The Renewal: Restoring America’s Founding Covenant
Seven centuries before Jesus’ birth, King Sennacherib of Assyria launched a military campaign to capture Jerusalem. At the time, the Assyrians had the world’s most powerful and brutal army. While besieging Jerusalem, Sennacherib and his officers tried to intimidate the residents by mocking the God they worshiped and in whom they trusted. 2 Chronicles 32 records one of Sennacherib’s boasts:
Do you not know what I and my predecessors have done to all the peoples of the other lands? Were the gods of those nations ever able to deliver them from my hand? Who of all the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroy has been able to save his people from me? How, then, can your god deliver you from my hand? (2 Chronicles 32: 13-14)
More than 2,700 years later, the United States is besieged by powerful, brutal enemies. Pandemics. Politicized science. Corruption in high places. Budding totalitarianism. Widespread contempt for basic decency. An elite’s mocking disregard for faith. In response, thousands of Christians will gather in suburban Tampa on Saturday to appeal to the same God that Jerusalem’s residents called on.
Renewing a Nation
Those Christians, along with thousands more across the country, will participate in The Renewal: A Spiritual Solution for America in Crisis. Organizers designed the event to encourage personal and national reflection, to stimulate repentance and to develop non-political solutions to today’s crises.
The event will feature numerous well-known speakers. They include Mike Lindell, Ben Carson, Sidney Powell, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas and former Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota.
“‘The Renewal’ is uniting leaders who believe America is in a spiritual battle for the soul of our nation,” said Rev. Kevin Jessip, who founded The Return International and the Global Strategic Alliance. “Therefore, it must be won in the spiritual realm led by God according to His Word. We must pray, then take a step of bold faith to re-establish America’s covenant with God and plead for His mercy as we seek to restore our foundational values based on God’s Word, the everlasting covenant, the Bible.
“We cannot solve spiritual problems by natural means such as military might, elected officials or even human governments.”
The Renewal serves as the latest stage of a campaign to promote prayer and repentance worldwide. That campaign began in Washington, D.C. in 2020 with The Return, which attracted thousands to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and about 250,000 total in gatherings around the nation and world. Another 42 million watched the event on television or livestream in 180 countries.
Reviving a Covenant
Organizers timed The Return to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Colony, which the Pilgrims founded when they arrived from England in 1620. Upon arriving, 41 men signed what would be called the Mayflower Compact, named after the ship that brought them to America. The Mayflower Compact committed the colonists to forming a government that would protect their rights, establish order and promote Christian values.
One of Jessip’s ancestors, John Robinson, motivated the Pilgrims to write such a document. Before they embarked for America, Robinson, the Pilgrims’ pastor, told them to choose leaders who would “diligently promote the common good” and to focus on “God’s ordinance for your good.”
Alexis de Toqueville believed the Mayflower Compact’s influence extends beyond its limited initial scope.
“It was the germ of a great nation by Providence to a predestined shore,” he wrote in Democracy in America. “The Principles of New England spread at first to neighboring states; they then passed successively to more distant ones; and at last, if I may so speak, interpenetrated the whole confederation. They now extend beyond its limits, to the whole world.”
The Renewal’s organizers and participants view the Mayflower Compact as nothing less than a covenant with God. They also view the nation’s current problems as the consequences of forsaking that covenant.
“God made a covenant with Israel and America made a covenant with God,” Lindell said. “The Pilgrims dedicated America to God for the advancement of the Christian faith in the Mayflower Compact. But America has broken this covenant.”
As a result, “we have a spirit of oppression over America,” Jessip said. “‘The Renewal’ will re-covenant America back to the everlasting covenant our Pilgrim forefathers made with God in the Mayflower Compact. They dedicated America to God and the ‘advancements of the Christian faith.'”
Resuscitating the Church
The event will start at 9 a.m. EST and will last until 5 p.m. EST at the Strawberry Festival Amphitheater in Plant City, Florida, about 25 miles east of Tampa. Tickets cost $25 and parking costs $5. If you don’t live in Metropolitan Tampa, you can watch a simultaneous livestream through the event’s website, therenewal2022.org/watch. You can find the event’s schedule at therenewal2022.org.
Jessip wants to see The Renewal accomplish three things.
“Number one, we have to revive a dead church,” he said. “Number two, we have to put the Word of God back into our national dialogue. Finally, we have to show the next generation what a real encounter with the Holy Spirit looks like.”
Jessip, the descendant of a Pilgrim pastor, summarized those goals succinctly: “We need a fresh vision of Jesus.”
Joseph D’Hippolito has written commentaries for such outlets as the Jerusalem Post, the American Thinker and Front Page Magazine. He works as a free-lance writer.