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A discussion of education in America, also published in print by The Alabama Gazette.

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George Washington The Father of Our Country

Bobbie Ames - Monday, May 01, 2017

His Character and Influence on our Nation, Part Two

As a young boy, George was educated at home. During two periods of time, he went to a local village school, but most of his education came from home by his father and older brothers, Lawrence and Augustine. Throughout his life, he praised his mother and acknowledged the great debt that he owed her for the daily habits and faithfulness of her love of Scripture. They quoted it daily together in the home. The "Rules of Civility" that his father brought back from the school in England were lived out in his life, throughout his life. The book has been published and re-published in America even until today. I have a copy of the 110 Rules of conduct, published in the l980's, which I treasure.

George was visiting cousins 18 miles away when his father became critically ill, and he was rushed home. His father died the next day, April 12, 1743. Imagine the shock to them all, and the burden placed on Mary Washington. We are fortunate to have many records, and some in amazing detail of his outstanding Christian mother. The early death of her husband proved her Christian character was firmly grounded, and that her industriousness enabled her to manage a huge burden of responsibilities with amazing ability and without great material resources. Lawrence, in describing his step-mother, wrote "of her well ordered household." He spoke of George's love of his mother, and of her trust in Divine Providence for her son. Those closest to Mary Washington knew that everyday, without fail, she went to a secluded spot for her special prayer time. We can imagine how much of the prayer was for her son, so often in danger, and always with staggering responsibilities.

One can imagine how difficult it was for George, after his father's death, to manage the school work and the farm labor. The serious study of agriculture had long interested him and the fascination of growing tobacco was a great learning experience for him, as he worked alongside the farm workers. The tiny little tobacco plants had to be transplanted in long field rows, weeds had to be controlled, and George had to master the skills to inspire the workers. So many journalists have poured over his notebooks, still in the Washington Archives.

After August Washington's death, there had to be an inventory of his possessions. The entire list is available for us to review. The remarkable thing about looking over the list is to see how very simply this family lived. There is no evidence of elegance, of elaborate home furnishings. Everything was adequate but not ornate. George had a great inheritance, none the less. His life was full of energy, courage, wisdom, influence, and always...assurance of eternal life. All of the research of the several centuries, documents the fact, that George's entire life shows that his parents gave their "all" to form the Christian character in their son. As we study his life, we see that he never, NEVER, misused his power as Commander in Chief in the American Revolution or as President of the United States. Never did he bully his contemporaries or even act "less" than the gentleman that he was. He never misused his authority.

One of the first "grown up books" that he referred to was a book that focused on living out Christianity. It was by the Rev. Thomas Comber and titled, Discourses. On the first page, he would have read these words: "Prayer is the lifting up of the soul, to converse with God and a means to obtain all of His blessings." He read about confessing one's sins, and being assured of being forgiven. Scriptures were explained thoroughly, such as in "The Lord's Prayer" and multitudes of Old and New Testament passages. The Anglican Church in that day reflected the great teaching of the Reformation.

His First Great Achievement for His Nation

In the fall of 1753, French forces had taken command of the Ohio Valley. Governor Dinwiddie searched for someone to deliver a letter to the French commander, that this territory was British territory, and that the French must withdraw. George, now 21 years old, volunteered to carry the letter. This was a one thousand mile wilderness journey undertaken during the winter months. His guide was Christopher Gist, referred to as "the most experienced frontiersman trader of the day." Both men left a written account of the journey, relating the contacts with the Indians, including their efforts at managing Indian diplomacy. The cold was so severe, that Gist wrote of having all of his fingers and some toes frozen. At one time during the journey, they constructed a raft, but had only one small hatchet and no other tools. They wrote of being thrown off the raft at one point.

Because of this experience and his faithfulness, George would later serve as an aide to Governor Bradford in another expedition against the French. The battle was chaos and ended in defeat for George's forces. This would be the only defeat that George would experience throughout his life.

Greatly respected by now, George was chosen at age 23, to head the position of Commander in Chief of the Frontier Forces of Virginia. For three long years he fought against the French and Indian forces. Everyday there was a fight for food, for munitions, for uniforms, for transport, for military equipment, and for wages to pay his men. Through these experiences he learned the greatest lesson of all: that discipline and self-government is the very soul of an army. In these three years, he was being trained to lead the American Revolution.

Washington Irving's Life of Washington, has a steel engraving showing George Washington as a young man. A man who knew Washington well, wrote, after seeing the engraving,"It is the best likeness of the Chief, the one of all others most resembling him."

Perhaps His Greatest Achievement

For eight long years, he carried this burden, inspired his soldiers, fought the British and displayed genius in leading his army to victory. Sometimes overlooked is the confidence of the folk back home in whom he had instilled total trust, by his faith, by his leadership, and by his vision for our new nation.

The world was watching. There had never been a Revolution like this one. Ours should be called The War for Independence, for that is what it was. The only objective was freedom for the new nation. He trained his leaders carefully, and they in turn, trained the troops for the entire army. Discipline and courage prevailed. Military experts claim that George Washington accomplished more with less resources than any military leader in world history. He determined to have a Union of 13 Colonies, where each one retained their liberty and rule of law.

The tragedies suffered at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777 and 1778, were beyond our ability even to comprehend such suffering. Supplies were lacking, pay was 4-5 months behind, and there were no barracks, huts, or shelters. The tents were hardly shelters and winter had set in. Food and clothing were far from adequate. The fact that several thousand soldiers remained to endure such pain can only be explained by Washington's leadership. He walked among the troops during the night hours. They saw tears on many occasions and wrote about it. The Valley Forge story gives us a glimmer of the price that many paid for our liberty. Looking back over that time period, Washington later wrote, "Naked and starving though they were, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiers."

U. S. Senator Albert J. Beveridgge made a thorough study of Washington's life, career and achievements. He concluded from his study, "Washington was the soul of the American cause. Washington was the government. Washington was the Revolution."

The Senator was correct in his assessment. George Washington was the only American leader that we could name who had the total trust of the American people. They had complete trust in his leadership and he instilled in them a trust for the Union being formed for their liberty. Under different leadership, we may never have had the Constitution that we have today, where the colonies retained their liberty and rule of law, and the Union did as well. Thanks to Washington's leadership, the Constitution became a reality. He instilled assurance and confidence that this was God's Providence for the new nation. Thirty of the 55 delegates to the Convention had been officers under his command during the Revolution. Think about that.

Within the new government, there were warring factions. Washington had the patience and wisdom to cut through the chaos, reaching out to the ordinary citizens. At the opening of the Constitutional Convention, Washington is quoted as saying. "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair, the outcome is in the hand of God." John Fiske wrote about Washington's influence throughout the convention, speaking of "Washington's glorious spirit."

It is likely that Washington would have liked to retire to his farm after the war was over. However, he had been prepared Providentially to take the Presidency. He was the only man in whom every state could place their trust. By this time, he had the respect of many foreign nations. His sincerity and modesty was evident at his Inauguration. In his first official act, he promised "my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the council of nations, and whose Providential aids can supply every human defect."

Looking over his two terms as President, he prayed for our nation: "That Heaven may continue to grant you the choicest tokens of His beneficence----that your union and brotherly affection be perpetual--that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained--that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue--that in time, the happiness of the people of these states under the auspices of Liberty may be made complete."

I want to quote one of the two scholars who founded the Foundation for American Christian Education in the 1960s in San Francisco, California. They compiled more primary research on Washington that any current foundation in the nation. Their book referenced below is a treasure. Quoting Verna Hall on the subject of Washington's character:

"If one is not himself knowledgeable of the admonitions in the Bible, the fruits of the Spirit, the fruits of the flesh, he cannot fully comprehend the life of George Washington. Additionally, even a Christian must not judge Washington from a doctrinal or sectarian prejudice, otherwise, the full wonder of this Bible-Christian life cannot be recognized. George Washington is unique, but not unique from his times. He is the natural product of a Bible believing people. If one would really know George Washington, he must be a Bible-believing scholar such as he." Verna M. Hall, Foundation for American Christian Education.

