The Hardest Decision of My Life

by Chuck Baldwin

(Editor’s Note: Montana will be enriched – Florida is diminished. God is with you, Chuck!)

Last Sunday, August 29, 2010, was the hardest day of my life. Even when my father made me promise that I would preach his funeral (which I did–twice: once in Indiana where he lived, and again in Florida where I live and where he is buried), that was not as difficult and gut wrenching as what I had to do last Sunday. Last Sunday, I retired as the pastor of the church that my wife and I founded 35 years ago: the Crossroad Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida.

Think of it: all of my adult life (after college) has been spent pastoring this wonderful congregation. And the people that I spoke to this past Sunday evening are, without a doubt, the finest group of people I have ever known. They are my friends. Many of them I had led to Christ, or were saved under my preaching. Some have stood with me for twenty years; some for over thirty years. My vocabulary is too limited to express the love and appreciation I have for these wonderful people! They stood by me through thick and thin. Even when God opened the door for me to run for President of the United States on the Constitution Party ticket, they stood by me. They stood by me when enemies attacked me; they stood by me when friends forsook me.

And last Sunday evening, I had to tell them that, after 35 years as their shepherd, God had led me to leave them. I can tell you, tears flowed like rivers; and I believe my family and I cried more than anyone.

When I was 18 years old, I told the Lord that I would do anything He wanted me to do; I would be anything He wanted me to be; and I would go anywhere He wanted me to go. And I mean that today as much as I did then. Therefore, the only thing that could move me from the pulpit of Crossroad Church was a clear and definite call and leading from God. 35 years ago, that call led my wife and me to Pensacola, Florida. Today that call has led us to the Flathead Valley of Montana, some 2,500 miles away.

Therefore, within the next few weeks, my entire family will be moving to the Kalispell area of the great State of Montana. By my family, I mean my wife and I, my daughter and her husband and their 3 children, my oldest son and his wife and their 3 boys, my youngest son and his wife and their one child, and my wife’s mother and her husband. That’s 5 families and 17 people. Yes, my grown children and their spouses have felt the same calling. We are not only a family; we are a team. And we are headed to Montana.

God has led us to the conviction that Montana (along with other Mountain states) is going to be the tip of the spear in the freedom fight; and we believe God wants us to be part of that fight. We plan to start a new ministry where I can preach and my family can sing and minister (you should hear them sing!). Once we get established and can raise the funds, I definitely plan to livestream my messages on the Internet as we have been doing at Crossroad for the past year and a half. And if God opens the door, I will not rule out a run for State office. Yes, the freedom message is both spiritual and political; and I am afraid of neither!

For years, people have been asking me, “Chuck, what can we do?” Well, this is what God has led my family and me to do. We are convinced that the only way freedom has a chance to survive in these States united is to recapture the spirit of liberty–one State at a time. (To continue to focus on Washington, D.C., is a waste of time and energy!) And God has led us to the conclusion that Montana (and nearby states) is the place where freedom-minded patriots have a fighting chance to prevail. Instead of telling you what to do, my family and I are showing you what we believe we should do.

Is this move going to be easy? Are you kidding? We all know what the housing market is like. We are experiencing the effects of this depressed economy just like everyone else. Like everyone else, we all have homes to sell or rent, and my two sons and son-in-law have businesses to either sell or relocate. Without a doubt, this will be the hardest move of our entire lives. We are leaving dear friends behind; my children and their children are leaving their hometown and school chums; we are trading a warm weather climate for a cold one; and we are leaving the church that we have loved and served for over three decades. In many ways, we feel like modern-day Pilgrims, looking for a land of liberty.

Over the past two years, I have traveled more than 60,000 miles from coast to coast and border to border. I have met and talked with Americans from sea to shining sea. I have seen the states where real freedom is virtually nonexistent. And I have seen the states where the love of liberty still burns bright. And I (and my family) believe that there are more freedom-minded people (per capita and per square mile) in Montana than, perhaps, in any other State in the union.

