The Power of the Pulpit
Last week pastors from all across the nation gathered in Washington D.C., for the WallBuilders Congressional Pastors’ Briefing. This Briefing connects pastors and ministry leaders with members of Congress and government officials who are “fighting the good fight” in Washington, D.C. They return home to their communities and pulpits empowered and equipped to lead their congregations to pray for those in leadership, to get their congregations inspired, and to impact the nation.
But they are not blazing an entirely new trail. Since the settlement of North America began, the clergy have fearlessly spoken out on governmental issues, teaching the Biblical principles that should govern nations, and pronouncing rebukes when a government strays from them. These leaders shaped the thinking of generations and, during the American Revolution, the British dubbed the preachers of the day the “Black Robe Regiment” because of the mighty effect they had on the hearts and minds of the people, and how they used it in the cause of freedom. To find out more about the Black Robe Regiment or how you can encourage your pastor to stand firm on behalf of this great nation, visit: nationalblackroberegiment.com.
These ideals and influences have continued to shape governmental leaders in America. A great example of this is President James A. Garfield. As a young boy, James worked on a boat on the Ohio and Pennsylvania canal. One pitch black night, James fell overboard, which might not be such a big deal, except for the fact that since he was on the night watch, there was no one near to know he fell overboard or to rescue him. Groping for a hold, he caught a rope that was Providentially hanging over the edge. After his rescue, considering that it was God that saved him from drowning, he turned his life around, (literally) and went home, choosing to become a teacher.
Upon receiving his college education, Garfield went on to become a minister of the Gospel. Following a revival meeting that he preached, he wrote a letter to a fellow minister reporting on the results.
This minister of the Gospel did not feel that his position in the church excluded him from political involvement. In addition to preaching the Word of God, he was also a College President, a State Senator, a Major General in the U.S. Army, a U.S. Representative, elected to be a U.S. Senator, and 20th President of the United States. He was shot by an assassin and died 133 years ago today (on September 19, 1881).