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All thinking people agree that education is the key to what the next generation becomes. What a child learns before he is six years old is probably going to determine his methods of doing things for the rest of his life. It is simply impossible to over-estimate the value of teaching children what is right. Ben Franklin said of those who taught children,
“I think…that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven.”
(Franklin, Benjamin. August 23, 1750, in a letter to Dr. Samuel Johnson, President of King’s College [now Columbia University]. Verna M. Hall, The Christian History of the American Revolution [San Francisco: Foundation for Christian Education, 1976], p. 221.)
Every reasonable person would agree with Mr. Franklin.
While we all agree that education is extremely important; we don’t all agree on what type of education is best to prepare children to fulfill the role for which they were created. This is where the ‘water hits the wheel’, so to speak. America became the greatest nation in world history, providing more liberty for the greatest number of people, as a result of her early education system. On the other hand, through the education system Hitler put into place early in his administration, Nazi Germany prepared young people to kill millions upon millions of innocent people. The type of education system a nation has makes all the difference!
What type system made America the greatest nation in all of history? What way of thinking created more liberty and prosperity for the greater number of people than any other nation had known? Some honest historical research will quickly answer that question; provided you read history books written before 1900. After that date most histories and analysis of our government are written from a ‘man-centered’ viewpoint. Consequently, the view of our earlier forefathers – the view that birthed and developed America – is either ignored, or scoffed at as being ‘non-intellectual’. And yet, the honest student of history cannot ignore the magnanimous accomplishments of our pioneers in this nation. In reality, it is only the ‘pseudo-intellectuals’ who refuse to let those founders speak for themselves.
Noah Webster was the Founder of America’s original education method. He wrote our first Dictionary. He knew 26 languages. It is said he could quote the entire Bible, chapter and verse! He was certainly one of the greatest intellectual giants America ever produced. He identified what the key element was in America’s early education system. He wrote:
“The Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields.”
(1840. Webster, Noah. “Our Christian Heritage” Letter from Plymouth Rock Foundation (Marlborough, NH: The Plymouth Rock Foundation), p. 5.)
This education system produced a better moral and disciplined people who lived for purpose instead of pleasure. There was not nearly the problem with alcohol, drugs, and illicit sex that we have today. When children are taught that God created them “in His image, after His likeness” to “have dominion” with Him (Genesis 1:26), they understand their life is a vessel through which God wants to extend Himself; it is not theirs to do with whatever they want. This is what liberty means: “freedom within boundaries”. With the boundaries of God’s Word protecting us from satan’s destructive forces, a people can live and work with purpose and commitment. Families can experience the best life possible on this earth. Children grow up in the security of life-long relationships between parents. They reproduce that in the next generation because they themselves were “brought up in the way they should go” and when they were older, they didn’t “depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Shouldn’t we again teach the Bible in our classrooms? Should not we teach it to our children in our homes?
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.