2/14/2020

COULD THIS BOOK HOLD A KEY TO RACIAL RECONCILIATION ACROSS AMERICA?

In an interview with Dale Gentry on BPN Radio, Dr. Eddie Hyatt expressed his belief that his recently released book, 1726, holds a key for racial reconciliation across America, beginning with the church. Hyatt explained that it has to do with setting the record straight about race and slavery in America’s founding. 
Whereas students in schools and colleges throughout America are taught that America was founded on racism and slavery. Hyatt says there is much more to the story, which modern liberals are leaving out. In his book, he documents the anti-slavery movement that emerged out of the Great Awakening that ebbed and flowed between 1726-70. 
According to Hyatt, this Awakening, and the anti-slavery movement it produced, transformed Colonial America and had a profound impact on America’s founders. In 1726Hyatt shows that virtually every Founder turned against slavery and even those who did not immediately release their slaves, admitted that it was sinful and wrong. Some, such as Benjamin Rush, became passionate abolitionists.
Hyatt says that as a result of the Great Awakening, and the anti-slavery sentiments it produced, George Washington allowed free blacks to serve in the Revolutionary Army. As a result, one out of every eight soldiers was of African descent. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain. Washington later released his own slaves and declared,
I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).
Hyatt says that as a result of the Great Awakening, and the anti-slavery sentiments it produced, America’s founding documents are colorblind. No mention is made of slaves or slavery and there are no classifications based on race or skin color. Hyatt pointed out that this is the reason Dr. King, in his “I Have a Dream” speech, spoke highly of America’s founding documents and said they guarantee freedom and equality for everyone regardless of race or skin color.
Hyatt says that setting the record straight about America’s racial past is important for as George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.” Hyatt believes that by regaining control of America’s true heritage, not as a nation without an ugly blemish, but as a nation that took radical steps to remove and heal that blemish, a new racial harmony could be in America's future.
Hyatt’s book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

