Many well-meaning Christians argue that the United States was
founded by Christian men on Christian principles. Although well-intentioned,
such sentiment is unfounded. The men who lead the United States
in its revolution against England, who wrote the Declaration of
Independence and put together the Constitution were not Christians
by any stretch of the imagination.
Why do some Christians imagine these men are Christians? Besides
a desperate desire that it should be so, in a selective examination
of their writings, one can discover positive statements about
God and/or Christianity. However, merely believing in God does
not make a person a Christian. The Bible says that "the fool
says in his heart, there is no God." Our founding fathers
were not fools. But the Bible also says "You say you believe
in God. Good. The demons also believe and tremble."
Merely believing in God is insufficient evidence for demonstrating
either Christian principles or that a person is a Christian.
Perhaps, to start, it might be beneficial to remind ourselves
of what a Christian might be: it is a person who has acknowledged
his or her sinfulness, responded in faith to the person of Jesus
Christ as the only one who can redeem him, and by so doing been
given the Holy Spirit.
The early church summarized the Christian message in six points:
1. Jesus came from God.
2. You killed him.
3. He rose again on the third day.
4. He sent the Holy Spirit
5. Repent and be baptized.
6. He's coming back.
An individual who would not acknowledge this much of the Christian
message could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called
a Christian. The founding fathers of this country did not acknowledge
this message. In fact, they denied it.
Founders of the American Revolution
Thomas Jefferson created his own version of the gospels;
he was uncomfortable with any reference to miracles, so with two
copies of the New Testament, he cut and pasted them together,
excising all references to miracles, from turning water to wine,
to the resurrection.
There has certainly never been a shortage of boldness in the history
of biblical scholarship during the past two centuries, but for
sheer audacity Thomas Jefferson's two redactions of the Gospels
stand out even in that company. It is still a bit overwhelming
to contemplate the sangfroid exhibited by the third president
of the United States as, razor in hand, he sat editing the Gospels
during February 1804, on (as he himself says) "2. or 3. nights
only at Washington, after getting thro' the evening task of reading
the letters and papers of the day." He was apparently quite
sure that he could tell what was genuine and what was not in the
transmitted text of the New Testament...(Thomas Jefferson.
The Jefferson Bible; Jefferson and his Contemporaries, an
afterward by Jaroslav Pelikan, Boston: Beacon Press, 1989, p.
149. Click to go to a copy of The Jefferson Bible).
In his Notes on Virginia, Jefferson wrote:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as
are injurious to others. But it does me no injury to my neighbor
to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket
nor breaks my leg. (Dumas Malon, Jefferson The President: First
Term 1801-1805. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1970, p.
Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer whose manifestoes encouraged
the faltering spirits of the country and aided materially in winning
the War of Independence. But he was a Deist:
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church,
by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church,
by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My
own mind is my own church. (Richard Emery Roberts, ed. "Excerpts
from The Age of Reason". Selected Writings of
Thomas Paine. New York: Everbody's Vacation Publishing Co.,
1945, p. 362)
Regarding the New Testament, he wrote that:
I hold [it] to be fabulous and have shown [it] to be false...(Roberts,
About the afterlife, he wrote:
I do not believe because a man and a woman make a child that it
imposes on the Creator the unavoidable obligation of keeping the
being so made in eternal existance hereafter. It is in His power
to do so, or not to do so, and it is not in my power to decide
which He will do. (Roberts, p. 375)
John Adams, the second U.S. President rejected the Trinity,
the deity of Christ, and became a Unitarian. It was during Adams'
presidency that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship
with Tripoli, which states in Article XI that:
As the government of the United States of America is not in any
sense founded on the Christian Religion - as it has in itself
no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility
of Musselmen, - and as the said States never have entered into
any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is
declared by the parties that no pretext arrising from religious
opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing
between the two countries. (Charles I. Bevans, ed. Treaties
and Other International Agreements of the United States of America
1776-1949. Vol. 11: Philippines-United Arab Republic. Washington
D.C.: Department of State Publications, 1974, p. 1072).
This treaty with the Islamic state of Tripoli had been written
and concluded by Joel Barlow during Washington's Administration.
The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on June 7, 1797; President
Adams signed it on June 10, 1797 and it was first published in
the Session Laws of the Fifth Congress, first session in 1797.
Quite clearly, then, at this very early stage of the American
Republic, the U.S. government did not consider the United States
a Christian nation.
