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Christian Living in June

Many of the events of June are well-know known, while other dates of significance are less known. Almost forgotten in the life of American Christianity is the camp meeting, yet this institution has tremendously influenced the life of America. Once again, Christian education must be carefully considered and observed in June. Flag Day, Father’s Day, and other significant events and memorials make the month of June a month of opportunity for the Christian community.
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Each month offers new and exciting opportunity for Christians to celebrate their faith. If observed without regard to the rest of the year, any given month–by itself–may appear stark and lean. But, within the context of the Christian life, each month enjoys greater vividness and importance. If one piece of a stained glass window is missing, the design or story of the window appears incomplete. The months of the year should help to compose a beautiful mosaic of Christian life.

Many of the events of June are well-know known, while other dates of significance are less known. Almost forgotten in the life of American Christianity is the camp meeting, yet this institution has tremendously influenced the life of America. Once again, Christian education must be carefully considered and observed in June. Flag Day, Father’s Day, and other significant events and memorials make the month of June a month of opportunity for the Christian community.

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Table of Contents

Camp Meeting

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Bishop Francis Asbury

Many of the influences that the Christian faith has exercised over America have been forgotten by the nation as the twentieth century waned and the twenty-first century has begun. Arising out of a deep desire to advocate the Christian faith, many denominations initiated camp meetings in the nineteenth century that convened during the summer. These were places where the truth of the Gospel preached in the local church was trumpeted to hundreds of thousands of camp-meeting-going believers and unbelievers alike. Through the camp meeting, evangelical truth reverberated throughout America, often with a greater influence upon believers than what was immediately realized by the pastor of the local church. America’s Founding Fathers could be seen attending some of the earliest camp meeting efforts in the nineteenth century. Governor Pierre Van Cortland was the first lieutenant-governor of New York and was a deeply dedicated Methodist. His son, Philip, had been a brigadier-general during the Revolutionary War, distinguishing himself particularly at Yorktown, the crowning battle of the Revolution. Philip, eager to advance the Christian faith, attended the Methodist meetings, and when the Methodist circuit riders failed to appear at the meetings, Philip would read a chapter from his Bible. Of his interest and relationship to Methodist camp meetings, a companion of Bishop Francis Asbury wrote: “Great camp-meetings were held upon his land, and multitudes were converted there.”[1]

Camp meetings were influential in various denominations, but they were most commonly used by churches descending from the Methodist tradition. Under the spiritual influences of the camp meeting tradition, many political figures were shaped and molded for local, state, and federal service. The camp meeting was one important instrument in making America a spiritual and national giant in the world.

For a fuller description of the origin of the camp meeting, please see our article: America’s Founding Fathers and Camp Meeting.

Focus on Christian Education

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Robert Raikes

Observance: Begins first Sunday in September

Robert Raikes is often credited with having started the Sunday School movement, but it was British Methodist Hannah Ball, a native of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England, who was the first to initiate a Sunday school in 1769.

Christian homes are provided with an example of the necessity of Christian education in the institution of the Sunday school in local churches. Most churches begin a new Sunday School year on the first Sunday in September which continues throughout the year on a quarterly basis (September, December, March, and June). Christian homes should recognize the need to establish the discipline of Christian education, allowing the Sunday school in the local church to remind Christian homes of this important discipline. Allow the beginning of September to remind you of the need to develop Christian education in your heart and home throughout the year, and develop a plan for Christian education for your home!

Click to learn how important Christian education was to America’s Founding Fathers.

Graduate Sunday (May/June)

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Noah Webster

The months of May and June typically are times of commencement, when scholars in a variety of academic institutions graduate. No religion should celebrate education and the true search for truth more than Christianity. The world’s most prestigious academic institutions have been established by Christians, and America’s most celebrated schools have nearly all been initiated by ardent followers of Christ. It should be evident by the degree of importance given to academic accomplishment that the Christian home remains deeply committed to the advancement of truth–not error or half truths. Christians should be engaged in the advocacy of biblical truth at every level of society.

National Flag Day

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First US Flag

Observance: June 14

National Flag Day is the culmination of numerous efforts to raise a sense of appreciation for the flag of the United States. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted a flag for the Thirteen States in the midst of their struggle against Britain.

A day to commemorate the adoption of a flag for the new nation was not established until efforts beginning in the nineteenth century reached a culmination in the twentieth century. More than three decades of local and state celebrations preceded a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 establishing June 14 as Flag Day. For many years after this initial national effort, Flag Day continued to be observed at different levels. Finally, June 14 was established as a perpetual day of observance when President Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3rd, 1949, designating this day as National Flag Day.

