Drafting The Black Robe Regiment
by Shari Dovale
The Clergy in early America typically wore black robes while preaching in the pulpit. They were leaders in their community, not just within their church. They led their congregations, not only in God’s Word, but every aspect of life, thus they shaped America’s institutes and culture.
The founding documents of this country were, by and large, reprints of sermons that had been given over more than 20 years prior to the Revolution.
It was the Christian Clergy that were essentially responsible for American independence. The British agreed and named them the “Black Robe Regiment.”
But it was not just the British who saw the effect of the American pulpit, our own leaders agreed. For example, John Adams rejoiced that “the pulpits have thundered” 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.
A prime example of this was Peter Muhlenberg. He was a Lutheran minister who was commissioned to raise and lead the the 8th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. It is said that he was personally asked by George Washington late in 1775 to take on this task.
Mulenberg used the pulpit to sway his congregation towards the revolution and let them know of his new position of Colonel. Heritage of the Founding Fathers states:
It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastics 3 where it explains, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted….”
Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, “In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.” As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, “There is a time to fight, and that time has now come!” Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.
Marching to the back of the church he declared, “Who among you is with me?” On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg. They eventually became the 8th Virginia Brigade fighting for liberty.
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.
So, what has happened since then? Why are so many of today’s clergy afraid to discuss topics that are important to every citizen in the country? Follow the money.
Section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code exempts the following organizations from federal income tax:
Corporations, and any … fund or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable … or educational purposes … no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private … individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation … and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
This means that churches cannot comment on the government, legislators, candidates, or even legislation. They are not supposed to talk about abortion, gay rights, the invasion of the False god, and more. If they do discuss it, they risk losing their tax exempt status.
Additionally, would losing the tax-exempt status be such a bad thing? How deeply would it actually hurt? Is the money more important than their faith?
It is also claimed that the law of the land requires the separation of church and state. What does this actually mean?
The first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Therefore, it is more accurate to say that the Constitution promotes freedom of religion and prohibits the federal government from inhibiting its citizens’ ability to worship as they wish. In other words, the founding fathers intended for the government to stay out of religion, not for religion to stay out of government.
Our Country is in crisis. We The People need to stand up and be heard. But, to make this happen, history needs to repeat itself.
We need the American Clergy, the pastors, ministers and preachers to stand up and be the shepherd’s that they were meant to be. Stand up for your flock. Help them and guide them in the Word of God.
Do not be afraid. Faith and fear cannot exist together. Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as being “certain of what we do not see.” It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact. On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief or weak belief.
Do not be afraid to speak on the controversial. Do not be afraid to label the evil. Do not be afraid to instruct your congregation on what this country needs, and base it on scripture. Tell the people that there is only one True God, and he is waiting for them. (Isaiah 30:18)
We call on the Black Robe Regiment.
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