So, after much prayer (and I mean much!), we believe God is calling us to partner with those freedom-minded souls in The Treasure State. Back in the 1880s, Montana experienced a gold rush. I believe that in the 2010s, Montana is going to experience a FREEDOM RUSH. And for us, the rush is on!

So, this Sunday, September 5, 2010, I will preach my last two messages at Crossroad Baptist Church. Already, my dear friend and ardent patriot, Wallace Nichols, of Birmingham, Alabama, has accepted the call to be Crossroad’s new pastor. And I know that this dear congregation is under very capable leadership. In fact, I fully expect the church to grow substantially under his ministry. And when that happens, no one will rejoice more than my family and I.

Yes, I will continue to write this column; but while we are in the process of moving (maybe 6 weeks or more), they will not be written quite as often. I will attempt (with the help of a small but dedicated staff) to produce at least one column a week (instead of two). Yes, my web site, ChuckBaldwinLive.com will be maintained. And, yes, people will still be able to support us via the website during this transition.

Yes, last Sunday was the hardest day of my life, but there will be many hard and difficult days ahead for the Baldwin family. Each of us is aware of that. We are not naïve. We know we are headed for a fight; we know it won’t be easy. But we also know that freedom is worth fighting for, and if Washington, D.C., is freedom’s greatest threat (and it is), then defiant, liberty-loving states are freedom’s greatest allies. I’ve been preaching that for several years now. I guess it’s time that I started practicing it. Therefore, Montana, here we come!

© 2010 Chuck Baldwin – All Rights Reserved

7 Responses to The Hardest Decision of My Life

  1. Pastor Chuck (if I may be so informal),
    When the Lord calls you to do something, you gotta do it. I think it is very significant that your extended family agrees with this calling. As for me, I am stuck in California at the moment, and I don’t see much of a stirring for liberty in these parts. Perhaps I will be joining you soon on the migration trail.

    Blessings to you,
    JB

  2. Good Luck To Chuck and the Baldwin Families!

    Keep Wyatt’s Torch burning like the Sun!

    John and Dagny Galt

    .

  3. Nathan McMurray says:

    While I like Chuck immensely and supported his campaign as much as I could I want to strongly encourage the new nation to avoid religious demagoguery and earnestly work to build up the wall that separates church and state. I have challenged many people who believe that God and patriotism are exclusively intertwined. I caution all liberty loving people to remember to make room for unbelievers and not just set up another “lite” theocracy such as we have to endure in America.
    Good luck Chuck

    • dumpdc says:

      Mr. McMurray-

      Do not intertwine the stupidity found in the Constitution and the creation of a new nation and its governance. A new nation will have the liberty to create a theocracy or secular nation if its citizens so desire. That’s the point of secession. Then, if you don’t like it there, you can move somewhere else.

      You give Chuck too little credit. This is a man who, not so long ago, was the Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. Today, he and Timothy, his son, are major proponents of secession. That’s a life-changing world view redo.

      Russ

      • Nathan McMurray says:

        Please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for Chuck and voted for him here in Michigan. Believe me, if Chuck can get something happening in Montana I’m loading the family car and getting out there as fast as I can. I want to stress, however, that there are many unbelievers that don’t feel welcome in liberty circles because of the presupposition that liberty does not exist without god (not to mention the outright attacks against non-theism i frequently read on Tim’s LDL, but that’s a different story altogether), which is a shame because we have a lot to offer and want to get behind something we can believe in.
        Thanks for the reply.
        I say again, with absolutely no hint of sarcasm, good luck Chuck. I hope to see you soon.

  4. Nathan, I agree with what I think you meant, even though it is not exactly what you said, and with the proviso that there IS no “wall of separation between church and state” other than in the eyes of the Liberals. All the Constitution says is that we are not to establish an OFFICIAL state religion like the Church of England–or Islam, at the rate we’re going. The phrase in question is from a private letter written by one of the founding fathers, and didn’t include “wall.”