Benjamin Franklin, the delegate to the Continental Congress
and the Constitutional Convention. He has frequently been used
as a source for positive "God" talk. It is often noted
that Franklin made a motion at the Constitutional convention that
they should bring in a clergyman to pray for their deliberations:
In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the
dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it
when present to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not
hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights
to illuminate our understandings?....I have lived, Sir, a long
time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see
of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. (Catherine
Drinker Bowen. Miracle at Phaladelphia: The Story of the Constitutional
Convention, May to September 1787. New York: Book-of-the-Month
Club, 1966, pp. 125-126)
It is rarely noted that Franklin presented his motion after "four
or five weeks" of deliberation, during which they had never
once opened in prayer. More significantly, it is never mentioned
that Franklin's motion was voted down! Fine Christians, these
founding fathers. Furthermore, the context is usually ignored,
too. He made the motion during an especially trying week of serious
disagreement, when the convention was in danger of breaking up.
Cathrine Drinker Bowen comments:
Yet whether the Doctor had spoken from policy or from faith, his
suggestion had been salutary, calling an assembly of doubting
minds to a realization that destiny herself sat as guest and witness
in this room. Franklin had made solemn reminder that a republic
of thirteen united states - venture novel and daring - could not
be achieved without mutual sacrifice and a summoning up of men's
best, most difficult and most creative efforts. (Bowen, p. 127)
About March 1, 1790, he wrote the following in a letter to Ezra
Stiles, president of Yale, who had asked him his views on religion.
His answer would indicate that he remained a Deist, not a Christian,
to the end:
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire,
I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them
to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I
apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have,
with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as
to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon,
having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself
with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the
Truth with less Trouble...." (Carl Van Doren. Benjamin
Franklin. New York: The Viking Press, 1938, p. 777.)
He died just over a month later on April 17.
Certainly it is generally the case that these people believed
in God, but it was not the God of Christianity. Deism began in
the eighteenth century and was very popular in America. According
to the dictionary, it was "a system of thought advocating
natural religion based on human reason rather than revelation."
Jefferson wrote that the religious doctrines of Jesus that he
accepted, and which he regarded as consistent with his deistic
perspective were three:
1. that there is one God, and he all-perfect:
2. that there is a future state of rewards and punishments
3. that to love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself,
is the sum of religion.
Why do Christians want the founding fathers to be Christians?
Is it because they wish the best for these people?
It is because they hope that by demonstrating they were Christians,
they can justify their political agenda. Rather than wanting something
new (the injection of Christianity into government) they seek
to restore something they imagine has been lost.
Reality: nothing has been lost. It wasn't there to start with.
Therefore the whole concept of "taking back America"
is a lie. America was never Christian.
Recent Misinformation on the Concept of Separation of Church
Some Christians are currently arguing that the concept of separating
church and state was not in the minds of the founding fathers,
and that it is a recent and pernicious doctrine that is the result
of Supreme Court decisions in the 1950's and 60s.
This simply isn't true.
Separation of church and state is not something the Supreme Court
invented in the 1950's and 60's. The phrase itself appears in
a letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist
Association of Danbury, Connecticut, on Jan 1, 1802.
The Baptist Association had written to President Jefferson regarding
a "rumor that a particular denomination was soon to be recognized
as the national denomination." Jefferson responded to calm
their fears by assuring them that the federal government would
not establish any single denomination of Christianity as the National
denomination. He wrote: "The First Amendment has erected
a wall of separation between Church and State."
Notice the phrasing in the U.S. Constitution, Article VI, paragraph
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members
of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial
Officers, both of the United States and of the several States,
shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution;
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification
to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (emphasis
The concept of the separation of church and state appears in the
1963 Baptist Faith and Message (a revision of an earlier statement
where it also appears) adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention:
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from
the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His
Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate.
The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in
the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom
no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the
state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God,
it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto
in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The
church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work.
The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the
pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties
for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to
impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church
in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right
of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and
the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion
without interference by the civil power. (emphasis added).
Look at what Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, had
to say about religious freedom in the 17th century. He was a Baptist
persecuted for his faith who argued for the separation of church
and state nearly a hundred fifty years before Jefferson.
The Church and State need not be, Williams insisted, inextricably
linked: 'A Pagan or Antichristian Pilot may be as skillful to
carry the Ship to its desired Port, as any Christian Mariner or
Pilot in the World, and may perform that work with as much safety
and speed.' 'God requireth not an Uniformity of Religion to be
inacted and inforced in any Civill State,' he declared. Rather,
the tares in the field of Christian grain must be left alone;
let man hold whatever religious opinions he chooses provided he
does not 'actually disturb civil peace,' ran a provision of the
Rhode Island Charter of 1663; let civil government be based on
the consent of the governed. 'The Soveraigne, originall, and foundation
of civil power lies in the People,' Williams insisted. They 'may
erect and establish what forme of Government seemes to them most
meete for their Civill condition.'
