8/08/2019

NO, MR. O'ROURKE, AMERICA WAS NOT FOUNDED ON WHITE SUPREMACY


Modern Socialist Democrats love to claim that America was founded on racism and white supremacy. The problem with their argument is that the concept of race is nowhere to be found in America's founding documents. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are racially inclusive documents.

If a foreign visitor had read the Constitution at the time of its enactment, they would not have known that slavery existed in America. There is no mention of slaves or slavery. There is no reference to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, or skin color. Instead of using race classifications, the Constitution speak of “citizens,” “persons,” and “other persons.”
Dr. King and Frederick Douglas Understood This
There is nothing in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution to indicate that the freedoms guaranteed therein do not apply to every individual. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this, and in his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech, he challenged America, not to dispense with its founding documents, but instead, to live up to them. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared his hope,
That one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
Showing that he understood these guaranteed freedoms to be rooted in the country’s Christian origins, Dr. King, who was a devout Christian, went on to say that he had a dream that one day all Americans—regardless of their skin color—would be able to sing together the words of that Christian, patriotic hymn,
My country 'tis of Thee,
Sweet land of liberty, of Thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!
Yes, America’s founding principles are colorblind, even if her history has not been. The famous abolitionist, Frederick Douglas, understood this and argued that the language of the founding documents must be understood as applying to everyone. “Anyone of these provisions in the hands of abolition statesmen, and backed by a right moral sentiment,” he declared, “would put an end to slavery in America” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 159).
Understanding the Three-Fifths Clause
One of the most misunderstood sections of the Constitution is the “three-fifths clause” in which only three-fifths of the slave population of southern states would be counted for representation. This had nothing to do with assigning value based on race. This was related to keeping the southern states from gaining too much power in the new Congress where the number of representatives from each state would be tied to the population of that state.
The southern states wanted to include their slave populations to gain more representatives and more power, even though slaves could not vote. The three-fifths compromise was a way of diminishing their influence in the new Congress in that it counted only three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of representation.
Even here, the Founders did not use the word "slaves" or slavery," but "other persons." Abraham Lincoln described this refusal of the Founders to acknowledge slavery in the Constitution as being like a man who hides an ugly, cancerous growth until the time comes that it can be eradicated from his body.
That the three-fifths clause had nothing to do with assigning value based on race is confirmed by the fact that, at the time of the Constitutional Convention, there were at least sixty-thousand free blacks in northern and southern states who counted the same as whites when it came to determining the number of representatives to Congress. Additionally, it is important to note that there were as many as ten states where blacks had full voting privileges.
The “Moral Outrage” Against Slavery
By the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 virtually all the Founders agreed with John Adams who said, “Every measure of prudence . . . ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence.”  
The brilliant historian, Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has confirmed this, saying, “Among those who turned against slavery in the eighteenth century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders.” 
Nonetheless, at the Constitutional Convention, concessions were made toward the southern states out of concern that a union could not succeed if all Thirteen Colonies were not included. Sowell has said,
But don’t pretend that it was an easy answer—or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the eighteenth century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery.
In formulating the Constitution, the Founders were both careful and precise in the use of language. Unlike modern progressive socialists who see everything through the prism of race, they purposely avoided classifications based on race and skin color. Though not banning slavery in the South at the time, they put in place the legal mines that would eventually blow it up.
The Constitution is a Racially Inclusive Document
Yes, modern Socialist Democrats love to insist that America was founded on racist principles. They are wrong. David Azerrad was correct when he said, “The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 161-62).
The Founders did not invent slavery. They were born into a world where slavery already existed. They were not perfect, and it can be argued that they conceded too much at the time. Nonetheless, they did an admirable job of formulating founding documents that would eventually eradicate that horrendous institution and make America "the land of the free and home of the brave," with people of every race and ethnicity wanting to live here.
This article was derived from the book, Pilgrims and Patriots, by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt. Dr. Hyatt has a passion to see America return to her founding principles of faith and freedom. He has written extensively on America's Christian founding and has created a PowerPoint presentation entitled "America's Reawakening" that he presents throughout the nation. His website is www.eddiehyatt.com.



