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Is America for Jesus? Tens of thousands of Christians are flooding Philadelphia to answer that question with a resounding “yes.”
Despite all the atheistic, socialistic, humanistic agendas that are attacking our foundations, there is yet a remnant. And part of that remnant is gathering in an historical city to pray for the salvation of our nation.
America for Jesus, a solemn assembly starting Friday in Philadelphia, aims to mobilize Christians in prayer, calling the church to be “the salt” that will bring healing to the nation. It was birthed out of One Nation Under God, a coalition of ministries that has organized several solemn assemblies that have attracted several hundred thousand people.
Charisma News caught up with Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, to get his views on what makes this prayer rally so vital.
Charisma News: Why is the America for Jesus rally so vital at this particular moment in time? Why is this solemn assembly so strategic?
Rodriguez: I can give you historical proof of this. We have never spiritually been down the road we find ourselves in as a nation. From abortion on demand to the diluting of the basic definition of marriage to the government requiring religious organizations to offer contraception and abortion services via the HHS Mandate to even a political party extracting any mention of God from the platform, we have never been down this road before. Never ever, ever have we been down this road before.
In my opinion, our No. 1 issue is not the economy or the economic malaise. Our issues are moral relativism, spiritual apathy, cultural decadence and a lukewarm church. And the No. 1 most serious problem we have in America is a lukewarm church. The objective of the America For Jesus Rally is to revitalize, to ignite a fire in the American Bible-believing church so the church will stand up for righteousness and justice in the name of Jesus. That's the objective.
Charisma News: How is this prayer rally different than any of the others? There are a lot of rallies going on. Everybody is crying out for the same basic things. Is there anything significant?
Rodriguez: There's a significant difference. The distinguishing mark is that this rally is based on a historical platform when Anne and John Gimenez in 1980 first launched America For Jesus meaning this is the offspring of truly a gathering that's based on a historical platform that had great success. So it's not just another rally.
This is one of those historical congregations that ignited a movement in the 1980s. We saw the church explode through the 1980s and the early '90s in America. We saw movement. We saw revivals in different places like Pensacola and Missouri and Michigan and Toronto. It's not a coincidence that when we prayed together back in 1980 and then subsequently what we saw is national leadership. What we saw horizontally and what we saw vertically. It all tied in.
So there's a historical precedent to this and I think that is the uniqueness of it. Where it is being held makes it unique: Philadelphia. There's an issue here of independence and freedom, about the values that make our nation great. So there is a confluence of factors and dynamics that makes this rally unique from all the other rallies being held without it diluting the other rallies. They are all important, but this rally really is a national congregation. The other ones are regional. This one is a national congregation with a vertical focus primarily.
Charisma News: What are you expecting to be the outcome of this? I mean obviously God hears our prayers but some Christians aren’t convinced these prayer rallies make a difference.
Rodriguez: We press forward. If we go there in the spirit of 2 Chronicles and if we go there even in the spirit of Josiah, of repentance and rediscovering the law, tearing down the false idols, of committing ourselves to holiness and righteousness, we're going to see revival. And I don't listen to the naysayers. I'm convinced that the Word of God is true and amen and what God promises shall come to pass.
I believe that God has a purpose for this rally. I believe it will serve as an ignition point for the church to really light up. There's an election coming up in November. There are decisions that a Christian has to make. I hope this rally will engage the Spirit of God in each and every Christian to go beyond political ideology and to start holding Biblical worldview and go biblical about it. And I hope the church understands that the only thing that can save America in the end is not the donkey or the elephant but the agenda of the land. But we need to act according to that agenda in the name of Jesus.