THE RISE AND FALL OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION :
TWO PATHS AND TWO FOUNDATIONS
Is Jesus Christ the founder of western civilization? I suspect that if we were to ask Him that question, He would quote John 18.36. This verse is taken from the account of His trial before Pontius Pilot. Pilot asked Christ if He was the King of the Jews. In their discourse, Jesus said; “ … My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18.36). If Jesus did not found western civilization, He has certainly had a large role within it. The relationship between western civilization and Christian faith is interesting. At times, western civilization has been a great supporter of Christian faith. At other times, it has been a great persecutor of the same. In this book, we will take a brief look at the history of western civilization and its relationship to Christian faith.
Jesus Christ made it very clear that He was, and is, a king. From this same account of His trial before Pilot, He said; “ … Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” (John 18.37). Jesus is a king, the king of the kingdom of God. This kingdom burst into our world in an amazing way with Christ’s incarnation at Bethlehem. The king of God’s kingdom brought the kingdom with Him. He grew into manhood and, at the appropriate time, began the ministry that He had been sent for. We read; “ And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4.23). Jesus preached the kingdom of God. He also demonstrated it in numerous ways, one which was the healing of the sick. Jesus taught; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6.33). On one occasion, He instructed seventy followers to go out in ministry and said; “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” (Luke 10.8, 9). So, we see that the kingdom of God that is ruled by Jesus, and was preached and practiced by Jesus, began to come near others through the lives of these early disciples, even before Jesus’ death and resurrection. After His death and resurrection, Jesus commissioned His followers; “ And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28.18-20). Jesus further instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem where they would receive a spiritual experience that Jesus called being “baptized with the Holy Ghost” (see Acts 1, verse 5). His disciples did so and, when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they had a powerful encounter with God in which they were endued with power to be witnesses for Christ. These anointed ones went out everywhere, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and performing miracles. These were incredible days of the kingdom of God expanding in the world.
It is evident from Jesus’ actions, and His own words, that the kingdom of God was to have great effect in shaping the world. In fact, He taught His disciples to pray; “ After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6.9-10). We, therefore, are to pray that God’s kingdom will come, that His will will be done on earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ, of His death and resurrection and of the salvation that comes through faith in Him, provided a foundation for anyone who would accept it and accept the lordship of Christ. This foundation can carry a man or woman through this life into heaven and eternal life. It can also provide a foundation for whole societies, if only it is applied. Western civilization had this opportunity presented to it very early in its formation.
What has western civilization done with the opportunity of joining the kingdom of God and building on the spiritual foundation that Jesus Christ laid out? Jesus Christ taught:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Here, Jesus shows that His teachings, if followed, provide the perfect foundation for life. However, if His teachings are heard and ignored, this constitutes the laying of a wrong foundation, one which will collapse. Western civilization has, in part, been constructed on this good foundation of Jesus’ teachings and, in part, upon the wrong foundation of rejecting Him and His teachings. For this reason it is, perhaps, impossible to speak of western civilization as a whole in this regard because western civilization is deeply divided. It has been divided since the time of the coming of Christ to Earth. There are those within it who have honoured Christ and attempted to build, both, their own lives and society upon His truth. These ones have seen the blessing of God and, I believe, some of the fulfilment of what Christ spoke of in these verses. However, a great deal of western civilization is built upon philosophies and ideologies which contradict Jesus’ truth. This poor foundation has led to a collapse, and an even greater collapse is looming, as history approaches the judgment seat of Christ.
THE PRECURSOR TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION : THE ANCIENT WORLD AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Let’s try to trace the construction of western civilization on each of these foundations throughout the last two thousand, or more, years. As already shown, the kingdom of God came to this world along with its king, Jesus Christ. Jesus, by His sacrificial death and resurrection, made a way for men and women to be reconciled to God. This reconciliation comes about through faith. Those who repent from their own ways and exercise faith in Christ are adopted into God’s family. Being adopted into God’s family is the same as entering God’s kingdom. Those in God’s kingdom feed on God’s truth, revealed in the Bible, and through the relationship that they have with God. These ones not only feed on God’s truth but practice it and declare it openly. God supplies the power and the witness of their testimony and leads others to make the same decision to follow God that they have made. This cycle of conversion, and living and declaring God’s truth, is, in fact, God’s kingdom operating and expanding on Earth.
