Violence against pro-lifers rising because of ‘permissive’ attitude from law enforcers

Attitude about such attacks is ‘passive’

By WND News Services September 17, 2022

A pro-life group was attacked Sunday, May 9, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin, with a message reading, 'If abortions aren't safe then you aren't either.' (Video screenshot)

A pro-life group was attacked Sunday, May 9, 2022, in Madison, Wisconsin, with a message reading, ‘If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.’ (Video screenshot)

By Laura Nicole
Live Action News

In the wake of the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, a slew of violence against pro-life persons and institutions swept across the country, as Live Action News has chronicled – a trend that has continued with alarming frequency. A new threat assessment by the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) has sought to shed light on these attacks, with the goal of helping pro-lifers to prepare.

The report, entitled “Religious Pro-Life Americans Under Attack: A Threat Assessment of Post-Dobbs America,” analyzes the disturbing rise of attacks on pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), churches, book stores, persons, and institutions. To prepare the report, RFI commissioned a former FBI counterterrorism and intelligence expert, with the aim of assessing “the crimes, and the prospects for future attacks, in the wake of the Dobbs decision.” The types of attacks include graffiti, property damage, arson, assault, theft, and desecration of religious statues.

A key finding – and a key motivator for RFI’s commissioning the report – is the report’s characterization of the “social environment” for criminal attacks on pro-life organizations as “permissive.”

Contributing to this permissive environment is the fact that “law enforcement’s posture in preventing or investigating attacks is often passive, especially at the federal level.” The report notes that the permissive environment has been fostered by “some state or local office-holders,” who “have failed to express immediate condemnation of such attacks or have themselves introduced deeply troubling rhetoric into the public discourse.”

The poor response by state officials and law enforcement is especially troubling, as many of the attacks can be characterized as federal crimes, a fact that the Thomas More Society has pointed out.

Pro-abortion politicians and the mainstream media have stymied pro-lifers’ efforts to raise awareness about the seriousness of the threat. In one example, as Live Action News reported, Congressional leaders blocked a pro-life resolution that would have condemned violence against pro-life facilities, organizations, individuals, and places of worship. Additionally, media reporting has focused on characterizing the pro-life movement as violent, while ignoring the onslaught against pro-lifers.

The troubling findings should serve as a wake up call to pro-life organizations, which – as the report points out – often have critical vulnerabilities in areas like physical security, security training for staff and volunteers, financial resources for security, cyber security, relationships with local law enforcement agencies, property defense technology, media engagement, adequate insurance, and legal support. “It is imperative that pro-life congregations and organizations, and responsible media outlets, take the current threat environment seriously,” the report states, “and that government authorities act decisively to prevent, investigate, and prosecute criminal attacks against these institutions.”

The report concludes with a grim threat outlook: “Pro-life congregations and organizations will be at elevated risk of ongoing targeted violence for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023.”

Additionally, cyber attacks on pro-life entities and states with pro-life laws should also be expected. RFI will follow up later this year with the publication of a crisis toolkit intended to assist pro-life organizations “prepare for, mitigate, and respond to non-violent attacks.”

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

Intimate Partner Violence

Marine Corps families attend Domestic Abuse Awareness Day, Author Lance Cpl. Aaron Patterson, Source https://www.dvidshub.net (PD as work product of federal govt.)

“We often use betrayal trauma theory to describe children who have experienced child abuse.  But the same betrayal occurs with IPV [intimate partner violence]:  a partner who you trust, can be vulnerable with, who should be building you up, is in fact inflicting abuse.  It’s a betrayal of what’s supposed to be a trusting relationship.”

-Noelle St. Vil, Asst. Prof. at University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work [1A]

Intimate partner violence and betrayal can leave deep and long-lasting scars.  Most support focuses on helping women escape abusive relationships [2].  Few resources teach survivors how to move past abusive relationships and form healthy, new ones.

According to research published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence [1B], there are four barriers to establishing such new relationships:

  1. Vulnerability/Fear.  Women who have experienced an abusive relationship may create an emotional “wall” to protect themselves from further hurt.  This wall can remain in place even after a sexual relationship has been initiated.
  2. Relationship Expectations.  Women who have experienced an abusive relationship are likely to expect that all relationships will eventually deteriorate into violence.
  3. Shame/Low Self-Esteem.  Of course, low self-esteem is likely to impact the selection of a new partner.  When conflict occurs (as it does in all relationships), women who have experienced an abusive relationship will revert to feeling unloved and unlovable.
  4. Communication Issues.  Women who have experienced an abusive relationship may have difficulty communicating that experience to their new partners.  The less communication, the less likely a new relationship will last.

But that these barriers exist does not mean they cannot be overcome.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Ps. 34; 18).

[1A and 1B]  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, “Betrayal Trauma and Barriers to Forming New Intimate Relationships Among Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence” by Noelle St. Vil, et al, 6/2/18, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0886260518779596 .

[2]  Science Daily, “Intimate partner violence doesn’t end with the relationship”, 7/11/18, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180711141351.htm.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

Dogged Disciple

Matthew Murray has seen how a dog can open doors for the gospel.

John VandenOever September 1, 2022


Matthew Murray is a medical traveler, a healthcare professional who provides short-term staffing support to hospitals around the country. While he fills a crucial role for each facility he serves, his heart is set on people’s spiritual health. Lucy, a purebred black poodle, is Murray’s accomplice. The dog is tall, composed, and friendly, and her soft coat is cut in the traditional style—“with the puffs and all that stuff,” as Murray puts it. In no time, Lucy captures the interest of anyone coming down the street. And a compliment or question initiates conversation between two strangers.

Murray had Lucy trained as a certified therapy dog so she could be a missionary of sorts. But the poodle’s been therapeutic for Murray as well and has “opened [him] up to a whole group of people [he] never would’ve been around.” As a result, he’s met folks from all walks of life and worldviews. He looks at each person with eyes of compassion, recognizing, as he says, “the sin in myself and how quickly I might be judging someone else.”

For years Murray dug deeply into the many distinctives of evangelical Christianity, exploring each emphasis in an effort to understand conflicts between believers. Though it gave him an appreciation for others, he ached for something more solid. “I would tell people, ‘I need some kind of core principle, a core value.’” And that’s precisely what he located in Dr. Stanley’s book 30 Life Principles. From that and other works, Murray felt a kinship with Dr. Stanley, who, as a young man, also sought spiritual discernment.

While Lucy helps Murray connect with strangers, he also looks for ways to minister to colleagues, such as invitations to use his building’s indoor basketball or kitchen facilities. In addition, cutting down on carry-out meals lets him take friends to dinner more often. What’s more, on hearing his exhausted coworkers hadn’t had vacation time for two years because of the pandemic, Murray became concerned. So he extended his contract, enabling his supervisor to work in a break for everyone.

When new to Connecticut, he found a park in a Jewish community and enjoyed walking Lucy there. Negative experiences with outsiders left some residents suspicious of the newcomers, Murray says, “but [when they] saw how my dog looks, they were probably like, Well, he can’t be that harmful—look at that dog!”

Soon a college student started joining him and Lucy on their walks. Though of the conservative Jewish faith, the young man liked listening to Murray tell him about Christ in relation to the Old and New Testament. “It was 27 degrees and snowing,” Murray remembers. “And there I was—witnessing for an hour and a half outside.”

For the dog, people stop. And for the sake of Christ, Murray listens a little longer, prayerful about what he can share with them. It’s important to look past externals and “actually see there’s an identity there,” he says, “someone that struggles. And when you begin to share your struggle, you can have a real conversation.”

https://www.intouch.org/read/articles/dogged-disciple

VIDEO Tithing? This might be a good time to test God’s generosity!

Exclusive: Joseph Farah spotlights a film featuring a miracle-filled experiment

September 20, 2022

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” – Malachi 3:10

Almost every sermon about tithing starts with Malachi 3:10, the most famous verse about it in the Bible.