8/05/2019

THE ONE MESSAGE THAT CAN SAVE AMERICA


In his address to the nation after the horrible massacres in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump called for a cultural change in America. For him and many others, those horrific crimes were the most recent reminders that something is disturbingly amiss with our culture.
Who Will Bring Cultural Change?
This then leads to the pressing question, “Who will bring the needed cultural change? Will it come from the stars and starlets in Hollywood? What about the mainstream media or the educational system? Maybe from politicians? Perhaps from the music industry? 
The answer is “none of the above.” All these have miserably failed in this regard and have all contributed to what is wrong in the culture. No, the only hope for positive cultural change lies with the church—the followers of Jesus Christ—whom He called the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)).
How Will it Occur?
For this to occur, however, the church must recover the Message that was entrusted to her by the Lord. The Message is the key. It was the Gospel Message, in fact, preached without compromise, that gave birth of the United States of America. 
This was confirmed by the late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, who said, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening.” This was not a reference to the “style” of preaching, for there were varied styles, but to the Message itself that was preached.
Since George Whitefield was the most noted preacher of the Awakening, I will here seek to delineate the Message he preached. There is no question that Whitefield’s preaching brought cultural change to colonial America. Concerning his visit to Philadelphia in 1739, Benjamin Franklin wrote,
It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening with hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 32-33).
The Power of the Message Itself
While many in the church are looking for a bigger and better program or a more appealing style, the answer for cultural change lies in the Message itself. This understanding is critical, for in Romans 1:16, Paul speaks of the inherent power of the Gospel Message, saying, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes . . ..
Paul makes clear that the Gospel is not a conduit or channel for God’s saving power. The power is in the Message itself. Then, in I Corinthians 1:17, he warns that if we go too far in attempting to make the Message “cool, hip and acceptable” to contemporary culture, we run the risk of preaching a message that has been emptied of its power (NIV).
Whitefield’s Message
Whitefield was absorbed with the Message. He lived and breathed God’s Word. Concerning the early days of His ministry after graduating from Oxford, he wrote,
"My mind now being more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures on my knees, laying aside all other books, and praying over, if possible, every line and every word" (Hyatt, George Whitefield, 12).
For his sermons, he did not rely on testimonies or feel-good anecdotal stories. His preaching was Biblical and Christ-centered. He would take a passage of Scripture, such as the healing of blind Bartimaeus, the faith of Abraham in offering up Isaac, or the parable of the ten virgins, and expound on it.
No matter which passage he used, he always made application to mankind’s lost condition and Jesus Christ as the only remedy for sin and the only way to be reconciled to God.
Recognizing the risk of oversimplifying the matter, Whitefield’s message can, I believe, be divided into three distinct categories.
1.       The dire condition of fallen, sinful humanity, separated from God and deserving of eternal damnation.
2.       The wondrous mercy and grace of God shown toward sinful humanity in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
3.     The necessity of a new birth, and the inadequacy of baptism, church membership, and all religious externals in which people have placed their hope.
Humanity’s Fallen Condition
Whitefield emphasized the truth of humanity’s sinfulness and lostness outside of Christ. Benjamin Franklin mentioned this in his Autobiography, telling how he was surprised that the people so admired and respected Whitefield despite the fact that “he commonly abused them, assuring them they were no more than half-devils and half-beasts” (Hyatt, George Whitefield, 51).
When this author first read this statement of Franklin, I assumed he was using hyperbole in speaking of Whitefield’s preaching on the sinful condition of fallen humanity. However, in a later reading of Whitefield’s sermons, I discovered that Franklin was accurately describing Whitefield’s message.
Preaching from the steps of the Philadelphia courthouse to a massive crowd that included Franklin and the leading citizens of that city. Whitfield did not hold back, but in stark terms, and a bit of hyperbole, painted a very unflattering picture of the fallen state of humanity. As the huge crowd stood and listened in rapt silence, Whitefield’s passionate and melodious voice pierced the atmosphere.
But let these modern, polite gentlemen, and my letter-learned brethren, paint man [humanity] in as lovely colors as they please; I will not do it; I dare not make him less than the word of God does. If I was to paint man in his proper colors, I must go to the kingdom of hell for a copy; for man is by nature full of pride, subtlety, malice, envy, revenge and all un-charitableness; and what are these but the temper of the devil? And lust, sensuality, pleasure, these are the tempers of the beast. Thus, my brethren, man is half a beast and half a devil (Hyatt, George Whitefield, 51-52).
Modern ears, use to being tickled with "feel-good" anecdotal soundbites, will react to such preaching, Nonetheless, in light of the cultural corruption we are seeing all around, mankind's fallen state is a Biblical truth that must be reconsidered.

Whitefield understood that humanity had been created a noble creature in the image and likeness of God. He also understood that the image had been marred by the fall and sin as described in Genesis 3. He is here describing, with some hyperbole, the awful condition of mankind in his fallen state, separated from God.

