6/10/2021

A "POPULIST UPRISING" IS COMING TO AMERICA

A few weeks ago, the phrase “Populist Uprising” was impressed on my mind. Since it is not a phrase that I use, I looked up “populist” and found that it refers to the people—to common, everyday people. I then knew that “uprising” referred to the common, everyday people rising up and letting their voices be heard. From that moment I knew that a “Populist Uprising” was coming to America.

A Government of "We the People"

The U.S. Constitution begins with the words, “We the people.” At the Constitutional Convention, the Founders saw themselves as working on behalf of the people they represented. They envisioned a nation governed, not by monarchs, oligarchs, or professional politicians, but by the people through their elected representatives and by making their voices heard in all sorts of public venues.

Because they wanted a government of the people, the Founders instituted the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, to protect the rights of the people. The First Amendment guarantees, not only freedom of religion, but also freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble, and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 

The Founders instituted the freedoms necessary for "we the people" to make our voices heard.

We Must Break the Silence

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

It is time for people of good faith to arise and let their voices be heard. I am not talking here about a political uprising, but an uprising of godliness, morality, and truth. It is what Jesus called "letting our light shine." 

We can begin by praying for another Great Awakening across our land. A strong moral and Christian presence is necessary for maintaining our Constitutional freedoms, for as John Adams said,

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inaequate for the government of any other. (Hyatt, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 64).

We Must Return to the Old Paths

Each new generation likes to think that wisdom and virtue has begun with it. In so many cases, the opposite is true, as is the case in America today and was the case in Israel during the time of Jeremiah the prophet.

During a time of moral decline, social unrest, and enemies at their gates, God gave Israel the answer through Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 6:16, the prophet declared to King Josiah and all the people,

Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.

Just as Israel, in the time of Jeremiah, had strayed from the good way that had produced peace and prosperity, America has strayed from the way that made her, perhaps, the freest and most prosperous nation in history.

The new “woke” philosophies of transgenderism, the “1619 Project,” and Critical Race Theory are dividing and destroying this country. We must return to the “old paths”—to those founding principles that made America great. 

"We the people" must rise up and take a stand for commonsense, righteousness, and truth.

It’s Time to Stand for Truth

In my latest book, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, I show how both Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. based their fights for abolition and racial justice on the “old paths” laid out by America’s founders. America’s founders were impacted by a "Great Awakening" and turned against slavery at a time when it was accepted throughout the world. They formed a new nation built on godly principles of self-government and the Biblical truth that,

All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights such as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

This is the key for this generation. "We the people" must rise up and stand for those founding principles on which this nation was founded. They are principles that will work wherever and whenever they are implemented, for they are ubiquitous, eternal, and godly in nature.

Let the “Populist Uprising” begin!

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s bombshell new book, Abolitionist Founding Fathers with the subtitle, Sin, Slavery and Redemption at America’s Founding. The book is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.




5/18/2021

CORRECTING THE TWISTED HISTORY THAT IS DESTROYING AMERICA

America's Founders are under attack. Their monuments are being toppled and their names removed from schools and other public buildings. Children are being taught that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were evil, rich slaveowners who formed this nation to protect their wealth and maintain the institution of slavery. 

This twisted history of America is dividing and destroying her. The truth is that at a time when slavery was being practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and many parts of the world, America’s founders turned against it. Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written about 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).

The late historians, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese made the same observation, and wrote, “Perception of slavery as morally unacceptable — as sinful — did not become widespread until the second half of the eighteenth century.”

The Source of the Moral Outrage Against Slavery

The rise of this 18th century movement against slavery can be traced to the great, spiritual awakening that rocked Colonial America, beginning in 1726. Entire towns were morally transformed as evidenced by Benjamin Franklin’s description of this “Great Awakening” in his hometown of Philadelphia in 1739. He wrote,

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, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 14).

Out of this Awakening racial and cultural barriers were breached and there arose a powerful anti-slavery movement as Awakening preachers began, not only to offer salvation to individuals, but to attack the institution of slavery as sinful and evil in the sight of God.

Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), for example, was outraged by what he saw while pastoring in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. He declared, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day.”

In 1774, after the First Continental Congress had convened in Philadelphia, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to England and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the Colonies.

