The Enlightenment is essientially a worldly movement (along with much of the supposed Renaissance which was just the Enlightenment searching for an identity apart from Scripture or Christian customs). The Enlightenment can be summed up in one thought: the quest for godlessness. It is the OPPOSITE of the Reformation, almost its reciprocal. It moves in the shadow of the Reformation (constantly claiming the benefits of the Reformation, trying to externally mimic the Reformation without its crucial ingredients: Bible and God). The Enlightenment is a group of FOLLOWERS, who think of themselves as leaders, but they are always coming AFTER the Reformation breakthroughs.
1) Reformation came first, creating freedom from Papal control. Then the Enlightenment came, enjoying the possibilities that were already created by daring Biblical Christian believers (more biblical than the Papacy at least!!!).
2) Christian culture created the American thought-revolution. The French Enlightenment said “hey, we like what they have. Let’s do it! Except lets leave “God” and the Bible out!” So they did the French Revolution. Bloodbath and dictatorship.
3) Christians in Britain and America liberated the black slaves caught by the slave-trade. The Enlightenment said “see, that was our idea!” ….really?
4) Azusa Street (pentecostalism) occurred: which was just one example of RADICAL multiculturalism. Asian, hispanic, men, women, black, white, middle-class, poor… all converged in one location over the course of a few years. Shouting, singing, praying, “speaking in tongues” and celebrating the Bible together in radical unity – unseen IN THE FLESH until about that time. …50 to 60 years later, the American Civil Rights movement comes along which involved progressives and communists (Enlightenment). But the church was first, the church paved the way. The Enlightenment was only USING the cultural mores ALREADY CREATED by fervent belief in the Bible and in Jesus!
5) pentecostalism/charismatic movement is now working in every denomination, making inroads into every country and culture… melding with those cultures without strict top-down (geographically consolidated) authoritarianism. Sure, it may sometimes be a theological mess: but pentecostals and charismatics tend to place a very HIGH VALUE on the Bible and on the Spirit of the Lord: thus ushering in the two foundations of True Civilization! We can hope that (sooner than later) China and the middle east fall: not to a sword made with hands – but to a Sword made without hands! THEN, when the world is made socially safe and with more respect for God’s Ways, we truly begin the ‘work’ of molding our swords (religious and political/military heirarchies) into plowshares.
You can name almost every major movement in the so-called “Enlightenment” and find that the Reformation preceded it! Those areas where the Enlightenment departs from the Reformation (abortion, homosexuality, etc) it remains unsupported by most of the Reformation and is doomed to failure. Period. You can only build where you have a consistent, unified, whole (holy) foundation. Or your house will be washed away. God is called the Holy One of Israel. I believe Jesus is this One.
E Harris, American Vision 24 Comments
[3/25/2013 3:26:32 AM]
Fundie Index: 30