In His mission statement recorded in Luke 4:18, Jesus declared that He had been sent to, proclaim liberty to the captives and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. In Galatians 5:1 Paul exhorted his readers to, Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. These passages, of course, are referring, first of all, to liberty from sin and religious legalism. They do, however, express God's will for liberty for His people in every area of life, including freedom from political tyranny.

America's founding generation understood this. That is why they created the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and inscribed on it the words of Leviticus 25:10, Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof. It is why Thomas Jefferson declared in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from our Creator and include "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

America's founders believed in God as the God of liberty. They also understood something most modern politicians do not understand. Liberty flourishes best where there is boundless faith and limited government. Civil liberty and governmental power do not mix. As power is centralized in Washington D.C., there occurs a corresponding loss of liberty throughout the heartland.

Socialism, on the other hand, requires a strong, centralized government to implement its policies Socialism and political power, therefore, go hand in hand. Wherever socialism is implemented, there is a corresponding loss of individual and religious liberties.
The Founders, Faith, and Freedom
America's Founders, their parents, and their grandparents had fled oppressive governments that sought to control their lives with tyrannical laws and regulations. They came to America with visions of individual and religious liberty. They were not looking for help from any government.
They were people of faith. Government for them was a nuisance-- "a necessary evil," as Thomas Paine put it. Paine, in his very popular book, Common Sense, published in January of 1776, wrote, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
They issued the Declaration of Independence, not from a quest for political power, but from a deep desire to protect the liberties they had experienced in the New World. This would require a government with limited power for they knew from their study of both the Bible and human history that human nature cannot be trusted with power. 
Their distrust of power is why they divided the powers of government into two legislative branches, an executive branch, and a judicial branch. It is why they implemented checks and balances to keep absolute power out of the hands of any person or group. Thomas Jefferson said, "The course of history shows that as government grows, liberty decreases."
Their distrust of governmental power is why they instituted the First Amendment and banned Congress from meddling with church and people's faith. It is also why they instituted the 2nd Amendment--to give the citizens the right to defend themselves against a tyrannical, over-reaching government that might arise in the future. The Founders would agree with the adage of Sir John Dalberg-Acton, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Socialism Loves and Needs Power
Socialism, on the other hand, requires a powerful, centralized government for its implementation. This in turn requires a ruling elite, like the old Soviet politburo, that controls every facet of society, spreads the wealth around, and enriches itself.
In socialism, which is rooted in Marxism, the God of the Bible is replaced by the god of the state. People no longer need God to help them deal with life; they now can look to the government to solve every problem and meet every need. Faith in God, therefore, is viewed as an enemy of the state.
This is why, during the 20th century, millions of Christians were imprisoned and put to death in socialist/communist regimes such as China, Cambodia, Cuba and the Soviet Union. It is why, alongside the rise of socialism/Marxism in modern America, there is a corresponding rise of hostility toward people of faith. The god of socialism is a jealous god and will tolerate no rivals.
A Revitalized Christianity is the Answer
The ultimate answer to the challenge of atheistic socialism in American today is not a political one, but a spiritual one. America must return to the vision of the Founders who saw liberty and faith as being joined together in an indissoluble bond. They did not believe one could flourish without the other.
That is why the First Continental Congress opened with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. It is why the Congress issued at least 15 calls for days of prayer, repentance, and fasting during the Revolutionary War It is why George Washington insisted on taking the first oath of office with his hand on a Bible and thereby connected the presidential oath of office with the holy Scriptures. (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 133).
For this same reason John Adams wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel, a minister of the gospel, two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and said,
Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles, upon which Freedom can securely stand" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 164.)
The Bible-believing Christian who takes his faith seriously is socialism’s worse nightmare. This is why we must pray for another Great Awakening across the land. This is why we must challenge the contemporary church to move beyond an entertainment culture and begin training people to be salt and light and live out their faith in this culture.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of numerous books, including 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents America's birth out of a great, spiritual awakening. His books are available from and Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



This Sunday is "Pentecost Sunday" when Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Pentecost reminds us of our absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit if we are to be the Church of Jesus Christ. Our programs, choirs, songs, and sermons are worthless if not empowered by the Holy Spirit. This was highlighted to Sue and me in a most unusual encounter. 

We Meet Adele

It was the strangest introduction. After two weeks in our new home, Sue and I came face to face with our next-door neighbor, who was a tough looking woman in her mid-50s. We shook her hand and told her our names. With a cigarette dangling from her mouth she replied, “My name’s Adele. I’m a backslidden pastor from Brooklyn, New York.”