Virginia gave us this inspired man--This unblemished gentleman---What can we give her back but love and praise?” James Russell Lowell

Valley Forge, 1777, "Let vice and immorality of every kind be discouraged as much as possible in your regiment, and see, as a Chaplain is allowed to it, that the men regularly attend Worship. Gaming of every kind is expressly forbid as the foundation of evil, and the ruin of many a brave, and good officer. Games of exercise for amusement, may be not only allowed, but encouraged." George Washington

The Marquis De Lafayette arrived from France in 1777 and developed a Father–Son relationship with George Washington. He fought in many battles and was wounded at Brandywine. His love for Washington led him to name his own son, George Washington Lafayette.

Recommended reading: The Making of GEORGE WASHINGTON by William Wilber.

The book, George Washington, The Character And Influence of One Man is available at Emerald Mountain Christian School by calling Bobbie Ames at 398-1141. It is also available from the publisher, The Foundation for American Christian Education, through their website at FACE.Net.


George Washington The Father of Our Country

Bobbie Ames - Saturday, April 01, 2017

 

The Building of His Character, Part One

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, to Augustine and Mary Ball Washington, in the family homestead of Bridges Creek, land not far from the Potomac River. George’s father had been married before to Jane Butler, but only two of their three children survived, Lawrence and Augustine Jr. Their mother died in 1728, and August remarried in 1730 to Mary, the daughter of Col. Ball. They had four sons, George, Samuel, John Augustine, and Charles, as well as two daughters, Elizabeth, called Betty, and Mildred, who died in infancy.

The Washington family had emigrated in the mid-1600s. Two brothers came together, John and Andrew Washington. They settled in the Virginia colony in 1657 and purchased land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. John became a leading figure in the Colony's public service, prominent in the House of Burgesses, and as a successful plantation manager. He served as a Colonel in the Virginia Militia.

George grew up on a plantation of vast fields of tobacco, corn, and potatoes, rolling pastures, mountains, rivers, and an extended family of slaves owned by his father. These were often his companions and dear friends. There was harmony in the large Washington household. The father was serious, quiet, and in charge in the most ideal way. The mother enjoyed that security, but she had her hands full managing her domain, which was very large and commanding.

As a very young little boy, George was taught to revere his family name. He was to regularly repeat from memory the Ten Commandments, which both mother and father participated in daily. They had a book, titled The Young Man's Companion, which taught manners. His father repeatedly emphasized that the Washington Family does not lie, does not steal, does not cheat. All of George Washington's life is an example of that conduct, early learned at his parents' knee. His father expected obedience, honesty, patriotism, loyalty, and individual responsibility. His mother had the patience and resolve to see that George carried out these expectations of his father on a daily basis.

The Negroes on the farm felt a moral responsibility as well. Whether they were household servants or worked in the fields, God was very real and personal to them. While we do not endorse slavery, it was very apparent from History, that George Washington enjoyed close relationships and deep friendships with many of these slaves.

George's older brothers, Lawrence and Augustine, left home in their mid-teen years to go to England for their education. George expected to do the same, but plans changed dramatically when his father died unexpectedly when George was just 12 years old. His mother was unwilling to allow George to leave home for the schooling in England that his brothers had. While visiting the brothers in England at the Appleby Grammar School, George's father had spent long hours with the Headmaster there, and had brought back to Virginia, numerous books of curricula. He was, of course, concerned for George's education, whether it be in England or at home.

George had shown evidence of maturity, but at his father's death, he assumed more responsibility and was guided in this by his brother Lawrence. Back from England, Lawrence was assuming the headship of the family, while guiding George to lead in his own home.

While he loved to roam the meadows and the fields, he had a great love for reading. One day he discovered a book from the Appleby Grammar School that had a long list of rules of conduct befitting a gentleman. He read the book and re-read it many times, copying every single rule in his own notebook. He would carry those rules in his heart and life, until his death. His notebook, with the rules carefully and neatly copied, exists today in the Washington Archives.

His parents were very involved and committed to his education, but there was no schooling in the area, such as the Appleby Grammar School. The school that his brothers attended in England focused on Character for Manhood, and promoted Christian Faith and Conduct. George had expected to go there, but we have no evidence that he was disappointed when the decision was made to remain at home. For a time, George attended the village school, guided by Hobby, the Sexton of the Parish, who was not a well-educated teacher.

Later, his mother decided to send George to live with his older brother Augustine, at Bridges Creek, where there was a fine village school led by Headmaster, Mr. Williams. His manuscript notebooks still exist and are neat as well as accurate. Washington Irving and numerous other writers of the Washington biographies write of viewing his notebooks. Some of these same writers tell of viewing documents of his financial matters later in life, and that his keeping of accounts and financial transactions are near perfect.

Do we now see how young children benefit from such teaching in childhood? And through these young years, we see George as a self-disciplined young man in physical and also mental matters. He was passionate about exercise, running, leaping, wrestling, pitching quoits, and tossing bars.

As a teenager, he was interested in learning surveying, in order to measure the land and site boundaries. He loved mathematics and was enthralled with the land that his family owned. Lawrence had taken a paternal interest in George after their father died, and George spent much time with him at Mt. Vernon.

His father in law, the Honorable William Fairfax, lived at Belvoir, not far from Mt. Vernon. William Fairfax was managing large land holdings for his cousin, Lord Fairfax. George observed as a teenager that land surveying was in great demand, and he schooled himself in his teens to pursue this opportunity. The Fairfax family would enter into helping him achieve success, in his teen years of surveying, which is hard even to imagine.

One of George's great learning experiences was being asked to assist his sister Betty, with her studies. Not only did it help him learn patience, it drew him ever closer to his sister, and that closeness remained throughout their lives.

The friendship with the Fairfax family was a mutual blessing for them all. When Lord Fairfax came from England to view his vast lands, making friends with young George Washington was a delight for him. George, not yet 16 years of age, showed modesty, but frankness. Because many of His Lordship’s lands had not been surveyed, George's passion for this made them look with favor in encouraging him, and later entering into contracts for the task. A few years later, George would receive the appointment of public surveyor at age 17.

In the next article, we will examine how George's character influenced the birth and growth of our Nation. Perhaps there will be some who will re-think Education today, and embrace Christian Education again, as it was in America's beginning.

 


The Declaration of Independence ~ July 4, 1776

Bobbie Ames - Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Christian Idea of Man and Government in America's History

Early in our country's history, the mother country caused great distress among her 'children.' They opposed the Declaratory Acts, the Stamp Act, and other measures. Among the opponents were the Whigs, Patriots, and the Sons of Liberty. Others submitted willingly to the Crown. Both sides claimed to conform to English royalty and be loyal to the British Constitution.

In reading the writings of Buchanan, Locke, Milton, Sidney, and other historians, we find what we call the "Christian idea of man," which embodies the very principles which formed the Declaration of Independence. It became our very own theory of government. Those who signed the document were mostly Whigs, prominent in their own localities. Whigs did not have a large majority of support in the beginning. They were strong in conviction, but that invited fierce opposition. These men were so strong and convicting in their arguments, that their number grew until it became a national party with tremendous influence.

The leading Tories, in opposition, still defended the principle of supremacy of existing law, and were indebted and loyal to the Crown for their positions. They defended arbitrary power. Over time, the Whigs were successful in creating a mass network of committees of correspondence. "Sons of Liberty," in opposition to the Stamp Act, marched with their banner, "Liberty, Property, and No Stamps."

In Richard Frothingham's The Rise of the Republic, we read that the "love of liberty under law was the reigning principle... they nurtured the idea that devotion to the cause of justice was a higher obligation than fidelity to the old flag, when it was used to cover despotic power. They revolved [pondered] the saying of a great patriot, that freedom and security, under Providence depended on themselves."

[Then] they turned to their own past history and to God's Word and reasoned, "that Englishmen in former ages had been justly renowned, and might turn the Great People to call on the name of the Lord, and to seek a redress of their grievances with the spear and lance at that glorious seat of justice, where Moses brought the Egyptians and Samson the Philistines."

