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A Nation of Law—God’s Law

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, February 6, 2018

William Blackstone, “father of the legal profession”, said:

Thus when the Supreme Being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, He impressed certain principles upon that matter, from which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be.

Blackstone noted that all creatures, even plants and animals, are governed by certain unerring principles, or laws. Man must be subject to these laws also, because he is entirely dependent upon his Creator for his very being.

Natural law—our dependence upon God for our being—is discovered by observation and reason. Our founders boldly stated in the Declaration of Independence that we are dependent on the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Ponder: We are entirely dependent upon God’s law as the heart of liberty and self-government that our nation was founded upon.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), pages 60-62.

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Words have consequences

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Words convey thoughts and words have consequences. We want to teach our children to use correct words, words that truly communicate a Biblical way of thinking.” Carole G. Adams, Ph.D., President of FACE

Join Gai Ferdon, Martha Shirley and Carole Adams on this short video to learn about the importance of words and tips on teaching language to your children. Learn why Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is the “gold standard” for learning language and Biblical thinking.

We invite you to join us for our next Lessons in Liberty series featuring guest speaker Carole G. Adams, January 15 to learn more about the power of words and language in our culture today.

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The Idea of America: Education forms character

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, December 12, 2017


What did our founding father of American education, Noah Webster, say was the secret to “future happiness”?

Webster wanted to give young people help in creating an excellent life by explaining he made many mistakes in his early years that caused him to spend valuable time "correcting the errors of his early education."

Men and women are creatures of habit, he explained, and early behaviors are based on knowledge of tradition and modeling the example of parents and superiors. In Webster’s mind, this was a good thing and how education begins. Confidence in the opinions of those we respect is always a duty, and obedience to parents should be complete and unreserved.

As young people gain maturity, the intellectual faculties expand and reasoning power gains strength. Men are “furnished with the gift of reason by design of the Creator” and it should be used at every stage of life. However, Webster cautioned that reason can cause us to err because of ignorance and acting upon impulse. Reason should be tempered with cultivation, experience and revelation, “without which reason can be a miserable guide."

Revelation, that is, learning from the Scriptures the character and will of your Maker, and the guiding principles of life, are the keys to a “tranquil mind and future happiness." Education based upon Biblical truths—revelation—forms the character of those who are then able to be self-governed.

The first questions a rational person should ask himself, said Webster, are:

Who made me?
Why was I made?
What is my duty?

“The proper answers to these question, and the practical results, constitute, my dear friend, the whole business of life.”

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History by the Foundation for American Christian History (FACE), Pages 20-21.

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The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Updated: Friday, November 13, 2015


By Rosalie J. Slater

THE PILGRIMS BRING THE GOSPEL TO AMERICA
We remember the Pilgrims sailed across the Ocean on the little ship named The Mayflower. The first year at Plymouth was very hard for the Pilgrims. It was very cold—there was snow and ice on the ground. The Pilgrims built houses for shelter. But first, they built a house for the Lord, a church where they could gather to worship Him and to give thanks for their safe voyage across the ocean to America. The Pilgrims came to America to “propagate and advance the Gospel” of Jesus Christ in these “remote parts of the world.” They also wanted to educate their little children in the ways of the Lord.

GOD SENDS SQUANTO TO HELP THE PILGRIMS
After that first winter, the Pilgrims had a surprise. This is how Governor William Bradford described it in his history of the Pilgrims, Of Pilmoth Plantation:

But about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at it… His name was Samoset. He told them also of another Indian whose was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself.

A few day later Samoset returned with the great chief, Massasoit, and with Squanto. The Pilgrims and the Plymouth Indians made a Peace Treaty which they both kept for over fifty years.

Now that Spring had come it was time to begin to plant their crops so that they might have enough food for the winter. Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He showed them how to plant corn and how to put a little fish in the ground with each grain of corn. With the little fish Squanto was providing fertilizer for the soil—he was feeding the ground with the fish to make the corn grow up big and tall. In many other ways Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He was their guide when they went exploring in their little boat which they called a shallop. He was their interpreter when they wanted to trade with the other Indians because he could speak both Indian and English languages.

