My Favorite Local Hero

My daughter graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Virginia. My wife and I go to the Patrick Henry Y to exercise.

Patrick Henry’s home is almost within spitting distance of Ashland. His father helped to defend several of our church’s pastors, who’d been arrested for preaching in a non-Anglican church.

(Winn’s Baptist Church was founded on July 4, 1776, although that had nothing to do with the Declaration of Independence; because of limited communication, Winn’s founders wouldn’t have known that day about the signing of the Declaration. But they declared their independence against the law forbidding any but Anglican churches to exist in Virginia.)

You might say people in this area almost have Patrick Henry in their blood. And of course everyone knows the famous words Patrick Henry spoke more than two hundred years ago in a church in Richmond.

“I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

But those aren’t the only important words he spoke.

Although we may not be facing another bloody American Revolution, there’s little question that today’s ultra-liberal forces are putting all of their effort into taking away our liberties and making us dependent on them for everything.

Our founding fathers would be horrified at America’s current state of affairs, and Patrick Henry would undoubtedly be ready to give his “liberty or death” speech once again. And to say a lot more than that.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

Whoops! That’s becoming less and less the case in America with every passing day.

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

Oh, my! That’s not the case nowadays.

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

Does he mean we should be ready to fight if necessary to remain free–even from our own government?

No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

Hmm. When’s the last time we thought of our government as being just, moderate, temperate, frugal, or virtuous?

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”

And there’s the problem. We’ve allowed America to slip away from Christian values. And to no longer be a primarily Christian nation.

Your comments are welcome.

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

     

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Twin Birthdays

The Fourth of July is a special day for most Americans. It’s a doubly special day for the members of Winn’s Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia. It’s the church’s birthday.

And Monday wasn’t just any birthday. Like America, Winn just turned 240.

Yes, Winn’s was actually founded the same day the Declaration of Independence was signed. The timing was not intentional, however. Without any of the modes of instantaneous communication available to us today, Winn’s founders had no way of knowing something as significant as the signing was taking place that day in a different state.

Uh, in a different colony.

The founding of Winn’s in 1776 created a problem, however. Since Virginia was an English colony, the Anglican church was not just Virginia’s official church, but the only legal church. Other denominations were not tolerated.

Several of Winn’s first ministers were beaten and/or imprisoned for ignoring “man’s law” and obeying God’s law by preaching the Gospel in a non-Anglican church. One of those men–Winn’s first pastor–was American statesman Henry Clay’s father, John. Like many events from the distant past, that kind of religious persecution is difficult for us to imagine.

Patrick Henry, whose home in Scotchtown is less than twenty-five miles from Winn’s, provided defense for the persecuted ministers.

Many people—too many—fail to see that religious persecution is not just a problem from 240 years ago. And even today it isn’t limited to the Middle East.

American Christians are not yet imprisoned or beaten for their faith, but they are often ridiculed and accused of being hate mongers. Some stores have quit selling the Bible because they believe it is hate literature. Christians are being fined and sometimes driven out of business for applying biblical principles to the way they do business. Christian students are being forced to shut up and not share their faith.

What’s next? It’s hard to say. But churches that don’t turn against biblical teachings and go along with the current liberal trend are almost certain to become the targets of intolerant leftists who accuse Christians of being the intolerant ones.

I thank God daily for lawyers like the members of Liberty Council, a group that has already defended hundreds of persecuted American Christians—and they’ve done it pro bono.

Winn’s Baptist Church has stood the test of time. It has survived its share of challenges. What’s ultimately important, though, is how it will face the future.

How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger