"What has happened to the Christians in America?"
That was the response of the mayor of a prominent north Texas city after I handed him a copy of my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, and explained that it documents the role of faith and prayer in the founding of America.
I was momentarily stunned by his question, and before I could respond, he asked another one: "Do you think the Christians will rise up again?"
I replied, "Yes, they are coming out of the closet."
With intensity in his voice, he replied, "I sure hope so."
In reflecting on the words of this mayor, I realized that he constantly hears the loud demands and protests of liberals, socialists, LGBT activists and all those who want to destroy the America of our parents and grandparents. In contrast, the voices of Christians seem silent, and he would like to know, "What has happened to the Christians in America?"
I am here reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." If the America of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln is to survive, we can no longer remain silent.
We are called to be "salt" and "light" in our culture, and this involves letting our voices be heard on our jobs and in all public sectors. We can no longer afford to hide in our religious enclaves. For salt to fulfill its purpose, it must be shaken out of the saltshaker.
Nazi Germany came into existence because too many Christians were silent. One person, with great remorse, told how the church he attended was situated next to a railroad over which many Jews were carried to the concentration camps. When a train passed during their church service and they heard screams and cries, "We sang louder," he said.
There is much hostility toward Bible-believing Christians in contemporary America. People like Aaron and Melissa Klein of Portland, Oregon, have lost their jobs and their businesses for standing for truth. Nonetheless, we must not be intimidated. This is no time for silence.
We should follow the example of the early church and pray for boldness. When the religious/political leaders in Jerusalem sought to intimidate those early Christians by threatening them and ordering them not to speak in the name of Jesus, they went to God in prayer.
They did not ask for deliverance from their persecutors, but for boldness to speak God's word. God was obviously pleased with their prayer, for Luke says,
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
In its infancy, America was culturally transformed through prayer and the bold witness of God's people. Benjamin Franklin described the transformation that came over his hometown of Philadelphia, saying,
It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening with hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 33).
Such cultural transformation also occurred in the Second Great Awakening and the Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58. It can happen again as God's people make a fresh commitment to be His witnesses and begin praying for a new Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the churches of America (Acts 2:1-4). This is no time for silence!
Dr. Eddie L Hyatt is an author, revivalist and Bible teacher. He is the founder of "America's Reawakening" whose purpose is to call America back to her founding principles of faith and freedom and to pray for another Great Awakening across the land. He has written several books on revival and spiritual awakening available from Amazon and his website at eddiehyatt.com.
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