Persecuted Forefathers Helped Win Religious Freedom
The Rev. Dan White is the pastor of North Columbia Church in Appling.
from kick-boxing instructors to aestheticians must be licensed by the state of
Georgia. In fact, some 200 professions require a license to work in Georgia.
One profession that is not on the list is pastor. I can thank my pastor forefathers
It wasn’t always this way. Before the First Amendment was added to our Constitution, pastors had to have government approval to work. Magistrates could and did issue warrants to arrest pastors who refused to be licensed by the Church of England.
In the 1740s, New England was set on fire by the preaching of evangelist George Whitefield, who called sinners to repent and be born again. This awakening spun off new unlicensed churches led by unlicensed pastors and itinerant evangelists who rebelled against the British government. The seeds of rebellion were planted by these courageous men. They grew into the American Revolution and blossomed into religious freedom.
During the following decades, Great Awakening-type revivals blazed like a wildfire across the Colonies. These revivals were led by defiant pastors who were often harassed, beaten or arrested for preaching without state approval. Their stories fill the history books.
One of them, Jack Waller, preached to large crowds at outdoor meetings. At one of these meetings, Waller was confronted by the sheriff of Caroline County, Va., in 1771. He was horsewhipped, had his head beaten into the ground and the butt of a gun jammed into his mouth. Undeterred, the wounded preacher, covered in his own blood, went back to the stage and preached again.
In Chesterfield County, Va., John Weatherford was arrested and imprisoned for preaching in 1773. Nevertheless, he continued to preach to large crowds through the jail window with his hands extended through the bars. His hands were slashed by knife-wielding thugs as the sheriff passively approved.
Daniel Marshall, who was from Connecticut, was converted in New England’s Great Awakening. He crossed the Savannah River into Georgia and preached in Augusta. He was promptly arrested by the magistrate and jailed for preaching without a state license. Marshall eventually settled on Big Kiokee Creek in Columbia County, and established the first Baptist church in Georgia. Like many dissenting pastors, he supported and served in the Revolutionary War and was again imprisoned in Augusta by the British.
The Revolutionary War that broke out in April 1775 against the misuse of power by King George III was as much against his tyrannical control of religion by the state as it was against “taxation without representation” and his suppression of basic civil and judicial rights.
Religious freedom followed the war with the ratification of the first constitutional amendment in 1791. No more would the state be in control of religion or require pastors to be licensed.
With government regulations out of the way, the unfettered church exploded in America with power. In the Cane Ridge, Ky., revival of 1801, 25,000 people gathered to hear the Gospel.
Back in 1774, separatist pastors Isaac Backus and James Manning were prophetic. They believed that “as the principles of liberty spread, so also would true religion and that America would be the grand theatre on which the Divine Redeemer will accomplish glorious things.”
Today, 118 million Americans attend the church of their choice in 350,000 congregations led by pastors free from state control. These pastors and their congregations accomplish glorious things for the kingdom of God and the betterment of society.
Whether a churchgoer or not, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to our persecuted forefathers of faith who stood up and helped win religious freedom for America.
REV. DAN WHITE IS THE PASTOR OF NORTH COLUMBIA CHURCH IN APPLING.
Marriage Without Pastor and Without State License
Many pastors claim that it is their duty to authorize marriages suggesting that without them you cannot be married. But what does the Holy Bible say on the issue?
The first man was married without a pastor.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept:and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Question: Was Adam married? Did Adam need a state license? Did Adam need the authorization of some man?
Genesis 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Was Abraham married or not? Did Abraham need a pastor to authorize his marriage?
Genesis 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Was Isaac married? Did Isaac need a pastor to authorize his marriage?
Genesis 25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
It is plain to see that God recognizes a couple as married when they “cleave unto” each other.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Additionally there is no scripture saying that marriage is only marriage when authorized by some pastor. Marriage licenses submits your marriage to the jurisdiction of the state, albeit unconstitutionally. See 5 Reasons Why Christians Should Not Obtain a State Marriage License .
Update: Please do not ask me where to find
pastors that will conduct marriages without state involvement. The pastor
does not have the authority to marry people.
Monday, October 16, 2017 8:38 AM
service has been most appreciated especially by me and although you are
released to "normal" life you are still a very large part of the
forward progress of America as she faces some of the greatest challenges she
will ever have. Because you have developed abilities to communicate with heaven
in such clear and concise dialogue, you are being asked if you would like to
accept a formal role in human relations. Your ability to convey God's desires
to individuals from all walks of life without reservation on your part and with
no secret motive for self enrichment is an ability that should not be wasted.
If you agree then it is time to move forward in this direction."
Kathy: "Yes I agree."
I foresee a parallel
developing between how things were in the 1950's and how they turned out in the
1960's as compared to how things are now in the 2010's and how they could shape
up in the 2020's. In the 1950's my personal life was that of a most innocent
and beautiful childhood but from an adult point of view, they were times of
increasing danger moving us forward to the outbreak of the 1960's with lots of
violence, war, riots, and the breakdown of human decency in many areas of life.
I believe that we are seeing the same kind of increasing dangers which are
moving us toward an outbreak of violence that could make the 1960's look like a
picnic. This is what I want to address with an explanation as to why I have
been following the path that I am on and have been traveling whether others
could see what I see or not.
The 1960's was
actually a decade of uncertainty and insecurity as new challenges were met with
a lack of confidence as Americans faced new and frightening realities and with
a huge growth in numbers of young people due to the baby boomer phenomenon
following World War 2 which caused much unrest. What was really happening
though not so obvious at the time, was that our country was being taken over by
communists who have been steadily working toward the day that they can make
their fatal move on the American system of republican government. If we allow
this to happen now in 2017 then the prospects for ever regaining the incredible
gift of self-governance will be forever lost.
If we had acted more confidently and proactively in the 1950's we probably would not be facing this crisis now. No one then really wanted to believe that our American way of life could ever be taken from us, but the last 16 years have proven that the threat is not only real but on our doorstep. Either we stop this invasion now or we may forever be slaves of the communists, fascists, socialists and all other collectivists. In the words of Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty, or give me death." Never have these words been so pregnant with meaning.
As a proponent of
liberty I have found there are no bounds to such freedom and I will not rest
until I have had my breakthrough and the opening for everyone else to have
theirs as well. I have stepped over the
threshold and into the kingdom of God and am waiting now for this to manifest.
There are many people who I long to see again and this manifestation will enable me to see them all again, to hug them, laugh with them, share with them. I never dreamed I would be the one to do such a thing as this but I cannot for the life of me think of anything I would have rather done in this lifetime.