POLITICAL SERMONS FROM PASTORS IN THE FOUNDING ERA
Pastor Roger Anghis
February 9, 2014
Sermon preached by Samuel Langdon, a Congregational minister and President of Harvard College, to the Massechusetts Congress on the 31st day of May 1775. Because this sermon was given on the anniversary of the election for counselors it is referred to as an ‘election sermon’.
The title of the sermon is:
Government Corrupted by Vice and Recovered by Righteousness.
Isaiah 1:26 – And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning; afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.
Can we say we are innocent of crimes against God? No, surely. It becomes us to humble ourselves under his mighty hand, that he may exalt us in due time.
As we have seen from this sermon from Pastor Samuel Langdon he, along with most of the other pastors of his day, were not afraid to address the political issues of the day from the pulpit and be direct about it. They were not afraid to name names, oppose or support someone. This is the way the Founders intended it to be and this is the way it needs to be today. The 1954 Johnson gag order silenced a valuable voice from the Christian community that never should have been silenced. That voice should have not allowed the silencing of the church to continue. But no one stood their ground to force the IRS to back away from the unconstitutional demand to keep the church out of the political arena.
As Langdon concluded his message he encouraged his listeners to believe that God was on their side and would fight for them. He reminded them of Psalms 46:1-2 and Psalms 91:7 and brought to their remembrance how God delivered the nation of Israel out of Egypt: “Then the Lord will be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, and we shall have no reason to be afraid though thousands of enemies set themselves against us round about, —though all nature should be thrown into tumults and convulsions. He can command the stars in their courses to fight his battles, and all the elements to wage war with his enemies. He can destroy them with innumerable plagues, or send faintness into their hearts, so that the men of might shall not find their hands. In a variety of methods he can work salvation for us, as he did for his people in ancient days, and according to the many remarkable deliverances granted in former times to Great Britain and New England when popish machinations threatened both countries with civil and ecclesiastical tyranny.” (Emphasis mine)
Langdon’s finishing prayer speaks of his strong belief that his God, the God of America, would hear their prayer and grant their petition for deliverance from the tyranny that Britain was attempting to establish in the Colonies: “May the Lord hear us in this day of trouble, and the name of the God of Jacob defend us, send us help from his sanctuary, and strengthen us out of Zion! We will rejoice in his salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. Let us look to him to fulfill all our petitions.” (Emphasis mine)
In my book Defining America’s Exceptionalism I discuss in detail how our Christian faith established the foundation that America was built on. The Christian principles were preached from the pulpit every Sunday. It was an uncompromised Word of god preached unapologetically and without fear that the government would not like what was preached.
In chapter three I discuss how that foundation was built: “From the 1600’s the principles that were set out in the Constitution had been preached from the pulpit. The principles of property ownership were preached from the pulpit. The idea of the people limiting government and having a government of the people, by the people, and for the people was preached from the pulpit. All of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence were preached from the pulpit as factions of a society that was detrimental to society. The pastors were the leaders of towns and villages. The church was the center of activity. Education was attained and taught in churches and the Bible was the center of it all. All this history has been removed from our history books and ignored. We are in danger of forgetting who we are. This is being done in a calculated move to make the founding of America no better than any other nation.”
The Founders established a form of government that was influenced by Christian principles because they believed that those Christian principles were the best principles. Many Founders stated that this was their belief. Further on in chapter three I mention: “God has blessed this nation exponentially above any other nation because our values are based on His principles. Is everyone in our nation totally dedicated to His principles? No, but because the vast majority of the people believe that adherence to Biblical principles is for the betterment of society and the world as a whole we are still The place the world wants to come to. Nobody in America is jumping in a rowboat and making their way to Venezuela, or Cuba or any other nation to find a better life. The world still does everything they can to get to America because America is the best place to live.
America would not be what it is without the religious liberties demanded by the Founders. This liberty was not just for the Christian religion but all religions. Our religious liberty and religious culture is what still defines America today just as much as out political and economical system. 4 In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville explains the importance of religious liberty: “Freedom sees in religion the companion of its struggles and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguard of mores; and mores as the guarantee of laws and the pledge of its duration.” He also stated: “Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom” Virtually all of the Founders believed that religious freedom was paramount to the success of America”
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One of the most important of these principles was for the church to be involved in the political arena influencing the politicians, influencing the legislation and influencing the direction the nation was going in. Since the church has been stifled in that arena our nation has begun to go in a direction that if not stopped will be the destruction of the last bastion of freedom and liberty in the world.
It will only be when we demand that the church be allowed to move back into the political field will we begin to see America move in the direction the Founders and God established it to go.
1. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist
Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p. 259.
2. 2. Pulpit of the American Revolution, John W. Thorton, The Federalist Papers Project, (Gould and Lincoln, Boston), p.260.
3. Roger Anghis, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, (Bloomington: Westbow Press, 2012), p. 12.
4. Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (New York: Bantam Books, 2005), p. 48.
5. Roger Anghis, Defining America’s Exceptionalism, (Bloomington: Westbow Press, 2012), p. 14.
© 2014 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFreeSpeech.org