William's plea for Separation of Church and State stemmed far
less, Harold Laski writes, from tender concern for men's consciences
than from 'a fear that their unity meant the government of the
Church by civil men and thus a threat to its purity.' Popular
control of the Church through elected magistrates Williams thought
evil since it gave the Church 'to Satan himself, by whom all peoples
natural are guided.' The precise intention of Scripture could
not be ascertained, he believed, with the icy certainty claimed
by the New England clergy. He wanted Church and State separated
so the Church would not be corrupted by the State. Thomas Jefferson
entertained the opposite conviction, fearing that the State would
become contaminated by the Church. (Alpheus Thomas Mason. Free
Government in the Making: Readings in American Political Thought.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 55)
In his tract on the topic of religious toleration Williams madesome important points:
...Fourthly. The doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience,
is proved guilty of all the blood of the souls crying for vengeance
under the altar.
Fifthly. All civil states, with their officers of justice, in
their respective constitutions and administrations, are proved
essentially civil, and therefore not judges, governors, or defenders
of the spiritual, or Christian, state and worship.
Sixthly. It is the will and command of God that, since the coming
of his Son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish,
Jewish, Turkish, or antichristian consciences and worships be
granted to all men in all nations and countries: and they are
only to be fought against with that sword which is only, in soul
matters, able to conquer: to wit, the sword of God's Spirit, the
word of God.
Seventhly. The state of the land of Israel, the kings and people
thereof, in peace and war, is proved figurative and ceremonial,
and no pattern nor precedent for any kingdom or civil state in
the world to follow.
Eighthly. God requireth not an uniformity of religion to be enacted
and enforced in any civil state; which enforced uniformity, sooner
or later, is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of
conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of
the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls.
Ninthly. In holding an enforced uniformity of religion in a civil
state, we must necessarily disclaim our desires and hopes of the
Jews' conversion to Christ.
Tenthly. An enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation
or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the
principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ
is come in the flesh.
Eleventhly. The permission of other consciences and worships than
a state professeth, only can, according to God, procure a firm
and lasting peace; good assurance being taken, according to the
wisdom of the civil state, for uniformity of civil obedience from
Twelfthly. Lastly, true civility and Christianity may both flourish
in a state or kingdom, notwithstanding the permission of divers
and contrary consciences, either of Jew or Gentile... (Roger Williams.
The Bloudy Teneent of Persecution for the Cause of Conscience
Discussed, 1644. excerpted from A.T. Mason. Free Government
in the Making. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p.
Notice what Ulysses S. Grant said in his seventh annual address
(State of the Union address) to the Congress, December 7, 1875:
As this will be the last annual message which I shall have the
honor of transmitting to Congress before my successor is chosen,
I will repeat or recapitulate the questions which I deem of vital
importance which may be legislated upon and settled at this session:
First. That the States shall be required to afford the opportunity
of a good common-school education to every child within their
Second. No sectarian tenets shall ever be taught in any school
supported in whole or in part by the State, nation, or by the
proceeds of any tax levied upon any community. Make education
compulsory so far as to deprive all persons who can not read and
write from becoming voters after the year 1890, disfranchising
none, however, on grounds of illiteracy who may be voters at the
time this amendment takes effect.
Third. Declare church and state forever separate and distinct,
but each free within their proper spheres; and that all church
property shall bear its own proportion of taxation (emphasis added).
(A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents.
Vol. X. New York: Bureau of National Literature, Inc., 1897,
Here is a quotation from the Encyclopedic Index of A Compilation
of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, published in
Religious Freedom. - The First Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States (q.v.) requires that "Congress shall make
no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof." Religious freedom doubtless had
its greatest inspiration from James Madison while he was in the
Virginia Legislature. An attempt was made to levy a tax upon the
people of that state "for the support of teachers of the
Christian religion." Madison wrote what he called a "Memorial
and Remonstrance," in which he appealed to the people against
the evil tendency of such a precedent, and which convinced people
that Madison was right. A bill was passed providing "that
no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious
worship, place, or ministry whatsoever * * * nor shall suffer
on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men
shall be free to profess, and, by argument, maintain their opinions
in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish,
enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." The religious
test to which many of the states put their office-holders were
gradually abandoned, and the final separation of church and
state in America came in 1833, when Massachusetts discontinued
the custom of paying preachers (emphasis added).(A Compilation
of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. XX. New
York: Bureau of National Literature, Inc., 1917).
