Seven Pillars of National Greatness
THE SEVEN PILLARS OF NATIONAL GREATNESS
We live in a day and time when many people have turned their back on “religion” and the Bible. Those who would practice life styles which are opposed to the teachings of the Bible can always be found in the camp which proclaims, “This is not a Christian nation,” “the founders were deist, not Christians,” and “The Constitution places a wall between church and state.” While none of these facts are true they have been widely proclaimed and used to justify the current state of affairs in our nation. God and the Bible have been removed from our schools, the market place of Ideas, and the halls of Government. Is America today the nation the founding fathers envisioned? A rational look at history will provide many insights that will answer the questions being asked today.
Christopher Columbus is credited with finding The “New World” in 1492. The New World is comprised of two continents know respectively as North and South America. North America is made up of three nations; Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. South America is comprised of some 15 separate nations. Colonization of both North America and South America began at approximately the same time. Yet today, just a little over two hundred years later, one nation stands head and shoulders above the rest; the United States of America. What is the reason for this? Why would just one nation, out of 18, prosper to the extent that it occupies the distinction of being the “greatest nation in the history of the world?”
Two hundred and thirty-four years ago a group of men came together at a particular time and in a particular place; men who would change the course of human history. They would establish a nation, the likes of which had never before been known on the earth, or imagined in the minds of men. It would be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It would preserve and promote freedom and liberty through a system of equal justice under law which would provide every person equal treatment. Furthermore, it would place the ultimate power, not in the government, but in the hands of the people.
We call these men our founding fathers and the nation they founded the United States of America. They have been described as “enlightened geniuses touched by divine intervention.” I cannot imagine a better description, and I am convinced that only God could have brought together such men, at such a time, in such a place, and with such a purpose. The purpose was God’s, and the men were His instruments for accomplishing it.
Our Constitution is not a Christian document, but it is a document written by Christians. As they set out to write a constitution for The United States they incorporated into it seven pillars of national greatness. Where did they gain the insight necessary to incorporate these seven pillars? A close and unbiased examination of the facts show that these same seven pillars of greatness are embedded in the word of God. The Bible, a book with which our founders were well acquainted. Upon examination any scholar will find the Bible contains the great concepts that determine how society can best prosper. Many deny that our constitution is rooted in the writings of the sacred scripture. It is true that our Constitution was derived from the minds of men, but what put these concepts in their minds? Consider the following seven concepts.
The Dignity of Human Life
In our founding document we find the words “All men are created equal.” These five words set a standard of conduct that was unique to the thinking of the world of their day. Most nations were divided into upper and lower classes. Women were considered inferior to men and slavery was commonplace. In America there would be no aristocracy. In America every man would have equal opportunity to improve his wealth and standing as a result of his efforts, not his birth. Great emphasis was put on the fact that our freedoms come from God, not government. Human life was held in high regard. What is more, if human life is not respected at every level, it will not be respected at any level. Our founders espoused freedom and liberty as the bedrock upon which a nation could be built. Patrick Henry famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death.” The original settlers of America crossed, under great peril, 3,000 miles of ocean to establish this land of freedom. Furthermore the rights of Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were embedded in our founding documents as coming from God, not man, and are the foundation upon which our nation is built.
Take the time to read through our Declaration of Independence and Constitution and you will find imbedded therein seven great concepts.
The Traditional Monogamous Family
Home and hearth are dear to everyone. There are only three things a person needs to have true happiness. Someone to love, a place called home, and a purpose greater than themselves. The basic building block of society is the traditional family. It is through the family that a land is populated. The family is the entity which shapes the thinking and outlook of the adult. The family is a place of rest where we find support, encouragement, and love. The most important lessons in life are learned at the Mother’s feet. It has been truly said that, “The hand which rocks the cradle rules the world.” The strength of the family will determine the strength of the nation. Any time we see a breakdown in the family we see a breakdown in our society. Understanding this, our founders made adultery and homosexuality offenses punishable by prison. For the family to be functional it must be monogamous. The concept of a man having more than one wife demeans the women and creates continuous discard. Strong families make for a strong society, and a strong society produces a strong nation.