Rich Praytor is a Christian believer, and the director of a new movie called “The Tithe Project.”

He decided to make a movie about the subject to see if it works in the modern world, if it still “opens up the floodgates of heaven,” even today.

He says simply, “I decided to give it a try.”

TRENDING: Don’t forget the LGB when pushing back against the T

“One Sunday morning I was visiting a church where the pastor offered a tithing challenge,” Praytor said. “The pastor said, ‘If you tithe for 90 days to our church and at the end you aren’t better off financially, then we’ll give you your money back.'”

That inspired him to launch – and film – just such a challenge.

One problem: It took him almost six months to find someone who had never tithed before, which meant giving away to a local church of charity 10% of his or her income to document the principle.

“Most people said they couldn’t afford to give away 10%,” Praytor said. “A few married couples almost said yes, but inevitably one of the spouses would back out. After nearly giving up, I found someone: an independent film producer who was working with me on another project!”

That was Beverly, a single mom of two who lives in Colorado Springs and had been inspired to start tithing after reading several books on generosity.

Beverly would tithe 10% of any income she received during a 90-day period. She would give it to the church she attended. Since she worked as an independent contractor, the 10% would be calculated from her gross income.

To help keep track of Beverly’s finances each month, Praytor enlisted the help of a CPA, a third party who would give an objective opinion during the experiment. He met with the CPA a few days before the experiment began to establish her financial numbers.

“Day one of the experiment was very traditional,” Praytor said. “Beverly headed to her church on Sunday morning and dropped a check in the offering bucket.”

Everything was going as planned until she got back home and opened the mail from the previous week. A disconnect notice from her utility company let her know that power in her house would be shut off if the balance wasn’t paid by a certain imminent date.

It turns out that the money she tithed that morning could have paid her utility bill. Wouldn’t you know it?

“At this point, I considered stopping the experiment,” Praytor recalls. “I didn’t want to be the guy that was responsible for a single mom having her utilities shut off.”

By day two, the first miracle happened.

“I received a voicemail from Beverly that afternoon,” he said. “In the mail that day, she received a check from one of her previous clients whose payment was seriously overdue. She had written it off months ago and completely forgotten about it. The check was large enough to pay her utility bill.”

During the 90-day tithing experiment, several other extraordinary events happened, he recalls. For instance, Beverly had signed up for a non-related, home-based business, but had never put any work into it. Halfway through the experiment she began receiving commission checks from the company.

The miracles didn’t stop there.

A friend from Beverly’s church needed a place to stay as she transitioned into moving to another state. Instead of paying rent, the friend offered to provide childcare for free which ended up saving Beverly more than $1,000 a month.

“We captured it all on film,” he recalls. “Some of the most entertaining scenes are the meetings with the CPA. Each month he would try to figure out how Beverly’s giving away 10% of her income was actually increasing her cash flow.”

The film follows the story of Beverly and her tithing journey. It also discusses the history of tithing and money with historians, authors and money experts.

It takes an in-depth look at some of the reasons people don’t tithe, and why most pastors have such a difficult time talking about money to their congregations.

“As I traveled the country talking to and filming experts, two common themes kept popping up,” Praytor says. “First, people don’t give to a church budget, people give to a compelling vision. Second, the church needs to help people win with money – either teaching wise financial practices or job skills. If the church can help its members do that, the church would see an increase in its giving.”

To illustrate how this biblical phenomenon can spread, helping many people see their needs met, Rich Praytor is offering to help the cause of WND by giving us 50% of his gain when any WND readers purchase “The Tithe Project” film and related study guide – keeping the Godly principle at the heart of the Malachi 3:10 mission.

Please give it a try.

See the trailer:

VIDEO History Of The Black Robe Regiment – A Christian Case For America First Government

The Black Robed Regiment was the name that the British placed on the courageous and patriotic American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore). [1] Significantly, the British blamed the Black Regiment for American Independence, [2] and rightfully so, for modern historians have documented that:

There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763. [3]

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 pulpit 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, our own leaders agreed. For example, John Adams rejoiced that “the pulpits have thundered”[4] and specifically identified several ministers as being among the “characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential” in the “awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings” that led to American independence. [5]

Across subsequent generations, the great and positive influence of the Revolutionary clergy was faithfully reported. For example:

As a body of men, the clergy were pre-eminent in their attachment to liberty. The pulpits of the land rang with the notes of freedom. [6] The American Quarterly Register [MAGAZINE], 1833

If Christian ministers had not preached and prayed, there might have been no revolution as yet – or had it broken out, it might have been crushed. [7] Bibliotheca Sacra [BRITISH PERIODICAL], 1856

The ministers of the Revolution were, like their Puritan predecessors, bold and fearless in the cause of their country. No class of men contributed more to carry forward the Revolution and to achieve our independence than did the ministers. . . . [B]y their prayers, patriotic sermons, and services [they] rendered the highest assistance to the civil government, the army, and the country. [8] B. F. Morris, HISTORIAN, 1864

The Constitutional Convention and the written Constitution were the children of the pulpit. [9] Alice Baldwin, HISTORIAN, 1918

Had ministers been the only spokesman of the rebellion – had Jefferson, the Adamses, and [James] Otis never appeared in print – the political thought of the Revolution would have followed almost exactly the same line. . . . In the sermons of the patriot ministers . . . we find expressed every possibly refinement of the reigning political faith. [10] Clinton Rossiter, HISTORIAN, 1953

The American clergy were faithful exponents of the fullness of God’s Word, applying its principles to every aspect of life, thus shaping America’s institutes and culture. They were also at the forefront of proclaiming liberty, resisting tyranny, and opposing any encroachments on God-given rights and freedoms. In 1898, Methodist bishop and church historian Charles Galloway rightly observed of these ministers:

Mighty men they were, of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and heart of flame. God needed not reeds shaken by the wind, not men clothed in soft raiment [Matthew 11:7-8], but heroes of hardihood and lofty courage. . . . And such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the Divine call. [11]

But the ministers during the Revolutionary period were not necessarily unique; they were simply continuing what ministers had been doing to shape American government and culture in the century and a half preceding the Revolution.

For example, the early settlers who arrived in Virginia beginning in 1606 included ministers such as the Revs. Robert Hunt, Richard Burke, William Mease, Alexander Whitaker, William Wickham, and others. In 1619 they helped form America’s first representative government: the Virginia House of Burgesses, with its members elected from among the people. [12] That legislature met in the Jamestown church and was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Bucke; the elected legislators then sat in the church choir loft to conduct legislative business. [13]As Bishop Galloway later observed:

[T]he first movement toward democracy in America was inaugurated in the house of God and with the blessing of the minister of God. [14]

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts to establish their colony. Their pastor, John Robinson, charged them to elect civil leaders who would not only seek the “common good” but who would also eliminate special privileges and status between governors and the governed [15] – a radical departure from the practice in the rest of the world at that time. The Pilgrims eagerly took that message to heart, organizing a representative government and holding annual elections. [16] By 1636, they had also enacted a citizens’ Bill of Rights – America’s first. [17]

In 1630, the Puritans arrived and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and under the leadership of their ministers, they, too, established representative government with annual elections. [18] By 1641, they also had established a Bill of Rights (the “Body of Liberties”) [19] – a document of individual rights drafted by the Rev. Nathaniel Ward. [20]

In 1636, the Rev. Roger Williams established the Rhode Island Colony and its representative form of government, [21] explaining that “[t]he sovereign, original, and foundation of civil power lies in the people.” [22]

The same year, the Rev. Thomas Hooker (along with the Revs. Samuel Stone, John Davenport, and Theophilus Eaton) founded Connecticut. [23] They not only established an elective form of government [24] but in a 1638 sermon based on Deuteronomy 1:13 and Exodus 18:21, the Rev. Hooker explained the three Biblical principles that had guided the plan of government in Connecticut:

