2020 is shaping up to be one of the most divisive times in American history. Only at the time of the Civil War, perhaps, has America been so politically and culturally divided. This poses a challenge for the church, especially when politicians tend to see us as just another voting bloc that can help forward their agenda. How can we preach Christ without becoming just another partisan sect in an already divided nation?
The answer to our dilemma comes from none other than Abraham Lincoln as he presided over a divided and warring nation. In his Second Inaugural Address, delivered in the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln acknowledged that both North and South, “Read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.”
Both North and South were pleading with God to take their side. However, such self-centered prayer that has no concern for understanding God's side, is meaningless. Lincoln understood this and when a minister from the North expressed to the President his hope that “the Lord is on our side.” Lincoln replied,
I am not at all concerned about that . . . but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.
Are We on the Lord's Side?
There is the answer for the church today! We are not here to proclaim a God who takes the side of this party or that one, but a God who calls all humanity to come over to His side. This is borne out in the Incarnation, when God came to this earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
The world in which Jesus was born was a very divisive world. The Romans had conquered the land of Israel but within their governance there were numerous political and religious parties jockeying for influence and power. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots and others were all seeking public support for their political and religious agendas. 

Interestingly, Jesus never identified, or sided, with any of those parties. Why? As God's appointed Messiah, He had not come to take sides. He had come to take over.
He had no desire for Herod’s throne or Caesar’s crown, for His kingdom was above and beyond the kingdoms of this world. He was God’s chosen Messiah-King, predicted by Old Testament prophets. For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given, said the prophet Isaiah, and the government shall be upon His shoulder . . . of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7).
A Transcendent King and Kingdom
The kingdom Jesus preached transcended all earthly authority and rule. He made this clear when questioned by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, if He were the king of the Jews. Jesus acknowledged that He was a king, but then clarified the nature of His kingdom, saying,
My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here (John 18:36).
In other words, His kingdom would not come through the radical Jewish zealots, who wanted to overthrow the Romans, or the compromising Sadducees or the conniving Herodians. Neither will his kingdom come through a modern political system. His kingdom will not arrive on the back of either a donkey (Democrat platform) or an elephant (Republican platform). 
Jesus preached the kingdom (reign) of God and called all people to an unreserved and total commitment to Himself. He died on the cross for the sins of the world, arose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God with all authority in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:19).
He is Lord! He is king! We—the Church—are here to make Him known and to call all people everywhere to yield their hearts and lives to Him. It is not a question of whose side He is on, but a question of, “Are you on His side?”
This is what Jesus meant by the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14). This is what Paul meant when he recalled preaching the kingdom of God among the people of Ephesus (Acts 20:25). It is the proclamation of Jesus as God’s Messiah-King who alone has the Divine right and wisdom to govern our lives.
As followers of Christ, we should be defined, not by our involvement in the latest political controversy or cultural fad, but by our commitment to Jesus Christ and His eternal kingdom values. This is the attitude that pervaded America’s founding generation and was expressed by Thomas Jefferson who closed all presidential documents with the phrase, “In the Year of Our Lord Christ,” and who said, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 149).
America Was Built on Kingdom Values
The “doctrines of Jesus” mentioned above by Jefferson, are the values of the kingdom of God. A society derives its values from religion, including the religion of secularism. Nations such as Saudi Arabia and Iran derive their values from Islam. America was founded and built on Judeo-Christian values. These values of love for God and one’s neighbor, honesty, moral integrity, hard work, and compassion toward those in need are the values that have made America great.
These are the values of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount and throughout the New Testament. Unless we can recover these values as a nation, we are headed for ruin. In his farewell address, George Washington warned the nation,
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” (Hyatt, 1726: TheYear that Defined America, 165).
Yes, Jesus was esteemed and His teachings were highly valued by America’s founding generation. For example, Thomas Paine, in his popular book, Common Sense, gave justification for separation from Great Britain and expressed the general sentiments of the populace who had just experienced the Great Awakening. In answering the concern of some about not having a monarch to rule over them, he declared,
But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you friend, He reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain.
It was during this same time period, just before the Revolution, that the British-appointed governor of Connecticut wrote to his superiors in England, “If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none; nor any governor but Jesus Christ” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 81).
In this Christ-honoring cultural milieu, it is easy to understand how Jefferson, who is considered one of the least religious of America’s founders, would say, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 150).
