The Third Great Awakening
This past week, we saw significant Supreme Court decisions that will change the course of America for generations to come.
On Friday morning, June 24th, we witnessed history made as the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Life finally won after what seemed like an impossible task for 49 years in a battle against the Goliath of the abortion industry. God has delivered our victory.
While abortion is not abolished in America, the issue of legal abortion is returned to the states to decide individually. Over a dozen states have “trigger laws” banning abortion, designed to take effect with the overturning of Roe. In some states – including Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota – the trigger law took effect immediately. Some blue states, however, like California, New York, and Oregon, are going in the opposite direction and promoting even more extreme pro-abortion policies. Nonetheless, we have entered the post-Roe era which is cause for celebration!
Additionally, we saw two major religious freedom cases won by our friends at First Liberty, which Patriot Mobile supports. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Coach Joe Kennedy and his right to pray silently after football games. After a seven-year battle, Coach Kennedy has finally been vindicated.
“This is a tremendous victory for Coach Kennedy and religious liberty for all Americans,” said Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel for First Liberty. “Our Constitution protects the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired. We are grateful that the Supreme Court recognized what the Constitution and law have always said – Americans are free to live out their faith in public.”
The Supreme Court also ruled 6-3 in favor of religious parents in Maine. The Court ruled that states cannot discriminate against parents who want to send their children to religious schools by barring them from participating in student-aid programs. “We are thrilled that the Court affirmed once again that religious discrimination will not be tolerated in this country… This is a great day for religious liberty in America,” Shackelford said.
We rejoice over these victories!
As we reflect on what this means for America, three things come to mind:
1. America was founded on biblical principles, which we have strayed from for far too long.
When you look at the true history of America’s founding, one cannot deny our Godly heritage. America was founded on the Word of God to advance the Christian faith. As the Mayflower Compact states:
The earliest pilgrims left Europe for the New World to freely worship God Almighty and escape religious persecution. The pilgrims arrived on the shores of North America, adamant about building a civil society that allowed all people to worship God according to their convictions.
The First Amendment to the Constitution acknowledges the importance of religious freedom when it says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” As Ted Cruz explains in his book, One Vote Away, the First Amendment “prohibits government from using government power to coerce people to believe one faith or denomination. Having declared independence from England and fought a bloody war to achieve it, the Framers did not want the United States to have an official Church like the Church of England. Rather, they sought to protect our individual right to choose our own faith.”
However, the left has misinterpreted this as an absolute “wall of separation of church and state” and sought to remove all mention of God from the public square. But the phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in our Constitution or Declaration. It appears in Thomas Jefferson’s correspondence to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, and he clearly meant a one-way wall barring the government from interfering in the affairs of the church to protect religious liberty, not to persecute people of faith.
Were our Founding Fathers hostile to religion? Absolutely not! John Adams declared, “The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere.” President George Washington reminded us in his Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
On the issue of life, our Declaration of Independence acknowledges the inalienable right to life, endowed by our Creator. The “right to abortion” cannot be found anywhere in our founding documents. This “right” was created when Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided in 1973, resulting in the slaughter of 62 million babies.
Our Founding Fathers got it right, and we, as a nation, have strayed too far from our Godly heritage.
Unfortunately, too many Christians, like Coach Kennedy, have wrongly been persecuted for their faith or silenced for fear of retribution. Too many millions of innocent lives have been aborted because our laws did not heed the Word of God or the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.
2. When evil prevails, it is the Church’s role to stand for righteousness.
One has to wonder, how did this happen? How did America stray so far from the biblical principles that made us the world’s most prosperous and free nation?
Pastor Rafael Cruz shed light on this situation this Tuesday during his weekly Bible study hosted at the Patriot Mobile headquarters. “The church is greatly at fault,” he says. “Because so many of the churches say, ‘Let’s not talk about anything controversial because we don’t want to offend anyone.’
