6/30/2017

WHY WE MUST RECLAIM THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN VISION

In a meeting with Delaware Indian chiefs in 1779, George Washington commended them for their request that their youth be trained in American schools. He assured the chiefs that America would look upon them “as their own children” and then 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. This original vision was brought here by the Jamestown settlers of Virginia, the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England, the Baptists of Rhode Island, the Quakers of Pennsylvania and other Christian reform groups who were drawn to this land with a proactive vision burning in their hearts.
The Original American Vision
Indeed, the original American vision was for a land of individual liberty and a place from which the Gospel would be spread to the ends of the earth. America’s Founders were not shy in expressing this vision for they believed, that in this world, real freedom could only be realized in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This link between freedom and the Gospel was expressed by America’s second president, John Adams, just two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. In a letter to his cousin, Zabdiel, a minister of the Gospel, Adams wrote, “Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion [Christianity] and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles, upon which Freedom can securely stand” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 174).
Adams was not expressing anything new or novel for the idea of freedom rooted in the Gospel of Christ was a common American belief brought here by the very first European immigrants to this land. Consider the following quotes.
“From these very shores the Gospel shall go forth, not only to this New World, but to all the world.”
Rev. Robert Hunt, April 29, 1607, as he and the Jamestown settlers, who had just landed at Cape Henry, gathered in prayer around a large oak cross they had brought from England.
“Having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith . . . a voyage to plant the first colony in northern Virginia.”
From the Mayflower Compact, the governing document of the Pilgrims who formulated it upon their arrival in the New World in November of 1620.
“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.”
Opening statement of the Articles of Confederation for ‘The United Colonies of New England,” dated May 29, 1643. This confederation of New England towns and colonies was formed for mutual security and to arbitrate land disputes among the growing population.
“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.”
Benjamin Franklin in a 1756 letter to George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, in which Franklin proposed that they partner together in founding a Christian colony on the Ohio frontier.
“Pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known throughout the whole family of mankind.”
Samuel Adams, Founding Father and Governor of Massachusetts. This call to prayer was part of a proclamation for a Day of Prayer that he issued as Governor of MA in 1795.
“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.”
John Hancock, Founding Father, President of the Continental Congress and Governor of Massachusetts. This statement was part of a call for prayer he issued while Governor.
“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.”
James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and America’s fourth president, voicing his opposition in 1785 to a bill that he perceived would have the unintended consequence of hindering the spread of the Gospel.
“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.”
Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president, who took money from the federal treasury to send missionaries to an American Indian tribe and to build them a chapel in which to worship.
 “Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ.”
From a public prayer prayed by George Washington, America first president.
No Real Liberty Without the Gospel
It is obvious from the above quotes that America’s Founders believed freedom and Christianity to be inextricably linked. They 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).
Recovering the Truth About the First Amendment
The day after approving the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion or hindering the free exercise thereof,” 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 that time. Instead of banning faith from the public square, as many moderns suppose, they created a free and open marketplace for religious ideas.
They were not concerned about false religion getting the upper hand in such an open setting for they believed in the power of the Gospel and 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.
By instituting the First Amendment, the Founders were rejecting the model begun by Constantine in which civil government sets forth and defends a certain church, religious expression or point of view. In their thinking, only those who do not have confidence in the message they proclaim would insist on such an alignment with the civil government.
The Founders believed in the inherent power of Christian truth, 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
It is time for this generation to rise up and reject the Lie of the Left that the First Amendment bans expressions of faith in the marketplace. It is time to realize with the Founders that true freedom and happiness can only be found in Jesus Christ. It is time to learn from the Founders that faith and freedom go together like hand and glove, and the loss of one inevitably leads to the loss of the other. It is time for this generation to recover the original American vision.


This article is derived from Eddie Hyatt’s book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website, www.eddiehyatt.com. At his website, you can also check out his vision for America and another Great Awakening.