THE AMAZING PRAYERS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

George Washington was a devout man of prayer and his prayers played a major role in America’s amazing birth. Robert Lewis, Washington’s nephew, lived with him and served as his secretary while Washington was president. Lewis said he accidentally witnessed Washington’s devotions morning and evening and that he was kneeling before an open Bible. Lewis believed that praying with an open Bible in front of him was a daily practice for Washington.
Washington was influenced in this regard by his mother. When he was leaving home as a young soldier, she exhorted him, “Remember that God is our only sure trust.” She also urged him, “My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer.”
He would also have been influenced by the Great Awakening for it was at its height when he was a lad. That the Awakening had a peculiar impact on Virginia was confirmed by the Princeton scholar, Charles Hodge, who in 1839 said of the Great Awakening, “In no part of our country was the revival more interesting, and in very few was it so pure as in Virginia” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 131).
Washington’s Prayer Journal
In April of 1891, several of Washington’s descendants, including Lawrence Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Thomas B. Washington, sold a collection of his personal items at auction in Philadelphia. Among the items was a little book filled with daily prayers in Washington’s handwriting when he was in his twenties. Entitled, Daily Sacrifice, these prayers are deeply devotional and evangelical in nature. For example, the first entry reads, in part,
Let my heart, therefore, gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of Thine honor that I may not do my own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those duties which Thou requirest of me (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).
The following Monday morning, his prayer reads,
Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit . . . daily frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.
Also, of note is his prayer:
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, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).
Commenting on this prayer book, Professor S. F. Upham, of Drew Theological Seminary, wrote,
The “Daily Prayers” of George Washington abound in earnest thought, expressed in simple, beautiful, fervent and evangelical language. They reveal to us the real life of the great patriot and attest his piety. None can read these petitions, which bore his desires to God, and often brought answers of peace, without having a grander conception of Washington’s character. The prayers are characterized by a deep consciousness of sin and by a need for forgiveness, and by a recognition of dependence upon the merits and mercies of our Lord (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 132-33).
Providentially Spared by God
During the time he was keeping this prayer journal, Washington was recruited by the British General Braddock to be a guide for the British in their trek through the wilderness to take Fort Duquesne from the French and Indians. Braddock recruited him because of his knowledge of the ways of the wilderness and the American Indians.
Washington had acquired this knowledge in his work as a surveyor of wilderness territory. However, he found his advice for traveling through the wilderness and dealing with the Indians ignored by Braddock who considered him a young, upstart colonist.
But when an ambush occurred and Braddock himself was wounded, Washington took charge and organized an orderly retreat while at the same time putting his own life at risk, rescuing the many wounded and placing them in wagons. During this time, two horses were shot out from under him and his clothes were shredded with bullets.
He emerged unscathed and gave glory to God, saying, "I was saved by the miraculous care of Providence that saved me beyond human expectation." From that day, his reputation for bravery and leadership spread among both the English and the Native Americans.
He Forms a Praying Army
On May 10, 1775, the Continental Congress asked Washington to become commander-in-chief of the ragtag Colonial militias and to transform them into an army that could face the mighty British war machine. Washington accepted the call and immediately began to instill in the Colonial troops a sense of the importance of prayer and faith in God
Washington issued an order stating that each day was to begin with prayer led by the officers of each unit. He also ordered that, unless their duties required them to be elsewhere, every soldier was to observe “a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of heaven upon the means used for our safety and public defense.” 
He also forbade profanity, swearing, gambling and drunkenness and expressed his desire that, “Every officer and man will endeavor so as to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 114).
At one point, during a particularly difficult part of the war, Washington and his men were quartering at Valley Forge. Rev. Henry Muhlenberg (1711–1787), pastor of a nearby Lutheran Church observed Washington’s activities. He wrote, “Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each one to fear God.” Muhlenberg went on to say,
