Cart Before the Horse

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles page.]

           Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), identified both the “horse” and the “cart” in regard to the respective obligations of all mankind:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy-self (Mat. 22:37–39).

Note: The “horse” obligation is love for God. The “cart” obligation is love for one’s fellow man. Jesus specifies that love for God must involve one’s heart, soul, and mind—one’s entire being, necessarily implying reverence and respect for Him and His Word—the Bible. One’s love for others should be measured by the yardstick of love for one’s self.

            The “horse” and “cart” order has national implications in direct proportion to the behavior of the majority of its citizens. At our nation’s inception, the vast majority of its founders possessed a palpable love and reverence for the one true and living Godhead revealed both in His creation and in the Bible. They were not ashamed to mention His name or the name of His Son. They prayed without apology. They reverenced God by reverencing the Bible, which they held to be the Word of God without question. They founded some of the extant great universities to teach the Bible. This love and respect for God was warp and woof of our founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. These pioneers rightly had the “horse” out front.

            Not surprisingly, it pulled the “cart.” Learning from God’s character as revealed in His Word, the “cart” followed that “horse.” Americans became the most generous and benevolent nation in history. They took care not only of their own families, but of others who had needs they could not meet. So it was for the first 175 years of our great republic, but then modernistic “theology” and humanistic and Darwinian philosophies began to take control of seats of power in education and government. God was ushered out of the schools, the Bible came to be mocked by increasing numbers of theologians and pulpiteers, and reverence for God went out of style.

            Little more than half a century of such has emboldened the Bible-, God-, and Jesus-haters to pursue their agenda openly. The “religion” of many is now merely giving some money to charity, while blatantly living in irreverence for God. Without minimizing “love of neighbor,” doing so apart from love of God (which equals obedience to Him, John 14:15) puts the “cart” before the “horse.” Actually, such behavior leaves the “cart” with no real “horse” to pull it.

[Note: I wrote this article for and it appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, TX, January 22, 2010.]

Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.

Author: Dub McClish

2 thoughts on “Cart Before the Horse

  1. Thank you for your inspiration and putting things in context. I wish I had your thoughts and explanations all in a book.

    1. Hi Pam.

      Thank you for visitingThe Scripture Cache and for leaving your very generous comment. Please do some browsing on the Website’s various pages. My wife and I are seeking to improve it and make it more attractive to the eye. Our most important aim is to make a tool to reach as many as possible with God’s Word. Please don’t be a stranger.

      Yours for the Cause,

      Dub McClish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.