Monday, September 17, 2007

The “Great Awakenings”

Why do you think America has not seen a religious awakening since the 1800’s

The failure to value the intellectual properties of Christianity in the revivals in the 1700’s and 1800’s has stifled the growth of the church.
In describing the first great awakening J।P. Moreland says , “What appeared to be a great time of revival for the church can now be considered the beginning of intellectual demise.” The reason Moreland says this is the preaching employed in the early awakenings focused on emotionalism and personal salvation, in fact anti-intellectualism was a promoted feature of the next three “great revivals.” They were more worried about about filling their altars than creating strong Christians.

In Christ’s parable of the sower he describes exactly what happened after the awakenings। Matthew 13: 5-6. “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” The awakenings produced Christians that were only motivated by emotions, so like the parable they grew quickly but after a while when their emotions wore out so did their faith.

The “great awakenings” did produce good things at that time, but years later we are still feeling the negative consequences of their watered down teachings। One horrific consequence was the rise of cults in the 1800’s. During this time Mormonism, Jehova Witness, and “Christian Science.” These cults flourished in areas were the revivals left weak believers. Another consequence was some Christians lost their ability to think critically. When this happened we started losing the battle on abortion, evolution, and other harmful ideas. As Christians lost faith in their ability to argue they withdrew from defending their faith, and some gave it up. The Barna Group, a company devoted to collecting and evaluating religious trends, reports that 58 percent of all active church-attending teenagers won’t be attending church by their thirtieth birthday.
Not only has the earlier revivals crippled modern day revivals it has given other “religions” the public pedestal for revivals। Religion is defined by msn Encarta as: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by. Using this definition as my source, I must disagree with the essay question because there have been many “religious awakenings since the 1800’s. In fact we’re in the midst of one right now. Post Modernism is gathering momentum daily. Atheism determines one’s beliefs and values, it is definitely a religion, even if atheists won’t admit it.

In summary, one of the main reasons we haven’t seen a great Christian revival in the last 200 years is because the early revivals weren’t carried out properly. This failure has helped cause the Church in America to be less effective in our culture. And it has also given cults and other philosophies a strangle hold on America’s beliefs and values.

Smart Faith p.20

Matthew 13:4-६

1 comment:

Hope said...

I miss your posts!! You should start blogging again!