Let’s put to rest, once and for all, the false claims that George Washington was either an agnostic or a deist. Rather than take the words of modern historical revisionists let’s go to the field book that Washington kept during the Revolutionary War.
These were his personal notes, written by his own hand (scriptural references added):
“(Sunday Morning)...since Thou art a God of pure eyes, and will be sanctified in all who draw nearer to Thee (Ps 73:28, Ecc 12:1, James 4:8), who dost not regard the sacrifice of fools (Ecc 5:1), nor hear sinners (John 9:31) who tread in Thy courts, pardon I beseech Thee, my sins (Isa 55:7), remove them from Thy presence, as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12), and accept of me for the merits of Thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into Thy temple and compass Thine altar, my prayer may come before Thee as incense (Ps 141:2), and as I desire Thou wouldst hear me calling upon Thee in my prayers, so give me peace to hear the calling on me in Thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of my soul in the day of the Lord Jesus (2 Tim 1:12, 1 Cor 1:8). Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God and guide this day and forever for His sake, who lay down in the grave and arose again for us (Rom 10:9, 1 Cor 15:1-4), Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“(Sunday Evening) O most glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving Father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins (Rom 10:13)...Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word;make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight (Rom 12:2), and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)...These weak petitions, I humbly implore Thee to hear, accept, and answer for the sake of Thy Dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“(Monday Morning) O Eternal and everlasting God...wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb (1 John 1:7), and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit (Heb 9:14)...”
“(Monday Evening) be merciful to me, O God, and pardon me for Jesus Christ sake...Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me (Rom 5:8), and hast given me assurance of salvation...”
“(Tuesday Evening) ...my sins are forgiven by His death and passion (Rom 6:23)...and so into Thy hands I commend myself, both soul and body, in the name of Thy son, Jesus Christ.”
His field book was replete with such prayers and professions. He called on Jesus Christ for forgiveness of his sins. He believed in the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no serious doubt as to his profession of salvation.
only chink in his theological armor I could find in all his writings was
a confusion over eternal security. At places he placed his assurance upon
his, “endeavoring to conform (his) life to His holy precepts”. This
is a common doctrinal error both then and today. Fortunately, George left
us with enough insight into his Theology to know that he did trust in the
blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, and subsequent deviation
from the doctrine of eternal security did not change the fact that he was
“O Most glorious God, I acknowledge and confess my faults, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of the day (1 John 1:9). I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins (Rom 10:13). I have heard thy holy word but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer. Remember that I am but dust (Ps 103:14), and remit my transgressions, negligences, and ignorances and cover them all with the absolute obedience of thy dear Son (Rom 5:19), that those sacrifices which I have offered may be accepted by Thee in (Rom 12:1), and for, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross for me. (Heb 10:12)”
Notice Washington’s humility throughout. He realized his sinful condition, and need of a Saviour. He clearly recognized and received, Jesus Christ as that Saviour. He understood that sin had to be cast from the presence of God. He was aware of the importance of prayer, and approaching the throne of grace in a humble adoration, and practiced it often. He acknowledged all the things necessary for salvation, appealing to the blood of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and believing that He died on the cross to forgive his sins.
Just these testimonies alone verify that Washington had a proper view of God as Sovereign in scope, holy and righteous in character, and just in condemnation of sin. Furthermore, Washington also recognized God as the literal Creator according to the Genesis account, “It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being.”
he made it clear exactly who that Supreme Being was, and what attributes
Throughout the struggle for independence, Washington implored the Lord for success, and was careful to give Him thanks and praise for the successes. Several accounts of fog rolling in, just in time to allow the patriots to escape, or waters rising to hinder the British naval advancement are documented. About these events, he wrote to Brigadier-General Thomas Nelson,
“The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this (the course of the war) that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations, but it will be time enough for me to turn Preacher when my present appointment ceases.”
Note that he also recognized God’s appointment, and will in his own life. He was consistent in his first inaugural speech,
by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems
to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency;”
Perhaps the most incredible incident of Divine protection came in George Washington’s own life, before the battle for independence.
During the French and Indian war, George fought for the British against the French. The French had been trained by the Indians to fight in the woods. When the battle began, the British troops simply lined up and began firing, like in all their open-field battles. The French were behind rocks, in trees, and hidden all over the place. They routed the British and General Thomas Gage.
