Revolution in the Pulpit

The Revolutionary war was anything but politically correct. The initial encouragement to fight for independence came from the pulpits in the colonies.

John Craighead led a militia from his parish to join Washington in New Jersey. He fought and preached alternately. There were so many fighting pastors that the Tories referred to them as the black regiment.

And in 1775, in a Lutheran Church in Shenandoah county, a young preacher named Peter Muhlenberg delivered a passionate sermon on Ecclesiastes. At the end of his sermon, he threw off his pulpit robe to reveal a colonel’s uniform in the Continental Army, and said, And now is the time to fight! That same day he recruited 300 men to join him and they later became known as the 8th Virginia. He rose to the rank of brigadier general and was in charge of Washington’s first light infantry brigade.

There was no separation of church and state here. The church was intimately involved in the affairs of the state . . .to the point of the parishioners taking up arms to defend it. History trumps political correctness every time.