Saturday, July 05, 2008

The gospel of revolution

Christian History (a wonderful publication of Christianity Today) has an article about the role that preaching played in the colonies, leading up to the declaration of independence and the Revolutionary War. Here is an excerpt:

Who will you turn to now for direction? There are no presidents or vice-presidents, no supreme court justices or public defenders to call on. There are a handful of young, radical lawyers, like the Adams cousins, John and Samuel, but they’re largely concentrated in cities, while you and most of your friends live in the country. In many colonies, including Massachusetts, there are not even elected governors or councilors—they have all been appointed by the British crown and are answerable to it.

Where you turn is where you have habitually turned for over a century: to the prophets of your society, your ministers.

The American Revolutionary era is known as the “Golden Age of Oratory.” What school child has not heard or read Patrick Henry’s immortal words, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Who has not seen reenactments or heard summaries of Ben Franklin’s heroic appearance before a hostile British Parliament? Yet often lost in this celebration of patriotic oratory is the key role preaching played in the Revolutionary movement.

Read the entire article here.

1 comment:

FrGregACCA said...

Wow. Guess it's good the IRS did not exist at the time. Perhaps, also, this sheds some light on the role clergy have played in African-Americans' struggles (or, for that matter, in Eastern Europe just prior to the fall of the Soviet Union).