THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: A TIME OF FERVENT FAITH



The 19th century was not an age only of unbelief. As enormous as were the advances of various atheisms and scepticisms towards the centre of Western culture, an equally powerful (and numerically far stronger) tendency towards renewed religious devotion also arose in those years. It was a time of great expansion for many churches, and of consolidation and revival for others. It was, for the greater Christian world, a century of faith.


(IT  WAS  A  CENTURY  OF  THE  GLOBALIZATION  OF  FALSE  CHRISTIAN  RELIGION,  AS  THE  PROTESTANT  AND  CATHOLICS  WENT  FORTH  WITH  THEIR  VARIOUS  FALSE  DOCTRINES.  BUT  IT  WAS  ALSO  AN  AGE  WHERE  THE  TRUE  SAINTS  OF  GOD  CAME  OUT  OF  THE  POPULAR  CHRISTIANITY,  AND  ALSO  WENT  FORTH  WITH  MANY  TRUTHS  -  Keith Hunt)




Perhaps the most enormous development in Protestant circles in the 19th century was the rapid growth of a kind of piety that had first appeared in England in the 18th century and that soon migrated to North America: evangelicalism. This was a movement associated with no specific denomination and not bound after its first few decades, at least - to any standard theology. Its emphasis was upon the personal experience of conversion, repentance, redemption by God's grace and sanctification. Its typical expression was a certain type of worship marked by palpable fervour, and its chief emphasis was upon the cultivation of a life of prayer, a personal sense of assurance in Christ as one's saviour and evangelization.


(AGAIN  A  FALSE  THEOLOGY  OFTEN  BASED  UPON  THE  PREACHING  OF  ETERNAL  SUFFERING  IN  THE  DAMNATION  OF  HELL,  IF  YOU  DID  NOT  GET  ON  GOD'S  SIDE.  A  FALSE  NORTH  AMERICAN  EVANGELISM  BASED  UPON  A  FALSE  READING  AND  TEACHING  OF  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  -  A  "GIVE  YOUR  HEART  TO  THE  LORD  AND  YOU  ARE  SAVED"  -  NOT  KNOWING  WHAT  SAVED  BY  GRACE  REALLY  MEANS.  AND  SO  IT  STILL  GOES  TODAY  IN  MOST  NORTH  AMERICAN  FUNDAMENTAL  CHURCHES  -  Keith Hunt)  


The most important early form of the evangelical movement (which was concurrent with other 'pietist' movements in Europe, Catholic and Protestant) was that of Methodism, which began within the Church of England under the leadership of John Wesley (1703-91), a learned and devout Anglican priest, and his brother Charles (1707-88), also an Anglican priest, as well as a poet and one of the great hymnodists of Christian history. The Wesleys, from early in their pastoral careers, were devoted to regular participation in the Eucharist, bible study and prison ministry; but in 1738 they both had conversion experiences. John was soon persuaded by another Anglican priest, George Whitefield (1714—70), to preach in public - whereby was invented what would become the evangelical revival meeting (though Wesley and Whitefield would later part over the latter's belief in predestination, which Wesley could not abide).


(JUST  TWO  OR  THREE  OF  THE  MANY  FALSE  TEACHERS,  WHO  WERE  OF  THE  ANGLICAN  CHURCH,  WITH  ITS  MANY  FALSE  DOCTRINES  -  Keith Hunt)


Whitefield was particularly important for introducing 'revivalism' to America, as well as for inspiring the first 'Great Awakening', the movement of religious pietism and enthusiast religion that swept through the American colonies from the 1720s through the 1740s. In the 1790s a second Great Awakening arose simultaneously in New England and Kentucky; in the former region, it was of a soberer kind than the first Awakening, and in the latter it was of an even more 'enthusiast' and 'ecstatic' kind. And over the course of the century that followed, an evangelical form of Christianity — in which the experience of conversion, rather than baptism, came to be regarded as the way in which a person is 'born again' in Christ - gradually became one of the dominant forms of American Protestantism.


(MORE  FALSE  "EMOTIONAL"  CHRISTIANITY  THAT  WAS  OVER  THE  TOP  IN  EMOTION  AND  NOT  MUCH  ON  THE  CLEAR  TEACHINGS  OF  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT.  AND  AS  TIME  WENT  ON  IT  BECAME  EVEN  MORE  SO,  AS  THE  4TH  COMMANDMENT  WAS  THROWN  OUT  THE  WINDOW  WHEN  THE  20TH  CENTURY  CAME  ALONG  -  Keith Hunt)


Protestant Missions


The 19th century was also the period in which the Protestant churches began to make a concerted effort to carry the gospel to unconverted peoples.The Methodist Bishop Thomas Coke (1747-1814) brought his communion into the 'mission field', while the English Baptist minister William Carey (1761-1834) was the first of his confession to establish a mission in India. Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853), one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren, even served as a missionary in Baghdad before relocating to India.