It should be clear, from these quotations, that the concept of
separating church and state is hardly of recent invention in the
United States, since we see it as far back as at least 1644. It
cannot seriously be argued that it sprang as a result of weird
ideas in the 1950's and 60's. In point of fact, the decisions
rendered by the Supreme Court at that time on school prayer are
entirely consistent with the general thrust of U.S. history.
If this is a "Christian" nation, then why did Jefferson
write what he did to a group of Baptists? Shouldn't he instead
of said that they had something to worry about? If the concept
of separating church and state were a recent idea, then why did
Jefferson himself use it, one of the founding fathers and author
of the Declaration of Independence?
I think it is a big surprise to the Jewish people who have been
living here for longer than my ancestors (who only got here in
the middle of the 19th century) to think that this is a "Christian"
nation. If it were "Christian" then there would be religious
requirements to be a part of it and to participate in the public
arena. If this were a Christian nation, then why are so few Americans
Christians? Even the most optimistic Gallup pole shows that barely
1/3 of the U.S. population claims to be "born again".
Interestingly, that's up considerably since the time of the nation's
founding, when barely ten percent, if that, claimed intense religious
I believe that those who talk about "restoring" prayer
to the public school have a misunderstanding of the Supreme Court
ruling and have failed to carefully think through their position.
The Supreme Court decided in 1962 that for the school administrators
to write prayers and read them over the intercoms to the students
was wrong. It is hard for me to figure out how anyone in their
right mind would think it's a good idea for the state to compose
prayers and force them on people.
So why would you want to "restore" government sponsored
religiosity? Students and faculty and other employees are free
to pray for themselves if they want; that has never been a problem
(admittedly, some examples of overzealous administrators who didn't
understand the issue, who tried to stop individuals from exercising
their religious beliefs, can doubtless be found; but that is the
exception, not the rule. That there are murderers is not proof
that murder is legal.).
As a Baptist, I frankly would be bothered by a Moslem or a Hindu
writing a prayer for my child. I no more want them imposing their
religious views on me and mine than they would want me to impose
my Baptist beliefs on them. And what about the agnostics and atheists?
They no more wish to be inundated by religious concepts in school
than I would like to have my children inundated by their beliefs
(or lack thereof).
The attempt in the public arena is toward neutrality; certainly
it is a tough ideal to reach, and certainly there are a lot of
mistakes made on all sides. Certainly, too, in the past there
has been a lot of inconsistency in these ideals. But the ideal
The history of the U.S. has been one of lofty ideals rarely achieved;
our shame is that we so rarely reach what we proclaim: freedom,
equality, and the like. But our pride is that, unlike so many
before, at least we have ideals and we're trying, how often
unsuccessfully, by fits and starts, to reach them. Most of the
political disagreements between the parties is not so much over
the goals (both Democrats and Republicans want a free, prosperous,
safe and happy society), but over the methods to reach those goals.
Demonizing the opposition is not reasonable, and both parties
are guilty of this (Democrats tend to turn Republicans into Fascists
and Republicans tend to turn Democrats into Communists; neither
caricature is accurate, appropriate or dignified).
The American Revolution, at its Foundation, was Unscriptural
At its foundation, our American revolution was unscriptural. Therefore
I have a hard time seeing how our government could have been founded
on Christian principles, when its very founding violated one:
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted
among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to
governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and
to commend those who do right. (1 Peter 2:13-14)
No matter how you cut it, the founding fathers were revolting
against the King of England. It should be remembered that Peter
wrote these words while Israel was suffering under the domination
of government far more oppressive than England ever was. In fact,
compared to current taxes, our forefathers had nothing to complain
What Peter wrote seems perfectly clear and unambiguous; furthermore,
it is consistent with what Jesus said about his kingdom not being
a part of this world (John 18:23 and 36).
As a Christian, it would be very difficult to justify armed revolt
against any ruler. Passive resistance to injustice and evil, as
embodied in the concept of civil disobedience, however, does have
Scriptural precedent (as for instance in the case of the early
Christians described in Acts 5:28-29:
"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,"
he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather
than men!" (see also Acts 4:18-20)
Civil disobedience means obeying a higher, moral law, but willingly
suffering the consequences of your actions and submitting to the
authority of those in power to arrest or even kill you for your
disobedience. Peter and the others were arrested, and many of
them were ultimately martyred. But they never participated in
violent protest, nor did they resist those in authority by violence.
