10/01/2022

WAS GEORGE WASHINGTON A CHRISTIAN NATIONALIST?

The Miami Herald recently published an editorial accusing Governor Ron DeSantis of "flirting with Christian nationalism" because he utilized a Biblical metaphor about “putting on the whole armor of God” during a speech at Hillsdale College. If the editors of the Miami Herald were so triggered by the governor’s passing allusion to Ephesians 6:11, heaven only knows how they would have reacted to George Washington. 

The term “Christian nationalism” is relatively new and is generally defined as “the attempt to merge Christian and American identities and thereby distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy.” Ironically, those who use it most seem to have little understanding of either the Christian faith or America’s constitutional democracy.

Consider George Washington

Upon taking command of the Colonial American Army in May of 1775, George Washington issued an order stating that each day was to begin with prayer led by the officers of each unit. He did this because he knew that without God’s blessing and favor, the Americans had no chance of defeating the mighty British war machine.

For the same reason, 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).

Against insurmountable odds, Washington led the ragtag American army to victory over the British. On the same day that General Cornwallis surrendered his entire force to him, Washington appointed an army chaplain, Rev. Israel Evans, to deliver a sermon to the troops. A massive crowd joined the assembled troops and Evans exhorted them all to give thanks to God, knowing their victory over the British was not the result of their own prowess and strength.

Washington later sent a letter, dated June 14, 1783, to the governors of the various states in which he urged them to make Jesus their role model for life. He exhorted that we ought 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).

What They Banned

It is obvious that Washington had no thought of banning expressions of faith from the public square. The same is true of all the Founders. What they banned in America was an official, state church like the nations of Europe.

In England, for example, the Anglican Church was the official state church and all others, such as the Pilgrims, were harassed, jailed, and exiled. In Germany, Lutheranism was the official state church, and all others were banned. In Italy and other European nations, Roman Catholicism was the state church and all other expressions of faith were forbidden.

Washington, by contrast, envisioned America as a land where there would be a free and open marketplace of religious ideas and expressions without government interference. This was the vision of all the Founders, which is why they instituted the First Amendment, which reads, “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion, nor hindering the free exercise thereof.”

The Big Lie

One of the biggest lies of America’s history is that the First Amendment secularized the American system of government and banned expressions of faith from government institutions. If that were the case, Washington and the other Founders never got the memo.

Washington, for example, insisted on taking the first presidential oath of office with his hand on a Bible. Then, in his inaugural address, which was filled with references to God and the Bible, he declared,

The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of right and order that Heaven itself has ordained (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots 2nd Edition, 175).

After the swearing-in ceremony, Washington and Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel for a worship service.

Neither Washington nor any Founder wanted to impose a particular church or sect on others. However, they all believed that only Christianity provided the intellectual and moral underpinnings for a stable and prosperous society. They, therefore, welcomed its influence everywhere. This is the basis on which John Adams, in a 1798 speech, declared,

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 168).

The phrase, “wall of separation,” which is often used by those on the political Left, is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a group of Baptists in which he referred them to the First Amendment and assured them that it guaranteed that they would not be persecuted for their faith as had been the case in the Old World. Jefferson’s “wall of separation” was obviously unilateral, in place to protect people of faith from the government, not to protect the government from people of faith. 

The Conclusion of the Matter

The Miami Herald’s response to Governor DeSantis’s quote of a Biblical passage is indictive of the hostility that has arisen in modern American culture toward people of faith. America’s Founders held no such hostility. Instead, they affirmed people and expressions of faith. The noted Catholic scholar, the late Michael Novak, was correct when he said,

Far from having a hostility toward religion, the Founders counted on religion [Christianity] for the underlying philosophy of the republic, its supporting ethic, and its reliable source of rejuvenation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 171).

This is why I and thousands of others are praying for another Great Awakening to sweep across the land, rejuvenating the faith of individuals and revitalizing the churches of America. Another such Awakening is the only hope for America.

If George Washington were here, he would surely say, “I approve this message!”

This article was derived from the book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents the impact of the Great Awakening on both the founding of America and the ending of slavery on this continent. It is available from Amazon and Dr. Eddie Hyatt's website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

9/25/2022

THE COMING REVOLUTION ON NOVEMBER 8

America’s founding generation took up arms to defeat tyranny so that you and I would not have to. At great personal sacrifice, they defeated the mighty British war machine and instituted a government wherein tyrannous leaders could be ousted peacefully--at the voting booth.

This is what the historian, Benjamin Hart, was referring to when he said, “The genius of the American system is that it has institutionalized revolution without bloodshed.” Indeed, every four years the American people have the option of peacefully overthrowing any government they deem tyrannous and unacceptable.

