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“Don’t you know there’s a war on?” by Rev William Cook, Posted September 1, 2014

In the language of Holy Writ there is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray; but there is also a time to fight, and that time has now come!

Ecclesiastes 3:8

Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg

Emmanuel Church, Woodstock, Virginia

January 21, 1776


Priorities have changed


war-is-on.jpgLess than 24 hours after the Japanese Imperial Navy bombed Pearl Harbor on the early morning of December 7, 1941, several hours before FDR would ask a Joint Session of Congress for a Declaration of War on Japan, lines of young men extending well beyond the entrances of military recruitment centers had already formed in cities and towns across America. It would not be long before huge new factories were built and existing industries converted to wartime production. Sacrifice and rationing to conserve vital resources quickly became a part of everyday life. “Don’t you know there’s a war on?” became the oft-repeated catchphrase after the “date which will live in infamy.” Americans young and old knew their priorities had changed dramatically less than 24 hours earlier, because now they were at war.


Major crises change priorities. Business as usual goes by the wayside, as it did on the early morning of April 15, 1912, after the five forward sections of RMS Titanic were fatally breached in a collision with an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Once the full magnitude of what was about to happen tore through buoyant consciousness on the "unsinkable" ocean liner, no one was looking for shuffleboard paddles. When the ice-berg tore through the ship’s three-quarter-inch-thick steel outer plating, the priorities of every soul on the Titanic changed instantly. Two hours and forty minutes later, the time to act expired.

The Church under threat

The Church in America is facing existential threats, of a far more serious nature than an overbearing mother country, but walk into a typical evangelical church in “anytown USA” on a Sunday morning, and you would never know “there’s a war on.” You may hear a sermon on abortion if you show up on Sanctity of Life Sunday; on the threat to the General Welfare of unmitigated sodomy, almost never; and on the growing threat of Islamofacism or on civic duty, never. The importance of giving and volunteering for some aspect of the Sunday event, however, will almost always be touched on, but the fact that the world is burning, or that America is crumbling because the “pillar and support of the truth” (the Church) (1 Timothy 3:15) has surrendered government to the "sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2), who haven't a clue how to secure Liberty, will not come up in today’s “seeker-sensitive” ecclesial culture, because the Three Wise Monkeys (“see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil,”) rule the pulpit.

The IRS has threatened to monitor sermons. Christian ministers, churches, and Christian-owned businesses are being systematically litigated against for refusing to accommodate sodomy. The genocidal ideology that slaughters Christians and Jews, beheads children, and launches missiles into “the apple of God’s eye,” is growing stronger every day within and just beyond the U.S. Northern and Southern Borders. Our elected representatives routinely obfuscate and lie to constituents in what has become political sport.

Where is the sense of outrage over the trashing of the First Amendment and efforts to silence the pulpit? Do preachers have a right remain silent, and effectively vacate the Charter that constitutes “We the People” as the government of this land? While the power to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) remains in our hands, are we not duty-bound to "establish justice, insure “domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” and to vigorously oppose those who would enslave us and our progeny? Instead, many shepherds stand silently by while members of their flocks ignore their civic duty, vote themselves tyrants, and serve themselves up on a pyre.

Unlimited submission?

Does submission to governing authority mean, as some seem to believe, that we should capitulate with the confiscation of our natural rights and those of our posterity? That we should relinquish the right to life of the unborn to the misguided ambivalence of a few in the pew? That we should sentence millions who cannot discern between their right and left hands to the fate of Sodom by preaching around sodomy? That we should let sleeping consciences lie in the place Divine judgment is set to begin? (1 Peter 4:17) That we should surrender our own and our Posterity's Liberty to tyranny without a fight? Did not Adam cede his own and his posterity's liberty to the father of tyrants when he submitted to the serpent’s lie?

Silence in the face of evil is the essence of submission to Tyranny, for “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. God will not hold us guiltless.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) Obeisance to injustice is not submission. It is the last refuge of scoundrels and rebellion against the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. It is a damnable dereliction of duty that cedes its posterity to despotism.

For many Christians, one statement, “My kingdom is not of this world,” (John 18:36) serves as the sole basis of their political worldview, and justification for an uninformed, self-serving apathy toward what happens in government. Many of God’s people have no qualms about dutifully praying, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and on the very same day, going into a voting booth and contravening both their prayer, and their duty to vote in support of that prayer. This is an indictment of the pulpit. God will not hold us guiltless.

A word about abortion and homosexuality

God created the first government in Adam, “male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:26) Adam’s was an administration of the Imago Dei, and God prescribed profligate procreation as the principle means of extending the glorious liberty of his governance throughout the earth. By sanctioning abortion, and more recently, sodomy, America has done violence to the Imago Dei and itself. Nation’s that rebel against the Divine prescription for supremacy over the “elemental principles of the world,” (Gal. 4:3) inevitably come to be ruled by them. America was given a choice between liberty and death. America chose death, and shall have tyranny.

But some will say, “I have not had an abortion. I am not homosexual. I believe abortion and sodomy are wrong. I can’t impose my beliefs on others, can I?” Silence is tacit approval. Therefore, “silence in the face of evil is evil,” as is withholding a single "jot or tittle" of God’s counsel, or anything that would benefit to God’s people. (Acts 20:20, 27) Rather than equivocate, perhaps we should obey God and “deliver the society that is marching toward oblivion of its own accord, and blindly staggering to slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11 paraphrased)

This is a time to fight!

tn_Rev-Muhlenberg.pngWhen Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg stood in the pulpit of Emmanuel Church on January 21, 1776, proclaimed that his was “a time to fight,” threw off his clerical robe, and ordered drums to beat for recruits at the rear of the log meeting house in Woodstock, Virginia, he forever raised the bar on American pulpits in times when Liberty is threatened. Muhlenberg was not alone in recognizing that exigencies of a looming war with England had changed his priorities. Many clergy of the time stood out among chief agitators of “the Rebellion,” and after it began, among the most supportive in keeping it alive, both in the pulpit, and on the battlefield. They were the “sons of Issachar” who rightly divined that parish business as usual would end Liberty and usher in tyranny. They were the “mighty champions of liberty” that Bishop Charles Galloway lectured about in 1898, "that God sifted three kingdoms to find wheat for [the] planting” of “the magnificent Americanism” of his time. There is a far more ferocious and brutal tyranny brewing in America today than the Crown of England, and pulpits must rise up and confront it before the opportunity to speak and act expires.


It is a tragedy of unimaginable consequences how John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” has ceased to be the salt and light of America. By failing to teach God’s people their obligation to secure the Blessings of Liberty to themselves and their posterity, pulpits have taught the “salt of the earth” to abandon its cure, ensuring that the Church will soon experience what Jesus meant when He spoke of savorless, "good for nothing" salt being trampled underfoot by men.

The priorities of the Church must change to meet the current crisis, for there is a war on, and the time to fight has come!

© 2014 The Black Robe Press

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