The Black Robe Regiment: Are There Pastors Ready To Stand?
By Bob Shillingstad
“Great Awakenings” or revivals in history are a fascinating study and when you look at the history of America they are of particular interest because they seem to happen when we need them the most. The founding of our country came out of the reformation and groups of Christians seeking religious freedom. In the early 1730’s and 1740’s there was the first great awakening in America many pastors led this movement and spread the word of freedom in Christ to their congregations. The name “Black Robe Regiment” was given to them by the British who considered them their nemesis in fighting this movement against the “divine right of kings” and a state church. In fact, their voices were so strong that the British burned several churches in retaliation. And they also went after them in a military manner. When they came to America and were going through the various states the British burned church, after church, after church. They went to New York City – 19 churches burned, ten to the ground. They went across New Jersey burning churches, they went across Virginia burning churches
Without this spiritual awakening and brave pastors most historians state emphatically that the revolution would never have happened. This revival brought together congregations of various denominations from the 13 colonies that considered themselves independent states.
You might be saying at this moment that of course this happened because the population of the colonies were united. Not true at all. Out of nearly four million residents in the colonies only about a third supported the revolution and another third were strongly supportive of the King, and they were the “Tories.” The other third were neutral, ignored the news and were concerned with making a living. Sound familiar? Scholars who studied this period reference the leaders like Sam Adams who acknowledged that religion and public liberty are connected and how “they rise and fall together.” John Adams one of the patriot leaders stated that, “For this reason, it is always advisable. that those who are combined to destroy the People’s Liberties, practice every art to poison their Morals.”
Today, except for a few brave voices the pastoral community has been strangely quiet and AWOL on this effort to poison the morals of our communities and deprive us of our liberties. The Idaho Freedom Foundation published a report on what is available for young people in our libraries. IDAHO SCHOOL LIBRARIES PROMOTE RADICAL SEXUAL AGENDAS AND PORNOGRAPHIC MATERIAL
As you read this you may be scratching your head thinking the IFF is a secular lobbying group mostly interested in taxation and regulation? But even the IFF were so outraged at this content they rallied against it. Where was the church? Where were the petitions from pastors and church leaders? Where is the current “Black Robe Regiment”? These are issues that should not be left to “moms” showing up at the library and school boards voicing their concerns and being shut down when they attempt to read what is in these books. There are a lot of resources for pastors to be encouraged by voices in our history, here are some links: A Call for Preachers Who Will Fight and The Black Robe Regiment.
There was certainly no separation of church from our Founding statesmen. Half of the Declaration’s signers had some sort of divinity school training. Judge Mark Boonstra has been on the cutting edge in witnessing the social and moral decline of America and he has written a three-volume entitled In Their Own Words which presents the beliefs and ideas from all 118 signers of America’s three foundational documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. “Religion was fundamental, Boonstra stated, The belief in a supreme being and the need for His guidance and direction was fundamental to the founding of this country,” he said. “It was the essence of why they came here and why they founded this country. We’re becoming secularized in every aspect of our society. I think they would be aghast.”
I think that’s a lot of what you see going on in our country today,” Boonstra said We’re poisoning the morals and we’re undermining the fundamental underpinnings of our society. I think we’re at a crossroads. I think we are in danger of losing our country if it’s not too late already to save it. It’s time for people to stand up and say, ‘We’re not going to let you do this to our country.’”
We need church leadership and patriots and the return of the “Black Robe Regiment!”