Our Constitution is one of the most highly regarded documents in history. It was birthed out of America’s new-found freedom and written to safeguard that freedom for years to come. Yet our Founders knew this document alone couldn’t save us.
Benjamin Franklin notoriously stated that, “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”1
The Founders knew the future success of our new republic would hinge entirely on adhering to the biblical principles it was founded upon…then teaching these principles of freedom to the next generation. After all, this is what fueled the Revolution to begin with…
Pilgrims, Puritans and Quakers—inspired and compelled by God—sought after a land where they could educate their children, free from ungodly influences. They carried liberty and freedom in their hearts. In truth, the “revolution” began long before any of the fighting ever started.
Americans today have become accustomed to an increased separation between God and government. But in Colonial days and throughout most of our history, it was quite the opposite.
During the settlement, nearly every child in America was educated. Parents established schools primarily because of their sincere desire to teach their children the Scriptures.
In fact, it was the Christian ministers who originally went house to house, tutoring the students. As the number of children increased, the minsters eventually began inviting groups of children into their own homes. This was the origin of the first grammar schools in the late 1600’s.2
Did you know 106 of the first 108 colleges were also founded on the Christian faith? For example, Harvard, America’s first university, was founded by Reverend John Harvard in 1638. The official governing rules required both the President and Professors to “open and explain the Scriptures to his pupils with integrity and faithfulness.”3
Wow! This is quite a contrast to where we are now. Today, many, if not most, of our public schools teach a worldly, humanistic philosophy that contradicts the Biblical principles of our Founders. Why is this so important?
The Bible teaches that we reap what we sow (see Galatians 6:6). For centuries, Christianity was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and public schools. As a result of this Biblical philosophy of life, we reaped liberty, growth and prosperity.
Conversely, Colossians 2:8 tells us that a worldly philosophy produces bondage and a lack of freedom. The Apostle Paul says, See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception...following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ (AMP).
In recent years, I’ve read numerous studies reporting on the high percentage of Christian college students who eventually abandon their faith before they graduate.
Yes, there are numerous factors involved. However, these kids are not prepared for what they’re about to encounter in college. So many of them get inundated, day after day, with teachings contrary to what they believe. The Biblical principles that once served as the foundation of our schools are now openly attacked and ridiculed.
This is tragic on so many levels. First and foremost, it affects their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. However, it then influences everything else.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”4 You can’t remove God from our schools and institutions and expect nothing to change!
You may think, Well, that’s just the way it is—what can we really do about it?
Friends, we have a responsibility to stand up for godly principles and take every opportunity to educate ourselves and our children about our nation’s true godly history. As we learn about the incredible foundation of America and the great and mighty things God has done, it gives us direction and a passion to change things.
In 1962, it only took one persistent woman to get prayer removed from our public schools. Just imagine then what we can do if Christians unite to stand up for godliness and take action—if we are determined to vote, participate in government, and let our voices be heard.
I believe the words of Benjamin Franklin have never been more important than they are right now—a nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know the rights God has given them cannot be enslaved.
This means the opposite is also true: A nation of uninformed men who do not know the rights God has given them can be enslaved.
If we want to be free—if we want America to hold on to the liberties we’ve been given—then we cannot allow ourselves to be enslaved by ignorance. We must educate ourselves and our children, and we must learn our nation’s true history. We must also take action to protect America’s freedom.
After all, it’s something the signers, colonists, and other great Americans through the years have fought to purchase and even lost their lives to protect. It is our inalienable right...and it’s our duty to preserve it for future generations.
1 Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, “America’s Providential History,” The Providence Foundation, 1989, p. 93. 2 Ibid, pp. 102-103. 3 Ibid, p. 109. 4 Ibid, p. 95.