The Iron Pen #83
"...graven with an iron pen and lead..." Job 19:24
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
God & Country
I agree with John Adams who said, "It is the duty of the clergy to accommodate their discourses to the times, to preach against such sins as are most prevalent, and recommend such virtues as are most wanted." (John Adams was the 2nd President of the United States and the first president to live in the White House.)
The Devil’s Greatest Advantage
"It is by the mixture of counterfeit religion with true, not discerned and distinguished, that the devil has had his greatest advantage against the cause and kingdom of Christ, all along hitherto. It is by this means, principally, that he has prevailed against all revivings of religion, that ever have been seen from the first founding of the Christian church." Jonathan Edwards
The Impossibility of Neutrality
Colonel Andrew Pickens was one of the greatest heroes of the American Revolution. His battle skills were renowned. He was a recognized wise military strategist and a great leader of men. In 1799 he commanded a regiment of 400 American soldiers that had defeated a British regiment twice their size in 1779. But, by June of 1780, it looked like impending defeat for the Patriots. British General Cornwallis had issued a proclamation saying any American who wished to do so could lay down their arms and be neutral. They would have to fight neither for the British nor the American Patriots. They could simply be neutral! Colonel Pickens pondered the offer…neutrality. The Patriot cause was in trouble, that was sure! In 1778 George Washington told congress that the patriot cause was in a "…ruinous and deplorable condition." By 1779 it looked like he was going to have to dissolve the patriot army. The American soldiers had not been paid and there was little food and fewer supplies. Defeat seemed inevitable. And he knew how ruthless the British were with American captives. Pickens brought his small militia to the British post, stacked their guns and weapons, declared themselves neutral and walked away.
The American Patriots tried to persuade him to fight for their cause, but he said he had promised to be neutral and that neutral he would be. The British tried to lure him to fight for them with offers of a high-ranking commission, but he refused. However, Colonel Pickens’ neutrality was short lived. General Charles Cornwallis was not a man of his word. He revoked his former decree. Pickens was told he must fight for the British, but he would not. They threatened to kill if he rejoined the Patriot cause. He said, "You may do what you will, but I will not fight for the British."
He walked away from there, forced to choose sides! He realized the enemy could not be trusted and that neutrality was impossible. He regathered as many of his men as possible and rejoined the American cause. The result was an American victory at the Battle of Cowpens, which turned out to be a major turning point in the Revolutionary War.
We live in a day when Christians by the millions are trying to be neutral. They want to be friends with the world’s crowd and friends with God. That just cannot be. The Bible declares, "…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4. While many may not want to live for the devil, they are not sold out for the Lord. I must tell you that it is impossible to be spiritually neutral. Christ declared, "He that is not with me is against me…" Luke 11:23
We are in a battle (Ephesians 6:11-13). The world, the flesh and the devil are NOT our friends. The devil wants to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). The flesh (old nature) wants to kill us (Romans 8:6) and the world wants to destroy our testimony for Christ (Romans 12:2). Neutrality is not a viable possibility. Christian, join the ranks of the committed and declare your colors.
An Important Combination
"Spiritual discernment and ordinary intelligence are needed in the study of
Holy Scripture. Spirituality is the prime essential, for spiritual truths are
spiritually discerned; but common sense, to use the popular phrase, will
generally save us from the follies of false exegesis." Sir Robert Anderson