Mark Cowart is pastor of Church for All Nations, a multi-campus church based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has a deep and fervent love for the United States and serves as director of the Charis Bible College Practical Government School. Learn more about Pastor Mark at www.churchforallnations.com.

When I studied American history as an adult, I learned things about our nation I was never taught in school.

I grew up in conservative, patriotic West Texas. We prayed in public school every day, we read the scriptures, and pledged allegiance to the flag, but even with the freedom and liberty we had we never understood what our foundations were.

In 2 Corinthians 3:17, the Apostle Paul wrote, “now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” I don’t know if you realize it, but there’s no place like America! We have liberty like nobody else, and it’s because of our nation’s Christian foundations.

What got us in trouble as a nation is that we don’t know where we came from, we do not know the price that was paid for our freedom, and we don’t understand how deep our Christian roots and foundations are.

America’s Christian Heritage

Several years ago, our students and instructors in the Charis Bible College Practical Government School toured Washington, DC, the nation’s capital.

We visited Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building. According to historian David Barton of WallBuilders, 25 percent of the statues there commemorate pastors and preachers.

In the founding era of this country, pastors did not just stand behind pulpits. They were soldiers and legislators. They were involved in politics and they fought. They also preached the Word of God.

Historians have documented that all of the rights asserted in the Declaration of Independence were first preached from colonial churches prior to 1763. When you look at our founding documents – the Declaration and the Constitution – there are many phrases taken straight from the Bible.

The Black Robe Regiment

At Statuary Hall, we stood in the shadow of Rev. Peter Muhlenberg, one of the most famous and iconic leaders of the Black Robe Regiment of the American Revolution. The British said if it hadn’t been for that Black Robe Regiment – those pastors who took a stand for biblical truth and liberty – the Americans would not have won the war.

In January 1776, Muhlenberg preached from Ecclesiastes 3 to his church in Woodstock, Virginia. He said, “There’s a time for peace, and a time for war, and the time for war has come!” He proceeded to unbutton his black pastor’s robe to reveal a military uniform underneath.

Muhlenberg asked, “Who will go and fight?” From the congregation, more than 160 men rose to their feet, walked out of the church, and joined the Revolution. Within a few days there were more than 300 men he had enlisted in the cause for freedom.

Our Founders were men of God. They embodied Hebrews 11:33: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.” They stood up to the most powerful empire of their time and won!

It’s very unlike today, where pastors typically stand behind their pulpit and preach – staying within what has been called the ‘two-foot-square box’ – and absolutely nothing is said about important issues of the day. Some pastors are even proud that they’re not saying anything about politics.

Taking the Mountain of Government

In the Practical Government School, we teach a course on the “seven mountains,” or the seven spheres of influence in society:

  • Religion and Faith
  • Family
  • Education
  • Government and Law
  • Media, News, and Commentary
  • Celebration: Arts, Entertainment, and Sports
  • Business and Economics

Whether it’s the Outback of Australia or Beverly Hills in America, there are seven mountains of influence in every culture. What sets Americans apart is that our culture is the most blessed, most powerful, and most prosperous in the world.

Over the last few years, we discovered the importance of the mountain of government, but there are people who say Christians and pastors have no business participating in it.

The definition of “darkness” is simply “the absence of light.” When the light’s not shining, guess what’s going to be there? Christians can be the light in government and drive out the darkness of ungodliness.

Power from the Pulpit

Pastors should not be afraid of “politics” because, in reality, there are Biblical issues at hand. The last time I checked, abortion is a moral and biblical issue – it’s not just a “political issue”. The last time I checked, sexuality is not merely a “political issue” – it’s a biblical and moral issue.

If Christians don’t speak up about those issues, the enemy will continue to inhabit the mountain of government. The mainstream media has certainly become a force to deal with, but I do not believe it is the most powerful force in America. The most powerful force in America is the pulpit when the Word of God is declared with boldness! God chose the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe (1 Cor. 1:21). Pastors are called to equip the saints so we all can go do the work of the ministry – especially in government.

According to the great nineteenth century revivalist Charles Finney:

If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. 
If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. 
If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it
If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.

I believe as the church goes, so goes the nation. But as the pastor goes, so goes the church. I believe there’s a new, modern-day Black Robe Regiment that God is raising up all over this nation.

The only thing that will set people free is when they know the truth, and Christians will be the ones to speak it to them.

Learn More

Explore the Truth & Liberty website and visit our Research Center for great practical resources. Also learn how you can become a Truth & Liberty Coalition member and join us in standing for truth in the public square.