Through the Declaration of Independence a new American system would be established, local government for the States and a national government for the Union. Each would have sovereignty, each in its own sphere. Americans were to be free from foreign influences and would acknowledge their rights coming from the Creator, inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We can affirm that the rights of the American system of government and culture come from the Christian idea of Man.

Fifty six patriots, true sons of liberty, signed the Declaration of Independence. Have you ever wondered who these men were, and what happened to them after signing this document of our liberty?

For years we have circulated a document sent out in this generation by the National Federation of Independent Business. Their office is located in Washington, D.C. The document, titled "The Price They Paid," we quote in part:

"What kind of men were they?" Twenty five were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers or large plantation owners. These were men of means and education. Yet, they signed the Declaration knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

When these courageous men signed, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of freedom and independence.

Richard Stockton returned to New Jersey in the fall of 1776 to find the state overrun with the enemy. He removed his wife to safety, but was himself captured. His home, his fine library, his writings... all were destroyed. Stockton was so badly treated in prison that his health was ruined, and he died before the war's end.

Carter Braxton was a wealthy planter and trader. One by one, his ships were captured by the British Navy. He loaned a huge sum of money to the American cause, it was never repaid. He was forced to sell his plantations and mortgage his other property to pay his debts.

Thomas McKean was so hounded by the British that he had to move his family, almost constantly. He served in the Continental Congress, without pay, and kept his family in hiding.

Vandals or soldiers, or both, looted the properties of William Ellery, George Clymer, Lyman Hall, Thomas Heyward, Arthur Middleton, Benjamin Harrison, Francis Hopkinson, and Philip Livingston.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British general, Cornwallis, had taken over the family home for his headquarters. Nelson urged George Washington to open fire on his own home. This was done and the home was destroyed. Nelson later died bankrupt.

Frances Lewis also had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife for two months, and that with other hardships so affected her health that she died two years later.

"Honest" John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside when she was near death. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. Hart's fields and his grist mill were laid waste. While eluding capture, he never knew where his bed would be the next night. He often slept in forests and caves. When he returned home, he found that his wife had died, and his children were gone.

Such were the stories and sacrifices typical of those who risked everything to sign the Declaration of Independence. These men were not wild-eyed ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance of the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) was one of the youngest signers of the Declaration in 1776. He was a distinguished physician and scientist who held the first chemistry professorship in America. In 1770, he published the first American chemistry textbook, A Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry. He established the first free dispensary in America, and published the first American work on mental disorders in 1813. He also helped form the first abolition society in America. He was appointed by President John Adams as the Treasurer of the U.S. Mint in 1797.

His passion for the Bible as the basic textbook in schools, is understood in the context of his personal faith and passion for God's Word. Throughout his life, he was an advocate for the Bible as the source of knowledge.

Quoting from Benjamin Rush's writings and speakings,

1. "Christianity is the only true and perfect religion; and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts they will be wise and happy.

2. That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way.

3. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.

4. That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.

5. That the Bible, when not read in school, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.

My arguments in favor of the Bible as a schoolbook are founded."

As a Scientist, Rush declared, "The memory is the first faculty which opens in the mind of children. Of how much consequence, then, must it be to impress it with the great truths of Christianity... so necessary for our happiness." Rush was very aware that many in the field of Science were skeptics and this made him even more passionate about the necessity of the Bible as a school text book in America's schools. He spoke with passion, "We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican form of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitutes the soul of republicanism."

Today, our challenge as Americans is to restore our heritage of this Christian Idea of Man and Government, as mandated by the God of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian religion. This writer has spent a lifetime in education that focuses on the Christian idea of man and government, through the Christian education of children.


The Origin of Old Glory

Bobbie Ames - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The story of the Stars and Stripes is the story of our nation. It is the story of freedom, liberty, and equal justice under the law. Our flag has gone through the evolution of our ideas and of our free institutions. The flag is our symbol, our emblem for our ideas, our faith, and our laws.

In our early days when we were thirteen British colonies, the banners borne by the Revolutionary forces varied widely.

The local flags and colonial devices, displayed on land and sea during the first months of the American War for Independence, carried the various grievances that the colonists had against the Mother Country.

The first public reference to the flag was published on March 10, 1774. A Boston newspaper, "The Massachusetts Spy," ran this poem as a tribute to the flag:

"A ray of bright glory now beams from afar, Blest drawn of an empire to rise: The American Ensign now sparkles a star, Which shall shortly flame wide through the skies."

In the summer of 1775, when George Washington had been appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces for the defense of American Liberty, the Continental Congress was still corresponding with King George to present their grievances.

However, by the fall of 1775, the revolting citizens chose a flag that reflected their feeling of unity with the Mother Country, but expressed their demand to obtain justice and liberty.

In Taunton, Massachusetts, a flag was unfurled in 1774, which carried the British Jack in the canton, and had the words "Liberty and Union" printed on it.

The famous Rattlesnake Flag, carried by the Minutemen in 1775, showed thirteen red and white stripes with a rattlesnake emblazoned across it, and the warning, "Don't Tread on Me."

In 1775, the banner that flew over Fort Moultrie displayed a crescent on a blue field with the word "Liberty" printed in white. When this flag was shot down by enemy muskets, a brave sergeant named Jasper nailed it back to the staff at the risk of his life.

The Pine Tree Flag, which flew over the troops at Bunker Hill in 1775, displayed the pine tree symbol of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was a white flag with top and bottom stripe of blue, and it showed a green pine tree with the words, "Liberty Tree---An Appeal to God."

The first flag to represent the colonies at sea was raised by John Paul Jones from the deck of the Alfred on December 3, 1775. One month later, George Washington displayed the same design and named it the Grand Old Flag. This was on January 2, 1776. It had thirteen alternate red and white stripes and a blue field with the crosses of Saint Andrew and Saint George on it.

After July 4, 1776, the people of the colonies felt the need for a new flag-one that would be a national flag, an emblem of unity and independence. The Continental Congress acted:

"Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate with red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field. The significance of the colors was defined thus:

White signified Purity and Innocence, Red, hardiness and Valor; Blue, Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice."

Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Continental Congress, is credited with having designed the American Flag.

Betsy Ross, the flag maker in Philadelphia, is credited by historians of the period with having made the first flag and having suggested that the stars be five pointed. Betsy Ross' home in Philadelphia is a national shrine, and the flag flies on a staff from her 3rd floor window. Her grandson, William J. Canby, wrote in 1857, that he vividly recalled as a boy of 11 being told the story by his 84 year old grandmother, Betsy Ross.

"It is not tradition, it is report from the lips of the principal participator in the transaction, directly told not to one or two, but a dozen or more witnesses, of which I myself am one, though but a little boy when I heard it... Colonel Ross with Robert Morris and General Washington, called on Mrs. Ross and told her they were a committee of Congress, and wanted her to make a flag from the drawing, a rough one, which, upon her suggestions, was redrawn by General Washington in pencil in her back parlor. This was prior to the Declaration of

Independence. I fix the date to be during Washington's visit to Congress from New York in June, 1776, when he came to confer upon the affairs of the Army, the flag being no doubt, one of these affairs."

There is in the Archives of the Navy an order "for making ship colors" for 14 pounds, 12 shillings and 2 pence, to Elizabeth Ross of Philadelphia.

The Marine Committee adopted on June 14, 1777, the theme of the red and white striped Union flag of Holland to the flag of the thirteen United States of America. Ezra Stiles, President of Yale University, recorded in his diary the resolution passed by Congress in 1777:

"The Congress have substituted a new constella of thirteen stars instead of the Union in the Continental Colors."

On May 1, 1795, our flag was changed to 15 stars and 15 stripes with the inclusion of Vermont(1791) and Kentucky(1792) into the Union. It was the flag that was "so gallantly streaming" over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner." This flag flew from 1795 to 1818 for 23 years. Five presidents served under this flag; George Washington (1789-1797), John Adams (1797-1801), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817), and James Monroe (1817-1825).