Gage and Washington each took charge of half of the men. The Indians made the leaders their primary targets and took out Gage quickly. But for some reason, they could not get Washington. One of the Indian warriors lamented that,
“Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle, and could not bring him to the ground.”
Fifteen years later, after all sides had made peace, and the Chief of the tribe confessed that Washington had been their primary target, yet his best marksmen couldn’t hit him.
“Quick, let you aim be certain, and he dies (command to his troops). Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you (Washington) knew not how to miss - ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you...The Great Spirit protects that man (pointing at Washington), and guides his destinies - he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”
George himself wrote of the account to his brother,
“But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
No doubt that Washington acknowledged the directing hand of God (Ps 37:23). He gave the praise and glory to God to all would listen.
What did Washington do when he was met by Indians? He witnessed to them!
well to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of
Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you
are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.”
(government should) “Co-operate, as far as the circumstances may conveniently admit, with the disinterested endeavors of your Society (Brethren for Propagating the Gospel) to civilize and Christianize the Savages of the Wilderness.”
So much for separation of religion and politics!
Except for the guns, it might have been hard to tell whether George Washington was commanding an army, or running a Vacation Bible School. He forbade profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness. he required a punctual attendance of Divine services and prayer from soldiers not engaged in duty. He authorized national days of fasting and prayer. He did not do all these things just through written orders, he sometimes actually rode to the troops and entreated them personally. It was not uncommon to find Washington on his knees in prayer. Included in his orders to the men at Valley Forge was this,
"To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
had a homosexual dismissed from military service. Lt. Enslin was tried
for attempting to commit sodomy. He was found guilty of that charge as
well as perjury. His penalty was to be “dismiss’d the service with Infamy”.
The order was approved by Commander Washington with “abhorrance and
destestation of such imfamous crimes”.
Washington, like all of the founders of America, was a strong advocate of Christian liberty. When the Danville Baptists got wind of a rumor (which proved to be false) that the Church of England was going to be instituted as the recognized religion, they fired off a message to President Washington. He answered,
“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; ...I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against...every species of religious persecution.”
might have suspected that since they had just fought a war to loose themselves
from the bond of the Church of England, there was no imminent risk of that,
or any denomination being so adopted, it was the vigilant Baptist practice
of “holding their feet to the fire” that kept America from wavering on
so important an issue. They likewise kept Thomas Jefferson on his toes,
and he responded much like his predecessor did. Though few of the main
leaders in the endeavor for independence were Baptist themselves, several
of them, in particular Jefferson, Henry, Jay, and Washington, had close
relationships with Baptists and worked for religious liberty as originated
by the prominent Baptist Pastor of the day, Roger Williams. It was Williams
who coined the term, “wall of separation” that referred to keeping the
state out of church affairs, and keeping any particular denomination from
being recognized as official by the government. Jefferson’s use of the
term was in that context,
Much negative press has been printed about the founders and slavery. As usual, most of what the modern press has to say is anti-American and untrue.
The founders were born into the slavery situation, they didn’t create it. Slaves were sold by black Africans to Arabs before white men settled in the new world. The blame for slavery cannot be rightly put solely at the feet of the early Americans.
George Washington inherited slaves from his father, and his older brother. Being personally committed to the cause of freedom, George attempted to free his slaves. However, they had almost no education, few skills, and it would have been a nearly impossible task for them to survive alone.
their dilemma, Washington, at great personal expense, had his slaves educated,
including giving them Bible training. Then, once they were prepared to
survive, Washington prepared for their full freedom in his will,
“Upon the decease of my wife it is my will and desire that all slaves
whom I hold in my own right shall receive their freedom.”
George became a wealthy man. He honorably amassed his wealth due to his honest reputation. One of his skills was as a surveyor, and he was often called on to settle land disputes in the untamed wilderness. His integrity was such that both sides would trust his judgment.
Washington went to his grave, literally, with the word of God holding a prominent position. Engraved on his tombstone is, John 11:25-26 I am the Resurrection, and the Life; sayeth the Lord. Hhe that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
No honest person can deny that America was built on the Bible by men who held sound, scriptural theological beliefs.They recognized God as sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. They acknowledged His hand in their successes and publicly praised Him for it. They regularly prayed and fasted. Epitomizing this all was the “Father of our Country”, George Washington.