The Black Robe Regiment
The “Black Robe Regiment” was not a regular regiment, platoon, or division of soldiers during the Revolutionary War, but was an insult used toward American clergy (in their characteristic black robes) who supported American independence because they believed it was their best hedge against religious tyranny.
These brave clergy members supported the Holy Bible, Natural Law, and Civil Liberties, and so they encouraged their congregations to show moral fortitude by arming themselves.
As Teaching History says…
The Black Robe Regiment was not an actual detachment in the Continental Army but rather a British epithet for the influence preachers exerted in support of the Patriot cause. Advocates of the British crown found preachers’ support of the Patriot cause particularly detrimental to their efforts to maintain loyalty among the colonists. Such clergymen provided sanction for the cause of independence as well as formal support for the military effort. In the 1770s, most colonists still considered themselves aligned with England; many parishioners questioned the fundamental legitimacy of revolution, and of separating from Britain and consequently the Church of England. From their pulpits, these members of the Black Robe Regiment reassured their audiences that their revolution was justified in the eyes of God. Winning and maintaining the support of the population was critical in the American War for Independence, which relied heavily on the support of volunteers and the general population.
Today, American clergy don’t share the same fortitude for independence and self-reliance. Many have adopted the economics of Karl Marx, the religion of humanism, and the politics of Statism. As we wrote about in the post, Clergy Cowards Demand Gun Control Outside Mitch McConnell’s Office, today’s clergy establishment are requesting our rights be taken away.
Thankfully, there are still some black-robed clergy (whether the robes are literal or not) who believe in Civil Liberties that include – but are not limited to – the “right to keep and bear arms.”
Douglas Wilson posted a good article this week, outlining 17 reasons why responsible gun ownership is a practical necessity. Pulpit & Pen has also written on the topic of gun control many times, and given a thorough Biblical examination of the right of self-defense.
While it is true that Jesus told Peter to put away His sword because he must be crucified for the sins of the world (Matthew 26:52), he told them that very night to buy a sword in advance of their coming persecution (Luke 22:36). While Jesus’ exhortation that we turn the cheek from insult (Matthew 5:39) has been taken by pacifists to be the locus classicus text for passive non-resistance, a robust theology of persecution reveals that that the thrice-holy God has indeed called his people to self-defense, protection of the innocent through violent means, and promotion of the general welfare through war. There is no logical reason to believe that God’s call to arms throughout Scripture has been abrogated in this current dispensation, for God does not change (Malachi 3:6) and his Word is immutable (Hebrews 6:17).
A thorough analysis of God’s divine hand guiding the body-politic of ancient Israel reveals an understood right of self-defense. We are to deliver the innocent from those that seek them harm (Proverbs 82:4). While murder is clearly prohibited (Leviticus 24:16-17), the taking of a murderer’s life is not prohibited and neither is it murder (Genesis 9:6) when done through legal means, especially by trial and lawful executioner. The qualifying distinctions between killing and murder are found in places like Exodus 21, Numbers 35, and Deuteronomy 19. In the commonwealth laws of Israel, delivered by God, one had the right to take the life of one breaking into their home in the night (Exodus 22:2). The general equity of this Old Testament law (to use words from the London Baptist and Westminister Confession) – that is, what is moral, universal and perpetual in nature – is that it is morally acceptable to take the life of one who will harm the innocent.
Even though our enemies are not flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), the same is true for the Israelites as they were rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, when they were instructed to arm themselves for potential conflict (Nehemiah 4:17). When Haman’s plans went awry because of Esther’s obedience, God’s people were instructed to defend themselves from those who sought their lives (Esther 9:2-5). When Abraham’s family was in jeopardy, he raised an army and defended themselves against their captors (Genesis 14:14-18) and was later blessed by God for that action.
To die a victim in the name of martyrdom, when the perpetrator will likely go on to kill more innocent people, is not martyrdom – it is cowardice. A man that does not care for his own family, in particular, is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8) – and calling the police while your family is being assaulted falls short of the biblical responsibilities of manhood.
David’s hands were taught to operate a lethal weapon by God (Psalm 18:24). The limp-wristed effiminazi Intelligentsia calling for the disarmament of Christians today are a far cry from the man who was after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). And while we do not trust in our weapons, but in God (Psalm 44:7), this presupposes the ownership of weapons.
Those of us at Pulpit & Pen and countless thousands of other ordained clergy around the country are not caving on gun rights anytime soon. When used responsibly and in accordance with all local, state, and federal law (including the U.S. Constitution), firearms are a practical necessity in our day and time.