John Davison Rockefeller, One of The Men Who Built America

John Davison Rockefeller, One of The Men Who Built America

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 (ESV)

Rockefeller’s Religious Beliefs

John Davison Rockefeller was born July 8, 1839 and died May 23, 1937.

He was a devout Northern Baptist and supported many church – based institutions. He adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life. For advice, he relied on his wife Laura Spelman Rockefeller with whom he had five children.

Rockefeller, would read the Bible daily, attend prayer meetings twice a week and even led his own Bible study with his wife. He tithed, rested on the Sabbath and gave away much of his money to charity. Additionally, Rockefeller took time to spend with his family, something that confused many business men.

In total, historians estimate that he gave away $550,000,000 which was more than any other American before him.

His philosophy of giving was founded upon biblical principles. He truly believed in the biblical principle found in Luke 6:38 (NIV), “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Rockefeller Center was officially completed November 2, 1939.

Prometheus, is an icon of history that can be recognizable to the eye, yet it’s possible that we know nothing about it.

That is often the case for the gold statue in Rockefeller Center’s lower Plaza. When picturing the skating rink, we don’t only imagine the sunken rink itself or the flow of skaters moving in a circle, but we see Prometheus, the 18-foot-tall, eight-ton, gilded cast bronze sculpture that was created by Paul Manship in 1934.

The sculpture has been in the background of countless concerts, tree lightings, skating shows and special events, but few are aware of its meaning or where it came from. Prometheus is just one piece of public art that was integrated into the plans of greater Rockefeller Center, but is definitely one of the most recognizable—in fact, many sources say this is the fourth most recognized statue in the country, behind the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, and is the most photographed piece of art in NYC.

Referencing Greek mythology, the statue depicts the Greek Titan Prometheus, best known for going against the wishes of the gods and providing fire to humanity (and thus is given credit for civilization and progress). Over time, this classical figure came to represent human striving and the quest for knowledge. Prometheus played a large role in the approach to the art and architecture in the Complex, especially given that the overall theme of the project was “New Frontiers and the March of Civilization.”

Prometheus perfectly embodies both ancient myths and forward-thinking progress. He is depicted in motion, thrusting forward with his right arm held high, handing off the eternal flame to all of mankind; he sits on a mountain (Earth), is surrounded by the fountain (sea) and is encircled by the ring of the zodiac (heavens).

For those that have never looked, an inscription accompanies the sculpture. It reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”

Susan Osten: The sculpture was created by Paul Manship in 1934. I could not find anything about Paul’s religious beliefs.

Given Rockefeller’s devout Christian beliefs and accomplishments, this statue is totally opposite to how Rockefeller lived his life.

On the 88 Annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center, on Wednesday night, December 2nd. This statue was the backdrop for almost all the entertainers. The only two entertainers who I saw choose a different backdrop, were Dolly Parton and the Pentatonix. I was so preoccupied trying to figure out what that statue represented, I researched it.

I believe it should be replaced with a statue of John Davison Rockefeller, with an inscription of all his “Good Deeds and Accomplishments” throughout his life.

Listed below, are three of The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…”

Where does God draw the line concerning these types of statues?

I pray you found this blog educational.

May God keep you in His warm and comforting embrace!

In † His Service, Susan Osten


Excerpts from “The Men Who Built America, John D. Rockefeller’s Faith by Kurt Jaros, Executive Director of Defenders Media

Rock History by Jane Lerner

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