It has been said that the gospel is not really “good news” until we hear and understand the “bad news.” Whitefield was a master at painting the bad news for his audiences, but he was just as adept at presenting the good news of God’s love and grace for humanity. The contrast had a powerful effect on his audiences.
God’s Wondrous Love Revealed in Jesus Christ
After showing their lost, natural state, Whitefield always proceeded to point his audience to Jesus Christ alone as God’s answer for mankind’s dilemma. He made much of the wonderous grace and mercy shown to mankind through Jesus Christ. The contrast with mankind’s rebellious and sinful state provided a stunning comparison, and Whitefield often wept as he talked of the stupendous love and grace of God in coming to this world in the person of Jesus Christ.
In preaching to one large outdoor audience on Abraham’s offering up of Isaac, Whitefield had the crowd in tears as he described the love of Abraham for his son, and the emotions he must have experienced in binding his son and laying him on the altar. He then exhorted,
I see your hearts affected; I see your eyes weep. But behold I show you a mystery, hid under the sacrifice of Abraham’s only son, which, unless your hearts are hardened, must cause you to weep tears of love. How much more ought you to extol, magnify, and adore the love of God, who so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus our Lord. May we not well cry out, “Now know we, O Lord, that you have loved us, since you have not withheld your Son, your only Son from us.
Oh, stupendous love! While we were His enemies, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that He might become a curse for us. Oh, the freeness, as well as the infinity, of the love of God our Father! It is unsearchable: I am lost in contemplating it; it is past finding out! (Hyatt, George Whitefield, 53)
The Necessity of a New Birth
Whitefield emphasized that many professing Christians had built their faith on faulty foundations, such as church membership, good deeds, family pedigree, social status, and cultural refinement. He emphasized that these old foundations must be overturned and faith in Jesus Christ alone must be laid as the only foundation for acceptance with God.
He brought this vividly to the minds of a large audience as he preached on the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13. He pointed out that all ten were virgins, and all had lamps, which he said symbolized their outward profession. Only the five wise virgins, however, had oil in their lamps, which Whitfield said symbolized a new heart brought about by a living faith in Christ alone. He told of the five foolish virgins knocking at the door of the wedding but being turned away by the Lord.
“Lord, Lord,” say they, as though they were intimately acquainted with the holy Jesus. Like numbers among us who, because they go to church, repeat their creeds, and receive the blessed sacrament, think they have a right to call Jesus their Savior and dare call God their Father, when they put up the Lord’s Prayer. But Jesus is not your Savior. The devil, not God, is your father, unless your hearts are purified by faith and you are born again from above. It is not merely being baptized with water, but being born again of the Holy Ghost that must qualify you for salvation; and it will do you no service at that great day, to say unto Christ, “Lord, my name is in the register of such and such parish.” I am persuaded the foolish virgins could say this and more (Hyatt, George Whitefield, 54-55).
The Message Impacted America’s Founding
The Message of Whitefield and the Great Awakening transformed the culture of colonial America because it was the Gospel Message infused with God's power. No less a figure than Benjamin Franklin testified to this transformation. Profanity, immorality and drunkenness almost completely disappeared in some areas, and entire towns and villages were transformed.
New England alone saw 30,000 to 40,000 new converts and 150 new congregations. People lived to do good and missionary and humanitarian enterprises were spawned. Colleges such as Princeton, Columbia and Hampden-Sydney were established to equip ministers for the new congregations.
All of America's Founders, to one degree or another, were impacted by the Awakening. Concerning Whitefield’s final visit to America in 1770, historian Benjamin Hart, wrote,
The true Spirit of Christ had dissolved sectarian differences. America considered itself to be a nation of Christians, pure and simple, as Whitefield noted with satisfaction. “Pulpits, hearts and affections,” he said, were opened to him and any preacher of whatever denomination who had a true Christian message to share (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 109).
The Message Will Bring Cultural Change
It has been the Gospel Message that has changed American culture again and again and saved her from ruin. This was confirmed by a visitor whom I believe was Alexis de Tocqueville. Although the quote below is not found in his writings, it has been historically attributed to him and has the Tocqueville feel and sound. It most likely originated in one of the many speeches he gave.
Tocqueville, a young French sociologist, came to America in 1831 to study her institutions to see if he could discover how America had attained such greatness in such a short period of time. He came on the heels of the Second Great Awakening that had just transformed American culture and saved her from the negative influences of Deism and the French Revolution. 
After describing his search for America’s greatness in her great commercial centers, her political institutions, and her educational systems, he said,
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 178).
May the pulpits of America once again flame with righteousness by recovering the Message of Jesus, the New Testament and the Great Awakening.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s books such as, George Whitefield and Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon in both paperback and kindle. To learn more about his vision for “America’s Reawakening," visit his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

