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THE IMPORTANCE OF HlSTORY

Aswe engageinthe battle for freedom


and reformation in our generation, we
must keep in mind that central and
indeed, indispensable to freedom is
Biblical Christianity. There has never
been and will never be, true freedom
apart from the one true religion. Onlyas
the Son of God rnakesus free, are we free
in any true sense of the word (Jom
8:32-36).
The Bible teaches us that man since
theFallisnotnaturally"free"butenslaved
to sin and Satan (Rom. 6:16-17). This
spiritualbondageuniessbrokenbyGod's
grace, will always result in political
bondage. A people convinced in the
Bible's teachings however, are almost
impossible to enslave. Thus, political
revolutionaries have always targeted
Christians and Christianity for
destruction in the first stages of their
revolutions. This has been the case in
every atheistic revolution of this century
(Russia, China, Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua,
etc., etc.).
This attack takes on many forms
dependinguponthenation. 1beassault
on Christianity in this country has been
central to the socialist/revolutionary
strategy. But because of the depth of the
Christian roots of this nation, the
anti-ChrIstlan offensive has had to be
much more subtle than in other
countries. One of the key areas of attack
has been that of history.
History is a powerful ally. A fact that
revolutionarieshave beenquicktorealize.
A nation deceived about its past can be
easilymanipulatedinthepresent. Those
who write the history books mold the
thinking and set the agenda of the next
generation (and sometimes a number of
future generations). Forthisreason, one
of the first things insurrectionists seek to
do is re-write history from their own
perspective. Torobanationofitshistory
is to rob it of the strength and wisdom of
the past. It also, in a peculiarly effective
way, biases the minds of men as they
consider the alternatives before them.
That which is considered plansible and
acceptable is largely detertuined bywhat
one believesto baveoccurredinthepast.
This makes the revision of history
extremely imponam.
18 f mE COUNSEL of Chalcedon f December, 1992
We have all heard of the radical
historical revisionism carried out by the
revolutionariesinother lands. Whatwe
must realize is that this has occurred in
this nation as well. And we are in grave
danger as a consequence. Modem
historians have been and are for the
most part, subversives. As lackeys of the
"revolution", they have re-written our
history in order to discredit and defame
Christianity and its influence in this
nation. To make way for "change", the
ground had to be cleared of the irksome
relics of our Onistian past.
THE MYTH OF NEVTRALIIY
Wendell Phillips, the famed
abolitionist of the nineteenth century,
once stated, "One half of history is loose
conjecture and much of the rest is the
writer'sopinion. .. Mostmenseefactsnot
withtheireyes, butwiththeirprejudices."
In other words, there isno such thing as
neutrality.
No one is ''neutral'' philosophically
or religiously. Everyone, including
objective"historians, Iookat the facts in
terms of their faith - be that faith Biblical
ornon-Biblical The facts do not "speak
for themselves" (as we have so often
heard), they are mute without an
interpreter.
Take, for example, the "fact" ofa man
getting struck by lightning. The way
you understand this incidem (and what
you say about it) depends to a large
extem upon what you believe. If you
don't believe the Bible, you will likely
view this incidem as a "stroke of bad
luck." But if you are a Christian who
believes what the Bible says about God,
you know that God causes the lightning
to strike the mark (Job 36:32). What
you observed was not an act of blind
fate, but the hand of God.
The unbeliever is not intentionally
lyingwhen he describes the sad scene as
''bad luck" - but he lies nonetheless.
The true view and right understanding
of all things comes from a koowledge of
God as revealed in the Scriptures
(Proverbs 1:8). As RJ. Rushdoonyhas
said, "Because all things are made by
God, nothingisunderstandable interms
of itself but only in terms of God the
Creator." The judgments of one who
rejects God'struthare bound to be more
or less corrupt and erroneous.
Unbelieving historians, as they
observe the "facts" of history have many
times drawn extremely corrupt
conclusions from what
they have seen.
Sometimes they have
intentionally distorted
the facts, in order to
deceive. Like the
modem news media,
they let you see only
what they want you to
see. But always they
see facts "not with their
eyes, but with their
prejudices."
If we would not
allow unbelievers to
interpret the Bible for
us, why should we
allowthemto interpret
historyforus? Wemust
interpret it for ourselves. We should not
be surprised that when we look at the
"facts" we corne away with some very
different and even contradictory
conclusions.
HlSTORlCALAMNESlA
There is another way in which we
have been robbed of our past however:
Our history has simply not been taught.
Asa result, mostpeoplearelikenewbom
babes, unaware of anything that has
happened prior to their birth. Modem
"education" has only exacetbated the
problem. Texthooks not only contain
many (and sometimes quite laughable)
errors, but they also ignore vast portions
of the content of the past. More space is
given to "pop heroes" (M31ilyn Monroe
and Elvis) than to the true heroes of our
nation. Terribly abbreviated (and
homblyperverted) explanations forpast
events are given. As a consequence,
what mostArnerican think happened in
this country never did -- at least not in
the way we have been told.
Iamconstantlyamazedatthenumber
of men I come across inmyreading who
were velY prominent and influential in
their day, but are utter strangers to me
(and unfOltunately, to mostAmelicans).
They have been totally forgotten. Not
surprisingly, most of these forgotten
menwere outstanding Christian leaders.
Theyhave beenpurposefullyoverlooked
to preserve the delusion of a secularized
past.
As a result, most people are as
ignorant of what has happened in the
world (and in this country) as they
would be had they been reared in the
aboriginal Outback of Australia. More
and more, I find that it is not so much
that students have been givenerroneous
accounts of the past so much as they
have not been told anything of the past
goodorbad! Theyareasunenlightened
about history as New Guinea pygmies
are of Mozan.
lnPsahn 78: 1-7 thePsalrnistobserves
that one of the crucial elements in
determining a nation's future prosperity
and continuance isaclearunderstanding
of God's dealings with it. We are
commanded to teach our children the
glOriOUS things that God has done in the
past in order that they might know and
declare them to their children. All this
with the ultimate end that they might set
their hope in God (v. 7).
You see here a glorious covenant
continuity: Four generations are
mentioned and involved in the
continuation of covenant
culture. Thisindicatesthat
one of the critical factors in
the preservation and
promotion of Biblical faith
and the bleSSings the
accompany covenant
faithfulness is a clear sight
and understanding of the
great works of God in the
history of the nation.
Thus it is that when
Istael apostatizes from the
faith, we find that one of
the chief factors in their
apostasy is they forgot the
mighty works of God in
their behalf or that they
simplywerenevertold. We
dare not allow this to happen to our
children.
As Ouistians, we all have been given
the job of educating our generation in
the truth about all things. This is
especially true of those who are parents.
Ourjob is to train upa generation which
will trust and obey the Living God. The
clises we face in this nation demand
leaders who understand the times and
know what we ought to do. The times
demand bold, faithful men and women
who will walk by faith not by Sight, not
fearing the threats nor being ensnared
by the flatteries of men.
This job cannot be accomplished, or,
at least, it will not be accomplished well,
if the children we train do not know the
mighty works God has done in this
country. This is the place ofhistory.Q
December, 1992 t THE COUNSEL of Chalcedon t 19