This week in our Precepts Bible study we learned about King Hezekiah. He was a good king and did what was right in the sight of the Lord. We talked about his father, King Ahaz, who did evil in the sight of the Lord. Why was it that Hezekiah did right? I believe it was because he had a godly mother and godly grandfather. I trust that they were a great influence on him. He also had to make his own decision about his faith in God. So what kind of an inheritance will our children have?
In the past we had Bible reading and prayer in the schools. But now even the purposes of our colleges have been changed, and any reference to God has been taken out. When Harvard University was founded in 1636 it was with the intention of establishing a school to train Christian ministers. In accordance with that vision, Harvard's "Rules and Precepts," adopted in 1646, stated (original spelling and Scriptural references retained):
"2. Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).
3. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoreticall observations of Language and Logick, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his Tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130.)
The motto of the University adopted in 1692 was "Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae" which translated from Latin means "Truth for Christ and the Church." This phrase was embedded on a shield, and can be found on many buildings around campus including the Widener library, Memorial Church, and various dorms in Harvard Yard. Interestingly, the top two books on the shield are face up while the bottom book is face down. This symbolizes the limits of reason, and the need for God's revelation.
Now, in the 21st century, we are learning about the rampant ungodliness in our American colleges and universities. This is from the Family Research Council:
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1Timothy 4:12
A National Day of prayer for the colleges is scheduled for February 27, 2014, the last Thursday in February.
“Dear Praying Friends,
With a few exceptions, America's colleges and universities have become left wing indoctrination centers. Popular youth culture and classroom instruction combine to steep our young people in atheism, false religion, religious relativism, socialist economics, infatuation with sex, hostility toward traditional Christian and American values, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian sentiments, radical environmentalism, global warming, and other radical liberal views that plant doubt and cynicism into their hearts. The young men and women who will lead the nation are being systematically indoctrinated into an anti-Christian worldview. Is it any wonder so many students abandon their faith in college? Enter the Collegiate Day of Prayer, America's first national college prayer movement. From CDOP:
The early records of many of our foremost universities read like a virtual history of spiritual revival. No other nation has ever enjoyed as many student awakenings for as many consecutive years as the United States of America. These student revivals emerged during the First Great Awakening in the eighteenth century. But it was the Second Great Awakening (1790-1845) that produced our most powerful student revivals and the prayer movement that sustained them. This outpouring of grace was born out of the Concerts of Prayer in the mid-1780s. The awakening began in the Northeast in the early 1790s and spread to the western frontier by 1800. It touched nearly every corner of our nation into the mid-1840s. For half a century America experienced genuine revival in one part of our nation or another.
As our Students Go, So Goes the Nation - Church leaders began to apply the proven principles of the Concert of Prayer movement to the needs of college students. By 1815, the Concert of Prayer for Colleges had become a regular feature on the campuses of Yale, Williams, Brown and Middlebury. By 1823, nearly every major denomination and university in America was observing a concerted day of prayer for colleges. The churches viewed these student communities as the future of their congregations, culture, and society. They believed their churches and the nation would follow the spiritual bent and character of the college students...
Transforming Morals in America's Universities - By the end of the 19th century, repeated student awakenings had radically transformed the culture and moral climate of many of our largest universities. Many of America's ministers encouraged their congregations to send their children to college, believing they would be safe and soundly converted.
The Collegiate Day of Prayer Today - For nearly a hundred years the Church in America observed a day of united prayer for God to awaken and revive our colleges. In this time of great spiritual need, should not this historic day of prayer be continued? One who witnessed these historic events, but later saw the spiritual decline among America's students, expressed a conviction that it was "due almost entirely to the fact that we no longer observe the Day of Prayer for Colleges... There used to be long seasons of prayer in the college chapel and all-day meetings for fasting and prayer in nearly all of the churches. We asked God to raise up ministers and missionaries among the students and He did! ... 'You have not because you ask not.'"
I’m marking my calendar for February 27th and will pray that day for our college students. Will you?