Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Black Robe Regiment
Did you know that the British saw the clergy in the USA as being largely responsible for the ideas behind American independence and that the clergy for two decades had preached the main ideas that led to the Declaration of Independence? So much so that the British gave the American clergy a backhanded name - The Black Robe Regiment.
Ministers were at the forefront of social and political issues of the day. David Barton says, "If it was in the news it was covered in the pulpit. They gave a biblical viewpoint of every issue of the day."
How different today when so many people want to keep the clergy and the church from speaking to social-political issues. I wonder today how many in the clergy would deserve the title The Black Robe Regiment?
Barton writes, "In short, history demonstrates that America's elective governments, her educational system, and many other positive aspects of American life and culture were the product of Biblical-thinking Christian clergy and leaders. Today, however, as the influence of the clergy has waned, many of these institutions have come under unprecedented attack and many of our traditional freedoms have been significantly eroded. It is time for America's clergy to understand and reclaim the important position of influence they have been given. As the Rev. Charles Finney - a leader of the Second Great Awakening - reminded ministers in his day:
Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. 
America once again needs the type of courageous ministers described by Bishop Galloway:
Mighty men they were, of iron nerve and strong hand and unblanched cheek and heart of flame. God needed not reeds shaken by the wind, not men clothed in soft raiment [Matthew 11:7-8], but heroes of hardihood and lofty courage. . . .And such were the sons of the mighty who responded to the Divine call. 
It is time to reinvigorate the Black Robed Regiment!"
You can read the entire article here.