Our Judeo-Christian Heritage - Principles 3 and 4

July 9, 2018

We have been identifying the seven key principles of our Judeo-Christian heritage in this series. This week we will discuss Principles 3 and 4.

Principle #3: A National Work Ethic

The third principle is based on 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NKJV)
For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Ingrained deep within the American spirit is the willingness to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.  This independent spirit refuses to simply exist on government handouts or to depend on the generosity of others.  It’s this same work ethic that has allowed America to create the strongest economy in the history of the world.

Immigrants throughout history from around the world have come to America, worked hard, and became successful because of their work ethic.  The generations who lived before us were raised to believe that hard work equates to success, and this principle is certainly found throughout the Bible.  Here are a few examples:

Proverbs 10:4 (NLT)
Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

Proverbs 12:24 (NLT)
hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.

Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)
Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.

Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Ephesians 4:28 (NLT)
If you are a thief, quit stealing.  Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.

Titus 3:14 (AMP)
And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honorable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives.

As you can see, a positive work ethic isn’t just a feel-good platitude, it’s a biblical truth.  The resurgence of a national work ethic in the United States is the cure for the entitlement mindset that fosters a welfare spirit.

Principle #4: The Right to a God-Centered Education

The fourth principle is based on Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 1:7.

Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV)
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

By combining these two verses, we could conclude that parents are to teach their children about God, Jesus, and the Bible.  Our forefathers certainly understood this.  For example, did you know that most of America’s oldest universities were founded by Christian preachers and churches?

Harvard University, founded in 1636, adopted rules and precepts which stated: “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”

Harvard’s original seal has upon it the words: “Truth for Christ and the Church.”

Yale University was established in 1701 with a stated goal that “every student shall consider the main end of his study to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a godly, sober life.”

The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 to supply the church of Virginia “with a seminary of ministers that the Christian faith may be propagated.”

King’s College, known today as Columbia University, proposed to “inculcate upon student’s tender minds the great principles of Christianity and morality.”  Princeton had as one of its founding statements, “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the Cross of Christ.”

In 1836, Noah Webster, often called “The Father of American Education,” expressed that the purpose of schools was meant for the advancement of the Christian faith.  Noah Webster stated: “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”

American history is vividly clear that faith in God and a reverence for the Bible as God’s Word provided the basis for the founding of our nation.  One fact is undeniable: the Bible has been one of the greatest influences on America’s presidents.  Here are some examples:

John Quincy Adams, our 6th President, said, “The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible.”

Andrew Jackson, our 7th President, said, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.”

Calvin Coolidge, our 13th President, said, “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, said, “In regard for the Great Book, I have this to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.  All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book.”

Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president, said, “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties.  Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives.  To the influence of this book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President, said, “The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men.  It is the only guide of life, which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.  America was born a Christian nation.  America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd President, said, “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.  Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.”

George Washington, our first President, is attributed as saying, “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle…it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

From these numerous quotes, we could conclude that those we’ve quoted understood the relationship between a sound education based on the Bible and the future success of a nation.

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Copyright ©2018

Jim Collins is a Pastor, Motivational Speaker, Businessman and Author. Two of his books have been adopted as textbooks by Bible colleges. Jim is the founder of Beyond Positive Thinking Ministries and the Senior Pastor of Victory in Christ International in Jupiter, Florida.  Jim received his Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Education from Evangelical Bible College and Seminary. He is a professor there, and is also a Dean and Professor at Covenant Bible College and Seminary,
Visit Dr. Jim Collins's website at www.BeyondPositiveThinking.org
See more from Dr. Jim Collins at www.VictoryInChrist.us