See our article, Flag Day: A Christian Contribution to America

Father’s Day

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Father’s Day

Observance: Third Sunday in June

Father’s Day in America arose as a response of one Christian effort to another Christian effort. Early in the twentieth century, Anna Jarvis, with the help of fellow evangelical Christian, John Wanamaker, initiated Mother’s Day in response to the Christian life and service of Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis.

Influenced by the rise of Mother’s Day, Sonora Smart Dodd initiated the first attempts to formally establish a day to recognize the importance of fathers in the life of the family. This first observance occurred in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910 at a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Dodd’s father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised six children in Spokane. After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, Dodd told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them. She proposed that it be observed on June 5, her father’s birthday, but pastors were unable to prepare for the occasion with limited opportunity, so the celebration was deferred until the third Sunday of June.

The road to official recognition of Father’s Day in America was long. In 1913, a bill to accord the day national recognition was introduced, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson traveled to Spokane to speak and wanted to officially recognize the day, but Congress feared it would merely become commercialized. President Coolidge fell short of issuing a national proclamation to nationally recognize the day in 1924. In 1957, Maine Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, chastised Congress for ignoring fathers for forty years while at the same time was willing to recognize mothers. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation to recognize Father’s Day, designating the third Sunday in June for its observance. Finally, in 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill from Congress establishing the third Sunday in June a date for the perpetual observance of Father’s Day.

Please click this box to read the entire story!

The Red Cross Founded

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Henry Dunant

Observance: June 24

The Red Cross was founded on June 24, 1859. As a Swiss businessman by the name of Henry Dunant[2] was in route to a business meeting he came across a battlefield strewn with the bodies of the dead and dying. Dunant was a committed evangelical Christian whose heart was profoundly disturbed by the vivid scene of human suffering on the battlefield. The agonizing screams of the wounded and the lifeless bodies of the dead awakened his Christian conscience to action. As a result, the well-known humanitarian organization known as the Red Cross was born out of Christian desire to bring comfort to the afflicted. So successful was Dunant’s vision of Christian compassion that in Muslim countries, the Red Crescent was born out of the Red Cross.

Agnosticism and atheism has never been bothered by human suffering and sorrow; unbelief has never distinguished itself by meeting the various and numerous needs of the human race. Other world religions have also failed to come close to the good that has been produced by the Christian Church around the world. The next time you see the Red Crescent, remember that the greatest good the world has ever known is always the result of the “red cross”–the cross of Jesus Christ!

Please click this box to read the full story!

Simon Peter Remembered

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Simon Peter

Observance: On or before June 29

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, every discipline and sphere of life is in need of exemplary individuals who are able to serve as models of vital Christianity for young and old alike. One might search in vain or with limited success for such exemplary individuals. From present circumstances, it is apparent that few who attain public positions of distinction and notoriety afford themselves as such models. Scripture introduces the most distinguished list of figures the world has ever known, but Scripture is not studied merely for the purpose of its moral examples, but for the spiritual transformation that alone is found in Jesus Christ.

The most important group of individuals to bridge the span between the pages of Scripture and the early Church is the Apostles. The high or formal churches of Christendom have been inclined to venerate or attribute divine qualities to the Apostles and other distinguished figures of the Church. Though we do not attribute divine qualities to any being other than the members of the Holy Trinity, the Apostles and godly believers throughout the history of the Church offer the world unmatched examples and models for living! However, Christians may celebrate the lives and ministries of fellow believers who have distinguished themselves for the sake of Jesus Christ. In the Western Church, the life and ministry of the Apostle Peter is celebrated on June 29. In a world that needs great models, none more distinguished than the Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles may be found.

Christianizing Your World in June

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Christian Flag

One of the best ways for Christians to confront the cultural decay of America is to be personally prepared to give an answer for the hope and faith of the Christian Church (1 Peter 3:15). Error advances itself, not upon the shoulders of truth, but upon the shoulders of error or half-truth. Christians would be far more prepared to confront unbelief if they knew the truth. One of the most powerful resources Christians have at their disposal is historical truth. In particular, the truth concerning the positive influence the Church and Christians have had upon the world. One of the best books to help believers appreciate their heritage and defend the Church against error is the book suggested below.

Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? This brilliant book asks What’s right with our world? And how did it get that way? The answers may surprise you, intrigue you and inspire you. Hopefully they will change you as they have changed the world. In a day when may professing Christians appear blissfully unaware of their cultural mandate, the authors remind us that the Church is to bear the glory of God in every sphere of life.  

Important Dates

June 3, 1905: James Hudson Taylor (May 21, 1832 – June 3, 1905), was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM) (now OMF International).[3]

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George Williams

June 6, 1844: The YMCA was founded by George Williams, a draper, who was typical of the young men drawn to the cities by the Industrial Revolution. He and his colleagues were concerned about the lack of healthy activities for young men in major cities; the options available were usually taverns and brothels. On 6 June 1844,[3] he founded the first YMCA in London with the purpose of “the improving of the spiritual condition of young men engaged in the drapery, embroidery, and other trades.” By 1851, there were YMCAs in the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States.

June 6, 1944: D-Day in Europe.

June 7, 1863: Franz Xaver Gruber (November 25, 1787 – June 7, 1863), was an Austrian primary school teacher and church organist in the village of Arnsdorf. At the same time he was organist and choirmaster at St Nicholas Church in the neighboring village of Oberndorf bei Salzburg and then in later years moved on to Hallein, Salzburg. Mr. Gruber wrote the music for Joseph Mohr’s Christmas carol, Silent Night.

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Thomas Paine

June 8, 1809: Thomas Paine, imbued with the irreligious sentiments of the French Revolution, returned to America and passed away on this date.

June 9, 1834: William Carey, “Father of Modern Missions” passed away (August 17, 1761 – June 9, 1834). He was a missionary to Serampore, India and translated the Bible into Bengali, Sanskrit, and numerous other languages and dialects.

June 12, 1972: Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer from Russian Jewish descent. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.

June 14, 1775: Congress established the Continental Army

June 14, 1777: On this date, Congress formally ratified the flag of the Thirteen States, which had been made nearly a year earlier by Betsy Ross.

June 15, 1775: Congress appointed one of its members, George Washington, as commander of the Continental Army

June 17, 1775: Bunker Hill, a loss for the American cause, was preceded by a prayer for holiness and righteousness to rest upon the people and towns of the colonies by the president of Harvard College, Samuel Langdon (on June 16).[4]

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Jedidiah Morse

June 9, 1826: Rev. Dr. Jedidiah Morse (August 23, 1761 – June 9, 1826) was a notable minister and geographer whose textbooks became staples for students in the United States. He was the father of telegraphy pioneer and painter Samuel F. B. Morse (the inventor of Morse Code), and his textbooks earned him the sobriquet of “father of American geography.”

June 15, 1780: Massachusetts ratified its first Constitution on June 15, 1780. Like all other states, its foundation of law was based upon the Bible and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

June 15, 1838: John Chavis (c. 1763-June 15, 1838) was a black educator and Presbyterian minister in the American South during the early 19th century. For more information concerning his influence upon American education, see David Barton, Four Centuries of American Education, 40.

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Benjamin Franklin

June 28, 1787: Benjamin Franklin requested that Congress start with prayer. In the midst of contentious disputes during the United States Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin appealed for unity by appealing for the Convention to begin its business each day with prayer.

June 29, 1776: Virginia adopted its first Constitution on June 29, 1776. It was preceded by The Virginia Declaration of Rights on June 12, 1776. It is important to realize that all state constitutions at this time in American history were Christian, most of which having some form of doctrinal test to hold public office.

Please click to see additional events for June . . .
This concludes another episode from our podcast library, entitled, Christian Living in June .

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Article Notes and Sources

[1] Boehm, Boehm’s Reminiscences, Historical and Biographical, 401.

[2] His first name is sometimes spelled “Henery.”

[3] See John Woodbridge, More Than Conquerors: Portraits of Believers from All Walks of Life.

[4] Rusten, One Year Book, 336.

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Written by Dr. Stephen FlickNumber of posts: 220
Concerned with the cultural decay of America, Dr. Flick has sought to provide answers to fellow Christians (and unbelievers) concerning the questions and objections to Christianity often posed by secularists and the irreligious. Dr. Flick is Christian Heritage Fellowship’s executive director and resides in East Tennessee with his wife, Beth. He spent 12 years as a Seminary professor and has been a licensed minister for more than thirty years, during which time he has served as pastor, revival and camp meeting evangelist, interim pastor, and other ministerial roles. He has authored numerous articles concerning America’s Christian heritage. Dr. Flick earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in theology and church history.

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