Methodists, Baptists, Quakers, and Puritan preachers carried the fight against slavery even into the South and to slaveowners. 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.”

This abolition movement gained momentum and eventually turned multitudes against slavery, including America’s founding fathers.

America’s Founding Fathers

Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and “hideous blot" and said it presented the greatest threat to the future survival of America. James Madison, America’s 4th president, called slavery "the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man."

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a passionate abolitionist who helped form the first Abolition Society in America in his hometown of Philadelphia. He said, “Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels” (Hyatt, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 38).

Benjamin Franklin, in 1785, liberated his two slaves and began advocating for abolition. He joined the Abolition Society in Philadelphia and later served as its president. He called slavery “an atrocious debasement of human nature.”

George Washington faced a more complex situation because of the size of the plantation and the number of slaves he had inherited. Nonetheless, he set up a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Concerning abolition, he declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can 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, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 42).

By the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787, virtually every founder, even those who owned slaves, agreed with John Adams, America’s 2nd president, who 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, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 36).

America’s Colorblind Founding Documents

Because America’s founders turned against slavery, there are no classifications based on race or skin color in America’s founding documents. Neither is there any mention of slaves or slavery. Nothing in either the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution indicates that the freedoms guaranteed do not apply to every individual. America’s founding documents are colorblind even if her history has not been.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) understood this and in his stirring, I Have a Dream speech, he challenged America, not to dispense with her founding documents, but instead, to live up to them. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared,

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."

Secularists love to insist that America was founded on racist principles. They are wrong. The historian, David Azerrad, was correct when he said, “The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw; the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution.”

Not Perfect, But Worthy of Honor

America’s founders were born into a world where slavery had existed for thousands of years. They were not perfect and their writings sometimes reflect prevailing notions of the times. Nonetheless, they should be honored for the revolutionary stand they took against slavery at a time it was accepted and practiced all over the world. 

Against the tide of history and world opinion, they created a nation based on the belief that “all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” They formulated founding documents that would eventually eradicate the institution they had come to abhor, and make America the land of the free and home of the brave, with people of every race and ethnicity wanting to live here.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Eddie is also the founder of the “1726 Project” with the goal of educating America about her true origins in the First Great Awakening.




WHY THERE WERE NO BLUE AND PINK TONGUES OF FIRE AT PENTECOST

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire,
and one sat upon each of them. 
Acts 2:3

May 23 is Pentecost Sunday when much of the church world remembers the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Let's pray that they will also remember that there were no blue and pink tongues of fire distributed at Pentecost.

Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts, makes it clear that God made no distinction between the women and men who were in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost. That women were present is clear from Acts 1:14 where Luke says of those in the upper room, These all [the Twelve] continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14).

It is also clear from this narrative that there was no segregated seating based on sex. Neither is there any indication of special seating according to rank. They mingled freely together as they prayed and waited for the Promise of the Father to be fulfilled in their midst (Acts 1:4).

God Made No Distinction at Pentecost

When the Holy Spirit finally came on the Day of Pentecost, God made no distinction based on sex. Women received the Holy Spirit in the very same way as the men.

After the sound of a rushing mighty wind, Luke says, There appeared to them divided tongues as of fire and one sat on each of them (Acts 2:3). Bill Fish, pastor and Bible teacher from Pittsburg, PA, notes that God did not distribute blue tongues for men and pink tongues for women. He made no distinction.

Luke goes on to say, And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4). Yes, the women in the upper room were filled with the Holy Spirit in the same manner as the men. They too were empowered for service.

When a multitude gathered and asked the meaning of this, Peter pointed them to the prophecy of the Old Testament prophet, Joel, who had predicted a time when the Holy Spirit would be given to all God’s people, including women. Peter said,

But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men will dream dreams, and on My menservants and My maidservants I will pour out of My Spirit and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-17).

Spirit-Filled Women Were a Powerful Force in the Early Church

The women who came out of the Upper Room were a powerful force in early Christianity. This is evidenced by the fact that Saul of Tarsus, in his persecution of the church, targeted women as well as men. Luke says, As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison (Acts 8:3).

