December 9, 2017
Just 100 years after the Reformation, Protestants saw hope and liberty in religious freedom in the New World. (see ) As they fled the forced religious disciplines found in the Old World, they cherished the new found freedom of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through their ability to now read the Bible. (see ) Many that landed on the shores of America did so with just the clothes on their back and a Bible in their hand.
As Puritan pilgrims began setting foot in the New World, plans were soon made to build a college. Colonial leaders were focused on spreading the Gospel among the settlers, as well as the natives. However, they needed a proper facility to train their missionaries. Harvard College opened its doors in 1636, informing the students in their guideline handbook: (see ).
"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 (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Proverbs 2, 3). Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein.”
New England government leaders, known as selectmen, understood how precious and valuable the ability to read the Bible was. After centuries of enduring churches conducted primarily in Latin, pilgrims recognized the overwhelming necessity of education in preventing society from falling back into religious slavery to the church.
As a result, the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a series of education laws. At the time, there were no schools for young children. Therefore, their education, like their training of their trade or livelihood, fell into the hands of their parents or masters.
The Massachusetts Act of 1642, also known as The General School Law, required parents and masters to see that the children were properly instructed in reading and writing for two primary reasons. First, to make sure they could read and understand the Scriptures. Second, to make sure they could read and understand the laws of the commonwealth. Misunderstanding or ignorance of either of these doctrines result in slavery, whether it be to sin or the state.
Masters were included in the drafting of this law as many children were indentured servants or apprentices. Slavery was not a part of society yet, however many Europeans earned their passage to America as indentured servants, while others were forcefully sent to America with the seven-year commitment placed upon their shoulders. (see ) Additional children were placed into an apprenticeship program. Regardless, when their commitment time was up, they not only had a skill, they were able to read and write.
As time marched on and slavery became a staple in the South, slave owners realized how liberating and freeing education was. Laws started passing and continued to pass until the Civil War, making it illegal to educate slaves, though many defied those laws. (see , , , , and )
Whether it was lack of time, lack of interest, or possibility their own lack of knowledge, parents fell short of the educational expectations of the new act. Therefore, the was passed. This act laid the initial groundwork for America’s public education system.
The primary focus of the law was to educate children in the Bible so the “Old Deluder,” or Satan, would not be able to steal their souls. They were illiterate of the Bible in the Old World, where the true words of Scripture were kept from them as the church conducted itself in Latin. The selectmen aimed to guard against this happening again as the beginning text of the act describes:
“It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these later times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so at least the true sense and meaning of the Original might be clouded by false glosses of Saint-seeming deceivers; and that Learning may not be buried in the graves of our fore-fathers in Church and Commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors.”
Therefore, the act goes on to require towns with 50 or more families to provide a school that taught the elementary basics of reading, writing and the Bible. Once the town grew to 100 families, then they must furnish a grammar school, which focused on Latin and Greek to prepare students for a higher ministerial education at Harvard or abroad. There were no grade levels in these schools, therefore children learned and progressed as they improved. It is why many of America’s founders went on to college by age 14. Thanks to Democrat President Woodrow Wilson and progressives like John D. Rockefeller, today’s students are placed in classes based on age, not ability, to learn how to be workers. Critical thinking has been replaced with indoctrination on how to “save” the planet, to embrace their friend’s “two mommies” and believe their feelings, and not science and chromosomes, determine their gender.
Massachusetts’ act also outlined two possible methods of funding these schools. One option was parents and students themselves would provide the financing for the schools. The other option suggested all citizens in the local area would contribute to the costs. Either way, those funds still came from the immediate area. Today, federal funding has wormed its way into every school district, allowing a bureaucracy hundreds of miles away to determine what our children will learn, taking control out of the hands of the teachers and parents while still taking their money through school taxes.
Other areas adopted similar Scriptural education requirements. The New Haven Code of 1655 required that children be made “able duly to read the Scriptures ... and in some competent measure to understand the main grounds and principles of Christian Religion necessary to salvation.”
Liberty, today, the few children who even know of these laws are probably home schooled, as the very public schools that were born from these laws not only ignore, but deny them. Students today honestly believe the Bible was never intended to be in the school and it is unconstitutional to have the church associated with the state at all. (see and ) Both concepts are completely wrong and provable lies.
The Old Deluder is still hard at work and doing his best to deceive us. With multiple Bible versions in assorted languages at our fingertips through smartphone, iPad and tablet apps, on top of the millions of printed Bibles available, the language barrier is not as much of a problem anymore. However, he has succeeded in taking our focus off of the Bible, replacing God with government and the progressive religion of Global Warming (see and ), socialism (see ), transgenderism (see ), gun control (see ), social justice (see ), free birth control (see ) and abortion rights (see ).
As Founding Father Benjamin Rush stated, “... the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this, there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” These words ring just as true today as they did in 1798.
Liberty, you must not allow the Old Deluder to take your focus off of Jesus Christ. Satan will do everything he can to make you doubt, distrust and deny our Lord and Savior. America was built on Judeo-Christian values and it is no coincidence she has become the most powerful, most prosperous and most generous country ever. However, she is dangerously close to losing all of it because she has abandoned the warnings of our forefathers. Continue to champion the truth no matter the trials and temptations, as liberty and freedom cannot exist without it. It is your cross to bear, Liberty. Bear it proudly.
That’s my 2 cents.