I. [T]he choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God’s own allowance.

II. The privilege of election . . . belongs to the people . . .

III. They who have power to appoint officers and magistrates [i.e., the people], it is in their power also to set the bounds and limitations of the power and place. [25]

From the Rev. Hooker’s teachings and leadership sprang the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” – America’s first written constitution (and the direct antecedent of the federal Constitution). [26] But while Connecticut produced America’s first written constitution, it definitely had not produced America’s first written document of governance, for such written documents had been the norm for every colony founded by Bible-minded Christians. After all, this was the Scriptural model: God had given Moses a fixed written law to govern that nation – a pattern that recurred throughout the Scriptures (c.f., Deuteronomy 17:18-20, 31:24, II Chronicles 34:15-21, etc.). As renowned Cornell University professor Clinton Rossiter affirmed:

[T]he Bible gave a healthy spur to the belief in a written constitution. The Mosaic Code, too, was a higher law that men could live by – and appeal to – against the decrees and whims of ordinary men.[27] (emphasis added)

Written documents of governance placed direct limitations on government and gave citizens maximum protection against the whims of selfish leaders. This practice of providing written documents had been the practice of American ministers before the Rev. Hooker’s constitution of 1638 and continued long after.

For example, in 1676, New Jersey was chartered and then divided into two religious sub-colonies: Puritan East Jersey and Quaker West Jersey; each had representative government with annual elections. [28] The governing document for West Jersey was written by Christian minister William Penn. It declared:

We lay a foundation for after ages to understand their liberty . . . that they may not be brought in bondage but by their own consent, for we put the power in the people. [29]

Under Penn’s document . . .

Legislation was vested in a single assembly elected by all the inhabitants; the elections were to be by secret ballot; the principle of “No taxation without representation” was clearly asserted; freedom of conscience, trial by jury, and immunity from arrest without warrant were guaranteed. [30]

In 1681, Penn wrote the Frame of Government for Pennsylvania. It, too, established annual elections and provided numerous guarantees for citizen rights. [31]

There are many additional examples, but it is indisputable that  ministers played a critical role in instituting and securing many of America’s most significant civil rights and freedoms. As Founding Father Noah Webster affirmed:

The learned clergy . . . had great influence in founding the first genuine republican governments ever formed and which, with all the faults and defects of the men and their laws, were the best republican governments on earth. At this moment, the people of this country are indebted chiefly to their institutions for the rights and privileges which are enjoyed. [32]

Daniel Webster (the great “Defender of the Constitution”) agreed:

[T]o the free and universal reading of the Bible in that age men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty. [33]

Because Christian ministers established in America freedoms and opportunities not generally available even in the mother country of Great Britain, they were also at the forefront of resisting encroachments on the civil and religious liberties that they had helped secure.

For example, when crown-appointed Governor Edmund Andros tried to seize the charters of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, revoke their representative governments, and force the establishment of the British Anglican Church upon them, opposition to Andros’ plan was led by the Revs. Samuel Willard, Increase Mather, and especially the Rev. John Wise. [34] The Rev. Wise was even imprisoned by Andros for his resistance but he remained an unflinching voice for freedom, penning in 1710 and 1717 two works forcefully asserting that democracy was God’s ordained government in both Church and State, [35] thus causing historians to title him “The Founder of American Democracy.” [36]

And when Governor Berkley refused to recognize Virginia’s self-government, Quaker minister William Edmundson and the Rev. Thomas Harrison led the opposition. [37] When Governor Thomas Hutchinson ignored the elected Massachusetts legislature, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper led the opposition. [38] And a similar pattern was followed when Governor William Burnet dissolved the New Hampshire legislature, Governor Botetourt disbanded the Virginia House of Burgesses, Governor James Wright disbanded the Georgia Assembly, etc.

And because American preachers consistently opposed encroachments on civil and religious liberties, when the British imposed on Americans the 1765 Stamp Act (an early harbinger of the rupture between the two nations soon to follow), at the vanguard of the opposition to that act were the Revs. Andrew Eliot, Charles Chauncey, Samuel Cooper, Jonathan Mayhew, and George Whitefield [39]

(Whitefield even accompanied Benjamin Franklin to Parliament to protest the Act and assert colonial rights). [40]In fact, one of the reasons that American resistance to the Stamp Act became so widespread was because the “clergy fanned the fire of resistance to the Stamp Act into a strong flame.” [41]

Five years later in 1770 when the British opened fire on their own citizens in the famous “Boston Massacre,” ministers again stepped to the forefront, boldly denouncing that abuse of power. A number of sermons were preached on the subject, including by the Revs. John Lathrop, Charles Chauncey, and Samuel Cooke; [42] the Massachusetts House of Representatives even ordered that Rev. Cooke’s sermon be printed and distributed.[43]

As tensions with the British continued to grow, ministers such as the Rev. George Whitefield [44] and the Rev. Timothy Dwight [45] became some of the earliest leaders to advocate America’s separation from Great Britain.

There are many additional examples, but the historical records respecting the leadership of the clergy were so clear that in 1851, distinguished historian Benson Lossing concluded:

[T]he Puritan preachers also promulgated the doctrine of civil liberty – that the sovereign was amenable to the tribunal of public opinion and ought to conform in practice to the expressed will of the majority of the people. By degrees their pulpits became the tribunes of the common people; and . . . on all occasions, the Puritan ministers were the bold asserters of that freedom which the American Revolution established. [46] (emphasis added)

However, Christian ministers did not just teach the principles that led to independence, they also participated on the battlefield to secure that independence. One of the numerous examples is the Rev. Jonas Clark.

When Paul Revere set off on his famous ride, it was to the home of the Rev. Clark in Lexington that he rode. Patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams were lodging (as they often did) with the Rev. Clark. After learning of the approaching British forces, Hancock and Adams turned to Pastor Clark and inquired of him whether the people were ready to fight. Clark unhesitatingly replied, “I have trained them for this very hour!” [47]When the original alarm sounded in Lexington to warn of the oncoming British menace, citizens gathered at the town green, and according to early historian Joel Headley:

There they found their pastor the [Rev. Clark] who had arrived before them. The roll was called and a hundred and fifty answered to their names . . . . The church, the pastor, and his congregation thus standing together in the dim light [awaiting the Redcoats], while the stars looked tranquilly down from the sky above them. [48]

The British did not appear at that first alarm, and the people returned home. At the subsequent alarm, they reassembled, and once the sound of the battle subsided, some eighteen Americans lay on Lexington Green; seven were dead – all from the Rev. Clark’s church. [49] Headley therefore concluded, “The teachings of the pulpit of Lexington caused the first blow to be struck for American Independence,” [50] and historian James Adams added that “the patriotic preaching of the Reverend Jonas Clark primed those guns.” [51]

When the British troops left Lexington, they fought at Concord Bridge and then headed back to Boston, encountering increasing American resistance on their return. Significantly, many who awaited the British along the road were local pastors (such as the Rev. Phillips Payson [52] and the Rev. Benjamin Balch [53]) who had heard of the unprovoked British attack on the Americans, taken up their own arms, and then rallied their congregations to meet the returning British. As word of the attack spread wider, pastors from other areas also responded.

