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Tag Archives: George Washington

Thunder and Lightning

During one of my favorite seminary classes, Revival and Revivalism, the course began by studying the gradual spiritual decline in America.  According to several historians, 1799 was one of the darkest years for Christianity in the United States.  While the death of George Washington on December 14th didn’t help this matter, apathy, complacency and spiritual indifference spread throughout the East Coast.  This climate set the stage for thunder and lightning to appear in the form of the second Great Awakening.

“I love those that thunder out the Word… the Christian world is in a deep sleep.  Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it,” George Whitefield -1739.

The second great awakening used some of the techniques successful in the first spiritual movement that began in 1730, lasting until 1743.  George Whitefield was one of the local preachers in Delaware, holding Tent Revivals in Pike Creek Valley and St. George’s which is now divided by the C&D canal.  Whitefield preached over 18,000 sermons to nearly ten million people, seeking to awaken the souls of American colonists who had strayed from God like prodigal children.

But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, Luke 15:17-18.

Whitefield felt the need to challenge individuals, using a thunderous approach to get the attention of those spiritually floundering.  Back in the early 1970’s, a similar tone was applied, known as Fire and Brimstone messages.  Unfortunately, this style turned many off to the gospel, leaving the church as a teenager, never to return again.  Instead of yelling at people to repent, Jesus recommended being salt and light to the unchurched, Matthew 5:13-16.  In today’s culture, earning the right to be heard by living out your faith is much more effective.  Thus, if you want to live long enough to experience a fourth great awakening, demonstrate the love of Jesus daily through random acts of kindness.  This should spark the interest of unbelievers and possibly ignite spiritual thunder and lightning.

by Jay Mankus

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The Tyranny of Things of Space

If you study Old English. tyranny is an expression used to describe a cruel and oppressive government. Whenever people in authority exert undemocratic rule, employ an unreasonable amount of force or suppress the rights of their citizens, rebellion, revolts and uprisings follow.  People who survive war or escape tyranny tend to turn to the Bible for answers in life.  Perhaps, this may explain why the Bible is the greatest selling book of all time.

“No other book of any kind ever written in English has ever so affected the whole life of a people,” Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.

Theodore Roosevelt is one of four presidents whose face is on Mount Rushmore.  The other three presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.  After his tenure as the 26th president of the United States, 1901-1909, Roosevelt made a profound statement about the Bible.  While the context of this quote is unclear, Roosevelt understood the power that the living Word of God has on the ability to transform human lives.

“Six days a week we live under the tyranny of the things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time,” Abraham Joshua Heschel from The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, 1951.

Forty years later, Abraham Heschel explored the Bible to make the connection between freedom and the Sabbath.  Depending upon your work schedule, life is filled with monotony, the mundane and tedious tasks that typical occupations require.  Thus, the tyranny of the things in space is a human being running through the rat race called life without any purpose and reason.  However, when you apply biblical principles to keep the Sabbath holy, becoming attuned to God, helps souls see how everything else in life is so insignificant.  When faith is exercised daily, the Sabbath isn’t merely one day of the week, its a lifestyle that enable Christians to escape the tyranny of the things of space.

by Jay Mankus

Excuse Me

A generation ago, respect was demanded, encouraged and reinforced by most suburban neighborhoods.  Whenever someone burped, farted or responded in a rude manner in public, this act was addressed immediately.  Local communities looked out for the best interest of adolescents as adults weren’t afraid to correct inappropriate behavior.  This era reflected a time when the majority ruled.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come, 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, there is a growing movement in America to remove any monument or statue linked to slavery.  During an interview with the media last week, President Donald Trump addressed this issue.  Using George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as examples, Trump replied “where are you going to stop?”  If this trend is allowed to continue, the offended will expand their sights to erase remaining traces of Christianity within America.  Today, the minority find ways to rule.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Corinthians 10:12.

If this removal of American history doesn’t disturb you, let me remind you of Kryziukalnas, Lithuania.  When the former Soviet Union invaded the Baltic States in June of 1940, Soviet officials removed all resembles of faith.  This meant removing all religious symbols.  When the iron curtain fell in the 1980’s, crosses that were found were placed on a hill in northern Lithuania.  This site ensures that future generations won’t forget what happened in the past.  Today, this area is known as the hill of crosses, a symbol of religious freedom.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

In recent days, traces of America’s Civil War are being destroyed.  Fueled by a media frenzy, any monument or statue that suggests racism is under consideration for removal.  However, if local, state and government officials allow this excuse me mentally to reign, any landmark could be in jeopardy.  Do Americans really want to follow in the footsteps of communism?  Who will learn from history if it’s completely obliterated?  May the city of crosses serve as a living example to learn from past mistakes.  Instead of saying excuse me, use any offensive historic symbol as teachable moments to educate those who were not alive.

by Jay Mankus

You Can’t Hide From History

 

George Washington University made national news earlier in the week for a change in its history department.  Following a recent trend, school officials have decided to no longer require history majors to take American History before graduating, making it optional.  Currently, only a third of colleges make American History mandatory for those who major in this field.  Yet, it seems strange for an institution named after the first president of the United States to not stress and treasure American History.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

Upon hearing this news, an outsider like me was initially put off until I realized who is teaching these classes.  To the atheist, liberal, progressive and socialist professors, the thought of American exceptionalism is offending.  Subsequently, the curriculum must be filtered, eliminating and skipping over content which reveals a Christian heritage and biblical principles.  Instead of getting the whole story, a revisionist history void of spiritual leaders is giving students a false narrative making American History just another class.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible, Hebrews 11:3.

Unfortunately, most college students graduate from universities thinking America’s founding fathers were a bunch of hypocritical slave owners.  If only material like Steeling the Mind of America was used to enlighten classes.  When individuals see American History that is unfiltered first hand, the outcome will be much different.  Most forget a time when this country celebrated 4 national religious holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Independence Day.  While a different narrative is winning over naive minds, you can’t hide from history when you search for the truth.

by Jay Mankus

 

More Than Patriotism

Following the aftermath of April 15th’s terrorist attack during the 2013 Boston Marathon, a spirit of patriotism appears to be spreading across the fruited plains.  Instead of listening to stars preform America’s Nation Anthem, spectators at sporting events in Boston and other cities have become participants, pouring out their soul in song.  Rather than steal the spotlight, celebrities have turned theirs mic away from their own lips, pointing it toward the stands to magnify the crowds’ voices.

As a son of an immigrant from Lithuania, my heart has been touched by this renewed sense of patriotism.  Goosebumps made my hair stand up the first time I saw these highlights.  However, in order for this feeling to last, more than patriotism is required.  While secular and revisionist historians attempt to hide the truth of this country’s founding, Americans must remember the faith of their founders.

Benjamin Franklin once called on delegates of the first Constitutional Convention to pray so that their deadlocks and disagreements might end.  George Washington believed in the divine providence of God after gunfire from an ambush appeared to have bounced off his body.  John Adams had a vision for a land built upon the honest practice of biblical principles.  Speaking on America’s independence, Patrick Henry acknowledged that God has blessed this land.  Therefore, if you are moved to patriotism, go one step further by following in the faith of our founders!

by Jay Mankus

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