1776: 3 Vital Truths You Should Know

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Eddie Hyatt

On July 4, America celebrated its 248th birthday. Many wonder if the nation can survive the current political, economic, cultural and moral crises presently enveloping our land. Below are three important facts about America that this generation desperately needs to understand—facts to carry us through the current crises. Fact No. 1: America was birthed out of a great spiritual awakening. When George Whitefield, the Great Awakening’s most famous preacher, came to America to preach the gospel for the first time in 1738, he prayed that the American colonists would “no longer live as 13 divided colonies but as one nation under God.” His incessant travels up and down the Eastern Seaboard, with thousands coming out to hear him preach in outdoor spaces, played a vital role in having his prayer answered.  Denominational, cultural and racial walls broke down, and for the first time, the crowds began to see themselves as a single people with one divine destiny.

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In this First Great Awakening, dating from 1726, entire towns were transformed throughout the East Coast. So great was the change that a British-appointed governor wrote to his leaders in England, “If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.” These facts led late historian and Harvard professor Perry Miller to declare, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening.” Fact No. 2: America’s founders were not racists. Out of the Great Awakening, an abolitionist movement was ignited that led to virtually every Founding Father, including those who held slaves, standing publicly against it. George Washington declared, “There is not a man living who wishes more than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.”

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