For example, when word reached Vermont, the Rev. David Avery promptly gathered twenty men and marched toward Boston, recruiting additional troops along the way, [54] and the Rev. Stephen Farrar of New Hampshire led 97 of his parishioners to Boston. [55] The ranks of resistance to the British swelled through the efforts of Christian ministers who “were far more effective than army recruiters in rounding up citizen-soldiers.” [56]

Weeks later when the Americans fought the British at Bunker Hill, American ministers again delved headlong into the fray. For example, when the Rev. David Grosvenor heard that the battle had commenced, he left from his pulpit – rifle in hand – and promptly marched to the scene of action, [57] as did the Rev. Jonathan French. [58]

This pattern was common through the Revolution – as when the Rev. Thomas Reed marched to the defense of Philadelphia against British General Howe; [59] the Rev. John Steele led American forces in attacking the British;[60] the Rev. Isaac Lewis helped lead the resistance to the British landing at Norwalk, Connecticut; [61] the Rev. Joseph Willard raised two full companies and then marched with them to battle; [62] the Rev. James Latta, when many of his parishioners were drafted, joined with them as a common soldier; [63] and the Rev. William Graham joined the military as a rifleman in order to encourage others in his parish to do the same [64]. Furthermore:

Of Rev. John Craighead it is said that “he fought and preached alternately.” Rev. Dr. Cooper was captain of a military company. Rev. John Blair Smith, president of Hampden-Sidney College, was captain of a company that rallied to support the retreating Americans after the battle of Cowpens. Rev. James Hall commanded a company that armed against Cornwallis. Rev. William Graham rallied his own neighbors to dispute the passage of Rockfish Gap with Tarleton and his British dragoons. [65]

There are many additional examples. No wonder the British dubbed the patriotic American clergy the “Black Regiment.” [66] But because of their strong leadership, ministers were often targeted by the British. As Headley confirms:

[T]here was a class of clergymen and chaplains in the Revolution whom the British, when they once laid hands on them, treated with the most barbarous severity. Dreading them for the influence they wielded and hating them for the obstinacy, courage, and enthusiasm they infused into the rebels, they violated all the usages of war among civilized nations in order to inflict punishment upon them. [67]

Among these was the Rev. Naphtali Daggett, President of Yale. When the British approached New Haven to enter private homes and desecrate property and belongings, Daggett offered stiff and at times almost single-handed resistance to the British invasion, standing alone on a hillside, repeatedly firing his rifle down at the hundreds of British troops below. Eventually captured, over a period of several hours the British stabbed and pricked Daggett multiple times with their bayonets. Local townspeople lobbied the British and eventually secured the release of the preacher, but Daggett never recovered from those wounds, which eventually caused his death.[68] When the Rev. James Caldwell offered similar resistance in New Jersey, the British burned his church and he and his family were murdered. [69]

The British abused, killed, or imprisoned many other clergymen, [70] who often suffered harsher treatment and more severe penalties than did ordinary imprisoned soldiers. [71] But the British targeted not just ministers but also their churches. As a result, of the nineteen church buildings in New York City, ten were destroyed by the British, [72] and most of the churches in Virginia suffered the same fate. [73] This pattern was repeated throughout many other parts of the country.

Truly, Christian ministers provided courageous leadership throughout the Revolution, and as briefly noted earlier, they had also been largely responsible for laying its intellectual foundation. To understand more of their influence, consider the Rev. John Wise.

As early as 1687, the Rev. Wise was already teaching that “taxation without representation is tyranny,” [74] the “consent of the governed” was the foundation of government, [75] and that “every man must be acknowledged equal to every man.” [76] In 1772 with the Revolution on the horizon, two of Wise’s works were reprinted by leading patriots and the Sons of Liberty to refresh America’s understanding of the core Biblical principles of government. [77] (The first printing sold so fast that a quick second reprint was quickly issued. [78]) Significantly, many of the specific points made by Wise in that work subsequently appeared four years later in the very language of the Declaration of Independence. As historian Benjamin Morris affirmed in 1864:

[S]ome of the most glittering sentences in the immortal Declaration of Independence are almost literal quotations from this [1772 reprinted] essay of John Wise. . . . It was used as a political text-book in the great struggle for freedom. [79]

And decades later when President Calvin Coolidge delivered a 1926 speech in Philadelphia on the 150thanniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he similarly acknowledged:

The thoughts [in the Declaration] can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was writing in 1710. [80]

It was Christian ministers such as John Wise (and scores like him) who, through their writings and countless sermons (such as their Election Sermons and other sermons on the Biblical principles of government) laid the intellectual basis for American Independence.

Christian clergy largely defined America’s unique political theory and even defended it in military combat, but they were also leaders in the national legislative councils in order to help implement what they had conceived and birthed. For example, the Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon was a member of the Continental Congress who served during the Revolution on the Board of War as well as on over 100 congressional committees. [81] Other ministers who served in the Continental Congress included the Revs. Joseph Montgomery, Hugh Williamson, John Zubly, and more.

Numerous ministers also served in state legislatures – such as the Rev. Jacob Green of New Jersey, who helped set aside the British government in that state and was made chairman of the committee that drafted the state’s original constitution in 1776; [82] the Rev. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, who helped draft Pennsylvania’s 1776 constitution; [83] the Rev. Samuel Stillman, who helped draft Massachusetts’ 1780 constitution; [84] etc.

When hostilities ceased at the end of the Revolution, Christian ministers led in the movement for a federal constitution. For example, the Revs. Jeremy Belknap, Samuel Stanhope Smith, John Witherspoon, and James Manning began pointing out the defects of the Articles of Confederation, [85] and when the Constitution was finally complete and submitted to the states for ratification, nearly four dozen clergymen were elected as ratifying delegates, [86] many of whom played key roles in securing its adoption in their respective states.

Following the adoption of the new federal Constitution, ministers were highly active in celebrating its ratification. For example, of the parade in Philadelphia, signer of the Declaration Benjamin Rush happily reported:

The clergy formed a very agreeable part of the procession. They manifested by their attendance their sense of the connection between religion and good government. They. . . . marched arm in arm with each other to exemplify the Union. [87]

When the first federal Congress under the new Constitution convened, several ministers were Members, including the Revs. Frederick Augustus and John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Abiel Foster, Benjamin Contee, Abraham Baldwin, and Paine Wingate.

Ministers were intimately involved in every aspect of introducing, defining, and securing America’s civil and religious liberties. A 1789 Washington, D. C., newspaper therefore proudly reported:

[O]ur truly patriotic clergy boldly and zealously stepped forth and bravely stood our distinguished sentinels to watch and warn us against approaching danger; they wisely saw that our religious and civil liberties were inseparably connected and therefore warmly excited and animated the people resolutely to oppose and repel every hostile invader. . . . [M]ay the virtue, zeal and patriotism of our clergy be ever particularly remembered. [88]

Incidentally, besides their contributions to government and civil and religious liberty, the Black Robed Regiment was also largely responsible for education in America. Ministers, understanding that only a literate people well versed in the teachings of the Bible could sustain free and enlightened government, therefore established an education system that would teach and preserve the religious principles so indispensable to the civil and religious liberties they forcefully advocated.

Consequently, in 1635 the Puritans established America’s first public school, [89] and in 1647 passed America’ first public education law (“The Old Deluder Satan Act” [90]). And Harvard University was founded through the direction of Puritan minister John Harvard; [91] Yale was founded by ten congregational ministers; [92] Princeton by Presbyterian ministers Jonathan Dickinson, John Pierson, and Ebenezer Pemberton; [93] William and Mary by Episcopal minister James Blair; [94] Dartmouth by Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock; [95] etc.

This trend of Gospel ministers founding and leading American educational institutions continued for the next two-and-a-half centuries, and by 1860, ninety-one percent of all college presidents were ministers of the Gospel – as were more than a third of all university faculty members. [96] Of the 246 colleges founded by the close of that year, only seventeen were not affiliated with some denomination; [97] and by 1884, eighty-three percent of America’s 370 colleges still remained denominational colleges. [98] As Founding Father Noah Webster (the “Schoolmaster to America”) affirmed, “to them [the clergy] is popular education in this country more indebted than to any other class of men.” [99]

In short, history demonstrates that America’s elective governments, her educational system, and many other positive aspects of American life and culture were the product of Biblical-thinking Christian clergy and leaders. Today, however, as the influence of the clergy has waned, many of these institutions have come under unprecedented attack and many of our traditional freedoms have been significantly eroded. It is time for America’s clergy to understand and reclaim the important position of influence they have been given. As the Rev. Charles Finney – a leader of the Second Great Awakening – reminded ministers in his day:

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in 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 religion, 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 lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. [100]

America once again needs the type of courageous ministers described by Bishop Galloway:

Mighty men they were, of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and heart of flame. God needed not reeds shaken by the wind, not men clothed in soft raiment [Matthew 11:7-8], but heroes of hardihood and lofty courage. . . .And such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the Divine call. [101]

It is time to reinvigorate the Black Robed Regiment!