6/25/2017

THE SURPRISING SOURCE OF AMERICAN LIBERTY, AND WHAT WE MUST DO TO PRESERVE IT

The word “liberty” burned in the hearts of those who were part of America's founding generation. More than any other word it defined their hopes and aspirations. That is why we have the “Liberty Bell” and the “Statue of Liberty.” That is why Patrick Henry cried out, “Give me liberty or give me death.” It is why Abraham Lincoln, in his famous Gettysburg Address, described America as having been “conceived in liberty.”
This promise of American liberty has attracted to these shores masses of people from all over the world, and continues to do so. But why did it happen here? Why did it not happen in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or China? Was it a mere happenstance of fate that this liberty came forth in America at the time it did?
The truth is that American liberty was the purposeful outcome of America’s Founders. American liberty was created from a definitive worldview that provided the moral and intellectual underpinnings for such liberty. Without that moral and philosophical foundation, American liberty cannot long survive.
Psalms 11:3 asks, When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The answer is that the righteous in American must rediscover the foundation of our liberty and restore that righteous foundation to our culture. Otherwise, we are in grave danger of losing the very liberty for which so many have sacrificed, fought and died.
Searching for the Source
The intellectual and moral underpinnings for American liberty did not come from the Enlightenment, as is commonly taught. Enlightenment ideology produced the bloody and chaotic French Revolution with over twenty thousand being executed because they were considered enemies of the new regime. Historian, Benjamin Hart, says, “The French Revolution is a grim example of how people behave when they are unchecked by a sense of religious obligation. (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 169).
Neither could Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism or Anglicanism provide the necessary ideology for such liberty. They were all caught in the Constantinian trap wherein church had been merged with the state and the church used the power of the state to enforce its doctrines and practices.
This use of force in matters of faith began with Constantine and one hundred years later was given theological justification by the great church father from North Africa, Augustine. The use of the sword in matters of faith thus became an accepted modus operandi for the church during the medieval period. And with the masses cut off from the Scriptures, there were only limited protests that were quickly crushed.
Martin Luther struck a blow for freedom of conscience and religious liberty when at his trial for heresy he boldly resisted demands that he retract his teachings, declaring that “it is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against the conscience.” He went on to say, “My conscience is bound in the word of God, and I cannot and will not recant anything” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 16).
Luther, however, after being condemned as a heretic, needed the protection of the powerful German Prince Frederick to keep from being arrested and executed for heresy. This dependence on the civil authority then led to Lutheranism becoming the official church of Germany. This meant that in Germany Lutheranism was upheld and imposed on the populace by the German princes.
In England, Anglicanism was upheld and imposed by the British monarchs. Even in John Calvin’s city-state of Geneva there was an unhealthy intertwining of the church and civil authority. Those who dissented from the “official” form of worship and doctrine in these countries, just like in Catholic countries, were harassed, persecuted and even put to death.
Identifying the Source
The intellectual and moral force for American liberty was provided by the most radical elements of the Protestant Reformation—the Anabaptists, Separatist Puritans, Quakers, and English Baptists. Hart says,
It was Protestants of the most radical stripe, most zealous in their religious convictions (those whom the America Civil Liberties Union would like to see outlawed from the public discourse) who were in fact the greatest proponents of religious liberty as codified in America’s governing charter 200 years later (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 66-67).
These groups were most passionate in their desire to recover and live out the Christianity of Jesus and the New Testament. With the invention of the printing press and the Bible now more accessible, they  discovered that no basis for the use of force was to be found in the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. They, therefore, vehemently opposed the use of civil power to impose doctrine and modes of worship on the people.
These “Radical Reformers,” as George Williams, late Professor of Church History at Yale, called them, insisted that the state should have no role in matters of faith and individual conscience. No one, they insisted, should be forced to act against their sincerely held religious convictions.
They pointed out that this unbiblical use of force in matters of faith had begun with Constantine and his marriage of the church with the state. They insisted that this ungodly marriage had created a corrupt and false church that relied on the power of the state rather than the power of the gospel message for its existence and expansion.
This Radical Reformation began in Switzerland but soon spread throughout continental Europe where its proponents became known as "Anabaptists," a derogatory term used by their opponents, meaning “those who rebaptize.” These Anabaptists then influenced other groups such as the Separatist Puritans, Quakers and Baptists.
The Remarkable Influence
In his writings on the Radical Reformation, Williams emphasizes the influence these groups had on the thinking of Western civilization, particularly in the areas of individual freedom and religious liberty. He wrote,
The whole Western world, not only the direct descendants of the Continental Anabaptists, not alone even the larger Protestant community, but all who cherish Western institutions and freedoms, must acknowledge their indebtedness to the valor and the vision of the Anabaptists who glimpsed afresh the disparities between the church and the world, even when the latter construed itself as Christian (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 58-59).
America’s Founders, to one degree or another, were all impacted by the ideals of the Radical Reformers. It is clear from Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography that both his parents and grandparents, whom he calls “dissenting Protestants,” were part of this Radical Reformation. His father, who was  a devout Christian, fled to America to escape persecution from the national, state church in England.
Separatist Puritans settled New England, Baptists settled Rhode Island and Quakers settled Pennsylvania. All shared the radical ideas of individual liberty, especially in matters of faith, and that the role of the civil government was to protect everyone’s freedom without any show of favoritism.
Virginia was initially settled by Anglicans and Anglicanism was made the official church of Virginia. However, the radical ideas of liberty made great inroads into Virginia so that Thomas Jefferson would say that by the time of the American Revolution three-quarters of Virginia’s population were “dissenting Protestants" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 56).
The Influence of John Locke
The Founders were also helped in this regard by the well-known Enlightenment philosopher, John Locke, whom they often quote. What many do not realize, or choose to ignore, is that Locke was born of Puritan stock and was profoundly influenced by Separatist Puritan ideals of individual liberty.
Locke, who was a devout Christian, argued for a government that allows a free and open marketplace of religious ideas. Christianity, being true, would always prevail in such a free and open marketplace, he insisted. He agreed with 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.
Locke insisted that if Christians forced their faith on others, they committed a great offense against Almighty God. Only an un-coerced religious commitment could be genuine and authentic. Religious toleration was, therefore, the best way for non-Christians to be won to Christ.
This radical sort of thinking about liberty, tolerance and the power of Christian truth was predominant in the thinking of the Founders. Jefferson’s statement on this matter shows the influence of both Locke and the Radical Reformers. He 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.
Seeing the First Amendment in Context
When, therefore, the Founders wrote the First Amendment they did so in light of the ideals of individual liberty that had their source in the “dissenting Protestants,” or "Radical Reformers," as they are also called. They were not banning Christain influence from government; they merely did not want Congress to ever establish a national, state-supported church like the nations of Europe. 

