December 17, 2017

The American Home (1)

Bob Jones Sr.

This article first appeared in the first issue of the magazine, Faith for the Family, published March/April, 1973.It is reproduced here by permission.

This is the FIRST of three parts • Part Two • Part Three

Many of you young people here at the University have met or are yet to meet the person you are going to marry. You are going out to build a home. We have, scattered all over this country, many who found their husbands or wives here at Bob Jones University. I am always happy when that happens, because ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when you meet somebody here, you and that person will have more or less the same slant on life. Most important, you will both be Christians. You know, a sinner and a Christian cannot live together very well. There is an impassable gulf between them. You cannot have a Christian home with only the husband or wife being a Christian.

You will find that the Bible is the most practical Book you have ever read. All the people who have ever tried it have found it to be so. The New Testament links up with the Old Testament. Principles never change. But little by little this Bible is being destroyed. People get up and say, “The Bible says” but they leave out certain things it says about the very thing they are doing. That is a strange situation. Somebody says, “The Old Testament does not belong to me.” But the principles of the Old Testament do belong to you. Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament. He is in the Psalms. The 22nd Psalm is a picture of His death by crucifixion. The 23rd Psalm is a picture of our Lord now as the Shepherd of the sheep. The 24th Psalm is a picture of Jesus Christ coming back to reign: the heavens are opened, and the doors are lifted. Oh yes, God is in the Old Testament; so do not throw away the principles found in it. And the Old Testament does not contradict the New Testament.

Notice this text, found in Deuteronomy 22:8: “When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.” In other words, God says that you must build a home for the safety of the people who are there. God is talking to His own here. He says, “When you build a house, make it a safe place. Put a battlement around it. If you don’t make it safe and somebody gets hurt, you will be to blame. If sons and daughters are drunkards and fall into sin, going down the back alleys like soiled doves of the underworld, somebody is to blame.

The Word of God stands. The home that is built for safety is always safe. It is when folks do not build according to God’s teaching that trouble comes.

I remember a time, years ago, when I was in Indiana. In those days the religious people sometimes said they did not like the informality, or they did not like the pressure, in my meetings. But there was no controversy about doctrine. Everybody either believed or did not believe the Bible. If a man denied the Word of God, those who believed it did not want that man’s sponsorship. That is how evangelism operated in those days: there was a definite line drawn. And we fought the Devil’s crowd. We fought the underworld and the whiskey trusts.

But I remember this particular day in Indiana. I was walking along the street one morning. Snow and a little sleet were falling. I passed the finest home in town — the most magnificent house there. I looked at it. It was the home of a whiskey man — a saloonkeeper. He was the whiskey boss of that country. He spent his time condemning me and criticizing our campaign.

As I looked at that magnificent home, I glanced on down the street and saw an old woman walking toward me with a bundle of clothes on her shoulder. The fingers of Time had pinched wrinkles in her face. Her hair was gray. Her step was not very spry. She walked along slowly carrying that bundle. I looked at her; then I looked back at the home. Somehow I wondered if there were any connection between the two. Then suddenly it occurred to me that maybe that woman had a husband who drank whiskey at that man’s bar. Or maybe she had a son who could take care of her if he were not drinking. These thoughts just occurred to me; I didn’t know.

I took an envelope out of my pocket and wrote a picture of what I saw. I said: “Mr. Saloonkeeper, you built that home out of human hearts and used lifeblood for mortar. The plaster on your wall is made with the lining of human stomachs. In the shop of Hell you hardened human brains out of which to make tile for your bathroom. The carpet on your floor is the lining you took from the coffins of the dead and wove in fabrics of blood. Your window curtains are widow’s weeds, slightly colored with a demon’s brush. The flowers about your place are roses of beauty plucked from the cheeks of innocence. The music by which you dance in your house is the wail of the widow, the cry of orphans, ground by the hand of the Devil from Hell’s awful organ. And Mr. Saloonkeeper, someday you will answer to God at the Judgment Bar for the material out of which you built that home.”

God is interested in the kind of home you have. He is interested in your home being a safe place.

A new philosophy has come into our world to “live your own life and do what you please.” All home life in America is trembling. States such as California have about as many divorces as they have marriages. What a tragic day we are living in! Recently I read an article which tells what is happening in this country. I sat there almost crying as I read. If these things are true, we are facing chaos in this country. And yet it is miraculous what God can do with His people in the midst of all the sin in the world.

To be continued…

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., was the founder and first president of Bob Jones University.

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