The Bible and Public Schools

By Kenneth Sils

One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1844, the Supreme Court upheld a law which stated that all public schools across America were obligated to teach the Bible in order to receive public funding. Can you imagine that? In order for schools to get money from the government, they had to present the Bible as the inspired word of God! If you are a history buff, this would not surprise you because the founding fathers’ of our country were all Bible-believing men. Many of America’s early state constitutions demanded that their public officials profess they believed in God and the Lord-ship of Jesus Christ. Many of the founding fathers’ writings were filled with Bible quotes and the early grade school readers, called primers, were filled with moral lessons and quotations of Scripture. It has been estimated that 94% of the laws in the Constitution and Bill of Rights were established from governmental type laws found in the Old and New Testament.

What has happened in the last 150 years? The greatest changes have taken place in the last 35 years. In the early 1960s, our government began to reverse its trend of Bible teaching in public schools due to increasing pressure from various atheistic or humanistic groups. While we blame special secularized interest groups for running the Bible’s teaching out of schools, it’s interesting to see the decline of morals and ethics in society running parallel with today’s secularized public education.

The real blame for the breakdown of God’s Word in public schools belongs on the backs of Americans who have removed the need of the Bible in their homes. Fewer and fewer people are reading, studying and applying God’s principles taught in the Bible than ever before in our country. While our government continues to pervert the doctrine called “separation of church and state,” most “religious” people in our nation seek churches which fulfill their selfish, physical wants and pleasures without regard to God’s instruction demanded in the Bible for righteous living.

The proverb writer said, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). Many churches in the 90’s are crying for Americans to be tolerant of immoral behavior while that behavior, or sin, is gradually destroying our nation. Sinful activities like abortion, homosexuality, divorce for any cause, gambling, social drinking, etc. are not only tolerated by many mainstream denominational groups but supported in their teaching and fellowship. When you look in many of our public school libraries, you’ll find all types of horror stories, witchcraft and occult type books, while the Bible is getting harder and harder to find.

Even though America appears to be on the brink of destruction due to its unrestrained lust and sin, there is hope for our country. James tells us in James 5;15 that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The prayers of God’s children possess the power “to change the night to day.” We should also let our lights shine in the midst of this perverse generation so others can see that good will triumph over evil. Dear brother or sister, are you doing your part?

Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 2 p. 13
January 19, 1995