The next opportunity for a revolutionary change in the American government will come on November 8. If you are concerned about the direction in which the nation is headed, you can do something about it. Let your voice be heard. Make plans to vote November 8 and encourage every family member, friend, and neighbor to also vote.

Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” In other words, where the light does not shine, darkness prevails. When “we the people” are silent, evil gains the upper hand.

I also encourage you to begin now to pray, along with thousands of others, for another Great Awakening to roll like a giant tsunami wave across our land. Sincere, fervent prayers, accompanied by corresponding actions on November 8, will result in a dramatic turnaround for this nation.

Yes, I encourage you to join the “populist uprising” that is taking place by letting your light shine into every dark corner of our land, remembering Isaiah 60:1-3 where God promised,

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you. Gentiles will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the founder of the "1726 Project'" and this article is derived from his books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and Pilgrims and Patriots (2nd Edition), available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com

9/23/2022

THE KEY FOR RACIAL AND CLASS HARMONY IN MODERN AMERICA

A conversation between CNN host, Don Lemon, and British royalty expert, Hilary Fordwich, has gone viral after Fordwich turned the tables on Lemon’s question about royal reparations for slavery by pointing out that Great Britain fought to end slavery when it was still be practiced in Africa, the Middle East, and most of the world.

Her brilliant answer demonstrated that assigning social blame for slavery and other past sins is no simple task. Slavery has been practiced by many peoples and civilizations for all of recorded history. The unique characteristic of slavery in Great Britain and America was the moral outrage that arose against it and eventually led to its elimination.

Slavery Not Unique to America

Indeed, slavery had long been practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and most of the world when it was introduced to America in the 17th century, where it encountered fierce opposition. The noted Black scholar, Dr. Thomas Sowell, has written of this, saying,

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, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 9).

This turn against slavery was the fruit of a powerful anti-slavery movement that emerged out of the Great Awakening that transformed Colonial America, beginning in 1726. After 1750, these Awakening evangelists not only called sinners to Christ, but also proclaimed the sinfulness and evil nature of slavery.

America’s Founders Turn Against Slavery

So powerful was this abolition movement that by 1770, America’s Founders, even those who owned slaves, had begun taking public stands against slavery. By the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, virtually every Founder agreed with John Adams who said,

Every measure of prudence ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).

This turn against slavery was expressed in the founding documents they formulated, which contain no classifications based or race or skin color. Neither are the words “slave” and “slavery” anywhere to be found therein. Indeed, America’s founding generation understood the founding documents to be statements against slavery and abolitionists used them in their fight against that horrible institution.

The Founders believed that they had set the new nation on a course for the soon and complete elimination of slavery. They did not, however, anticipate the invention of the cotton gin nor that following generations would not follow through on the course they had laid out.

Those who have carefully studied history understand that slavery, Jim Crow, and racial segregation were not the vision of America’s founding fathers. Frederick Douglass, perhaps the greatest of the abolitionists, understood this.

Frederick Douglass Lauded America’s Founders

Douglas (1818–1895) lauded America’s founding documents in a July 4th speech in 1852. He referred to the U.S. Constitution as “a glorious liberty document” and praised the Declaration of Independence, saying,

The principles obtained in the Declaration of Independence are saving principles. Stand by those principles. Be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, whatever the cost.

He also spoke highly of America’s Founding Fathers, saying,

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too—great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men (Hyatt, Abolitionist FoundingFathers, 52).

We Need to Revisit Our Origins

The answer for class, political, and racial division in America today is not another government program or handout. There must be a return to the God of our founders, who turned to Him in their times of need. That is why there were at least 15 days of prayer and fasting proclaimed by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. It is why one of the most iconic paintings of that war is of George Washington on his knees in prayer.

It is why, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting in which he called on the nation to repent for personal and national sins and cry out to God for mercy. After this day of repentance and prayer there was an immediate change in the direction of the war. It soon ended, the slaves, were free, and the Union was preserved.

God has not changed and if He can find a core, remnant people who will fulfill the conditions of II Chronicles 7:14, there is no question that He will visit this land with another Great Awakening that will probably outshine all those that have gone before.

This article is derived from books by Dr. Eddie Hyatt entitled, Abolitionist Founding Fathers and 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

9/14/2022

AMERICA'S FIRST CHIEF JUSTICE GAVE SOME SHOCKING ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO VOTE

John Jay (1745-1829), America’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, gave some very direct advice about how to vote this November. That his advice will seem shocking to so many is only indicative of how far we have strayed, as a nation, from the mindset of America’s founding generation

Let Christian Morality Be Your Guide

Jay was a lawyer from New York, a member of the Continental Congress, and a passionate abolitionist. He was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

Held in very high esteem by his generation, George Washington appointed him to be the nation’s first Chief Justice of the newly formed United States Supreme Court. He served in this capacity from 1789 to 1795. He then served as governor of New York from 1795 to 1801 and was able to push through a law outlawing slavery in that state.

