Archive for July, 2009

Patriot Pastors

July 31st, 2009 2 comments

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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Myopic Ministers & Cowardly Clergy

July 30th, 2009 No comments

We’re are living in a strange time in history where it is in vogue to be a “myopic minister” and a “cowardly clergyman.” From where did this malady arise? My hunch is that we have been brainwashed. Our secularized culture has completely perverted and inverted the First Amendment, the one that supposedly contains the words “separation of church and state.” (If you have your pocket-sized copy of the Constitution handy, you won’t find this phrase anywhere in the First Amendment). Anytime we even think about addressing abortion, homosexuality, government corruption or a host of other extremely relevant subjects from our pulpits we get accused of preaching politics and we find ourselves threatened by some leftist organization with the loss of our tax-exempt status.

As a result, many pastors shrink back from preaching the whole gospel and settle for the much narrower version which tries to convince seekers of their need to ask  Jesus into their hearts. While I wholeheartedly concur that “all have sinned” and every person is in dire need of forgiveness and redemption, this is not the whole message of the gospel. It’s the starting place.

 We are called to transform every facet of our society. This means after we get Jesus into people’s hearts, we need to make sure we let Him out!  He will not allow His glory to be contained in the four walls of our church. Christ is Lord over all of life. He doesn’t believe in the modern version of the “separation of church and state” and neither should you. 

I close with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr., a pastor who boldly preached righteousness and fought for cultural transformation:

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”


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Time for a Re-Volution

July 28th, 2009 No comments

The first verse of 2 Samuel, chapter 23 reads, “Now these are the last words of David.” The final words of an anointed King of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, and the “sweet psalmist of Israel,” is enough to make anyone stand up and take notice. What parting words of wisdom does this amazing giant killer leave for us?

Out of all the topics David could have touched upon, he addresses the topic of leadership. Why? My guess is that leaders have the amazing power of producing either great blessing or horrific harm in the lives of those they are leading. Listen to David’s counsel:

“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (2 Samuel 23:3)

The fear of the Lord is the foundational requirement for any leader to  possess. The fear the Lord is clearly demonstrated by a leader’s willingness to obey the commandments of the Lord.

This brings me to our President’s leadership and this administration’s complete trampling of of the Law of God and the freedom of the people. The latest atrocity is the government’s attempt to take over the health care system. The Obama plan will force businesses to pay for abortions, will place bureaucrats in charge of rationing health care resources, and will revoke all conscience protections. This places us in the untenable position of using our income and our taxes to support the murder of innocent babies all in the name of “health care.” This violates our religious liberty and arrogantly ignores God’s Law.

Please take a moment right now to call your US Senator and your Congressman. It’s time to express our outrage over the President’s government-run health care proposal. It’s time for a re-volution! Stand up and let your voice be heard…before you no longer have a voice.

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