During the night of September 13, 1814, the British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland. Francis Scott Key, a 34 year old lawyer-poet, watched the attack from the deck of the British prisoner-exchange ship. He had gone to seek the release of a friend, but they were refused permission to go ashore until the attack had been made. On the following morning, Key turned his telescope to the fort and saw that the American flag was still waving. The sight so inspired him that he pulled a letter from his pocket and began to write the poem, which eventually was adopted as the national anthem of the United States – "The Star-Spangled Banner." Key was returned to Baltimore and later that day took a room at a Baltimore tavern, where he completed the poem. Years later, Key told a hometown audience in Fredrick, Maryland:

"I saw the flag of my country waving over a city – the strength and pride of my native State – a city devoted to plunder and desolation by its assailants. I witnessed the preparation for its assaults. I saw the array of its enemies as they advanced to the attack. I heard the sound of battle; the noise of the conflict fell upon my listening ear, and told me that 'the brave and the free' had met the invaders.

On April 4, 1818, Congress enacted the following law which is still in effect:

"An Act to Establish the Flag of the United States. Sec. 1. Be it enacted. Etc., That from and after the fourth day of July next, the flag of the United States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the union have twenty stars, white in a blue field. Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, That on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag; and that such addition shall take effect on the fourth of July next succeeding such admission."

The First Flag Flown in Battle

Fort Stanwix, New York, August 3, 1777. The city of Rome, New York is the spot where Fort Stanwix was situated. On August 2nd, British and Indians attacked the fort, which was defended by Colonel Peter Gansevoort with 600 men. Lt. Col. Mellon arrived at the fort that afternoon, with ammunition and supplies, and he also brought newspapers that carried the accounts of the newly enacted flag resolution.

Soldiers gave up their white shirts. One of the wives at the fort donated her red flannel petticoat, and Captain Abraham Swartwout's coat made of blue cloth was donated to provide the blue field for the union.

In the Battle for Guilford Courthouse, March 15, 1781, was the first time the "Stars and Stripes" were carried by the North Carolina Militia of the American Army in the Revolutionary War. It had thirteen eight pointed stars.

A bronze historical marker, close to the Detroit River, identifies the spot where the first American flag was raised along the Great Lakes on July 25, 1791.

When George Washington transferred his army from Boston to New York, he carried the "Grand Flag" with him, and raised it over his headquarters.

On April 24, 1778, John Paul Jones wrote, "Following the first naval victory, I hoisted the 'American Stars'."

When the army was established in 1789, the colors carried by the army consisted of a blue field embroidered with an eagle. During the War of 1812, the flag contained an eagle in whose breast was a striped shield. As each state was admitted to the Union, the stars around the eagle's head were rearranged to include the new star.

In 1834, the artillery and the 184th infantry were given permission to carry the colors.

Each state flag conveys her individuality. Alabama's flag consists of a diagonal cross, and the square shape of the flag recalls the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, organized in Montgomery in February of 1861. Alabama entered the Union in December 1819 as the 22nd state.

Flag Day celebrates the birthday of our Flag, June 14, 1777. By the 1890s Flag Day was a popular event. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day. However, it was not until 1949 that Congress made it a permanent observance, although not an official federal holiday. President Harry Truman signed it into law.

Food for our thought. Isaiah 5:26 "He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth...Here they come, swiftly and speedily."

Sources for further study: Our Flag House Document 100-247, U.S. Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Compilation of M.R. Bennett nationally known author of The Hidden Garden, and March Steele-Daughter of the American Revolution. F.A.C.E. Foundation for American Christian Education, FACE.net, Chesapeake, VA.

Further reference: Bobbie Ames, Emerald Mountain Christian School, P. O. Box 241405, Montgomery, AL 36124.


The Road Ahead for America

Bobbie Ames - Sunday, January 01, 2017

"If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3

Divine Providence is God Himself, directing History, through individuals, nations, and even in using Nature for Gospel purpose. America is a unique nation, in that we were founded through reliance on Providential History and we rejoiced in the Liberty that resulted; both religious and civil liberty.

Today, all of this is in danger, and American citizens are perplexed, confused, and mostly ineffective in the public square. There is an explanation for it all, and it centers in family life today, and in American education. Impacted also is the church of today, which is too often silent. Dr. Al Mohler had addressed this in his wonderful book, "We Cannot Be Silent." We recommend it highly.

Last month our Gazette article focused on the FACE conference in Virginia, in which our school ministry was honored. This is the Christian education program of the Foundation for American Christian Education. Theirs is the strongest Christian Education program in America that is consistent with Biblical Providential History. Early generations of Americans were so confident and knowledgeable about God's merciful Providence that the spiritual life and the cultural life merged without conflict and confusion. Schooling was based on God's Word as infallible. /FACE. net is the website to find more information and their educational materials that are available. No source in America has more of America's true Christian History and Education curricula for every age. We urge readers to check out the site: /FACE.net.

Their teaching consultant is Dr. Max Lyons, who is graciously available to answer questions. Also available is the Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary, which is based on the English language of Liberty. I consider this extremely valuable for understanding Liberty and Christian History.

In today's culture, Christians are commanded to keep their spiritual life in the closet, and not invade the current culture of secularism. How have we come so far from the individual liberty that no other nation on earth has enjoyed?

Our Founding Fathers were taught Biblical law, and through that, they established a Constitutional government with limited powers. They assured the individual with rights of private property, freedom of conscience, and a free market, free enterprise system.

Families were responsible for the education of their children, and many of them were schooled at home. Local communities formed local schools, which reflected the Christian world view that the vast majority of families embraced.

James Madison declared that "Religion is the basis and foundation of government......before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe."

John Adams declared, "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

What about public education today? The totally secular school has expelled God and His Word from the classroom and the textbooks. With moral absolutes omitted from the teaching, how can we attain moral character? It is no wonder that modern secular education is a threat to the American Christian Church and the Christian home.

This writer graduated from high school in 1948, and into our classrooms we were already being introduced to a conflict between Science and Religion. "Strange" theories, at least they were 'strange' to southern children at that time, were the writings of Hegel and Dewey, and others. John Dewey's "Experimentalism" rejected Supernaturalism, as did Rousseau. He followed Darwin in Evolutionary Science.

The influence of John Dewey is tremendous, with his embracing humanism, rationalism, and naturalism. With his current following in public education, it is no surprise that moral absolutes are missing from today's classrooms. The all-out WAR on true education continues. I read recently that we left the Bible's "Gospel of John" and turned to the "Gospel of John........Dewey" in Education. What a tragedy it has been to rob American children of their rightful heritage of individual religious and civil liberty.

More than 90% of American children know nothing of their rightful heritage as heirs of a Christian Constitutional Republic. Little do they know of the Pilgrims' landing at Plimouth in search of religious and civil liberty. They have never read the historical account written by William Bradford, governor of Plimouth Colony from 1620-1649. These devout Christians were known as the "stepping stones" of Liberty With their passion for true liberty, came Christian self-government, the value of Conscience, as well as the formation of a political union for government.

Scholars Misses Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater spent many decades writing from primary sources, the true Christian History of America. Their curriculum forms the basis for hundreds of Christian schools, known as Principle Approach Schools. Our school is one of the many indebted to those ladies and to their continuing Foundation. Our Emerald Mountain Christian School campus is blessed in its 51st year of school history. Our beginning was in 1965, in Marion, Alabama. It has been liberating throughout the years to use the FACE curriculum, and to have faculty and staff who have been serious students themselves throughout the process. We love and appreciate them all greatly.

Parents face a dilemma today about educating their children. Christians are commanded in Proverbs 22:6 to "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

And Romans 12:2 has this solemn warning, "Be not conformed to this world...," but rather, as admonished in Lev. 25:10, "...proclaim Liberty throughout the land...."