Jay was a devout Christian who believed Christian morality to be the only basis for a peaceful and prosperous nation. He was very open about his faith and 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!

Because the new nation was designed to be guided by “we the people” who would choose their leaders, Jay urged the people to be discreet in whom they chose. In 1812 he exhorted, 

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. National prosperity can neither be obtained nor preserved without the favor of Providence (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage 2nd Edition, 93).

One Party Has Rejected the Faith and Values of Our Founding Generation

In 2019 the Democrat National Committee (DNC), the governing body of the Democrat party, unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism. Not a single Democrat leader—neither Pelosi, Schumer, or Biden--has expressed opposition, or even concern, about this resolution.

Their silence is deafening and is a cause for great concern. Their lack of a moral compass means nothing is off limits in their amoral world where abortion is just fine right up to the time of birth and they see no problem in encouraging girls to identify as boys and in allowing boys, who identify as girls, to compete in girls' sports and use the girls' bathrooms and locker rooms. 

John Jay obviously would not vote for a modern Democrat, and neither would any other Founding Father. This does not mean that Republicans are saints. Far from it! Many of them are just as bad, but at least their party has not officially rejected God and Christian morality.

Vote and Pray

As we go to the polls this November, let us remember the words, not only of John Jay, but also of George Washington who said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Let us also recall the words of James Madison who said,

The belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that DefinedAmerica, 111).

So, this November, let us cast our votes for those candidates whose values are most compatible with those of America's founding generation. Let us also pray for another Great Awakening to sweep across this land, restoring morality and common sense from sea to shining sea. After all, as documented in my books, America’s Revival Heritage and 1726, it was the First Great Awakening (1726-70) that shaped the thinking of America’s founding generation and enabled them to create the freest and most prosperous nation in human history.

This article was derived from the books America’s Revival Heritage 2nd Edition and 1726: The Year that Defined America by Dr. Eddie Hyatt and available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com. Eddie is the founder of the “1726 Project” and is passionate about educating this generation about how America was birthed out of a great spiritual awakening. 

9/04/2022

ON THIS DAY IN 1774 THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS WAS LAUNCHED WITH BIBLE READING AND PRAYER



On September 5, 1774, George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and 52 other delegates from all 13 American colonies, except Georgia, gathered for a very solemn meeting at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, PA. They met to discuss how to respond to the tyranny of King George who was continuing to impose oppressive taxes and regulations on the colonists without any input from them. With protests erupting, especially in New England, they now faced a new and more serious threat.


Deciding to put down the protests with force, George had sent 6 regiments of British soldiers who had locked down the city of Boston and closed its port. Concern had spread throughout the colonies and in Virginia Thomas Jefferson called for a day of fasting and prayer in which he asked for all the people to, "Invoke the Divine interposition to give the American people one heart and one mind to oppose all transgressions against American rights" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 107). 

To one degree or another. the delegates had all been impacted by the Great Awakening. It is, therefore, not surprising that they decided to open their deliberations with prayer. Samuel Adams, a Puritan from New England, suggested they invite Rev. Jacob Duche, an Anglican minister of Philadelphia who was known as a man of deep piety and faith, to come and lead them in payer.

As the elderly, grey-haired Duche stood before the Congress, he began by reading the entire 35th Psalm, which powerfully impacted everyone present. It is a prayer of David for deliverance and begins with the words, Plead my cause O LORD with those who strive against me; fight against those who fight against me. The Psalm ends with praise for God’s deliverance.

After reading the Psalm, Duche began praying for the delegates and for the oppressed American states. His prayer was not politically correct for he prayed according Scripture and in the name of Jesus Christ, something many current public officials refuse to allow.

As Duche began praying, the Anglicans, such as George Washington and Patrick Henry, knelt according to their custom. The Puritans, according to their custom, sat with bowed heads and prayed. The Quakers, Presbyterians, and others prayed according to their own, unique customs.

But although their outward manners differed, there was a singleness of heart and purpose as they all united in prayer for God’s assistance and intervention for America. Duche lifted his voice in prayer, saying,

O Lord, our high and mighty Father, heavenly king of kings, and Lord of Lords, who dost from Thy throne behold all the dwellers of the earth, and reignest with power supreme over all kingdoms, empires, and governments. Look down in mercy we beseech thee on these our American states who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee they have appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support which Thou alone can give . . . Shower down upon them and the millions they represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting joy in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ Thy Son and our Savior. Amen (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 108).

