CHRISTIANITY HAS BEEN A CRISIS RELIGION.
I am intrigued by the history of Christianity (L.P. Qualben). It has not traveled a steady and straight road. It has been more like a roller coaster. It was most helpful during crisis. I was nine when Germany invaded Poland and betrayals, persecutions and miraculous rescues began. Churches were closed and we were driven from our homes. Our people began to pray as never before. After Poland was liberated, the Poles returned to their churches in drones. The German people did not flock to their places of worship. They felt that God had let them down. However, they could not stop the refugees from renewing their Christian faith and spark a new awakening in Christianity. I did belong to such a group.
Let me take you back to the beginning of the U.S.A. It became as a united nation at the end of a Great Christian Awakening. Christopher Columbus came to the Americas with guns and priests in 1492. Martin Luther began to separate from the Latin-Teutonic Church in 1517. The pilgrims landed at Cape Cod in 1620. The U.S.A. became a nation in 1776. Before the U.S.A. became a nation, the reformation zeal had ended and left Christianity in disharmony. Prior to the Reformation, Rome was the sole enforcer of religion. After the Reformation, all persuasions used coercion to protect their faith. It was another crisis that called for another Christian awakening or a revival. Pietism came to the rescue. It began with a Lutheran Pastor named Philip Jacob Spener in 1635 and was climaxed by another Lutheran, named August Herman Francke in 1663. These men stressed a return to the Bible and a practical and systematic holy living. The Moravians, under Count von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), impacted John Wesley (Methodism) and George Whitefield (Calvinism -Presbyterian and Reformed) and Jonathan Edwards (Congregational) in 1734.
This was the First Great Awakening that began in 1734 and ended in 1744. It spread to all the colonials and influenced most of all the movement toward separation from English tyranny. The clergy were the most able and potent proponents for freedom and justice. It was a severe crisis for the Colonists and they had turned to God in masses and from England. Rationalism was beginning to assert itself and added to the crisis. For the founders, reason assisted them in the framing of the Declaration of independence and the Constitution. Immanuel Kant had lifted reason next to faith, but Voltaire and Rousseau separated reason from religion and turned it into an atheistic goddess. Naturalism or Deism crowned man with being the measure of all things. After God created the world, He left it in the hands of man to follow his natural instinct. The Germans formed clubs called, “Aufklaerung” (Illumination). Reason had replaced revelation. Six years after the Colonies became a united nation, Illuminism (Illuminati) had invaded most major universities. Among the educated and students, infidelity and atheism became fashionable. Princeton had two students who confessed to be Christians. Bowdoin had one and Yale had five. The crisis was such that the rationalist Jefferson saw the need for the Bible to be taught in schools.
The atheist’s assault on Christianity did not destroy it, but renewed it. In 1797, the Second Awakening started and a Great Revival swept the country. It moved west with the new territory and new states. Moody, Sankey and Finney led the way with their tent meetings and preachers on horsebacks. Atheism received new ammunition from Karl Marx (1818-83) and Charles Darwin (1809-82). Marx preached socialism and regarded, “Religion as the opiate of the workers.” Darwin proclaimed evolution by natural selection. It all began without a Creator, as a simple form of life that ultimately evolved into a human being. Nature would only allow the fittest to survive. Atheists did not emerge as the fittest, Christians did. They were more apt to cope with crisis after crisis because they leaned on someone greater than themselves (I John 4:4). All the wars of 1812, the Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and 9-11 drove people back to God and their Churches. At the end of the Second Great Awakening, over ninety percent of the adults believed in a superior divine being. Even today, nearly eighty six percent still think there is a God. However, many separate Jesus from God and keep both at home and not in public.
I lived as a child under an atheistic system that tried to separate me from the faith of my parents, but a crisis brought me back to God and Christ in my youth. That same system, under a different name, has been preying on our children and youth with considerable success. It has now judges that sympathize with the atheistic objective to eliminate Christianity from the public scene and confine it to sanctuaries. But even these harbors are no longer off limits to atheists. In atheist’s blind madness to eliminate Christianity, they are overlooking the greatest on coming crisis the world has ever seen. It is not the renewal of Christianity, but the domination of Islam that has absolutely no room for atheists. Islam shall also bring back Jesus, not as the Son of God or our Lord and Savior, but as a Servant of Allah. Jesus, Himself, raised that question. “However, when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth” (Luke 18:8)? In the past, Christianity and this nation have weathered many a crisis, but can they survive this one without being partners?