As I watched surveyors at work, they seemed to be putting stakes and colored ribbons all over the place. The more I observed, the more confused I became.
After inquiring I was told, “We are establishing our point of reference.” That is the point from which other measurements are taken. It is a means of determining exactly where we are. It enables us to measure accurately in setting property boundaries.
The stars of the heavens, from ancient times, have been used to guide the ships at sea. The polestar, commonly known as the North Star, serves as a defining point of reference. It is a controlling principle.
In discussing the idea of a reference point with my friend, Roger Randolph, of Randolph Engineering at Scott Depot, WV, he said, “It is a point from which we can always measure from to establish other required items such as the center line of a road or the center line of a bridge.”
In June 1999, Billy Graham wrote, “A state highway department once set out to build a bridge, working from both sides. When the workers reached the middle of the waterway, they found they were 13 feet to one side of each other. Each crew of workers had used its own reference point.
“There’s a small bronze disc on a ranch in north-central Kansas where the 39th parallel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, crosses the 98th meridian running from Canada to the Rio Grande. The National Geodetic Survey, a small federal agency that maintains the reference system used for surveying and mapping, uses the scientifically recognized reference point on the ranch.
“All ocean liners and commercial planes rely on the Survey. The government cannot build dams or highways or even shoot off a missile without knowing its exact location to the very inch.
“‘Location by approximation’ can be costly and dangerous. Our country’s reference point from the beginning of our history has been the Bible. All values, judgments and attitudes have been gauged in relationship to this reference point.”
Have we as a nation lost our moral compass? Have we lost sight of our guiding star? Have we eradicated our one sure point of reference? We need to once again place the Ten Commandments on the classroom walls of American schools.
Some of us remember when those immutable laws of God were prominently displayed in the halls of education. We have traded the Ten Commandments for metal detectors.
William J. Federer, nationally known author wrote about those who want to secularize our nation. “Tirelessly they labored to remove the Ten Commandments with their restraining influence; prohibit prayer, obstruct Bible studies, forbid graduation benedictions and erase historical references to religion. These crusaders of amoral education have worked very hard.”
He continues “Children have been taught that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes.”
It was not that way from the beginning. Our nation did not begin to be separated from the church. The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in any accepted document as to how our nation is to be governed. It is, however, very clearly stated that the government is not to meddle in the affairs of religion.
John Adams, our second president, stated on October 11, 1798, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The point of reference for our nation, from its beginning, has been the Word of God, the Holy Bible. This nation cannot be true to its own Constitution if it ignores God’s laws.
Unapologetically, this truth must be proclaimed and obeyed if this nation survives, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). The Bible is our nation’s point of reference.
Dr. William “Bill” Ellis of Scott Depot is a weekly syndicated columnist who writes on a wide variety of subjects. Ellis has spent 25 years as a radio and television broadcaster and as a guest speaker and teacher on college campuses.