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Baptist Skepticism of the Revolutionary War PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 29 June 2012 09:42



I want to share a few thoughts in the aftermath of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on "Obamacare."


Baptists have always believed in a firm separation of Church and State. It is hard for us, who lack the historic Baptist's experience, to understand their conviction on this matter. Anabaptists (the forefathers of Baptists) went as far as to forbid their members from holding public office, which I feel to be a bit extreme but understandable given their harsh persecution from religious governments. In the Colonial days, Baptists still very much believed in a separation of Church and State, as demonstrated by John Leland's petition to James Madison for religious liberty.


But, did you know many Baptists were initially skeptical of the Revolutionary War? After being persecuted by other Christian groups in the Colonies and even the Colonial Governments, Baptists feared many of their peers desired "liberty from oppression that they might have liberty to oppress." The persecution was so great it is reported that over 30 Baptist preachers were arrested in Virginia in the 1760s and 1770s, the time directly preceding the War.


Reportedly, Baptists would later see the war and new Nation as providential. Yet, initially they were skeptical and even lamented the SPIRITUAL DAMAGE the war had done to their communities.


In writing of a great revival in the area, James Manning, an English Baptist preacher, wrote the following to a fellow minister in November 1776, "the fatal 19th of April the day of the Lexington battle, like an electric stroke put a stop to the progress of the work, as well as in other places as here. Oh horrid war! How contrary to the spirit of Jesus!"


Was it that Baptists were loyal to England's tyranny? No, not at all. They just realized that they belonged to a Kingdom not of this world. They were but pilgrims and strangers. We only have so much energy, why not put that to work in the Lord's Kingdom?


In one of the most politically charged eras in American history, we could learn a lot from our forefathers in the faith. Vote, peacefully share your opinions, pray for your leaders, but above all "seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven."


Last Updated on Friday, 29 June 2012 09:46


+1 #1 Robert Adam 2012-06-29 18:33
The problem is the great ignorance our people have of their own history. Sooner of later, this kingdom will be destroyed. We need to pray for its peace, for therein we have peace. I pray we have this liberty until Christ comes, but we also need to believe in the lordship of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has destroyed and split powerful wordly kingdoms to protect His church.

Things are going poorly in this country. Well, maybe the Lord's people to turn back to Him. The Lord is moving powerfully amongst His church today. He's raising up young preachers with vision and conviction. Everywhere I go I see people desiring to draw closer to God. How can we not be excited about that? It's a great time to be an Old Baptist. When things get bad is when the Lord's people most clearly see the corruption that is in the world and their great need of Christ.
0 #2 Elder Frank Thomas 2012-07-23 11:12
Thanks for providing more good Baptist history. I have been a strong supporter of John Leland and have a blog dedicated to his writings.

johnlelandmemor ial.blogspot.com
+1 #3 Ricky Blair 2013-02-16 12:04
Wow, thanks so much for writing what you have. I have been convicted for sometime about how easily it is for myself to be lured away by political crud and how much just about all my christian friends or peers are so much wraped up in the affairs of this present Time. the more I am moved passionately about the Gospel or the more I am saved in my mind and conscience through the Gospel the more I am only concerned about the things of God and his kingdom. when I go the other way I might become more zealous about what seems to be a worthy concern. but its jut a trap of the enemy to keep me from being productive or just to steal the joy and growth of my own salvation in this life. Are there scripture of this subject? How about 2nd Timothy 2:4 No man that wareth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who hath chosen himself to be a soldier. Easily under stood.

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