William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth Plantation, from whose book we learn about the Pilgrims, wrote about Squanto, that he was “A special Instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

A BETTER WAY TO RAISE CORN
When the first harvest was gathered the Pilgrims had enough to eat but not for long. Soon the corn crop was all eaten up. They were very hungry again. They gathered nuts and berries. They lived on fish and shell-fish, like lobsters. Sometimes they felt weak from lack of food. But the Lord gave them strength to go on. What could they do to raise more corn—enough to feed themselves, enough to feed the visitors that came to them—enough to trade with the Indians for beaver skins?

William Bradford wrote in his book, “So they began to think of how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.”

All this time they had been going to work in the same big field. This was very confusing. Some men worked only a little. Other men and women worked very hard and their children, too. The result was that many of the lazy ones let the weeds kill their corn plants. The Pilgrims who worked diligently to keep the weeds out of the corn patch grew a big corn crop. Then they had to feed not only their own families, but also the lazy ones who had been careless. This made for injustice and hard feelings.

The Pilgrims talked these matters over with Governor William Bradford. They wanted him to divide up the land so that each family could have their own acres to work. In this way each one could work as hard as he wanted. Each one would be responsible for his plot of land. Some of the young boys had lost their parents the first hard winter. These were given to a family where they could help in the fields. In turn, the family would take care of the boy and feed him with their own. With this new plan there were many individual fields of corn planted. The Governor was pleased at the new attitude of diligence and industry on the part of those especially who were willing to work as hard as they could. Even the lazy ones began to work with new purpose.

THE THREAT OF A FAMINE
The corn was planted just as Squanto had taught them: each grain of corn was planted with a little fish. The families hoed and weeded. They were happy in the thought a good harvest. Soon the young corn shoots stuck their heads out of the soil and began to reach toward the sun. The fields were beautiful to see with the little green shoots.

But now came a great drought. No rain fell to give the young corn plants a needed drink. Every day the sun became hotter and hotter. The drought started in the third week of May and continued until the middle of July. The Pilgrims saw that unless they had some rain their young corn shoots would all wither and dry up. The sun would burn them up. What should they do?

THE PILGRIMS’ DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING
Always the Pilgrims had turned to the Lord when they were in trouble or when they had problems. This time was no exception. They decided to set apart a whole day to pray to God for rain. They also fasted which means they did not eat any food all day. The Pilgrims humbled themselves before the Lord and asked forgiveness for their sins. How did God answer them? Let us look at the words of William Bradford:

All the morning, and the greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen; yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God. It came without either wind or thunder or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken the decayed corn and other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.

One of the most remarkable results of their prayers was the “gracious and speedy answer” that the Lord gave in sending them such gentle showers. Had the rain been hard and the drops too big, the little green shoots would have flattened out. But “as the small rain upon the tender herb” the showers fell softly and gently. This gentle rain opened the hearts of the Indians to receive the Gospel message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. It was the beginning of the evangelistic efforts of the Pilgrims. The Indians felt the Pilgrims’ God was bigger than the God they prayed to, for when they had prayed for rain it had come with storms and tempests. Instead of doing good it had layed the corn flat on the ground. But this had not happened to the Pilgrims’ corn.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
Bradford tells us that “afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, causes a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of Thanksgiving.” The year was 1623.

Setting apart a special day of Thanksgiving in America honors the Hand of God in our History. It especially honors the Pilgrims as a Christian people whom God sent to America to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Thanksgiving Day, let us thank the Lord for what He has done for our Land and for us.

THE PILGRIM’S PRAYER FOR RAIN
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Read more about the Pilgrim story in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government by Verna M. Hall. Visit FACEBookstore.net for more information.

STUDY GUIDE
Use this guide to help your students and children apply the Pilgrim story to their own lives.

Principles From God’s Word
• God loves humility and repentence for sin (see James 4:6)
• God answers the prayers of His people (see James 5:15–16)

Pilgrim Christian Character
• Diligence and Industry in working
• Faith and Steadfastness in prayer
• Humility in asking God’s forgiveness for sin
• Thankfulness to God for answered prayer

Questions for Reflection
• Does God answer your prayers?
• What does God require of us when we pray?
• What are some of the unexpected ways that God helps us in our lives? Who are our Samosets and Squantos?


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Character Forms a Free or Fettered Life

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Character is the substance on which self-government is built, and without it there is nothing to build on. What, then, is “character”? Noah Webster defines character as, “a mark made by engraving” and “the peculiar qualities, impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from others.”