When Saul expanded the persecution outside Israel’s borders to Damascus, he found it necessary to obtain written authorization from the high priest. He made sure that the document gave him the right to arrest all followers of Jesus, whether men or women, that he might bring them bound to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2).

Saul knew that if he had any chance of stopping this Jesus movement, he would have to target the women as well as the men. This shows that those “Spirit-filled” women from the Upper Room were a powerful force in early Christianity.

The Holy Spirit Elevates Women

In her book, In the Spirit We’re Equal, my wife, Dr. Susan Hyatt, documented that wherever there has been a new Pentecost—a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit-- women have emerged alongside men as leaders.

This is because the Holy Spirit makes no distinctions based on one’s sex. He distributes gifts on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work through which women, as well as men, were delivered from the ramifications of the Fall.

In the great 18th century Methodist revival, women were filled with the Holy Spirit and became powerful preachers and teachers. John Wesley reluctantly began commissioning them to preach because he could not deny that the Holy Spirit had anointed them to proclaim the Good News.

When someone challenged him as to why he commissioned women as well as uneducated men to preach the Gospel, Wesley replied, “Because God’s owns them in the conversion of sinners and who am I that I should withstand God.”

Women At Azusa Street

Women also emerged to the forefront of the early Pentecostal Revival. Lucy Farrow was a mentor and pastor to William Seymour in Houston before he went to Los Angeles. According to “Mother Cotton,” no one was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues until Lucy Farrow followed him to Los Angeles and began praying and laying her hands on the people.

Many women were filled with the Holy Spirit at the Azusa Revival and went forth at evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and church planters. William Seymour tied what was happening in the lives of these women to Pentecost. The January 1908 edition of the Apostolic Faith, the official publication of the revival, carried this statement:

Before Pentecost, the woman could only go into the ‘court of the women’ and not into the inner court. But when our Lord poured out Pentecost He brought all those faithful women with the other disciples into the upper room and God baptized them all in the same room and made no difference. All the women received the anointed oil of the Holy Ghost and were able to preach the same as men. They both were co-workers in Eden and both fell into sin; so they both have to come together and work in the Gospel.

The Key To A New Pentecost

Much of the Church has refused to fully recognize the gifts of its female members and has, thereby, violated Paul's command in I Thessalonians 5:19 not to quench the Spirit. As a result of this disobedience, many gifts have lain dormant while millions have perished without Christ and the Church has languished in defeat.

I am convinced that if we are to see an earth-shaking outpouring of the Holy Spirit—a New Pentecost--in our day, we must open our doors and our hearts to the gifts and callings of the sisters in our midst. We must remember that there were no blue and pink tongues of fire distributed at Pentecost.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author and ordained minister with a passion for authentic revival in the church today. This article was derived from his book, Paul, Women and Church, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt,com. He is a board member of God’s Word to Women whose website is www.godswordtowomen.org.

5/06/2021

CONTENDING FOR A MORE PURE FLOW OF PROPHETIC MINISTRY

Sue and I once stopped for the night in Pennsylvania coal country. I turned on the water to take a bath and it came out very dark. The water source was pure, but the pipes through which the water flowed were tainted with coal dust.

And so it is with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including prophecy. The Holy Spirit and His gifts are pure, but they flow through frail and fallible human vessels. In over 60 years of observing and participating in prophetic ministry, I have seen individual pride, personal doctrine, feelings, and misconceptions dirty the water of the Holy Spirit as He flowed through sincere, but flawed, human vessels. 

This, of course, is why prophetic ministry is so tenuous. It is why we are instructed in Scritpure to “test the spirits” and to “judge” prophetic utterances.

In this article, I am adressing 3 popular misconceptions that dirty the flow of prophetic ministry. I believe they contributed to so many “prophets” getting it wrong about the 2020 presidential election. Although we will never be “perfect” in our prophetic giftings, correcting these misconceptions can help us move in a more pure flow of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.

Misconception #1
The Gift of Prophecy Gives Me the Ability to Predict the Future

The New Testament gift of prophecy is not a gift to predict the future. It is not a fortunetelling gift. It is a spontaneous manifestation of the Holy Spirit giving the ability to speak forth the heart and mind and God to a particular situation or circumstance. It is about “forthtelling,” not “foretelling” (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 13).