8/03/2019

AMERICA'S FOUNDERS LEFT US THE ANSWER FOR THE MASSACRES IN EL PASO AND DAYTON

The horrific massacres in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH are stark reminders that something is disturbingly amiss in American culture. Leftists will politicize these tragedies and use them as weapons against their political opponents and the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment, however, is not the problem. The nation lived with the Second Amendment for 200 years without these sorts of massacres. 

The problem lies with the loss of our Christian culture with its moral imperatives. America’s Founders, who diligently studied the history of nations and empires, understood this clearly.
The Founders’ Warnings
John Adams, for example, warned of the dangers for a society whose populace is unchecked by Christian morality. He said,
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 173).
George Washington made the same point in his Farewell Address after serving two terms as the nation's first president. He said, "Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." He then warned us not to entertain the supposition that  "morality can be maintained apart from religion" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 169).

When the Founders use the word "religion" they are referring to "Christianity." It is of utmost importance to note that Washington saw Christianity, not as something to be tolerated, but as an indispensable support for national stability and prosperity.
The Founders understood that a moral and Christian people would be guided and restrained by their faith convictions, apart from outward laws. They formulated the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, with this sort of people in mind.
This is why James Madison, the primary architect of the Constitution, said,
The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 131).
Perhaps, then, as part of the background check for purchasing a gun, the applicant should be questioned about their moral values. Do you respect all life? Do you respect other people’s property? Do you ever pray? Do you believe in absolute moral values? From whence do you derive your moral values?
Why America’s Founders Detested Atheism
Should we be surprised at what is happening? For the past 60 years there has been an all-out assault on Christianity in the public square with prayer, Bible reading and Christian symbols being forcibly removed from public schools and government property.

In our public schools, children are taught, not that they were created by a loving, all-powerful God, but that they evolved by chance from some cosmic soup somewhere. Without God, life has no meaning because we are only here by the chance clashing of atoms and molecules.
Such a belief system rejects absolute truth and leaves everyone to do whatever is right in their own eyes. Human life is demeaned, for given time and the proper environment, the bug crawling across the floor could evolve into something like us.
This is why America’s Founders detested atheism. Atheism offers no meaning for life and no transcendent morality to guide a people and nation. That is why, in taking the first presidential oath of office, George Washington placed his hand on a Bible. He was acknowledging a higher power and intelligence than his own by which the nation would be guided.
Church, It’s Time to Get Serious
During America's brief history, the ultimate answer to her woes has come in the form of national, spiritual awakenings. These awakenings, of which there have been several, have revitalized morality and Christianity in the populace. Hearts were changed and people began striving to live by the Golden Rule and to treat others fairly and justly.
America desperately needs another such awakening. Only another national, spiritual awakening will resolve the many societal issues, including the present gun controversy, for it will restore to this land the kind of people for whom the Constitution was originally written.
In speaking of spiritual awakening, I am not referring to another human-contrived religious event. I am referring to something from heaven, as on the Day of Pentecost, that comes in response to the desperate prayers and faith of God's people.
So, let’s take seriously the Biblical passage so often quoted by our Vice-President, Mike Pence. II Chronicles 7:14 says,
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has a passion to see America return to her founding principles of faith and freedom. He has written several books, including Pilgrims and Patriots, that show how America was birthed out of a great spiritual awakening. He has also created America’s Reawakening, which he shares in churches, colleges and any venue where there is a hunger to know the truth of America's origins and how we can recover the vision of America's Founders. 

