There are some today who would argue that those two words don’t go together. Thanks to the Johnson administration who introduced the looming threat of the IRS against churches, pastors have largely been cowed into silence; afraid to speak up on political issues.
Of course, this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the American Revolution was in many ways fueled by the pulpits of this fledgling nation. The most famous example is John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. Here is part of the entry on Muhlenberg from William Federer’s America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations:
In 1775, after preaching a message on Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,”…Muhlenberg closed his message by saying:
"In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight."
He then threw off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of an officer in the Revolutionary Army. That afternoon, at the head of 300 men, John Peter Muhlenberg marched off to join General Washington’s troops and became Colonel of the 8th Virginia Regiment.
Here me clearly (especially Big Brother who we know is watching), I’m not advocating armed rebellion. What I am saying is twofold:
1. Pastors and churches should never be afraid to be patriots. We are still Americans, and we have every right to stand and show our love for this nation as much as anyone. We know that our true citizenship is in heaven, but until we reach those shores, we ought to be the best citizens of this nation we can. Which leads to…
2. Pastors and churches should never be afraid to stand for truth. We are called to be salt and light. Our founders’ inclusion of “Freedom of Religion” was never intended to be interpreted as “Freedom from Christianity.” The people of this nation are indebted to the pulpits of this nation for standing against tyranny and fanning the flames of freedom. Today’s pulpits should not be afraid to stand for the same.
Happy Independence Day.
Thank God for the freedoms we enjoy. Thank a veteran. Then maybe thank a pastor.