Trump and the American Revival

This is an unknown story. The media will never report it because it embarrasses them too much. They detest faith. They wish it would simply go away. 

The sparsely populated Hebrides Islands have only 44,000 people with a land area of around 2,400 square miles. It is rural. The population is mostly in remote villages, only accessible from the mainland by boat or ferry.  Not much goes on except sheep and cattle raising, fishing, a few tourists, and even fewer trees. The ancestors were ancient peoples who still speak Gaelic. The Isle of Lewis is located at the very far northwest corner of Scotland in the British Isles.

You might rightly ask, what does such a distant place, so far away, have to do with America, the presidency, and God’s providential hand?

When you find out you will understand why every Christian—Evangelical, Protestant, Catholic, and Bible-centered believer should decide to vote for Donald Trump this election. He is the spearhead of the fifth Great Awakening in American history.

Watch this short clip from a recent sermon. It will move you.

America, brothers and sisters, is in the throes of a revival. This new great awakening, much like earlier such movements in our long history, is rooted in a return to God’s norms, an acceptance of His grace, and a turning away from sin and unfaithfulness.

Historians have identified four such periods in our history, each increasing religious enthusiasm. 

The first such awakening occurred from 1720-1745 in the colonies leading up to and underscoring the drive for independence. The second began in the 1790s and birthed the abolition movement, temperance, and women’s rights. It is often associated with Jonathan Edwards. The third outpouring, from 1850-90, saw the initiation of active missionary work, the founding of the YMCA, and carried forward its zeal during and after the tumultuous Civil War.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Fogel identifies the fourth great awakening in the 1960s and early ’70s. The Jesus Movement led to the rapid and wide growth of evangelicalism and the rise of holiness and charismatic faith.

According to theologians who document such events, “Awakenings” all result from powerful preaching, a sense of guilt from sin, and the need for salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.

Make no mistake, these awakenings are critical episodes in American history which have had a demonstrable effect—focusing people on piety, changing rituals, habits, self-awareness and shaping our culture and politics for the better. 

Today, an unexpected servant is doing God’s bidding and is the instrumental agent in the fifth great awakening. He wants to Make America Great Again and to Keep it Great. This “greatness” is measured not only in military might and in economic prowess and productivity, important as they are. 

It is measured in spiritual capital. 

Judeo-Christian heritage has served as the spiritual capital of America. Of special importance is the articulation of how Judeo-Christian spiritual capital has been the source of the spiritual quest of modernity, how that quest has evolved and why America, because of its deep spiritual capital, has been uniquely able to provide leadership for that quest.

The larger thesis is that America, by virtue of its specific spiritual capital heritage, not only is the beneficiary of its advantages but also is the leading exemplar of the spiritual quest of modernity itself. It is because America is engaged in a spiritual quest that it can exercise world leadership as opposed to domination, empire, and oppression.

There are clear economic consequences of America’s spiritual capital. Specifically, economic development, growth, and entrepreneurship depend on such spiritual capital. Religious beliefs have a measurable impact on individuals, communities, and societies.

Political freedom is not unlike economic freedom. There is a symbiotic relationship between America’s spiritual capital and our exceptional political institutions, democracy, Constitution, and freedoms.  

The substantive spiritual vision supports the political and economic procedural norms of a free society. These procedural norms are not otherwise defensible. America’s success and leadership in the world have an integral relation to its spiritual capital.

Like any form of capital, spiritual capital may lie dormant or be wasted, it may be used productively, it may be augmented, and it may be diminished or eroded. 

Our heritage is currently under assault from a variety of sources today and something happens when scientific, technological, economic, and political institutions are detached from their spiritual roots. The result is a natural progression from governmental bureaucratic centralization to secularism to reductive materialism and ultimately to a social-collectivist conception of human welfare.

Within the American story, there is an argument—namely, that these achievements will not be sustained without that heritage, and for all of the above reasons the heritage needs to be reaffirmed and renewed. Indeed, it can be said that the future of modernity and America depends on the extent to which there is a reaffirmation of America’s spiritual capital.

Be assured there is special content in America’s Judeo-Christian spiritual capital based in biblical truths. In many ways, it has come to define America. It also suggests the origins and sources of the current attacks on Judeo-Christian spiritual capital.

These include, most notably:

  • Perennial (heretical) utopian Gnosticism, now in the form of Socialism
  • Rousseauian/Marxist-derived narratives of equality and complaints about modernity
  • The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Militant Secularism (domestic  and international)
  • Anarchism
  • Militant Islamism (international)

President Trump, unlike other past leaders, is rebutting these attacks. He argues that America will not survive without a renewal of its Judeo-Christian spiritual capital.

Specifically, this means the importance of personal autonomy and responsibility stemming from the dignity of the individual as a human person and the exercise of religious freedom. It also requires the need to support civil association with a robust content—full morality and the rule of law.

In no way do he and his followers advocate a theocracy or anything less than a democratic republic that is rooted in commerce and, ultimately, produces what the founders themselves called, “human flourishing.”

He does advocate the rejuvenation of Judeo-Christian spiritual capital as a cultural phenomenon, the non-apologetic expression of one’s faith, and the re-education of misguided clerics, educators, the media, and America’s leaders. And most of all direct, honest, lawful, and vigorous confrontation of America’s critics and its enemies.

Tradition tells of a chime that changed the entire world when it rang on July 8, 1776. It was the sound from the tower of Independence Hall summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.

The Pennsylvania Assembly had ordered that bell in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges, Pennsylvania’s original Constitution. That charter spoke of the rights and freedoms valued by people the world over. Particularly insightful were the devout Penn’s ideas on religious freedom, his stance on American rights, and his inclusion of citizens in enacting laws.

The Liberty Bell gained iconic importance again when abolitionists in their efforts to put an end to slavery throughout America adopted it as a symbol. 

As the bell was created to commemorate the golden anniversary of Penn’s Charter, the biblical quotation, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” taken from Leviticus 25:10, seemed particularly apt and was engraved on the Bell.

More and more Americans in 2020 have come to realize that President Trump is ringing that bell again. He, unlike his opposition, defends and rearticulates America’s spiritual capital—ushering in America’s fifth great awakening.

About Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is a scholar, diplomat, and strategist who was active in the Trump campaign in 2016.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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