I was led to Christ at the tender age of 5 while sitting on my mother's lap. I was raised in a devout, churchgoing Christian home. I have been in Gospel ministry all of my adult life (I am 57 years old). I have attended or have degrees and/or diplomas from 4 fundamentalist/evangelical colleges or Bible schools. I have been the Senior Pastor of a local Independent Baptist congregation for 34 years and counting. I have spoken in churches and Christian gatherings all over the country.
I say all of that simply to provide my Christian credentials (in much the same way that the Apostle Paul provided his Jewish credentials in Philippians 3:5, 6). As such, I believe I know something about the attitudes, conduct, philosophy, mindset, etc., of America's Christians. I am not an outsider; I speak as one within the conservative/fundamentalist Christian camp.
As it relates to the rightful understanding of following Christ's instruction that we are to be "salt" and "light" (and what that means for us Americans), and properly rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's (and knowing the difference), there are basically two groups: those who sincerely want to help America maintain its foundational principles and those who, frankly, are too preoccupied (or cowardly) to give much thought to it one way or another.
I would say that the first group is slightly larger than the second group. The problem is, among the first group, there is a vast void of understanding regarding exactly how we are to implement and carry forth the principles of Christian liberty—which are the principles upon which America was built, of course.
As I see it, there are two glaring obstacles that keep today's Christians from being truly effectual and influential in helping to restore America's freedoms and founding principles. And let's be honest enough to admit that, for the most part, today's Christians (including our pastors) are ineffective and irrelevant in providing any meaningful solutions to America's many problems. Sadly, more often than not, we are little more than gullible pawns, which wily and wicked politicians use to advance their own nefarious agendas.
Obstacle Number One: America's current generation of Christians has allowed itself to become pathetically ignorant as to the Biblical, Natural Law principles of liberty and government. And when it comes to America's historical principles of self-government and federalism, the ignorance quotient goes up even further.
It is really sad: we Christians (including our Christian pastors) know virtually nothing of real American history, law, government, etc. For example, I'm not sure that we can begin to remotely understand what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence if we have not read John Locke's Second Treatise of Government. I'm not sure we can begin to comprehend the American philosophy of government if we have not read George Washington's Farewell Address. Without reading The Federalist Papers, one cannot begin to properly appreciate the US Constitution and the principles upon which it was predicated. Without reading Pastor Jonas Clark, one cannot understand what really happened at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge. Without reading Alexander Stephens' History of the United States, it is doubtful that one can truly understand or appreciate the principles of federalism and State sovereignty.
And how many of us have read even one of the above? And this does not even scratch the surface of necessary knowledge.
Let's admit it: today's Christians, for the most part, are operating in a vacuum of truth and understanding. Without a firm grasp of necessary truth, how can we know what to do, who to believe, or how to act?
Accordingly, smooth-talking "conservative" politicians who know how to use religious clichés and terminology to gain our support and votes easily dupe the vast majority of sincere Christians.
But it is actually worse than that. We Christians are, for the most part, unwitting contributors to the demise of freedom and rise of oppression in our land.
For example, Americans—including Christian Americans—lost more freedoms under former President George W. Bush than under any President since Lyndon Johnson, or maybe since Franklin Roosevelt. Yet, even today, most evangelical Christians continue to hold Bush in high esteem. They seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that Bush set the table and provided the opportunities for virtually everything that President Barack Obama is currently doing to advance socialism and globalism in our country. For the most part, Christians seemed to never notice that President Bush did almost nothing to change the course and direction set by his predecessor, President Bill Clinton.
And liberals are just now beginning to wake up to the reality that, at the executive level, Obama is doing precious little to change the course set by George Bush—including escalating Bush's war (now Obama's war) in the Middle East.
Will the American people never awaken to the fact that, for the most part, the only difference between these two parties at the national level is one of degrees, not direction?
At the national level, Democrats want to expand Big Government for the benefit of advancing the Welfare State, while Republicans want to expand Big Government for the benefit of advancing the Warfare State, but both want to expand Big Government. Make no mistake about it: neither major party in Washington, D.C., has any intention of returning America to the constitutional principles of limited government and federalism.
But do Christians see this? No, they do not!
For the most part, today's Christians seem to have the attitude that G.O.P. stands for God's Own Party. That the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., is equally culpable for the destruction of liberty and constitutional government never seems to once enter their minds. The sum total of their patriotism seems to be voting Republican, watching Fox News, and paying taxes. The shallowness of today's pastors and Christians is a major obstacle preventing us from doing much of anything that would actually contribute to good government.
Obstacle Number Two: Today's Christians are not willing to support the principles they profess to believe.
I could not count the number of times that a sincere Christian brother or sister has asked me, "What is wrong with my pastor? Why does he refuse to take a stand?" or questions to that effect. Dear Christian Friend, as kindly as I know how to say it, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
I ask you, Why should your pastor "take a stand"? Why should he "get involved"?
You and all the others of his congregation are more than willing to support his ministry the way it is. You sit under his preaching. You follow his leadership in the church. You give your tithes and offerings to support his vision for God's work.
Look around you. What do you see? You see the Joel Osteen-type churches bulging out at the seams. Churches—where pastors are unwilling to get involved in anything "controversial," where pastors are content to stay completely disengaged from anything that might be deemed "political," and where pastors refuse to even hear the truth of what is really going on—are filled every Sunday. They have the largest crowds, biggest offerings, and most ornate buildings.
Why, in the name of common sense, would you expect your pastor to "take a stand" or "get involved"? Why should he? You have—by your support, attendance, and offerings—clearly told him that you like him just the way he is!
