Christians and the Freedom Fight: Many Christian Americans Are Retreating from the Political Sphere, Citing Spiritual Reasons, Willfully Forfeiting the Liberties Protected by Earlier Christians

Article excerpt

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.

--Luke 12:48

As a minister, I know from personal experience that many of our Christian brethren do not view the preservation of our great country and God-given liberties as something they should be involved with. Their attitude seems to be that God will take care of it or that we are in the end times and so any involvement on our part would not make any difference anyway and in fact could conflict with God's will. They ignore the fact that God accomplishes much through His instruments on Earth, that God expects us to oppose evil and do good, and that we have clearly been told to occupy until He comes.

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God expects us to pray and to put our faith in Him, of course. But he also expects us to work. A farmer should pray to God for a good crop, but he must not anticipate that God will answer that prayer if he does not rift a hand himself--if he does not plant the seeds or cultivate or harvest the crop. God can and does perform miracles, but He still expects man to do what he is capable of doing.

The freedom fight is no different. In fact, the history of our great country, which has been abundantly blessed by God, shows that our Christian forebears understood this principle and worked and sacrificed so that we would have the freedoms we enjoy today.

The United States of America owes its liberty and prosperity to the willingness of Christian patriots to take up the fight for freedom and independence. While modern secularists lampoon the impact and influence of Christian people in the development and struggle of early America, the facts cannot be ignored: Christian thought and ideology formed and framed the philosophy and actions of Colonial America. Furthermore, it was largely the dedication and determination of Christian patriots that purchased America's freedom. Not all of America's colonists were Christians, of course, but many were. And even those who were not Christians understood the importance of Christian principles.

Remember, it was Christians (from a single church congregation, no less) who sailed on the Mayflower across the Atlantic Ocean into this new world. Stitched into the sail of that tiny ship was the motto under which they traveled: "In God We Trust." It was Christian Pilgrims who left Europe looking for a land of religious liberty. It was Christian Puritans who followed the Pilgrims and settled much of New England. It was Christian patriots who stood on Lexington Green and Concord Bridge and withstood the Crown's troops, who were attempting to confiscate the colonists' firearms. It was Christian militiamen who fought and died on Bunker Hill. And it was largely Christian men who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in order to birth this great country.

Beyond that, it was Christian pastors in Colonial America who helped lead our fight for independence. They preached "political" sermons in which they explained, expounded, and extrapolated the principles of liberty and independence. Without this instruction and inspiration, the colonies would have lacked the resolve and understanding to carry out such an arduous task. Some pastors, of course, did much more.

Numerous pastors not only encouraged the men of their congregations to take up arms against the British, they, themselves, did the same. Take, for example, the Presbyterian pastor James Caldwell of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Also known as "The Rebel High Priest" and "The Fighting Chaplain," Caldwell is perhaps most noted for taking hymn books to the battlefield in order to help make wadding for colonial muskets. The fighting preacher implored his troops to "Give 'em Watts, Boys!"--a reference to Isaac Watts, who is credited with writing over 750 hymns and is known as the "Father of English Hymnody." Rev. Caldwell's rallying cry was almost as universally quoted among the colonists as Patrick Henry's famous cry, "Give me liberty or give me death! …