    However, those castigated joyously as “religious nuts” DO make the task of restoring our nation a great deal more difficult because they are such easy, consistent targets for the Statists who have trained the citizenry in general to skitter away nervously from anything supported by the “religious right.”

    From our private correspondence I think Russ would vouch for my Christian principles, but I don’t think any of us want to define “freedom of religion” as a demand that each of us has to have one. We can all accept that “televangelists” who have ended up in gaudy sex and money scandals are what many critics think of first.

    On a slight tangent, somewhere recently I read a reader comment asking who John Hagee is, so I will tell you what I know. I lived in San Antonio for several years starting about 2003, and there is an enormous complex off Loop 1604–at Blanco, perhaps?– pastored by Mr. Hagee. He has a large following, a mansion in the Dominion, “the” wealthy area in town, at least one limousine, and two hundred-thousand dollar (?!) motorcycles, I read in the local paper.

    I have never heard Mr. Hagee preach, but I DID attend a neighborhood Bible Study group for several months composed of members of his church. It disturbed me that the ladies did not study the Bible. They studied the works of John Hagee! Perhaps a workman is worthy of the sort of hire Hagee has, but their regard for him struck me as perilously close to idolatry. I stopped going the night a young women of 19 confided, in tears and horror, that she had been abused sexually by her father when she was 12. That bunch of “Christian” ladies surrounded her and forced her to her knees (while they stood over her) and to confess HER “sin” before the Lord. ALL of them.

    Whoa down, there, Nellie. Call me a religious zealot, but that isn’t MY sort of “old-time religion.” Mind, they have a perfect right under the Constitution to worship as and what they please but I would have been less upset by a bunch of cheerful Rastafarians sacrificing chickens. Intellectually, at least! We have chickens all over the place and have yet to slay and eat even one.

    I would appreciate a better explanation of the “theocracy…we have to ENDURE in America,” emphasis mine. Other than blue laws, can you give us some examples?

    LBT

  5. Nathan McMurray says:

    Linda,

    Thanks for your well thought out response, I greatly enjoyed “Linda Week” and look forward to hearing more of your views on liberty. I apologize if my comment was unclear; please allow me to walk you through where I am coming from. In regards to Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, “… [L]egislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a WALL OF SEPARATION between church and state. (Emphasis mine)” (http://www.constitution.org/tj/sep_church_state.htm). This is perfectly congruent with his views on religion as he himself wrote on his tombstone that the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom is one of the three things only for which he wished to be remembered – the other two being the Declaration of Independence, and the University of Virginia – (http://sc94.ameslab.gov/TOUR/tjefferson.html). Let us not squander this great man’s great vision.

    I would think the lite-theocracy of America to be largely self-evident; however, I will give a few of the most glaring examples. Every year, faith-based organizations labor to prohibit the inclusion of Darwinian evolution in public school textbooks (which often means all textbooks) and rallies for the inclusion of “scientific” creationism or “intelligent design” (our national disdain for science that even hints at conflicting with scripture shows in our test scores when compared internationally). All churches are exempt from all taxes (a form of government subsidy); while a comprehensive study of all world religion is prohibited from public schools. When these issues are added to the fact that an open unbeliever will find it nearly impossible to get elected to public office it is not hard to see how many of our pubic policies are based on the notion that there is personally involved – specifically Judeo-Christian – god that is very much concerned with out behavior, and there is a large number of very moderate believers who feel DC should enact laws to mandate this behavior. These are the trappings of a theocracy in all but name. A new nation would do well to rid itself of this thought to have any chance of being truly free.

    I will say again, I hope for nothing but the best for Chuck and his family. In fact, I want him to succeed – Jesus and all – because I don’t see anyone else as committed to liberty as he is (and would gladly join him).

    Thanks for the though provoking questions, I hope this better sums up my position.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: