The history of our Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals, families, and societies.
These words are not our words. These words are written in the annals of history by a united Senate and House of Representatives. These words were presented in 1982 to President Reagan as both houses petitioned President Reagan to declare the year 1983 as “The Year of the Bible”.
The Senate and House of 1983 stated in their petition that our early leaders, “including Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson paid tribute to the surpassing influence of the Bible.” As modern-day Christians, we often look back at the faith of our early leaders for our inspiration. We don’t have to look back that far! In reality, our leaders, just 35 years ago, understood the importance that the Bible brings to society as a whole.
In 1982, thirty Senators came before President Reagan stating:
“1983 can be a year of spiritual renewal as a nation…the joint resolution—introduced on a bipartisan basis—is straightforward. The joint resolution notes the surpassing influence the Bible has had in the formation of this Nation, and its roots in our early settlement and our form of civil government. The joint resolution requests the President to designate 1983 as the Year of the Bible ‘in recognition of the formative influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and of our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Scriptures.'” (1)
This joint resolution boldly declared:
– The Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation
– Deeply held religious convictions springing up from the Holy Scriptures led to the settlement of our Nation
-Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States
– Many of our great national leaders paid tribute to the surpassing influence of the Bible in our country’s development
-The history of our Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals, families, and societies
– This Nation now faces great challenges that will test this Nation as it has never been tested before; and
– That renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through Holy Scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people (2)
“Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge. As a people we may be well tested as we have seldom, if ever, been tested before. We will need resources of spirit even more than resources of technology, education, and armaments. There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called ‘the best gift God has ever given man…But for it we could not know right from wrong.’” (3)
With the recognition of Congress that the unique contribution of the Bible in the shaping of the history and character of both our Nation and its people, a program of restoration began. (4) We can continue that restoration!
How? In the words of Rodney “Gipsy” Smith, a 19th Century evangelist:
“Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.”
Smith understood that restoration begins in the heart of the individual and flows outward to society. May we continue the restoration begun by our leaders in 1983.
At Dayspring Christian Academy, we are committed to raising up the next generation of Christian leaders who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life, demonstrate a biblical worldview, become citizens of excellence in Christian character and scholarship, and aid in the restoration of America’s biblical foundation. If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please contact Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or schedule a private tour using the button below.
1. S.J. Res 165. Joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to proclaim 1983 as the “Year of the Bible”; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
2. PUBLIC LAW 97-280 OCT 4, 1982 96 STAT. 1211
3. Ronald Reagan: “Proclamation 5018—Year of the Bible, 1983,” February 3, 1983.
4. Hall & Slater “The Bible and the Constitution of the United States of America: A Primer of American Liberty”, 1983