Pastor Steven Wallace: What are we afraid of in referring to early Christian influences?

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In an article by Thomas Horn, he notes a study conducted by former New York University professor Dr. Paul Vitz.

Dr. Vitz and a committee examined 60 social studies and history textbooks used in U.S. public schools. The results showed that almost every reference to the early Christian influence in the United States had been removed.

We were founded upon the belief that religious freedom means allowing others to believe in God, whomever they hold Him to be, openly and without fear of retribution. We have always been able to display our faith through crosses, crucifixes and menorahs.

When the individuals we have freely chosen to lead our country are sworn into their office, it is with one hand on the Bible, one hand raised to heaven and an oath of "So help me, God."

So, what are we afraid of?

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, in the God of scripture and in His personal intervention.

It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, still is remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death." But in current textbooks the context of these words is deleted. Here is what he actually said:

"An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

What motivated a man to speak with such power, conviction, and patriotism.; to have that kind of tenacity, along with a conviction for truth and freedom?

Could it possibly have been the Bible?

So, what are we afraid of?

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this:

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator."

He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States, reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for more than 100 years in our public schools with more than 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the "Schoolmaster of the Nation."

Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology."

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian.

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

All that we hold so dear and beautiful in our culture centers around the thought that there is a Supreme Being who holds it all together, aka, God.

Everything from classical music to poetry, from art to opera, is saturated with the premise that God is forever active in the lives of men and women.

And, as you have just read, even the history of our great country was founded on the principles of truth: in other words, the Bible and God.

So, what are we afraid of?

What is wrong with teaching the truth of our history? This is the way it was and the way that it is.

Even if you don't believe in God, it is still our history.

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