IF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IS TO SURVIVE, AMERICAN'S PULPITS MUST AWAKEN!
By Pastor Chuck Baldwin
October 15, 2003
Let's set the record straight. Until recently, the American dream was never about material prosperity. On the whole, our Founding Fathers were very prosperous, but they were willing to lose their material substance for something they considered to be much more valuable. In a word, the American dream was liberty, especially religious liberty! In fact, it took the combined effort of statesmen, soldiers, and ministers to win America's independence.
Unfortunately, today there is a serious dearth of both statesmen and ministers who are willing to fight for religious liberty. For the most part, they don't mind basking in the freedoms which were purchased by the blood, sweat, and tears of their predecessors, but they seem unwilling to shed any of their own in order to secure those same freedoms for their posterity.
Religious liberty is the heart of all our liberties. Without religious liberty, all other liberties would quickly vanish. Without religious liberty, property rights, gun rights, the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, etc. become moot and even meaningless. It is for this reason that liberal groups such as the ACLU are so rabid in their attacks against religious liberty. They know that religious liberty is the cornerstone of American freedom and independence. They know that their vision of a secularist, godless society cannot become a reality so long as religious liberty prevails.
Sadly, the majority of America's pulpits seem oblivious to the attacks against our religious liberty. Whether motivated by ignorance or denial, they seem content to let the enemies of freedom wage war against our liberties without offering even a modicum of resistance. It's as if they don't realize that this war even exists.
If the kind of apathy being demonstrated by our churches today had prevailed in Colonial America, this great country of ours would never have come into existence. It was America's pulpits which were "ablaze with righteousness" (Alexis de Tocqueville) that gave our brave patriots of yesteryear the courage and conviction to declare our independence and to fight for freedom.
Our second President, John Adams, understood the importance of pulpits sounding forth the clarion call for religious freedom when he wrote, "Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God. Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments" (Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765).
Can you imagine what our Founding Fathers would have done to some would-be tyrant of a federal judge who would have attempted to force a state Supreme Court chief justice to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from his court building? I dare say such a one would have been tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.
Yet today, arrogant and despotic federal judges run roughshod over our religious liberties and there is barely a squeak from the vast majority of church pulpits. Even those ministers who say they support the Ten Commandments mostly say Judge Roy Moore was wrong to defy the federal judge's order to remove them.
Where is our backbone? Where is our commitment to religious liberty? How can we be so quick to talk out of both sides of our mouths? When will America's preachers rise up with righteous resolve and stand like men against these enemies of freedom?
One thing is certain: if religious liberty is to survive in this country, America's pulpits must awaken! If they continue their slumber, the freedoms we had previously known will most assuredly be lost.
© 2003 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.
Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet http://www.ChuckBaldwinLive.com and newspapers.
"Religious liberty is the heart of all our liberties. Without religious liberty, all other liberties would quickly vanish. Without religious liberty, property rights, gun rights, the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, etc. become moot and even meaningless."