This ideal of religius liberty, as expressed in the First Amendment, instead of choking religious expression, removed all such hindrances. That the First Amendment has nothing to do with banning religious expression was demonstrated by the fact that the day after instituting the First Amendment those same Founders issued a proclamation for a national day of prayer. 
Yes, the First Amendment that declares, "Congress shall make not law concerning the establishment of religion nor hindering the free exercise thereof," comes directly from the "dissenting Protestants." This is why John Adams, America’s Second President, would declare, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 172-73).
George Washington’s Warning
In his Farewell Address after serving two terms as America’s first President, George Washington warned the young nation to guard the foundations of liberty that had been laid by the Founders. Interestingly, these “indispensable supports,” as he called them, are under attack on multiple fronts in our nation today.
When Washington and all the Founders use the word “religion” they are using it in a positive way to refer to Christianity. Notice that there is no hesitance on Washington’s part in laying out the vital role of Christian faith for America’s happiness and success. He said,
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion [Christianity] and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 169-70).
Washington says that religion [i.e., Christianity] and morality are indispensable supports for political prosperity, and he warns against the supposition that morality could be sustained without Christianity. In other words, he warns against any attempt to separate God from the state; that is, against trying to secularize the American political system.
Washington did not want a civil government dictating in matters of faith, but neither did he want a secularized government devoid of the positive and healing influences of the Christian faith. He knew the Christianity of the New Testament to be the source for the moral and intellectual underpinnings of American liberty.
Stand Fast in the Source of Our Liberty
The ideals of the Radical Reformers won the day. Today all Christian groups, Catholic and Protestant, have embraced the idea of individual freedom of conscience in matters of faith and worship. Both Catholic and Protestant now reject the use of force in matters of faith and believe the church should be completely free from the state.
This, however, is the area where Islam is incompatible with the American system for Islam is not just a religion, but also a political system with its own laws (Sharia), judiciary and system of enforcement. State and religion are merged in Islam, which is why individual and religious liberty are curtailed or nonexistent in Islamic nations.
In Galatians 5:1, Paul issued a warning to his converts in Galatia who were being seduced away from the liberty they had found in Christ. He exhorted, Stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has made you free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Paul’s warning is very appropriate for contemporary America, for American liberty has its ultimate source in the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament. John Adams, America’s second president, understood this. In a letter to his cousin, composed two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, he wrote,
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).
What Can We Do?
The secularization of America and the ongoing attacks on everything Christian, if left unchecked, will lead to a complete loss of the liberty known by our parents and grandparents. The Founders understood this and left ample warnings.
What can we do? We, as followers of Christ, must be politely uncompromising in our faith. We must be salt and light to this generation. And we must pray for God to send another Great Awakening across this great land. 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. To contact him about a speaking engagement, send an email to dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.