This gentleman does not belong to the so-called world of society, for he respects God’s word, believes in atonement through Christ, and bears himself in humility and gentleness. It appears that the Lord God has singularly, yea marvelously, preserved him from harm in the midst of countless perils . . . and hath hitherto graciously held him in His hand as His chosen vessel (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 115).
Although it was a grueling seven years of war, numerous answers to prayer occurred protecting Washington and his troops and giving them victory when victory seemed impossible. For example, in the early part of the war, Washington and his 12,000 troops were trapped on Long Island by a British army at least twice that size. With their backs against the East River, it seemed there was no way to escape.
During the night the Americans prayed and scoured the area for boats of any kind that would take them and their armaments across the East River to Manhattan. As dawn approached, it was obvious they had not achieved their goal. However, at that point a heavy fog rolled in and remained until the army and all its cannon had been moved across the river to Manhattan.
As soon as they were safely across the river in Manhattan, the fog lifted. At this point, the British were amazed to see that the colonial army had disappeared, as if into thin air. This was just one of the many “signal interventions” of which Washington and author of Federalist 57 made mention (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 125).
His “Earnest Prayer” for America
That Washington was a devout person or prayer was confirmed by Isaac Potts (1750 – 1803), a Quaker who lived near Valley Forge where the Continental Army, under Washington’s command, was wintering. One day, during this—one of the bleakest periods of the war—Potts was riding through the woods when he came upon Washington during a time of private prayer. For Potts, this was a life-changing experience. As a Quaker, he was a pacifist, but his encounter of Washington in prayer caused him to rethink his view. He said,
I heard a plaintive sound as of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, and the cause of the country, of humanity and of the world. Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home and told my wife I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before, and just related to her what I had seen and heard and observed. We never thought a man could be a soldier and a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington (Hyatt, 1726: The Yearthat Defined America, 115-16).
Along with Washington’s prayers, the Continental Congress issued no less than fifteen calls for days of prayer, fasting, and repentance during the war. Their prayers were answered and on October 19, 1781 General Cornwallis surrendered his entire British force to Washington.
With the war now over, Washington issued a letter of resignation as Commander-In-Chief to the Continental Congress. He then wrote what could be described as a pastoral letter, dated June 14, 1783, to the governors of the various states. The letter included his “earnest prayer” for the governors and their people. It also includes his desire that all Americans would follow the example of Jesus Christ and says it is the only hope of America being a “happy nation. He wrote,
I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens . . . to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another . . . and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).
He Deals with Slavery
Washington was born into a world where slavery was the norm and he inherited a large plantation with numerous slaves. However, as I have shown in my book, 1726, the Great Awakening unleashed a powerful anti-slavery movement throughout Colonial America and it obviously had an impact on Washington. The black scholar, Dr. Thomas Sowell, has said,
Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Yearthat Defined America, 90).
Confronted by the inconsistency of Christian faith with slavery, Washington set up a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Those slaves who wanted to leave were free to do so. Those who chose to remain were paid wages, and he began a program to educate and prepare the children of slaves for freedom. He declared,
I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).
His Prayer Life as President
Washington delivered his first inaugural address on April 30, 1789. It was filled with references to God and the Bible. At the close of the ceremony in New York City, he and Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel where they participated in a worship service.
Washington’s desire that America would be a praying nation was obvious in his Proclamation of a Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving issued on October 3, 1789, shortly after he became president. After declaring it being the duty of all nations to “acknowledge the providence of Almighty God and obey His will,” he gave a reason for this special day, saying,
That we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national sins and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.
May We Follow in the Footsteps of Washington
Washington’s sacrificial service, his bravery in battle, and his profound leadership, endeared him to the hearts of America’s founding generation and he was twice elected unanimously to serve as President of the new nation. The founding generation said of him, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He was also called “the father of his country.”
As we celebrate President’s Day, let us reflect on the key to George Washington’s greatness and pray that God will raise up a generation that will follow in his footsteps.