Certainly many of the early immigrants to the New World came for
religious reasons - often to escape persecution. However, they
were not interested in religious freedom for anyone other than
themselves, and often turned around and persecuted others who
had slightly different viewpoints.
As Pastor Richard T. Zuelch pointed out in his letter to the Los
Angeles Times on August 14, 1995:
Gordon S. Wood, in his 1992 book, "The Radicalism of the
American Revolution," states that, by the 1790's only about
10% of the American population regularly attended religious services
- to quote just one statistic. Not exactly an indication of a
wholehearted national commitment to Christianity!
It is a matter of simple historical fact that the United States
was not founded as, nor was it ever intended to be, a Christian
nation. That there were strong, long-lasting Christian influences
involved in the nation's earliest history, due to the Puritan
settlements and those of other religious persons escaping European
persecution, cannot be denied. But that is a long way from saying
that colonial leaders, by the time of the outbreak of the Revolution,
were intending to form a nation founded on specifically Christian
principles and doctrine.
We Christians do ourselves no favor by bending history to suit
our prejudices or to accommodate wishful thinking. Rather than
continue to cling to a "Moral Majority"-style fantasy
that says America is a Christian nation that needs to be "taken
back" from secular unbelief (we can't "take back"
what we never had), it would be much healthier for us Christians
to face reality, holding to what Jesus himself said in the Gospels:
that Christians should never be surprised at the hostility with
which the gospel would be greeted by the world, because most people
would fail to believe in him, thereby strongly implying that,
in every age and country, Christianity would always be a minority
faith. (Rev. Richard T. Zuelch, Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles
Times, August 1995)
The United States is not, by any stretch of the imagination a
Christian nation today, nor has it ever been, nor was it ever
intended to be. The Religious right (or left) would do well to
stop looking for the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth.
Jacob’s life was not a particularly easy one and his family life, both growing up, and then as an adult was certainly what would fit the modern definition of being “dysfunctional.”
So, to say the least, Jacob was not at all happy. The one true love of his life was dead. Joseph, his favorite, the oldest son of his beloved, had been dead for twenty-five years. And now Simeon had been taken from him, and this monster in Egypt was demanding the last link he had to his dead lover. Beside himself with grief, we find his reaction in Genesis 42:36 where it all comes down to this:
Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!"
And certainly it was the case that the circumstances of his life, from his perspective, from the perspective of his sons standing around him, made his complaint fully reasonable and perfectly understandable.
And yet, the fascinating thing about his words, for those of us reading the story, is that we know that he couldn’t be more wrong, despite the fact that his words seemed so obviously true to Jacob – unassailably true, in fact. But we the readers of this little episode, know something that Jacob doesn’t: we know that Joseph is not only not dead, but he is second in command in Egypt, the most powerful and most wealthy nation on the planet at that time. We also know that there’s no way for poor Jacob to know that.
So the reality of Jacob’s existence is that everything could hardly be better. His favorite son has done very well for himself, thank you. Good job, and great future, with money to burn. Poor Jacob simply doesn’t know this yet. His perception, his perspective of reality, is incorrect.
And we, the readers, can do nothing to alleviate Jacob’s suffering just now. And God didn’t do anything about it either. It’ll be another year before Jacob learns the truth of what his life is really like. For twenty-five years he mourned for someone who was not dead at all. He bemoans his fate as a miserable one, though his family is absolutely powerful and prosperous. But he doesn’t know any of that; in fact, he has no way of knowing any of that.
September 11, 2001 was thus an exceptionally bad day (to say the least) and raised numerous questions in the minds of many people about the nature of existence, about the goodness of God, about what it is really, that God wants and expects out of all of us. How do we live in a world where this sort of thing can happen? How do we face the crises of life, both small and great? Is there some key to life, some playbook we can get, some list we can follow, some formula we can memorize that will get us through life in one piece, with ourselves and our families living productive and prosperous lives? What does Jacob's complaint tell us about our relationship to God and the world?
Click on the picture of the book cover for more information, to read a preview, or to order.
John of the Apocalypse
by R.P. Nettelhorst
If everything in your life went wrong, wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus came and told you why? “Why doesn’t God do something?” It was a question heavy on John’s mind. He had seen all his companions bleed and die; thousands of his compatriots had been slaughtered by a brutal tyranny. It seemed such an odd way for God to treat his most faithful servants. John was just a lonely old man exiled for his beliefs on the island of Patmos. And then Jesus unexpectedly showed up with good news and an explanation.
Click on the picture of the book cover for more information, to read a preview, or to order.