March 2010 – The best teacher is first a student – no statement more correctly describes a man named Peter Heck. Heck, a public high school teacher from Greentown, Indiana, would first describe himself as a follower of Jesus.
“Raised in a Christian home,” he said, “I became a Christian as a young boy, but truly matured in my walk during my undergraduate years at Indiana Wesleyan University.” It was there he developed a Christian worldview that would shape the rest of his life.
Next to studying the life and person of his Savior, Jesus Christ, Heck studies the Founding Fathers of America. He speaks of them as if they are his close, personal friends. He said, “I fell in love with the story of America from a very young age. I looked around and saw my classmates who either didn’t get it or didn’t want to and simply couldn’t understand why. I thought then it would be neat to inspire young people to appreciate the incredible blessing that is the United States.”
Heck shares many things in common with those whom he has studied. One of those is a strong faith in God; the other is boldness. “It is my goal on a daily basis to show every student the love of Christ. I may be legally prevented from preaching the Gospel in a schoolroom, but I am not prevented from living it.”
He admits he is confused about how to respond to the verdicts passed down from the Supreme Court attempting to limit references to Judeo-Christian thoughts.
“As an American history and government teacher, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at such an edict. My question to those black-robed Merlins would be: ‘How?’ Are we to pretend that the Puritans had no religious motivation? Are we to pretend the Declaration of Independence wasn’t rooted in the authority of the Almighty?
“Attempting to extricate the Founding Fathers’ faith from our curriculum is dangerous for two reasons. First, you can’t understand American history or government without understanding the religious convictions of the men and women who laid its foundation. Second, the Judeo-Christian ethic is the foundation of our rights and freedoms and if we are forced to remove that same ethic altogether, what is going to happen to those rights and freedoms?”
On top of teaching, Heck travels to present three seminars. The first, “In God They Trusted,” focuses on the faith of those who laid the groundwork for this republic. It is filled with excerpts from personal letters and the diaries of those men, even one fact about Benjamin Franklin no one will be able to forget. The second is called “Pillars of Faith.” According to Heck, “It doesn’t go into what Christians believe, but rather, provides the support, evidence and justification for why Christians believe.”
“A Christian Response to the Unmentionables,” or simply, “The Unmentionables,” rounds out the trifecta. “In it,” Heck states, “we take a Biblical look at four critical and difficult social issues that are facing the culture and the church: abortion, the death penalty, homosexuality and pornography.”
Heck has traveled the state of Indiana with his seminars and says “I have been utterly amazed how simple word of mouth has taken us around the state. God has been so good to us. We have never used any form of advertisement. All I’ve tried to do is spend time and energy researching, preparing and honing the presentation.”
While recognizing the God-honoring purpose laid for this nation by its founders, Heck can’t help but note how far off course the nation has traveled. “We have undoubtedly veered sharply off course from the path established for us. You can go point by point and recognize how this country now resembles the nation our founders warred against far more than the one they created.
“I can’t help but say that in a country where up to 85% of the population still claims the Christian faith, the bulk of the blame rests squarely at our feet. If the church was properly training and equipping believers to cling to righteousness, would Hollywood be able to survive, would the music industry be able to produce the elicit trash played on the radio, would politicians who so blatantly offend the natural law given to us by our Creator be able to stay in power?”
Peter Heck is a true patriot. He is not only equipping his students with the story of America, he is also teaching, equipping and motivating churches with the story of their Savior. “I truly believe we are now in a situation as dire as the one our founders faced regarding the survival of our nation. It once rested on their shoulders. Now it rests on ours.”
www.peterheck.com • 765-455-1333