[1] Boston Gazette, December 7, 1772, article by “Israelite,” and Boston Weekly Newsletter, January 11, 1776, article by Peter Oliver, British official. See also Peter Oliver, Peter Oliver’s Origin & Progress of the American Rebellion, Douglas Adair and John A. Schutz, editors (San Marino California: The Huntington Library, 1961), pp. 29, 41-45; Carl Bridenbaugh, Mitre and Sceptre (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 334; and Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), pp. 98, 155.

[2] Alpheus Packard, “Nationality,” Bibliotheca Sacra and American Biblical Repository (London: Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1856), Vol. XIII p.193, Article VI. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.

[3] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), p. 170.

[4] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. III, p. 476, “The Earl of Clarendon to William Pym,” January 20, 1766.

[5] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1850), Vol. X, p. 284, to Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818. See also John Adams, The Works of John  Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1856), Vol. X, pp. 271-272, letter to William Wirt, January 5, 1818.

[6] “History of Revivals of Religion, From the Settlement of the Country to the Present Time,” The American Quarterly Register, (Boston: Perkins and Marvin, 1833) Vol. 5, p. 217. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris,Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.

[7] Alpheus Packard, “Nationality,” Bibliotheca Sacra and American Biblical Repository (London: Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1856), Vol. XIII p.193, Article VI. See also Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.

[8] Benjamin Franklin Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States(Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 334-335.

[9] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1958), p. 134.

[10] Clinton Rossiter, Seedtime of the Republic (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1953), pp. 328-329.

[11] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 77.

[12] Colonial National Historical Park, “The First Legislative Assembly at Jamestown, Virginia,” National Park Service (at: https://www.nps.gov/archive/colo/Jthanout/1stASSLY.html) (accessed on September 24, 2010).

[13] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), pp. 1131-114; John Fiske, Civil Government in the United States Considered with some Reference to Its Origins (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1890), p. 146.

[14] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 114.

[15] Old South Leaflets, (Boston: Directors of the Old South Work), p. 372, “Words of John Robinson (1620)”; “John Robinson’s Farewell Letter to the Pilgrims, July 22, 1620,” Pilgrim Hall Museum,  July 22, 1620 (at: https://www.pilgrimhall.org/RobinsonLetter.htm).

[16] “Plymouth Colony Legal Structure,” Plymouth Colony Archive Project (at: https://etext.virginia.edu/users/deetz/Plymouth/ccflaw.html) (accessed on September 24, 2010). See also Robert Baird, Religion in America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845), p. 51.

[17] “Plymouth Colony Legal Structure,” Plymouth Colony Archive Project (at: https://etext.virginia.edu/users/deetz/Plymouth/ccflaw.html) (accessed on September 24, 2010).

[18] Henry William Elson, History of the United States of America, (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1904), Ch. IV, pp. 103-111. See also “Massachusetts Bay,” History of the USA (at: https://www.usahistory.info/New-England/Massachusetts.html) (accessed on September 30, 2010).

[19] “Plymouth Colony Legal Structure,” Plymouth Colony Archive Project (at: https://etext.virginia.edu/users/deetz/Plymouth/ccflaw.html) (accessed on September 30, 2010).

[20] George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1858), Vol. I, p. 416-417; Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth(Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), pp. 124-125; Old South Leaflets, (Boston: Directors of the Old South Work), p. 261-280, “The Body of Liberties: The Liberties of the Massachusetts Colonie in New England, 1641.”

[21] “Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” The Avalon Project, July 15, 1663 (at: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/ri04.asp).

[22] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), p. 27 quoting Roger Williams’ The Bloody Tenet, p. 137, quoted by Isaac Backus, Church History of New England, I. 62 of 1839.

[23] “Connecticut to 1763,” Connecticut’s Heritage Gateway (at: https://www.ctheritage.org/encyclopedia/ctto1763/overviewctto1763.htm) (accessed on September 30, 2010).

[24] The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws, Francis Newton Thorpe, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909), Vol. 1, p. 534, “Charter of Connecticut-1662.”

[25] Clinton Rossiter, Seedtime of the Republic (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1953), p. 171.

[26] John Fiske, The Beginnings of New England (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1898), pp. 127-128.

[27] Clinton Rossiter, Seedtime of the Republic (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1953), p. 32. See also, J. M. Mathews, The Bible and Civil Government, in a Course of Lectures (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1851), pp. 67-68.

[28] “Province of West New Jersey in America,” Art. I, The Avalon Project, November 25, 1681 (at: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/nj08.asp); “The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America, Anno Domini 1683,” Art. II-III, The Avalon Project, 1683 (at: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/nj10.asp). See also “Colonial America,” United States History (at: https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h591.html) (accessed on September 23, 2010).

[29] Ernest Sutherland Bates, American Faith (New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1940), pp. 186-187.

[30] Ernest Sutherland Bates, American Faith (New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1940), pp. 186-187.

[31] “Charter for the Province of Pennsylvannia-1681,” The Avalon Project, February 28, 1681 (at: https://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/pa01.asp).

[32] Noah Webster, Letters of Noah Webster, Harry R. Warfel, editor (New York: Library Publishers, 1953, p. 455, letter to David McClure, October 25, 1836.

[33] Daniel Webster, Address Delivered at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1843, on the Completion of the Monument(Boston: T. R. Marvin, 1843), p. 31.

[34] John Fiske, The Beginnings of New England (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1898), pp. 267-272.

[35] John Wise, A Vindication of the Government of New- England Churches (Boston: John Boyles, 1772), p. 45.

[36] “Top Ipswich Patriots by Thomas Franklin Waters & Mrs. Eunice Whitney Farley Felten,” Lord Family Album, 1927 (at: https://www.bwlord.com/Ipswich/Waters/TwoPatriots/JohnWise.htm).

[37] John Fiske, Old Virginia and Her Neighbors (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1901), Vol. II, p. 57, and Vol. I, pp. 306, 311.

[38] Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930), s.v. “Samuel Cooper.”

[39] Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), p. 90; Stephen Mansfield, Forgotten Founding Father: The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield (Cumberland House, 2001), p. 112.

[40] Stephen Mansfield, Forgotten Founding Father: The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield (Cumberland House, 2001), p. 112.

[41] Alice M. Baldwin, The Clergy of Connecticut in Revolutionary Days (Yale University Press, 1936), p. 30.

[42] Claude H. Van Tyne, The Causes of the War of Independence (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1922), p. 362.

[43] John Wingate Thornton, Pulpit of the American Revolution (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1860), pp. 147-148.See also Claude H. Van Tyne, The Causes of the War of Independence (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1922), p. 362.

[44] George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1858), Vol. V, p. 193.

[45] B.F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Developed in the Official and Historical Annals of the Republic (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), pp. 367-368.

[46] Benjamin Lossing, Pictorial Fieldbook of the Revolution (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), Vol. I, p. 440.

[47] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 34.

[48] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 79.

[49] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), pp. 79-82

[50] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Scribner, 1864), p. 82.

[51] James L. Adams, Yankee Doodle Went to Church: The Righteous Revolution of 1776 (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1989), p. 22.

[52] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[53] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[54] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[55] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[56] James L. Adams, Yankee Doodle Went to Church (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1989), p. 153.

[57] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[58] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[59] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 68.

[60] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 69;Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, s.v. “John Steele.”

