After arriving on Oct. 27, 1682, in New Castle [now in Delaware], William Penn [1644-1718] would become an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom in America.
He founded the Province of Pennsylvania, the British North American colony that became the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The democratic principles that he set forth served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution.
Although born into a distinguished Anglican family and the son of Admiral Sir William Penn, Penn Jr. joined the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers at the age of 22. The Quakers obeyed their "inner light," which they believed to come directly from God, refused to bow or take off their hats to any man and refused to take up arms.
The Quakers were suspect because of their principles that differed from the state-imposed religion and because of their refusal to swear an oath of loyalty to Cromwell or the king [Quakers obeyed the command of Christ to not swear, Matthew 5:34].
Regarding government, Penn was of the divine opinion that "If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by Him. ... Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."
After having been imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1668 to 1669 on an accusation of "heresy," Penn was arrested in 1670 on Gracechurch Street, London, for giving a sermon to a group of Quakers in the street in front of his church. London officials had locked the hall and forbidden Penn "to preach in any building," so he took his sermon to the streets. Charged with "unlawful, tumultuous assembly that disturbed the king's peace," he was summoned to stand trial.
Quakers were not recognized by the government as "essentials" in 17th-century England and thus were "forbidden to meet in any building for the purpose of worship."
In Penn's trial, the jury refused to declare a guilty verdict and the judge, furious, ordered them back to reconsider. When the jury returned with "not guilty," the judge demanded "a verdict that the court will accept, [or] you shall be locked up without meat, drink, fire and tobacco. ... We will have a verdict by the help of God or you will starve for it."
Three more times the jury went out, only to return with the same verdict. Finally, they refused to go out anymore, and the judge fined each of them and ordered them imprisoned until the fine was paid. Later a writ of habeas corpus won freedom for the jurors, as the King's Bench decided that no jury can be punished for its verdict, a current principle of law established by this trial.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to religious freedom and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits the establishment of a national religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, curtailing the freedom of speech, hampering the freedom of the press and "interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances."
The Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791.
As to prohibiting "the establishment of a national religion," the radically secularized Warren Supreme Court in 1963 imposed through the Abington v. Schempp decision a "secular theocracy" upon America. Webster's Unabridged New Universal Dictionary defines theocracy as a "government by priests claiming to rule with divine authority."
Today's secular theocrats are progressive justices and judges who are interpreting cases by self-declared secular ecclesiastical authority. The "standard of truth" has come to be whatever five Supreme Court Justices can agree upon at any given time.
Dr. Joseph Boot observes that the "lockdown of churches in [America is] an unconstitutional invasion of church liberty and authority, [and is now] months into an unprecedented suspension of freedom of worship and assembly in the name of public health ... the reality is that the church has never been effectively 'shut down' by the state in this fashion in [American] history."
America's Judeo-Christian heritage and biblically based culture established by the Founding Fathers was given a fatal blow in the 1963 Abington vs. Schempp decision to remove the Bible from public education. The founders had placed the Bible as the backbone of education. The Warren Court's decision established secularism as America's official religion, or as The Wall Street Journal put it, as "the one belief to which the state's power will extend its protection."
After abandoning the public square over the last 100 years, American Christendom has been relegated to an insignificant role in today's secular theocracy.
In his superb article, Secular Theocracy: The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny, David Theroux notes that Christianity is ruled unwelcome and even a real danger in our increasingly secularized world: "A secularized public square policed by government is viewed as providing a neutral, rational, free, and safe domain that keeps the 'irrational' forces of religion from creating conflict and darkness. And we are told that real progress requires expanding this domain by pushing religion ever backward into remote corners of society where it has little or no influence" (Patheos, Jan. 24, 2012).
Which brings us to Pastor Rob McCoy and Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California.
On Friday, August 7, a Ventura County Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order halting all services until a hearing on August 31. Under Gov. Gavin Newsom's high-handed COVID-19 mandate, neither singing nor worship service is allowed. "The state court order also names Does 1 - 1000, meaning the injunction includes every person who attends the church or who will attend the church. Anyone who dares visit the church to worship could be held in contempt of court"
Salute to Pastor Rob McCoy, in whom a Gideon stands.
The Bible uses the word kairos and its cognates 86 times in the New Testament [in Matt. 8:29; Luke 19:44; Acts 24:25]. The word refers to the "appointed time in the purpose of God," a suitable time for a rightful action to take place. A kairos is a time when things "come to a head," requiring decisive action to, as of now, make a stand against tyranny and tyrants. We The People are the "King of America" as stated in the U.S. Constitution, America's birth certificate.
Two distinct religions are vying for supremacy in the public square: transient and mutable secularism versus eternal and immutable Christianity. These two can't coexist, one will ultimately collapse as a consequence of the elevation of the other.
Strategic level spiritual warfare is affecting all facets of civic, economic and cultural life in America. Breaking the power and influence of this all-controlling fiendish, unholy spirit is the only hope to sustain freedom and liberty for our children and grandchildren.
American Christendom hasn't put up much of a fight over the last 50 years, seemingly having given up on Jesus' kingdom assignment found in Matthew 16:18. Far from being esoteric and academic, the ekklesia reaches and befalls people in the midst of their daily lives. The battle in the public square is against high-level territorial spirits commissioned by Satan to control, command and contain the nations, regions, cities and neighborhoods.
The 20th-century church model of a Christian subculture replete with Christian radio, Christian television and Christian publishing is no longer realistic, because it completely fails to affect and transform the American culture. Therefore, please join us one day this week in fasting and praying for the nation.
As to civic responsibility, grassroots, precinct-level organizing is unmistakably the largest denomination of political currency. Evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christian voters must be registered and voting on Nov. 3, 2020, if America is to survive.
Please try and get all members of your flock registered in the next 40 days.
More Gideons and Rahabs need to stand.
David Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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