By now, readers of this column should be aware of the decision my family and I made to leave the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, and move to the majestic Rocky Mountains: the Flathead Valley of Montana, to be specific. Mind you, Pensacola, Florida, has been my wife's and my home for 35 years. It is the place where each of our children was born and raised, and still resides today. Rest assured, each of my family is aware of the cold weather climate to which we are headed. We are also very cognizant of the extremely difficult economic circumstances that exist. The truth is, if we were basing this move on things such as "practicality," or "job opportunity," or "a place to retire," we would either 1) stay where we are, or 2) move somewhere else (someplace warmer), because this move, in many ways, is impractical, financially challenging, and could bring personal discomfort to all of us during those harsh Montana winters. The fact is, none of that has any bearing on our decision to move.
I know unbelievers and skeptics have a hard time when I say this, but, we are moving to the Flathead Valley of Montana for the same reason we moved to Pensacola, Florida, 35 years ago: we know it is God's perfect will for our lives. Period. Why else would we do it? Why would we leave the comfort and security of home, family, and friends? Why would we attempt such a major move in such an economically depressed housing and job market? Why would I walk away from the church that my wife and I started and have poured our hearts and souls into for over 35 years, and that took such very good care of us? On a human level, this move makes absolutely no sense. But as Christians, we are not supposed to live our lives on a purely human level, are we?
So, instead of moving south (like most every preacher you ever knew over the age of 50), I feel God moving me north (about 75-miles-south-of-the-Canadian-border kind of north!). And so does every man in my family. Count them: that's 5 households and 17 people ranging in ages from 3 months to the upper 70s (I am 58).
I promise you, we have bathed this move in intense and prolonged prayer and meditation. This was not a quick decision. But why would God move us?
For one thing, it became very plain to me that my ministry was over in Pensacola. The brook had dried up, to borrow from the life of Elijah. And I've known too many pastors who allowed their personal affections for a prolonged ministry to obfuscate the clear revelation and reality that their ministries had ended and it was time to move on. And in every such instance, the longer they stayed, the more the ministry declined. I had vowed many years ago to not let that happen to my wonderful church family. They deserved God's best, even if that meant my departure.
For another thing, my family and I are ardent patriots. To us, freedom and liberty are much more valuable and desirable than wealth and riches–or even comfort and security. And we believe God has been showing us that if there is a place left in America where true freedom has an opportunity to experience a rebirth, it is in the Mountain States of America's great Northwest. I love the fact that Montana is often referred to as "The Last Best Place." And as far as freedom and liberty are concerned, it just might be.
Now, we are not naïve. We realize that there are many Big-Government liberals and neocons in the Mountain States who will not be pleased to see us come. When compared to the rest of the country, however (and I've seen most all of it), I would dare say that there are more freedom lovers in the Mountain States (per capita and per square mile) than anywhere else in the country.
Since the release of my last two columns announcing our move to Montana, I have received more emails than over the last several months combined. And believe me, I'm talking about hundreds and even thousands of emails. I have received more than 200 emails just from people living in Montana, and 99% of them were enthusiastically supportive. I can assure you, the response that my family and I have received from Montanans has made us feel at home even before getting there.
Many Montanans are excited about the prospect of my starting a new ministry in the Flathead Valley, and once again being able to livestream my messages over the Internet. Others are excited about the prospect of us entering the freedom fight. But most seem excited about both!
Furthermore, it is our studied opinion that America is headed for an almost certain cataclysm. As Christians, we suspect that this cataclysm could include the judgment of God. As students of history, we believe that this cataclysm will most certainly include a fight between Big-Government globalists and freedom-loving, independent-minded patriots. I would even argue that this fight has already started. And as this battle escalates (and it will most assuredly escalate), only those states that are willing to stand and fight for their independence and freedom will survive–at least in a state of freedom. And we believe that God has already put the love of liberty deep into the hearts of the people of the Mountain States; and we further believe that God is already calling (and will continue to call) many other freedom lovers to those states. One thing is for sure: we know He called us!
We are not going to Montana to sunbathe (or even ski); we are not going to play games, or play politics; we are not going to "take it easy," or "hide," or hibernate. We are not going to "enjoy the climate." We are going to fight! We are going to work! We are going to help the freedom-minded people of Montana make their stand for liberty! In many ways, the Mountain States just might become The Alamo of the twenty-first century, with, hopefully, much better results. But if not, I would rather die fighting for freedom with liberty-loving patriots by my side than be shuttled off to some FEMA camp after having been rejected and betrayed by soft-living, comfort-seeking, materialistic statists who simply "don't get it" and have no desire to "get it," which seems to be pretty much standard practice for a sizeable majority of people today–Christian and non-Christian–around most of the country.
The Mountain States are also attractive due to the distance separating them from the great regions of the country in which the tables are truly stacked against any growth and extension of the principles of federalism or limited government, namely, the Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest (with my apologies to freedomists in those areas). Big-city liberalism dominates most of the states in these regions. The federal government has invested billions of dollars and thousands of personnel establishing and oiling the Orwellian machine in these areas. There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far between, and therefore, quite isolated should any kind of serious stand be required.
Add to the intrinsically oppressive nature of big-city liberalism and UN-sponsored globalism the out-of-control illegal immigration problem along the Southern Border and one has a recipe for disaster! And that is exactly what is coming: a disaster!
If I am correct in my analysis, and Montana (and surrounding states) really is in store for a FREEDOM RUSH, then it is certain that patriotic businessmen, laborers, tradesmen, professionals, clergymen, physicians, technicians, and people from virtually every walk of life will find themselves among the "gathering of eagles." From an economic and spiritual perspective alone, the prospect of such a rush could be not only exciting, but also historic!
Therefore, let no more be said of hardship! Our Pilgrim forebears crossed the Atlantic Ocean without maps and with no one to greet them in their quest to find a land of liberty. Our Patriot forebears challenged the greatest military force in history (at that time) and stood on Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, and Bunker Hill to defend this land of liberty. And our Pioneer forebears traversed thousands of miles in covered wagons with no roads or bridges in their quest to carve a land of liberty out of the wilderness. Traveling 2,500 miles in trucks and cars across mostly an Interstate highway system, sleeping in hotels, and eating at restaurants seem like mighty puny sacrifices to make to find that land where this latter-day remnant can live and stand together.
Yes, I realize the real work will only begin once we have arrived. I completely understand that Montana is not the Garden of Eden and that the Serpent is already there, waiting for us. I expect a fight. And I know I speak for the men of my family when I say, Bring it on! Freedom and liberty, along with the Natural Law principles of federalism and independence, are worth fighting for. In fact, they are worth dying for. So, living or dying, we intend to circle the wagons around the State of Montana and fight to our dying breath for the right of that State to live free! And while we are at it, we believe God will let us help many good, freedom-loving people of Montana find true inner freedom that comes from Christ alone. After all, any true student of American history knows that revival and revolution go hand in hand.
To borrow from the Apostle Paul, "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto [Montana], not knowing the things that shall befall me there." (Acts 20:22) But I also have faith in another Biblical principle: that God opens doors that no man can shut (Rev. 3:8). And for the Baldwin family, that open door is the Flathead Valley of Montana. And no recession, or ridicule, or opposition, or false accusation, or cold and snow can shut that door. Montana, here we come!