“The principal matter recommended by the faction in New England, was an union of the congregational and presbyterian interests, throughout the Colonies…Thus the Presbyterians in the southern Colonies, who, while unconnected in their several congregations, were raised into weight and consequence; and a dangerous combination of men, whose principles of religion and polity were equally averse to those of the established Church and Government, was formed.” – Joseph Galloway, Loyalist, Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly
“If I were Washington I would summon all the American officers, they should form a circle around me, and I would address them, and we would offer a libation in our own blood, and I would order one of them to bring a lancet and a punch-bowl and we would bare our arms and be bled; and when the bowl was full, when we all had been bled, I would call on every man to consecrate himself to the work by dipping his sword into the bowl and entering into a solemn covenant engagement by oath, one to another, and we would swear by Him that sits upon the throne and liveth for ever and ever, that we would never sheathe our swords while there was an English soldier in arms remaining in America.” – Reverend John Ryland
Such were the words of the Baptist preacher, who in reality represented the sentiments of nearly every colonial Baptist church at the time of the War for Independence. So passionate was this denomination for the cause of liberty that, as the Declaration of Independence says, they pledged and sacrificed their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” for the cause.
“The current state of politics is a direct reflection of the state of our culture. The current state of our culture is a direct reflection of the state of the church. The current state of the church is a direct reflection of the state of a Christian’s walk with God.”
It’s Election Season 2018. Many primaries have finished, and still more have yet to happen. As is the norm amongst Christians and conservatives, we often look for the candidates who are the most principled, the most eloquent, the most firm in their beliefs. The ones who we know won’t capitulate upon taking office. The ones we know will follow through on their word. As a result, we act upon who we find, sacrificing our time, effort, and money to put those people in office.
Less than seventy years after the establishment of our governing documents, and around a century since the beginning of the Great Awakening, certain individuals sought to secularize the political arena, calling for the immediate end of all activities which stemmed from religion, such as prayer and worship, within the halls of our Capitol. Congress declined, stating,
“Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect.” – House Judiciary Committee, Thirty-Third United States Congress (1853-1854)