[61] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), pp. 71-72.

[62] Franklin Cole, They Preached Liberty (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1941), p. 36.

[63] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 72.

[64] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 69.

[65] Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States from the First Settlement Down to the Present Time (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1888), p. 265.

[66] Boston Gazette, December 7, 1772, article by “Israelite,” and Boston Weekly Newsletter, January 11, 1776, article by Peter Oliver, British official. See also Peter Oliver, Peter Oliver’s Origin & Progress of the American Rebellion, Douglas Adair and John A. Schutz, editors (San Marino California: The Huntington Library, 1961), pp. 29, 41-45; Carl Bridenbaugh, Mitre and Sceptre (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 334; and Alice M. Baldwin, The New England Clergy and the American Revolution (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1958), pp. 98, 155.

[67] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 58.

[68] William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit: Trinitarian Congregation, (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1857), p. 482.

[69] B.F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Developed in the Official and Historical Annals of the Republic (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864) p. 350.

[70] Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States from the First Settlement Down to the Present Time (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1888), p. 265.

[71] J. T. Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner, 1864), p. 58.

[72] Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States from the First Settlement Down to the Present Time (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1888), p. 266.

[73] Daniel Dorchester, Christianity in the United States from the First Settlement Down to the Present Time (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1888), p. 267.

[74] Linda Stewart, “The Other Cape,” American Heritage (at: https://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/2001/2/2001_2_50.shtml) (accessed on September 24, 2010).

[75] Clinton Rossiter, Seedtime of the Republic (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1953), p. 219.

[76] “Top Ipswich Patriots by Thomas Franklin Waters & Mrs. Eunice Whitney Farley Felten,” Lord Family Album, 1927 (at: https://www.bwlord.com/Ipswich/Waters/TwoPatriots/JohnWise.htm).

[77] “Top Ipswich Patriots by Thomas Franklin Waters & Mrs. Eunice Whitney Farley Felten,” Lord Family Album, 1927 (at: https://www.bwlord.com/Ipswich/Waters/TwoPatriots/JohnWise.htm).

[78] Claude H. Van Tyne, The Causes of the War of Independence (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1922), Vol. I, p. 357.

[79] John Wise, A Vindication of the Government of New England Churches: and the Churches’ Quarrel Espoused (Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1860), pp. xx-xxi, “Introductory Remarks” by Rev. J. S. Clark. See also B.F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Developed in the Official and Historical Annals of the Republic (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), p. 341

[80] Calvin Coolidge, “Speech on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence,”Teaching American History, July 5, 1926 (at: https://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=41).

[81] Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, Ellis Sandoz, editor (Indianapolis, Liberty Fund: 1998), Vol. 1, p. 530, from Sermons 17 on John Witherspoon intro.

[82] B.F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Developed in the Official and Historical Annals of the Republic (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), p. 366.

[83] William Warren Sweet, The Story of Religion in America (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1950), p. 182.

[84] Frank Moore, Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution (Boston: Gould and Lincoln: 1860), p. 260.

[85] James Hutchinson Smylie, American Clergymen and the Constitution of the United States of America (New Jersey: Princeton Theological Seminary, doctoral dissertation 1958), pp. 127-129, 139, 143.

[86] John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1987), p. 352, n. 15.

[87] Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton: American Philosophical Society, 1951), Vol. I, p. 474, letter to Elias Boudinot, “Observations on the Federal Procession in Philadelphia,” July 9, 1788.

[88] Gazette of the United States (Washington, D.C.: May 9, 1789), p. 1, quoting from “Extract from “American Essays: The Importance of the Protestant Religion Politically Considered.”

[89] “About BLS: History,” Boston Latin School (at: https://www.bls.org/podium/default.aspx?t=113646&rc=0) (accessed on October 1, 2010)

[90] The Code of 1650, Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut(Hartford: Silus Andrus, 1822), pp. 90-92. See also Church of the Holy Trinity v. U. S., 143 U. S. 457, 467 (1892).

[91] Appleton‘s Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888), s.v. “John Harvard.”

[92] Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education (New Haven: Howe & Spalding, 1823), p. 237.

[93] John Maclean, History of the College of New Jersey, from its Origin in 1746 to the Commencement of 1854(Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1877), Vol. I, p. 70.

[94] The History of the College of William and Mary, from its Foundation, 1660, to 1874 (Richmond, VA: J.W. Randolph & English, 1874), p. 95.

[95] “Dartmouth History,” Dartmouth University (at: https://www.dartmouth.edu/home/about/history.html) (accessed on October 1, 2010).

[96] Warren A. Nord, Religion & American Education (North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995), p. 84, quoting from James Tunstead Burtchaell, “The Decline and Fall of the Christian College I,” First Things, May 1991, p. 24, and George Marsden, The Soul of the American University (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 11, and Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 198.

[97] E. P. Cubberley, Public Education in the United States (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1919), p. 204. See alsoLuther A. Weigle, The Pageant of America: American Idealism, Ralph Henry Gabriel, editor (Yale University Press, 1928), Vol. X, p. 315.

[98] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), pp. 209-210.

[99] Noah Webster, A Collection of Papers on Political, Literary, and Moral Subjects (New York: Webster and Clark, 1843), p. 293, from his “Reply to a Letter of David McClure on the Subject of the Proper Course of Study in the Girard College, Philadelphia. New Haven, October 25, 1836.”

[100] The Christian Treasury Containing Contributions from Ministers and Members of Various Evangelical Denominations (Edinburgh: Johnstone, Hunter and Co., 1877), p. 203.

[101] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity and the American Commonwealth (Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898), p. 77.


Join the Black Robe Regiment today!

 
The Black Robed Regiment (BRR) was the name the British placed on the courageous and patriotic clergy of the American Revolution, referencing the black robes that ministers wore in that day. Those pastors boldly proclaimed the Word of God in everything that applied to life, whether spiritual or temporal, whether related to eternal life with Christ or to topics such as taxation, education, government, military, or any other issue touched in the Bible. America is longing for a resurgence of the Black Robed Regiment – they want ministers who will provide much needed community leadership and speak out fearlessly on issues related to today’s culture. To equip pastors and clergy for this role, we have created the Black Robe Regiment website with a vast array of resources, including:

  • modern pledge that can be taken by today’s clergy. Pastors who participate will not only receive a certificate as a Black Robe Regiment minister but they also have the option to be listed as a BRR pastor, so that citizens can search the website to locate BRR pastors and churches in their area.
  • Numerous historical resources, including famous sermons delivered by Black Robed Regiment ministers across the centuries as well as a modern resources section with a list of sermon topics relevant to contemporary cultural issues — timely practical sermons preached by today’s bold leaders, including D. James Kennedy, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Ken Hutcherson, Tim Brooks, Robert Jeffress, Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, and many others.
  • A section of helpful legal resources, whether related to the constitutional liberties of churches and people of faith or to internal operational issues such as personnel matters and church discipline.

Visit the BRR website today; peruse the wonderful resources; check out some of the downloadable historical documents and books, thus learning the inspiring history of some of America’s great early spiritual leaders. If you are a minister, sign up and become a minister of the new Black Robe Regiment today!

William Wolfe | A Christian Case for an ‘America First’ Government | NatCon 3 Miami



Related

A Marvelous Display

Unlike art hanging in a gallery, you’re a piece of work made by God.

Charles F. Stanley August 1, 2022

Have you ever stood outside on a clear, dark night and stared at the grand exhibition of God’s creation? Or perhaps the wide variety of plant and animal life has left you in awe of the Lord’s creativity and wisdom? As great as these things are, nothing compares to His crowning creation—mankind. That’s because we alone are made in His image, and each of us is unique.

God not only created each of us physically, but for those of us who have been saved through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He’s also made us new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Furthermore, Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” To me, the word workmanship means “masterpiece” or “something of notable value and excellence.”

