Posts Tagged ‘Counterculture’

Praise and Worship for the Modern Age vs Church Growth

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Counterculture Faith

 

And so it is that political and religious liberalism is founded firmly in the church’s 19th century turn from biblical truth, which provided the springboard for the ‘60s revolution that in turn paganized both society and the Mainline Church. In the midst of all this turmoil the counterculture church emerged. This was a movement that conformed to its environment in many ways. Therefore the “Jesus” movement took on many aspects of the culture of those it sought to minister to. Instead of getting high on pot they got high on the Lord. The fish replaced the peace sign on the back of their Volkswagen vans as they greeted each other with the “one way” sign instead of the familiar two-fingered “V” sign of the hippies. “Give peace a chance,” “Make love not war” and “All you need is love” was the mantra of the pacifistic counterculture crowd who sought to be mellow at all cost. Therefore in the counterculture church we heard catch phrases such as “striving in the flesh” utilized to criticize Christians who put labor into their work for Christ. The call was to be laid back instead, and many of their musicians remained very stoic in their performances while talking to their audiences in a very mellow or monotone manner in order to project this idea. Many times their worship and praise music reflected the rock era that they ushered from with much of the same repetitiveness that marked the worship life of their modern bohemian counterparts.

Now there has been a lot of good that came out of that movement of God and we will refer to this in greater depth later in this blog. Its membership fled from the unbiblical denominational complexities that had been strangling the church to adopt a simpler expression of their faith based upon the Word of God rather than the influence of corrupt systems. They discarded the manipulative tactics and strategies that were plaguing the Organized Church to trust in and depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than the ingenuity of men. Ministry was servant-based with a focus on the development of spiritual gifts in the body. They sought to help parishioners find what they are called to do rather than fulfill duties that are designed around the will of the organization. Believing that the love of money had become too important to the Denominational Church they abandoned the practice of chiding people with guilt trips in order to raise money. Rather they adopted the unique practice of trusting God for their finances. The Book of Acts became their model for growth based upon the power of the Holy Spirit that came out of the dependence upon the same. Evangelism was their focus and means of church growth. And many were saved. Rather than performing meaningless rituals motivated by habit they heartily praised God with sincerity. Praise was an expression from the heart rather than routine performed by habit or rote.

However the movement did not go completely unaffected by the attitudes of the counterculture environment that surrounded it. In some regards certain charismatic leaders conformed to and adopted the anti-traditional philosophies of these non-conformists even as they attempted to pull them out of sex, drugs and their pagan religious beliefs. In many instances just as the hippies had done, these Charismatics likewise became critical of historical Christianity. Therefore Chuck Smith wrote, “I am a realist. The church, in its endeavor to make the world a better place to live, has just about wiped itself out.” Later in the same discourse he proclaimed, “I personally am not proud of the traditional church history. It seems to me that it is the story of failure.”

The hippies had revolted against the Christian-based society that we called America in the ‘50s. As you can see above, the Counterculture Church took on that very same attitude. While adopting the demeanor of the historical revisionists, many in the movement saw American history as being one tragedy after another and this was caused by the Christian religion that dominated the American cultural scene up to that point. In so doing these Charismatics challenged the same historical Christian base of America that the hippies rebelled against.

As a result in many ways they took on the cultural disposition of the new society that the Bohemians had created rather than influencing it. It’s going to go one way or the other. Christians will either change culture or be changed by it.

Rousseau had it all wrong. It was not Western Civilization, which was founded on the Christian base, that corrupted man. It was the corrupt philosophies such as those that he advanced that pervert society and therefore defile its citizens. As the history of the ancient Hebrew nation clearly testifies, it is the lack of godly influence in society that lies at the heart of the problems of any civilization. Many in the Countercultural Church failed to recognize this fact and took in the Bohemian ideal with gusto. As a result traditional church history was thrown out with the bath water.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net

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Michael Moore receiving Oscar

The Noble Savage

The current assault on our rich Christian traditions in America goes back to the French Revolution. This was a period in history when very destructive humanistic philosophies emerged that would eventually rise up to corrupt the thought life of America and shatter its religious, moral and political compass.

Though they were witnesses to the triumphant demonstration of God’s grace working among His people during the American Revolution, the French turned to rationalism rather than God. So as they revolted against their aristocracy, the French simultaneously rebelled against God. It was Voltaire’s humanistic Enlightenment proposition that lead the charge in the French Revolution. And it led to their demise.