This was America's founding prayer and it was recorded in the official proceedings of this First Continental Congress. John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, of the impact of the Bible reading and prayer on the delegates, saying,

Who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to heaven for divine interposition and aid. It was enough to melt a heart of stone. I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seems as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read that day. I saw tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave pacific Quakers of Philadelphia. I must beg you to read that Psalm (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 108).

Rev. Duche was then invited to be the chaplain for the Congress and begin each session with Bible reading and prayer. He agreed and this first Congress became a place where God's word and prayer in the name of Jesus were valued and given priority. 

Sadly, these historical facts have been censored from the secularized modern versions of America’s history. It is, therefore, vital that we restore them to the American public mind for as Carl Sandburg said, "When a nation goes down or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from, they lost sight of what had brought them along."

This is a reminder of where we have come from and what has brought us along.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.



8/26/2022

THE AMAZING REVIVAL THAT TRANSPIRED WHEN FREEBORN GARRETSON HEARD AND OBEYED THE VOICE OF GOD


Freeborn Garrettson (1752-1827), an evangelist from Maryland, freed his slaves after hearing God speak to him supernaturally, “It is not right for you to keep your fellow creatures in bondage; you must let the oppressed go free.” He immediately informed his slaves that they belonged to God, not to him, and that he did not desire their services without giving them proper compensation.
In addition to calling sinners of all races and classes to come to Christ, Freeborn now also called for the freedom of all slaves. His preaching provoked intense opposition, especially in the South, where he was physically attacked, but he never allowed opposition to deter his mission and message.
He would go to plantations and request permission to preach to the slaves, and he saw multitudes come to Christ. Concerning a meeting with slaves in North Carolina, he wrote, “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." He did not stop with salvation, but sought also to, “Inculcate the doctrine of freedom in them.”

Freeborn would also seek to convince slaveowners that slavery is evil and sinful. This was the case at the Stokeley Sturgis plantation in Delaware where he preached to both the slaves and the Sturgis family. He was able to convince Sturgis that slavery is an abhorrent sin in the sight of God and Sturgis began making arraignments for his slaves to go free.
One of the former slaves who went out from the Sturgis plantation was Richard Allen who became a very successful evangelist to both black and white audiences, breaking down racial and cultural barriers. He founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Philadelphia and became close friends with one of America’s most prominent Founding Fathers in that city. Allen has been called "America's Black Founding Father."

This all happened (and much more) because Freeborn heard and obeyed the voice of God. But he was just one of a large family of 2nd generation Great Awakening preachers who not only called the masses to Christ, but also attacked the institution of slavery as sinful and evil.

As documented in my book, 1726, their passionate preaching ignited an abolition movement that resulted in virtually every American founder turning against slavery at a time it was accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and most of the world. Their preaching was a direct cause of America's founding documents being colorblind, having no classifications based on race, class, ethnicity, or skin color.

Yes! Incredible things happen when people hear and obey the voice of God. Are we listening?
This article was derived from the book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and Dr. Eddie Hyatt's website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt is the founder of the "1726 Project" with the mission of educating the American populace about the nation's birth out of the First Great Awakening.

8/23/2022

IS THE MODERN CHURCH REPEATING PAUL'S MISTAKE IN ATHENS?

Have you noticed that there is no letter from Paul to the church in Athens? Even though he spent time there and spoke to a gathering of the city’s leading citizens and most prominent philosophers (Acts 17:19), Athens is never mentioned again by Paul or any other New Testament writer.

His preaching obviously had very little impact on the city of Athens. Understanding the reason, I believe, could help save many contemporary Christians from self-destruction and enable us to impact our generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Mistake in Athens

Some New Testament scholars believe that Paul preached a watered-down version of the gospel in Athens, which resulted in there being no power in his message. Luke recounts Paul’s sermon to the philosophers on the Areopagus in Acts 22:31. Interestingly, he quoted two pagan poets, but never mentioned Jesus, the cross, or His sufferings. The closest he gets to the gospel message is when he tells them of a “man” whom God had raised from the dead and by whom He would judge the world.

Paul was obviously disappointed in the results of his preaching in Athens, and he made a "determination" that he would never repeat that mistake. This is made clear in his first letter to the Corinthians where he reminded them that when he came to them the first time, I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Cor. 2:2).

Remember that Corinth is 50 miles from Athens and Paul visited Corinth for the first time after leaving Athens. This first letter indicates that Paul was not happy with his evangelistic approach in Athens and that he had done some deep soul searching during the 2 to 3-day journey from Athens to Corinth. He "determined" that he would not make the same mistake in Corinth.

