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Dr. Eddie Hyatt



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Hyatt International Ministries

Taking Spiritual Awakening & Biblical Thinking to the Nations

with Drs. Eddie & Susan Hyatt & Friends


America’s Revival Heritage
Recovering Our Spiritual Heritage Through a National Spiritual Awakening
By
Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min., M.Div., M.A.


The pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, MA in 1620 were radical Christians. They were Separatist Puritans, which means they had been willing to break traditional ties with church, family and nation in order to obey God. Initially they sought a renewal of the Church of England from within. When resistance arose from the church hierarchy, some Puritans left the state church and began setting up their own voluntary congregations. These actions brought them under severe persecution from both state and church authorities.

They Fled Religious Persecution
To escape this persecution, and in hope of realizing their vision of New Testament Christianity, one of these separatist congregations boarded the Mayflower and migrated to America in 1620. Over the next 20 years another 20,000 Puritans migrated to Massachusetts to escape the maltreatment of an oppressive, state-controlled church.

They Embraced Christianity
The historical situation of those who founded this nation is the key to understanding the first amendment of our constitution which says, CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION NOR HINDERING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF. The framers were not seeking to exclude Christian influence from the public arena. They were instituting a safeguard to protect the nation from a powerful, state-sponsored church that would seek to coerce and control the thinking and actions of its citizenry. That was the very thing they had left behind in Europe.

George Washington
For example, George Washington, the first president, took the oath of office with his hand placed on a Bible. Washington declared that, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” He once prayed, “Bless O Lord the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ.” Did Washington want to exclude Christian influence from the political or public arena? Hardly!

John Adams
The first continental Congress convened in September 1774. It was opened with prayer and the reading of Psalm 35:9, 23 which says, My soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation. . . . Awake and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord! One of the founding fathers, John Adams, described the scene during this opening prayer. “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. It seems as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read that day.”

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is often pointed to as one of the non-Christian founders of this nation. But even in his earlier deistic years he carried a Christian world-view: And there is evidence that in his latter years he came to know the Savior.

On June 28, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was about to adjourn in dissension when Franklin, now an old man, rose to his feet. He addressed the Convention president, George Washington, with these words.

How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. I have lived, sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth–that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this.

Franklin’s words were heeded and the delegates went to prayer–many on their knees. The much-needed breakthrough came and the Convention went on to complete its task. Did Franklin want to exclude Christianity from the public arena? Absolutely not! Like Washington and the others, he did not want a state-empowered church that monitored the religious beliefs and practices of the people.

Thomas Jefferson
But what about Thomas Jefferson? Was he not the anti-Christian champion of the separation of church and state? No! Although he had leanings toward deism and entertained questions about the miracles in the Bible, like Franklin Jefferson held to a Christian world-view. He once said,
God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.

It was on December 15, 1791 that the First Amendment, along with nine other amendments to the constitution, was ratified. It is incredulous to believe that these founders with their strong, public religious convictions were seeking to exclude religious expression from the public arena. No! Instead of inhibiting religious expression, they were throwing the door open to religious expression without government interference. This was understood for the first 150 years of this nation’s existence. In History of the United States published in 1816, David Ramsey declared that the founders of this nation, “Wisely judged learning and religion to be the firmest pillars of the church and commonwealth.”

First Amendment is Being Distorted
Instead of protecting religious liberty as it was intended, the First Amendment has been distorted and is now used as a basis of religious oppression. Today, children in public schools are told they cannot pray over their food in the cafeteria or wear Christian symbols–such as a cross–because this breaches the so-called wall of separation between church and state. Nativity scenes have been banned from public buildings at Christmas time and the Ten Commandments removed from public buildings, including schools and courtrooms. In fact, there is an all out push by a radical anti-Christian contingent to remove every vestige of Christianity from public life.

America’s Destiny is in Our Hands
What can we do? First of all, let’s remember our roots–our heritage. Let’s arm ourselves with the Truth. Remember that God has been gracious to send national Spiritual awakenings to this nation at critical times. He did so in the First Great Awakening and again in the Second Great Awakening. He will do it again if we will meet his conditions.

According to 2 Chrn. 7:14 the ball is in our court. This great promise of national revival begins with the words, “If My people . . ..” Not “if the Republicans . . ..” Not “if the Democrats . . ..” But “if my people . . ..” The destiny of America rests with us. It is time for us to fall on our faces and cry out to God. All our programs, choirs, sermons, conferences, etc. have not stemmed the tide of secularism and godlessness. What time is it in America? It is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you (Hosea 10:12).



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Copyright © 2016 Eddie Hyatt. Last Modified: 06/17/2006