Archive for the ‘Separation of Church and State’ Tag

Christian Education   1 comment


Above:  Moravian Sunday School, Lititz, Pennsylvania, November 1942

Photographer = Marjory Collins (1912-1985)

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-USW3-011768-D



My great-grandfather wrote:

 The religious element is the best part of an education.  It is the only part that one can’t forego.

That is an overly broad statement.  I am sure, for example, that arithmetic, reading, and writing are parts of education that one can’t forego.

I come from a different time, one with a stricter separation of church and state–a standard with which I am quite comfortable.  One ought not ask the state to do what parents, guardians, and churches ought to do–and can do more effectively.




Deut. 11, 18-20

1.  It is a debt parents owe their children, to provide for the development of their faculties.  This calls for education in general, and religious instruction in particular, as our Lord commands.

2.  The true end of education cannot be reached without making the moral and religious faculties prominent and that their development.  Mere intellectual training is at best Sampson shorn of his locks.  The religious element is the best part of an education.  It is the only part that one can’t forego.

3.  Such training is not possible save in schools under the care of Christian men.  There must be a religious atmosphere.  Religion must not be apologized for nor kept in the background, but emphasized.

4.  Does religion dwarf everyone, make him narrow?  How is it that Christ is become a curse anywhere?  The Bible idea is that due recognition of him anywhere is a distinct blessing.


Righteousness Exalteth a Nation   1 comment


Above:  United States Flag, 1896-1908



This sermon outline comes from a book with the year “1905” written in the front.  This is the same book which contains the following note:

Book filled Jan. 13, 1913.

Acworth, Ga.

So I selected the image with those facts and the post’s contents in mind.

I, as a student of civil rights history, know that my great-grandfather ministered when Jim Crow was an active system in Georgia.  There was a White Primary, for example, and voter suppression based on race was overt and rampant.  Our republic remains imperfect, for we are flawed, but it does better than it did in my great-grandfather’s lifetime.

I, unlike my grandfather, have a subtler way of thinking of the matters of which he wrote in his notes, the basis of this post.  For example, the overly general way of speaking or writing of “the colonists,” as if they were a monolithic group of people, irritates me when students do it.  It does likewise when I read a document in which my great-grandfather did it.  Puritan New England, for example, was not a bastion of religious freedom (just ask Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and any of the Quakers whom certain Puritans executed or exiled for being Quakers), but that fact helped to explain the founding of Rhode Island.

As for “French infidelity,” to quote my great-grandfather, I interpret that as perhaps a condemnation of Roman Catholicism, perhaps prior to 1763.  (It is a vague reference.)  I take this opportunity to repeat my repudiation of anti-Roman Catholicism.  And I adore most matters French.  Allons enfants de la patrie….Or perhaps the French tradition of the separation of church and state offended my great-grandfather.



Prov. 14, 34

1.  The standard for measuring men and nations is the same since a nation is an aggregation of individuals.

(1)  Great men are those great in goodness and service.

(2)  A nation’s greatness is its moral force.

2.  America is noted for her religious and political liberty.  Other republics have failed; religion has saved ours.

(1)  It was born of a revival of religion.  The colonists sought a home of religious freedom.

(2)  Religion gave us strength–a high sense of honor, a pure patriotism, preserved the home from impurity, and has exalted the Bible–itself the guardian of all that is good.

3.  It has preserved our liberty.  Liberty must have

(1)  A conscience to shelter it,

(2)  A God to avenge it, and

(3)  A people to defend it from Atheism.

Religion saved us from French infidelity, to which we were exposed.

4.  Our perils are not external, but internal–moral, e. g. graft, political corruption, degeneracy of the home and the different forms of unbelief.  Religion can and will save us from them all; it alone can.

So long as our people reverence and obey the great God of nations He will deliver us from evil and enlarge our powers and usefulness.