Our 2020 Mandate
2020 is an election year and politicians will be vying for your support and mine. They will want us to be on their side. Our question to the politicians should be, “Whose side are you on?” “Are you on the Lord’s side?” “Will you seek to inculcate His kingdom values in all your policies?”
We should also be praying for another great spiritual awakening across this land. In this regard, we should pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven. Then, on November 3, go in the voting booth and vote for the candidate whose policies most closely reflect those values of our King and His kingdom.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and ordained minister. This article was derived in part from his latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is the founder of the "1726 Project" with a goal of recovering America's Christian heritage and seeing another national, spiritual awakening across the land.



For the first 150 years of America’s existence, no one questioned the axiom America is a Christian nation. This did not mean that everyone was a Christian or that the nation officially sanctioned any denomination or religious sect. It meant, instead, that the nation’s laws and institutions were founded on Christian principles and values. This fact was stated by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1892 in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity vs The United States. After examining thousands of historical documents, the nation’s highest Court unanimously declared,
There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation . . .. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 6-7).
The Christian mindset of America’s Founders was verified in a ten-year project to discover where they got their ideas for America’s founding documents. The study found that, by far, the single most cited authority in their writings was the Bible. It is, therefore, not surprising that the first English Bible printed in the United States contained a recommendation from the U.S. Congress. Published in 1782 by Robert Aitken, the Congressional recommendation reads in part,
Being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 15).
These facts, no doubt, provided a basis for a 1982 article in Newsweek entitled “How the Bible Made America.” It contained this insightful statement:
For centuries [the Bible] has exerted an unrivaled influence on American culture, politics and social life. Now historians are discovering that the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution, is our founding document: the source of the powerful myth of the United States as a special, sacred nation, a people called by God to establish a model of society, a beacon to the world (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 7).
This reality of America being a Christian nation was expressed in American culture by Bible reading and prayer being common occurrences in all kinds of public settings. Until the 1960s, it was common for school days, school activities, sporting events, city council meetings, and other public events to open with prayer. Displays of Bible verses, crosses, and the Ten Commandments were common on public property, including courtrooms. It was normal for a baccalaureate sermon by a local pastor to be part of public-school graduation exercises.
The Attack on Public Displays of Faith
The nation was shocked, therefore, when, in two Supreme Court rulings, Engel vs Vitale (1962) and Abington School vs Schempp (1963) the nation’s highest court banned school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in the public schools of America. This ruling was based on a contorted and novel interpretation of that part of the First Amendment that reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or hindering the free exercise thereof.”
The plaintiffs in these suits argued that school-sponsored prayer violated the so-called “establishment clause” of the First Amendment and amounted to an establishment of religion by the federal government. A very liberal court accepted this argument and opened the floodgates for anti-Christian activism.
Since that time, lawsuits filed by atheist and secularist organizations have resulted in the removal of crosses, Ten Commandment displays, and other Christian expressions from public property. School children can no longer sing Joy to the World or Silent Night at Christmas because of the Christian content. As part of this crusade to de-Christianize America, the secularists insist on calling a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree and referring to the Christmas Holiday as The Winter Holiday.
Veterans groups and military chaplains have been told they cannot pray in the Name of Jesus. A high school coach was told he can no longer kneel to pray at the end of football games, and a high school band in Mississippi was ordered by a judge to remove How Great Thou Art from the repertoire of music that they play at football games and other school events. On April 6, 2009, President Barak Obama announced to a Turkish audience, “America is not a Christian nation.” His audacious statement showed the extent to which the crusade to de-Christianize America had arrived.
The Attack on America’s Christian Heritage
Nations derive their sense of identity from their history. If you want to destroy a culture, you begin by rewriting and reinterpreting their history. This is what Karl Marx was referring to when he said, “People without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
The attack on America’s Christian culture is happening, not only in the attack on public symbols of faith, but in the rewriting of American history textbooks that are used in public schools and colleges. Students are now taught that the Pilgrims came to America for monetary purposes and the Founders were a collection of wealthy, evil, white slave-owners.
The educational elite know that if they can control the narrative of America’s past, they can also control her future. They know the truth of George Orwell’s statement, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.”
The 1726 Project
Recovering the truth about America’s history for this generation is, therefore, critical. A few years ago, Ronald M. Mann, Deputy Director of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, warned,
Unless the people of this nation take seriously the storm flags waving, we are doomed to repeat the past mistakes of those who refused to pay attention to history and end up in the graveyard of fallen nations (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the AmericanRepublic, 3).