7/12/2019

LIBERTY VS. SOCIALISM: WHY THE TWO CAN NEVER COEXIST

America’s Founders understood something that most modern politicians do not understand. Liberty fourishes best where there is boundless faith and limited government. Liberty and governmental power do not mix. As power is centralized in Washington D.C., there occurs a corresponding loss of liberty throughout the heartland.
Socialism, on the other hand, requires a strong, centralized government to implement its policies Socialism and political power, therefore, go hand in hand. Wherever socialism is implemented, there is a corresponding loss of individual and religious liberties.
The Founders, Faith, and Freedom
America's Founders, their parents, and their grandparents had fled oppressive governments that sought to control their lives with tyrannical laws and regulations. They came to America with visions of individual and religious liberty. They were not looking for help from any government.
They were people of faith. Government for them was a nuisance and a pain. They agreed with Thomas Paine, who in his book, Common Sense, wrote, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
They issued the Declaration of Independence, not from a quest for political power, but from a deep desire to protect the liberties they had experienced in the New World. This would require a government with limited power for they knew from their study of both the Bible and human history that human nature cannot be trusted with power.
Their distrust of power is why they divided the powers of government into two legislative branches, an executive branch, and a judicial branch. It is why they implemented checks and balances to keep absolute power out of the hands of any person or group.
It is also why they instituted the 2nd Amendment--to give the citizens the right to defend themselves against a tyrannical, over-reaching government that might arise in the future. The Founders would agree with the adage of Sir John Dalberg-Acton, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Socialism Loves and Needs Power
Socialism, on the other hand, requires a powerful, centralized government for its implementation. This in turn requires a ruling elite, like the old Soviet politburo, that controls every facet of society, spreads the wealth around, and enriches itself.
In socialism, which is rooted in Marxism, the God of the Bible is replaced by the god of the state. People no longer need God to help them deal with life; they now can look to the government to solve every problem and meet every need. Faith in God, therefore, is viewed as an enemy of the state.
This is why, during the 20th century, millions of Christians were imprisoned and put to death in socialist/communist regimes such as China, Cambodia, Cuba and the Soviet Union. This is why, alongside the rise of socialism/Marxism in modern America, there is a corresponding rise of hostility toward people of faith.
Have you noticed that the Democrat party seems to be moving further and further from any open identification with God and Christianity? This always happens as a people move from individual liberty to socialism. The god of socialism is a jealous god and will tolerate no rivals.
If you want to understand the passion of the new progressive wing of the Democrat party, this is it. They have visions of power. They have exchanged the God of the Bible for the god of power, which they envision being expressed through themselves in a powerful, centralized government.
A Revitalized Christianity is the Answer
The ultimate answer to the challenge of atheistic socialism in American today is not a political one, but a spiritual one. America must return to the vision of the Founders who saw liberty and faith as being joined together in an indissoluble bond. They did not believe one could flourish without the other.
That is why the First Continental Congress opened with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. It is why George Washington insisted on taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. It is why he said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 137).
For this same reason John Adams wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel, a minister of the gospel, two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and said,
Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles, upon which Freedom can securely stand" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 173.)
The Bible-believing Christian who takes his faith seriously is socialism’s worse nightmare. This is why we must pray for another Great Awakening across the land. This is why we must challenge the contemporary church to move beyond an entertainment culture and begin training people the to be salt and light and live out their faith in this culture.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents America's birth out of a great, spiritual awakening. His books are available from and Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