The definition of character implies that character is “cut” or “engraved”—formed, forged, and structured by “nature or habit.” Therefore, an instrument is required to do the cutting. That instrument might be family, church, and most certainly schooling.

America’s founding generation understood that godly character could only be formed when an individual conformed their life to the principles found in the Bible. Self-government could only be practiced and enjoyed when character was marked by faith, steadfastness, brotherly love and Christian care, diligence and industry, and liberty of conscience—that most sacred property. These qualities are the raw materials for building a “free and unfettered life” and a self-governed nation.

A new season of Thanksgiving is coming

Can you imagine what America would be like if we all committed to building our character on the “habits” of diligence, brotherly love and faith? Would many of our nation’s social, moral, financial and international problems be resolved?

Our Pilgrim forebears celebrated that first thanksgiving with joy because their character had been forged through perseverance and suffering to shape God-fearing, Christ-honoring, self-reliant Christians. Let’s recommit to forming our individual character as American Christians, just as the Pilgrims, to reflect Christ’s character, known by His teachings in order to produce a “free and unfettered life.” This will be the beginning of restoring our nation.

Excepted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams, and Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach, “America’s Heritage of Christian Character”, by Rosalie J. Slater. Published by Foundation for American Christian History (FACE).

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Webster: Education for Christian Self-Government

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, October 2, 2017

America is a nation of self-governed individuals, but for the most part, we have forgotten that idea. How can we “remember” this key concept and return our nation to its true purpose—liberty under law with Christian self-government?

Noah Webster, founding father of American education, spent 60 years of his life writing books to help his country grow up in her independence. He became famous for The American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828. This book could be called the only Christian dictionary in the world, and it became the authority for the entire English-speaking world.

The final achievement in Noah Webster’s plan for American Christian education was the translation of the holy Bible from its original languages. Webster learned more than 28 different languages while he was working on the American Dictionary. These languages were those that unlocked the Bible, and Webster called this project “the most important enterprise of my life.” He then published an “American scriptures” for daily reading by Americans “correctly translated into their own language.”

Webster firmly believed that the scriptures were the basis of correct instruction and said, “Education is useless without the Bible.” He also stated that not only should the Bible be the basis for education, but also the basis for all institutions of our Republic because it is the only foundation for teaching character and conscience—the cornerstone of Christian self-government.

Today, American education has sadly slipped away from her mornings to that great anchor—the Christian religion as defined in the holy Scriptures. The American Christian plan of education established by Noah Webster is still our heritage today, and remains the answer to the dilemma of how to return our nation to its true purpose—liberty under law with Christian self-government.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government by Foundation for American Christian Education. “American Dictionary of the English Language”, p. 17.

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Has America forgotten the idea of self-government?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Sunday, September 3, 2017

The “idea of America” is obscured today by the forgetfulness of Americans.

What is the idea of America? Liberty of conscience with the right to life and property, or Christian self-government. How does one forget an idea that was so ardently pursued and hard-won?

Why does “the idea of America” have power to call forth the sacrifice of so many, so consistently, over so many years? One sentence captures the “idea”:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

This remarkable sentence, written over 240 years ago, has power in every generation because it says a nation should be found upon Truth—self-evident Truth that was true, is true and will remain true for all people, at all times, in all places. It is a truth that cannot be disproved and that existed from Creation.

What is the source of this Truth? What evidence can we see? How did this Truth come to us? What are we to do with it?

It is essential that we inculcate the “idea of America” in the hearts and minds of our youth by addressing these questions thoughtfully. We must linger reflectively in them to form a full understanding of the wisdom needed by each generation to sustain the American Republic.

How can we remember the “idea of America”?

History is driven by ideas, but history is forgotten when it is not taught. When parents and teachers neglect the duty of teaching children the mighty acts of God, that void of ignorance is readily filled with a false view of history, which in turn leaves no place for the knowledge of God’s glory.

Let’s heed the words of the psalmist:

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
…things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done…
…that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,…but keep his commandments…

excerpted from Psalm 78:1-8, ESV

Adapted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, edited by Carole G. Adams. Originally published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government.

