WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 12: People sing the National Anthem during a rally on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on September 12, 2010 in Washington, DC. Members of the Tea Party and other activists gathered at the 'Remember In November' Rally to protest large government and rally for conservative principals nearly two months before US midterm elections. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

How much should a return to God be emphasized in the tea-party movement? And should discussion of the Divine take a back seat to economic and government reform?

A panel of speakers at WND’s “Taking America Back” conference in Miami, Fla., tackled the question head on.

“I don’t think there’s any way to separate economic freedom from our Judeo-Christian heritage,” argued Tim Daughtry, who trains grassroots conservatives through Patriot Coaching. “It is a classic mistake to appease the left, to back down by sticking to economic issues.

“This is not an economic awakening, this is a spiritual awakening,” he continued. “[The liberal direction in Washington] is not just wrong-headed, it’s wrong.”

“This phony divide that we’ve been hearing about between economic issues and social issues is really bizarre,” argued WND CEO Joseph Farah, author of “The Tea Party Manifesto.” “Economics are social issues. Everything is a social issue. We’re people – that’s what social means.

“I don’t think anyone would leave this conference thinking the fundamental problems facing this country are economic,” he continued. “You can’t have an purely economic solution to problems that are not purely economic.”

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr., author of “Biblical Economics,” pushed the audience to consider a deeper spiritual angle.

“I want to raise a caution,” he said. “I want us corporately to repent that it was the money that woke us up. … Modern evangelicals have syncretized the true God with the god of comfort and affluence. The God of heaven and earth will not rise up to rescue his competitor.”

Stephani Scruggs, co-chair of The 9.12 Project, disagreed.

“It wasn’t just the money that woke us up,” she said. “Collectively as a nation, we started to see very disturbing appointees. We saw Cass Sunstein, men who wrote books in the 70s about forced sterilization. Evil people being put in places of power woke up just as many of us as money.”

She concluded her argument, however, by reasserting that economics and social issues under God are inseparable.

“If we mend the spiritual fabric of the government, then the economic fabric will follow,” Scruggs proclaimed. “Christians don’t spend themselves into oblivion and then say, ‘Ah, I’m not paying the bill.'”

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