6/10/2017

WHY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WOULD HAVE SOME CHOICE WORDS FOR BERNIE SANDERS

Bernie Sanders’ anti-Christian rant on the Senate floor highlighted and underlined how far the Left is removed from America’s founding. In case you haven’t heard, Sanders grilled Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for second in command at the Office of Management and Budget, over Vought’s Christian faith.
Sanders found a quote wherein Vought said, in effect, that Muslims do not know God because He can only be known through Jesus Christ. Sanders found this repulsive to his politically correct, multi-cultural secularist mindset.
After angrily interrogating Vought concerning his faith, Sanders declared, “I would simply say, Mr. Chairman, that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about."
Contrary to Sanders, Vought is exactly what this country is supposed to be about. Not a single American founder would have found Vought’s statement objectionable. The most nonreligious among them would defend Vought’s right to make such a statement.
Benjamin Franklin’s Desire for a Christian Society
Take, for example, Benjamin Franklin, whom we are told was a Deist who did not believe in the God of the Bible. Nonetheless, in 1756 Franklin wrote a letter to his friend, George Whitefield, and proposed that they found a new Christian colony on the Ohio frontier (Hyatt, Pilgrims andPatriots, 164-65).
It is significant that Franklin did not make such a proposal to Tom Paine, who was also a friend, or any other “liberal” individual. He made the proposal to Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, who was totally committed to the Bible and to Jesus Christ as the only way to God and salvation.
Franklin presented this proposal to Whitefield because he (Franklin) was totally convinced that only Christian faith and values could provide the ethical and moral basis for a stable and prosperous society. He stated this on many occasions by both his words and actions.
When, for example, the well-known Deist, Thomas Paine, sent him a manuscript copy of a book he had written challenging the idea of a providential God and other aspects of orthodox Christianity. Franklin refused to print the book, and in very strong language, he urged Paine not even to allow anyone else to see it. He wrote,
I would advise you, therefore . . . to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 142).
The Puritan Christianity in which Franklin was reared, and which was revived in the Great Awakening, emphasized honesty, industriousness and responsible behavior. These were the characteristics Franklin wanted in the people who would populate the proposed colony. In his own words, he wanted an “industrious and religious [Christian]" people.
Franklin also had a missionary vision for this Christian colony. He suggested to Whitefield that such a colony would facilitate the spread of “pure religion” among the native people of that region. Since he is writing to Whitefield, it is obvious that the “pure religion” of which Franklin speaks, and wishes to propagate, is the fiery evangelical revivalism of Whitefield. 
Franklin’s Vision Fulfilled
Although time and circumstances did not allow the implementation of this vision, I suggest that Franklin’s vision of a Christian colony did not die but was fulfilled on a much larger scale. In 1776, twenty years after writing this letter to Whitefield, Franklin and fifty-five others signed the Declaration of Independence and brought forth a new nation based on Christian principles and values.
Eleven years later, at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Franklin, now an old man of 81, clearly revealed that his Deism was a thing of the past. He called the delegates to prayer and reminded them how they had had daily prayer in that room during the war. He quoted from the words of Jesus and went on to say, “Our prayers were heard and were graciously answered” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 143-44).
Franklin’s reason for calling the convention to prayer was that he believed in the prayer-answering God of the Bible. Addressing the convention president, George Washington, Franklin quoted Psalm 127:1, saying, “We have been assured sir in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 144).
Franklin's Life a Testament Against the Views of the Liberal Left
Yes, Benjamin Franklin, America’s nonreligious founder, is a living testament to how far removed Bernie Sanders is from America’s founding. Franklin would abhor Sanders' anti-Christian rant  and have some choice words for him as he did for Tom Paine.
Although it is still debated whether Franklin ever became a born-again, evangelical Christian, there is no room for debate over the fact that he believed Christian principles and values absolutely necessary for a stable and prosperous nation. 
That is why Franklin had no problem with the words of one of the nation’s obvious “religious” founders, Patrick Henry. Henry, famous for his “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” speech, declared, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 135).
Concluding Thought
It is time for Christians in America to come out of the closet and stand for truth and righteousness. It is the right thing to do! It is the American thing to do! 
As I document in my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, America was birthed out of a Great Spiritual Awakening that transformed the 13 colonies and impacted Franklin, and all the founders, to one degree or another. It is time for another such Awakening, for only then will the America of Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and Lincoln survive the present onslaught of destructive ideologies and false religions. 