This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is the founder of the "1726 Project" whose purpose is to reconnect America's severed roots out of the Great Awakening.

2/13/2020

THE UNCOMMON ROMANCE AND MARRIAGE OF JONATHAN EDWARDS AND SARAH PIERPONT

She was six years old the first time he saw her, and he was thirteen. She was the daughter of the pastor of the Congregational (Puritan) Church in New Haven, Connecticut. He was a newly enrolled student at Yale College, also located in New Haven, where he had come to prepare himself for God’s service. During his seven years at Yale and attending the Congregational Church in New Haven, he noticed in her a peculiar devotion to God that he found very attractive and similar to his own.
After graduating from Yale at the age of 17 and at the top of his class, he continued his studies for the M.A. and worked as a tutor in the college. During the summer of 1723 he returned to his family home in East Windsor, Connecticut where he intended to study and give thought and prayer to his future.
True Beauty and Real Love
Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) could not, however, get the young woman in New Haven, Sarah Pierpont (1710-58), off his mind. It was not her physical features that captivated and enthralled him; it was the beauty of her character and devotion to God—what King David called the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2).
One day, while trying to study New Testament Greek, his mind kept wandering to thirteen year old Sarah. As he thought on her, Jonathan, who would become the famous theologian and pastor of the Great Awakening, wrote the following in the flyleaf of his Greek grammar.
They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that Almighty Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on Him — that she expects after a while to be received up where He is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that He loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from Him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her actions; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after those seasons in which this great God has manifested Himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, and to wander in the fields and on the mountains, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.
Sarah was from a long line of distinguished Puritan preachers. In fact, her great great grandfather was Thomas Hooker, the well-known Puritan theologian and preacher who founded Connecticut. Another great grandfather had been the first mayor of New York City. Her father, James Pierpont, was the pastor of the Congregational Church in New Haven and the founder of Yale College, now Yale University. From childhood, she was convinced that her life was to be lived for the glory of God.
A Peaceful Home that Impresses Many
Four years after writing his thoughts of Sarah, Jonathan proposed to her and she accepted. She was seventeen and he was twenty-four. They moved to Northampton, Massachusetts where Jonathan had accepted the pastorate of the Congregational Church. They would live in Northampton for twenty-three years and raise eleven children before moving to Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1750.
Although life was busy raising eight girls and three boys, Sarah maintained her intimate relationship with God. She and Jonathan made time for each other and would often take walks together during which he would share things learned in his studies and she would share out of her heart the things she was learning from God.
Their relationship impressed many of their contemporaries, who often commented on the sense of peace that pervaded the Edwards home. John Walley wrote, “I love Mr. Edwards and his wife, because I see so much of the image of God in them.” Joseph Emerson of Concord described the Edwards as “the most agreeable family I was ever acquainted with. There is much of the Presence of God there.”
They Pray for Revival
Both Sarah and Jonathan were concerned about the spiritual indifference that seemed to pervade their community and all New England. They, therefore, prayed earnestly for what they called a “revival of religion” Their prayers began to be answered in 1739 when an unusual and awesome sense of God’s presence seemed to invade the town of Northampton.
Everywhere, in homes, in places of business, and on the streets, people seemed to be gripped with an awareness of God, of eternity, and of the danger of being outside of Christ. The Spirit of God worked so powerfully that, as Jonathan said, “there was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young, left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 57).
Without any special church growth emphases or human attempts to increase the attendance, the church in Northampton suddenly filled with those seeking salvation and with those experiencing the fruit of already being born again. Jonathan wrote,
Our public assemblies were then beautiful: the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly were in general from time to time in tears while the word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 57-58).
Sarah Impacted by the Awakening
Sarah was powerfully affected by the awakening. At times she was so overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit that she was unable to stand. At other times she was so conscious of the joyful presence of the Holy Spirit that, “I could scarcely refrain from leaping with transports of joy.”
This sort of dynamic experience of the Spirit’s presence moved her to act outside her traditional roles of wife and mother and exhort others concerning the things of God. She not only discussed Biblical and theological themes with her husband and visiting ministers, but at times exhorted members of the congregation out of the overflow of her own experience. For example, she tells of hearing a visiting minister lament that God’s children should be cold and lifeless in their faith. She said,
I felt such a sense of the deep ingratitude manifested by the children of God, in such coldness and deadness, that my strength was immediately taken away, and I sunk down on the spot. Those who were near raised me, and placed me in a chair; and, from the fullness of my heart, I expressed to them, in a very earnest manner, the deep sense I had of the wonderful grace of Christ towards me, of the assurance I had of his having saved me from hell, of my happiness running parallel with eternity, of the duty of giving up all to God, and of the peace and joy inspired by an entire dependence on his mercy and grace (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 63).
The revival brought extra responsibilities and pressures with many visitors to Northampton and numerous visiting ministers in the Edwards home. During one particular busy season she found it necessary to withdraw into solitude because of the dryness of her soul, and there she experienced God’s presence in a remarkable way and a fresh assurance of His eternal love for her. She wrote,