It was obvious to us that Adele had been through some deep and painful experiences with church. We were mature enough to know that a superficial Christian cliché or a chick tract would do nothing for her, except probably make her angry. We, therefore,  made no attempt to connect except to offer a friendly wave if we saw her in her yard. 

The Holy Spirit Will Do What We Cannot

The Holy Spirit, however, knows how to reach the most difficult cases and He will move through us in ways we could never have planned or imagined. He moved powerfully and unexpectedly for Adele one day as Sue and I were about to back out of our driveway. 

Sue who was driving, suddenly began experiencing a deep compassion flowing out to Adele who was working in her yard. After sitting quietly for a moment, she rolled down her window and called out, “Adele!” Adle came striding over with the perennial cigarette dangling from her mouth. 

When she reached the window, Sue suddenly began speaking to her in tongues. I was sitting in the passenger seat and had the interpretation, which was a prophetic word for Adele. I knew that I should look her in the face and so I leaned across Sue in the driver’s seat, looked Adele in the face, and said, “Adele, God is saying to you, ‘My daughter, you are precious in my sight.'”

Adele burst into tears and then broke out praying in tongues and we had revival there in our driveway. God bonded our hearts together. She later came to our home and shared how she had grown up in an Italian, Catholic mafia family in Brooklyn, NY, and as an adult had herself joined the mafia. One of her uncles and his wife had come to Christ and had invited her to church. She went and had a glorious encounter with the Lord.

She was on fire for the Lord and opened a storefront church in Brooklyn where she was reaching many of the homeless, drug addicts, and what someone described as “the hard cases.” However, opposition from Christians to her pastoring as a woman and an ill-advised marriage to a husband who turned on her, brought her to despair.

She gave up on church, but she did give up on Jesus. That day in our driveway a tremendous work of the Holy Spirit occurred and her faith and hope were renewed. 

About two months after this encounter, Adele and her husband (since deceased) moved to Florida. We stayed in touch and several months later I received an email from Adele saying,

I am putting a check in the mail. I want you and Sue to come to Florida for about three days, and you can stay with us. I will have about forty people over. Most of them are not Christians. Do whatever God tells you to do.

The Holy Spirit Falls on Members of the Mafia

We arrived at Adele’s home in Port St. Lucie, FL and later that evening the people she had invited began to arrive. As starting time neared, the living room and kitchen were filled with people and it seemed that everyone was smoking. Clouds of smoke hung heavy in the atmosphere.

Many of the people were members of the mafia or former members. Some of the people had been members of Adele’s church in Brooklyn, and when she “backslid” they all backslid with her. One woman sitting across the kitchen table from Sue and me had been a part of Adele’s congregation in Brooklyn. As smoke billowed around us, she said to me, “We’re all backslid.” I thought, “Well, at least, they are not trying to convince of how spiritual they are.”

 Starting time arrived and I picked up my guitar intending to lead them in praise and worship. It soon became obvious, however, that I was the only one singing. Everyone seemed to just stare at me as they puffed on their cigarettes.

Realizing this was going nowhere, I put my guitar aside and picked up my Bible. God had given me a message about His unconditional love, and as I shared this message, I sensed a change in the atmosphere. At some point, I noticed that everyone had put out their cigarettes and the smoke had dissipated. As I completed my message, a sense of solemnness and the fear of the Lord seemed to fill the atmosphere.

I then invited anyone who wanted prayer to come forward to receive prayer from Sue and me. The first person to come up was Isabelle who was from Brooklyn and part of a mafia family. She was in deep depression for her husband and two sons had been murdered by a rival mafia family and her daughter was a drug addict, living on the street.

As we laid our hands on Isabelle and prayed, she began to sob and then fell to floor. We had no catchers, but no one was concerned, as their minds were taken up with God. Another person then came up for prayer, and she too fell to the floor.

At this point, the Holy Spirit “fell” on the people just like in the Book of Acts. Suddenly, everyone was on their knees or lying in the floor, weeping and calling out to God at the top of their voices. It was a surreal moment when God came down and did a mighty work beyond anything we could have ever imagined or planned.

What an incredible time! Later, that evening there was a release of joy such as I have never seen. Our hearts were further bonded with Adele, and we have been back several times for meetings with her and those we call our mafia friends.

We Must Have a New Pentecost

Interestingly, before we met Adele she had visited charismatic churches in the area without finding the help she needed. Let us, therefore, remember that all our church programs and activities are worthless if we do not have that empowerment of the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus, and poured out on the Day of Pentecost. 

Pentecost was not an end; it was a beginning and pattern for the Church of all ages. Let us, therefore, admit our human inadequacy and confess to God how much we need the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a new Pentecost at this critical time in America, the Church, and the world. 