Now, you may feel more like a mess than a masterpiece, but from God’s perspective, a work of art is exactly what you are. Even if you feel worthless or rejected, this fact must supersede your feelings. Once you understand how precious you are to the Lord, your attitude, thinking, and behavior will begin to align with the truth.

Sin is probably the most common reason we may not feel like God’s great work. But just because we’ve fallen to temptation, that doesn’t mean we are junk. We’re still the Lord’s handiwork, but we need cleansing. When I travel overseas, I like to visit museums. Wanting to see a work of art I’d previously admired, I once returned to a certain museum, only to discover that painting was missing. I asked the attendant where it was, and he said it was being cleaned. Did the fact that it was dirty make it any less a great work of art? No. It was still valuable because its worth was determined by the hand of the artist who created it.

No work of art exalts itself. The only reason for its existence is the will and talent of the artist. As God’s workmanship, we are to reflect our Savior by living for Him and not ourselves.

We must also remember that each of us is a work in progress that will not be completed until Christ comes to take us home to heaven. (See Philippians 1:6.) However, until then we should be a reflection of His character, love, and service. In other words, we are a walking picture of His grace and His power to transform all things. And as we go about our daily lives, we must remember:

Our purpose is to bring God glory. No work of art exalts itself. The only reason for its existence is the will and talent of the artist. As God’s workmanship, we are to reflect our Savior by living for Him and not ourselves. His glory should be our motive in whatever we do. If we’re living for anything else—even good things like family or a career—we’ve missed our purpose.

We were created to work. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). These are not good deeds that earn us salvation, because we can be saved only through faith in Christ. We don’t become masterpieces by something we do any more than a block of marble can shape itself into a sculpture. Only the Creator can make us a masterpiece through our relationship with Christ.

But once we become His workmanship, we are accountable to God for how we live and what we do. We weren’t saved to sit in pews on Sunday and do whatever we want the other six days of the week. The Lord has planned exactly what He wants us to accomplish during our time on earth. In fact, He designed it all beforehand. God not only chose us to be His children but also planned specific tasks for each of us. The way to love and honor Him is to discover His will and live in it.

We don’t become masterpieces by something we do any more than a block of marble can shape itself into a sculpture. Only the Creator can make us a masterpiece through our relationship with Christ.

God has provided everything we need to accomplish the tasks He has given us. In John 15:4, Jesus told His disciples to abide in Him like a branch in a vine. When we abide in Christ and obey Him (John 15:10), His life flows through us like sap, and we become fruitful. Knowing that we need divine empowerment, Jesus has also given us the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). And the Spirit in turn has provided each of us with spiritual gifts that enable us to do the works God ordained (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). In addition, the teaching, reproof, correction, and training of the Scriptures equip us for whatever we’re called to accomplish (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

But how can you discover what God wants you to do? You must understand that His will applies to every area of your life. For instance, your neighborhood is more than simply a place to live; it’s a mission field where you can serve the Lord with your abilities, attitudes, and witness. That’s why it’s important to ask Him for guidance. What seems like the good opportunity may not be the plan He has in mind.

There will come a moment when what we have done during our lives will be tested by the fire of God. (See 1 Corinthians 3:9-15.) No one wants to stand at the judgment, looking at a pile of missed opportunities and unused spiritual gifts. But imagine the joy that will be ours when we know we’ve invested our lives for Him and are given the privilege of bowing in humble submission before the One who made us. Now that’s what a masterpiece is called to do.

Adapted from the sermon “God’s Masterpiece” by Charles F. Stanley

https://www.intouch.org/read/articles/a-marvelous-display

The Pronouns That Make Psalm 23 So Powerful

Matt Morton

A couple of years ago, Bible Gateway published a list of the ten most-searched-for Bible verses on their website. Five of the top ten verses on their list were from Psalm 23. I am certain that many people around the world turned to Psalm 23 during the past two years as we faced a terrifying global crisis and deep uncertainty about the future.

Why do we return to Psalm 23 in the midst of crisis? There are many Bible passages in which God is referred to as a shepherd. The Bible is full of reminders about how God provides for his people in the midst of uncertainty and fear. So what makes Psalm 23 so special?

I think Psalm 23 is powerful for a simple but surprising reason: the first-person singular pronouns. In case you’ve forgotten your middle-school grammar, the first-person singular pronouns in English are “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine.” In other words, King David didn’t write, “The Lord is a shepherd,” or “The Lord is the shepherd,” or even, “The Lord is our shepherd.” Instead, the very first verse of Psalm 23 begins with the powerful affirmation, “The Lord is my shepherd.”

Psalm 23 personalizes the metaphor of God as our shepherd to a degree that no other biblical passage really does. Most of us know that shepherds provide for and protect their sheep. They lead their sheep to food and water. They fight off wild animals and bandits that threaten their sheep. The Scripture is full of imagery describing God as a good shepherd for the nation of Israel and for the world as a whole.

But it’s one thing to know that God is a good shepherd in general. It’s another thing entirely to know that he is my good shepherd. God doesn’t merely care about Israel or about the world as a whole. Psalm 23 reminds me that he also knows and cares about me specifically.

When I am sad or scared, of course, it’s comforting to know that God is taking care of the world in a general sense. He’s leading the entire world to a good place. The Bible is clear about that: God has a perfect plan for this world that cannot be defeated by sin, sickness, or death. But Psalm 23 tells me that God is also taking care of me. Yes, he has the whole world in his hands, as the first verse of that old song tells us. But he also has you and me individually in his hands.

If God is your shepherd, then, you can trust that he sees you and cares about you personally. he knows your name and he knows all that you need. If you feel alone, or you’re afraid of what tomorrow holds, he sees you and cares about you. If you’re sick and in pain, God is concerned about you. And ultimately, he wants to lead you to a very good place, where your future is secure and you have all that you need and more. The Scripture makes it clear that God’s people will find that place of perfection when Jesus returns. He will remake the world into a kingdom where pandemics, war, and natural disaster will no longer wreak havoc and destruction.

In John 10:14 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” By identifying himself as the shepherd of Psalm 23, Jesus was claiming to be God. He was making a bold statement: if you want God as your shepherd, you must believe in Jesus. He gave his life to save the sheep. He knows every one of them by name, and he loves them infinitely. As a result, not even the horrifying shadow of death can destroy the relationship between the Savior and his sheep.   

https://www.biblestudymagazine.com/julaug-2022-momentwithgod

VIDEO Why I Signed the Frankfurt Declaration – A Christian Case For An America First Government

by John MacArthur  September 6, 2022

Christ declared, “My kingdom is not of this world. . . . My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36). Far from setting Himself up as a rival to Caesar, He was saying that the church belongs to a different, higher realm than any earthly government, and therefore she poses no threat to Caesar’s rightful authority. The church’s purpose is not to overthrow or usurp earthly governments. Jesus amplified that point when He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

But for his part, Caesar has always tended to view Christ as an adversary and an inconvenience. From Herod and Pontius Pilate until today, earthly governments have always sought to exert control over Christ and His kingdom. Caesar is not content with the things that are Caesar’s; he also wants control over the things that belong to God. So earthly rulers invariably try to seize as much dominance over the church as they can possibly appropriate.

Today’s postmodern politicians are as determined as any government in history to intrude into matters that pertain to Christ. They impose moral standards that are hostile to biblical principles. They use Caesar’s bully pulpit to portray biblical values as a threat to the very existence of humanity. They champion and even subsidize those who want to indoctrinate children with overtly anti-Christian ideologies. They churn out executive orders, regulatory agencies, and arbitrary requirements that would hinder or halt the work of the church.

The COVID years simply made Caesar’s strategy undeniably obvious. Government restrictions required churches to refrain from gathering while casinos and massage parlors were allowed to operate. Officials looked the other way when leftist protestors were given free rein to gather and even riot, but those same officials relentlessly worked to keep churches closed.

