Copyright © 2012 by Michael A. Shea - All Rights Reserved

    Divine Providence or Providence is a term used to refer to God’s hand in history and the lives of man. It was used by the Founding Fathers in colonial times and continued to be used well past the Civil War. But today, due to the anti-religious sentiment of our secular society; it is a term that is largely spurned due to its religious connotations and implied obligations to God. More recently it has been introduced back into the public lexicon by Glenn Beck on his radio talk and television show. The term Divine Providence however is not interchangeable with God. *Providence or Divine Providence is defined as the hand of God that guides the affairs of man. It is the will of God being worked out in the world through man’s interaction with God, his fellow man, and with nature in conjunction with man’s free will." Required in this interaction between man and God is that God be praised for His blessings, and petitions are humbly submitted in prayer. Answered prayers, dispensed blessings and grace are always on God's terms, not mans. God is creator and “the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.   .  

    Perhaps a few examples of the term Providence  used by the Founding Fathers in context will better help to explain its meaning. During the Revolutionary War George Washington had his life spared on numerous occasions which he credited to Providence. After the Battle of Monongahela (massacre) he wrote to his brother John Augustine,

“As I have heard since my arriv’l at this place, a circumstantial acct. of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting both, and of assuring you that I now exist and appear in the land of the living by the miraculous care of Providence, that protected me beyond all human expectations; I had 4 bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, and yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”

    George Washington would later write that “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.” And after the war, “I have only been an instrument in the hands of Providence.” Washington witnessed many miracles and coincidences of God’s hand in the war, and personally, by having his life spared on numerous occasions. History bears whiteness to his bullet proof nature. Washington had committed his life to God. In allowing God to use him for His greater purpose, in Washington’s case, he was afforded divine protection.

    The term Divine Providence is used in the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The fifty-thee signers placed their trust in God to support their Declaration of Independence, placed their lives and honor, and in the war's successful outcome.

    After the Declaration was signed, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail Adams,

"It is the will of Heaven that the two countries should be sundered forever. It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting, and distresses yet more dreadful. … But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe. … You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not."

    The Founding Fathers understood understood Divine Providence. They understood that God blesses those nations who acknowledge Him, His laws and providence. They were not ashamed to humble themselves to implore God’s assistance in their struggles for independence. They praised God for His blessings, respected His laws and commandments, and maintained a healthy “fear of God” to avoid his wrath. Against all odds, their trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of history, they were rewarded with the blessings of victory in the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, and establishment of the United States of America.

    The term Divine Providence refers God’s hand in history, working His will through man’s interaction with God, his fellow man, and with nature in conjunction with man’s free will. A similar term, American Providentialism, refers to the belief or principle of God's hand in the history of North America and the Americas.

Why is the term Divine Providence rejected and distained in society today?

    Around the turn of the century there was a concerted lobbying effort by anti-religious, non-religious, and business, using the power of government to wrestle control of education away from religious schools and institutions. Despite assurances that nothing would change, once control of education was taken from the religious schools, slowly the curriculum was changed to reflect a secular liberal progressive religious perspective. History was rewritten with Divine Providence and God cleansed from the text books. Educator and author John Taylor Gatto wrote,

“God was pitched out of forced schooling on his ear after WWII. This wasn’t because of any constitutional proscription—there was none that anyone had been able to find in over a century and a half—but because the political state and corporate economy considered the Western spiritual tradition too dangerous a competitor. And it is.”

    Once in control of the curriculum and backed by federal money, the secular liberal progressive religious agenda could be proselytized to students overwhelming their traditional values and religious teachings. John Dewey the Father of progressive education wrote in 1930,

“There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” “You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

   Over the years more and more of secular progressive religious beliefs have been incorporated into the into the curriculum. Unsuspected by most parents it has been added to history, math, science, social studies, sex education and other areas. The Socratic method of teaching, critical thinking, and relying on original source documents discouraged. The country’s true history, founding documents and republican frame of government, and a citizens God given rights and responsibility to God no longer taught. John J. Dunphy writing in The Humanist in 1983 layed out their religious battle plans for the captive children in the government schools.

"The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: A religion of humanity—utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism."

    Many schools today have worked into their curriculum worship of nature, students as world citizens (UN Agenda) rather than citizens of the United States, that we live in a democracy not a republic, and of course that your rights come from government not God.

Why is the term Divine Providence considered to be a dangerous term?

   For the anti-religious, Divine Providence is considered to be a dangerous term. Throughout Biblical history satan does not want people knowing the scriptures and Biblical truths. If you can influence young children to reject or not be introduced to Biblical truths in their formative years when their conscience is being formed, then you have permanently influenced (damaged) them for life. Divine Providence and God have been removed from government schools and media because of the religious implications and responsibility citizens of the United States have to God for the blessings of liberty and freedom.

    It is a dangerous term to the anti-religious because once belief or principle of God's hand in history and the lives of man is recognized and understood, there is a responsibility to God and to follow His laws and commandments. Since our rights come from God, our structure of government and laws are based on the Bible where the laws of man shall not be in violation of divine law, Divine Providence and knowledge of God, His laws and commandments is very dangerous indeed.

"'And if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 'But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 'The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and frustration, in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your doings, because you have forsaken me.'"

— Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15-16, 20  RSV










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“Divine Providence is the will of God being worked out in the world through man's interaction with God.”

WHAT IS DIVINE PROVIDENCE?

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