America was birthed in the spirit of liberty and baptized in the blood of patriots and tyrants. Leading the charge in America 's fight for independence was a courageous group of patriot-preachers that came to be known as the "Black Regiment." I have written several columns on this subject. Suffice it to say here that I invite readers to take a look at my Black Regiment web page to learn more about this early American phenomenon. There is little doubt that without these stalwart Christian pastors, this country would not have come into existence. (I extended this call for a modern-day Black Regiment 5 years before Glenn Beck ever mentioned it.)
So, what did these colonial preachers have that today's preachers don't? The better question might be: what did these colonial preachers NOT have that today's preachers do? The answer? Two things: 1) an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation status, and 2) a 50-year misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13.
The now infamous 501(c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) goes back to 1936 (the seeds of this Venus Fly Trap date back to 1872). But then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was the Dr. Frankenstein who, in 1954, unleashed this monster upon America . His motivation was: he did not like the way pastors and churches were opposing his liberal agenda, and he wanted to use the power of law to silence them. He, therefore, introduced verbiage to the IRC that churches were prohibited from influencing political legislation and supporting political campaigns, or risk losing their tax-exempt status.
Of course, colonial pastors didn't have to worry about their churches being "incorporated" as State-created (and controlled) entities, or about IRS agents intimidating them regarding what they could or could not say. In early America , preachers were free men; they could say whatever they darned well pleased. Gasp! Beyond that, virtually everyone regarded preachers as being "God's men," not the "servants of men."
Today, however, the average pastor has become the servant of the State and the church he pastors, more often than not, has become a creature of the State. It is an absolute fact that State-owned churches are killing America !
Dick Greb of the Save-A-Patriot Fellowship in Westminster, Maryland, wrote: "Many Americans find it disturbing that some of our churches today are little more than milquetoast corporations that fear our federal government more than the great I AM. Moreover, it can even be said that some preachers have the appearance of cringing, 'politically correct' cowards, rather than committed Godly men of fortitude with backbone, such as those we read of in the Bible." (Source: Greb, Dick. "The 501(c)(3) Hallucination: A Bane to Liberty." Reasonable Action Issue #244 Winter 2003.)
Dear reader, you can take this to the bank: the vast majority of pastors and board members of these 501(c)(3) corporations, when push comes to shove (and it always does), will demonstrate unconditional loyalty to the State. Plus, they will compromise or sacrifice any and every Bible doctrine or principle in order to preserve their tax-exempt status and stay on the smiley side of the IRC. They will also throw anyone under the old proverbial bus who might risk them falling out of favor with the IRS. (I can give painful and personal testimony to that fact!) Greb is right! Many, or most, of today's pastors and church officers fear the federal government far more than they fear God.
Not only did colonial preachers not have to contend with putting their churches under some State-controlled corporation, they would never have allowed it to happen! Can one imagine John Leland, Jonas Clark, or John Witherspoon being told by any State official what he could or could not say, or what his church could or could not do? What a joke! These men were willing to go to prison or even the grave in order to remain faithful to their spiritual calling and to their political and moral convictions!
The other thing that colonial preachers did not suffer from was a 50-year indoctrination of a misinterpretation of Romans 13.
This "Submit-to-the-government-no-matter-what" doctrine (using Romans 13 as the pretext) is a satanically inspired lie designed to turn free men and women into slaves of the state! Students of history know that Adolf Hitler encouraged German pastors and churches to promote this same fallacious philosophy among the German people. Gee! I wonder why? And according to Erwin Lutzer's book, "Hitler's Cross" (must reading, I might add), out of the more than 14,000 evangelical churches and pastors in Germany at the time, only about 800 remained faithful to Scripture and opposed Hitler's brand of state worship. If my math is correct, that's about 5%. And it would not surprise me if 5% is about the percentage of pastors and churches in America today that are opposing this modern-day worship of the state.
At this point, instead of embellishing upon Romans 13, I am going to insert a commercial. I began a series of messages on Romans 13 last Sunday at Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. In fact, by the time you read this, Part 1 of my message on Romans 13 will be available online.
"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." So said Edmund Burke. And, unfortunately, the good men that are mostly doing nothing and allowing evil to triumph in our land are the good men (and women) of America's churches who have either been intimidated by the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation status, or who have been put into a sheepish, servile, Satan-induced coma from an overdose of misapplied Romans 13 poison.
To quote the famous Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, "It is the devil that stirs up his instruments, wicked men [in government or without], to persecute the people of God; tyrants and persecutors are the devil's tools, though they gratify their own sinful malignity, and know not that they are actuated by a diabolical malice." (Source: Matthew Henry's Commentaries on the Bible, notes on Revelation 2:10)
Yes, the Black Regiment preachers of colonial America helped lead America 's fight for freedom and independence. But, they did not have their hands out to the IRS, or their minds and hearts numbed into apathy and indifference by decades of misuse and abuse of Romans chapter 13.