October 2010 – Is The Tea Party Movement Another “Great Awakening?”

Published October 5, 2010 by Dr. David M. Berman in Articles 2010

By Dr. David M. Berman

The Tea Party movement is truly a powerful force. When this movement is compared to others such as the one under Ross Perot, it is clear that the Tea Party movement is much stronger. Both the Republican and Democrat establishments have been forced to acknowledge that the Tea Party has motivated, empowered, and given voice to Conservatives in this country. Primary election surprises have sent shockwaves and the shakeup continues……so what?

Does it really matter in the long run? Some may feel that the goal is to stop Obama and the liberals from continuing down the path to destruction of the Constitutional principles we were founded on. Others feel this is the start of real reform and restoration of The Constitution as supreme law of the land. I have been giving this movement a lot of thought in relation to our history as a nation and the cultural slide to entitlement, the destruction of the family, and the enslavement to government dependence.

Our history has experienced times of spiritual decline which were followed by great awakenings. The “First Great Awakening” happened in the 1730’s and 40’s. A renewal swept through the churches in the colonies and brought with it an intense fervor for the Bible which influenced every part of society. This awakening was so powerful that there is no doubt that its long term effects contributed to the fervor to fight for liberty with the cry of the American Revolution being “No king but King Jesus!” There was even a song written by the well known and notable New-England composer William Billings, called Independence. Here are the Lyrics:

“The states, O Lord, with songs of praise shall in Thy strength rejoice,
And blest with Thy salvation raise to Heav’n their cheerful voice.
To the King they shall sing Hallelujah.
Thy goodness and Thy tender care have all our fears destroy’d,
A covenant of peace Thou mad’st with us confirmed by Thy word,
A covenant Thou mad’st with us and seal’d it with Thy blood.
To the King they shall sing Hallelujah.
And all the continent shall sing: down with this earthly King,
No King but God.
To the King they shall sing Hallelujah.
And the continent shall sing: God is our rightful King, Hallelujah.
And the continent shall sing: God is our gracious King, Hallelujah.
They shall sing to the King, Hallelujah.
God is the King, Amen,
The Lord is His name, Amen.”

This song along with powerful sermons preached from the pulpits of awakened Churches moved the culture as the flames of liberty were held under the authority of “God given rights.”

The Declaration of Independence makes this clear as it states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (emphasis mine).

The first great awakening was a spiritual awakening that led to a political realty. Due to a move in the hearts of the people to spiritual fervor, the result was a change manifested in the political realm.

The “Second Great Awakening” took place in the early 19th century. This movement influenced every church denomination including the more liturgical type churches (Anglican etc). Upstate NY was called “the Burned Over District” due to the numerous revival meetings that happened there. Church attendance soared and this powerful move motivated the culture and brought a realization that God is watching us. This spawned the Holiness movement. The second great awakening spawned a powerful abolitionist movement which led to continued tension over the slavery issue.  It can be credibly argued that the second great awakening had a part in leading to the civil war in which the slaves were freed. It is also a fact that during the second great awakening many slaves became powerful Christians and the black church was birthed in America. Again spiritual awakening led to political reality.

Is the Tea Party movement the Third Great Awakening? This is an important historical question that we must look in the light of history. Is this movement a result of spiritual revival or political and economic anger? Is it that the Tea Party people realize that our nation has fallen away from God’s Word, or is it that they think that we are fine as a culture and the problem is only the politicians?

Let me be abundantly clear concerning my personal position. I am in total support of the major goals of the Tea Party movement. Their desire for small constitutionally limited government, low taxes, power back to the states and the people (Tenth Amendment), and all the principles of liberty as found in our original American documents I totally support. Having said that, I fear the movement has missed the most important part of reform that led to the establishment of these sacred principles: “endowed by our Creator.” If we attempt to return to the Constitution without returning to the Lord God almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, we will only have a short term influence on things. Without revival in the Church bringing us back to respect for the Bible, the Tea Party movement will at best become another political party that loses its way as corruption and human pride take over. What we need is a revival back to the first great awakening, a fervor that motivates to fight for liberty and establish once again a nation under God.

Hear these words and contemplate them:

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” – Samuel Adams, 1779 (emphasis mine).

“They tell us Sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power.” — Patrick Henry (emphasis mine).

“Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.” — Patrick Henry (emphasis mine).

These are but a few quotes of the many that make it clear that if we are to return to our foundation, that return must include God! I exhort all of you who identify with the Tea Party movement, do not forsake the Creator by which this great land was established! I beseech you by the mercies of God that you refuse to believe in a secular awakening. Let this not simply be a move of anger but rather a move of repentance toward God. If this movement is to have a lasting result to the restoration of liberty, it cannot be simply motivated by the economy, jobs, disgust over political corruption, or the national debt. If we are to seriously make a lasting change and return to the principles of liberty, the emphasis must not be politics and economics alone clothed in secular wisdom. If we truly desire a revival of the Constitution the cry must once again be “No king but King Jesus!!!!” May the Lord use this article to His glory!

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