Even in the Old Testament, the purpose of prophecy was not to predict the future. Although their message might contain a future and predictive element, their purpose was not to satisfy human curiosity about the future. Their purpose was to speak the heart and mind of God to His people.

In the Old Testament, we find God raising up prophets especially during times of apostasy and idolatry. The messages of the prophets were messages of repentance, calling the people to turn from their idols and return to their God.  After Israel went into captivity because of her sins, the writer of II Kings said,

The LORD warned Judah and Israel though all His prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe My commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey . . .” (II Kings 17:13).

If speaking the heart and mind of God was characteristic of Old Testament prophecy, it is even more so in the New Testament. I Corinthains 14:3 says that prophecy is given for edification, exhortation, and comfort. It is given to affirm and encourage, as Paul says in I Corinthians 14:32. Although there can be a future element to prophecy, it is never given to satisfy human curiosity about the future.

An added dimension of New Testament prophecy is the centrality of Christ in its operation. In John 16:14, Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit had come, He will glorify Me, and Revelation 19:10 says, The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.

Those who become preoccupied with predicting the future have moved away from New Testament prophetic ministry and closer to pagan psychics and fortunetellers. It is possible that so many “prophets” got it wrong about the 2020 election because they ministered with this misconception that they had a gift to predict the future.

Misconception #2
Prophecy is a Permanent Gift that I Operate at My Discretion

Those who think they can prophesy at their own discretion—when and where they choose—inevitably give false and misleading prophecies out of their own mind and imaginations. The New Testament is clear that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, including prophecy, come forth as the Spirit wills, not as we will (I Corinthians 12:11).

A “prophet” gave me a word concerning my “little brother,” about whom he said I was very concerned. He said there was no need for my concern for God had revealed to him that my little brother would be saved. There was just one big problem with his prophecy. I do not have a little brother.

This person was sincere but had been deceived into thinking that he had a gift of prophecy that he could operate at his own initiative. It resulted in him giving many prophecies out of his own human feelings, thoughts, and impressions.

In I Corinthians 12:7, Paul uses the Greek word phanerosis, translated as “manifestation,” to describe Spiritual gifts, including prophecy. It literally means “a shining forth” and refers to something that has been hidden being brought out into the open. Spiritual gifts are “manifestations” of the Spirit.

The use of phanerosis highlights the fact that these gifts reside in the Holy Spirit, not in the person. They are manifested by the Spirit, not the individual. If you are a child of God with the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, all these gifts are available to you but they come forth at His discretion.

My wife, Sue, and I have personally seen these gifts manifest at the most unexpected times and in the most unusual places. For example, we once sat down in a strange restaurant in a strange city where we had agreed to meet the pastor of the church where we would be ministering that week.

When he finally came in and sat down, Sue burst forth with a message in tongues. I had the interpretation, which was a prophetic word for this pastor. He was amazed and asked permission to share what had just happened to the members of his church board with whom he was meeting after our meal. He said the prophetic message precisely confirmed a challenging proposal he was going to submit to them that day.

We did not plan that nor could we ever duplicate it. We cannot use the Holy Spirit; we can only allow Him to use us. The key is to nurture a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, avoid grieving Him with unseemly words and behavior, and be ready to respond to His most gentle promptings.

Misconception #3
“Prophet” is a Title I Wear in Front of My Name

America's founders understood the inherent dangers of handing out honorific titles. In Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, they forbade the American government from granting honorific titles of nobility to anyone and forbade anyone holding a governement office from accepting a a title or office from a foreign state without the consent of Congress.

Honorific titles can lead to pride and give individuals an inflated idea of their importance. The Bible continually warns against pride and reminds us that it was pride that led to the downfall of Satan. I once heard the Holy Spirit say to me, while ministering in a prophetic church, "The stronghold of deception is pride." 

This is why the early church avoided titles, and is why you will never see anyone in the NT with a title in front of their name. Although certain individuals, such as Agabus, are referred to as prophets, they are never called “Prophet Agabus.” In a similar way, Luke mentions Paul by name more than 120 times and not once does he say, “Apostle Paul,” but merely “Paul.” In 2 Peter 3:14, Peter refers to our beloved brother Paul. In Rev. 1:9, John the apostle, in his letter to the churches, refers to himself as your brother and companion in tribulation.

