The Brotherhood Of The Free
By Chuck Baldwin
March 15, 2012
One of my all-time favorite pieces of literature is this section from Friedrich Schiller's William Tell:
"By this fair light which greeteth us, before
Those other nations, that, beneath us far,
In noisome cities pent, draw painful breath,
Swear we the oath of our confederacy!
A band of brothers true we swear to be,
Never to part in danger or in death!
"We swear we will be free as were our sires,
And sooner die than live in slavery
"We swear, to put our trust in God Most High,
And not to quail before the might of man!"
Another personal favorite is the St. Crispin's Day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V:
"This story shall the good man teach his son
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered.
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile.
This day shall gentle his condition.
"And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
Schiller and Shakespeare called it "Band of Brothers." The Apostle Peter called it "Brotherhood." (I Peter 2:17) Call it what you will: without it, no cause will prevail. And that is one of the biggest problems we face in America today: there is very little brotherhood among brothers.
No, not all brothers are part of the brotherhood. The Scripture acknowledges this in Proverbs 18:24, "There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." And again in Proverbs 27:10, "Better is a neighbor that is near than a brother afar off." A brother that doesn't "stick close" is certainly not part of the brotherhood. Neither is a brother that is "afar off."
The sad truth is, even in the vast majority of churches, brotherhood is virtually unknown. Sitting in a church congregation is no more indicative of brotherhood than sitting in a crowded football stadium. In fact, there might even be MORE brotherhood at a football game than there is in the average church today.
Churches today are literally eaten up with malice, jealousy, gossip, slander, backbiting, faultfinding, ad infinitum. (But the same is true with other establishment organizations as well.) For all intents and purposes, today's churches make a mockery of all that Jesus taught regarding Christian love and brotherhood. On the whole, it simply does not exist today.
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