This article is derived from Eddie Hyatt's books, Pilgrims and Patriots and The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, both available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehhyatt.com.

5/18/2017

IS THE AMERICAN CHURCH VULNERABLE TO "FAKE" REVIVAL?

There have been great revivals without great preaching. There have been great revivals without great singing. But there has never been a great revival without great praying.
Jonathan Edwards, the pastor and theologian of the Great Awakening in New England, was not a great preacher. In fact, most people reading this essay would not cross the street to hear him preach.
The Key to the Great Awakening
Edwards would write out his sermons word for word and then stand stationary behind the pulpit and read them without moving or making any physical gestures. Being nearsighted, he held the manuscript close to his face and read in a monotone voice, never raising or lowering his voice.
When he read his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” at the Congregational Church in Enfield, Connecticut, there was no praise band, gospel choir or worship team to stir the crowd. Yet, as he began reading his sermon, the Holy Spirit was poured out in great power. Hell was made so real that Edwards’ voice was drowned out as the people cried out to God for mercy and salvation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 82-83).
Some were so stricken with the reality of hell that they gripped the back of the bench in front of them as if to keep from dropping into hell at any moment. Others, leaping from their seats, wrapped their arms around the pillars in the church as they cried out to God for His mercy and forgiveness.
The impact of this message, which was printed and spread throughout the Colonies, was not in the preaching but in the praying that preceded it. Before going to the pulpit and presenting this message, Edwards had spent eighteen hours in prayer, pleading with God, “Give me New England or let me die.”

New England was transformed without great preaching. Entire towns repented and turned to God without great singing. There was, however, great praying. Edwards and others prayed the price necessary for genuine, authentic revival.
A Big Charismatic Mistake
Edward’s example demonstrates how too often in the modern charismatic movement we have mistakenly associated revival with religious hype or a certain style of ministry. We have tended to measure the anointing by the decibel count, rather than by changed lives. And this is the point where the modern charismatic movement is vulnerable to fake revival.

R.A. Torrey was an associate of D.L. Moody, the first president of Moody Bible Institute and a successful revivalist in his own right. He was addressing this issue when he wrote,
The most fundamental trouble with most of our present-day, so called revivals is, that they are man-made and not God sent. They are worked up (I almost said faked up) by man’s cunningly devised machinery—not prayed down (Hyatt, Revival Fire, 114-15).
You Can Fake It
Several years ago, Sue and I were ministering in Florida and from there we drove up the east coast to Sue’s home province of New Brunswick in eastern Canada. Since we would be passing through many of the towns impacted by the First Great Awakening, I decided to make it a prayer drive in which I would seek the Lord concerning another Great Awakening in our land.
We were three days making this 1800-mile journey, and when it was complete there was one clear message lodged in my heart. “REVIVAL IS FROM THE LORD; YOU CAN FAKE IT, BUT YOU CAN'T MAKE IT.”
In other words, true revival cannot be worked up; it can only be prayed down.
The Key to Authentic Revival
To avoid fake revival, we must allow God to purify our motives. We must seek the Lord, as God said in Amos 5:4, Seek the LORD and you shall live. This means that we seek Him for who He is, not just for what we think we can get from Him.
To “seek the Lord” means that we put His interests ahead of our own. We realize that He is the center of the universe, not us. We seek to know His heart and plan, not just tell Him about ours.
I believe that God is even now calling for a remnant in America, and every nation, that will lay aside selfish pursuits and truly seek Him. He is looking for a people who are no longer seeking importance, prominence or dominance, but only desire to see His kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven. Such people God will use to change the course of American and world history.


Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt has a commission to call the church to seek the LORD and pray for another great Spiritual awakening. His book, Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents how America was birthed out of the First Great Awakening, is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

5/03/2017

A NATION BIRTHED IN PRAYER

The Historical Roots of Our National Day of Prayer

Thursday May 4 is The National Day of Prayer. This National Prayer Day, that was once proclaimed by presidents and the U.S. Congress, has its roots in America’s founding when national days of prayer and fasting were a part of the American culture.
The Praying Pilgrims
When the Pilgrims, who landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts in November 1620, decided to relocate to the New World, they set aside “a day of solemn humiliation” to seek the Lord’s blessing and guidance before their departure on July 22, 1620.
They began the day with their pastor, John Robinson, exhorting them from Ezra 8:21, which reads, “Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones.”
After this exhortation, the rest of the day was spent, in the words of William Bradford, “In pouring our prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 24).
The Pilgrims were a praying people and they met the challenges of their new wilderness home with constant prayer and by also setting aside special days for prayer and seeking God. Their practice of setting aside special days for prayer and fasting was carried on by their descendants who carried it throughout the Colonies.
Spreads to Pennsylvania
The power of this prayer tradition was demonstrated in 1741 when Benjamin Franklin proposed a day of prayer and fasting to pray for God’s protection over Pennsylvania during a time of crisis when Britain was at war with Spain and Philadelphia sat unprotected.
Franklin, who claimed to be a Deist in his early years, admitted that he had learned about such prayer as a result of being brought up in a Puritan home in New England where they had annual days of prayer and fasting. His proposal was approved and on the appointed day all of Pennsylvania, including government officials, filled the churches and spent the day in prayer and seeking God.
Prayer and a Great Awakening
Following on the heels of a spiritual decline, a new emphasis on prayer emerged in the early 18th century with many churches setting aside days for prayer and seeking the Lord. One pastor pointed out, that in addition to these special times of prayer set by the churches, “There were annual fast days appointed by the government” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 75).
Out of this prayer awakening came the First Great Awakening, with entire towns repenting and turning to God. Prayer was once again heard in churches, homes and places of business. Benjamin Franklin described Philadelphia in 1739 as a place where the voice of prayer could be heard coming from houses on every street (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 102).
This meant that at the time of the American Revolution, the people of Colonial America were a praying people. The Continental Congress was a praying congress; the American Army was a praying army and its commander-in-chief was a praying man.
A Praying Congress and a Praying Army
When the First Continental Congress convened on September 5, 1774, its first order of business was an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. This was no formal prayer but a sincere time of lifting their hearts to God with many on their knees and many tears being shed. John Adams wrote, “Who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to heaven for divine interposition and aid” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 122).
This praying Congress asked George Washington to become commander-in-chief of the American army. Upon accepting this call, Washington issued a directive forbidding all profanity and drunkenness and ordering that each day begin with prayer led by the commander of each unit.
Washington 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” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 128).
A Nation Prays
During the seven years of war, Congress issued no less than fifteen calls for prayer, repentance and fasting. The Proclamation of 1779 urged the nation “humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God” to ask “that He would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion [Christianity] and virtue.”
They saw answers to their prayers. In fact, the Congress also issued a proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving in 1779, “because it hath pleased Almighty God . . . remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in her struggle for liberty.” The Congress then listed seven different accomplishments of God on behalf of the nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 124).
A Nation Birthed in Prayer Must be Sustained by Prayer
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 Benjamin Franklin reminded the delegates how that during the war they had engaged in daily prayer in that same room. Addressing the convention president, George Washington, he then said, “Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 144).
After the surrender of the British General Howe, 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. This letter included his “earnest prayer” that is here quoted in part. 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, Pilgrims and Patriots, 133-34).
Yes, America was birthed in prayer! And a nation birthed in prayer cannot be sustained by government bureaucrats, slick politicians and an ego-centered Christianity.
America and the world are facing dire consequences and the only thing that will save us is a true turning to God and our roots of fervent, sincere prayer that is rooted in a deep and sincere faith in God.

