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With more disrespect being shown to our flag, even within our own borders, it would do us well to revisit our heritage! Fort McHenry (where in 1812 a battle raged which inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner) was named after a man who served as a medical soldier in George Washington’s army, and later signed the U.S. Constitution. His name was James McHenry. While unknown to us today, James McHenry was one of those men who laid such a firm foundation for America that during the 1800’s it would grow to become the greatest nation on earth. James McHenry got his foundation from the Bible. In addition to his achievements just mentioned, he also served as a member of the Continental Congress, his state legislature, and the U.S. Secretary of War—and President of the Baltimore Bible Society! He had this to say about the Bible:
“…public [usefulness] pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise…can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness.
“In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments.”
He then said about the reading of the Bible,
“Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience…It is a book of councils and directions, fitted to every situation in which man can be placed…”
(McHenry, James. Bernard Steiner, One Hundred and Ten Years of Bible Society in Maryland (Maryland: Maryland Bible Society, 1921), p. 14. Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Pub., Inc., 1987), pp. 171-172.)
Did you notice how he associated the Bible with the state of society? Early Americans believed that only obedience to the Bible would produce morality which would then produce order and peace in society. Notice again how he said that “[Scripture truths] can alone secure to society, order and peace…” This is because only the removal of condemnation from the human heart can free a person, previously driven by selfishness, to become what God created him to be. And, contrary to what humanists teach in our universities and media, condemnation and guilt are not removed by denying that they are in the human heart. They are not removed by the message of “I’m okay, you’re okay”, which they preach in our schools, music, and movies. Rather, they are removed by admitting they are in our hearts, and receiving what Jesus did for us at the cross and by His resurrection as the only means of deliverance from them. This is why Romans 8:1 says,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Only Jesus can free us from the inner destruction of sin’s condemnation. He said,
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
And did you notice how James McHenry associated the Bible with the institutions of the culture? In our Founder’s mind, there was no disconnect between the Bible freeing us from personal destruction and from the Bible freeing the institutions of education, business, and government from destruction!
This is why Moses said of the Scriptures concerning education:
“…thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…”
This is why when Israel’s kings were inaugurated by the people they would hand him a copy of the Scriptures (2 Kings 11:12). The government was to be structured as the Scripture taught, and permeated with the spirit which the Scriptures taught. The Scriptures do not separate us from the institutions of education, business, and government; rather, they connect us and our future directly to them! Are you teaching this to your children?
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.