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I co-authored this piece with my friend and brother in Christ, Pastor Travis Witt. Check out Travis’s website here.
On January 21, 1776, Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg preached his final sermon. He entered the pulpit as a pastor and exited the chancel as a colonel. Led by God and committed to biblical principles, he recruited, trained, and commanded Virginia’s 8th Regiment, maintained point at Valley Forge, and was a Major General proudly serving his friend and Commander George Washington at Yorktown. He helped lead the American Revolution to create the freest, most prosperous nation Earth has ever known. In 1789, Muhlenberg continued his service to this nation as a member of the First House of Representatives debating and helping pass the Bill of Rights.
Muhlenberg and other Christian leaders understood that God’s people are called to fight oppression and injustices as echoed by the words of Patrick Henry: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual.” And the apostles: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29)
Christian leaders of the Revolutionary era played an indispensible role in turning the hearts and minds of Americans toward resisting the oppression of Great Britain’s Big-Government rule. Two-hundred thirty-six years later, America faces oppression again. This time, its perpetrators are traveling a longer and more insidious route. Consider:
And the list goes on.
Unchecked, these types of government abuses advanced by both major political parties will ultimately lead America to full-fledged tyranny, possibly soon. And what is the response from many Christian leaders today?
A silence that will reverberate in eternity.
Why is not every church leader in America combating the open and growing oppression our government fosters against the American people? God gives pastors a platform to shout their opposition, but many remain silent, not wanting to get “political” for fear of losing tax-exempt status or offending congregants enough to leave.
But the Bible is not political. It is Truth—God’s Truth. With over 2,500 references to “king” and its derivations, the Bible describes how unchecked political power leads to oppression. The Old Testament chronicles corruption and violence perpetrated by earthly kings—a clarion warning unheeded today. When disregarded or redefined as “political,” we ignore and withhold God’s Truth.
Instead, God’s people must challenge the creeping oppression under both parties before America reaches the tyrannical point of no return. Emulating patriots like Reverend Muhlenberg, pastors must again, with clarity and certainty, address the dangers of consolidated political power and publicly scrutinize every politician’s beliefs and actions, current and future.
Pastors have a biblical responsibility to address every important issue so that congregants can make informed decisions to choose some wise, understanding and respected people from each of our geographic areas, so God will set them over us (Deut. 1:13, paraphrased). Pastors should urge congregants to not just vote, but also to educate themselves on the importance of limited government, hound representatives who lust after more power, and support candidates who will shrink the size of oppressive government at every level.
Thankfully, some church leaders are already standing openly against oppression and have been for a long time (regardless of how it may affect their tax designations and attendance rosters). And others are stepping up to join them. For that we rejoice.
But we need more. A lot more.
Therefore, we challenge every pastor, priest, and ministry leader with a speaking platform in America to resist an out-of-control government before it removes our precious freedom to speak—and everything else we cherish.
John Adams spoke about the crucial role pastors and Christians played in helping secure America’s freedom. We say that freedom will not be preserved without the help of Christian leaders today.
The church’s actions now will reverberate across Earth and into eternity. When we stand before God and He asks if we opposed a government that sold its people’s future to brutal nations, crippled individuals and businesses with excessive taxes and regulations, paid off its political allies, brought us to the brink of economic collapse, waged undeclared and questionable wars, and trampled the highest law of the land to further its own power and ultimately enslave us … will we, like Reverend Muhlenberg, be able to say that we did all we could to stand against this oppression?
Or will we say we remained silent because we didn’t want to get “political”?