Melted and overcome by the sweetness of this assurance, I fell into a great flow of tears, and could not forbear weeping aloud. It appeared certain to me that God was my Father, and Christ my Lord and Savior, that he was mine and I his. Under a delightful sense of the immediate presence and love of God, these words seemed to come over and over in my mind, "My God, my all; my God, my all." The presence of God was so near, and so real, that I seemed scarcely conscious of anything else. I seemed to be lifted above earth and hell, out of the reach of everything here below, so that I could look on all the rage and enmity of men or devils, with a kind of holy indifference, and an undisturbed tranquility. At the same time, I felt compassion and love for all mankind, and a deep abasement of soul, under a sense of my own unworthiness. I also felt myself more perfectly weaned from all things here below, than ever before. The whole world, with all its enjoyments, and all its troubles, seemed to be nothing:--My God was my all, my only portion.
When the famous Methodist revivalist, George Whitefield, visited Northampton and preached in the church, it was not the revival that captured his attention, but the couple who hosted him. Being single and having entertained thoughts of remaining single all his life, his encounter with the Edwards changed all that and he began to pray that God would give him such a wife. After departing Northampton, he wrote,
A sweeter couple I have not yet seen. She [Sarah] talked feelingly and solidly of the things of God, and seemed to be such a help meet for her husband that she caused me to pray God, that he would be pleased to send me a Daughter of Abraham to be my wife.”
Moved, perhaps in part, by Sarah’s experiences, Jonathan (considered by many to be the greatest theologian/philosopher America has produced) developed views on gender that were obviously ahead of his time. His commentary on Eve being the “the mother of all living” has been construed by some scholars as an indication that he held “proto-feminist” views, and one writer has described him as being “genuinely committed to the promotion of gender equality.” The Edwards apparently reared their eight daughters with a sense of equality for one biographer, in describing the character of their daughter, Esther, said, “She was used to being taken seriously as the spiritual and intellectual equal of men” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 64).
Tragedy Strikes
Life was not at all easy for Sarah. In 1749 the congregation and community in Northampton turned against them because they would not adhere to the “Half-Way Covenant,” a policy adopted by Puritans in 1662 that offered partial church membership to those who could not testify to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, allowing them to participate in communion and have their children baptized. Harsh words and accusations were raised against them and they were forced to leave Northampton after twenty-three years.
Although obviously hurt by the rejection both remained positive and congenial toward their opponents; and in his farewell sermon Jonathan, after lamenting the broken ties, said,
Nothing remains, but that I bid you all farewell. I desire that I may never forget these people, who have been so long my special charge, and that I may never cease fervently to pray for your prosperity.
They moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts where Jonathan became the pastor of the church in that community and a missionary to the Housatonic Indian tribe.
Jonathan experienced an untimely death in 1758 shortly after accepting an invitation to become president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He travelled ahead to New Jersey to prepare a home for himself, Sarah, and the six children that were still at home. After arriving at the college, he took a smallpox vaccination in order to encourage others to do the same. Already in poor health, he contracted the disease and died shortly thereafter.
On his deathbed, Sarah was foremost in his thoughts and his final words were,
Give my kindest love to my dear wife and tell her that the uncommon union which has so long subsisted between us has been of such a nature as I trust is spiritual and therefore will continue forever.
Back in Massachusetts, Sarah received the news of Jonathan’s death and was devastated, but not in despair, because of her trust in the Lord. She wrote to her daughter Esther,
What shall I say: A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness that we had him so long. But my God lives; and He has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left to us! We are all given to God: and there I am and love to be.
Your ever affectionate mother,
Sarah Edwards
Their Legacy
The legacy of Sarah and her husband is remarkable. One grandson, Aaron Burr, served as the third vice-president of the United States under Thomas Jefferson. Another grandson, Timothy Dwight, became the president of Yale in 1795 and delivered a series of chapel lectures that helped spark the Second Great Awakening, which changed the course of the nation. One biographer noted,
The Edwards family produced scores of clergymen, thirteen presidents of higher learning, sixty-five professors, and many other persons of notable achievements. 
I am reminded of Isaiah 54:13-14, a promise from God to all those who put their trust in Him. And all your children [descendants] shall be taught of the LORD and great shall be the peace of your children [descendants].
Discovering the Beauty of Holiness
We live in a society in which beauty has been defined solely in terms of sexuality and physical features by a Hollywood culture of celebrity and entertainment. This understanding of beauty is out of touch with Scripture, which does not limit beauty to that which is physical, but defines it primarily in terms of character, particularly the character of God as it is revealed and expressed through His people.
This is what David refers to when he speaks of the beauty of the LORD (Psalm 27:4) and exhorts the people to worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2). David is enthralled with the excellences and perfection of God’s person and character. As we come to know the LORD in such a way and allow the beauty of His character to be expressed through us, this will be a light piercing the darkness and we too will serve Him and worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, ordained minister and founder of the "1726 Project" whose purpose is to reconnect America with her severed roots in the Great Awakening that tranformed Colonial America. The above article is derived in part from his books, 1726 and Pilgrims and Patriots.

