Skip to main content

Independence Day Reflection: The Presbyterian Influence for Independence

 Nathan Eshelman, a pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America  has been so kind as to remind us of the noble Presbyterian history of our great nation in his blog post at Gentle Reformation. As you celebrate Independence Day in America, please contemplate this part of our Christian heritage and please give thanks to God for the freedoms and religious liberty (while not perfect) we still enjoy today.




Enjoy Your Freedom? Thank a Presbyterian.

Published July 2, 2019

As those of us in the United States this week celebrate freedom from British governance, consider the many ways that Presbyterianism influenced the decision to enter a war for independence and take up arms against a magistrate:
  1. Only a Presbyterian understanding of Romans 13 would allow us to enter a war. The Bible calls for submission to magistrates, but Presbyterians understood the nuances that allowed for rebellion against tyranny. (See James M. Wilson's Establishment and Limits of Civil Goverment for an exposition of Romans 13.)
  2. It was psalm singing Presbyterians like Rev. James Caldwell who helped win some battles--when paper for musket wads was unable to be found--Isaac Watts' Hymnbook was used instead. "Give 'em Watts, boys!"
  3. King George referred to the war for Independence as the "Presbyterian rebellion." The Anglicans were never fans of rebellious presbyterians.
  4. The prime minister of England, Horace Walpole said in Parliament that "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson."
  5. “The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure...so intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty..." Lorainne Boettner in "Calvinism in America."
  6. Historians note: "When Cornwallis was driven back to ultimate defeat and surrender at Yorktown, all of the colonels of the Colonial army but one were Presbyterians elders. More than one-half of all the soldiers and officers of the American Army during the Revolution were Presbyterians.”
  7. One German mercenary soldier wrote home: "Call this war by whatever name you may... it is nothing more or less than a Scots-Irish Presbyterian rebellion.”
  8. British troops, knowing the role of the Presbyterians in the war, turned Presbyterian church buildings into stables--or sometimes choosing to burn them to the ground.
  9. Joseph Galloway, former speaker of the house, fled back to England, blaming Presbyterians for the war, calling it a "religious quarrel."
  10. Harvard historian, Dr. G. Bancroft notes: “The first public voice in America for dissolving all connection with Great Britain came not from the Puritans of New England, the Dutch of New York, nor the Planters of Virginia, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of the Carolinas.”
As you wave sparklers in the air, crack open a few cold ones, eat grilled meat, and watch the fireworks, remember that God used Presbyterians to give liberty in the new world. Have you thanked a Presbyterian today?

Gentle Reformation © 2023


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Father in Heaven,

We thank You for the men and women who helped found our nation. We are especially grateful for the Christians who advocated freedom and liberty for all men based upon Biblical principles. 

We also thank You for the noble Scottish Presbyterians who brought their zeal for freedom to these shores and helped found our nation.

In Lord Jesus Name I pray, amen.

Comments

Popular Posts (All Time)

A discerning look at 'Biblical Patriarchy' and those who abuse it

By Angela Wittman While much of what Doug Phillips teaches regarding Patriarchy sounds biblical, because of the lack of practical application, his teachings are often taken to extremes. Sometimes, men just hear his vision of men always “leading,” and they become domineering and demanding, causing undue stress on the wife. I know of one family that divorced precisely because of hearing this teaching and not understanding what it really should be. Sometimes, men will try to emulate what they see in Doug Phillips, and start requiring their families to have all the same rules as the Phillips. Unfortunately, if there are no personal convictions behind the rules, they soon become extremely oppressive and smother the family. Some men just have no clue about how to “lead” their families; they just know that it’s being constantly preached at them from the pulpit. Having come from a home without a godly leader, these men need lots of practical examples. (Taken from: Doug Phillips’ Kangaroo Court

'Of Saving Faith'

The Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter XIV Of Saving Faith I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, [1] is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, [2] and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, [3] by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened. [4] II. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein; [5] and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, [6] trembling at the threatenings, [7] and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. [8] But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. [9] III. This faith is differ

A discerning look at Ted Weiland's "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective"

By Angela Wittman I believe I have found within the Scriptures the key to what made America great, and this key can restore her to her former greatness. - Ted Weiland, ( Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution; The Christian Perspective , http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline/biblelaw-constitutionalism-preface.html) A couple of years ago Ted Weiland contacted me and asked if he might send me his primer on  Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective . After receiving and reviewing the primer, I decided to toss it in the trash due to the concern that Mr. Weiland was missing a foundational point - Biblical covenanting.  And after recently reviewing his work in greater detail, I believe the reformed and theonomic community should be cautious about Mr. Weiland's book and his beliefs. Due to some glaring "red flags" I encountered while researching Mr. Weiland, I've decided to write this warning and state my concerns. First of a