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Did you know America is an idea?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Most nations are formed on the basis of racial, linguistic or ethnic affinities. For example, England, France, Germany, and China are all nations established on shared genetic and and cultural bonds. America is the only nation that was birthed not by racial or ethnic necessities, not by aristocracy or oligarchy, but solely by the power of the idea of “living to God,” by subjecting civil and religious liberty to His revealed law.

It has been said that God chose Israel, but America chose God.

The heroic story of America began in ancient times in the mind of God who placed man at liberty in the Garden of Eden. Recorded history, beginning with the Bible, shows man’s resistance to God and the enslaving consequences of rule by various tyrants—kings, pharaohs, caesars, despots, emperors, dictators—often governing malevolently. The Bible teaches us God’s plan of redemption through the Gospel and man’s struggle to regain civil freedom. The Gospel not only frees man from sin but makes him wise in governing himself without oppression.

America’s story

Our story is the story of people and events, but ultimately the story of an idea—the capacity of mankind to govern himself, without a king or ruler, with liberty of conscience and with the right to life and property.

Those early colonial patriot-soldiers, who bled and died for the “idea of America,” teach us again several generations later, to cherish that Christian idea.

Adapted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, by Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, edited by Carole G. Adams. Originally published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government.

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Is America a Christian Nation?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, July 3, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 30, 2017

Christians sometimes have difficulty linking the ideas of America’s Christian history and civil government. It seems to them they are being asked to yoke together that which should not be yoked.

They have assumed that the external separation of church and state, which the United States enjoys, means separation of Christian principles from our civil government, rather than believing as did our founding fathers, that our civil government is based upon and inseparable from Christian principles.

Noah Webster wrote that the moral principles contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.These principles have immutable truth as their foundation, are adapted to people in every condition of life, secure the practice of universal justice and kindness, and prevent crimes and disorders in society. No human laws dictated apart from the principles of the gospel can ever secure peace, liberty, safety, prosperity and national security.

Many believe that civil government can secure these benefits, but government is an intangible idea that describes the flow of power and force in society. The structure or form of government (i.e., legislative, judicial, executive branches) is only the means by which power and force can operate in our nation.

Government operates in two spheres

Government (power and force) has two spheres of operation: internal and external. Internal (power and force) is individual self-government; external (power and force) is civil government.

The internal sphere is always the causative. Jesus taught that a good man brings forth good treasure out of the heart (Matt. 12:35). Natural man, because of his evil nature, cannot bring forth good government, or the good flow of power and force, because he can only bring out what is in his heart.

Whether man accepts the sovereignty of God or the sovereignty of man determines the quality of the good or evil in his heart.

Power comes from the consent of the governed

Our Founders stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence that governments are instituted by men and gain their powers by the consent of the governed.

What is in the heart of the “the governed?” We must forever link America’s Christian history and civil government to enjoy the benefits of Liberty, peace, security and prosperity.

Adapted from Verna M. Hall, “Introduction: Christianity and Civil Government,” The Christian History of the American Revolution, Consider and Ponder (Foundation for American Christian History, 1976), p. xxv.

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Restoring the Memory of America's Christian History

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, June 19, 2017


George Washington at Prayer in the Capitol Prayer Room

Can we restore the lost memory of American Christian self-government?

The knowledge of our American history is so important to Americans that without it we act like a nation that has lost its memory. Knowledge of America’s Christian History provides us with the purpose for which America was established.

Historians who wrote close to the period of our founding were convinced that God reserved this continent for that time when mankind was ready to accept to the fullest the opportunity and the responsibility for extending Christian liberty to every sphere of life. There would be no America if there were no Christianity.

The record of our Christian History has not been destroyed, only neglected.

Few Christians in America really know America’s Christian History. Yet no one has destroyed the record. Rather it has been forgotten and neglected by the very people who should love this tremendous testimony of Christ His Story in America. Now, once again Americans can read for themselves the documentation in the “original” sources of our history.

Historians of today look at America’s early history through the lenses of contemporary philosophies of government and they fail to understand the reasoning of her Founders. Our purpose is to restore the Biblical reasoning of those individuals who were closer to that period.

If we are to appreciate the sacred trust of Christian government we must understand it in the context of a Bible-loving and a Bible-living people.

Excerpted from the original Introduction to Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government, 1968. Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater.


Look for our new, updated edition of Rudiments to be released Summer 2017 titled Nation Makers: The Art of Self Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams, President of the Foundation for American Christian History.

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