What do we accomplish when we revise or rewrite history? About the only thing that transpires is the generation and presentation of a distorted view of history. If the historic record was inaccurate it can be amended and corrected. However, if the objective is to eliminate the mention of all things we disagree with or preferred not to have transpired, we harm ourselves and posterity in the process. We do not make things better we open the door for the bad to continue and even worse things to transpire.
Why do I say that? Simply because history is for learning as much as it is for reporting what has transpired. History is the past, not the present or the future. We are making history today. Each of us is writing our own personal journal of history and we may not like what is being written but as Pontius Pilate said to the Sanhedrin who wanted him to rewrite his inscription, “What I have written, I have written.” I may deny it, revise the presentation attempting to give it a more righteous or palatable spin but change it I cannot. It is what it is and nothing I do with change the past.
I do not want my history rewritten or even revised; I want it forgiven! You see my personal history from an eternal view must be forgiven and corrected going forward, but the past is the past and will remain the past for eternity. Jesus did not come to rewrite our history but our lives. He did not come to revise us but to transform us. We do not look back longing for our Egypt, but we do not forget what we were and what we are now through His blood of sacrifice for our sins.
There is a gospel song that speaks to this, “Mercy Rewrote My Life.” It is a powerful song and filled with incredible truth and revelation. Truly, I traveled all the wrong roads for the first 22 years of my life, then God’s Mercy rewrote my life and He gave me another chance. I do not say a second chance because that would seem terribly restrictive and limited. I may need more than one more chance and need His mercy every day of my life.
My history, I cannot change, but I can change my future through knowledge of the past and peace with God through Jesus Christ. I can be and am a brand-new man. I am not the man who served in Vietnam, nor the rebellious teenager who roamed the back roads of East Texas and the halls of Grapeland High School in Grapeland, Texas. I am not the person who was filled with self, anger, bitterness, envy, and even hate. I have a history and it is not pretty in the first phase, but that history continues to be written. I cannot change the past, but I can walk a better road going forward.
The idea that we can or should rewrite our American history is not only foolish it is dangerous. I am reminded of the Gospel Song, “Remind Me, Dear Lord.” If we, in America, could somehow embrace the reality that we have been given freedom and liberty beyond that of virtually any nation in existence we could acknowledge our past and use it to transport us into a better future. The words of that song that resonate so deeply in my heart regarding history are, “Roll back the curtain of memory now and then. Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been. Just remember I’m human and humans forget so remind me, remind me, dear Lord.” How we need to be reminded from time to time so that we do not lose sight of the goal.
Our Declaration of Independence stated a lofty goal, one that should be our objective today. It says poignantly, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The founding fathers recognized the existence and providence of God. Many in today’s America have lost sight of that and it seems that one political party has abandoned it altogether.
Our founding fathers presented a worldview that embraced the equality of all men. Did they eradicate slavery at that moment or in the next few decades accord equality to all men? No, they did not. Was that a mistake? How could I argue that slavery is a good thing because of the demeaning nature and restrictiveness of human beings created in the image and likeness of God?
In the beginning, the assigning of less than full recognition of the personage of blacks by the Southern States was to alleviate some of the proposed tax or levy burdens being proposed for the new republic. There were arguments to count blacks as 3/5th, 3/4th, and ½ a person. The apportionment of delegates to the House of Representatives used that to limit, the number of seats the Southern States had. Of the 107 seats, the South had 47 but had they only counted free citizens they would have 33. It was not until the 14th Amendment was adopted citizenship was granted to the freed slaves. They shifted the apportionment of representatives in the House of Representatives to be determined by counting the total number of ‘whole persons’ in each State.
The Dred Scott laws and decisions that ruled that blacks were not citizens and could not become citizens, nor enjoy the benefits of citizenship was a terrible flaw in our history. But, erasing it from history would not erase it from having happened. Teaching it as it is, not as any group would like to spin it is the best approach to historic studies. Our best course of action is is to learn and teach history as it really happened. We need to recognize our mistakes, errors, sins, or violations of God’s and moral law. We should learn from our mistakes not hide them, ignore them, or deny posterity from knowing them. If we do not know history, we cannot learn from it and cannot avoid the pitfalls of past mistakes and errors or sins.
The Cancel Culture wants to rid our public square and history of all reverences and reminders of our past is counterproductive. No, it is not counterproductive it is unproductive and dangerous! Most of us have learned to not do things by our failures. I learned not only the penalty of violation of my parent’s rules but the reason they wanted me to follow a different path. I was able to guide my children through the lessons I learned, and they are able to pass that knowledge along to those following them.
No person has a God-given right to not be offended. We have the privilege and obligation to choose to not be offended but not the right to demand that no one do anything that offends us. One expression, that has come out of the movements driving the protests and riots today is, “Now, it is our turn.” That is as ominous as it sounds and seems to express the view that ‘payback’ is justified and desired. It seems to express the view that since blacks were enslaved in America it is time and justified for whites to now become slaves to the blacks.
Do I believe that all blacks believe or desire that? NO! I believe that a small segment desire that. I believe that the 2-3% driving this bus want a Marxist Revolution and are willing to and desirous of blood being shed by those they deem to have ancestors who harmed blacks.
None of us are responsible for what our ancestors did. We are responsible to avoid the mistakes they made. We are responsible to reject the bias and prejudice they embraced if they did. We are fully responsible to join All Americans in the pursuit of the stated objective of the Declaration of Independence and afford everyone the Right and Privilege of having Life and living it possible. We are to seek to ensure that everyone has Liberty and can live without undue infringement by the government or other groups. Also, that we should be allowed to pursue Happiness and follow our hearts in worship and expression.
I believe in America and believe in God. I will stand for Faith, Family, and Freedom as long as I live and vote to preserve our Union and our Republic. That means, I believe that Everyone is Important, and No One should be excluded from the equal protection of the Law and enjoy the full benefits of being an American Citizen if they are one legally.
God bless you and God bless America!