Friday, December 31, 2021

"A Revolution that Began in the Hearts and Minds of the American People" - by President John Adams

John Adams, an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father served as the second president of the United States, serving from 1797 to 1801. 
John Adams died on July 4, 1826, the same day his good friend Thomas Jefferson also died. 

Eight years before his death, John Adams wrote a personal reflection on the American Revolution

In his written analysis, Adams made an important observation on how the American Revolution began.

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American War? The Revolution was effected before the war was commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people, a change in the religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.”

Read again the last line of the quotation. John Adams states the American Revolution began “in the minds and hearts” of the American people through “a change in their religious sentiments.”

According to John Adams, this change began on January 30, 1750.

The Revolution of Hearts and Minds Begins


On that day, Jonathan Mayhew (b. 1720 – d. 1766), the pastor of West Church (Congregational) in Boston, Massachusetts, published a sermon he preached entitled “Discourse Concerning the Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to Higher Authorities.”

John Adams credits this sermon as the spark that lit the Revolutionary flame in the minds and hearts of the colonists. He said that this message was “read by everybody.”

There were two major points that Rev. Jonathan Mayhew made in his sermon:
1. First, in the introduction, Jonathan Mayhew traces the rise of oppressive and tyrannical governments from the days of Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel (6th century BC) to the English monarchy in the mid-1700s. Mayhew then writes:

“There can be nothing great and good where tyranny’s influence reaches. For which reason it becomes every friend to truth and humankind; every lover of God and the Christian religion, to bear a part in opposing this hateful monster.”

In other words, according to Rev. Mayhew, it was the moral and religious duty for every lover of good and truth to oppose tyranny within one’s government.

2. Second, in the body of his message, Mayhew argued that mankind is bound to a Higher Law than that of government’s law. The American people, Mayhew said, are required to obey their government’s law only when it is in agreement with Higher Law. Indeed, Rev. Mayhew argued, if the government violates Higher Law, “we are bound to throw off our allegiance” and “to resist.”
But what was this Higher Law to which the American people were bound?

Richard Maybury, in the July 1987 edition of The Free Market, published by Ludwig von Misis Institute, summarizes this Higher Law with two principles:

    1. Do all you have agreed to do, and
    2. Do not encroach on other persons or their property.


These are the two common principles on which all major religions and philosophies agree.

Thus, this Higher Law is often called “Common Law.” Every political philosophy or religion may express these two principles differently, but they have a common belief in them.

Doing what you promise to do (Contractual Law) and not encroaching on other persons or their property (Common Law) is what brings about the Common Good.

The AIM of All Political Actions Is the Common Good


All political action aims at either conservation or change.

Conservatives and liberals all desire the common good. The conservative believes it is best to conserve the laws or institutions that are achieving the common good and the liberal believes in abolishing or removing the laws or institutions that are not achieving the common good.

That is why conservatism and liberalism are relative terms.

The American Revolutionaries were called liberals by the British Parliament. They wished to change the laws for the colonists’ common good. But today, Americans who desire to conserve the principles of our Founding Fathers are called conservatives.

One generation’s conservative is another generation’s liberal.

No American should fall into “party lines.” We all need a Revolution of the Higher Good in our hearts and minds.

Common law was the law to which the American colonists were dedicated, and it was the law that the politicians and bureaucrats were breaking. The government was encroaching, so the colonists overthrew their government. They committed treason.

This is what the American Revolution was all about – treason. And this treason was regarded as moral, ethical, and right in every way.

The great legal scholar Sir William Blackstone once wrote:

“This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other…no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”

The Americans were not fighting the British during the American Revolution. The Americans were British. But the British colonists (the Americans) had an awakening of the heart and mind to Higher Law, the basis of all human rights.

The pamphlets the colonists passed out were often subtitled “The Rights of Englishmen!” The colonists were enforcing this Higher Law. No king, no parliament, no governing body, is greater than the individual.

“All men are created equal,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.

Thus, the eternal and immutable Higher Law states that all governing authority has special rights or privileges and no governing authority may encroach on the property or persons of others.

The Reasons for the American Revolution  


In 18th century England, there existed unlimited government control and the taxation of everything and everybody. There were no free markets and no free enterprise. Unless a person had government ties, no person could “get ahead” in life.

Richard Maybury gives us the history of the Pine Tree Flag flown by American warships during the Revolution. He asks, “Why would the colonists put a pine tree on their battle flag?” Then he answers:

“The (British) government had enacted a regulation saying no colonist could cut down tall, straight trees; these trees were to be reserved for masts on Navy ships. This meant the best, most valuable trees on a person’s land had, in effect, been confiscated by the government.