[The Methodist preacher George Whitefield holds a revival meeting at Mootfields in London in 1142. Whitefield was also instrumental in bringing evangelicalism to the United States, making a total of 13 trips therefrom the late 1730s onwards]


[A Catholic school in Beijing, China, from Work of the Propagation of the Faith, published in 1882. The Society for the Propagation of the Faith is a Catholic organization founded in France in 1822 to promote missionary work around the globe]


The most famous of the 19th-century Protestant missions was the 'China Inland Mission' led by Hudson Taylor (1832—1905), who lived for more than 50 years in China, founding many schools, converting thousands of Chinese by his own preaching, and attracting hundreds of missionaries to the country. Taylor, in fact, integrated himself entirely into Chinese society, adopting indigenous dress, many of the native customs and even the language as his own. And while few Protestant missionaries of later years imitated him in this, his example inspired many thousands to undertake missions in inland regions, not only in China, but in many remote parts of the globe.


(AND  SO  THE  SPREAD  OF  MANY  OF  THE  FALSE  TEACHINGS  OF  THE  MOTHER  CHURCH  OF  ROME,  WAS  SPREAD  AROUND  THE  WORLD  BY  HER  DAUGHTER  CHURCHES......THE  WORLD  MADE  DRUNK  ON  THE  SPIRITUAL  FORNICATIONS  OF  THE  WHORE  OF  MYSTERY  BABYLON  RELIGION,  AS  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  CALLS  HER  -  Keith Hunt)


Vatican I


During these years, Catholic missions also remained robust, and the Roman Church continued to grow in absolute numbers all around the world. But the most significant institutional developments of the period concerned the shifting situation of the papacy in Europe, as both a secular and a spiritual power. The end of the real independence of the Papal States, and Rome's integration into a unified Italy, was an inevitability after the 'revolutionary year' of 1848; and, after 1870, it was a fait accompli. This was the political situation with which Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) was forced to come to terms during his long pontificate (32 years). And the cultural situation was perhaps even direr: rising materialism, anti-clericalism and the obvious decay of the Church's moral authority in society at large.


All of these considerations contributed to the pope's decision to convoke the First Vatican Council, which he intended as an enormous project of dogmatic clarification and institutional reorganization. In fact, the council lasted only from December 1869 to October 1870, when Pius had to suspend it indefinitely because of the occupation of Rome by Piedmontese forces. Before its premature dissolution, however, the council did issue two doctrinal documents. The first, 'Dei Filius' (Son of God), which concerned the authority of the Church's magisterium (teaching office) in making all final determinations of the validity of theological and exegetical statements, and which attempted to define the essential harmony - and relative authority - of faith and reason.


The second document, 'Pastor Aeternus' (Eternal Shepherd), concerned the jurisdiction and dogmatic authority of the pope, and was the object of a vehement debate among the council's participants.The document affirmed that the pope, as Peter's successor, is the inheritor of a unique authority over the entire Church - including complete and irresistible jurisdiction over every diocese - and that his authority in matters of doctrine was absolute and literally 'infallible.' This last claim meant that, when he definitively enunciates a doctrinal teaching of the Church that does not contradict dogmatic tradition, he does so without possibility of error; and, moreover, that he has the power to define doctrine 'from himself, and not from the consensus of the Church', and so does not require a Church council to arrive at his doctrinal determinations.


(THE  BIGGEST  CULT  OF  THEM  ALL  -  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  -  THE  MOTHER  OF  CULTS  WITH  HER  DAUGHTER  CULTS  OF  THE  PROTESTANTS  -  Keith Hunt)


Russian 'Religious Philosophy'


The most significant developments in Eastern Orthodox thought in the 19th century occurred in Russia. In the first half of the century, there arose a loose movement called 'Slavophilism' dedicated to the unification of all of Slavic culture and to a creative recovery of the Orthodox tradition as an alternative to the supposed authoritarianism, materialism and spiritual poverty of modern Western Europe. The Slavophiles were, as a rule, political liberals who advocated the emancipation of the serfs, the end of capital punishment and freedom of the press, and who wanted the tsar to become a constitutional monarch answerable to a parliament; but they also wished to inspire a renewal of the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Slavic Christian peoples, and especially of the Christian spirit of old Kievan Russia.



After an early flirtation with nihilism, Vladimir Solovyov returned to the bosom of the Orthodox Church and became one of Russian Christianity's most original thinkers.



The most impressive of these men was Alexei Khomyakov (1804-60), a poet philosopher, political theorist and theologian, who was the first to expound the 'Slavic Christian' ideal of Sobornost - which might be translated as 'concordance', 'integralism' or 'harmony' - as both a spiritual and a political principle. Khomyakov was equally contemptuous of capitalism and socialism, which he saw as two sides of the same Western materialist heresy, and two forms of authoritarian social organization incompatible with human dignity. Equally devoted to this idea of Sobornost was Ivan Kireevsky (1806-56), who saw it as an alternative to both the individualism and the collectivism of Western modernity. Kireevsky was also profoundly important in bringing a fascination with German Idealist philosophy — and especially that of Friedrich Wilhelm Schelfing (1775—1854) — into Russian Christian philosophy.


