"The Great Awakenings in America," A Review, by Ronald Ginther


"The Great Awakenings in America"

A Review of Past Awakenings,

With a Proposal for a Third Awakening

By Ronald Ginther

The revival and transformation of America's Christians and thousands of others not Christian before the Awakening first took place in the 1730s. David Pett, who wrote his account of that period and the Great Awakenings, in his book "Can These Bones Live?" does a masterful job of it, so that we need not repeat his positions. He proves that the freedoms and liberties and capitalist economy and way of life America enjoyed for almost 200 years were based on the Consitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other Founding documents that arose chiefly due to the Awakenings.

But where did the rot in the apple come from--did it die out completely with the Great Awakenings, or did it continue on somehow, and gain strength to the point where it could overturn all that spectacular progress which we see in the Colonial story leading to Independence and the founding of the United States of America?

To answer that questioin, we must look back before the Awakenings in America. Something was transpiring then that like a poison would sink so deep in man's psyche and intellect that it could not be expunged or cured, but would carry over, although hidden from view, until such time as it could surface and defy Constitutional American society and government.

Prior to the Great Awakening in America, "backsliding," or a cooling down of religious fervency, had set in. Why?

Perhaps, many churches were still well attended, but the degree of faith had fallen and there was no real life in the meetings, so that people were attending more because it was an established custom or tradition rather than because it was their life to do so. The loss of a once burning religious fervor and faith so early on, however, threatened to undo the bright future ahead for American society.

Into this growing vacuum of piety and fervor came a new thing called "The Enlightenment," which was man's Reason and Intellectuality allied with science and freed from religious restraints.

Intellectualism, Enlightenment by Reason, Scientific Inquiry that together increasingly ignored and even proved hostile to scriptural revelation and light, is a bad philosophical base for human life that leads ultimately to disorder, meaninglessness, and destruction.

This fact was not perceived in the beginning, of course. To many educated men it seemed to promise freedom from the shackles of Medieval age superstitution and ignorance. Reason and scientific inquiry would lead the way, they thought, to freedom and happiness for mankind.

Europe and then colonial American societies were swept by the exciting philosophical ideas known as the Enlightenment--a rationalistic, naturalistic philosophy which sought to center and ground man and society in the findings of the new science bassed on man's Reason and Logic and Scientific Method.

Descartes' catchy onotological phrase, "Cogito, ergo sum: "I think, therefore, I am," was the basis.

Man the Promethean Thinker had discovered a world of power and meaning within himself that did not draw from the Bible or a Christian God. With his innate faculty of scientific Reason and Rationality, man had discovered the means to achieve mastery of the Universe and his own destiny. By reason and science, man could liberate himself from the darkness of traditional, religionist herd's blind belief and superstition and become "enlightened" men, freed from the shackles of religion and custom, forging out beyond the old restraints, even surpassing the commandments of God or the very idea of His existence.

The proponents of the Enlightenment and the New Man appealed to Reason and the natural laws governing the universe, and argued that they could form a new basis for human life, providing happiness and security of individuals as well as nations.

Reason came to be regarded as the only sure means to apprehend the Universe, reason that was enlightened by science, not the Bible, which was formerly held as the primary authority and foundation for man's reason and his existence. In the Middle Ages, the Chain of Being held the center chair in the world of education and theology. God had made man to fit and function within a divine framework, in which every thing and creature had its divinely-appointed place, rank, use, and destiny. That whole idea of a divinely instituted Chain of Being was ridiculed and thrown out as sheer religious trumpery by a triumphant 18th Century Rationalism.

With reason based on science, Man, it was now presumed, could evolve to desirable higher states of being, and there seemed to end to the process by which mankind could improve itself by the increase of knowledge.

Mystery, faith, divine Providence, creeds--all that began to seem mere mumbo jumbo and humbug to an increasingly number of "enlightened" 18th century philosophers, thinkers, and skeptics. Utopia now seemed close within grasp--a return to the perfection of Eden, but it was a Paradise entirely of man's creation this time, not God's.

Strangely, man's reason, elevated above Christian Faith, God, and the Bible, was now exalted enough to think it had the right to examine, classify, accept or reject the things of religion, or reject religion altogether if that was the reasonable thing to do.

At first, few Enlightened dared that approach (unless you were a thorough, unabashed skeptic and atheist (and notorious libertine!) such as the Frenchman, Voltaire. Even Thomas Paine, the great "Common Sense" Patriot author, fell for seductive Rationalism, ending his life a despairing atheist who could not repent and find peace with the God he had rejected.

Rationalism, however, continued its mad gallop down the slippery slope. It could not turn back. By the early 20th century, man was reduced by it to an accident or fortuitous happening of blind evolution, and so was no better or anything higher than an animal species. Life had no intrinsic meaning. There was no Hereafter. There was no God. Man was unshackled from religion and deism only to be shackled to blind evolutionary process, rendering him a clot of atoms that temporarily stuck to each other and then were dispersed at death, flying away to maybe joined sometime in the process to come into maybe a worm or a star or a rock.

Once an object of self-worship in the heyday of the Greeks and later the humanism of the Renaissance, man was now a nothing teetering on the edge of extinction and oblivion. What kind of meaningful life could be constructed on that base? Obviously, no decent and meaningful life could be. There was no point to anything a man might do, and to "better himself," that was preposterous. You might as well live and act like the brute animal you were made by evolution.

This belief was then taught in the schools, via the nonsensical "social theory of Relativity," or Relativism, which Albert Einstein, when he heard of it, repudiated.

Bad ideas have a way of driving out good ideas, just as bad money drives out good money. So too this bad idea, based on evolutionary philosophy, was seized on by educational systems and their pundits such as Beard and Dewey. Education for the meaningless human species, evolution-driven man, was reduced to socialization, there being no other value in a man except he be made to fit a social function in an authoritarian state.

This philosophy was the death knell of the liberty and freedom that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence delineated and protected, for it aggressively attacked the public institutions based on them, using the courts, using college professors, using films and media, using social commentators, using the arts, all to overturn them and supplant them with its secularist and humanist agendas and "values."

The presidency, rather, the regime of Barack Hussein Obama, probably did more for secular humanism and its takeover of the government and society than all the previous administrations put together. He aimed at a total reconstruction, and announced even in his campaign speeches that he had this agenda, but the electorate was not listening to his words, they were so entranced with his call for "change" delivered by this personable youngish "black candidate" that no amount of socialistic and authoritarian talk from him could possibly alarm them or cause them to withdraw their support and not vote for him. Despite the fact he stood for nothing the black community valued, he was voted for by black Americans en masse, as they were in his pocket from the day he entered the presidential race.

This phenomenon, the utter seduction of the American people (fifty per cent at least, enough to turn the election results to him), was never seen before in American election history. There had been landslide elections before, but this was not a landslide in that sense. He never won an overwhelming majority of votes in both of the elections he entered. Rather, he won on the basis of a slim majority vote that, nevertheless, gave him enough power and leverage to seize huge amounts of power and at the same time the means to cow his opponents as he reached out to seize even more. In his overreaching, he suffered no setback that would stop him, and so he continued on until he brought American liberty to its knees. Consitutional Government was destroyed by his success in seizing imperial power. He became what King George could never attain to, he became King of America. But that wasn't enough for him, his aim was to destroy America as he received it, to render it utterly nil, and to reconstruct it into an entirely different animal.

By the second term he was in his best stride, in combatting and manipulating his weakening opponents, the conservatives, the faith-based, and the traditionalists. No one could withstand his power grabs and unconstitutional executive bypass of Congress or even rulings of the Supeme Court prior to his own time. He simply ignored whatever stood in his way, Constitutionally, and did as he pleased. He issue dozens of executive degrees. He appointed dozens of "czars" to do his bidding, all non-elected, not accountable to any elected body. He raided the Treasury with impunity. He drove down the economy any way he deemed beneficial to his agenda. He took over car companies. He destroyed retirements and savings of millions.

> All the while he was destroying the Constitutional foundations, he was attacking the faith-based community, most of which could not compromise themselves quickly enough, he moved so swiftly. The amendments guaranteeing Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience were rendered tatters. He redefine Freedom of Religion to "Freedom of Worship," a significant change, which destroyed or perverted this freedom and made it something the state could control and administer as it liked.

Laying his ax at the tree of freedom in America, Obama continued swinging until the tree was nearly cut through and had begun to fall. Only then did people get alarmed, and his popularlty rating begin falling. They had been convinced by his rhetoric in his constant campaigning while in office that the economic woes of America were his predecessor George Bush's fault, or they weren't really all that bad but were actually turning around. But they could not convince themselves anymore that he was actually supporting freedom in America, and were entertaining doubts, all because he had rammed his socialist health care system over on the country, and it was not working as he had said it would. This was his great takeover of yet another large sector of the economy after taking over General Motors and cowing the rest of the car industry into submission, but it wasn't working as well as planned. Obamacare, as it was called by its detractors, was gagging people--they couldn't swallow it down as good medicine, it had too many drawbacks that were painfully apparent, despite all the damage control Obama did personally to explain the problems away as insignificant or passing..

With the agenda drawing increasing fire from both liberals and conservatives, Obama did not change course, he continued on the same path, as he was determined obviously to wear the opposition down. This had always worked before. Why not now?



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