to never forget that we are a republic and not a democracy!

I responded “Yes sir”.

He then said “Do you understand the difference?” I had to admit that I was not sure that I did. This many years later I still remember his stern and serious but kind demeanor as he reminded me of something that our forefathers made sure was written into our constitution. He said, “Nolan, I believe that because they were Godly men, the early framers of our government were led by God’s wisdom to create such components of our voting process as the Electoral College. You see, they recognized that in order for a republic to properly work, it would have to be governed by virtuous people. In understanding what the Bible teaches about the heart of man and how everyone is born into sin, they realized that the danger was that men and women in positions of political power would ultimately think of their own best interests first. Democracies had already proven throughout history to self-destruct. Something had to be added in to provide a system of checks and balances and built in levels of accountability. That is why the constitution was written to create not another democracy that would fail but a constitutional republic with seasoned leaders voted into office by the people who would create and enforce the laws of the land. Our constitution was all written to try to prevent a majority of any faction or group of factions from creating a majority that could eventually destroy this new country which so many had already fought and died for, a country formed on the laws of the Word of God and the love taught and demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ. I left the forum that night quietly and solemnly, a changed man. All of a sudden it all made sense. A democracy on its own could become just as evil as any dictatorial rule of any king or kingdom, if its majority ever became a self-seeking, self-serving, non-virtuous people whose common goal was to ignore the poor and less fortunate to enrich themselves and enable their sensual lifestyles, just as evil leaders of all titles have done throughout history.

The Electoral College, which so few people understand, was put in place to prevent an evil selfish majority from rising up and forcing its choice of president on this country. It was our forefathers’ desire that seasoned officials be filtered into their positions through a voting process for limited terms of office through the Electoral College process. These officials would act as yet another set of balances, holding each other accountable to the laws and traditions of the land that they loved. They were to serve for the sake of others and not themselves. Each state was given this voting mechanism, to be overseen by these elected officials. One element of government was to be a watchdog over another to further corral the evil of the human heart.

For several years I have been writing with deep concern about major movements, which have been emerging in America during the past several decades whose propagators have been introducing “new thinking”, which is in conflict with the teaching of the Holy Scripture. For example, today’s secular humanism teaches that humanity is basically good although some turn out evil. Biblical Christianity, on the other hand teaches humanity is born into sin and only can become truly good when born again through Christ. Movements such as these have created factions of individuals who rebel against submitting to God’s truths, the very truths this nation was founded on. This nation will only survive if any attempt to create a self-centered, God ignoring democracy is laid to rest and our constitutional republic survives.

May the same wisdom that God must have given by divine providence come back to this nation, that He birthed and loves. May America wake up spiritually!

Rev Nolan J Harkness is the President and CEO of Nolan Harkness Evangelistic Ministries Inc. since 1985. He spent most of his adult life working in youth ministry. He also felt the calling of Evangelist/Revivalist and traveled as the door was open holding evangelistic meetings in churches throughout the Northeast. His website is

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