George Washington BASIC Belief in PROVIDENCE BRIEF


What did George Washington mean by "Providence":

There are not a lot of 'Theologians' among 21st century college professors, and of those historians and researchers who are educated in religion, most are atheist-agnostic. Not even one in 1,000 have the George Washington-Kind-of-Religion.

It is not much better, even among Bible Preachers, as most ministers in AD 2000 do not believe in the Reformed Doctrine of Providence. Providence, as even a quick reading through a thousand or more of George Washington's 10,000 will reveal:

"Providence" - was the basic corner-stone of George Washington's Theology, Philosophy and Worldview in every aspect of life: from the death of children, to victory in military, to personal life-&-death to all that exists.

Thus with almost no one in academia today believing in absolute predestination and absolute dependence on a "Sovereign Control" as George Washington did, it is almost impossible to understand what George Washington meant by the things he said.

In fact, without understanding Washington's Doctrine of Providence (of which he claimed to be "a Preacher of this doctrine"), it is impossible to understand this "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Outside the Bible!

Consider The Greatness of George Washington:

o

> Suffered the death of his aged father at age 10;

> Was basically raised by his older brother (who also died young), and sometimes his single mother (who he cared for all of her life (She lived almost as long as George did!);

> Learned surveying on his own without a single day in school (And surveying requires algebra, geometry and trigonometry!);

> Was mature enough to be appointed to public office at age 17;

> Was brave enough in battle to have two horses shot from under him, four holes shot through his clothing, a gold medallion shot from his chest (not found for 80 years!) while all other mounted officers were killed!

> For this amazing bravery, he became a hero to his men, a leader i his early 20's, and eventually a Military General,

> He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgess (like a state congress):

> He was elected to the First Continental Congress in 1774;

> Was elected by 1775 Continental Congress unanimously to lead Army;

> Won a great war against the greatest empire on Earth!;

> Became a billionaire (While Jefferson went bankrupt!);

> Built and operated an estate of 60,000 acres;

> Was elected to national position - four times - 'unanimously'!

> Walked away from King-ship;

> Twice-Elected USA President - unanimously;

> Walked away from a third-term as President;

> Rejected all affairs to stay married to Martha 40 years!

> Adopted and Raised her first husband's "step-children";

> Adopted and Raised a second family of "grand-children" when their father died and their mother left them and married another;

> Oversaw the creating of the U.S Constitution;

> Was said by his sometimes nemesis near the end of life, Thomas Jefferson, that "He was as close 'to perfect' as a human being can be", that his judgement was never wrong;

> Was the greatest man who ever lived - so said King George-III of England whom he defeated in the War!

> Purchased and set free, well over 300 slaves;

> Provided the older ones with medical and pension all of their life!

> Provided money and food to all in his area all of the second half of his life!

> Was still chosen to lead the US Army at age 64!

> Was chosen the "Father of our Country!"


We need to understand "How Did He Do It?"

FACT: George Washington did not believe like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson - as many evangelicals say - but he was as far from being a Deist as a Believer can get!

Whatever you presently believe or disbelieve, you would be wise to perhaps suspend them - temporarily - and look at God, the world, life and success, through the eyes of George Washington for awhile.

Lest you are certain you know whom God blesses and why - or if you are a non-believer and you think you know all the modern psychological ways to succeed - re-read the list of Washington's achievements again . . . and "see how you measure up!"

Our Nation needs another George Washington!

This researcher has known most of the presidents on the last 10 administrations, and none of them come close "George-the-First". Almost any of Washington's singular achievements would have been a great success - and he achieved over 20 great successes in many areas - some would say in every area!

This researcher would have given a decade or two of life . . . to have known the Principles of Life George Washington lived by in my youth! ALAS! This researcher did not grasp his beliefs and principles until reaching the threshold of the seventh-decade!

Thus my only hope is to "teach the younger generation" and perhaps some will learn enough to "save this nation" from the many ills it now has.

Who knows? The next great American Hero . . . may be you!

Anyway, for us to begin to understand the Great George Washington, we must know why he was as far from Deism as a human being can be. This means we need to look at a paragraph or two on what Deism is, in general.

Definition: Deist according to simple modern unbiased source:

Prior to the 17th century the terms ["Deism" and "Theism"] were used interchangeably, then for some unknown reason, Theologians began to give a different meaning to the words. Both Theists and Deists asserted a belief in Only One Supreme Being, A God, The Creator of all things, and both agreed that God is a Being, distinct from the world itself.

That is God is not in the rocks, dirt, clouds, vegetation or reptiles.

The Theist taught that God remained actively interested and operative in the world which he had made: > revealing His Will in His word,

> answering prayers according to His Will,

> rewarding and punishing human beings in this life,

> intervening on behalf of the righteous as needed,

> and will ultimately after death according to their deeds, and

The Deist maintained that God

> endowed the world at creation with self-sustaining and self-acting powers

> and then abandoned it to the operation of these powers acting as second causes,

> with no revelation, no written word,

> no answers to prayer, no miracles,

> and no intervening on behalf of anyone for any reason.

