One of the unique characteristics of America’s Founders is the desire to have an educated people. Benjamin Franklin reportedly said: “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
This desire to continually teach correct principles to the people, especially to the rising generation, stems from the Founders’ love for Old Testament wisdom. It was Moses, through whom God gave specific commandments relative to teaching:
“And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” (Exodus 18:20)
Moses even received a permanent study guide from which to teach the people:
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”(Exodus 24:12)
It was a command to so impress the law upon the hearts and minds of the people that there would be no doubt as to its meaning:
“Ye shall teach them [to] your children, speaking of them when thou sitteth in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”(Deuteronomy 11:19)
Effective Teaching considered a Gift of God
Benjamin Franklin considered talents for the education of youth as a…
“…gift of God; and he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven…”
A person particularly gifted in teaching is Dr. David A. Bednar, former professor of organizational behavior at Purdue and Texas Tech and a former university president. Dr. Bednar maintains that the framework for effective teaching and learning contains three elements: doctrines, principles, and application.
Doctrines provide the broad philosophical basis for learning. Doctrines never change and answer the question of “why?”
Principles are doctrinally-based guidelines and grow out of, and give direction to doctrines. Principles answer the question of “what?”
Applications are the actual behaviors, action steps, practices, or procedures by which doctrines and principles are enacted in our lives. Whereas doctrines and principles do not change, applications can vary according to needs and circumstances. Applications answer the question of “how?”
Dr. Bednar points out that the tendency of people is to focus on applications and they forget to refer to doctrines and principles in solving challenges. When this happens, applications lose direction and become confusing, even resulting in erroneous conclusions. The answers to challenges are always in the doctrines and principles.
So it is in teaching about freedom and liberty.
The Founders’ Doctrines, Principles, and Applications
The Founders’ doctrines are very simple and can be found in their writings and in the writings of those the Founders studied. These doctrines include: There is a Creator. He sent each of us here to earth for a very specific reason. He intends us to be happy. He intends us to be free and to use our abilities and the resources of the earth to be helpful to others. He will judge us and reward us for what we have done with this opportunity on earth.
The Founders’ principles give direction to their doctrines. Scores of books are filled with the Founders’ letters, writings, minutes, etc., which flesh out and give specifics to their beliefs. NCCS has catalogued these principles into twenty-eight in number. These principles provide the framework for the applications. The Declaration of Independence contains some of these principles and also makes a strong application by announcing our independence.
The Founders’ applications can be seen in our founding documents, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Constitution builds our structure of government based upon the doctrine and principles already espoused. Over the last 200 years, many of the doctrines and principles have ceased to be taught to our people. As challenges have come to our nation, solutions have been adopted which have no relation to or basis in these original doctrines and principles. Some applications have been adopted which are directly opposed to the original doctrines and principles. Is it any wonder we are floundering like a ship without a rudder?
Announcing a New Study Program to Teach Americans
the Founders’ Doctrines, Principles, and Applications
Since our founding in 1971, NCCS has had a number of study courses in several different formats. We have taught thousands of people in our one-day live seminars, our webinars, and many of you have gone through our two-semester classes on DVD. We have also published a number of study helps such as books, videos, etc. Two of our best-selling books, The 5000 Year Leap and The Making of America are popular in many households. These books contain the doctrines and principles of freedom and liberty.
We also recognize that many who buy these books for their homes never seem to glean the treasures contained therein. The enthusiasm after a lively seminar wanes and the books just never get studied!
As we have traveled the nation and taught our one-day seminar hundreds of times, participants have asked for:
- A more complete discussion of the 28 Principles of Liberty
- More time learning about the meaning of certain provisions of the Constitution.
- A way to bring this message to more family and friends
- More application to certain current issues of the day
This month, NCCS announces the production of a discussion guide that we believe will solve some of these issues and will make possible the study of the Founders’ Freedom Formula in numbers never before seen. It is entitled: Proclaim Liberty Throughout all the Land
is a full-color, 226- page fill-in-the-blank discussion guide, with each page containing attention-getting graphics, which teaches the doctrines, principles, and applications of freedom. It includes a discussion of all the twenty-eight Principles of Liberty contained in The 5000 Year Leap
and contains the most relevant Founders’ quotes found in The Making of America
. It contains a full discussion of every part of the U. S. Constitution. Some updated material is also included. This is the most comprehensive, yet condensed, study course NCCS has ever produced.
NCCS is launching a new website capable of much more multi-media interaction. The discussion of all 23 lessons will be a part of the new website. The Proclaim Liberty discussion guide may be ordered from NCCS or downloaded from our website and then the lessons can be participated in from the comfort of your home at a time of your choosing. We believe this will make it possible for millions of Americans, and foreigners too, to participate in one of the most intense education campaigns of all time.
We realize that there are several other courses on the Constitution available on the market and on the internet and we wish all people were studying the Constitution in whatever form they desire. However, we are convinced that the Proclaim Liberty will prove to be extremely popular for all ages in homes, in schools, and in churches. It is user friendly without being too academic or difficult to stay “tuned-in.” It brings the Founders doctrines, principles, and application together with stories and examples for a remarkable understanding of freedom and liberty. We believe one of the groups mostly benefited by this will be the youth of our nation, which George Washington said should be “a primary object” in our nation’s education on government. Our rising generation will once again be able to explain the why, what, and how of freedom and liberty.
A Sampling of what is in store for you as you study Proclaim Liberty
The why? (the doctrine)
- Why did the Founders have such great confidence in the Creator?
- Why did the Founders’ give such importance to the basic understanding of human nature and the purpose of life?
- Why did the Creator make human beings so different than all other creations?
- Why is proper government so crucial to the fulfillment of the purpose of life?
- Why did the Founders insist that America stand independent of all nations on earth?
- Why did the Founders believe it was the duty of each generation to preserve and perpetuate the system of government they gave us?
The what? (Principles based on the doctrine)
- What is the relationship between morality, virtue, and freedom?
- What is the role of religion in maintaining liberty?
- What is the difference between unalienable rights and vested rights?
- What makes a republic more protective of freedom than a democracy?
- What role should government play in the economics of a nation?
- What role should America play in the family of nations in the world?
- What should be the distribution of powers between federal, state, and local governments?
- What safeguards should be in place to protect the people against an intrusive government?
The how? (Application based on doctrine and principles)
- How did the Founders determine what powers to give to the federal government?
- How did the Founders respect both the sovereignty of the states and the wishes of the people?
- How was the government structured to make sure it did not infringe upon people’s religious beliefs?
- How did the Founders make sure power would be disbursed and not concentrated?
- How did the Founders structure the election of a president of the union of states?
- How did the Founders plan to have problems between states settled without giving more power to the federal government?
- How did the Founders plan to deal with human nature in the operations of government?
- How did the Founders plan to deal with predatory nations who would be envious of America’s prosperity?
- How did the Founders allow the people to control and make changes in their public officials?
- How does the Constitution specify who is to be citizen of the United States?
- How did the Founders provide for a fair system of taxes to support the legitimate functions of government?
In this most critical time in our nation, let us not despair, but seek remember the doctrine and principles of the Founders that there is a Creator and that He intends His children to be free and will help us be so, if we do our part.