The radio reception was fading in and out. I was hearing a discussion that was so passionate and interesting I had to pull over to the shoulder in a clear reception area.
One of the guests was sharing about the reasons for a rise in depression, drug abuse and suicide in America. She mentioned that we no longer teach our children the words of the founders, or the Declaration of Independence, we have replaced reason and rational inquiry with emotional and political correctness. We are no longer teaching that we are blessed with self-evident truths, that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. We are no longer teaching that as created beings we are made in our creators’ image and have value and meaning and purpose. I felt a sense of grief for our nation and a verse of scripture came to mind.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His inheritance!” Psalm 33:12
My heart raced as I remembered how I had come to faith in Christ because of a study I had begun of the words and actions revealing the hearts and minds of our founders. I knew that a rational and reasonable examination of the history of our founding as “one nation under God” is effective in bringing about a conviction of truth.
I had concluded that Christianity had survived thousands of years because of the testimony and martyrdom of its faithful followers. I had reasoned that the apostles being the frail men they were had been friended and changed by Jesus Christ. They lived with Him, traveled and spoke with Him, they were taught by Him and ministered with Him. They had given their lives over to Jesus. They found Him so remarkable, so life-changing, so life-giving and uplifting to the point that they were willing to die for speaking the truth of who He is.
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and know that you are The Messiah, The Son of THE LIVING GOD.” John 6:68-69
We, believers, are the spiritual descendants of the apostles, saints and martyrs, pilgrims and statesmen who have declared that “we have no king but King Jesus!” The fruits of liberty and freedom we enjoy in this country are unequaled anywhere in the world.
“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?” Deuteronomy 4:7
Christian principles formed the foundation of our Declaration of Independence our Constitution our Government and Judicial system, we have been blessed with so much that we now take for granted.
As these principles are attacked daily by the enemies of life and liberty we must be vigilant in teaching and restoring the understanding and the true source of these principles.
There is no greater battle than the one being waged right now for the hearts and minds of our youth. The public school system has removed the teaching of these valuable foundational principles and all mention of their true source. This blessed nation is at stake.
In the early days of our founding, the Puritans formed schools with the purpose of teaching Scripture to every child. The study of the Bible was essential for developing a worldview that understood principles of self-government and just laws, which upheld the value of life, liberty, and property.
These were the schools that helped develop leaders such as Patrick Henry who spoke the words “Give me liberty or give me death”
A famous beneficiary of a principled Christian education, author of the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language and Founding Father of American scholarship, Noah Webster, wrote:
“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. . . . No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
Founder, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, in his publication titled A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a Schoolbook, wrote:
“Before I state my arguments in favor of teaching children to read by means of the Bible, I shall assume the … following propositions: First, that Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy; Second, that a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way; Finally, that the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world. . . .”1
Often considered the father of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams wrote in 1790:
“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system . . . .” Letter to John Adams, October 4, 1790
Seven Principles of The Principle Approach
The generations of our founding had applied their learning to the task of building a nation founded on Christian principles. Their capacity to apply a Christian worldview and moral reason to all areas of life helped establish a nation of Law and Liberty that would allow and encourage all people to pursue God and His Word
My study began with the Foundation for American Christian History. Since that eye-opening study, I have become aware of other organizations that share the same desire of teaching and restoring a true understanding of the basic Christian principles of our founding while developing a worldview that is able to discern the times in which we live. They are listed below.
The Summit Ministries / Understanding the Times Curriculum
The Public Square / American Policy Roundtable / Mission To America
1 Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical (Philadelphia: Printed by Thomas and William Bradford, 1806) pp. 93-94.