7/03/2019

THE MISSIONARY VISION OF AMERICA'S FOUNDING GENERATION


In a meeting with Delaware Indian chiefs in 1779, George Washington shared with them the importance of the Christian faith. After commending them for their request that their youth be trained in American schools, he said,
You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.
Washington’s freedom in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with this Indian tribe was normal for the founding generation for such freedom was rooted in the original American vision, which was to be a land of religious liberty from which the gospel would spread to the ends of the earth.
The Missionary Vision of America’s First Immigrants
When the Jamestown settlers disembarked at Cape Henry, VA on April 29, 1607, their first act was to erect a 7-foot oak cross they had brought from England. They then gathered around the cross for a prayer service in which they dedicated the land of their new home to God.
The desire to reach those who did not know Christ was expressed by their chaplain, Rev. Robert Hunt. In his dedicatory prayer, he declared, “From these very shores the gospel will go forth to not only this New World, but the entire world.”
Thirteen years later, off the coast of New England, the Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact in which they declared their 2-fold purpose in coming to the New World: (1) for the glory of God and (2) the advancement of the Christian faith.
In 1643 the United Colonies of New England was formed to arbitrate land disputes and to facilitate cooperation in matters of economy and security. That the many thousands now living in New England shared a common vision to spread the Christian faith is indicated by the opening statement of the constitution, which reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 52-53).
It is no accident that the first Bible printed in America was printed for missionary purposes. It was produced by John Eliot (1604-1690) in the Massachusetts language. Eliot was also instrumental in the founding of America’s first missionary society in 1649. It was called “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent in North America.”
This missionary vision of America’s earliest immigrant had a far-reaching impact, even influencing America’s Founding Fathers.
America’s Founders Had the Vision
Benjamin Franklin
For example, in a 1756 letter to George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, Benjamin Franklin proposed that they partner together in founding a new Christian colony on the Ohio frontier. He wanted to populate it with a religious [Christian] and industrious people. He also presented a missionary motive for the new colony, saying,
Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could, by such a colony, show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 105).
Franklin had met Whitefield 18 year prior to this, and they had become close friends and business partners. Since Franklin is writing this proposal to the fiery revivalist of the Great Awakening, there can be little doubt that the “pure religion” he wants to introduce to the native tribes in that region is the evangelical revivalism preached by Whitefield.
Thomas Jefferson
As president, Thomas Jefferson negotiated a federal treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, a treaty that, among other things, stipulated that federal funds be made available to pay for a Christian missionary to work with the Indians and for the building of a Christian church in which the Indians could worship (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 150). Jefferson also said,
I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus . . . The philosophy of Jesus is the most sublime and benevolent code of morals ever offered man. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 149-50).
Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams has been called “The Father of the American Revolution.” He was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. While serving as governor of Massachusetts, he proclaimed a Day of Prayer in which he exhorted the citizens of that state,
Pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known throughout the whole family of mankind.
John Hancock
John Hancock served as president of the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. His signature is the largest and most obvious on that document. While serving as governor of Massachusetts, he also proclaimed a Day Prayer in which he exhorted the people,
Pray that all nations may bow to the scepter of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that the whole earth may be filled with his glory.
James Madison
James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and America’s fourth president, voiced his opposition in 1785 to a bill that he perceived would have the unintended consequence of hindering the spread of the gospel. He said,
The policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots,
George Washington
George Washington, America’s first president, not only shared the gospel with American Indians, he once publicly prayed,
Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 138).
No Real Liberty Without the Gospel
America’s Founders believed so strongly in the gospel as the basis of human freedom that they unashamedly prayed and publicly expressed their desire to see it spread throughout the earth.
Recent presidents have sought to export American style democracy to other nations apart from the gospel of Christ. Indeed, the entire Western world is seeking to secularize liberty and remove it from any association with faith.
America’s Founders would say that such efforts are futile since true liberty cannot be had apart from the gospel of Christ. Washington made this plain in his Farewell Address where he warned the fledgling nation that two things must be guarded if they were to be a happy people--“Christianity and morality,” which he called “indispensable supports” for political prosperity (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 169).
What About “Separation of Church and State”
The oft-quoted phrase, “separation of church and state,” is nowhere to be found in America’s founding documents. It is a reference to the First Amendment that reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or hindering the free exercise thereof.” The day after ratifying the First Amendment, those same Founding Fathers issued a proclamation for a National Day of Prayer.
The First Amendment was merely their way of saying that America would never have an official, national church like the nations of Europe at the time. By instituting the First Amendment, the Founders rejected the model begun by Constantine in which civil government establishes and upholds by force an official, state church, and persecutes all others.
Instead of banning faith from the public square, as many moderns suppose, the Founders, by this act, created a free and open marketplace for religious ideas. They were not concerned about false religion getting the upper hand for they believed in the inherent power of the Christian message.
They were convinced that on an open and even playing field, truth would always prevail. They agreed with the Puritan, John Milton, who wrote,
Let Truth and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse in free and open encounter? She needs no policies, nor strategems, nor licensings to make her victorious . . . Give her but room.
Yes, the Founders believed in the inherent power of Christianity, which is why Jefferson wrote,
Truth can stand by itself … If there be but one right religion and Christianity that one, we should wish to see the nine hundred and ninety-nine wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves.
It is Time to Recover the Vision
Yes, the original American vision was for a land of religious liberty from which the gospel would spread to the ends of the earth. Modern secularists have robbed the American populace of this vision by rewriting America’s history and turning the First Amendment on its head.
The truth, however, will make us free as Jesus declared in John 8:32-33. As we recover the truth about America’s overt Christian founding and ask God to visit this land with another Great Awakening, the original American vision could well be revived once again.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website, www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the creator of "America's Reawakening," a PowerPoint presentation that documents America's birth out of prayer and the First Great Awakening. He can be contacted at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.

6/30/2019

WAS AMERICA FOUNDED ON A COVENANT WITH GOD?


