Pastor Roger Anghis
March 20, 2010
To understand how important education was to the colonists and how they treated it we have to go back to the middle of 17th century. From this we see America treating education like no other nation previously had done before. It was something that the colonists believed was vital to a moral society.
The first laws providing public education for all children were passed in 1642 in Massachusetts and in 1647 in Connecticut and it was called the “Old Deluder Satan Law.” These colonists believed that the proper protection from civil abuses could only be achieved by eliminating Bible illiteracy.
This way the people themselves, as opposed to only the leaders, could measure the acts of civil government compared to the teachings of scripture. By 1690 Connecticut had a law that required that children be educated and if the children were not being educated, the family would be fines $25.00. Their reasoning here was if a person can’t read then they will not be aware of what God’s laws are and they would not be able to know when the government was trying to do something that was contrary to the Word of God. This shows that it wasn’t important to just be able to read, but to read and understand the Word of God. If only our education system was like this today. Today a teacher can’t even have a Bible IN their desk. You can’t post the Ten Commandments in a classroom because someone might read them and obey them.
God forbid that a student obey the Ten Commandments. How many teen pregnancies would we have if the children obeyed the Ten Commandments? How many school shootings would we have if the students obeyed the Ten Commandments? How many students would be on drugs and alcohol if they obeyed the Ten Commandments? The church in the days of our Founding fathers was not a social club like it is today. They understood the importance of living a Christian life. Too many of our preachers today do not teach that importance. Our Founding Fathers’ Christianity was a way of life and they expected those that governed them to live the same way. There were a couple of states that would not allow you to run for political office unless you attended a church and had confessed Jesus Christ as Lord.
Try that today and you’ll end up in court with five different organizations suing you. Say a prayer in school and the same thing will happen. Our rights and privileges as Christians have been taken away from us little by little. I believe that it is the fault of the pastors refusing to stand for what is right. Refusing to stand for what our Founding Fathers fought and died for, risked all for. Will we just sit back and do nothing or will we stand together and say ‘No more’? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
They believed that everyone should be able to read so that our government officials could not pass laws that were contrary to God’s Word. Today the public is better educated than any generation before us, but we still allow laws to be passed that are contrary to God’s Word.
When the pilgrims came to America they brought with them text books, but in 1690 the first American textbook was printed. It was called the New England Primer. This textbook was the beginning textbook for ALL students in America from 1690 to the early 1900’s in public, private, semiprivate, home, parochial and all other types of schooling. All of our Founding Fathers learned how to read using the New England Primer and the Bible. Over the 200+ years that it was used, there were very few changes made to the book. This book did not change in that 200+ years period of time except more reading and vocabulary words were added but the core of the Primer - its rhyming alphabet, the Bible alphabet, its Bible questions and Shorter Catechism remained intact from reprint to reprint. This book was so important to our Founding Fathers that they endorsed this book and had it reprinted so that their children would be educated with the same book. Noah Webster who wrote part of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Samuel Adams, the Father of the American Revolution, were all responsible for reprints of the New England Primer so it would be available to their children in their generation.
When our nation attained freedom from Britain, we can see all of the Biblical teachings come into play in the developing of our Constitution and the laws of our land. The Declaration of Independence is the most successful document in the world.
No other nation has been governed by a document longer than we have by the Declaration of Independence. Political scientists tell us that our Constitution was based on the same book that was used to write the Declaration of Independence and that book was The Two Treatises of Civil Government by John Locke. The revisionist historians of today say that he was a deist, but he was actually a theologian. He wrote the first topical Bible. He did a book on a verse by verse study of the Bible. He wrote a book titled “The Reasonableness of Christianity”, he helped write the constitution of Carolina. John Locke’s book, The Two Treatises of Civil Government, was the basis for the most successful government document ever written, the Constitution of the United States. Is it any wonder that our government has been the most successful in the world? John Adams - “The general principles for which we achieved independence are the general principles of Christianity.”
After we won our independence we began to print Bibles, something that we were not allowed to do while under the rule of Britain. The British government told us what Bible we could use and what could be taught and how it would be taught. This is why the government was to stay out of the church. The very first act of Congress was a 4 hour prayer meeting followed by a sermon that John Adams mentioned to his wife, Abigail, as to how moving it was for him and other members of Congress. One of the other items that Congress did was apportion money for the printing of Bibles. The record of Congress states that this printing will be “A meet addition to the Holy Scriptures for use in our public schools.” This was a printing of the Bible under the supervision of Congress for use in our public schools.
This statement was printed on the inside cover of that Bible: “Resolved that the United States and Congress assembled recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the Unites States.” Today the ACLU and others declare that our Founding Fathers demanded separation of church and state. This refutes ALL of their arguments.
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Education was deemed very important to the colonists and our Founding Fathers, but it was all based on the need to understand the Word of God. Today we educate without the benefit of the Word of God and we are experiencing the folly of omitting the foundation for knowledge. It is time we re-think how we attempt to gain knowledge.
© 2010 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFeeSpeech.org