Word of the Week: Bible

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“It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible, once affirmed our first President George Washington.

In his farewell address, September 19, 1796, Washington said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of right and order which Heaven itself has ordained. … Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

The word of the week is “Bible.”

Ironically, the word “Bible” is never found inside the text of the Bible!  “Bible” comes from both a Greek and Latin word that means “the books.”  The Bible is a collection of 66 inspired books, written over 1500 years by approximately 40 different authors as directed by the Holy Spirit.

On this President’s Day, when we honor our first President and all past Presidents, I want to share what some of them have said about the Bible.  In a day that so many want to exclude every mention of God and religion from the public arena, consider the words of these men that once led our nation.

Our second President, John Adams, advanced this thought: “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” 

The great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President once wrote, I am busily engaged in the study of the Bible . I believe it is God’s word because it finds me where I am.” I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good of the Savior of the world is communicated to us through the Book.”

Rough Rider, Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th President said, “A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education.” 

The 28th President of the United   States, Woodrow Wilson made a statement that many would debate, but it demonstrated his belief and respect for the Bible.  He 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.”

The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions,” affirmed our 30th President Calvin Coolidge.  “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.”

Our only President to be elected to more than two terms, Franklin Roosevelt acknowledged, “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.”

And the “Great Communicator”, Ronald Reagan asserted, “Inside the Bible’s pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known… It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.

I share these quotes, not because I agree with all the politics and policies of these Presidents.  Nor because I believe that all of them lived by the teachings of the Bible.  And I certainly don’t believe that the Bible and Christianity should be forced on people.  We are a nation that enjoys  “freedom of religion.”

These expressions of faith simply say that our Presidents have shared a respect for the Bible. That they have honored it.  And rightly recognize its  place in the very fabric of our culture.  Every President, except one, has taken the oath of office with his hand on the Bible.

And so on this President’s Day, let us be reminded of the value of the Bible.  Its impact on our nation.  And the need for our leaders to embrace its eternal values.  But more than that, there is a greater need than ever for our citizens to return to moral and ethical principles of the Bible.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

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