This obvious avoidance of titles is understandable in light of the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:6-12 where He warned His disciples about adopting titles that would lift them above their fellow believers. He said,

But you, do not be called “Rabbi”; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

In the Old Testament, God raised up prophets to be his mouthpiece to His people, but on the Day of Pentecost, a prophetic community came into existence. In the New Testament Church all believers are expected to be filled with the Holy Spirit. All have the potential to hear God and to function prophetically.

In the New Testament, there is no indication of an elite group of prophets who hear God for the rest of the church. Dr. Gordon Fee is, therefore, correct when he says that those who are referred to as “prophets” in the New Testament are merely those who prophesy more than the other members of the prophetic community (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 108),

Robert Morris, Founder and Senior Pastor of Gateway Church, obviously understands this. He told of an individual telling him that he needed a “prophet” on his staff. Morris said he replied, “I don’t need a prophet; I have the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus said the reason His followers should avoid titles is that you are all brethren. I can see the benefit of titles in a church or ministry organization to help people understand the various functions and roles, but the adoption of titles for no other reason but to give status and prestige goes against the spirit of the Gospel and is a violation of the teachings of Jesus.

Summation

God has promised that in the last days He will pour out His Sprit on all flesh with sons and daughters prophesying (Acts 2:17). Prophecy, however, is a cooperation between the human and the Divine, which is why it is tenuous and must be tested and evaluated. Dealing with the above misconceptions can help us be more finely tuned vessels through which the Holy Spirit can flow with His gifts, resulting in a more pure flow of the Holy Spirit in the days ahead.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, Prophets and Prophecy, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the author of the strategic and timely book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents how America was defined by 1726 rather than 1619. 

5/03/2021

POSITIVE PROOF THAT AMERICA WAS DEFINED BY 1726, NOT 1619

#Remembering1726
This past week, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), sent  a letter to Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, in which he expressed “grave concern” about the Biden administration's plan to implement the New York Times' "1619 Project" into school curriculums across America.

There is reason for McConnell’s “grave concern,” for the “1619 Project” paints America as inherently racist and corrupt and in need of fundamental transformation. According to those who propagate this myth, 1619, when the first African slaves were brought to these shores, defined America and is her true founding, not 1776.

This narrative is already being taught in many public schools and has even infiltrated Christian schools. A distraught parent recently contacted me to tell me of her daughter being taught, in her Christian school, that America’s founders were bad people and only wanted freedom for themselves.

The situation is critical, for as Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, "To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots." If we do not preserve our roots, the America of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, and King will be no more.  What a tragedy that would be for America and for all mankind!

1726 is the Key for Interpreting Our History

Slavery is a horrible blight on America’s past and could have defined the country, had it not been for 1726. That year, a great, spiritual awakening began, which profoundly transformed colonial America. Racial and cultural barriers were breached and an abolition movement was ignited that eventually brought about the end of slavery on this continent.

Instead of being defined by 1619, America became defined by 1726 as a land of faith and freedom. The key to preserving our history and confronting the 1619 myth is to understand what happened, beginning in 1726. Interpreting America's history in the light of 1726 changes everything. 

Here are 5 historical facts from the 1726 narrative that completely undermines the 1619 myth about America.

Fact #1
Slavery Was Not Unique to America

Slavery is a part of sinful humanity and has been practiced by many peoples and civilizations for thousands of years. Slavery was being practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and many parts of the world when the first African slaves were brought to America in 1619.

This is why the late Dr. Walter E. Williams, who was Professor of Economics at George Mason University, and who happened to be black, said that slavery in America was neither odd nor strange. He pointed out that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, “An estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”

Williams pointed out that what was unique about slavery in America was both the brevity of its existence and the moral outrage that arose against it. The late historians, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, agreed, saying,

Europeans did not outdo others in enslaving people or treating slaves viciously. They outdid others by creating a Christian civilization that eventually stirred moral condemnation of slavery and roused mass movements against it.

Fact #2
Moral Outrage Arose Against Slavery in Colonial America

As documented in my book, 1726, a powerful anti-slavery movement emerged out of the great, spiritual awakening that rocked colonial America in the 18th century. In this “Great Awakening,” racial and cultural barriers were breached as blacks and whites worshipped together and shared the Gospel with everyone regardless of race or status in life.