This kingdom of God was infused into western civilization from the days of western civilization’s earliest beginning, but where did western civilization come from in the first place? To understand its beginnings, we must first consider the precursors from which, in many ways, it sprung. According to The Western Heritage; “The roots of western civilization may be found in the experience and culture of the Greeks, but Greek civilization itself was richly nourished by older, magnificent civilizations to the south and east, especially in Mesopotamia and Egypt.” 1 Greek civilization, with its borrowed elements from other ancient civilizations, rose after the disintegration of the Bronze Age cultures that lived on the Greek mainland and on Crete before 1,000 BC. It was ruled by independent city-states which held autonomy for hundreds of years before being organized into larger units. Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire and unified the entire area into one great kingdom. His kingdom would, in time, be absorbed, largely by Romans who conquered it in the last couple of hundred years before, what secular historians call, the Christian era. The Romans were rugged farmers in what is, today, west central Italy. In 500 BC, they deposed their king and created a republican constitution and code of law that served to establish political order. By 270 BC, through many military engagements, they gained control of most of what, today, is Italy. From that time until well into the first century, they expanded their borders through military conquests until they had conquered the Carthaginians in the West and all of the Hellenistic powers from the shores of the Mediterranean, and beyond. The Romans adopted the Greek language and much Greek culture. 2 The history of this empire is usually split into two periods. The first period is called The Republic and this is the time in which Rome grew from a small city-state to an empire. The second period of the empire is the period in which a constitutional monarchy was established. Rome was ruled by powerful kings, the Caesars, who imposed their will on the empire. This empire would be an important precursor to western civilization. 3
So, what was the early relationship between the Christian faith and the Roman empire? Jesus Christ lived and ministered in the Jewish regions of the Roman empire. Jesus was crucified by the Roman government. However, Jesus triumphed over death, resurrected from the grave, and empowered His Church-kingdom for the work of expansion. God’s kingdom, Christianity, was infused into the Roman empire. Christianity grew at a rapid rate as thousands responded to the simple gospel preached from the lips of the apostles. Apostles, such as Paul, travelled throughout the Roman empire establishing churches and building up the faith of believers. Letters, which became the books of the New Testament, were written and circulated among the believers. At the same time as the Church was growing in its influence, the secular authorities were opposing it. However, persecution only seemed to serve the growth of the Church as it led to the spreading of believers throughout different parts of the empire. We read of the early Christians in Jerusalem who were persecuted by Saul (later named Paul); “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8.4).
The early persecution of the Church was conducted by regional authorities, such as King Herod. However, Rome would organize its persecution of the Church under the leadership of powerful Caesars. These Caesars feared the influence that Christianity was having on the masses. They saw how it challenged their own idolatry and paganism. The first, and perhaps the most terrible of these persecuting Caesars, was Nero. Tradition tells us that he was responsible for the martyrdom of the apostles, Peter and Paul. This madman was responsible for the murder of his own brother, his mother, two of his wives and many other eminent Romans. However, he is most known for his fury against the Christian Church. After the burning of Rome, an event most historians attribute to his own causing, he blamed Christians for the deed. Large numbers of Christians were crucified, burned on posts as human torches, or thrown to the beasts in the Roman Colosseum. 4 After Nero’s death, in 68 AD, other Caesars continued to persecute the Church. However, there were varying degrees of the intensity of these persecutions. At one time, for a period of one year, four men claimed the position of emperor. Emperor Vespasian (ruled 69-79) came to power, ending this dispute, and was followed by Emperors Titus (ruled 79-81) and Domitian (ruled 81-96). Domitian’s reign was followed by the rule of the Antonines (ruled 96-180). Included in this time period is what is, sometimes, called the era of the “five good emperors.” It is sometimes pointed out that the Christian Church enjoyed more freedom from persecution, under these emperors, than it did previously. However, a number of key Christian leaders were executed for their faith during this period, as well. The Antonines were followed by the rule of the Severi emperors (ruled 193-235) who, in turn, were followed by the Barracks emperors (ruled 235-284). This period saw twenty-two emperors in forty-nine years. After the Barracks emperors, Diocletian (ruled 284-305) came to power. Under Diocletian, the Church, once again, suffered fierce and vigorous persecution. 5
