Once upon a time, a group of people decided to build a new building. It would be an unusual building, the likes of which the world had never seen. They decided that they would call this new building America.
Instead of having only one pillar underneath to support the structure as previous buildings once had, they decided that their new building would have three pillars on which to rest. Each of these three pillars would hold an equal weight of the building. They named these three pillars home, school, and church.
So the group began building their new building called America, and underneath they supported it with the three pillars of home, school, and church. The people labored on that new building until they died. But their children, catching a glimpse of the dream that their forefathers had, continued to work on the building and to keep strong the three supporting pillars.
Several generations worked hard to make that building the most treasured and admired building in all the world. They gave of themselves freely as they continued to work on the new building. And they always made sure that the supporting pillars of home, school, and church were strong. They knew that the existence of the building rested upon the strength of those three pillars.
However, several generations after the building was started, some people questioned the need for three pillars. They figured that it could stand on only two pillars. So they began to ignore the pillar of church. Soon that pillar became weakened due to neglect. When this happened, more weight of the building called America was shifted to the two pillars of home and school.
The people noticed that the foundation underneath the building called America was weakening. And they blamed many things, seldom referring to the weakened pillar of church.
Before long, because of the weakening of the pillar of church, the pillar of home became weaker also. This was followed by a weakening of the pillar of school. Many people tried to get the building called America on a good foundation again by strengthening the weakened pillar of church. But most of the people scoffed at them, calling them old-fashioned people with outdated ideas. The people tried many methods to strengthen the building called America, but none of the methods included the strengthening of the pillar of church.
One day this building called America collapsed. One of the residents crushed underneath the falling structure called out: “No building like America can ever stand except on the three pillars of home, school, and church.” And with that, history wrote its final chapter on the building called America.
Is this a true story?
Let’s hope not.
(Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. These columns represent his timeless wisdom and insight. Although this particular column was written in 2003, it reads like it was written today. Click here or call 877-927-4917 to order your own copy of Our Call to Faithfulness: The Voice and Legacy of Don Wildmon.)