“The Rock Of Nation Building”

Listen to or read this week’s “Think About It” Radio Program: “The Rock Of Nation Building”

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During the Revolutionary War, some Delaware Indian Chiefs brought three young people to General George Washington, asking that they be taught in American schools.  General Washington responded:

“…You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.  These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.  Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.”

(May 12, 1779.  The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources: 1749-1799, “Address to Delaware Indian Chiefs”, (Bureau of National Literature and Art, 1907, ed., John C. Fitzpatrick)

This statement gives us great insight into the way Washington thought about several issues of our day:  And his thinking was typical of all our Founders.

The statement reveals that America’s Founders believed their way of living was better than the natives of America.  He reveals this when he says, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life…”   America’s Founders believed that their way of life, based on the teachings of the Bible, was the best the world had ever seen up unto that time.  They believed if Jesus Christ was the Creator of man, then his teachings would reveal the best way for man to live.  That didn’t mean they couldn’t learn even more from their Creator and make their country even better.  They most certainly believed that.  But they did believe that a culture based on Christianity would bring more liberty and prosperity to individuals within it than any other type culture.  Neither did it mean that they couldn’t learn certain things from the Indians.  It was an Indian, Squanto, who had taught their Pilgrim ancestors to live in this wilderness.  Washington’s statement simply reveals that they believed their Christian-based culture, as a whole, was the better of the two.

You say, “Don, how do you know they believed a Christian culture was better?”  Look at the rest of Washington’s statement.  He tells the Chiefs:  “You do well to wish to learn our…ways of life, and above all the religion of Jesus Christ.”  He’s telling them the most important thing they can learn from his people is “…the religion of Jesus Christ,” and the way of living produced by that religion.  Our Founders believed firmly that the wisest and happiest people would be those who learned and walked in the teachings of Jesus Christ.  That’s why he further says to the Chiefs:  “…These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”

Now consider something revealed in Washington’s statement that the “politically correct crowd” would go ‘bananas’ about.  He told the Chiefs they were doing well to want their sons educated in our schools and learning the religion of Jesus Christ.  The obvious truth is that Christianity was taught in the schools of that day!  The ACLU would not have liked that statement!  But the fact is, the Founders would not even allow states from the Northwest Territory to come into the Union unless Christianity was taught in the schools of those territories.

Washington reveals the government’s involvement in this teaching of Christianity in the schools when he declares to the Chiefs:  “Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.”

There you have it.  Christianity produced great minds.  And Christianity, as a way of living, built the greatest nation in world history.

Our Founders believed the words of Jesus when He said,

“The wise man built his house on the rock…” (Matthew 7:24)

Are you building your life, your household, on the “Rock of Jesus Christ”?

Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—

and for your children!  And you won’t like what that brings to you.  I’m Don Pinson this has been Think About It.