2/09/2020

HOW UNCONTROLLED ANGER IS DESTROYING A ONCE GREAT POLITICAL PARTY



During the State of the Union address I, and millions of others, could not help noticing the glum, angry, vindictive faces and postures of the Democrat senators and Congress people. They refused to applaud, even at uplifting reports of American citizens, including minorities they claim to support, being lifted by the roaring Trump economy. Even the smallest expressions of common courtesy were nowhere to be seen.
Their Seething Anger
This was not something new, for their seething anger has been directed at this president from the day of his inauguration. They have accused him of being a Russian agent and have launched one investigation after another seeking to bring him down. He is regularly called a racist, a liar, mentally unbalanced, and “unfit” for the presidency. He has been burned in effigy and the so-called comedienne, Kathy Griffin, posted a photo of herself holding up a bloody facsimile of Trump’s severed head.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib walked out in the middle of the speech, saying the president’s mention of Brett Kavanaugh “triggered” her. You may recall that she is the woman who, after being elected to Congress in 2018, unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against the president in which she vowed to, “Impeach the %&*#%*.” It seems that not a single Democrat protested her vile speech.
The Democrats’ seething anger came to a boil with Speaker Pelosi ripping up the president’s speech in front of the cameras as he was making his final remarks. I had never seen anything like it in American politics.
The Nebuchadnezzar Lesson
The Bible is very clear that anger, allowed to fester and seethe, is self-destructive and opens the door to demonic intrusion. A clear example of this is Nebuchadnezzar and his seething anger toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego because they would not compromise their faith in God and bow before the image he had made.
Nebuchadnezzar called them in, gave them one more chance to bow, and threatened to throw them into a fiery furnace if they refused. They rejected his offer and in so many words informed the king that no matter what he did they were not going to bow to his image.
Nebuchadnezzar was enraged and had the furnace heated seven times hotter than normal. Now, why did he do that? A normal fire is going to kill them. It is the seething anger that causes him to act in a rash and irrational manner.
Interestingly, a common, Biblical Greek word for anger is orgè, from which we get English words such as “orgy” and “orgasm.” Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines orgè as “violent emotion, anger, wrath and indignation.”
In his orgè Nebuchadnezzar had the furnace heated seven times hotter and ordered his most valiant warriors to throw the three Hebrews into the burning furnace. Because of the intense heat, the Babylonian warriors were killed, but because of God’s protection Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not hurt.
A similar scenario has emerged through the Democrats three-year angry quest to remove this president from office. Trump was just acquitted of the impeachment charges and his approval rating is higher than it has ever been. The Democrats, on the other hand, seem to be severely damaged by this ordeal.
This is not to suggest that Trump and Republicans have been without fault in all of this. There is room for repentance on both sides, but it is obvious from what we saw at the State of the Union, and over the past three years, that it is the Democrats who have been caught up in an orgè of uncontrolled rage and anger.
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Wrath
Ephesians 4:26-27 says, Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. This passage is saying that anger, in and of itself, is not necessarily sin. Jesus got angry at the Pharisees and at the people who had turned God’s house into a house of merchandise. There is such a thing as “righteous indignation.” We must not, however, allow the anger to seethe and simmer.
In the passage of above, Paul exhorts, Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. His point is, when you get angry (and you will) don’t lose your cool and sin. However, if you do sin, be quick to repent. Deal with the anger before you retire for the night. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.
When you kneel by your bedside, turn it all over to God. Ask him to forgive you if you have sinned. Forgive the person who has wronged you and made you angry, knowing that God is a God of justice and He will make everything come out right. Let it go and move on with your life.
My Prayer for the Democrat Party
For the sake of America, I pray that God will help the Democrats to let go of their seething, irrational anger toward President Trump. By doing so, they will be doing themselves a favor and helping preserve their own future.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt does not identify as either a Republican or a Democrat, and he is convinced that the answer for America's ills is ultimately spiritual, not poltiical. He is the founder of the "1726 Project" whose goal is to spread the message of America's spiritual birth out of the Great Awakening and call on believers everywhere to pray for another Great Awakening across the land. Check out his latest book, 1726, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

