I recently was reviewing some material on the NAR where critics only focused on the apostolic abuses within the movement. While I agree the false authority paradigm is malignant, you could make the argument that the core feature of NAR beliefs today are dominionism as well as Charismania. This worshipping of country and nationalism, the last idol of the church age, is propped up by false teachers such as Eddie Hyatt. Eddie's latest Charisma News article is linked above where he wonders aloud if America could become a Christian nation once again, as if it already once was. It was not. This bad theology hinges on an absolute butchering of America history and the bible. As a former AG preacher and a former America History teacher, I feel compelled to weigh in on all sides. So let us reason once more together as this poison is running through the body of Christ every single day.
"They were called Dissenting Protestants, Nonconformists and Radical Reformers, and they were the ones who provided the philosophical and theological principles on which America was founded. They emphasized religious liberty and freedom of conscience and insisted that governmental force should never be used in matters of faith. In this, they differed from the Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans of that era who held to the Constantinian merger of the church with the state. This merger had led to an imperial church that used the power of the state to enforce its doctrines and advance its cause. This use of political power in matters of faith became characteristic of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. The reforms of Martin Luther were very important, but in the area of church-state relations, he miserably failed, for he retained this Constantinian idea of a state-sanctioned church. These state-churches became oppressive and persecuted those Christians who refused to conform. Laws were passed in England and other European nations outlawing so-called "clandestine" religious gatherings." - Eddie Hyatt
Eddie Hyatt is the master of historical sleight of hand. He engages in parlor tricks as he rewrites history and the bible to pretend his cause is the same as the founders of this country. It is not. The first sleight of hand he tries to pull off is in conflating groups of people that existed hundreds of years apart. Pilgrims did seek to break from the church, but the Puritans sought to reform it. They are not the same people just because history remembers them both as religious. The trick Hyatt plays is in pretending the colonists, who revolted over 150 years later were the same people with the same religious convictions. They were not. The colonists revolted for economic reasons, not religious ones. They felt oppressed by the unfair taxes levied against them. The Boston Tea party for example was actually about tea and the taxes levied upon it. The second sleight of hand we see here is out of one side of his mouth Hyatt correctly asserts the problems with the state sanctioned church system and how it negatively affected those that would establish America but out of the other side of his mouth he will argue that these same men demanded state sanctioned government! This is of course absurd. The failure of the state sanctioned church is exactly why the founders insisted in the separation of church and state, which Hyatt pretends was never desired. They wanted everyone to worship freely, without the involvement of the government, which is hardly a match for the movement Hyatt leads today, which demands the opposite.
"These clandestine religious groups included the Pilgrims and Separatist Puritans who settled New England, Quakers who settled Pennsylvania, Baptists who settled Rhode Island and other freedom-minded groups scattered throughout the Colonies. Back in the Old World, they had been hounded and oppressed by the state churches. The Separatists were hounded, bullied, forced to pay assessments to the Church of England, clapped into prison on trumped-up charges and driven underground. They met in private homes, to which they came at staggered intervals and by different routes, because they were constantly being spied upon. According to Benjamin Franklin, his father was a Dissenting Protestant who fled England in 1685 to escape persecution from the state-sanctioned Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church. Although influenced by deism in his teenage years, Franklin's mature thinking was primarily shaped by his Dissenting Protestant upbringing and his friendship with George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening." - Eddie Hyatt
Eddie is a poor historian because he does not care to actually understand the false positions he takes. The Quakers for example disagreed with the Declaration of Independence. Hyatt lumps everyone into the one basket he prefers because he thinks people will logically think of all of these folks as being religious, which is true, but there were vast differences between their views and the entire point of tying them to the events of the Revolution is futile since they were 150 years removed by that point. Eddie goes to great lengths here to detail persecution that may have occurred back in the 1600s but remember the sleight of hand is designed to assume it simply carried into 1776. Now, Hyatt knows full well he was not in the Franklin household growing up and has zero idea of what influenced Franklin to what extent. He spins this yarn because in Franklin's own autobiography he describes himself as a deist. This crushes the narrative Hyatt tells of all the founding fathers being born again Pentecostals as a deist believes in the concept of a higher being but not necessarily the God of the bible. Oops.
"Not the Catholic Church, nor the Anglican Church nor the Lutheran Church could provide the philosophical and theological constructs for the founding of America, for their approach to faith and church was based on power, not faith and freedom. This is why the historian Benjamin Hart wrote: "It was Protestants of the most radical stripe, most zealous in their religious convictions (those whom the American Civil Liberties Union would like to see outlawed from the public discourse) who were in fact the greatest proponents of religious liberty as codified in America's governing charter." (Hyatt, "1726: The Year that Defined America," 42)." - Eddie Hyatt