Where Are Our Leaders Now?
Where Are Our Leaders Now?
by Neil Murphy
It was a Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where a Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation, but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Pastor Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastes 3 where it explains, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted…’” Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, “In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.” As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, “There is a time to fight, and that time is now coming!” Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.
Marching to the back of the church he declared, “Who among you is with me?” On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg who said “I am a Clergyman it is true, but I am a member of the society as well as the poorest layman, and my liberty is as dear to me as any man, shall I then sit still and enjoy myself at home when the best blood of the covenant is spilling? … So far am I from thinking that I act wrong, I am convinced it is my duty to do so and duly I owe to God and my country. From ~Heritage of the Founding Fathers
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents never wavered from speaking the truth to evil. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author who exhibited incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. He escaped Germany only to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler’s Germany to actively fight against what he perceived as pure evil. Bonhoeffer ultimately was executed at age 39 by Hitler rather than take one step back from his faith and beliefs and spoke publicly against it until he was executed. One of Bonhoeffer’s many quotes was; “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” And “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” And finally “Not in the flight of ideas, but only in action is freedom. Make up your mind and come out and into the tempest of the living.”
After reading about these men it made me ashamed of my own weak efforts to speak out and caused me to resolve to do more. The information also generated this question; where are our modern clergy heroes, where are our preachers now and why do I not hear their voices crying out night and day about the evil and corruption around us? Why do they seem to hold their tongue when politicians flatly lie to us and drives our nation further and further from our founding principles? Where are they when they praise Planned Parenthood which is an organization whose sole purpose is the wholesale slaughter of the unborn? Where are they when leadership condones and approves behavior which is clearly ungodly and destructive to marriage and to our society as a whole in condoning same-sex marriage? I don’t have anything but respect for the clergy, but they have a powerful position and could be doing a lot more to speak truth to evil. They need to get out from behind the pulpit and into “the tempest of the living”!! We surely need them now and our nation needs them. As the great pastors once did they need to stand up and lead or forever become irrelevant.( something I wrote for a newspaper in 2013 )
- Neil Murphy