Second-generation Awakening preachers then began to viciously attack the institution of slavery around 1750. Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), for example, who had been personally tutored by Jonathan Edwards, was outraged by what he saw while pastoring in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. He declared, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day.”

In 1774, after the First Continental Congress had convened in Philadelphia, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to England and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the Colonies.

As “Liberty” was becoming a watchword throughout the Colonies, the preachers of the Awakening began applying it to the enslaved in America. Like Hopkins, they pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from England while continuing to tolerate the institution of slavery in their midst. The Baptist preacher, John Allen, 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, 93-94).

The breaching of racial barriers in the Great Awakening provided the social context for George Washington to order his recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the ranks of the Continental Army. As a result, by 1781 one in every seven American soldiers was black. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain.

Out of this Christian Awakening, the moral and spiritual forces were unleashed that would eventually bring about the end of slavery on this continent.

Fact #3
America’s Founders Rejected Slavery
When it Was Accepted Around the World

As a result of the Great Awakening and the abolition movement it launched, virtually all of America’s founders turned against slavery at a time it was accepted and practiced throughout the world. Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written about 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, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).

Dr, Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. A passionate abolitionist, he called on the ministers of America to take a bold stand against slavery, saying, “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, 101).

Two years before the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin liberated his two slaves and began advocating for abolition. He joined the Abolition Society in Philadelphia and later served as its president.

George Washington’s situation was more complex because of the size of the plantation and the number of slaves he had inherited. Nonetheless, he set up a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Concerning abolition, he declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can 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).

Even those founders, such as Patrick Henry, who did not free their slaves admitted that it was sinful and wrong. By the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787, virtually every founder agreed with John Adams who 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).

Yes, America’s founders were at the forefront of the fight to end slavery in the 18th century.

Truth #4
America’s Founding Documents Are Colorblind

Because of the Great Awakening, there are no classifications based on race or skin color in America’s founding documents. Nothing in either the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution indicates that the freedoms guaranteed do not apply to every individual.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) understood this and in his stirring, I Have a Dream speech, he challenged America, not to dispense with her founding documents, but instead, to live up to them. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared,

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."

Then quoting from the Declaration of Independence, he proclaimed,

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 122).

Yes, America’s founding documents are colorblind even if her history has not been.

Fact #5
Hundreds of Thousands of American Citizens
Sacrificed Their Lives to End Slavery

Where would a nation get the moral fortitude to sacrifice a million of its citizens in order to end slavery? The Civil War was, by far, the costliest war America has ever fought. There was an incredible loss of property and livelihood, but nothing could compare with the loss of life that occurred.

It is estimated that at least 700,000 soldiers lost their lives. Add to this the civilian casualties and the thousands who were permanently maimed and injured and we arrive at the estimate of one million casualties. The magnitude of the loss is amplified by the fact that the United States population at the time was only 31 million.

By way of comparison, in WWII around 290,000 American soldiers lost their lives. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan less than 10,000 Americans have died. More lives were lost in the Civil War than in all wars combined from the American Revolution through the Korean Conflict.

It was truly a devastating time. Weeping could be heard in homes throughout America. In many homes both father and sons were missing. Hardly a family could be found that had not lost multiple family members. 

It was the moral conviction that slavery was abhorrent in the sight of God that led hundreds of thousands of white Americans to put their lives on the line to bring about the abolition of slavery in their land. This moral outrage was a product of 1726 and the Awakening that began that year and the Awakenings that came afterwards.

                                                 The Summation of it All

Yes, America’s history has been far from perfect, but where sin has abounded God’s grace has abounded much more (Romans 5:20b). 1619 represents America’s sin but 1726 represents God’s grace sent forth in the form of a great, spiritual awakening.

Because of 1726 and subsequent awakenings, Christian awakening is in our national DNA. Let us, therefore, pray with confidence that another Great Awakening will sweep across our land, renewing our faith and bringing hope, healing, and reconciliation.  #Remembering1726

This article is drived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the creator of the "1727 Project," which is a Powerpoint presentation documenting America's birth out of a spiritual awakening that also brought about the end of slavery on the American continent.