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)
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)
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].