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October 20, 2016, 8:42 AM

From Your Pastor's Heart - October 16, 2016


Good Morning Family,

            Biblical pastors in the American colonies "had a deep and reverent sense of their role as prophets and watchmen, and the annual Election Sermon was their solemn obligation and the high point of this great responsibility.

            The American colonists firmly believed that they had a holy call by God to establish a Christian nation with a civil government which was based on the principles laid out by God Himself in the Bible. How could a Christian nation possibly be sustained under the protection of God’s “Divine Providence” unless the citizens of the land elected godly individuals to hold political office?

            In his book "Religion In American History: Interpretive Essays", in a chapter titled "The Election Sermons," A. W. Plumstead says: "Colonial Puritanism had a concern with the cold facts of building God’s city on a hill here and now...The election sermon was…an annual trumpet call to review the essential laws which God put into the Bible for all to see pertaining to how Christians in covenant should govern themselves as God required".

            Early American pastors were blamed by the British for igniting the fire of independence that swept across the colonies and, as a result, the British army burned many churches during the American Revolutionary War. On January 21, 1776, the Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg removed his pulpit robe and marched out of his church with 300 parishioners to join the Continental Army as the 8th Virginia Brigade.

            The tradition of preaching a yearly election sermon lasted from 1674 until 1884, over two hundred years. These sermons expressed the very ideas that would later be echoed in 1776 when Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence.  Today, we will continue this tradition.

            As always, my prayer is for you to, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  II Timothy 2:15

 

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd


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