By Pastor Stephan Nash
It is strange to today’s generation to think that the rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics that had been preached from the pulpits in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution, but such was the case.
But it was not just the British who saw the American pulpit as largely responsible for American independence and government.
For example: John Adams rejoiced that “the pulpits have thundered” and specifically identified several ministers as being among “characters who were most ardent and influential in the awakening and a revival of American principles and convictions that led to American independence.”
Across subsequent generations, the great and positive influence of the Revolutionary clergy was faithfully reported.
Rev. Charles Finney – a leader of the Second Great Awakening – reminded ministers in his day:
“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruit. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours to a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in the faith, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us take it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
It is time for a revival of the Black Robed Regiment! It is the American pulpit that potentially has the greatest impact upon our citizenry. Will this generation produce such preachers?
“O son of man, I HAVE SET THEE A WATCHMAN unto the house of Israel; therefore, you shall hear the word at My mouth, and warn them for Me… ‘IF YOU WILL NOT SPEAK TO WARN THE WICKED from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT YOUR HAND…’” – Ezekiel 33:7,8
Preachers today are told to “be quiet…don’t get involved in politics and social issues! Tend to the spiritual things and leave the social issues of our day to others!”
John Wesley said, “A Gospel that is NOT also a social gospel is no gospel at all!”
What is the reason for the silence from the pulpits today? I believe the answer is just one – FEAR! Fear that a preacher might offend someone. Fear that they might be removed by their angry church boards. Fear that a church’s 501c-3 might be eliminated. Fear that the pastor will come across as being intolerant – politically incorrect.
The Black Robed Regiment was the name that the British placed on the courageous and patriotic American clergy during the mid 18th century. Significantly, the British blamed the Black Robed Regiment for the American Independence.
My answer to each of those fears is that they are based on twisted or distorted thinking by the minister. First of all, Jesus offended more people than He successfully convinced. The politicians and legal organizations like the A.C.L.U. know they would fail if a case to eliminate a church’s 501c-3 came before the Supreme Court. They threaten but back down before executing their threats. “Intolerant?” As biblical preachers of truth and light, there will be issues that cannot be tolerated in our churches and society. By the way, God is NOT politically correct, but He’s right!
Issues such as same sex marriage, abortion, homosexuality, Defense of Marriage Act, the education of our children, the national debt and Israel are not only the social and political issue of our day; they have spiritual implications that cannot be denied. They are both political and spiritual by their very nature.
The underlying problem with many of today’s clergy is that they have lost their convictions. They have fallen victim to the political correct movement that emerged in the late 1980’s. There is no fire in their bellies and they are no longer willing to suffer persecution for their faith. Let me tell you, if we don’t stand up tall and start defending our core values and tenants of our faith, we will become like the ones Jesus mention: “Whited sepulchers, but inwardly full of dead men’s bones!”
Where have all the preachers gone? Unfortunately, many have gone into hiding. May our Lord raise up prophets who have backbones of steel, the passion of a John the Baptist and the faith of our fathers.
Pastor Stephan P. Nash has served in pastoral ministries since 1981. He has consistently communicated the importance for Christians to speak, without apology, the truth with love. He is a member of the Tea Party movement and the Black Robed Regiment, which emphasizes the value of exercising our faith in the public square. Pastor Steve and his wife, Pam, have raised 7 children and presently serve at Christian Community Chapel, Hillsborough, NJ.
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