Psalm 11:3 asks, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Indeed, the Christian foundation of America has been eroding while the Church has sat on the sidelines. In its place, the left has been setting up its own foundation based on atheism, communism, and secular humanism that denies biblical truth and moral absolutes. Progressives have used the Supreme Court to push their agenda.
In 1962, in an unprecedented ruling, the Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools. But prayer has played a significant role throughout our nation’s history, with thousands of calls to prayer and fasting by our government leaders.
Yet the Church remained silent. The excuse? It is a political issue!
In 1963, the Supreme Court banned Bible reading in public schools. Ironically, the first Bible in America was printed by Congress!
Yet the Church remained silent. The excuse? It is a political issue!
“How can you call prayer a political issue? How can you call Bible study a political issue?” Pastor Rafael asks. “But that’s exactly what the church did.”
In 1973, the Supreme Court decided that preborn babies did not have the right to life, despite our Declaration of Independence affirming this inalienable right.
Yet the Church remained silent. The excuse? Again, it is a political issue!
Since then, we have seen the breakdown of the family, increased teen pregnancy and increased violent crimes. As a result, Roe v. Wade was the law of the land for 49 years, during which time millions of babies were aborted.
But through the tireless work of the pro-life movement and the ceaseless prayers of millions of Christians over decades, God had mercy on us. As a result of advocacy groups, pregnancy resource centers, and pro-life individuals standing up for life and ministering to pregnant women, America began to see a shift towards a more pro-life ethic. America even saw a decline in abortions. Then God used the unlikely personality of President Donald Trump to appoint three new pro-life Supreme Court justices, who ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision, giving us the ultimate victory. God is faithful!
May we learn from the past and not make those same mistakes again. May we heed the Word of God, which calls us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and never let such an atrocity prevail again under our watch. May this wave of boldness and love be pervasive in our churches.
3. These victories give the Church an unprecedented opportunity to share the gospel and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
These victories are significant. These victories signify a spiritual shift in America. “We could see revival coming to America as a result of this,” Pastor Rafael says. “The opportunity for ministry has increased a million-fold. And I think that if we do what God has called us to do, we could be the catalyst that triggers the Third Great Awakening in America.”
“I literally believe that America is in a revival right now,” Historian David Barton says. “Now that’s weird because this is a very unhappy time for a lot of people. Do you know, every time we’ve had a major revival in America, we’ve had major national conflict. We see a revival as a nice kind of smooth thing. It’s not. It’s a difficult thing because revival is changing the way people think, changing the way they act, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”
America has seen God visit us in powerful ways in the past that brought about significant political changes for the better. The First Great Awakening in the 1700s led to the American Revolution, which gave us our independence. The Second Great Awakening in the 1800s resulted in the Civil War that emancipated the slaves.
In The American Story, David Barton reminds us that what became national revivals started as small revivals throughout thousands of local communities, “that is, the revival grew from families and towns outward to the nation, not from the nation inward to towns and families,” he says.
We all have a part to play in our local community to bring revival to America.
Unfortunately, the reversal of Roe will never bring back the 62 million children aborted, but this decision will save countless babies moving forward. The Church must be ready to step in to help these scared and vulnerable mothers. “We’re going to find tremendous opportunities today as we come across these young girls that were seeking an abortion, and all of a sudden, that’s become much more difficult,” Pastor Rafael Cruz says. “What a great opportunity for us to share the love of God with those girls. Yes, for us to embrace them and show them hope. Hope that is in Jesus Christ.”
At Patriot Mobile, we know the pro-life movement’s work will be even more important. That’s why we have committed $400k this year to give to pro-life, pro-love organizations. A portion of every dollar we earn will be given back to organizations like Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Concerned Women For America, Students for Life of America, Embrace Grace, and the Council for Life
We will also continue to support organizations that fight for our First Amendment freedom of religion, like First Liberty, which has won over 90% of the cases they’re involved in. We know that religious freedom must flourish in our nation for the Church to freely share the Gospel.
America is ripe for revival, and we must all do our part to heed God’s calling to do his Work.