What we have been discussing in this series is something that is unheard of in today’s society and that is just what is the foundation of our political system. It has actually become illegal to teach our history in our public schools! It is illegal because references to God are not allowed. It is a pathetic shame that the history of this great nation is not allowed to be taught simply because it is based on Christian principles and teachings. Many deny it but facts are facts.
One of the Founders, Benjamin Rush, Physician, educator, member of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, founder and Vice-president of the Philadelphia Bible Society, and Father of American Medicine, Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution, stated:
“The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness.” 1
Even the author of the First Amendment, Fisher Ames, stated:
“[I]f these [new] books … must be retained, as they will be, should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book?” 2
Benjamin Rush stated that there are three things that public school should teach. The number one subject is to love and serve God. Keep in mind this is the Father of Public Schools! The second thing public schools are to teach is to love and serve country. The third thing public schools are to teach is love and serve family. This is not even considered acceptable teaching in today’s schools but that type of teaching is what made America the greatest nation in the world. Understand why he listed these three things in this order. God is the most important. Country must be maintained under godly rule or it will become an enemy of the family.
Samuel Adams concurred with this statement:
“Every citizen will see-and I hope be deeply impressed with a sense of it- how exceedingly important it is to himself, and how intimately the welfare of his children is connected with it, that those who are to have a share in making as well as in judging and executing the laws should be men of singular wisdom and integrity.” 3
In all of this some would ask, where is the church in all of this? It should be smack dab in the middle of it but is usually nowhere to be found. When the Revolutionary War began at Lexington Green there were seventy patriots against seven hundred British soldiers. The leader of the patriots was Reverend Jonas Clark who had trained his members for the battle he knew was forthcoming. The next battle was at Concord and the militia leader there was Reverend William Emmerson and the members of his church, who he also had trained. 4 Reverend John Peter Muhlenberg also led what became as the 8th Virginia Regiment.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” preached Rev. John Peter Muhlenberg, from the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1.
He closed his message by saying:
“In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight.”
This was John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a 30 year old member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who was also a pastor.
At the end of his sermon, January 21, 1776, John Peter Muhlenberg threw off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of an officer in the Continental Army.
Drums began to roll, men kissed their wives, and they walked down the aisle to enlist.
The next day, Pastor Muhlenberg led 300 men of his church to join General Washington’s Continental Army as the 8th Virginia Regiment. 5
We see nothing of this kind of political involvement from today’s pastors except in rare occasions. Most pastors are too afraid to even preach the Word let alone take a stand for our Constitutional rights. Most pastors won’t educate their flock on the differences of each Party’s platform and how those platforms compare to God’s principles and dictates, which is allowed under present law. They are so afraid of offending anyone. If the pastors of the Revolutionary War were cowards as the pastors are today, we would still be British subjects. Even back in the 1950’s when the Johnson Gag Order came down the church didn’t fight it. Cowards! You either take God’s mandate seriously or go home.
When we look at just how involved the church was at our founding in every area of society we can look at the education that was available. For over 200 years we used a simple book called the New England Primer along with the Bible and we were putting fourteen-year olds into Princeton and Yale. By 1860 there were 246 colleges in America with the majority run by ministers.
America’s pastors were so involved in the education of America that by 1860 91% of all college presidents were Christian pastors and more than a third of all faculty were pastors as well.83 Only seventeen of the 246 colleges and universities founded by the end of 1860 were not affiliated with a denomination.84 The “School Master of America”, Founding Father Noah Webster stated: “to them [the clergy] is popular education in this country more indebted than to any other class of men.”84
The pastors of America were more important than any one group of people from the establishing of the Colonies to the developing of our governmental system, education system and defining the moral foundation that all of it was grounded upon and defending it with their very lives. Oh, to have those kinds of pastors today throughout America!
Our written history has proven that it was purely the influence of the Christian pastors and their teaching the true principles of God that gave us our unmatched educational system, our governmental system that is second to none other in the history of the world and even our free market economic system that has produced more wealth than any other form of government in the history of the world. 6
Charles Finny warned pastors if the failed to preach the Word of God. He was right then, and he is right today: Reverend Charles Finney reminded the pastors of his day:
Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. 7
We have been at this position for some time, but the church has not had the guts to take a stand against it. Therein lies the problem.
- Roger Anghis, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, pp. 170-171, (Westbow Press, 2012)
- Roger Anghis, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, pp. 172, (Westbow Press, 2012)
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