Friday, July 14, 2006

Founding Pastors Weren’t Silent

Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated our nation’s independence.

John Adams was one of the most prominent of our nation’s founders…a passionate patriot and well recognized by historians both contemporary and from antiquity as being one of the most significant leaders of American independence. In fact, one popular modern historian, David McCullough, has written an entire book on John Adams, who served two terms as our nation’s first vice-president and then one term as our second president.

But John Adams himself declared that the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Mayhew and the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper were two of the individuals "most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential" in the "awakening and revival of American principles and feelings" that led to American independence.

The legendary Minutemen were led by the Rev. Jonas Clark and many of those Minutemen were deacons in his church.

The Rev. James Caldwell was a key leader of military forces in New Jersey.

And the Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg led 300 men from his church against the British as one of Washington's most trusted generals.

Pastor Lemuel Haynes, an African-American pastor, was involved in several major Revolutionary battles and became an ardent admirer of George Washington, regularly preaching sermons on Washington's birthday.

John Witherspoon, the Presbyterian divine from New Jersey, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Jacob Duche, John Mills, William Graham, Azel Roe, John Steele and hundreds of other pastors, did their part to lead their congregation into a righteous war.

Pastors have always been the key instruments in cultural issues. As a lesson from the Revolution, pastors must search the scriptures regarding Missouri’s proposed constitutional amendment on embryonic stem cell research. I have no doubt that pastors faithful to the sanctity of human life will reach the same conclusions I have regarding the evil of this practice. We must exhort our congregations to engage in this battle. We must do all we can to see an enemy stopped and life protected.

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