The earliest immigrants to this land believed that they, as a people, had entered into a sacred covenant with God. This was clearly expressed by John Winthrop who, in 1630, led a flotilla of eleven ships with 700 passengers to New England and founded the city of Boston and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
During their journey across the Atlantic, Winthrop formulated a sermon entitled “A Model of Christian Charity.” In it he exhorted his fellow pilgrims that “the eyes of the world are upon us” and that God would have them, in their new home, to be that “city on a hill” of which Jesus spoke, a shining light exhibiting a model of Christian living for the rest of mankind to see.
He also spoke of the seriousness of the covenant with God into which they had entered. He exhorted,
We have entered into an explicit Covenant with God. We have drawn up indentures with the Almighty, wherefore if we succeed and do not let ourselves be diverted into making money, He will reward us. Whereas if we fail, if we fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, the Lord will surely break out in wrath and make us know the price of the breach of such a Covenant.
The Mayflower Compact Was a Covenant
Ten years before Winthrop and his company arrived, the Pilgrims had landed at Cape Cod. Before disembarking, they drew up a written document patterned after the church covenants that were common among Separatist churches in England. Being part of a Separatist congregation, they were very aware of such documents, which knit the signees together in a solemn, contractual agreement with God and one another.
Each signee promised “solemnly and mutually in the presence of God” to “covenant together” for the better ordering and preservation of their community. This covenant also stated that their purpose in coming to the New World was to glorify God and advance the Christian faith. The late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, said, “The Separatists aboard the Mayflower found a covenant the obvious answer to the first problem of political organization.”
Some have called the Mayflower Compact America’s founding document. That is going too far, but there is no question that it set the stage for succeeding communities and colonies that would base their existence on written documents—covenants--that gave recognition to God and prioritized the Gospel of Jesus Christ as their reason for being.
New England Covenants with God
This idea of a social compact (covenant) with God was expressed, not only in the founding of Plymouth, Boston, and Massachusetts, but also in the 1639 founding document of Connecticut entitled “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.” This document states,
We, the inhabitants and residents of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield, knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there ought to be an orderly and decent government established according to God . . . we do for ourselves and our successors enter into combination and confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we now profess. (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 48-49).
With thousands of new immigrants arriving in New England and new towns springing up, there arose a felt need for some sort of centralized government to facilitate mutual defense and to arbitrate land disputes. To meet this need, the United Colonies of New England was formed and a constitution was formulated, patterned on the idea of covenant. Dated May 19, 1643, the opening statement of the constitution expressly states why they had all come to the New World. It reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity and peace (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 52-53).
The constitution provided that each colony would choose two representatives who would form a council of eight. This council of eight was invested with power to arbitrate boundary disputes, coordinate mutual defense, and facilitate mutual advice and support. It was clearly stated that this council was also brought into existence for “preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 53).
There is no question that this constitutional system wherein each individual colony retained its autonomy, and the powers of government were limited by the constitution, was a forerunner of the federalist system that would be created at Philadelphia in 1776 and 1787. The United Colonies of New England clearly foreshadowed the United States of America in both its form of government and in its Christian character.
The Puritans clearly saw these written statements as covenants, not only between themselves, but also between their society and God. They believed that God dealt, not only with individuals, but also with social units, including families, churches and nations. According to Perry Miller, “The central conception in their thought is the elaborated doctrine of covenant.”
The Blessing & Responsibility of Covenant
These early immigrants saw Israel in the OT as a pattern for their social covenant with God. Like Israel, they believed that if they, as a people, kept their part of the covenant, which was to walk uprightly and make His name known, they would be blessed. If, on the other hand, they lost their sense of purpose and began to live selfish and sinful lives, they would suffer God’s wrath because of their rejection of the covenant. During the voyage to New England, Winthrop warned,
Now if the Lord shall please to bear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He verified this Covenant and sealed our commission . . . but if we fail to perform the terms of the Covenant, we shall perish out the land we are crossing the sea to possess.
This social responsibility to God is the reason the Puritans tended to hold one another accountable. They pointed out that since communities and nations cannot be rewarded in the next world, they must necessarily be rewarded in this one, according to their deeds. The sin of one or a few could, therefore, bring down God’s judgment on the entire community. This is also the reason that laws were passed outlawing adultery, fornication, profanity, drunkenness and Sabbath breaking.
Virginia Too
Although New England was where the writing of constitutions was profoundly developed, all the colonies were founded on similar social compacts with God. When the Jamestown settlers disembarked at Cape Henry, VA, their first act was to erect a seven-foot cross they had brought from England. They then gathered around the cross for a prayer service in which they dedicated the land of their new home to God. In his dedicatory prayer, their chaplain, Rev. Robert Hunt, declared, “From these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only this New World but to the entire world.”
