Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“If you meet me and forget me you have lost nothing, but if you meet Jesus Christ and forget Him, you have lost everything.” Anonymous.
The question haunts me during this national election season where vitriol seems to be the dominant theme, and just looking around at our nation and world, and the relativism, instead of absolute truth, which seems to be on the rise in our thinking.
It makes me wonder if we have forgotten.
I wondered about that as my eyes fell on the words “Est. 1636” embroidered on a neat tee-shirt our son Nathan gave me a few years ago when he returned from a Cambridge reunion with many of his Harvard Law School classmates. Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, my son’s alma mater, Harvard University, chartered in 1636.
In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number one was that students seeking entrance must first know Latin and Greek to study the Scriptures so as to—
“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies, is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”
Couldn’t possibly forget that heritage could we? Or could we.
My eyes fell upon my copy of “McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer”, by William Holmes McGuffey, also the author of “The McGuffey Reader” and referred to by President Lincoln as the “Schoolmaster of the Nation.” Page fifty-nine asks the question of the young reader—
“Do you see that tall tree? Long ago it sprang up from a small nut. Do you know who made it do so?”
And then offers this answer—
“It was God, my child. God made the world and all things in it. He made the sun to light the day, and the moon to shine at night. God shows us that he loves us by all that he has done for us. Should we not then love him?”
The McGuffey Reader was used for over one hundred years in our public schools, with over one hundred and twenty-five million copies sold, until it was stopped in 1963. Our then Supreme Court body ruled Bible reading unconstitutional in our public school system with the reasoning that—
“…if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could and have been psychologically harmful to children.”
Really. Couldn’t possibly forget the roots of our Nation, could we?
Maybe we have forgotten?
I remembered the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, French statesman and scholar, derived from his work entitled “Democracy in America” written following his tour of America beginning in 1831 as he pondered to determine the secret of the genius and strength of America. He wrote—
“Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention…The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. Religion in America must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country. From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.”
I returned to the words of Abraham Lincoln on April 30, 1860, calling for a national day of humility, fasting and prayer when he said—
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven…But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
Couldn’t possibly be so today, could it?
But I wonder whether we have forgotten?
Could it possibly be a time to remember and return to the values of absolute truth upon which our nation was established—before it’s too late? For our children, grandchildren and the future of our nation.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.