Congress and the Bible

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

The Continental Congress was composed of people who would stand up and risk their lives for future freedoms. Not only did they have such a strong political influence, but are you aware of the influence the Bible played on their lives, and their influence on the Bible?

The formation of the American Bible Society is closely related to the Continental Congress. The President of the Continental Congress from 1782-1783 was Elias Boudinot. He was also the first President of the American Bible Society.

John Quincy Adams was the sixth U.S. President and also was chairman of the American Bible Society. On July 4, 1821 President Adams said, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity.”

Frances Scott Key, the author of the United States National Anthem, was a vice president of the American Bible Society from 1817 until his death in 1843. I understand that the Continental Congress purchased 2,000 copies of Scripture from the American Bible Society for the people of this nation.

The American Bible Society has distributed multi-millions of copies of the Bible around the world. The mission of the American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life changing message.

George Washington stood up and assumed leadership for a rag tag army. Nobody gave him any chance of being successful. He was a great leader and could inspire people. On September 19, 1796, he said, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Our fourth U.S. President James Madison, who was extremely influential in the forming of our Constitution, said, “We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

William Holmes McGuffey was the author of the McGuffey reader. Our public schools used it for over 100 years. It sold over a million copies each year. President Lincoln called him “the School Master of the Nation.”

McGuffey said, “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our prevalent notions of the character of God, the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions.” He said, “From no source has this author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scripture. For all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

Our forefathers believed the Bible to be “a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT) They knew that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.” (II Timothy 3:16 NLT) They knew that the way to live was “by obeying Your Word and following its rules.” (Psalm 119:9 NLT)

Could the 113th Congress today learn from the Continental Congress? Could we learn and return to our Biblical heritage?


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