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Only Christian Reform has the Power to Save the USA From Itself ...
Easter and the American Tradition of Revival—It Can Happen Again!
On Easter, the God of spiritual redemption and revival is celebrated. Coincidentally, no single factor has been more influential in the conception and formation of America, than Christian revivals in US history. The first colonial Americans were religious dissenters and reformers.
The first arrivals, the Pilgrims, wanted a new home in the New World to build a New Jerusalem for the return of Christ. The second wave English Puritans merely wanted to purify their Anglican church of non-biblical elements. They left when they decided this was no longer possible. So America was built upon this twin thread, the very foundation of revival and reformation.
The formation of America was achieved by various religious groups, including the Anglicans, Congregationalists, Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, and others. It was through these anti-tyranny groups that the American vision was articulated. This vision was deeply influenced by the Great Awakening (1731-1755), and then four subsequent American revivals. Without revivals and awakenings, the colonists probably would not have developed the distinct liberty oriented theory of government which has become the hallmark of the USA.
An excellent introduction to the topic of America and revival is Eddie Hyatt’s America’s Revival Heritage: How Christian Reformation & Spiritual Awakening Led to the Formation of the United States of America.
Message of Easter
The popular image of Easter is a silly clich√©, oozing chocolate bunnies and hidden colored eggs. Yet the claims of the Bible, regarding Christ’s death and Resurrection are a tremendous challenge to the secular and religious mind alike. The idea that God Himself chose to divest Glory and come to earth in the form of the Son, is mind-boggling. The claim of Christ’s sinless existence, where He earned the right to die for all men’s sins, is only excelled by the resurrection. Here, Jesus confronts death personally, and actually kills death in his own death, according to such luminous theologians as John Owen, in The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.
Mark 16:1-8 describes the Resurrection of Christ:
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The ultimate message of Easter is that Christ, and by extension of faith and belief—all of His followers have gained the right and privilege to confront death as a conquered foe. Or as the great poet and Anglican preacher John Donne wrote in Holy Sonnet X:
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
From the seeds of the Puritan Revolution came much of what later would become distinctive in America—a constitutional, democratic republic built upon the rule of law, offering freedoms of speech, association, press, religion, self-protection and commerce. All these ideas had been suggested by such groups as the English Protestant non-conformers known as the Levellers. America’s first colonists, the Settlers at New Plymouth, wrote drafted a covenant aboard their ship, the Mayflower Compact of 1620:
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God…Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
William Bradford, a leader of that first Pilgrim group on the Mayflower, wrote about the experience of setting foot in America:
Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the fast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. And no marvel if they were thus joyful, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on the coast of his own Italy, as he affirmed, that he had rather remain twenty years on his way by land than pass by sea to any place in a short time, so tedious and dreadful was the same unto him.
America has always been a nation obsessed with biblical religion, repentance and revival. And this is not the first time that religious leaders have considered the US to be on the verge of apostasy and utter collapse. And so on Easter it is certainly apropos to question whether America can ever surmount the pinnacles of greatness again? The answer to this must lie in the possibility of America undergoing another revival, since this is what made the USA great, to begin with.
America’s Great Awakening
The first, and most memorable American revival was called the Great Awakening. Historian Alan Heimert emphasized the importance of the Great Awakening upon the American Revolution and ideals of liberty and independence in Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution. Several events were attributed to the revival, one being a sermon, and the other, the labors of British evangelist George Whitfield. Here is one description:
What historians call “the first Great Awakening” can best be described as a revitalization of religious piety that swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s. That revival was part of a much broader movement, an evangelical upsurge taking place simultaneously on the other side of the Atlantic, most notably in England, Scotland, and Germany. In all these Protestant cultures during the middle decades of the eighteenth century, a new Age of Faith rose to counter the currents of the Age of Enlightenment, to reaffirm the view that being truly religious meant trusting the heart rather than the head, prizing feeling more than thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason.
Another site adds this:
The results in America were staggering. At least 50,000 souls were added to the churches of New England, out of a population of about 250,000. It had the same effect in the Middle States, ultimately affecting over one hundred towns. Hundreds of new churches were planted, the ranks of serving ministers swelled, Biblically-based schools and colleges multiplied, works of love and mercy abounded, missionary impetus transported the message trans-nationally—revival had come.
As to seminal figures, Jonathan Edwards is primary. Sacvan Bercovitch, in The Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America, describes Edwards as the first modern American in terms of transitioning from the old world understanding of man and God, to the New World. Yet he was still a committed Calvinist. His sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Enfield, Connecticut July 8, 1741) caused adults to shout and faint, such was its psychological power. Unregenerate humans were symbolized as a spider held over a fire, by the hand of an unhappy God:
The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.
In terms of mass connection to the ordinary colonists, no figure is more important than George Whitefield, the voluble evangelist who preached to crowds sometimes approaching 30,000 people in open fields in Britain and America. It is thought Whitefield preached to perhaps a quarter of the colonists. Said Whitefield, “I love those that thunder out the Word. The Christian World is in a dead sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it.” (One sermon example—The Seed of the Woman, and the Seed of the Serpent.)
Whitefield was a model of the new evangelists who would later dominate Protestant America, according to The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism. Writes PBS:
Whitefield ignited the Great Awakening, a major religious revival that became the first major mass movement in American history. At its core, the Awakening changed the way that people experienced God. Instead of receiving religious instruction from their ministers, ordinary men and women unleashed their emotions to make an immediate, intense and personal connection with the divine. From New England to Georgia, the revival was marked by a broad populist tone—small farmers, traders, artisans, servants and laborers were especially swept up by the preaching of Whitefield and his followers.