Verna Hall Research Award 2016 Recipient: Ms. Bobbie Ames

Bobbie Ames - Thursday, December 01, 2016

Verna Hall Research Award 2016 Recipient Mrs. Bobbie Ames

Chesapeake, Virginia – November 11, 2016 - Acknowledging outstanding lifetime achievement in education and America's Christian history has been the purpose of the Foundation for American Christian Education for over fifty years. Periodically, the Foundation awards an individual of distinguished service with the Verna Hall Research Award. This year the recipient of this prestigious award is Alabama native and leader in Christian education Bobbie Mae Hackney Ames of Montgomery, Alabama.

Delegates at the "Reason for Hope" Conference held November 11-12 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, gave Mrs. Bobbie Ames a resounding ovation as they heard the story of Mrs. Ames' accomplishments in founding and establishing Christian schools, in political and community service, and in her scholarly writing for publication in Christian history and government. Conference participant, Carey Dudkovsky, Executive Vice-President of the Foundation for American Christian Education said, "Mrs. Ames' life and work are an inspiration to parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, and scholars."

Mrs. Ames was born in Washington, North Carolina, attended Greensboro College, then East Carolina Teacher's College, now East Carolina University, majoring in Elementary Education. She married John Brewer Ames in 1950 and lived in Selma, Alabama and later in Marion, Alabama while raising their five children, Elizabeth, John Jr., David, Laurie, and Jim Hackney. Today, there are 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Ames founded Perry County Christian School in 1965, where Mrs. Ames taught and was the school administrator. She pursued graduate work in Library Science and a Masters Degree in School Administration.

Over the years, Bobbie was active in Republican political circles, having served as President of the Federation of Republican Women at the county and state levels, and as Republican National Committeewoman from Alabama, from 1968-1972.

Mrs. Ames built a library at Emerald Mountain Christian School to preserve and to assure vital and pure research with over 45,000 volumes in the collection. This valuable research source has enabled her to write for an area newspaper, The Alabama Gazette, for the last six years writing on issues of education and history from the Biblical worldview.

Today Emerald Mountain Christian School's mission has expanded into an outreach and research division called "The Hoffman Education Center for the Family." Son David Ames is the headmaster of the school with the very able help of Joanna, his wife.

The Foundation for American Christian Education commends the life and contribution of Mrs. Ames to the field of Biblical Classical education and America's Christian History and Heritage.

Press Release from the Foundation for American Christian Education.

FACE.com

 


FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY TODAY: THE IMPACT OF OUR PILGRIM HERITAGE SHOULD BE RESTORED

Bobbie Ames - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The England of the Pilgrim Fathers

By the later 16th Century, England was going through a process of changing society from the old traditional one to a modern one. The influence of the Renaissance had awakened the English people to ask new questions about, not only their culture, but about their government as well.

Blessed and enlightened by John Wycliffe and other Reformers, "The Englishman had access to the Scripture in his own language, and he was embracing the ideas of the Protestant Reformation. The speed of the Printing press enabled dramatic ideas to be spread so widely and enthusiastically, that we might call it a spiritual revolution. This was accompanied by an economic revolution as well. The expansion of industry and commercialism was developing what we know as Capitalism. It is evident that all of this would change the entire social structure of the land as well."

The Nobility and the Aristocrats saw their way of life threatened by these changes. The "country gentlemen" had considered their contribution as the "back bone " of society. Everything was changing.

Poverty had been a problem throughout their history, but now, it became more visible as farming decreased and industry increased. Many of the "visibly" poor congregated in cities. There were different attitudes about these people. Some viewed them as "God's misfortunates." Some viewed it as a "holy state."

The Puritan ethic about work was spread widely. The idea spread that we glorify the Lord by our work, and that it is a "calling" to be pursued. Puritans taught about a Paternal Order. Servants must obey their master, but the master must care for the servants. They taught that it is every man's responsibility to care for the unfortunate ones.

The legacy of these ideas and movements dramatically affected the Pilgrims as they came West, bringing the Reformation as their core values and intent.

The impact of the Pilgrim Fathers on our early History is not often shared today. Public Education had abandoned this glorious Christian History since I was in elementary school in 1936 onward. Of course, many children and adults recognize a photo of the black suited Pilgrim man, somber and often shown with a native Indian in the Massachusetts territory, but know little of their story in History.

The truth about that First Thanksgiving

There was no bountiful harvest. Everything was done in communal agriculture in the beginning. It was not until they switched to private enterprise, with every man accountable to each other, that there was a plentiful harvest. The first of this bounty was the Thanksgiving of 1623.

The Scrooby congregation passengers on the Mayflower were distinctly Pilgrims. Many were young adults, who had made a covenant with each other and with the Lord to commit to worship in earnest, just as the Scriptures called for. They developed a compact for their church self-government.

It thrills me to recall that these Pilgrims took that church covenant and rewrote it as the Mayflower Compact, in order to establish civil self-government. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Mayflower Compact is the forerunner to the U.S. Constitution. Because these Christian men and women had committed themselves to Christian self-government, directed by the Word of God, they accomplished three achievements that few people and few nations have every seen or practiced:

1. They, as individuals, accepted the responsibility for governing themselves, and displaying a work ethic, likely excelled by none on the planet.

2. They interpreted their Biblical laws of nature to apply to Society as a whole, leading to the Constitutional Law and the Rule of Law for all people, thus protecting their religious liberty.

3. They built an economic system which centered on personal responsibility. For example, the profit system was honest and provided opportunities for progress. A beautiful example of their personal sense of responsibility shines through twenty long years of their repaying their debt to the London merchants who financed their voyage. There was a great drive to develop tools for this economic system. The first water powered grist mill was placed at the head of Plymouth Town Brook in 1636. Can you imagine the delight of the onlooking Indians as they watched this tool?

Forced by the merchants in the beginning to accept the arrangement of communal distribution, the Pilgrims patiently persevered and obtained rights to own their own land and to work to benefit their own families. If Communism would have ever benefited a people, it would have worked for these Pilgrims who loved each other, and loved God above all else. It didn't work for them and cannot work for good, for any people.

When the Mayflower ship returned to England, not one Pilgrim went back. That little band of believers had introduced a new powerful force on the continent: that of individual religious liberty in practice.

All of these blessings of true Liberty demand individual Christian character. There is no better example of this character than the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation.

We are indebted to the Foundation for American Christian Education for their publications on America's Christian History and for the continued publication of the Webster's 1828 Dictionary, which has the language of Liberty.

Noah Webster deserved credit as the Father of America's Christian Scholarship and Education. The 1828 Dictionary is a treasure and can be viewed and purchased at our school campus.

We recommend that you go to the website of FACE.net and take advantage of their publications and conferences. They offer teacher training for Home and Christian schools, and have curriculum available for all grades. Their headquarters are in Chesapeake, VA.

As we prepare to celebrate an American Thanksgiving this month, let's work diligently and pray sincerely, for God to bring back in our nation Individual Liberty of Conscience, Christian self-government, and a dedication to the U. S. Constitution and the Rule of Law. Let us pray for our America, a nation that stands uniquely as a Christian Constitutional Republic!

"The glories of Christianity are to be traced in the sufferings of confessors and martyrs of the 16th and 17th Centuries; and it was under the influence of Christian principles, imbibed at this very period, that the Mayflower brought over the band of Pilgrims to Plymouth....We should never forget that the prison, the scaffold, and the stake were stages in the march of civil and religious liberty which our forefathers had to travel, in order that we might obtain our present liberty......"

"Before our children remove their religious connections.....before they leave the old paths of God's Word.....before they barter their birthright for a mess of pottage...let us place in their hands the chronicle of the glorious days of the suffering Churches, and let them know that they are the sons of the men 'of whom the world was not worthy' and 'whose sufferings for conscience sake' are here monumentally recorded."

John Overton Choules, August 12, 1843.

Preface to the 1844 reprint of Neal's "History of the Puritans," 1731 The Christian History of the Constitution, FACE, 1966


A WOMAN of Honor

Bobbie Ames - Saturday, October 01, 2016

Evidence of Providence in the Life of Phyllis Schlafly The First Lady in the Restoration of the Republic Our Leader in Inspiring and Educating the Grassroots: Phyllis Schlafly

The New York Times called her the "First Lady of a Political March to the Right." I called her my treasured friend of more than 50 years. I also called her my inspiration and motivation, as I learned so much through the decades about political action and the passion required to "hang in there" in the world of politics.

