By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, as the old saying goes. One man who is lighting many candles in our time—yea, even floodlights—is Kirk Cameron.
The founders of America were very clear that for the American experiment to work, we the people need to be virtuous. And where does that virtue come from? Voluntary religion.
We see today the rise of Drag Queen Story Hour, where public libraries are having children come to hear “drag queens” read stories.
Kirk Cameron is providing great alternatives to this by holding Bible-based story hours. His website, bravebooks.us, notes that he “has been visiting libraries and holding story hours across the country to teach kids about faith, hope, and love.” The tagline of Brave Books is “Faith based children’s books that teach traditional values!”
Over the weekend, Kirk Cameron held one of his library events in Huntsville, Alabama. It was completely full. This meeting was a part of about 300 “See You at the Library” events across the country, in 46 states, helping to get Biblical themes and values in a public setting. Cameron noted, “Conservatives and Christians have complained that they don’t have a seat at the cultural table,” but now they do.
Foxnews.com reports that the event in Huntsville on Saturday was almost canceled because authorities were concerned about the threatened protests and also the room becoming dangerously overcrowded. However, First Liberty, a Christian legal group, intervened and the authorities relented.
Inside the Huntsville library, Kirk Cameron was leading the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “God Bless America” and speaking to parents and children about Biblical values. Also joining Cameron was Riley Gaines, the swimming champion, who champions the cause of fairness in athletics (not wanting biological males to compete with biological females in women’s sports).
The Messenger.com adds: “BRAVE Books said there were 225 attendees inside at the event, which was the maximum amount agreed upon by the library.”
Meanwhile, outside the library in Huntsville, Foxnews.com reports there were about 100 protesters speaking out against the event. They held signs that read things like, “Ban hate, not books,” and “Ban bigots.” Also seen was a hand-made sign declaring, “Book Bans are a Growing Pain”—a reference to the 1980’s television program, “Growing Pains,” that launched Kirk Cameron’s career.
He and other conservative parents are concerned about age-inappropriate books introducing children to sexual themes. For promoting the Bible, he gets accused of being a book-banner—an ironic accusation because the Bible is the most banned book in history.
Furthermore, if you study American history, you see that the Judeo-Christian Scriptures played an instrumental role in shaping so much of what is good in this country.
The Huntsville event occurred in the Madison County Public Library, named after James Madison, a key architect of the U.S. Constitution. Madison studied at Princeton, directly under Rev. John Witherspoon, the school’s president, who trained dozens of founding fathers in a Biblical worldview. After graduating, Madison stayed on to study further under Witherspoon, by translating portions of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew.
It was the Biblical worldview Madison learned that promoted the notion that power must be separated because of man’s inherent sinfulness. This concept can be seen throughout the Constitution, the creation of which Madison played a pivotal role.
As Madison put it, “All men having power ought to be distrusted.” The other founding fathers agreed with this Scripture-based sentiment. This helps explain why the Constitution has been so durable.
Many American leaders were also greatly influenced by the Scriptures. John Adams, our 2nd president and a key founding father, said, “I have made it a practice every year for several years to read through the Bible.”
President Lincoln said that as a nation, we need to “recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president, declared, “Hold fast to the Bible as the anchor of your liberty.”
Our 26th president Teddy Roosevelt noted, “If a man is not familiar with the Bible, he has suffered the loss which he had better make all possible haste to correct.”
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued pocket-sized Bibles for the troops. As he noted in the inscription, this book provides “wisdom, counsel and inspiration.” I own the copy my Dad received for serving in the Navy.
Spread the message of the Bible and we renew the nation. Here’s a closing thought from Kirk Cameron when I interviewed him on a radio segment several months ago: “Revivals seem to happen during times of spiritual decline and moral decay. And if those are the prerequisites, I think it’s high time for a revival in America.”
Dr. Jerry Newcombe is the executive director of Providence Forum, a division of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air contributor. He has written/co-written 33 books, including (with D. James Kennedy), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? and (with Dr. Peter Lillback), George Washington’s Sacred Fire.