A bright light in History

Are you aware of the important place that the Bible played in the early history of our nation? What influence does the Bible have today in governing our personal lives and governmental practices?

The Continental Congress was closely related to the American Bible Society. Elias Boudinot was the president of the Continental Congress in 1782 and the first president of the American Bible Society.

Our sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams, also had a role in the American Bible Society. On April 27, 1837, Adams wrote, “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this—it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.” The author of our National Anthem, Francis Scott Key, was the vice president of the American Bible Society from 1817 until his death in 1843. It has been reported that the Continental Congress purchased 2,000 copies of the Bible from the American Bible Society for the people of this nation.

On September 19, 1796, George Washington indicated the impossibility of trying to govern the world without God and the Bible. He said, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

One of the most influential educational tools was they Readere McGuffey Reader, written by William Holmes McGuffey. Public schools used it for over 100 years. It sold over one million copies each year. President Lincoln called him, “the Schoolmaster to the Nation.” McGuffey said, “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.”

In 1782, the Congress authorized the first American printing of an English language Bible in the U.S. In response to a lawsuit in 1844 involving the teaching of the Bible in a school, the Supreme Court ruled, “Why should not the Bible and especially the New Testament…be read and taught as a divine revelation in the school? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”   

Do you remember singing a little song as a child, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me! I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!” Could there be more wisdom in that verse of that childhood song than the advanced degrees of education that we are issuing today?Discuss with your friends, family, coworkers, these questions: 

1.) Are we smarter than our forefathers? 

2.) Has the Bible changed or have we changed?

3.) What place do you think the Bible should play in our political and educational system today?

4.) What are some things our 116th Congress today could learn from the leaders of the Continental Congress?

How bright is the light for your path today? (Psalm 119:105)

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Over The Cliff

By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

Editor’s Note: This post appeared today, Thursday, December 27, 2012, on John Ed Mathison’s Leadership Ministries blog.

We close out 2012 with our attention on the fiscal cliff. I don’t understand all the dynamics of this, but I do have the image in mind of a cliff and the potential of going over it.

I don’t know if Congress will do anything to avoid it. It seems to me like sensible people Continue reading


Will Congress Reduce Government?


Open Letter To My Liberal Democrat Friends

I deeply regret that some of the things I post about Obama and his Democratically controlled Congress make you uncomfortable or angry. Some of you who write me comments and emails seem to be offended and take my remarks personally. I’m sorry you get so upset and respond so defensively.

I’d like to offer a few thoughts for you to consider as you read this letter and my future posts and tweets:

Continue reading