(MORE  FALSE  CHRISTIANITY  "RUSSIAN  STYLE"  -  Keith Hunt)



The next generation of Russian Christian thinkers took up almost all of the ideas and ideals of the Slavophiles, though some did so with even more nativist passion and others with even more cosmopolitan openness. It is in the latter class that one would have to number the philosopher and poet Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900), a towering figure in modern Russian thought. Though Orthodox, Solovyov was ardently ecumenical in outlook, and yearned for the ultimate reconciliation of all Christians; he shared the Slavophiles' disdain for capitalism and socialism, and their political liberalism, and he mastered the philosophical tradition of Europe — and German Idealism especially — as no previous Russian philosopher had. The centre of his thought was 'divine humanity', mankind's original and natural orientation towards divinization, and the 'God-man', Christ, who brings this orientation to fruition and so joins all of creation to God. Solovyov is also accounted the father of 'Sophiology', a movement concerned with reflection on the Biblical figure of the divine Sophia or Wisdom, understood almost as a kind of 'sacred feminine' in nature in history: at once the indwelling presence of God in creation and also the deep spiritual openness of creation to union with God.


(MORE  PHILOSOPHICAL  MUMBO-JUMBO  FALSE  CHRISTIANITY,  DRESSED  UP  TO  MAKE  IT  APPEAR  VERY  SOPHISTICATED  -  Keith Hunt) 


POET OF THE GOD-MAN





Fyodor Dostoyevsky (f821-81) is generally regarded as one of the greatest novelists of Western literary history, and almost certainly the greatest philosophical novelist ever. In later life, he was deeply impressed and influenced by the thought of 'the young philosopher' Solovyov, and most especially by Solovyov's opposition between the 'God-man' - Christ, humanity as perfected and divinized by God's grace - and the 'man-god' - a figure who represents the highest achievement of the fallen human will to dominate and triumph over material nature, and whom both Solvyov and Dostoyevsky portrayed in terms sometimes eerily similar to the Ubermensch of Nietzsche (of whom neither in all likelihood had ever heard).


Dostoyevsky was a man of enormous contradictions, who in his youth had gone through phases of irreligion and political radicalism, and who as a result of the latter had even been subjected to the cruel ordeal of a mock execution and a period of Siberian exile, imprisonment and forced labour. He returned fully to Christian faith in maturity, and developed a fervent devotion both to Orthodoxy and to Russia (not always in that order), but he refused any kind of glib or easy faith. In his last and greatest novel, The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80), in a chapter entitled 'Rebellion', he set forth what many regard as one of the most powerful cases ever made against Christian faith.


As a novelist, Dostoyevsky was widely praised even in his day for the depth of his psychological insights, a talent that first became fully obvious in his novella Notes from the Underground (l864).The story was written in the first-person voice of perhaps the strangest, most complex and most impulsive fictional personality to have appeared in Western literature to that point: a petty, self-loathing and self-absorbed creature of post-Christian rationalism who is, nevertheless, tormented by his knowledge of the human will's perverse resistance to all rationalization, and haunted by his guilt - which he constantly and unconvincingly denies - over an act of cruelty he once committed.


Everything that Nietzsche saw regarding the withdrawal of Christian faith in the modern West, and regarding the crisis and uncertainty it would bring in its wake, Dostoyevsky also saw, though with a depth of humane subtlety that Nietzsche usually lacked. Unlike Nietzsche, though, Dostoyevsky believed the descent of modern humanity into nihilism (whose worst political and social consequences he foresaw with remarkable perspicacity) to be the result not of Christianity's corruption of the human will, but of the inability of modern men and women to bear the power of Christian freedom. And, as an answer to nihilism, Dostoyevsky proposed not the Ubermensch, but the staretz Zosima (a character in The Brothers Karamazov): a monk able to look upon all of creation with fervent and self-outpouring charity.

.....................


A  MIXED  UP  NOVELIST  WHO  COULDN'T  MAKE  SENSE  OF  THE  TRUTHS  OF  GOD;  WHO  WAS  PART  OF  THE  DECEIVED  WORLD  AND  WHATEVER  DECEPTIVE  CHRISTIANITY  HE  CAME  INTO  CONTACT  WITH.


IT  WAS  INDEED  THE  START  OF  THE  TIME  OF  THE  END  GREAT  CHRISTIAN  RELIGIOUS  DECEPTION  THAT  WOULD  ENCIRCLE   THE  WHOLE  EARTH,  BY  AS  MANY  FALSE  IDEAS  AND  TEACHINGS  AS  THERE  ARE  DAYS  IN  THE  YEAR.


TRULY  THE  START  OF,  AS  JESUS  SAID  WOULD  COME  BEFORE  HIS  RETURN,  "MANY  SHALL  COME  IN  MY  NAME  AND  SHALL  DECEIVE  MANY."  IT  WAS  THE  MANY  WHO  WOULD  BE  DECEIVED  NOT  THE  FEW.  JESUS'  CHURCH  WOULD  REMAIN  THE  "LITTLE  FLOCK" [GREEK  MEANS  "VERY  LITTLE  FLOCK"]  AND  THE  SALT  OF  THE  EARTH [SPRINKLED  HERE  AND  THERE].


Keith Hunt


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