2/04/2020

THE CHRISTIAN AWAKENING THAT ENDED SLAVERY IN AMERICA

Historians have noted that slavery, although practiced for thousands of years by many peoples and civilizations, suddenly became anathema in 18th century America. The late historians Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese observed, “Perception of slavery as morally unacceptable — as sinful — did not become widespread until the second half of the eighteenth century.”
Dr. Walter Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, has said that the unique characteristic of slavery in America was not only the brevity of its existence, but also the “moral outrage” against it. The brilliant scholar, Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written,
Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).
The Source of the Moral Outrage Against Slavery
There was a reason for this sudden moral opposition to slavery and that reason is to be found in what became known as The Great Awakening. In this Christian revival that ebbed and flowed from 1726 to 1770, it seemed that entire towns repented and turned to God. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin described the amazing transformation of his hometown of Philadelphia in 1739. He 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 without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 79).
Out of this revival there emerged a deep concern for the those who did not know Christ. As a result, many evangelists began taking the message of salvation to the marginalized of society, including blacks, both slave and free. Their ministries breached racial and cultural barriers and they saw many come to Christ. Black preachers and churches emerged out of this Awakening, as well as the moral outrage against slavery, which the historians above have noted.
From Evangelism to Social Transformation
At the beginning of the Great Awakening in 1726, outreach to the black populace was evangelistic in nature and not characterized by opposition to slavery. Those early preachers, such as George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennant, and Jonathan Edwards, saw their primary purpose to be in getting people ready for the next world, not necessarily improving their lot in this one. In their thinking, a slave on his way to heaven was far better off than a king on his way to hell.
Nonetheless, their insistence on sharing the Gospel with all people and their willingness to share Christian fellowship with blacks, both slave and free, breached racial and cultural barriers in Colonial America. Also, the inclusive Gospel message they preached, and their compassionate treatment of blacks, created a climate conducive to the anti-slavery sentiments that would burst forth through those who would come after them.
Indeed, the revivalists who came after Edwards and Whitefield carried the message of their predecessors to its logical conclusion: if we are all creatures of the same Creator and if Christ died that all might be saved, then how can slavery ever be justified?
They, therefore, began a vicious attack on the institution of slavery. This is what historian, Benjamin Hart, was referring to when he wrote, “Among the most ardent opponents of slavery were ministers, particularly the Puritan and revivalist preachers (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).
These "ardent opponents of slavery" included the followers of Jonathan Edwards who expanded on his idea of the essential dignity of all created beings and applied it to the blacks of Colonial America. They included Levi Hart in Connecticut, Edwards’ son, Jonathan Jr., also in Connecticut, Jacob Green in New Jersey and Samuel Hopkins in Rhode Island.
Showing the Hypocrisy of Demanding Liberty and Tolerating Slavery
Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), who had been personally tutored by Edwards, pastored for a time in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. Like Paul, whose spirit was “provoked” observing the idols in Athens, Hopkins was outraged by what he observed in Newport. He, therefore, began to passionately speak out against this "violation of God’s will” and declared, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).
After the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 1774, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to Great Britain and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the colonies.
Indeed, as “liberty” became a watchword throughout the colonies, these second-generation Awakening preachers began applying it to the enslaved blacks in America. Like Hopkins, they pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from Great Britain while enslaving black Africans. One of the most vocal was the Baptist preacher, John Allen, who thundered,
Blush ye pretended votaries of freedom! ye trifling Patriots! who are making a vain parade of being advocates for the liberties of mankind, who are thus making a mockery of your profession by trampling on the sacred natural rights and privileges of Africans (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).
The opposition to slavery thus mounted as other ministers of the Awakening began to speak out. For example, in a sermon preached and published in 1770, Samuel Cooke declared that by tolerating the evil of slavery, “We, the patrons of liberty, have dishonored the Christian name, and degraded human nature nearly to a level with the beasts that perish” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 93).
God Speaks to Freeborn Garrettson
Freeborn Garrettson (1752-1827), a revivalist from Maryland, freed his slaves after hearing God speak to him supernaturally. According to Garrettson, he heard the Lord say, “It is not right for you to keep your fellow creatures in bondage; you must let the oppressed go free.” Garrettson immediately informed his slaves that they did not belong to him and that he did not desire their services without giving them proper compensation.
Garrettson began preaching against slavery and advocating for freedom, which provoked intense opposition, especially in the South. One enraged slave-owner came to the house where Garrettson was lodging and swore at him, threatened him and punched him in the face. Garrettson did not retaliate but sought to reason with the man who finally gave up and left.
Garrettson took his message to North Carolina where he preached to black audiences and sought to “inculcate the doctrine of freedom in them.” His opposition to slavery was firmly rooted in the Gospel and he described a typical meeting with slaves in which,
Many of their sable faces were bedewed with tears, their withered hands of faith were stretched out, and their precious souls made white in the blood of the Lamb (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 95).
