To show you what we mean, check out When the godly govern, by Dave Welch — described at the end of the article as the founder and executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council and Houston Area Pastor Council, interdenominational and interracial ministries of and for pastors based in Houston, Texas.
Here are some excerpts from the rev’s article, with bold added by us. He begins with a discussion of the choice of Saul as king of Israel, and then that long-ago event is used to launch into a discussion of our current situation:
What cannot be overlooked is that the entire process was a result of the people rejecting the authority of God over the nation and God granting them their first wish.
The consequences were as clear and catastrophic then as they have been in recent decades in this country as we have done the same. Many point to the U.S. Supreme Court banning prayer in government schools (Engel v. Vital, 1962) and outlawing the Bible (Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963) as key turning points.
Others look back to 1925 in the famous “won the battle and lost the war” case that occurred in Dayton, Tenn., as lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan clashed in the “Scopes Monkey Trial” (State v. Scopes, 1926) over the teaching of evolution in schools.
What’s the connection between all these events? Let’s read on:
The reality is that our struggle against spiritual, moral, cultural and political decline is simply the latest chapter in the war begun when Lucifer rebelled against God, followed by persuading Adam and Eve to disobey God and introducing sin into the permanent condition of the world. Since that day man has been inventing ways to circumvent God, make Him in our image, or ignore Him altogether.
So you see, dear reader, that preventing compulsory school prayer, along with the controversy about teaching evolution in school — these are evils analogous to the sin of Adam and Eve. We’re playing with powerful forces, and our decisions are directly tied into cosmic affairs. We continue:
What we do know is that when men are governed by the God recognized by the ancestors of Western Civilization as Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy Trinity of Christianity – love, self-sacrifice, sharing, good works, peace, cultural transformation and political liberty are the fruits.
How does anyone claim to “know” that? We’ve never seen God govern here on earth. But what we really do know is that we’ve enjoyed a lot of liberty since the American Revolution, when the king who ruled by divine right was overthrown. Perhaps the good reverend will clarify things as his essay continues. Here’s more:
In spite of numerous periods where those claiming the name of Christ violated much if not all He taught either ecclesiastically or politically, the historical evidence is that when followers of Jesus Christ live out “all He commanded them” (Matthew 28:22), they brought life, light, hope and bottom-up transformation to the nations.
Got an historical example, rev? Just one will do.
One of the most influential of our founders who never actually set foot on this continent was the Rev. John Robinson, the “Pastor to the Pilgrims.” He was mentor to many, including John Winthrop, author of “Of Plimouth Plantation” and “A Model of Christian Charity” (both vital insights into the faith and character of that courageous congregation) and the first governor of Massachusetts.
Hold it right there, rev! The pilgrims weren’t our founders. They weren’t even the first English colony in North America — that honor goes to Jamestown. The Plymouth settlers were bible communists, at least at first, and those who followed their religious and political traditions ended up hanging witches in Salem. You think they’re our founders, rev? In some cases they may be our ancestors — but founders? No, sorry. See: Salem and Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Cities.
Out of that group came the Mayflower Compact and later the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the two first written documents of governance that became the cornerstone for every liberty and freedom we have enjoyed since.
Wrong, rev! The Mayflower Compact does have the phrase “just and equal Laws,” which some say is the first mention of what we now think of as “equal protection,” but did you know that the Mayflower Compact was so spectacularly unimportant during the Revolution and later the Constitutional Convention that it wasn’t even mentioned in the Federalist Papers? Hey, read the Mayflower Compact — the text is only seven lines long on our screen, and the first two lines are these:
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country …
That’s the foundation of our liberty and freedom? You should note, rev, that there’s none of that language in the Constitution. Different people, different philosophy. Different world, really. No wonder we’re so messed up, huh, rev?
Another excerpt from the rev’s essay:
It is critical that pastors once again embrace the sacred duty to choose leaders who will rule in the fear of God as an essential ministry of our local church. We must begin by re-educating most pastors on what Scripture says about it, how our ancestors of the faith have carried it out and how – whether we like it or not – we have the weight of governing on every one of our shoulders as citizens.
Sorry, rev, but how do you plan to “once again” embrace your “sacred duty” to choose our leaders? You guys weren’t very helpful during the Revolution. Clergy played no part we’re aware of in the Constitutional Convention. Of the Signers of the Declaration, only two are described as clergymen. You wouldn’t have liked either of them, rev.
One was John Witherspoon. Wikipedia says: “his most lasting contribution was the initiation of the Scottish Common-Sense Realism, which he had learned by reading Thomas Reid …” Thomas Reid was Scottish philosopher, and a contemporary of David Hume, was the founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, and played an integral role in the Scottish Enlightenment.
The other clergyman-signer, Lyman Hall, is listed as Physician/Minister. It seems, however, that he was more physician than minister. Wikipedia says: “His pastorate was a stormy one: an outspoken group of parishioners opposed his ordination; in 1751, he was dismissed after charges against his moral character which, according to one biography, “were supported by proof and also by his own confession.” He continued to preach for two more years, filling vacant pulpits, while he studied medicine and taught school.”
And now we come to the end of the rev’s article:
Yes, men of God, that means being involved in the election process at all levels.
It is truly up to us whether the people rejoice because the righteous are in governing authority, or just continue to be angry and frustrated because of the acts of tyrants. The larger question, however, is not about the tyrants. It is whether, as Penn challenged us, we will be governed by God.
You want to rule, rev? Sorry, the Dark Ages are over. So is the colonial period. You’ve hanged your last witch.
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