Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Edwards’

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American Revolutionaries

Before we look into the genesis and influence of liberalism, we must begin by understanding that liberalism and its resultant hostility towards Christianity hasn’t always been the norm in America. In fact, America was firmly founded upon the Christian worldview. As detailed in Francis Schaeffer’s book, How Should We Then Live, the success of the American Revolution, and the freedoms based upon the law that came out of it were established on a dominant Christian base. Indeed this great movement in America was directly founded upon the First Great Awakening around magnificent biblical teachers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.

Though from England, Whitefield’s greatest work was in America. From 1738-1770, he made three preaching tours in the colonies. Numerous times this “Billy Graham” spoke to as many as 20,000 people at one time. Through his efforts, thousands were saved and many more other spirits were quickened.

Possibly the greatest preacherAmerica has ever produced was Jonathan Edwards. In 1727, he became the minister of the Congregational Church inNorth Ampton,Massachusetts. Then in 1734, he preached a series of messages on justification by faith alone. “By December,” the pastor penned, “the Spirit of God began extraordinarily to set in. Revival grew and souls did, as it were, come by floods to Christ.”

Edward’s infamous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, was so powerful that he had to stop and request silence because the weeping was so loud. The moral tone of New England was lifted to a higher tone than it ever had before. Out of a population of 300,000 people, between 25,000 and 50,000 people were added to the churches.

So profound was the impact of the Great Awakening on American society, that Ben Franklin wrote, “It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless and indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.”

It was in the wake of the Great Awakening that the American Revolution arose. Consequently the Christian foundation that underpinned the colonies can easily be seen in the celebrated document that was created during this important moment in American history. This was the Declaration of Independence, which bore on parchment the justification for the revolution. Though its author Thomas Jefferson procured his ideas regarding inalienable rights from John Locke, it was the Christian minister, Samuel Rutherford who first developed the concept. The Christian base of our law and society is also clearly evident in the Constitution, the Federalists Papers and the multitudes of statements ushered by the Founders themselves.

In 1837 John Adams maintained, “Is it not that, in the chain of events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? . . . Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before?”

George Washington declared, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of theUnited   States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Patrick Henry stated, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Ben Franklin, concluded, “He who shall introduce the principles of Christianity will change the face of the world.” And indeed America did just that to produce the greatest system of law and the highest level of freedom that the world has ever known.

It is no wonder, therefore, that after the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville visited Americain the 1830’s, he concluded that “there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.”

There can be no doubt that the American Revolution was firmly established in the Christian faith. This Christian foundation is exactly what the Counterculture movement sought to destroy. For during the ‘60s, even as many in the church had already departed from their biblical roots for the sake of theological liberalism, a ban of Height Ashbury hippies decided they would rebel against culture itself to discover a whole new way of living. “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thess 2: 10-12 KJV)

The hippies revolted against the American Revolution and everything that came out of that historic Christian uprising. This is ironic. For in spite of the fact that the counterculturalists turned their backs on Christianity, the freedoms that allowed these rebels to dissent were a direct result of America’s Christian heritage.

In spite of this outright display of hypocrisy, the entire liberal movement in America now bows before the decadence of the ‘60s revolution. Hence biblical Christianity is the one faith that modern liberals spend all of their waking hours attempting to undermine.


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