> Most Deists believe in a final reward and judgement, some do not.

[SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism ]

There is no "Church of Deism", or "Bible of Deism" so each person defines it differently - but no matter - Deism is basically whatever anyone wants to make it to be. Since it recognizes no "revealed will" - by process of elimination - Deism is based on human opinion, and yours is as qualified any anyone elses!


To make a short list:

Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that:

[1] Religious truth - if there is any - can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without the need for either faith or organized religion.

[2] Deists reject the notion that God intervenes in human affairs, for example through answers to prayer, miracles, supernatural events and revelations. Thus Deists don't pray, as their is no need!

[3] Deists assert that God "The Supreme Architect" has a plan for the material operation of the universe that is not altered by God intervening in the affairs of human life. If an asteroid is going to strike, no need to pray!


George Washington Believed the "Opposite" of Deism!

[1] Washington deeply believe in divine "Providence" - and used the term about 300 times, with over 1,000 references to God's Providence. He also used over 500 different names and titles for Deity! (He deserves an award for creativity!)

Washington also believed in prayer for everything from sick children and soldiers to military wars, to weather to crops, to the founding of America. He carried a "Prayer Book" (and a small Bible) in his pocket most of his life, and purchased both books for others.

Washington also believed in miracles - not stupid or frivolous things (like modern preachers praying for a parking place close to the Do-nut Shoppe!), but great and large things, normally (Six quotes are given below on miracles.)

There is also a complete terminology for the Doctrine of Providence, which you will need to learn over time. This little paper deals with a couple of them. If you don;t know the vocabulary, you will not understand what the great Washington believed - or why!

The main beliefs about providence is as follows:

> There is nothing by accident, or random occurrence,

> There is reason and purpose to all things, great and small, good and bad:

> Great blessings are God's reward for doing His Will, His way,

> God has a plan and purpose for every life and situation that needs to be as follows:

> > (1) Believed in - even when not understood,

> > (2) Submitted to completely with good attitude, even when personally devastating,

> > (3) Always studying to learn God's will to gain future blessings by "holy living" (Washington claimed personal Holiness for himself as the basis of his great blessings by God);

> > (4) Always striving to do one's best in effort, energy, commitment and dedication, as it is the submission and attitude that pleases God most;


George Washington was a "Radical" in the above Beliefs!

Not only did he give soldiers 25 lashes on the spot for taking God's name in vain or playing cards, 100 lashes for getting drunk, 200 lashes for stealing other sins.

> Washington urged his men not to partake of such vices or God would never bless them to win the Revolutionary War!

> Washington made his men attend "Divine Service" (church-Worship);

> Washington made his men "pray" and "implore" (strong emotional prayer) Heaven for Blessing in battle;

> Washington made his men "fast" when God's Blessing was greatly needed;

> Washington made his men "pray" and confess their sins periodically;

> Washington scolded his men for not recognizing or thanking God for past blessings;

> Washington used the "Bully Pulpit" and often told his soldiers they would never have victory unless they lived right and just and honored God, etc., etc., etc.


EXAMPLE: Of Washington's strong commitment to the four beliefs listed above:

George Washington wrote a long letter to a friend who had just had a young daughter die, that is was Providence, assuring them it was Divine Will, that it was 'just', that it was not to be questioned by shallow human reasoning, that her death was to be submitted to with "happy acquiescence" - in spite of their emotional loss, to which George Washington sympathized!

Amazingly - in this Divine Providence - George and Martha Washington were burying their 16 year old daughter almost two-months to the day of his letter to them instructing them to "reason this Providence" according to his teaching and develop a "strong fortitude to console themselves thereby.

We have over 150 separate George Washington webpages - several of them over 100 writing-pages long. You can read all of these things - and learn from the Great one: how he developed his great faith, and why he was so different as a Christian Politician and Military General, becoming the most successful person ever - in many ways.


Understanding George Washington's "Greatness!"

Consider this quote below:

"There is no such thing as coincidence. God wills the world according to his design."

[SOURCE: George Washington, Personal Diaries of George Washington, (1773); http://www.conservapedia.com/George_Washington ].

===

Here is another one:

"By the 'All-powerful Dispensations of Providence', I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, altho' death was levelling my companions on every side."

[SOURCE: George Washington - Letter to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755


Here is another:

"... The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations,

but it will be time enough for me to turn preacher when my present appointment ceases;

and therefore I shall add no more on the Doctrine of Providence..."

[SOURCE: George Washington in a letter to Thomas Nelson Jr. on 20 August 1778].


COPYRIGHT (c) 1977 Cambridge Theological Seminary

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