The Power is in the Message

In this first letter to the Corinthians, Paul emphasizes the power of the message of the Cross of Christ and stresses the importance of guarding the essence and content of that message. For example, in 1:17 he says that Christ did not send him to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (NIV).

Do we hear what Paul is saying? He is saying that if we go too far in trying to make the gospel more cool, hip, and attractive to contemporary culture, we run the risk of preaching a message that has been emptied of its power. It seems that this is precisely what happened in Athens. Paul went too far in his effort to make the gospel acceptable to his Athenian audience and it resulted in him presenting a powerless gospel. That is why there is no “Epistle to the Church in Athens.”

Paul Decides to Stay on Message

Now, notice the change in Paul’s approach the next time he preaches, which is in Corinth. Although they too are Greeks and value wisdom and philosophy, we do not hear him quoting any of their philosophers. Instead, we hear him reminding them.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

The phrase when I came to you refers to his first visit to Corinth after being in Athens. In Athens he had not mentioned Jesus in his message at the Areopagus.  But now, arriving in Corinth, he is determined to preach nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified no matter how weak and foolish the message may sound to his audience.

God’s power was manifest through Paul’s preaching in Corinth and a powerful, if somewhat rowdy, Christian community was established. Interestingly, we have not one, but two letters to the church in Corinth and evidence that there was a third one. During his journey from Athens to Corinth, Paul obviously “purged” the message he had preached in Athens.

Let’s Allow God to Purge the Message

Some years ago, Sue and I attended an intensive, week-long seminar on world missions at Regent University. The discussions were very much centered on strategies and methodologies for completing and bringing closure to the Great Commission. 

After four days of lectures and discussions, someone suggested that we pray. Sue, being weary, rested her head on the table at which we were sitting, relieved that she could close her eyes and rest and no one would know the difference.

Suddenly and unexpectedly the Spirit of the Lord hit her like a bolt of lightning. She suddenly sat upright and began to weep and intercede in other tongues. It was so intense that she went into a hallway and walked back and forth weeping and praying in the Spirit.

I joined her along with one or two others and we continued to pray until the burden of prayer lifted. During the time of intercession Sue said she heard God saying, “You have been talking all week about strategies and methodologies for taking the gospel message to the world, but I am concerned about the message you are taking. I want to purge the message. I want it to be My message that you take to the world."

We Must Not Substitute Style For Substance

In the modern evangelical and charismatic churches, we tend to put more emphasis on style than substance. A flamboyant, entertaining style may become a substitute for a clear and pure gospel message. This can happen in both preaching and in what we call "worship." 

When I first read of the effect of Jonathan Edwards’ preaching on his audiences, I pictured him walking the aisles, shouting, and waving his arms like an old-time Pentecostal or modern charismatic preacher. After all, through his preaching, entire communities were transformed as the masses turned to God with weeping and deep, heart-felt repentance. 

I was shocked when I discovered that he wrote out all his sermons and then read them in a monotone voice without any physical movements or gestures, and never moving from behind the pulpit. Being nearsighted, he held his manuscript a few inches in front of his face as he read. It was not his style that produced such change; it was the substance of the message he preached.

I Corinthians 1:21b in the KJV reads, It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. This sounds as though Paul is referring to the act of preaching, but the Greek clearly bears out that it is not the act of preaching, but the message that is preached, that saves those who believe. The NIV has it correct by saying, It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

Martin Luther Discovered the Power of the Message

In Romans 1:16 Paul clearly states that the power to change lives is inherent in the gospel message itself. He wrote, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation . . ..

Martin Luther discovered this truth and it characterized his ministry. In his latter years, he was asked how he, a simple preacher and professor of theology, was able to have such success against such overwhelming odds, for both the Roman emperor and the pope had tried to silence him, without success. Luther’s answer affirms the fact that he had discovered the power that is inherent in the gospel message itself. He replied,

I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word; otherwise, I did nothing. The Word so weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing. The Word did it all (Hyatt, The Charismatic Luther, 29).

Let’s Preach His Message

There is no “Letter to the Church in Athens” for a reason. Paul preached a message there that was empty of power. Let us learn from his example and not make the same mistake in our day and time. If we will allow God to purge the message we preach, we could yet see another Great Awakening and this generation impacted by the real and powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.


Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, Bible teacher, and revivalist. He is the founder of the 1726 Project, which is dedicated to educating the American populace about the nation’s birth out of the First Great Awakening. He has written several books on this topic including, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and is website at www.eddiehyatt.com