A Society Must Know Its History

May 22nd 2017

The Bible is very clear about a society knowing its history.  The way a people view and understand their history eventually affects the way those people will behave. 


God wants us to know history.  He states repeatedly within scripture “Recall the former days” and “Recall the former times.”  This is seen clearly in such verses as:


  • Deuteronomy 32:7
  • Psalms 77:5,11
  • Psalms 143:5
  • Isaiah 46:9
  • Acts 7
  • Hebrews 11
  • Romans 15:4
  • 1 Corinthians 10:11
  • Hebrews 10:32


Charles Coffin, an American journalist, Civil War correspondent, author and politician, published a series of six history books.  Within them, he stated:


Notice that while oppressors have carried out their plans in history, there were other forces silently at work which in time undermined their plans – as if a Divine hand were directing the counter-plan.”


Coffin believed that the hand of God was at work directing liberty.  His emphasis was that what you see in history is things moving in a certain direction and then suddenly, a different direction is taken (study the American Revolution for example – how do farmers and shop keepers take on the most powerful army of that day?).  The Christian, while using the Holy Scriptures as their proof, knows that God is directing the outcome.  The Christian knows that there is a Divine plan.  We, in our generation, must recognize this fact and we must teach it to the generations following us.


Whoever peruses the story of liberty without recognizing this feature will fail of fully comprehending the meaning of history."

Charles Carleton Coffin


History has become boring to students now days because history no longer has meaning, it no longer shows how God is orchestrating His plan and influencing the affairs of men.  The way we teach history today is that we have a series of dates, names and places and we ask students to memorize this information and then to regurgitate it on a test.  After regurgitating, the student then purges the information and moves on to the next set of dates, names and places.  There is no meaning behind the history being taught and there is certainly no understanding of the divine orchestration of God.  As Christians, we need to get back to teaching history with a providential view. 


George Bancroft (1841) was known as the “Father of American History.”  He wrote a ten-volume set titled “The Systematic History of the United States.”  Bancroft was also a Secretary of War and he founded the Naval Academy at Annapolis.  One of his quotes greatly applies to this discussion:


The fortunes of a nation are not under the control of blind destiny, but follow the steps by which a favoring Providence, calling our institutions into being, has conducted the country to its present happiness and glory.




Jedidiah Morse is known as the “Father of American Geography.”  His son, Samuel Morse, developed the Morse Code.  Jedidiah Morse is famously quoted as stating:


The office of a historian is:

1) to record the progress of human affairs as directed by the providence of God;

2) to exhibit the connection of events, showing how an immense series is produced as cause and effect;

3) to display the character of man and of God.”


This is how the Founding Fathers intended for history to be taught.  This is how they understood history. 


Justice James Wayne was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and was nominated by President Andrew Jackson.  Wayne observed that:


History is God’s providence in human affairs.




History is the story of what God has been up to in the lives of individuals, in peoples, in nations.  History truly is His-Story.  It is God’s story of providence in and through the affairs of man.  To study history is to look and to analyze what God has been doing over the course of time.


Our problem is that we no longer put God in history.  When one puts God in history, they are then forced to recognize cause and effect.  Recognizing cause and effect will lead one to conclude absolute values and that line of thinking can only lead one to recognize that there are rights and wrongs within this world.  The secularist and the atheist do not want any part of that – they do not want our youth taught that God has absolutes and therefore history has absolutes.


Providential History – This is how America taught history for over two centuries.  History in America is now secular and it has no place for God.  This has been the case for at least the last 60 to 70 years.  Revisionists, secularist, atheists, and now Christians are opposed to having God taught in the classroom.  Atheists and humanists use the court system to enforce an approach to teaching history that is secular and Christians are opposed to the teaching of God in public schools for fear that altered and/or false teachings will be used to distort the truth. 


A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:40


Realize that the professors now teaching in our universities were trained, for the most part, by secular professors.  Luke 6:40 tells us that every student will be like his teacher.  Yes, there are exceptions to this statement and there certainly are numerous professors that are Christians and are pursuing truth, but one has to wonder just what amount of misinformation the best of students grasp on to while being trained by secular, and even atheistic, teachers.  Understand that for the most part, these professors are often teaching what they have been taught and that Satan’s mastery for using the world’s system in order to deceive the whole of the human race does not stop with those who have advanced degrees.


It is tragic to realize that the most dangerous place in America, for Christian youth, is the university.  Rothman-Lichter, known for their analysis of the worldview of media, and now also for their analysis of the worldview of professors, has published the following statistics:


  • 71-88% of Christian youth will deny their faith by the time they exit college.
  • More than 50% of Christian youth will deny their faith by the time they exit Christian colleges.


Why is this happening?  Well the truth of the matter is that those who “leave the faith” were never of the faith to begin with, but the majority of the answer to this question is found in the fact that Christian youth are no longer equipped with Apologetics training.  These youth are not taught how to defend their faith.


But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 3:15


How is it that we are losing more than 50% of Christian youth attending Christian colleges?  The answer is found in the fact that the people teaching these youth are the same people that have been taught by secular professors.  “Higher-criticism” and doubt is being injected into our youth and it is now snowballing as a generational influence.


By-and-large, the profession of University Professor is leading the way in holding the title of “most hostile towards God” when it comes to professions found in America today.  What is the Christian to do?  How can the Christian student arm themselves to resist the onslaught awaiting them from most universities of the 21st-century?  In the weeks ahead, we are going to take a look at four "traps" that are prevalent in academia, media, politics, government, and policy-making today.  Those four traps are as follows - keep an eye out for future posts speaking to these subjects:


  1. Post-Structuralism
  2. Modernism
  3. Academic Collectivism
  4. Deconstructionalism


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