Yet, throughout history, it has been pastors and preachers that have led the great civil movements and revolutions—including our own American Revolution. It is no hyperbole to say that without the leadership, courage, and resolve of Colonial America's clergymen, we would still be a Crown colony of England, with no Declaration of Independence, no US Constitution, no Bill of Rights, and little freedom.
And, it's not like we do not have the same kind of lionhearted preachers today as we did in days of old, because we do. All across America, there are hundreds of Bible preaching men from virtually every Christian denomination who are more than willing to "take a stand" and "get involved." As an example, go to my Black Regiment list and see the names of over 200 pastors who are out front in the fight for right. The problem is, the vast majority of America's Christians today will not support these stalwart spiritual statesmen.
See the Black Regiment list here.
So, Christian friend, why do you continue to worship under the leadership of a pastor who has no intention of standing in the gap for our country's freedom? Why do you continue to give your tithes and offerings to such a church? It is time for Christians who know and care about what is going on to GET OUT of these spineless churches! If you really believe the principles you profess, how can you continue to deny those principles by staying in a church that has no intention of teaching those principles?
If you cannot find a patriot-pastor of your denomination, look for one outside your denomination. I would rather worship with a man with whom I disagree on secondary doctrines (but who is firm on the fundamentals, of course), but who is willing to stand for truth and freedom, than worship with a man of my preferred denomination, but who will do nothing to confront the evils that are currently destroying our republic.
Good grief! We have thousands of evangelical pastors who are willing to follow a man such as Rick Warren; a man who has become a partner with one of the most devilish and sinister organizations in the world—an organization that is actively working against the principles of freedom and independence, and in support of the principles of globalism and universalism: the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Remember, it was Rear Admiral Chester Ward, former Judge Advocate General of the Navy, who rightly said, "The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all-powerful, one world government." Most Christians readily discern any attempt at global government to be "of the devil." Yet, Rick Warren is now an active member of the one organization whose major claim to fame is its incessant promotion of globalism.
How can any sincere Christian who is even remotely aware of what is going on—and who truly cares about the preservation of freedom—follow any pastor who follows someone such as Rick Warren? Yet, the Warren-type churches are flourishing all over America; and, at the same time, many of those congregants complain that their pastor is not "taking a stand."
So, why don't YOU take a stand by GETTING OUT of these soft, straddling, sugary, superficial, shallow, saltless churches?
It is infinitely more important that you be in a church that preaches the truth and takes a stand than that your teens attend "the most exciting youth program," or that your kids are in one of these glorified playgrounds (called "children's ministries") so they can play games and stay entertained, or that your church has a softball team, or that it has the prettiest buildings, or that it has music you think is "just right," or that it is the "premier church in town" for social gatherings or business contacts.
If you live near Phoenix, Arizona, why not attend Pastor Coleman's church, 35th Avenue Baptist Church?
If you live near Three Rivers, California, why not attend The Church of Kaweah, which is pastored by Warren Mark Campbell?
If you live near Fort Myers, Florida, why not support Pastor James Riddle at Morningstar Baptist Church?
If you live near Savannah, Georgia, why not support Pastor John Weaver's Dominion Ministry?
If you live near Ocean Springs, Mississippi, why not help Pastor John Mayfield's Chapel of Faith?
If you live near Kalispell, Montana, why not support Pastor Jim Huff and Bible Presbyterian Church?
If you live near Omaha, Nebraska, why not support Pastor Phillip Kayser and Dominion Covenant Church? If you live in the Oklahoma City area why not help Pastor Jason Murphy at New Life Church in Collinsville, or Pastor Paul Blair at Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, or Dr. Steve Kern and Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City?
If you live near Greenville, South Carolina, why not help Pastor Tony Romo at South Pointe Baptist Church in Pelzer, or Pastor Mark Dibler at Bible Baptist Church in Pickens?
If you live near Madisonville/Athens/Etowah, Tennessee, why not support Pastor Jim Headings at the Piney Grove Community Church in Englewood?
Daniel New has a home church in Hamilton County, Texas. Clell Drumheller pastors Truth in Love Ministries in northwest Houston. Why not support Pastor Brandon Teague at Faith Baptist Church in Paris, Texas?
Pastor Butch Paugh is a patriot-pastor in Nettie, West Virginia. Pastor Wayne Sedlak is a patriot-pastor who ministers at Reformation Hope Church in West Bend, Wisconsin.
These are only a handful of the hundreds of dynamic patriot-pastors across America who are truly "taking a stand." Ask yourself, what could the Church do if, instead of Rick Warren and Joel Osteen, men like those listed above pastored churches that numbered in the tens of thousands?
Imagine what could happen if Black Regiment-type churches were the largest churches in a majority of the great metropolises throughout America?
I say again (as kindly as I know how): if you stay in, support, attend, and give your offerings to these churches that are pastored by men who will not take a stand, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
And though I would prefer that everyone have a local church they could support in good conscience, there are hundreds of people across America who, because they cannot find such a church, worship online with me and my church every Sunday morning, as we Livestream our service. We do this specifically for those who cannot find a church that will take a stand in their area.
To tune in to our Livestreamed service each Sunday morning at approximately 10:30am (CST), go to here.
If Christians today are to regain any semblance of relevancy in preserving America's liberties, they must do two things: (1) immediately become acquainted with the foundational principles that created this country, and (2) get serious about supporting only those churches and ministries that truly know what's going on and are willing to courageously stand in the gap.
Anything short of this is pious-sounding rhetoric. And rhetoric will do nothing to help us—not now, anyway.
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.