Garrettson also preached to southern white audiences and sought to convince them of the evils of slavery and that God’s will was liberty for all His creatures. In Delaware, Garrettson visited the Stokeley Sturgis Plantation and preached to both the slaves and the Sturgis family. He was able to convince Sturgis that slavery is a sin and Sturgis began making arrangements for his slaves to obtain freedom.
The Methodists Go on the Attack
In 1744, John Wesley (1703–1791) spoke publicly against slavery, declaring that, in God’s sight, blacks and whites are equal and that Christ died for all. Many Methodists in America, in both the North and South, picked up on Wesley’s call and became some of the leading abolitionists in America.
James O’Kelly (1735-1826), for example, faced physical attacks because of his bold, excoriating preaching against slavery. He painted slaveholding as a debilitating and demonic kind of sin. It was, he said, “A work of the flesh, assisted by the devil; a mystery of iniquity, that works like witchcraft to darken your understanding, and harden your hearts against conviction." 
Because of the bold preaching of evangelists such as Garrettson and O’Kelly, an anti-slavery movement gained momentum, even in the South. This movement faced intense opposition, as was the case in 1800 when Methodists in South Carolina circulated a petition calling for emancipation. A mob burned the handouts and dragged one of the Methodist preachers through the streets and almost drowned him in a well.
Despite the opposition, the movement for abolition continued to spread, impacting those from all stations and walks of life.
Richard Allen Founds the AME
One of the slaves who obtained his freedom from the Stokeley Sturgis Plantation was Richard Allen. Allen, who had been converted under the preaching of a Methodist preacher while still a slave, became a successful evangelist to both black and white audiences. In 1784, he preached for weeks in Radnor, Pennsylvania, to mostly white audiences and recalled hearing them say, “This man must be a man of God; I have never heard such preaching before” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 95-96).
Allen became close friends with Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence. As the Awakening waned, the Methodist Church in Philadelphia, of which Allen was a member, decided to segregate the congregation according to race. Allen and other blacks walked out. Rush came to their aid and assisted them in establishing their own congregation. They established Bethel Methodist Church out which came the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination. Allen later wrote,
Dr. Rush did much for us in public by his influence. I hope the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They were the two first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in. Here was the beginning and rise of the first African church in America (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).
Paul Strand, senior Washington D.C. correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, has called Allen, “America’s Black Founding Father.”
America’s Founders Are Impacted
The spiritual power of the Awakening and the moral arguments it produced against slavery were overwhelming. The pragmatic fruit emerging from the revival include the following:
1)    George Washington accepted free blacks into the Revolutionary Army resulting in one out of every eight soldiers being of African descent. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain.
2)       America’s founders purposely avoided using classifications of race or skin color in the nation’s founding documents. America’s founding documents are colorblind, even if her history has not been. This is why Dr. King, in his “I Have a Dream,” speech could say,
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
3)     Founders from the North, who had never owned slaves, took new and strong public stands against the institution. John Adams, for example, declared,
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” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).
4)      Confronted by the inconsistency of Christian faith with owning slaves, George Washington set in motion a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mount Vernon from slavery. He said,
I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle’ (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).
5)      As a result of the Awakening, an abolition movement arose and one of America’s Founding Fathers, Benjamin Rush, helped found the nation’s first abolition society in Philadelphia. Rush, a Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, also exhorted the ministers of America to attack slavery, saying, “While you enforce the duties of ‘tithe and cumin,’ neglect not the weightier laws of justice and humanity. Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 100-101).
5)       Even those founders who did not free their slaves, publicly admitted that it was wrong and sinful and would bring God’s judgement on the nation. It was in the context of the continuance of slavery after the Constitutional Convention that Thomas Jefferson wrote,
God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 125).
Although it would take a Second Great Awakening (ca. 1800- ca. 1830), a Great Prayer Awakening (1857-58), and a Civil War (1861-1865) to bring final closure, slavery’s end was sealed in that First Great Awakening that swept Colonial America. It was the Christian Awakening that ended slavery in America. 
America is in desperate need of another Christian Awakening. We ought, therefore, to heed the words of Samuel Adams (1722–1803), a passionate abolitionist, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and known as The Father of the American Revolution. While serving as governor of Massachusetts, he proclaimed April 2, 1795 to be a Day of Fasting and Prayer for both Massachusetts and America.
The words of that Proclamation reveal the profound depth of faith in America’s founding generation and shows how they saw their civil liberty tied to their faith in God. It reads in part:
Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, of every Denomination, with their respective Congregations, to assemble on that Day, and devoutly implore the Divine forgiveness of our Sins, To pray that the Light of the Gospel, and the rights of Conscience, may be continued to the people of United America; and that his Holy Word may be improved by them, so that the name of God may be exalted, and their own Liberty and Happiness secured (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 104).

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the founder of the "1726 Project" whose goal is to spread the message of America's unique birth out of the First Great Awakening and call on believers everywhere to pray for another Great Awakening across the land.