Phyllis Schlafly was a model, not just to me, but to women all over America. Her priorities: God, Family, and Country. She was stalwart in her Christian world view, which guided her passion for the Pro-Life movement. I dare not think of where we would be had she not championed that cause so early, so consistently, and passionately. The recent Republican National Convention passed the most conservative platform in decades, and she was right there to make sure that it was just so. Many delegates were there participating because of their relationship with Phyllis, who truly educated them over decades.

Phyllis Schlafly was an Educator of the First Order. Her Phyllis Schlafly Reports went monthly, for many decades, to grass roots activists as did her newsletter, the Education Reporter. There is no way to estimate the impact that she has had in every single state in America as an Educator.

When we were establishing the GOP in Alabama, Phyllis encouraged us to help establish Republican clubs for women in every county. With the leadership of Mary Ellen Miller, known and revered nationally within the conservative Republican camp, we made the great changes, though slowly. The contacts and skills of Miss Olive Spann of Chapman, Alabama, were a great boost throughout the state. I worked the Selma, Marion, and West Alabama area, and agreed to run for President of the State Federation. The progress was remarkable because all of us had grown up as Democrats, and had known nothing but that political, one party system. And of course, many people opposed the changes.

It was Phyllis, among others, who urged me to run for the Republican National Committee as Committeewoman from Alabama. I served from 1968-1972, and I learned that everything Phyllis had taught us about the D.C. establishment was true: the good and the bad. Her objective was to educate the grassroots, particularly women. Women shared her priorities of God, Family, Country, and their involvement was essential.

In 1968, she brought women from all over America to St. Louis, for a national conference, "The Eagles are Flying." In our Southern Region Round-table portion of the conference, women from California, Ohio, Connecticut, Washington, D. C. and other states came in pure delight that the South was indeed "flying" to the GOP.

Every person went back home with a plan to engage others in the cause of Christian Liberty and American Patriotism. And Phyllis made sure through her travel, her publications, and staff, that we had the "schooling" to be effective. She was indeed, our example and guide.

She was born Phyllis McAlpin Stewart on August 15,1924. Her mother was a teacher with two college degrees, and her father was a machinist and industrial equipment salesman. The family was always interested in culture and politics, and were active Republicans.

Phyllis attended Maryvillle College of the Sacred Heart, which is now Maryville University in St. Louis. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in only three years, at 19 years of age. She accepted a scholarship at Radcliffe, and completed her Master's degree in nine months. Some years later, she obtained a law degree from Washington University.

For a time, after college, she worked for a conservative think tank, now known as the American Enterprise Institute, and volunteered in several political campaigns. She met John Fred Schlafly, an attorney whose family had also been politically active, and conservative, and they married in October of 1949. They have six children, who have always been the top priority of the family.

She ran for Congress two times over her career, winning the primary the first time, but losing the race. The second try was not successful. She became active in leadership with the Daughters of the American Revolution, and President of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women from 1956-1964.

She and her husband, Fred, and his sister Eleanor, started the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, named for the Roman Catholic leader who was tortured by the Hungarian Communists. Throughout the years she has alerted us to the invasion of Socialism and Communism over the world, and the dangers here in our own nation. She began a radio program in the early 1960's which aired all over the state of Illinois.

Phyllis played a dynamic role in the Goldwater campaign. While his defeat was painful, she now had new contacts with thousands more women who shared her Christian world view, but needed her education outreach politically, and educationally. These women understood the threats to our liberty and were eager to be engaged.

While national defense and defending our borders were a strong passion to her, there emerged a new threat from the growing feminist movement across America. Nothing was discarded from the Goldwater effort. It was simply repackaged for the Reagan campaign, which succeeded. And you will remember that President Ronald Reagan praised her highly.

Phyllis accepted the leadership of STOP ERA, to do battle with the feminists. And STOP ERA, she did, for she had the enthusiastic support of women in every state, who saw the danger in ERA, and not protection for women, in this proposed so called "Equal Rights" for Women.

The founding of Eagle Forum followed the Stop ERA movement, and that organization, to this day, has been the glue that held the conservative women together with purpose and skills. Her 1964 book,

A Choice Not An Echo, has sold over 3 million copies, and has recently been updated and republished for today's activities. We recommend it highly.

When the Supreme Court legalized Abortion in 1973, Phyllis made the Sanctity of Life, her number one issue. In my last conversation with her just a few weeks before her death, she told me that she had met with Donald Trump and that he had assured her that he is Pro-Life.

With all of her responsibility, and with two strong ministries to lead, she was amazing through her personal relationship with friends. We had a 50th reunion of our earliest graduates in late July, here in Montgomery. Phyllis sent a letter overnight, to be distributed to those attending. Days later, she called me to ask how everything at the reunion went. She enjoyed the articles in the Alabama Gazette, and often wrote me little notes to encourage me to "keep on" writing. Her notes were always ones that lifted my spirit.

Her husband Fred, and her son, John, went to Alaska with my husband one summer to participate in his gold mining expedition at Dixon Creek where he had a camp. The gold mining didn't make us wealthy, but everyone who went and participated enjoyed it tremendously and still relive those memories.

I had the joy of having one of Phyllis and Fred's daughters with us in Marion at Perry (County) Christian School for a year when Liza was in high school. Phyllis was passionate about Christian Education, and she saw the sad decline in public education very early. She spotlighted our school ministry with a Phyllis Schlafly Report in 1972, titled, "It Is Better To Light A Candle." This report went nationwide and was encouraging Christians to start Christian schools, as well as alerting people to become informed on all matters of Education in their local schools.

Phyllis Schlafly was an example of American Patriotism that you rarely see today. She sacrificed her time, her energy, her resources, and she took a stand on every crucial issue. Her stands were supported by God's Word on every moral issue of our day. And she had them all stacked in the order of Scriptural mandates: God, Family, Country. Moral issues came first: Pro-Life, Religious Liberty, and the Sanctity of the Family.

Having her as a treasured friend and mentor, is one of the great blessings of my life. Paying tribute to her life and legacy is a privilege. I pray that Eagles will "continue to fly" in this nation taking the lessons from Phyllis' life and ministry, guided by God's Holy Word.


Constitution Day September 17

Bobbie Ames - Thursday, September 01, 2016

This article was referenced from Max Lyons book, Celebrate Our Christian Holidays Like You Were There.

Max Lyons, Ph.D.

Director of Teaching Services The Foundation for American Christian Education

The mission of FACE is to publish and teach America’s Christian history and method of education by Biblical principles to restore Christian self government and character to the individual, to families, to churches, and to the nation.

To find out more about the resources that FACE produces for Christian education and development of a Biblical worldview go to http://www.face.net or call 1-800-352-3223.

Biblical Principles in our Federal and State Constitutions and Other Founding Documents

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. Deuteronomy 4:7–10

Introduction

Happy birthday to our Constitution! If it had a cake, there would be over 220 candles on it. In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed September 17–23 Constitution Week to remember the signing of our most important legal document. Our Constitution was approved and signed on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia by the delegates of twelve states. Rhode Island was not represented and did not approve it. Of course, to become binding on the states it still had to be ratified by nine states. This happened on June 21, 1788, as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it. A Bill of Rights was added to insure further protection for the people and the states from the federal government. Since the Bill of Rights was added, our Constitution has only been amended sixteen times. This is amazing, confirming the fact that our Constitution is the world’s most enduring written constitution! British Prime Minister William Gladstone once remarked that our Constitution is, “the most remarkable work known...in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke.” Gladstone is correct that this is a remarkable work, but those who have done their research know that this was not a work that was produced solely by the human intellect. It was a work that was produced predominantly by Christians who applied their understanding of the Scriptures to civil government.