When a government tree inspector would come through the forest to select and mark the best trees, colonists would follow him. These inspectors were highly trained experts, good at identifying the best trees for Navy ships – the Navy ships that were constantly pursuing smuggling ships.

When the government’s lumberjacks then came through the forest to collect the marked trees, they would find the trees had already been cut and sold – for use on the smuggling ships.

One of these ships was THE LIBERTY, owned by John Hancock. Hancock was a successful wine merchant known throughout the colonies as “The Prince of Smugglers.” His reputation eventually earned him the honor of being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Unfortunately, as the story of the Pine Tree illustrates, America did not remain beyond the reach of government. As the colonists’ wealth increased, politicians began making more and more efforts to steal – “tax” – this wealth. More and more bureaucrats and troops were sent to the colonies to enforce laws and shut down down the underground economy.

The colonists’ reaction was dramatic. The infamous Stamp Tax, for instance, was greeted by armed rebellion; tax collectors were tarred and feathered, a procedure that usually resulted in death. When John Hancock was arrested, the people rioted and the government’s agents barely escaped with their lives.” (Richard Maybury, The Free Market, July 1987, published by Ludwig von Misis Institute).

May God enable a religious reformation in the hearts and minds of the American people. The Higher Good is found in the Common Law, principles coeval with man. It is the duty of all good and religious men and women to resist the laws of government that encroach on persons or their property and give rise to tyranny.

Wade Burleson

P.S - I continue to work toward the opening of a new website on 02.02.2022. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Wade Burleson at Istoria Ministries Starting 2.2.22

I have been blessed to serve as the Lead Pastor of Emmanuel Enid for the past 30 years. 

On February 2, 2022, I will begin working full-time through Istoria Ministries, a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry organization that Rachelle and I founded ten years ago. 

Rachelle thought it a good idea to write this post to let everyone know our plans for the last quarter of our ministry.

Through Istoria, I will be writing, speaking, podcasting, leading tours, conducting pastor and marriage retreats, and other special ministries. I hope to inspire people to follow Jesus and be "salt and light" in our wounded and dark world. My focus during this time will be more prophetic than pastoral. 

Istoria is a Greek word that means "to ask or inquire." We get our English words story and history from its root. The source of all knowledge is asking questions.  The moment people are prevented from asking their questions or telling their stories, liberty is lost. 

Istoria's purpose is to pursue Life, Light, and Liberty. Istoria's mission is for people to know the story of Jesus Christ, the Source of real Life, true Light, and eternal Liberty, so that His Story becomes central to everyone's story.

At Istoria's new website beginning on 2.2.22, there will be three essential features: 

  • The archives of my writing ministry (thousands of blog articles on hundreds of subjects). 
  • The audio archives of my teaching (40 years of sermon series).
  •  New weekly content, both written blogs, and audible podcasts.
Rachelle will be the Director of Special Projects and help us get new books in the pipeline and coordinate travel and tours. Thanks to Lissa Roberson, Alice Isaac, Mary Burleson, and my wife Rachelle, three new books, Lord willing, will be available from Istoria Ministries in 2022.
  • Love Never Fails (A Study of I Corinthians 13)
  • The 12 Days of Christmas (An Illustrated Family Coffee Table Book)
  • The Good News According to Jonah (A Study of the Book of Jonah).
This post will be my last until the new Istoria website is launched on February 2, 2022. 

With the help of many friends who have volunteered their time, skills, and time, we will be opening Istoria's office building (801 S. Van Buren, Enid, Oklahoma 73703) in January 2022. That will give me 30 days to get the podcast studio and my office ready to go for 2.2.22.

Expenses are high. I have refrained from raising funds for Istoria Ministries while leading Emmanuel Enid. The time has come for me to request your help. 

My message of grace through Istoria Ministries is one I desire to be accessible to everyone. To operate Istoria's website, produce a weekly podcast, write my blog regularly, and have a home base from which we can minister, Istoria requires funding. 

A friend of Istoria Ministries has promised to match whatever contributions Istoria Ministries receives in December 2021, dollar for dollar. If you would like to contribute a tax-deductible donation to Istoria Ministries before the end of the year, go to www.istoriaministries.com and donate either via secure credit card or PayPal. Or, if you desire, you may send a check to:

Istoria Ministries
801 S. Van Buren
Enid, Oklahoma 73703

If you have a stock gift that you would like to give, Istoria Ministries has a brokerage account to receive your tax-deductible stock gift through Stride Bank or Edward Jones, whichever you'd prefer.  Details are located at www.istoriaministries.com.

Thank you for being a friend to Rachelle and me. Thank you for considering being a partner with Istoria. 

Until 2.2.22, may God's grace and mercy superabound to you and your family.

Wade Burleson, President
Rachelle Burleson, Special Projects