This act was in line with the official Virginia Charter, which recognized “the Providence of Almighty God” and expressed the desire that the establishment of the colony would “tend to the glory of His Divine Majesty.” This document also expressly stated that the purpose of the colony was to propagate the “Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.”
There are amazing similarities between the Virginia Charter, the Mayflower Compact and other founding documents of New England. This led Perry Miller to suggest that Virginia and New England were not that different. He pointed out that both communities were children of the Reformation, “and what we consider distinctively Puritan was really the spirit of the times.”
There is thus no question that these early social compacts, or covenants, were precursors to the founding documents of the United States of America. Gary Amos and Richard Gardiner are correct to say, “The early New England constitutions were covenants. These covenants clearly foreshadowed the United States Constitution” (Hyatt. Pilgrims and Patriots, 49).
God and America’s Founding Documents
The Declaration of Independence begins with an acknowledgement that human rights come from God. It ends with the signees expressing a reliance on Divine Providence, a common expression of that era for the God of the Bible and was commonly used by revivalist ministers, such as George Whitefield, in their sermons and writings.
It is obvious that the Founders saw the Constitution as a sacred document, and they treated it as a covenant. That is why George Washington took the oath of office with his hand on a Bible, and with his hand on the Bible, solemnly swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, “so help me God.”
Indeed, many of those who were part of the Constitutional Convention, saw the hand of God in the formulation of the Constitution. James Madison, the Constitution’s chief architect, declared,
It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in critical stages of the Revolution (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 10).
Benjamin Rush, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was even more blunt, declaring that the Constitution was a work from heaven. A physician from Philadelphia, he asserted that he,
As much believed the hand of God was employed in this work as that God had divided the Red Sea to give a passage to the children of Israel, or had fulminated the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai” (Hyatt, 5 Pillarsof the American Republic, 11).
This sacred view of the Constitution was obviously inherited from those earliest immigrants who considered their covenants to be sacred oaths between their communities and God. This covenantal attitude became a part of the psyche of colonial America and was clearly present in the attitude of the Founders toward America’s founding documents. Historian, Benjamin Hart, says,
The U.S. Constitution has worked because there has been a sacred aura surrounding the document; it has been something more than a legal contract; it was a covenant, an oath before God, very much related to the covenant the Pilgrims signed. Indeed, when the President takes his oath of office he places his hand on a Bible and swears before Almighty God to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He makes a sacred promise; and the same holds true for Supreme Court justices who take an oath to follow the letter of the written Constitution. The moment America’s leaders begin treating the Constitution as though it were a mere sheet of paper is the moment the American Republic—or American Covenant—ends (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 50).
Abraham Lincoln Understood America’s Covenant with God
Abraham Lincoln understood that America had a covenant with God. That is why, in the midst of the devastation of the Civil War, he proclaimed a national, day of prayer and repentance for April 30, 1863. In this proclamation, he acknowledged God’s blessing on the nation and explained the present calamity, saying,
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us (Hyatt, The Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, 37).
The populace, especially in the North, responded en masse to Lincoln’s call to prayer. On the appointed day, businesses and schools closed and people gathered in churches and homes throughout land to pray and repent for personal and national sins.
And whereas the South had been winning battle after battle and it looked as though the American union could well be dissolved, there was an almost immediate turn of the war in favor of the North after this day of prayer. God intervened and America was sustained after she renewed her covenant with God.
Where Are We Today?
America is at a critical juncture in her history. Powerful forces reject the notion of God having any role in the nation’s founding and they consider the Constitution to be a useless, outdated document—a mere sheet of paper, as Hart warned.
Taking the oath of office is now seen as a meaningless formality that may be carried out with the Koran as well as the Bible or any religious book, or with none at all. America’s future has not been this uncertain since the Civil War.
The election of Donald Trump was an act of Divine Providence that opened a narrow window of opportunity for the church in America. Despite his faults, he defends religious liberty and is a friend to Bible-believing Christians. Will we make the most of this opportunity and maximize the moment?
The decision is ours. The future is in our hands. What will we do? Will we renew the American covenant? It begins with God’s people taking seriously their role in the health of a nation as expressed in II Chronicles 7:14.
If My people who are called by My Name
Will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face,
And turn from their wicked ways,
Then I will hear from heaven,
And will forgive their sin and heal their land.


This article is derived from books by Dr. Eddie Hyatt, including Pilgrims and Patriots and 5 Pillars of the American Republic, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt has a passion to see America reconnect with her Christian roots and experience another great, national spiritual awakening. He can be contacted at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.