Our state constitutions, the Declaration of Independence, the federal Constitution and other founding documents were so Biblically based that in 1892 the Supreme Court was prompted to conclude that we were a Christian nation:

This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation ...these are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons; they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people...these and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation1 (Church of Holy Trinity vs. US)

Notice that the Supreme Court indicates that their conclusions are based upon organic utterances. Organic means belonging to the fundamental or constitutional law. In other words the evidence that we are a Christian nation is found in our written founding documents. Let us briefly look at some of that evidence, including our federal Constitution.

Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

The document that was the precursor to the Declaration of Independence was the July 1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms. Our representatives meeting in Philadelphia made this declaration just one year before they declared independence. It is full of references to God, recognizing His sovereignty. Here are a few phrases giving evidence of its Biblical nature:

  • If it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom...
  • But a reverence for our great Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end.
  • Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religiousfreedom.
  • Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favor towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this sincere controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised on warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.
  • With an humble confidence on the mercies of the supreme and impartial judge and ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.2
  • The Declaration of Independence:

    Other than the indirect references to God and Biblical principles, there are four direct references to God in the Declaration of Independence:

  • laws of nature and of nature’s God, indicating God as the Supreme lawgiver.
  • that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, acknowledging God as the all-powerful Creator who alone is the author of rights which, since they are not granted by man, cannot be taken away.
  • appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, indicating that God is the ultimate and supreme Judge who is judged by no man yet stands in judgment of all including civil rulers and governments.
  • with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, affirming that their hope and trust in this life is not in man, but in a God who cares for His creation and watches over all, ordering their steps and intervening in their lives.
  • State Constitutions

    As you read these excerpts from our state constitutions, bear in mind that religion in that day was understood in a different way than how we use this word today. Here is Webster’s original definition of religion:

    Religion in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfection of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man’s obligation to obey his commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man’s accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety; for the practice of moral duties without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to his will or commands, is not religion.3

    Constitution of Delaware, Article 22:

    Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust...shall...make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: I, _______, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.4

    Constitution of Maryland, Article 36:

    That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons, professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice; unless, under color of religion, any man shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others, in their natural, civil, or religious rights...5

    Constitution of Massachusetts, Article II:

    It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.6

    Constitution of New Hampshire, Article V:

    Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship GOD according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty or estate for worshipping GOD, in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.7

    Constitution of Vermont, Article III:

    That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding, regulated by the word of GOD; and that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect, or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of his conscience; nor can any man who professes the Protestant religion, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right, as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiment, or peculiar mode of religious worship, and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in or assumed by, any power whatsoever, that shall, in any case, interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship: nevertheless, every sect or denomination ofpeople ought to observe the Sabbath, or the Lord’s day, and keep up, and support, some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of GOD.8

    Constitution of Virginia, Sections 15 & 16:

    That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.9

    Human Government Must be Limited

    One of the most fundamental and absolutely essential Biblical principles embodied in all of our founding documents and specifically our federal Constitution is the principle of limitation of all human governments. This is God’s idea, fully declared in His Word. It is necessary because of the fallen nature of man, which of course also is the reason for the necessity of civil government. English philosopher John Locke lived in a day when the idea of limits on civil government or limits on the civil ruler were questioned. In reality, in all of history, man has dealt with this issue. The doctrine of the divine right of kings, absolutism or the absolute power of the monarchy or king has been around for thousands of years. In the early 1600’s Robert Filmer, a country squire, wrote Patriarcha, a defense of absolute royal power. For this great act he was knighted by Charles I. Filmer stated:

    The greatest liberty in the world—if it be duly considered—is for a people to live under a monarch. It is the Magna Charta of this kingdom; all other shows or pretexts of liberty are but several degrees of slavery, and a liberty only to destroy liberty.10

    The amazing thing is, Filmer makes his case for monarchy from the Scriptures! He argues that all power derives from the father’s power over his child, which is absolute. Since kings are an extension of earthly power, we must honor them as we would our natural fathers.

    John Locke in his First Treatise on Civil Government devastates Filmer’s argument by properly interpreting the Scriptures. He points out first that the Bible says to honor your father and your mother. He wonders what Filmer concludes about the mother aspect since he only talks about the male king as head. Then Locke points out that children are only to obey their parents absolutely until they reach the age of maturity and reason. Since a king has adults as his subjects he cannot claim authority over them as a parent over a child.

    Our federal Constitution is an expressed powers document, which means the federal government was given only a few, implicitly stated powers. All other powers were reserved to the States or the people. This is a very important state- ment, that the federal government was to be limited, just as state governmental power was limited and indeed all civil power in our country had been limited.

    Civil government is an institution created by God, and its purpose is the protection of life, liberty and property. (Romans 13:1). Civil government has the power of the sword to enforce its will: it has a monopoly on the use of deadly force. Therefore, its power must be carefully guarded lest it be abused! God limits civil government; our Founding Fathers recognized this fact and incorporated this idea into the Constitution. The history of man has been the history of the abuse of the power of civil government (I Samuel 8: II Chronicles 10). In America, our civil government has grown to proportions far beyond Biblical and constitutional boundaries, threatening to swallow up the liberties of states, churches, businesses, homes and individuals. A total tax burden of 40–50% is proof of this assertion. The tax rate that caused our Founders to declare the British government tyrannical was estimated to be less than 5%. The following article from WORLD Magazine illustrates the problem: What book has 75,606 pages, which no one has read completely, but its contents cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars? The answer is the Federal Register, which lists the rules and regulations that businesses and citizens of the United States must follow.

    The Cato Institute, in a study called The Ten Thousand Commandments, reports that the register continued to grow under the Bush administration, with federal agencies issuing 4,167 new rules last year. (The unreadable book had merely 74,258 pages in the final year of the Clinton administration.)

    The estimated cost of all of these arcane rules to businesses and their customers: $860 billion, or five times the current projected budget deficit.11

    The ultimate reason for a growing external civil government is the decrease of Christian self–government. Therefore, the ultimate solution to this problem is not found in passing some sort of legislation, but in restoring Christian self–government to the American people and leadership. A Christian government, with laws based upon the Law of God, would provide the greatest degree of liberty to a people. Our Constitution codified the idea of the limits of civil government and this is a fundamental principle of government that we need to restore!

    The Preamble to the Constitution

    The Preamble to the Constitution is a bold declaration that acknowledges God’s sovereignty over civil governments, for it expresses in a very concise way what God has declared to be the purpose of civil government. It declares that government is to do the following:

    establish justice (I Peter 2:14; Genesis 9:6) • ensure domestic tranquility (I Timothy 2:1; 2) • provide for the common defense (Romans 13:4; Luke 22:36) • promote the general welfare (Romans 13:4) • secure the blessings of liberty (Genesis 1:27; II Corinthians 3:17; Ecclesiastes 5:19)

    Biblical Principles of Government

    Other principles either contained in the Constitution or which can be deduced from other founding documents include:

    1. A Sovereign God presides over the affairs of men and nations. He alone is our ruler and all earthly rulers must be in submission to Him. (Psalms 2, 47:2; 103:19, and 146:3; Matthew 28:18; Acts 12:21–23; Daniel 4:31–37; 5:18–21)

    2. In a Christian nation, civil laws should be based upon God’s law. (Deuteronomy 4:7–8 and Matthew 5:17–19)

    3. All men are equal before God and before the laws that they make. (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 22:16; Romans 3:9; and II Chronicles 19:17)

    4. Individuals are created to, and able to govern themselves under God’s government. (Proverbs 6:6–8, 16:32, 25:28; II Corinthians 9:27)

    5. Man has inalienable rights that come from God (Alienate—withdraw or transfer). (Galatians 5:1; I Corinthians 9:19; I Peter 2:16)

    6. For a republic to be maintained, the people must be virtuous. (Matthew 25:23; Proverbs 11:10, 14:34, 28:2, and 29:2,8)

    7. Constitutional government means government by laws, not the arbitrary rule of men. (Deuteronomy 4:8; 17:14–20; Hebrews 8:10)

    8. Proper government is representative government. (Titus 1:6–9; II Corinthians 5:21; Exodus 18:13–21)

    9. The power of government, held in the hands of representatives, ought to reside in Christians. (I Corinthians 6:2; II Samuel 23:3–4; Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 29:2)

    10. The primary responsibility of government is to protect property, both external and internal. (Romans 13:1; Proverbs 15:25; Matthew 23:14)

    11. Government should provide impartial judgement. (Deuteronomy 1:16–17)

    12. In recognition of the fallen nature of man, the powers of civil government must be separated. (I Samuel 8; Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah 17:5,9)

    13. A dual system of government (Federalism) keeps power decentralized. (Matthew 22:36); The Hebrew people were members of tribes (like states) and were Israelites (like national government).

    14. Trial by jury protects the citizens from unconstitutional laws. (Deuteronomy 19:15; II Corinthians 13:1; Matthew 18:16; Acts 25:16; and Numbers 35:24)

    Celebrate Constitution Day with Your Family!

  • Fly the flag (your neighbors may ask why you are flying the flag and you can help them become aware of this commemoration).
  • Read parts of the Constitution with your family.
  • Recite the preamble in unison.
  • Visit the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives in Washington D.C. where the Constitution is on display.
  • http://www.archives.gov/

  • Ask family members to share what they love about our Constitution.
  • Find and read the twenty powers given to the federal government in the Constitution.
  • Endnotes

    1. David Barton, The Myth of Separation (Aledo, Texas: Wallbuilder Press, 1989), 83

    2. Richard Perry, Editor, Sources of Our Liberties (Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein and Co., 1991), 295–300.

    3. Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (San Francisco, CA: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1967)

    4. David Barton, The Myth of Separation, 23.

    5. Richard Perry, editor, Sources Of Our Liberties (Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein & Co., 1991), 349 6. Ibid, 374

    7. Ibid, 382

    8. Ibid, 365

    9. Ibid, 312

    10. John Locke, Of Civil Government (New York: E. P. Dutton &Co., 1924) introduction

    11. Ruled and Regulated, WORLD Magazine (September 13, 2003).

    This article was referenced from Max Lyons book, Celebrate Our Christian Holidays Like You Were There. (Publisher: The Biblical Thinker LLC:

    Date: February 2012)


    Our Constitutional Republic is at stake...

    Bobbie Ames - Monday, August 01, 2016

    Liberty or Socialism for all?

    The publication of a pamphlet, "The Communist Manifesto," in the mid 1800's, may have attracted little notice in the beginning, but it has emerged as the most influential publication of the Century. The effect of this view of history and of the human race has had lasting influence across the world, and even in the United States today.

    Written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who were Germans, but were employed in England, at the time of the writing. The document asserts that all human history is the story of class struggle. In earlier history, many nations lived through class struggles, whether Medieval Europe or the Roman Empire. In Rome, the struggle was between the patrician, the plebian, and the slave.

    At the time of the writing, England was enjoying the growth of the manufacturing industry. Trading networks were expanding, raw materials were more readily available, and there was a growing and prosperous middle class emerging. Marx and Engels observed uneducated and unskilled laborers comprising the working class (proletariat) who were working in those factories. These laborers were necessary to maintain assembly line production. With increased industrial expansion came prosperity for the elevated middle class (bourgeoisie).

    The Communist goal was to bring about revolutions between the classes and give control of all production to the State (which they hoped to see formed as a Communist State). Their goal was an idea firm in their mind, to have the State control the means of production, to abolish private property, and to have the State take over the control of education. They saw all of history as the history of class struggles. Yes, they would use that for their determined end.

    A study of Communism, history, and revolutions will reveal its influence, even today, throughout the declining European nations and its influence in our own America.

    Much earlier in the French Revolution, we read of "LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY."

    "The Declaration of The Rights of Man" were drawn up and adopted by the French National Assembly in 1789, asserting that "all men are born free and equal in rights." It listed essential rights such as the right to liberty, private property, personal safety, and freedom from oppression. The French people had endured the absolutist rule of Louis XVI. The Declaration did not call for a Democracy, but it contained a plea for Liberty. There was at least a dream of Liberty among the French people, that didn't materialize.

    Of all the ancient charters, the Magna Charta, 1225, has had the most lasting influence.

    The ideals in this document helped shape the Constitution of the United States. To give an example of the legal principle and practice that it contained, read this:

    "No freeman shall be arrested, or kept in prison, or diseased (have his lands taken away), or outlawed or banished or in anyway brought to ruin, unless by the lawful judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land."

    Would this not stand today as a very fundamental judgement of Justice?

    When the English became fascinated with the idea of colonization of the New World, a group of investors founded The London Company to bring it to pass. Only 4% of the investors belonged to the ranking nobility. Capitalism was very much alive, and 96% of the investors were tailors, skinners, salters, bakers, grocers, cloth workers, and fishmongers.

    Capitalism worked well, as it always does, when combined with integrity and wise judgement. Every story of our founding seems to have an inspired message, whether it is Captain John Smith erecting a wooden cross on the shore of Cape Henry, or the founding of Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts. The colonists could acquire their own property and earn the wages for their willing work. The citizens elected their own delegates for their assemblies, and made their own laws through a legal process. There was no sign of communism or socialism in the function of government in the New World. A Constitutional Republic was born with the exercise of the sovereign power lodged in Representatives elected by the people.

    Noah Webster wrote: "It seems to be a political axiom that republics should be founded on an equality of rights, and or so constructed as to preserve that equality."

    John Adams wrote, "The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. In vain are schools, academies, and universities instituted if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years."

    Benjamin Rush certainly was in agreement. He wrote, "Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

    One of America's most prominent women, Mercy Otis Warren, wrote, "It is necessary for every American, to stop the dissemination of principles evidently destructive of the cause for which they have bled. It must be the combined virtue of the rulers and the people to do this, and to rescue and save their civil and religious rights from the outstretched hand of tyranny, which may appear under any form of government."

    Education played such an important part of the foundation of America. It was solidly based on a specific world view, which combined the fundamentals of Christianity and Republican government, framed carefully to protect individual civil and religious liberty.

    In Federalist 51, James Madison wrote, "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If angels were to govern men, neither internal nor external controls on government would be necessary. However, not only do we not have angels governing men, but we have Progressives who deny the existence of God and without His guidelines (Ten Commandments) we end up with anarchy."

    Christians, true Christians, are in such pain today. We look at the government educational system and realize that evolution and other immoral curriculum is taught as "truth" to students. There is a total absence of Moral Absolutes, as Relativism has replaced the Truth. True History was long ago replaced with Social Studies as designed by Progressives. Children are deprived of their rightful American Heritage. The legacy of John Dewey and Horace Mann and their followers have won the day....at least for now.

    We look at the agenda of the Progressives, another name for Socialism. We see the call for more government controls over our everyday lives. Legalizing abortion on demand, gender selection, same sex marriage, and even some judges assuming the right to determine what is in "the best interest of the child" rather than the parents making that determination.

    The goal of this article is a call to prayer for families and for our country. We look at the numbers, which constantly increase, of babies born out of wedlock. The number of babies aborted, the number of single parents who are rearing children alone, the number of children in failing schools through no fault of their own are all alarming!

    We can all look back over our own family life and see our mistakes, but we can make a new determination this very day. Our country has no future without a Moral Base. To bring this back will take more than one election, as important as that is. We may not have the perfect candidate, but where will we be if Christians are not involved and make their voice heard and their vote count. It will take families committed to each other, with a Faith based commitment of parent to child, and child to parent, and sibling to sibling. For unity in the family, God made the provision for family life.

    "God setteth the solitary in families." Psalm 68:v 8

    Hopefully, families who have neglected church attendance will locate an area church that honors the Word of GOD and where the paster preaches the truth boldly without compromise and where there spiritual needs are met. Hopefully, more grandparents will take the time to enrich the lives of grandchildren, especially if both parents work. This writer hopes that home schools and Christian Schools will increase as more parents become informed as to exactly what is happening to our culture and to the political process. Looking at the political process, it doesn't look "inviting," but where will we be if Christians are not involved? America's future as a Christian ConstitutionalRepublic is at stake. There is an answer in God's Word.

    "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17


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