As a quick reminder, let’s take a ‘snapshot’ of 18
th-century America’s spiritual condition:
1) In 1787, Congress passed the ‘Northwest Ordinance’, drafted by Thomas Jefferson for the purpose of legislating the method by which new states would be admitted to the Union. Part of the legislation read,
“No person, demeaning [conducting] himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested [harassed] on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments.”
Of particular interest is Article Three,
“Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Current American political leadership compares poorly with the 18th-century Congress of the Confederation’s deportment. Christianity was all-important, they wrote, because morality is the main pillar of the sustainability of freedom.
2) American Founder Fisher Ames [1758-1808], a Member of the First United States Congress, pointed out that
“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits … it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers.”
3) Then Congressman Fisher Ames, in the course of drawing out the language of the First Amendment on religion in 1789, became concerned with 18
th-century education. He wrote,
“We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons. We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text of our schools.”
Placed alongside Founder Ames’ assessment of 18
th-century education, the pompous bombast of the ACLU and its ilk in present-day America -
“The First Amendment has made it clear that there can be no teaching of religion, including the Bible, in public education” - is downright ludicrous, a dismal outcome of the secular usurpation of education over the last century.
Unlike America’s Puritan Founders who
“accepted conflict as their calling”, the modern Church, according to Francis Schaeffer, has become addicted to
“peace and personal prosperity.”
7,8 Modern America has been “
submerged and overwhelmed by something much bigger, a dirty, sloppy, wallowing” culture, established by secularists. Her once spiritual beauty has become a “
small detail, an insignificant little glint of gold quite lost”, dwarfed by the self-indulgent behavior of Secularism.
Yet, modern Christendom sleeps on.
Thankfully, Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
American Renewal Project
4. Bruce K.Waltke, Proverbs Commentary.
5. Michael V. Fox, Proverbs Commentary.
6. Proverbs 8:15; Dr. Waltke adds, “[Biblical] ‘Wisdom’, ‘shrewdness’, ‘discretion’, ‘counsel’, ‘resourcefulness’, and ‘heroic strength’ enable [kings to reign and] rulers to decree justice.”
7. Joseph J. Boot, The Mission of God: A Manifesto of Hope for Society.
8. Victor Kuligin, Snubbing God: The High Cost of Rejecting God’s Created Order.
9. James L. Kugel.