Religion and Government
excerpted from Natural Law And Liberty, “How Are The Mighty Fallen!”
Chuck Baldwin, 21 July, 2016
America’s colonial pastors were the fire and inspiration for America’s break from the tyranny of the British Crown. Patriot preachers such as John Witherspoon, John Leland, Jonathan Mayhew, Isaac Backus, Samuel Cooper, Ebenezer Baldwin, James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, and Jonas Clark were as important to the success of the American Revolution as were the patriots Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Sam Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Richard Henry Lee.
John Adams delineated the duty of America’s pastors: “It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted. For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality are predominant, ought they not to warn their hearers against those vices? If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue? If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, how much soever it may move the gall of Massachusettensis?”
The Bible is a book of science; a book of history; a book of mathematics; a workbook for families; a book of business and economics; a book of geography; a book of archeology; a book of soldiering; and a book of government. To ignore what the Bible teaches on all of these subjects is to make the vast majority of the scriptures completely irrelevant. And, that is exactly what [ politically trashing the original intention of the First Amendment to the Constitution is forcing on (added by the CftC)] the modern pulpit …: [I]t is making the Bible completely irrelevant – especially regarding the affairs of government.
And while many secularists will accuse politically involved pastors (“conservative” pastors, of course – they don’t mind “liberal” clergymen getting involved in politics whatsoever) of trying to create a “theocracy,” they need to be reminded that the religious and secularist communities of colonial America fought side-by-side for America’s independence. The reason they could do this was because, for the most part, both groups understood the Natural Law principles of liberty that are common to all men.
John Adams said on the floor of the Continental Congress as he passionately appealed to his fellow delegates to approve a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, “Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgement approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever.”
Adams’ speech, perhaps more than any other, convinced delegates to vote in support of our Declaration of Independence. Without a doubt, it is one of the most important speeches in American history – perhaps second only to Patrick Henry’s immortal “Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death” speech. Here is one paragraph from that speech by John Adams:
“If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people – the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously, through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have been found. I know the people of these colonies, and I know that resistance to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead. Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for the restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities, held under a British King, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered, to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there; let them hear it who heard the first roar of the enemy’s cannon, let them see it who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in its support.”