There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the biggest reason America is in the mess that it’s in today is directly due to the apathy and indifference of the American pulpit. I am reminded of what Charles Finney, the famed 19th Century revivalist, said: "If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that they very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."
Our second President, John Adams, put it this way: "It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted. For example, if exorbitant ambition and venality are predominate, ought they not to warn their hearers against those vices? If public spirit is much wanted, should they not inculcate this great virtue? If the rights and duties of Christian magistrates and subjects are disputed, should they not explain them, show their nature, ends, limitations, and restrictions, howmuchsoever it may move the gall of Massachusetts?"
Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, was even more direct. He said, "If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battle fields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point."
For at least the past half-century Christian pastors and churches have been all but neutered. On the whole, they have ignored Christ’s admonition to be the "salt of the earth," and as a result, have failed to do much of anything to preserve freedom’s Biblical Natural Law principles in this great land. In fact, the average church is so sugary sweet that it is downright sickening!
And the two main reasons for this dereliction of duty by America’s pastors and churches are the IRS 501c3 non-profit tax status, which turns the Lord’s church into a government corporation; and the erroneous, fallacious interpretation of Romans chapter 13 that teaches Christians are obligated to submit to government regardless of whether government acts within the confines and jurisdiction of God’s law or not. In reality, the American church today, on the whole, is not even a church. It is a government corporation whose loyalty is offered first to Caesar, not to Christ, and whose message is first politically correct before it is Biblically correct.
It is more than interesting that some 95% of the 14,000 evangelical churches that graced the German landscape during Hitler’s rise to power bought into the identical misinterpretation of Romans 13 that the vast majority (probably at least 95%) of the 300,000 evangelical churches that grace America’s landscape have bought into today.
For example, one German pastor in 1933 gushed, "Christ has come to us through Hitler." In like manner, many pastors today foolishly preach that God directs us through our President (whoever he is), or our Supreme Court, or virtually any other government agency. And speaking of the ignominious infatuation with government by Nazi-era German clergymen, Erwin Lutzer, in his brilliant book, Hitler's Cross, wrote, "The swastika meant more to some pastors than did the Cross." And there is absolutely no question that many pastors in America today place far more value on the US flag (symbolizing to them the power and authority of the state) than they do the Cross of Christ or the teachings and authority of the Holy Scriptures.
Without a doubt, tyrants of all stripes love to exploit this asinine attitude of these sheepish, slavish preachers who idolize the state! Lutzer quotes Hitler as saying, "The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes." And that is exactly what many pastors, deacons, elders, and churchmen are doing today: for the sake of their paychecks, insurance premiums, and retirement benefits, they are betraying the lawful authority of Christ to the tyrannical authority of the state. And the bastardized teaching of Romans 13 is one of the major tools by which this is being done.
Therefore, before we can see any significant return to legitimate constitutional government in this country, the thinking and philosophy of Christians and churches regarding Romans 13 must change. This is absolutely obligatory!
The reality of the importance of a proper understanding of Romans 13 was the impetus behind my constitutional attorney son, Tim Baldwin, and me co-authoring an in-depth analysis of Romans 13, which is entitled "Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission." This book is absolutely a must read, if I do say so myself! We quote hundreds of scriptures from both Testaments, along with hundreds of quotations from Christian apologists, theologians, and philosophers throughout history. Quite frankly, I do not know of another book such as this on the market today.
To order "Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission," go here.
In the same vein as the book, I delivered a four-part message series entitled "The True Meaning of Romans 13." This four-part message series is now available on one DVD. In fact, the four-part message series is simply a condensed version of the book. To order my four-part message series, "The True Meaning of Romans 13," go here.
If I may be so bold, I suggest that readers order both the book and the DVD. The DVD can be used for those folks who prefer to watch a video presentation, and the book can be used for those folks who desire a more in-depth understanding of the subject. And may I further suggest that you obtain as many copies as you can to give away to your friends, relatives, co-workers, and fellow church members? It is absolutely critical to the reclamation and maintenance of liberty that a proper understanding of Romans 13 be obtained. Without it, we are going to continue down the same road toward socialism and oppression, as surely as did Hitler’s Germany.
I cannot think of a more important book or DVD that you could purchase this year! If every reader of this column would purchase one or more of these books and DVDs, and put as many as possible into the hands of others, think of the potential impact this could have upon our country!
Again, to order the book "Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission," go here.
And, to order my four-part message series, "The True Meaning of Romans 13" on one DVD, go here.
Plus, let me again remind readers that Liberty Fellowship here in Kalispell, Montana, is a non-501c3 Christian fellowship that preaches the unadulterated truth of Scripture with an emphasis on Biblical Natural Law freedom principles that does not bow the knee to Baal or Caesar! To see the difference between this and your typical 501c3 state church, tune in each Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm (MST) and watch our service livestreamed. To watch my message live online, go here.
Or, to watch or download my archived video messages, go here.
I began this column with quotes from Charles Finney, John Adams, and Martin Luther. Let me end with a quote from Winston Churchill: "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
It is also opportune that my latest video message is entitled, "Arise, And Fight!" taken from the book of Nehemiah. This is also a message you won’t want to miss. Watch it here.
Please get in the fight! Help us get the message out about the true meaning of Romans 13. Never was a book more necessary!