Obedience to such frivolous, heavy-handed government control would have required disobedience to Scripture. God clearly commands His people not to forsake their regular assembling for corporate worship (Hebrews 10:25). And “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). So we resumed our corporate worship, and that immediately unleashed the wrath of Caesar. Government agencies came after our church with every regulatory projectile they could hurl at us—legal demands, lawsuits, injunctions, and fines. They even threatened to expropriate our parking lot. Thankfully we prevailed in court—mainly, I believe, because the County of Los Angeles was not willing to let their health officials be deposed under oath.

Our triumph in that case came exactly a year before the Frankfurt Declaration was released. While the case was still in litigation, however, we released a statement of our own, titled, “Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church.” What we stated then is in full agreement with the Frankfurt document.

The United States government (and others in the Western world) have already established themselves as enemies of Christ by legalizing abortion; demanding that homosexuality be encouraged and celebrated; refusing to recognize God-given gender distinctions; sanctioning same-sex marriage; and promoting the barbaric, pagan mutilation of children. These overt government-sponsored attacks on long-established moral standards constitute a formal, parliamentary declaration of war against God, His created order, His moral law, and the authority of His Word. Our current government therefore now stands in opposition to God no less than the Baal-worshipers of the Old Testament did. Why would we not expect them to come after people who would put their lives on the line for the cause of God and His Word? There are many signs that sound churches and faithful believers are about to face a wave of harsh persecution.

The exposure of all this is a major problem for churches that have tried to compromise with the world. Some of them will simply deny the truth more openly. (Some are already doing that.) Those who will not compromise in order to mollify Caesar should sign the Frankfurt Declaration.

Christ and Caesar do operate in different realms. The church’s mission is not a partisan political one. There is no political solution to what ails our culture. The church’s mission is to preach the gospel, recover souls from the domain of darkness, and train them to be Christ’s disciples. Christians must not be dissuaded from that task in order to achieve a mere temporal political objective. On the other hand, the more Caesar intrudes into matters that belong to Christ, the more the church must speak out on eternal and spiritual matters that the rest of the world wants to treat as merely “political.” It is not the prerogative of Caesar to rewrite moral standards on matters like abortion, sexual perversion, gender roles, or other matters where Scripture has drawn clear lines. We will continue to speak on such issues, and when government tries to silence the message or punish the messenger, we will not bow.

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19–20).

https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B220906


William Wolfe | A Christian Case for an ‘America First’ Government | NatCon 3 Miami



Related

5 Marriage Rules You Can Break

Experts explain why the conventional wisdom isn’t always best

By Andrea Atkins and Grandparents.com March 15, 2014

(This article previously appeared on Grandparents.com.)

The rules for a happy marriage are always bandied about with a reverence usually reserved for The Ten Commandments. But it turns out these rules are not set in stone (like those other commandments). And, experts say, you should break these rules to keep your marriage in good shape.

“A lot of rules are myths,” says Terri Orbuch, research professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Greats. “They’re not relationship realities.”

No. 1 Rule to Break: Don’t Go To Bed Angry

“It’s not always a good idea to stay up and resolve your differences,” says Orbuch. “You might say something you’ll regret. Getting a good night’s sleep is a better idea. You’re much more likely to resolve things when you’re refreshed in the morning or later that day. You do have to come back and resolve it — usually within 24 hours.”

Orbuch says this myth has caused many marriages many problems. Because people think they can’t go to sleep until they’ve made up, they sometimes stay up long into the night, which often gets them only deeper into an argument.

“If we changed our thinking and realized that it’s not a good time to resolve a conflict, then we could be more relaxed about solving the important issues later on,” she says.

No. 2 Rule to Break: Your Spouse Should Be Your Best Friend

People have friends and they have a spouse, says Scott Haltzman, a former Brown University professor and the author of The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity. “People expect a spouse to be everything,” Haltzman says. “They want their spouse to relate to them on a very close emotional basis, but relationships and studies show that while best-friend marriages do last, they sometimes have less satisfying sex lives.”

In addition to that, sometimes it’s easier to talk to friends about certain things — and friends are generally less inclined to judge.

Haltzman says Bill Cosby tells a joke about a time when his car broke down 20 miles from home. Cosby, according to Haltzman, calls his wife to tell her he’s stranded with the broken-down car. She says, “I told you to fix it months ago!” He calls his best friend, who says, “Where are you? I’ll be right there.”

Of course you want to share activities, thoughts and feelings with your spouse. But one person can’t meet all of your needs, says Haltzman. So take the pressure off your relationship, and if your spouse doesn’t want to talk about emotional issues, or doesn’t want to do a certain activity, call a friend.

No. 3 Rule to Break: Always Be Honest

Studies show that couples lie to each other all the time, Haltzman says, and that it doesn’t typically have a negative impact on the marriage.

“Ordinarily, both partners accept that there are some things that they would be happier not knowing, and trust that their partner is sensible or responsible enough not to make a bad decision that has serious repercussions,” says Haltzman.

However, if you’ve made a rule that you should always be honest, then occasional fibs or lying will be destructive.

“You definitely don’t want to lie about gambling or infidelity, or that you lost your job,” says Orbuch. But both Orbuch and Haltzman agree that usually couples are dishonest when it concerns money.

“I don’t think it’s OK to lie when you are directly asked a question,” says Haltzman. “If your husband wants to know if you got a new dress, then say yes! If asked how much, you can first say it was on sale. But if pushed, yes, you should tell the truth.”

Haltzman suggests that couples set a dollar amount below which there need be no discussion about spending. For example, if it’s less than $100, both parties can be fine with the purchase.

No. 4 Rule to Break: Marriage is a 50-50 Proposition

If you think everything in marriage is split down the middle, you’re bound to be disappointed.

“The problem,” says Haltzman, “is that when you’ve done what you think is 50 percent, your partner often perceives it as 25 percent. Meanwhile you’re waiting for his 50 percent, because you think he’s only given 25 percent. Relationships require you give to 100 percent. And you keep giving because your goal is to make your partner happy. And your partner will give 100 percent, too.”

Marriage is a give and take, and if you’re keeping score in yours, you are probably going to walk around angry. Besides, you can’t use numbers to quantify relationships. Over the course of a marriage, things usually even out. There are often shifts that go back and forth.

“There’s always compromise in marriage and what you should strive for is what is fair and equitable,” says Orbuch. “That’s what’s going to lead to happiness. If you go around thinking that it’s 50-50, then you’re going to become extremely unhappy.”

No. 5 Rule to Break: Your Marriage Can Take Care of Itself

To a certain degree that’s true, says Haltzman. You got married because you felt secure and safe with one another. But think back to when you were dating: Will he ask me for a second date? Will she go if I ask? These uncertainties made the whole experience exciting. Now you don’t have to wonder.

“Predictability and reliability are the opposites of eroticism,” says Haltzman. And they can sometimes hurt a marriage. “To solidify connections, it’s a good idea to spend a little time apart.”

That’s why couples don’t need to have all the same interests, he adds. They should have some common beliefs and shared activities. But they should also pursue their own interests.

You can also create some of the same excitement you felt when you were dating by introducing the element of the unexpected into your marriage.

“Surprise your partner with tickets to something fun. Bring home flowers. Go to a new restaurant,” Orbuch says. The things that make dating fun and exciting — the newness of it all — can make a marriage more fun, too.”

By Grandparents.com

Grandparents.com is a lifestyle website, social media community & peer group that unites & connects America’s 70 million Grandparents to the best information and premier products & services just for them. Our goal is to promote well-being and give timely information on what really matters to you, from health and money to family and relationships to travel and retirement.

https://www.nextavenue.org/5-marriage-rules-you-can-break/

VIDEO What Is Truth?

Jack Hibbs August 28, 2022

In a world where lies are esteemed as truth and truth is presented as lies, it’s more important than ever to measure all things against the standard of ultimate truth: God’s unchanging Word.

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