The Presidents and the Bible
By Vernon McLellan
It has been said that a nation rises and falls on its leadership. If so, the Bible has been one of the greatest influences in America’s best-known, most courageous leaders.
George Washington, our first President, added the prayer, “So help me, God”, to his inauguration oath, then he reverently stooped and kissed the Bible which had been used in the oath.
John Adams, second President of the United States, revealed that he personally studied the Scriptures every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings.
Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh President, referred to the Bible as “the rock on which our Republic rests”. He read from the Word daily – at least three to five chapters.
William Henry Harrison, ninth President, also read the Bible every day.
Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President, called the Word “the best gift God has ever given to man …But for it we could not know right from wrong”.
Rutherford B. Hayes, nineteenth Chief Executive, read a portion of the Bible to his family each morning at breakfast.
Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third President, not only read the Bible himself, but taught the Scriptures in Sunday School.
William McKinley, twenty-fifth man elected to the country’s top position, was known to be a deeply committed Christian.
Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth President, once stated:
“The Bible is the Word of life. I beg that you will read it and find this out for yourself. When you have read the Bible you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found in it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.”
Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth President of the United States, in his remarks about the Bible – “In this Book will be found the solution of all the problems of the world.”
Herbert Hoover, thirty-first President, said:
“The whole of the inspirations of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”
In the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, thirty-fourth Chief Executive, the Bible was read each day during family devotions with each family member reading a passage in turn.
The fortieth President, Ronald Reagan, wrote:
“Inside the Bible’s pages lie all the answers to all the problems man has ever known. I hope Americans will read and study the Bible…It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.”
“In God We Trust” is written on our coins and currency.
Our national Congress and state legislatures open their sessions with prayer.
This Judeo-Christian heritage is not only precious, but much more of a foundation than today’s history books reveal.
As Theodore Roosevelt pointed out: A churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffed at or ignored their religious needs, is a community on the rapid downgrade.
Article “The Presidents and the Bible” excerpted from “Christians in the Political Arena”. Article written by Vernon McLellen.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”