This article was derived from Eddie Hyatt’s groundbreaking book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com,



4/09/2017

NEIL GORSUCH AND THE CHRISTIAN HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT

When Neal Gorsuch was sworn in as the 113th justice of the United States Supreme Court, he became part of an august judicial body with an overt Christian history—a history the secularists would like to obliterate.
Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic and attends an Episcopalian church, has indicated that his faith in God is very important to him. In this he stands in harmony with Antonin Scalia, whom he has replaced, and a long tradition of the Court going back to the Founders.
The First Chief Justice
The first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Jay, was a devout Christian. He was one of the authors of The Federalist Papers and also served as president of the Continental Congress from 1778-79. In 1789, George Washington appointed him as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a post he held until 1795 when he resigned to serve as Governor of New York.
Jay, like the entire founding generation, saw no conflict between his faith and his duties as Chief Justice. He once publicly declared,
Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son. Blessed be His holy name.
The Second Chief Justice
John Marshall (1755-1835) succeeded John Jay as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Many consider him to be the greatest Chief Justice the Court has known. He served in this capacity for 34 years, and during that time, he heard cases and offered groundbreaking opinions that continue to guide the Supreme Court and the United States government today.
In one of his writings, Marshall clearly states what every Founder assumed—that the founding documents and institutions on which the nation was formed presuppose a commitment to Christian principles and values. He wrote,
No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion in the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. . . . The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not refer to it, and exhibit relations with it (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 166).
That Marshall saw no problem with expressions of faith in government is demonstrated by the fact that he ordered the Supreme Court facilities to be made available to a congregation for their Sunday gatherings. So each Sunday, the singing of Christian hymns and the preaching of God’s Word could be heard ringing through the chambers of the United States Supreme Court.
Justice Joseph Story
Joseph Story (1779-1845) served as a Supreme Court justice for thirty-four years from 1811-1845. He is particularly remembered for his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first published in 1833. This work is considered a cornerstone of early American jurisprudence and remains a critical source of historical information about the forming of the American republic and the early struggles to define its law.
Like the Founders, Story believed that Christianity provided the values and philosophical presuppositions necessary for a stable and prosperous nation. He pointed out that the First Amendment was not a ban on faith in government, nor did it indicate an indifference to Christianity by the Founders. He wrote,
We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference in religion, and especially to Christianity, which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 152-53).
America Declared a Christian Nation
In the 1892 case of “Church of the Holy Trinity vs The United States,” the United States Supreme Court declared America to be a Christian nation. This ruling came after examining thousands of documents related to America’s origins and history. In its ruling the Court declared,
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian . . . From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth that this is a Christian nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 167).
This clear statement, made by the nation’s highest Court, was based on historical precedent going all the way back to the nation’s founding. Precedent is on our side.
Antonin Scalia
The justice Gorsuch has replaced, the late Anonin Scalia, understood this. Because he knew American history, Scalia saw no conflict between his faith and his duties as a Supreme Court justice.
Scalia made it clear that he was guided in life and on the bench by his Christian faith and he encouraged others to be bold in their faith. Speaking to a Christian conference, he exhorted those present to be willing to be “fools for Christ.” He said,
God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would consider Christians as fools . . . and he has not been disappointed. If I have brought any message today, it is this. Have the courage to have your wisdom considered as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.
The Key to a Happy Nation
Let us, therefore, pray that Neal Gorsuch and other Christians on the Court will not be intimidated concerning their faith in God. Let us also pray that the nation’s highest Court will be filled with devout followers of Christ, for only when the righteous are in authority can we have any hope of being a happy nation.
This is what George Washington had in mind when he wrote in 1783 to the governors of the young nation and exhorted them, saying,
Let us demean ourselves with that charity, humility and 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 cannot hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 134).

This article is derived in part from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents how America was birthed out of a great spiritual awakening. From this book, he has developed a power point presentation that documents the radical Christian roots of America's origins and inspires faith for another Great Awakening. For bookings and more information, visit his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.