A National Work Ethic
With regard to the inhabitants of Jamestown Captain John Smith is reputed to have installed a rule of “No work, no eat.” This exact statement is found in II Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Benjamin Franklin declared, “If you want to eliminate poverty make the person uncomfortable in his poverty.” America was not built on a system of handouts. It was built by men and women who were not afraid of work. This attitude has been called the “Pioneer Spirit.” Every person was expected to carry his own fair load. There was a nation to be built and there was no room for laziness. The independent spirit has no desire to simply exist on handouts from the government or to depend on the generosity of others. It was this spirit of rugged individualism that carved a nation out of a wilderness and extended its borders from coast to coast.
The Right to a God-Centered Education
If we are created beings then of necessity, there must be a creator. It only stands to reason, that the creator is more intelligent than what has been created. Knowledge is as essential element for every citizen. Knowledge can be defined as the understanding of facts. Wisdom, however, is the ability to apply knowledge to the various events we face in life and thereby determine the best answers.. There are textbooks capable of imparting knowledge in every field of academics. The Bible, however, is the only book capable of training a person in wisdom. Our founders understood this and required a Bible in every classroom. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” The children’s textbook, The New England Primer, taught the ABC’s by having children memorize “A – in Adams fall, we sinned all. B – Heaven to find, the Bible mind. America’s first colleges were begun as religious institutions. 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.” In his farewell address to the nation George Washington stated, “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principal….It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
The Abrahamic Covenant
A covenant is an agreement between two people or groups of people. In the Bible we find the covenant made between God and Abraham. If Abraham stayed faithful to God, his seed would be as the sands of the ocean and the stars of heaven. The concept of covenant is essential for any society to exist in a peaceful and trusting group. The concept of the covenant, therefore, is the basis of all our property laws. The private ownership of property is dependent upon keeping the covenant by which the property is acquired. The principal expressed in the Abrahamic covenant states that if a person or nation obeys God, observing the moral truths found in the Bible, that person or nation will be blessed. If they disobey, they will bring punishment upon themselves. For most of our nation’s history, Americans have accepted the belief that good deeds produce good results and that a people and a nation who were “God-fearing” in language and lifestyle would be blessed by Him. The strength of the family, the society, and the nation is reduced when God is excluded from the equation.
Common decency is the idea that a person or a nation will always look to do the right thing in light of the circumstances. Common decency causes all other to look upon the person or nation with respect. At the ripe old age of 16 George Washing drew up for himself, 110 “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior.” Many of Washington’s rules can be found embedded in our Constitution. All of them can be found embedded in the Bible. Washington’s concepts of decency can be summed up in the Bible verse, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” One of the great concepts upon which our nation is built is trust between individuals. This trust assumes common decency. All our rights of property and person are based on this concept. Our courts of justice are founded upon this idea. Above the entrance to the Supreme Court Building are engraved, “Equal Justice Under Law.” When common decency prevails a society prospers.
Personal Accountability to God
The difference between the church going Christian and man who is an absolute reprobate is the belief that ultimately we are all accountable to God. This nation was built by individuals who believed themselves to be accountable to their creator. John Winthrop, later to become the governor of Massachusetts, preached a sermon in 1630 to the passengers aboard the Arbella prior to their embarking on American soil. In that sermon he affirmed their purpose of coming to America.
“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken…we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God…We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us til we be consumed out of the good land whether we are a-going.”
At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin moved that prayer be held at the beginning of each session. In his plea for this prayer Franklin stated,
“In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.”
Is there any wonder that one nation, our nation, has prospered above all others in human history? But want is more important is that this nation, “under God,” return to our roots or become just another nation condemned to the dustbin of human history. We hold the future of our children and our grandchildren in our hands. As the seven pillars are destroyed, so will the nation which they supported.