Along those same lines, Carl Sandburg, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, wrote,
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 (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 11).
Recovering our Christian heritage for this generation is of utmost importance. This is why I have written and just published 1726: The Year that Defined America. It is also why I have launched the “1726 Project.” Beginning in 1726, a great spiritual tsunami began that eventually engulfed all of Colonial America in a flood of religious fervor.
This Great Awakening, as it has been called, not only renewed the Christian vision of the Pilgrims, it gave birth to an anti-slavery movement that eventually brought about the end of slavery on this continent. It also had a direct bearing on the founding of the United States of America. 1726 was, in fact, the year that defined America. This is the heritage we must not allow to be lost or stolen.
This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. In this book, Dr. Hyatt documents how the Great Awakening in Colonial America had a direct bearing on both the founding of the United State and the ending of slavery on this continent. He has founded the “1726 Project” to spread this strategic and timely message across the land.



“To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots.”
Alexander Solzhenitzsyn
A spiritual battle is raging for the heart and soul of America. The impeachment battle raging in Washington D.C. is a mere symptom of this deeper, spiritual battle for the heart of the nation. A major battle strategy of the secularist Left is to redefine America by rewriting and reinterpreting her history and thereby making her vulnerable to radical change.
Peoples and nations derive their sense of identity from their history. Cut off a people from their past, and they can easily be molded into something very different. This is what Karl Marx was referring to when he said, “People without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
The Redefining of America
A glaring example of this crusade to rewrite America’s past is the New York Times’ “1619 Project.” Supposedly begun to commemorate the arrival of the first African slaves on American soil in 1619, their website reveals their real and sinister motivation. Their stated goal is to “reframe” American history by insisting that 1619, not 1776, represents the nation’s true founding. They assert, therefore, that America is racist and corrupt at its very core and in need of fundamental change.
Their thesis is flawed, however, because they have chosen to ignore what happened between 1619 and 1776. 1726, the year the Great Awakening began and transformed Colonial America, has been censured from their critique.
Alexander Solzhenitzsyn spent eight years in a Soviet labor camp and observed how the communists sought to cut off the Russian people from their Christian past. He wrote, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.” And commenting on the demise of nations in world history, Carl Sandburg, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, wrote,
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 (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 11).
In her book, The Rewriting of America’s History, Catherine Millard documents just how pervasive is this crusade to rewrite America’s history. She points out that it is being carried out, not only in the rewriting of textbooks, but also in the rewriting and reinterpretation of national monuments. She writes,
It is happening through the rewriting and/or reinterpretation of America’s historical records: in our national parks, monuments, memorials, landmarks, enshrines, and churches. In some cases, changes are subtle, and in others, blatant. It’s done through removal of key historic pieces that do not support the current ungodly bias (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 9-10).
Knowing the Past is the Key to America’s Future
Slavery is certainly a blight on America’s history. However, because of what happened in 1726, America is not defined by what happened in 1619. 1726 was the defining year for America.
In 1726 a great, spiritual tsunami began that eventually engulfed all of Colonial America in a flood of religious fervor. This Great Awakening, as it has been called, laid the spiritual, moral, and philosophical foundation for a great new nation. It released anti-slavery sentiments that led to an abolition movement that eventually brought slavery on this continent to an end. 1726 was, in fact, the year that defined America. 
Understanding 1726 is, therefore, the key to understanding America. It is also the key to America's future, for as George Orwell said in his classic book, 1984, "Whoever controls the past, controls the future" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 10).
Remembering Our Heritage
At the present time, America is as divided, perhaps, as she has not been since the Civil War. And although demographics and culture have changed, the solution remains the same. We must remember our heritage. We must remember 1726.
In the same way that God spoke to ancient Israel in a critical time of national danger and spiritual apostasy, God is calling America to remember her heritage. The call to Israel is recorded in Isaiah 51:1-2:
Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness and seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham your father and Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.
If the America of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln is to survive, we must remember our heritage. The needed change is not going to come as a result of a new church program, a new church crusade, a bigger and better choir, a new cathedral, or the next election. It will come as we remember 1726 and cry out to God, “Do it again, Oh Lord!”

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. In this book, Dr. Hyatt documents how the Great Awakening in Colonial America had a direct bearing on both the founding of the United State and the ending of slavery on this continent. He has founded the “1726 Project” to spread this strategic and timely message across the land.