Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities

By John Vander Brink

Once known as beacons of Christian influence as well as being leaders in the pursuit of academic excellence, religious orthodoxy in these prestigious institutions is completely gone. University handbooks now boast of academic excellence or "ecumenical" tolerance with no mention of their rich religious heritage. What has happened?

Not long after Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were founded, the devil found a way to corrupt these institutions. One after another, some lingering longer than others, but all have fallen prey to the ideas of Deism and rationalism which eventually ended in the secular humanism which is so openly espoused today.

Deism is that belief already felt in Harvard in the 1600’s that God created the world, but then left it to operate according to natural laws. This means that though man acknowledges that God is a supreme Ruler, He cannot be known in a personal way, nor does He intervene for man or help him when he prays. Benjamin Franklin and others were some of the first espousers of this belief. This resulted in a growing society of men vigorously developing and working early American culture, but without a feeling of personal dependence on God.

Rationalism fits with the tenets of Deism very well. Rationalism is the exaltation of reason, the opposite of faith and dependence. Since men were beginning to believe that God had no further dealings with His created world, and man was left to himself to manage his world, his reason became the vehicle to solve society’s problems and to advance socially. The credit for his success or advances was not attributed to God, but was rendered in pride to his own intellect. It is not difficult to see that Deism coupled with Rationalism is very welcome in the depraved human heart.

About the same time two other important developments occurred which sealed the fate of these and most other educational institutions in our country. They were the influence of atheistic socialism and Darwin’s biological evolution. Both of these ideas experienced remarkable growth in the rich philosophical "Deism/Rationalism seed- bed" mentioned earlier.

Atheistic socialism started as an experiment in our country. Atheism of course proclaims that God does not exist, an idea founded and promoted by Robert Owen the father of socialism in Europe. Socialism was said to be the answer to society’s problems. Socialism, with its emphasis on community rather than individual goods, was tried in early America and failed. But its proponents blamed its failure on the people’s predisposed belief in God and in capitalism. In order for it to be successful they said, we have to reach people while they are still being trained to think, that is in the schools. They wanted to begin with the very young.

So the very young were indoctrinated with socialistic thinking by their teachers who in turn had been indoctrinated by their university professors. Children were trained to think first of all what is good for society, and to discard as outdated what God says in His Word.

The final step to heresy was Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. It was a theory most perfectly fitted and suited to all that had already been developed. Not only had societies moved away from God to an impersonal Deity, not only had they exalted reason, not only had they placed what was thought to be the good of society above God’s Word, but in biological evolution they found complete freedom to do so. If God did not make the world, His Word had no claim upon man and man was left completely to himself to act and do as he pleased.

Friends, these are the influences that have swept across our land and destroyed the education system in our country. No longer are morals and absolutes taught in our nation’s schools, and the bitter fruits are seen everywhere today. Crime, drugs, purposelessness, adultery, family breakdown, suicide and every vice known to man when he is left to himself has become our portion. What started out as nobly in our first schools a few hundred years ago is ending so tragically.

Today our nation’s schools are bastions, not of orthodoxy, but of atheism, of humanism. Children and young people no longer are taught that the chief end of man is to know God and Jesus Christ, but instead to pursue the lust of the flesh. Our schools, once dedicated to God, have become dedicated to Satan.

What a warning for all of us! The Lord has left us yet a place where we may instruct our children according to His Word. There they are taught their need to know God in a personal way, that God must be exalted and man’s pride and intellect abased, that God’s Word stands supreme, and that all because God is Supreme. Oh, let us value that blessing highly and not take it for granted.

How we should humbly beseech the Lord that He would bless our schools, that His Spirit would remain among us, and that our children may learn there what they need to face in society tomorrow. Above all, may we humbly acknowledge Him for giving us yet a place even in our corrupted society today where we may gather even daily, to bow before Him and worship Him and learn of Him as He really is.