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Patriot Pastors

My pastoral heroes do not come from the ranks of the current “politically correct, seeker sensitive, five-points- to- a- better-you, we all worship the same god, stop global warming, save the whales”¬†genre. (Although, I do like whales). There was a day in American history where the pastors were on the front lines of revival and reformation in the culture. The declared God’s word with prophetic zeal and weren’t afraid to stand for truth even when it landed upon a few toes. They may not have won the popularity contests of their day, but they did win something more valuable: RESPECT.

I have a great deal of respect for the couragous “patriot pastors” who led the way during our fight for independence. Consider the leadership of Rev. James Caldwell. The Library of Congress features a painting by Henry Alexander Ogden entitled, “Rev. James Caldwell at the Battle of Springfield.” The painting portrays Rev. Caldwell on horseback handing out books to the soldiers, one of whom appears to be about to tear pages from the book.

Why is someone tearing pages out of a book? What book was it and why was this destructive act captured by the painter?

During the Revolutionary War, Rev. James Caldwell (1734-1781) was known as the “soldier parson” and the “rebel priest.” A presbyterian minister, Caldwell also served as chaplain of the Third New Jersey Brigade. In 1777 the British practically destroyed his hometown of Elizabethtown, including his church. Rev. Caldwell then began to hold services with loaded pistols on each side of the Bible and sentries in the belfry. During one battle near his church, the Americans ran out of paper stuffed into the muskets to keep the powder and ball from falling out. Rev. Caldwell ran to his church, gathered all the hymnbooks he could carry, and began distributing them to the soldiers. The hymns were written by Isaac Watts. As Pastor Caldwell passed out the books, he yelled, “Put Watts into’em boys! Give ‘em Watts!” Before the war was over, Rev. Caldwell would lose his wife and his own life as well.

Courageous patriot pastors, like Rev. Caldwell, led the way in standing against governmental tyranny and injustice. May God raise up more like him in our day!

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  1. July 6th, 2012 at 20:31 | #1

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  2. July 11th, 2012 at 21:42 | #2

    Jefferson,
    Great to hear from you! I’d love to share some discussion with you!

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