Ever since God called Abram out of Ur, God's people have always possessed a "Pilgrim Spirit." Think of it: Abram was called by God to leave the only country and home he had ever known, his family and friends, and his culture and way of life. To make matters worse, he did not even know where he was going. And, of course, Abraham is known as the "Father of the Faithful". Virtually all of God's children since Abraham have possessed an innate pilgrim spirit.
Abraham's descendants, both physical (Old Testament Jews) and spiritual (New Testament Christians), have all, like their spiritual father, followed the call of God to discover or defend the freedom to walk, work, and worship in the spirit of liberty and truth.
In fact, the spirit of liberty and the pilgrim spirit go hand in hand. Think of it: virtually every great freedom movement has been, in large part, born, bred, and brought about by an intrinsic and indefatigable pilgrim spirit.
The pilgrim spirit brought Moses and the children of Israel out of Egypt. The pilgrim spirit brought Joshua and God's children into the Promised Land. The pilgrim spirit moved upon Samson and Gideon to free the Hebrews from their oppressors. The pilgrim spirit empowered young David to face off against the Philistines' mightiest warrior. The pilgrim spirit motivated the early church to plant themselves throughout Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Middle East. The pilgrim spirit took God's people to Europe. That same spirit moved them from country to country, from one end of the European continent to the other. And that same spirit brought America's Pilgrim forebears to the shores of Virginia and Massachusetts.
In virtually every instance, it was oppression and persecution (from both corrupt and power-mad governments and organized religion) that energized the love of liberty and emboldened their resolve to find and fight for the right to live, raise their families, and worship God in peace. Whether the oppressor was a Pharaoh or a Philistine, communism or fascism, or a Spanish Inquisition or a British King George, lovers of liberty have never remained content to submit to the attempted lordship and oppressive conduct of those who would trample underfoot the Natural Law rights and conscience of man. And for genuine Christians, could anything else even be contemplated?
After all, does not the Holy Scripture declare, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty"? (II Corinthians 3:17 KJV) If, then, the Spirit of the Lord lives in the heart of the true child of God, there must also reside in that same heart a love and thirst for liberty, must there not? How then could any professing Christian be content to dwell in a land of servitude? He couldn't!
This love of liberty caused Moses to risk his life leading the children of Israel out of Egypt; it prompted Joshua to lead the armies of Israel against their enemies; it emboldened David to fervidly fight Israel's oppressors; it called Gideon and Samson (and the other judges) to rise in righteous rebellion against those tyrannical powers that had enslaved them; it inspired Luther's and Zwingli's German and Swiss reformations; it even led Zwingli to the battlefield, where he died fighting for religious liberty; it energized America's Pilgrim fathers to leave their homes and hazard their lives as they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean; it inspired our pilgrim-patriots, such as Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, James Warren, James Otis, etc., to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in defending America's Declaration of Independence; it gave courage to the hearts of the brave men at Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, and Bunker Hill; it cemented those stalwart defenders of The Alamo to those ramparts, even though—to a man—they knew they had no chance of surviving Santa Anna's siege; and it inspired the pioneering spirit of men such as Daniel Boone and Jedediah Smith.
In truth, the history of God's people since the call of our spiritual father, Abraham, has been one of intense, determined, and undying commitment to both the spirit of liberty and the pilgrim spirit. And it was the pilgrim spirit, in particular, which, more often than not, was the tool God used to secure those liberties that were so deeply embedded in the human heart.
And, ladies and gentlemen, that same pilgrim spirit is alive and well in the hearts of freedom-loving people all over America today! I have personally heard from hundreds of them. They have confirmed my belief that the spirit of liberty is not dead in these United States.
Granted, while the powers that be in government, education, the media, and organized religion have successfully stolen the liberty spirit from the hearts and minds of many Americans, there are yet today many more than Elijah's 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and who never will!
In fact, it is that same pilgrim spirit, that same spirit of liberty that has invaded the hearts of my family and I, and has led us to take our own pilgrimage to the Flathead Valley of Montana (the area around Kalispell, to be exact). Our move to Montana should be mostly complete by the end of next month.
Now, people should know we are not moving to Montana to create a "theocracy" or to attempt to abuse or misuse the Natural Law rights of men to worship or not worship as they see fit. We certainly plan to be faithful to the Gospel, but the acceptance or rejection of that message is left to the individual free will and volition of every person: this is a God-given right that I would personally defend to the bitter end! Furthermore, I certainly am not qualified to even pretend to be the Holy Spirit in another man's heart and life.
We are certainly not going to Montana to attempt to use government to force people to do anything! My deeply-held conviction is that government's only legitimate function is to protect the right of free men and women to make decisions and choices for themselves, consistent with the principles and precepts of America's Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and our State and US constitutions. Only when those choices inflict harm upon others or suppress the Natural rights and liberties of others must the force of government be employed. But, notice, the purpose is to PROTECT liberty, not usurp it!
What we are doing is answering the pilgrim spirit (put there by God) in our hearts. Of course, as believers, each of us is instructed to carry forth our Lord's Great Commission. And we do plan to once again livestream my Sunday messages just as soon as possible. We also plan to join with an already sizeable (and ever-growing) patriotic Montana citizenry in their defense of freedom against an ever-burgeoning federal usurpation of State autonomy and personal liberty by those miscreants in Washington, D.C. And we further expect to be at the tip of the spear in this upcoming freedom fight that is as inevitable as the sun's rising in the east. And, oh yes, we fully intend to be a thorn in the side of this emerging New World Order as often as we can!
Our Creator has placed a strong pilgrim spirit and love of liberty deep in the hearts of the Baldwin family, which is why we are taking this permanent pilgrimage to the great State of Montana. And I am convinced that God is placing this same pilgrim spirit in the hearts of tens of thousands of likeminded people all over America.
Dear Reader, if you find a renewed pilgrim spirit rising in your heart, rejoice! If you find yourself longing to break free from the shackles that Big-Government toadies (from both major political parties) are rapidly fastening around your neck, rejoice! You are not alone. There is a new day coming in this country. It is a day of hope and gladness. Oh, we may have to face difficult days in the meantime, but God would not be putting this pilgrim spirit into the hearts of so many people if He were not preparing us (as He did Abraham and our forebears) for the dawn of an exciting new day of peace and freedom!
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.