Hyatt International Ministries
Taking Spiritual Awakening & Biblical Thinking to the Nations
with Drs. Eddie & Susan Hyatt & Friends
Recovering Our Spiritual Heritage Through a National Spiritual Awakening
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.
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.
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.”
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).