Historical Precedent for Christian Militia
In the American Revolution many clergymen took up arms against the British. The pulpits of nearly every colonial meeting house had for years proclaimed the apostasy of King George's government and the established Church. When the tyranny of British rule had become to much to bear, patriot clergymen not only encouraged the men in their congregation to join the American Army but actually formed and lead militias in the cause of liberty.
This list is by no means complete, but is meant to give a sampling of ministers and elders whose hands, like King David's, were fit for whatever mission the LORD assigned.
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. -Psalm 18:32-37Episcopal
Dr. Samuel Provost, first Bishop of New York
Dr. John Croes, first Bishop of New Jersey
Robert Smith, first Bishop of South Carolina
General Morgan, Cowpens
General Pickens, Cowpens
Colonel Campbell, King's Mountain
Colonel Williams, King's Mountain
Colonel Cleaveland, King's Mountain
Colonel Shelby, King's Mountain
Colonel Sevier, King's Mountain
Captain James Hall, North Carolina
Adam Boyd, North Carolina
James Armstrong, Maryland
James Caldwell, New JerseyGerman Reformed
The supreme knight and the great martyr of Presbyterianism, was pastor James Caldwell of the Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, New Jersey, "the Rebel High Priest," "the Fighting Chaplain." He has been made famous by the story "Give 'em Watts!" It is told that at the Springfield engagement when the militia ran out of wadding for their muskets, Parson Caldwell, galloped to the Presbyterian Church, and returning with an armload of hymn-books, threw them on the ground, exclaiming, "Now, boys, give 'em Watts! Give 'em Watts!"... To add to the fame of Caldwell, the British made martyrs of both himself and his wife. General Knyphausen's expedition took Elizabeth in 1780, burning Caldwell's church and shooting his wife. Later they shot Caldwell himself, claiming that it was by mistake. -Nationalism and Religion in America, Humphrey; 1924, 1966; pp. 102, 104
General Nicholas Herkimer
Baron Frederick William von Steuben
John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Virginia(Muhlenberg) was a pastor of a church at Woodstock, Virginia, at the opening of hostilities. When the news of Bunker Hill reached Virginia, he reminded his congregation that there was a time to preach and a time to pray; as for him, the time to preach was past. "It is now," he cried, "the time to fight"; and throwing off his vestments he stood forth in the garb of a Virginia colonel. His brother having remonstrated with him for his enlistment, he wrote: "You may say that as a clergyman nothing can excuse my conduct. I am a clergyman, it is true, but I am a member of society as well as the poorest layman, and my liberty is as dear to me as any man. I am called by my country to its defence. The cause is just and noble. Were I a Bishop.....I should obey without hesitation; and as far am I from thinking that I am wrong, I am convinced it is my duty so to do - a duty I owe to my God and my Country." In February, 1777, John Muhlenberg became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army; in September 1783, he was a breveted major-general. He took part in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth; at Yorktown he commanded the first brigade. He was a member of the Virginia Convention of 1776; later he was vice-president of the supreme-executive council of Pennsylvania and he represented that state both in the House and in the Senate of the United States. -Nationalism and Religion in America, Humphrey; 1924, 1966; pp. 114-115Baptist
Colonel Joab Houghton, New JerseyColonel Houghton was in the Hopewell Baptist Meeting-house, at worship, when he received the first information of Concord and Lexington, and of the retreat of the British to Boston with such heavy loss. His great-grandson gives the following eloquent description of the way he treated the tidings: "Stilling the breathless messenger he sat quietly through the services, and when they were ended, he passed out, and mounting the great stone block in front of the meeting-house he beckoned to the people to stop. Men and women paused to hear, curious to know what so unusual a sequel to the service of the day could mean. At the first words a silence, stern as death, fell over all. The Sabbath quiet of the hour and of the place was deepened into a terrible solemnity. He told them all the story of the cowardly murder at Lexington by the royal troops; the heroic vengeance following hard upon it; the retreat of Percy; the gathering of the children of the Pilgrims round the beleaguered hills of Boston; then pausing, and looking over the silent throng, he said slowly : `Men of New Jersey, the red coats are murdering our brethren of New England! Who follows me to Boston?' and every man of that audience stepped out into line, and answered `I !' There was not a coward or a traitor in old Hopewell Baptist Meeting-house that day." -Baptists and the American Revolution, Cathcart; 1876 rev. 1976; p. 56-57
The King's governor in the Colonies remarked that it was the "Black Robed Regiment" that instigated the people's resistance to the Crown. How is it that so many pastors in our day, when the evil promoted by government is so much greater than that the founders faced, are unwilling to preach the Law to the oppressor and liberty to the people?
Preachers who refused to be licensed by the Crown in the Colonies were jailed, beaten, and occasionally killed for their faithfulness. Today the vast majority of churches in America have taken a license to preach (the 501-c3 tax exemption) from the government. Preachers today have swallowed a theology that denies that Christ is King over ALL creation, including government, and instead declare that Satan is the ruler of this world. They have bent the knee to the Beast, and unless they repent, will receive the due reward for their apostasy.
The churches in Hitler's Germany either happily cooperated with the Nazi regime, or raised the hymns in the pews loud enough that they could not hear the trainloads of humanity being transported to slavery and death. Most of those fine old churches, and their congregations, were fire bombed into oblivion by Allied avengers.
Will America's church defy antichrist and stand for justice, liberty, and righteousness as she did in the later 1700's... or will she face the fateful lightning of Christ's terrible swift Sword?
Excerpted from the Christian
Guide to Small Arms at the Gospel Plow.
Copyrighted by Gospel Plow and republished here, with permission, from their website at Christian Guide to Small Arms.
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