February 20, 2017
It’s not Christmas any more, it’s “Holidays,” because others have their minds on Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, or the Winter Solstice. Accommodate everyone, with an inane alternative.
Today, it’s Happy Holidays time: it’s the third Monday of February, so you can lean toward Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, or George Washington’s birthday… or just Presidents Day: February’s version of Happy Holidays.
George Washington is remembered as “the Father of our Country,” but the young-person-on-the-street interviews expose a profound ignorance about America’s dad. Whether the early version – Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” – or the modern iteration – Jesse Watters, with “Watters’ World” – the people who pose for the camera couldn’t score a D+ on a high school history final. The Enlightenment – for them – began on January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone.
Here’s an even more intriguing question, that neither Jay nor Jesse ever posed: was George Washington a Christian?
Don’t ask Siri; she only knows what she’s programmed to know, and her programmers auditioned for Jaywalking and Watters’ World. Do what any modern intellectual would do: ask Google.
It’s a good thing that today is a holiday: you’ll need some time to scroll through the 66.5 million hits. You don’t have to go very far past the first 100 pages of results to conclude the answer: maybe.
The voices come from all over the ideological map: some are secular voices, wanting to recruit him – posthumously – to their camp of godlessness. Others are Christian bloggers, citing his frequent references to “providence” as his code word for God/Jesus, as well and his private morning and evening alone times, which must have been periods of personal devotions and prayers. Letters written by his family members give personal, anecdotal bases for their assumption of his personal faith are further substantiation for their reasoned opinion: he must have been a Christian.
Here’s what we know, for sure: George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, and he died on December 14, 1799. On the day of his death, the only calendar date that had any importance to George Washington: the day he was born again.
December 14, 1799 was the date when the Father of our Country stood before the Eternal Father, to be evaluated for entrance into the Eternal Father’s domain. Washington’s role in the founding of America – the history that may (or, may not) be remembered among Americans – would, at that moment, be irrelevant. The single query at the end of this lifetime, for him and for us: what was your response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
Modern people use Snapchat and Twitter to express their deepest thoughts; people of his era wrote – on paper, in longhand – to capture their concepts, for their contemporaries and for posterity. Washington left letters, journals and documents of every sort that create a paper portrait of the man who could have been king, but demonstrated the presidential transfer of power that has marked America for more than two centuries.
But, he left for ongoing speculation the most important question any person will ever answer before God: had he declared his need for a Savior, and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ to be his only solution for sin?
To my family and friends: I declare before you – as I will one day declare before the Father in heaven – that I have embraced the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ as the only source of truth, and the Lord Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation. There will be no question at my passing: Bob was – and, is – a “Christian.”
Have you made that clear to the people who live in your world?