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has taught on the Holy Spirit throughout the world, including Oxford University. His book, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, published by Charisma House, is used as textbook in many colleges and seminaries around the world. He has also produced Revival History, a Manual and Study Guide to go with the book, which contains 20 outlined lessons, pictures, reflection questions, and essays. These are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



What is happening to America? Another tragic mass shooting occurred this weekend at a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, just a few miles from where Sue and I live in Grapevine. How many more tragedies must be suffered before we wake up to what is really happening? We are in the midst of a spiritual and moral battle for the soul of this nation. We are in a war of good vs. evil. We are in a war of God’s way vs. man’s way. 

The Root of the Problem

We are suffering because as a nation we have turned against the very principles of faith and morality on which this nation was founded. It can be said of America what Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in explaining why 60 million had perished under Marxist rule in his home country of Russia.  He said, “I could not put it more accurately than to repeat, ‘Men have forgotten God,’ that is why all this has happened.”

In the past sixty years, prayer and Bible reading have been outlawed in our schools. Ten commandment displays have been removed. Liberals and secularists decided that children should not be exposed to prayer, Bible verses, and moral laws such as “Thou shalt not kill.” Instead, they are taught that there are no moral laws or objective truths to which they must adhere. They are told that they are free to create their own moral world of right and wrong with no fear of Divine retribution.

This anti-Christian activism is based on what is, perhaps, the most destructive lie ever foisted on the American populace. The lie is that America's Founders secularized the American system and banned expressions of faith from the public square when they implemented the First Amendment. Nothing could be further from the truth!

What the Founders banned was a national, state church, which is what the nations of Europe had known since Constantine. They knew from experience that such coercive faith does not produce real Christians. They had learned that faith, imposed by civil government, can never produce a moral and virtuous people, and such a people, they believed, would be necessary for a free and stable nation.

America’s Founders were also aware of the history of spiritual awakenings in Colonial America, including the big one, the Great Awakening, which had impacted all of them. They had seen the populace morally transformed by that Awakening. They believed such an organic faith of the people to be true to real Christianity and capable of producing the kind of national morality necessary for a peaceful and prosperous society.

The Founders are Clear on the Key for National Stability

In the quotes below, remember that when the Founders use the word "religion," they are referring to Christianity. Christianity was their religion. Without exception, they believed that only a moral and virtuous people could maintain the Republic that had formed. And notice that they consistently couple "morality" with "religion" for they believed that morality could not be had without religion.

This is why, two weeks before signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel Adams, a minister of the Gospel, and said,

Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 164).

Twenty-two years later in 1798, Adams gave a speech to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia in which he clearly stated his belief that only a Christian morality could maintain the free Republic he had helped establish. He said,

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, 164),

We now have a generation that, in the words of Adams, is “unbridled by morality and religion.” The blame must be laid at the feet of far-Left extremists who have done everything in their power to purge America of her Christian roots. Because of this loss of morality, our nation is becoming chaotic and our liberties are rapidly slipping away, as many push for more government control.

Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician, member of the Continental Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, warned of this, saying,

The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 163).

George Washington gave the same warning in his 1796 Farewell address after serving two terms as the nation’s first president. He urged the new nation to maintain "religion" and "morality," which he called "indispensable" supports for national prosperity. Interestingly, he did not say that religion should be "tolerated," but that it is "indispensable" for the life of the nation.

He also warned against the false supposition, entertained by so many today, that morality can maintained apart from religion [Christianity]. He called religion and morality “the great pillars of human happiness” and then said,

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion [Christianity]. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 165).

Thomas Jefferson was so impressed with Washington’s speech that he made it required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded. This should not be surprising for despite his questioning of certain aspects of Christian doctrine, Jefferson was convinced that only by embracing the moral teachings of Jesus and the New Testament could a nation enjoy both stability and freedom.

This is why John Dickinson, chairman of the committee that produced the Articles of Confederation, warned that “when states lose their liberty, this calamity is generally owing to a decay of virtue.” And commenting on this fact, Michael Novak is correct in declaring,

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).

The Way Forward from Here

Fast forward to 2023 and we find ourselves with a government that is openly hostile to the Christian faith. We have an administration that plants its agents in Christian churches to spy on them and their activities. We have people in government who believe more government is the solution to every problem and believe the church should be under the power of the state. This is totally antithetical to the vision of the Founders. It is a very serious time.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” It is time to reject this destructive lie of the Left that has been used to silence Christian voices in the public arena, and is leading to societal chaos. Let your voice be heard and join me and thousands of others in praying for another Great Awakening to sweep across this land.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America from which the above article was derived. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com