Many authors have commented upon how the Great Awakening prepared America for breaking free from Britain:
The Awakening’s biggest significance was the way it prepared America for its War of Independence. In the decades before the war, revivalism taught people that they could be bold when confronting religious authority, and that when churches weren’t living up to the believers’ expectations, the people could break off and form new ones.
Through the Awakening, the Colonists realized that religious power resided in their own hands, rather than in the hands of the Church of England, or any other religious authority. After a generation or two passed with this kind of mindset, the Colonists came to realize that political power did not reside in the hands of the English monarch, but in their own will for self-governance (consider the wording of the Declaration of Independence). By 1775, even though the Colonists did not all share the same theological beliefs, they did share a common vision of freedom from British control. Thus, the Great Awakening brought about a climate which made the American Revolution possible.
Historian Harris Starr explained how the Awakening readied America for the Revolution, in terms of political consciousness: “For the first time, the American people sought to limit ecclesiastical and political authority and advocated freedom of conscience and individual liberty.” The Awakening dissolved the old social ties, and decreased church attendance because it emphasized the individual believer’s connection to God. The church as a democratic unit took the model for the Declaration of Independence claim of God-given rights.
Says one writer, “The American quest for liberty was fueled, disciplined, and restrained by the rule of law derived from the Higher Law of God’s Word. New England pastor Solomon Paine declared, “God hath given to every Man an unalienable right…and hath blessed them that appeared to stand uprightly for the Liberties of Conscience.” George McKenna, in The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism explains that religion and the Great Awakening had an enormous impact upon the Founder’s view of politics and liberty. Kevin Phillips, in The Cousin’s Wars, observed that when the Americans were fighting the British, “politics and religion remained inextricable.”
Let’s assume America desperately needs God’s help to survive. Since American Christianity is moribund, and a wave of paganism and atheism is washing over the US, we need a revival. But what is revival, and what brings it? One Bible dictionary defines it as: “The soveriegn activity of God whereby he renews his people individually and corporately in vigour, affecting both sincerity of belief and quality of behaviour.”
A great deal of debate has raged over whether God, mankind, or both bring revival. The Puritans believed they could help hasten such if they assumed the right posture and implored God for help. Eddie Hyatt describes the atmosphere in America before the Great Awakening:
The general spiritual condition was so bleak that calls for special times of prayer and fasting were issued throughout the colonies by pastors and government officials. William Cooper, a pastor from New England, said that before the Awakening (1726) there was “a constant petition in our public prayers, from Sabbath to Sabbath, that God would pour out His Spirit upon us and revive his work in the midst of the years.” He reported that most of the churches had “set apart days, wherein to seek the Lord by prayer and fasting.” In addition, there were “annual fast days appointed by the government.”
Jonathan Edwards himself was thought to have helped lay the foundation of the Great Awakening by unbelievable commitment to God, and specific prayer for revival. For America today to achieve the revival we so desperately need, a dedicated band of real believers needs to pray and fast in faith, believing that the God of revival will once again touch the US and heal our wounds. It can happen again.
Liberals want to control your speech, thoughts, and ideas as they decide what is hate.
In reaction to the Kansas shootings this week, two Democrats are pushing for legislation to come up with a government report looking at the perpetuation of hate speech in the media. The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 would update an old report on the role of the internet, radio, and television in “encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”
Senator Ed Markey argues the purpose of the bill is to make sure anyone using any of those outlets is not encouraging hate speech “outside the protection of the First Amendment.” The bill has gotten a mixed reception, with liberal radio host Alan Colmes speaking out against it, and now Glenn Beck has jumped into the fray.
Beck, who was very outspoken against an FCC proposal to look into American newsrooms, decried the bill as Nazi-style tactics. He said, “Forget about the Fairness Doctrine, this is Nazi stuff.”
He showed off an old German SS-approved radio that cut off access to certain radio stations, saying “we’ve been down this road before.”
Watch the video below, via BlazeTV:
Letters To God 2
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before, You can look it up.� - Bruce
If we come back as something - please don't let me be Jennifer Horton because I hate her.� - Denise
My brother is a rat. You should give him a tail. Ha ha.� - Danny
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. - Larry
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over. � - Sam
You don't have to worry about me. I always look both ways.� - Dean
I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. - Brad
Of all the people who work for You, I like Noah and David the best. - Ron
My brother told me about being born but it doesn't sound right. They're just kidding, aren't they?� - Marsha
If You watch me in Church Sunday. I'll show You my new shoes.� - Mickey
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible. - Chris
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said You did it. So, I bet he stole Your idea. - Donna
I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want You to know that. I am not just saying that because You are God already. - Charles
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope You will not hurt him anyway. Your friend (but I am not going to tell You who I am)
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (NIV)
And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. (NLT)
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (NIV)
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... (NIV)
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (NIV)
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." (NIV)
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (NIV)
Thank You Jesus for giving us the life you choose. Jesus is ALIVE in our hearts. Pray all are having a Blessed Easter Day remembering why Jesus died for ALL of us. Love and God Bless Maggie
Written by Allen West on April 18, 2014
I can only take credit for #10, but thought you’d get a kick out of this.
10. I’ll vote Democrat because I can’t wait for college football season to be delayed or cancelled because the student athletes are union employees.
9. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe oil company’s profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.
8. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.
7. I’ll vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
6. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that get police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.
5. I’ll vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.
4. I’ll vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the Social Security from those who paid into it.
3. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe that businesses should NOT be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.
2. I’ll vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.
And the Number One reason I’ll vote Democrat is:
1. I’ll vote Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, fish or frog.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/top-10-rea...
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