The sinful origin of current-day public education

In 1837, modern public education was born in Massachusetts under the influence of Horace Mann. He is revered as the “Father of modern public education.” Mann was president of the Massachusetts Legislature and chairman of the new state board of education of America’s first public school system. He was a Unitarian, who denied the Trinity and deity of Christ. He did not believe in the inspiration and authority of the Bible.

The fact that the entire educational system for all of the children of America was in the hands of the Christian Church was deplorable to him. He thought something must be done to remedy that situation. His answer was state education, education run, operated, and controlled by the state. Hence, the modern, public educational system was begun in an effort to deliver children from the Christian religion.

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 969

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The societal fruits of private and Christian education

For 217 years—from 1620, when the Pilgrims landed, until 1837—virtually all education in America was private and Christian. (The public educational system is only 150 years old.) The basis of America lay with private and Christian education.

What was the result of over 200 years of private Christian education? Education historian Lawrence A. Cremin, who has written several books about American education, has concluded that literacy rates among American whites were as high or higher than in provincial England and significantly above those in Ireland:

At a time when estimates of adult male literacy in England ran from 48 percent in the rural western midlands to 74 percent in the towns, on the basis of signatures on marriage registers, adult male literacy in the American colonies seems to have run from 70 percent to virtually 100 percent, on the basis of signatures on deeds and wills, militia rolls and voting registers.

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 892.

No separation of God or Christianity from the state

Much of the misunderstanding in the area of “the separation of Church and State” hinges on the interpretation of the First Amendment. The religion clause of the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Traditionally, it has always been understood that this meant that in America there would be no State Church, like the one they had in [18th century] England. Historically, it has been understood that there is a separation of the function of the Church from the function of the State.

But that does not mean there is to be a separation of God or Christianity from the State…

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 1334

We are our brother’s keeper—not the government

When the Bible encourages generosity to the needy, it is always talking about voluntary giving within the Church—not forced “contributions” through taxation.

One Sunday when I preached on how the Bible does not teach socialism, a woman said to me afterward, “I completely disagree with you.

—“Wonderful! What do you disagree with?”

She said, “I believe we are our brother’s keeper.”

I said, “I completely agree with you. I believe we are, too. The difference with you and me is I believe we are our brother’s keeper, and you believe that the government is our brother’s keeper.

Her mouth fell open, and she walked out without saying another word. That concept is the difference between Christianity and socialism.

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 2084

Had Jesus never come, the world would be poorer

The great cathedrals of Europe are among the finest architectural masterpieces known, and their inspiration comes from Jesus. It was a servant of Christ, [composer Johann Sebastian] Bach (a man who dedicated every note he wrote to the glory of Jesus Christ), who changed Western music for all time.

Had Jesus never been born, art would depict only the finite. The attempt to capture the Infinite on canvas or in stone would never have been introduced. In short, had Jesus never come, the world would be poorer, even in the realms of art and music.

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 2959.

Atheist fails to produce evidence to a Christian

In the nineteenth century, Charles Bradlaugh, a prominent atheist, challenged a Christian man to a debate on the validity of the claims of Christianity. The Christian, Hugh Price Hughes, was an active soul-winner working among the poor in the slums of London.

Hughes told Bradlaugh he would agree to the debate on one condition. Hughes said, “I propose to you that we each bring some concrete evidences of the validity of our beliefs in the form of men and women who have been redeemed from the lives of sin and shame by the influence of our teaching. I will bring 100 such men and women, and I challenge you to do the same.”

Hughes then said that if Bradlaugh couldn’t bring 100, then he could bring 50; if he couldn’t bring 50, then he could bring 20. He finally whittled the number down to one. All Bradlaugh had to do was to find one person whose life was improved by atheism, and Hughes—who would bring 100 people improved by Christ—would agree to debate him. Bradlaugh withdrew!

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 3228.

The blighted reality of the humanistic state

The frightening thing about a humanist and atheistic state is that there is nothing beyond man to which one can make an appeal. The founders of this country said that men have been created equal and have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Therefore, our rights are not given to us by the State, which can extend or withhold them as it pleases, but rather they have been inalienably given to us by God.

We have an appeal beyond man, beyond the State, to God Himself, whereas in the humanist state there is nothing but man. The humanist state inevitably leads to tyranny and despotism.

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 3840.