“The utopian dream of the Enlightenment,” wrote Francis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live? “can be summed up by five words; reason, nature, happiness, progress and liberty. . .To the Enlightenment thinkers, man and society were perfectible.” In spite of this optimism, the French Revolution did not have the same happy ending that occurred in America’s revolt against England. The revolution itself was a bloodbath that ended up with the destruction of liberty in the form of the authoritarian dictatorship of Napoleon. The French Revolution’s final end was Waterloo. This rationalistic revolt that exalted modern intellect over Christian belief was an absolute disaster.

The ‘60s counterculture revolution in America was a calamity as well because, like the French Revolution, it was established on a humanistic base. And so the hippies of that age saw themselves looking to the relativistic philosophy of a Frenchman named Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This Bohemian philosopher rightly reacted to the French catastrophe caused by the Enlightenment to determine that its emphasis on reason and the arts and sciences had caused people to lose more than they gained. But Rousseau’s conclusions were wrong as he completely rebelled against civilization itself claiming that it is civilization that has created the world’s evil. “If man is good by nature, as I believe I have shown him to be,” Rousseau concluded, “it follows that he stays like that as long as nothing foreign to him corrupts him.” While looking at the South Sea’s island cultures unfettered by the “corruption” of civilization he determined that it was the noble savage that epitomized the apex of humanity’s greatest good.

As a result Rousseau saw the restraints of civilization as evils: ”Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains!”

According to Francis Schaeffer in How Should We Then Live? “We must understand that the freedom he advocated was not just freedom from God or the Bible but freedom from any kind of restraint – freedom from culture, freedom from any authority, and absolute freedom of the individual – a freedom in which the individual is the center of the universe.”

Rousseau’s whole philosophy built around autonomous freedom led to the Bohemian ideal. This is the “hero who fights against all of society’s standards, values and restraints.” The hippies picked up on Rousseau’s noble savage while taking on all of his anti-civilization attitudes. For this reason the revolution that they led is called the counterculture movement.

In addition, these young ‘60s idealists had to deal with the historical revisionism as advanced by historians such as Richard Hofstadter. While under the umbrella of taking an honest look at our nation’s past, revisionist historians took on the attitude of newsstand tabloids. These changers of history sought to dig up every little piece of smut or inconsistent thinking on the part of the great Christian men in America’s past in order to take them down a few notches in everyone’s eyes. In addition, they magnified every historical national so-called sin in order to turn Americans against their Christian heritage and create a whole new hate America crowd.

“The twentieth century American Revolution,” wrote Peter Jones in Spirit Wars, “promises a society without patriarchy, that is, without the traditional family structure, and, in the long run, without God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth.” Therefore, while under these influences, counterculturalists were not content to simply tear society apart. They also sought to rebel against the religion that had made the country what it was. The movement therefore focused its attention on replacing Christianity with a religious system that was very foreign to America at the time. In their efforts to rebel against everything American, the hippies flocked to the Hindu religion that the Beatles brought from the East.

As countercultural eastern religious themes have been applied in our society with the promise of autonomous freedom, the actual result has been the slow erosion of our civil liberties. There is no mystery why this is so. “According to the ancient Hindu dharma,” wrote R.C. Zaehner in Hinduism, “men are not born equal; they are born into that station of life for which their past karma has fitted them.” The Hindu religion that the counterculturalists flocked to supports a rigid caste system by declaring just the opposite of Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence. There are no inalienable rights in this system. There’s no freedom here. This religion of the East that the hippies adopted is all about bondage.

Since it was based upon Rousseau’s destructive countercultural philosophy and the mystic religions of the East, the ‘60s revolution was as all about tearing everything apart without any plan to replace it with anything other than “sex, drugs, rock and roll” and a whole lot of government control. And now we see that modern political liberalism has completely given itself over to this Bohemian strategy along with its Eastern mystic themes. That is why contemporary liberalism is so bent on undermining liberty by destroying everything that has to do with our Judeo-Christian historical traditions even as it advances Marxian socialism. “This revolution,” Peter Jones concluded, “penetrates every home and soul, redefining sexuality, spirituality, God, religion and revelation. The new world order turns everything we know on its head – good becomes evil, homosexuality the preferred sexual expression, and the traditional family a minority structure.” The goal is the destruction of the American way of life.

Stay tuned for more!

The preceeding blog is an exerpt from Don Wigton’s book “Holy Wars.” Click here to purchase: http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=267348

For free praise music, charts and study helps go to the Wigtune Praise and Worship Sitehttp//www.praisesong.net