I had the privilege to interview Robert J. Morgan last week in our studio. His grandson Luke was with him, and we had a divine appointment to discuss his new book, The Jordan River Rules. My time with Morgan propelled me back into his bestselling book, 100 Bible Verses That Made America.
When I first began to read the book, I spot-read various verses, and each reading inspired me deeply. I continued to read the book as a devotional a few mornings of each week.
This past weekend, after spending time with Morgan, I read the book from start to finish. I'm so glad I did. When colleagues asked the routine Monday-morning question, "How was your weekend?" I could only think about what I'm about to share with you.
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, addressing the Long Island Bible Society only weeks before being thrust into the presidency by the assassination of William McKinley, said, "A very large number of people tend to forget that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally—I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally—impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed" (Robert J. Morgan,. 100 Bible Verses That Made America, pp. xxi-xxii).
Roosevelt was prophetic. Yes, it is impossible to consider what life would be like without the Bible. Yet here we are in 2021, clearly able to picture living without a Bible in our hands. How many events do you read or hear about today that you never thought would happen?
President Franklin Roosevelt said, "We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic."
I'm reckoning the decline of our republic as a cohort moves away from even a puny parcel of belief in the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, "The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts" (Morgan).
It's stunning to read that a chief justice of the Supreme Court exhorted Americans to "regulate our life" by the precepts taught in the Bible.
"In regard to this Great Book," wrote Abraham Lincoln in a letter dated Sept. 7, 1864, "I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book" (Morgan).
Arguably the greatest president ever to lead America agreed that the Bible is a gift that keeps on giving.
Calvin Coolidge said, "The foundation of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country" (Morgan).
We've come a long way from "practically universal." Morgan's assembly of significant quotes from government leaders of that era at once reminds us of the spiritual focus our country once prescribed and of how far we have drifted from the path. We need leaders who encourage a closer walk with God.
"A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty"(Prov. 22:3, NASB).
Listen to both episodes of Greenelines with guest Robert J. Morgan here (Bible Verses That Made America) and here (The Jordan River Rules)here (The Jordan River Rules). Subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like these.
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.
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