Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, July 2, 2018

God and the American Revolution

During the last French and Indian War at the Battle of the Monongahela (July 9, 1755) General Edward Braddock's British army was defeated by a smaller French and Indian force. Two thirds of the British forces were killed or wounded in the fighting. During the battle the British commander, General Edward Braddock, was gravely wounded and it was up to a civilian aid-de-camp, George Washington, to carry out his orders. Washington was able to organize Braddock's retreat order and save the remaining British forces. All through that long, terrible day George rode back and forth organizing men, relaying orders, and all throughout that day native American sharp shooters picked off British officers at will, but when it came to George Washington their bullets failed to find their mark. George later wrote to his brother:
"By the all-powerful dispensation of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet I escaped unhurt, while death was leveling my companions on every side of me."
Fifteen years afterward, he went West with a party of men to survey the wild lands, and an aged Indian chieftain called upon him, and told him that at the battle of Monongahela, he had selected Washington as a special target for his bullets, and had instructed his warriors to do the same, but that they were unable to hit him. The chief said that, becoming convinced that he was under the protection of the Great Spirit, they ceased firing at him. The chief said that he had made a very long journey to look one more time upon the face of him who was the particular favorite of heaven. (source)

God uses people as tools of His judgement. Just as He used Israel as part of his judgement on the Canaanites, He used the Assyrians and Babylonians as part of his judgement on Israel. So is it too far fetched to consider that He used a swashbuckling band of twenty and thirty somethings to lay a little judgement on the British Empire?

June 17, 1775 - the British became aware of colonial forces in the Boston area and attempted to shake them from their locations at Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill just outside of Boston. The battle raged all day until the colonists had to retreat to Cambridge when they ran out of ammunition. However at the beginning of the battle the British commander, General Gage called for the navy to move a ship up the mystic river to bombard the colonist posisions. The British navy had been operating in the Boston area for years but had never charted the Mystic river so they were unable to move up the river. So General Gage called for land base cannon, which they had, but they had the wrong size cannon balls. Because of the two fatal mistakes made by the British, what should have been a complete defeat turned into an encouraging proof that ultimate victory was not impossible. 

March 4, 1776 - The Continental Army under General Washington moved in to free Boston from the British occupation forces. They had captured heavy artillery from the British at Fort Ticonderoga and secretly moved the guns into Boston and stationed them at Dorchester Heights under cover of darkness. The ground was frozen which made it easier to move the guns into position and a thick fog hid their movements and muffled the sounds of their movement. The next day, the British commander General Howe had discovered that Washington had set heavy artillery not only on Lechmere's Point and Cobble Hill in Cambridge, and on Lamb's Dam in Roxbury, but now on Dorchester Heights. He planned to attack Dorchester Heights with 2,400 men to take the guns but a sudden snow storm sprang up and halted any chance to fight such an assault for days. General Howe decided that discretion was the better part of valor and removed his forces from Boston.

August 28, 1776 - after losing the Battle of Long Island the American forces were trapped with their backs to the east river and the British army with boat loads of Hessian mercenaries ready to finish them off, They were trapped, outnumbered, ill-equipped, poorly trained, freezing and starving, and in the morning the British were going to attack. And it was raining. That night, with the few boats and barges he could acquire, Washington pulled the wounded off Long Island to Manhattan, but there were not enough boats and not enough time to save the entire army. Then the fog set in - fog so thick  that one could "scarcely discern a man from six yards' distance," All day long on the 29th the Revolutionary army pulled back across the river and on August 30th when the fog lifted the British pounced and found nothing. The entire American army was gone. If the fog hadn't come in to cover Washington's "strategic advance to the rear" the Revolutionary war would have ended before the ink had fully dried on the Declaration of Independence.

 December 25, 1776 - When Washington made his famous Christmas attack on Hessian troops stationed in Trenton, New Jersey, the British had already been warned of his coming. Earlier on Christmas afternoon, however, a minor attack was staged against the British mercenaries. Because of the perfect timing, the Hessian commander Colonel Rall was convinced that this was the planned attack and the Hessians dropped their prepared stance. Later that evening, a Tory farmer brought news of the imminent attack but was not allowed to see the officer in charge. Instead, the sentry brought Colonel Rall a note explaining the upcoming attack.  Because he was busy playing a game of cards, however, Rall did not go to the trouble of translating the note from English, so he never knew what it said. Twice, God used unusual circumstances to make Washington’s attack successful.

The history of the American Revolution is filled with stories of Divine Providence assisting the colonies in their decade long struggle for independence. Many would think that had our forefathers took the bible seriously then Romans 13 would have prevented them from fighting the civil war against England. 
Romans 13 articulates God’s specific plan and purpose for state authorities. But, as with church and family rule, God does not necessarily endorse every leader or every civil government that comes along.
God gives government the responsibility to punish the wicked and reward and protect the righteous, but it doesn’t always work that way. Nazi Germany failed spectacularly in that calling. Likewise, Stalinist Russia. These modern examples are easy to judge. Yet the picture becomes similarly clear for America’s early history when we understand the nature of eighteenth century British rule over the colonies.
For eleven years, our Founders petitioned the King of Great Britain to cease his unlawful, unbiblical actions against the colonials. Although the monarch ignored their grievances, they remained under his authority until he sent 25,000 troops into the colonies for the purpose of seizing property, invading homes, and imprisoning people without trials. The king’s actions violated his own British common law, the English Bill of Rights, and the centuries-old Magna Carta. 
Once King George III started down the path of violent suppression, the Founders announced their intent to separate from Great Britain. They wrote at length that they were involved in self-defense, which they rightly believed was biblically acceptable. British troops fired the first shot in every confrontation leading up to the Revolutionary War—the Massacre of 1770, the bombing of Boston in 1774, and the Lexington and Concord engagements of 1775. (source)
The founding fathers of the revolution knew that they were going to have to stand before God for their actions and firmly believed that they were defending themselves against an oppressive tyrant and believed God would bless a war of defense. They were fighting to defend themselves and their families. In his book Why Government Can't Save You, An Alternative to Political Activism John MacArthur points out the following biblical principles for civil disobedience: 

1. The law or injunction being resisted should clearly be unjust and unbiblical.
2. The means of redress should be exhausted.
3. Christians must be willing to accept the penalty for breaking the law.
4. Civil disobedience should be carried out in love and with humility.
5. Civil disobedience should be considered only when there is some possibility of success.

I believe the founding fathers had all of these points covered, except #5, it took a bit of help from God to cover that one


  1. Thinking from a Christian viewpoint, how do Christians defend our Revolution when compared to what Paul says in Romans 13?

    I surely believe God was assisting us in the Revolution, just as he was in WWII. Too many coincidences otherwise.

    1. That was a topic of some debate among the revolutionaries. It's covered well at https://www.gotquestions.org/American-Revolution-Romans-13.html