With the passing of Diocletian, the leadership of Rome took a new, and different, position towards the Church. Emperor Constantine came to power and legalized Christianity. Constantine adopted a friendly and supportive role towards the Church. He freed the clergy from imperial taxation and donated generously to the building of churches. He even declared Sunday a public holiday. Christianity, which had been steadily growing throughout many difficult years, became the leading faith within the empire. The next emperor, Theodosius, in 380, made Christianity the official religion of the empire. This emperor had many pagan Roman statues removed and banned the practice of old Roman religions. He allowed the Church to establish its own course and its own system of law, called canon law. 6
An interesting relationship developed between the Church (previously persecuted) and the Roman state. Church leaders began to call for more independence from the state’s jurisdiction and, more and more, this was granted. At the same time, the state was involved in the construction of church buildings. Under the reign of Diocletian, the empire had been organized in geographical units called dioceses. Now, with the freedoms granted to it, the Church organized itself in the same structure as these dioceses. Religious dioceses began to further organize themselves and, sometime in the fifth century, the bishops of Rome began to gain supremacy over other Christian communities. 7
Under Diocletian, the empire had been divided into two halves, the western half and the eastern half. Under his leadership, and prior to it, the empire saw considerable decline from its earlier years of strength. Rome was disintegrating from within. Many Romans were becoming gluttonous, less disciplined and careless. Barbarian kings had assailed the empire for years, doing much damage to Rome’s military strength. Wars had also crippled agriculture. Poverty was now becoming widespread within the empire, especially within its western half. The Barracks emperors had begun cutting the silver content of coin until Roman currency became virtually worthless. Emperors also imposed heavy taxes upon the people and the tax burden practically wiped out the moderately-wealthy class of the empire. Roman society, in some ways, was like the many Roman stone bridges that they constructed throughout their empire. Travellers, on foot or on horse, crossed these bridges safely for centuries. However, if today a heavily-loaded transport truck were to go over them, they would collapse. Roman culture, values and world-view was collapsing just like one of these bridges. Their society could hold up as long as pressures against it were not very great. However, when the pressure increased, the foundation of the Roman empire simply gave way. 8 Constantine made a bold move in relocating the capital of the Roman empire from Rome to the eastern city of Constantinople, which was really the old Greek city of Byzantium. 9 By this time, the eastern half of the empire had much greater wealth than the western half. With this shift, the western half of the empire fell into disarray, suffering impoverishment and invasion from Barbarians. The only organization within this half of the empire which had enough organizational strength to provide leadership was the Catholic Church. More and more, this Church assumed secular responsibilities over the population.
What would become of these two halves of the empire? The eastern half would also prove difficult to rule and was on a gradual pathway to dissolution. The western half of the empire was increasingly coming, more and more, under the rule of the Catholic Church, centralized in Rome. With this coveted power belonging to the Catholic Church, many ambitious men rose up within it to take, and abuse, this power. The character of most visible leaders of this institutionalized Church was in strong contrast to that of the apostles and the early followers of Christ, who lived godly, Christ-like lives. With power also came wealth and with both of these came much corruption. However, it would be wrong to assume that the entire Church sank to these lows. Dark and Middle Ages Church history records a small number of accounts of bodies of Christian believers, as well as individual Christians, who lived honorable, devoted, and sacrificial lives in service to Jesus Christ. Many times, the Catholic Church persecuted such ones, labelling them as heretics. Because the Catholic Church was the one recording history during these days of the Dark and Middle Ages, they did not necessarily choose to record much about the lives of such, so-called, “heretics.” However, God’s kingdom has been active in the Earth since the time that Jesus commissioned it.
Let’s consider the Roman empire to be the precursor for western civilization. It is a precursor because it gave the subsequent founders of European civilizations some structure on which they built their societies. It is important to remember that the Roman empire extended beyond Italy, well into Europe and elsewhere. North of Italy, large portions of what, today, is called Europe was, then, organized under Roman rule. The Roman Prefecture of Italy stretched northward to the borders of what is, today, Germany and the Roman province of Gaul encompassed what, today, is France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of northern Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. The Roman empire also ruled much of what is, today, Britain.
The ancient world was comprised of powerful kingdoms. Greek philosophy and culture permeated great segments of this ancient world and this culture and structure was adopted by the Roman civilization. The Roman Empire rose out of the ancient world and served as a precursor to western civilization. Roman civilization became infused with another kingdom, the kingdom of God. Initially, Rome had persecuted God’s kingdom. Later, it accepted Christianity and even promoted it. Was the Christianity that Rome promoted really the Christianity that was previously known?
THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES
The Roman empire had overextended itself and simply could not hold together a territory of this size. Large provinces began splintering into smaller ones and Europeans began organizing themselves into small, local kingdoms. Peasants worked for feudal lords who, in turn, pledged loyalties to local kings. This whole era became known as the “Dark Ages.” It was a troubled time of spiritual darkness, lack of education, political insecurities and widespread poverty.
The difficult circumstances of the Dark Ages provided a reason for Europeans to wish to be organized under stronger and larger ruling powers. One early kingdom to begin this process was the kingdom of the Franks. Clovis (466? – 511), a warrior chief, and his successors subdued the kingdoms of the Burgundians and the Arian Visigoths and established the kingdom of the Franks. This kingdom covered an area which, today, would stretch into France, Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany. A dynasty of Frankish rulers became known as the Carolingians and from them a great leader by the name of Charlemagne (768-814) arose. By his time, the Frankish kingdom was the official protector of papal rule in Italy. Charlemagne conquered many surrounding pagan tribes such as the Saxons and the Avars. By the time of his death in 814, Charlemagne’s kingdom encompassed what, today, would be France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, most of western Germany, part of Spain, much of Italy and the Isle of Corsica. 10
Art by Ramona Stevens
I received inspiration to paint this from a piece of art of Charlemagne on the website of ancestry.ca
Two other large European people-groups were the Celts and the Germans. Both were Indo-European. There is ancient evidence that the Celts, at one time, lived east of the Rhine River while the Germans were more concentrated along the North and Baltic Seas. German pressure caused the Celts to move westward and they populated Brittany and what, today, is England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. 11 Because those from this area of what is, today, the United Kingdom, had been organized under Roman rule, some of the architecture of their society has remained intact, even after the Roman era. For example, towns were set up in the Roman style with theatres, amphitheatres and public baths. The Celts were beaten back by Germanic invading tribes, the most notable being the Angles and the Saxons. Anglo-Saxon culture and rule would come to dominate England. Northern Germans were never ruled by the Romans and did not organize themselves in a large unified kingdom. Instead, they were organized in tribes led by chieftains or kings and a myriad of tiny German kingdoms emerged.
While the Franks, Anglo-Saxons and Germans occupied a significant part of Europe, another people-group that exercised European influence was the Visigoths. They had a weak hold on the area today known as Spain and, eventually, lost control of the region to Muslim expansion marked by the Muslim conquest of Guadalete in 711 AD. 12 Spain would not remain in the hands of Muslims. In 1085, the king of Castile, Alfonso VI, captured Toledo, in central Spain, and he invited French knights to settle in the area. Alfonso’s successor, Alfonso VIII, with help from the kings of Aragon, Portugal and Navarre, smashed Muslim forces in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, in 1212. This was followed by a wave of Crusader attacks which drove the Muslims back to the region of Granada, marking the beginnings of Spain. 13
So, in attempts to trace a history of western civilization, these are sketches of some of the early beginnings of ancient Europe which rose out of the collapsing Roman Empire. From this, we see people inhabiting and organizing themselves into kingdoms such as the Franks (France and central Europe), the Visigoths (Spain), the Anglo-Saxons (Britain) and the Germans (Germany). While these developments were, in fact, more complex than this brief history describes, they will serve as a rough outline of the development of Europe during the Dark Ages and lay a foundation for the development of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Europe, in the Middle Ages, was more tightly organized and controlled than it was in the Dark Ages. There was a great impetus for the creation of modern states. Modern states, under the rule of strong monarchs, had standing armies which could secure a nation’s claims to territory. Modern states had systems of national taxation which generated wealth for the monarch and provided a means of funding national and international policies. Modern states had systems of codified law which sought to provide justice for its citizens. Modern states had the capacity to unify their markets and conduct trade with other states or empires. 14
The former Dark Age kingdom of the Franks became France. Under the rule of Philip Augustus (1180-1223), French government was improved by the establishment of a rudimentary civil service. King Louis IX (1276-1270) brought in reforms by abolishing trial by combat. Under Philip IV (1285-1314), France saw large increases to royal revenue. Philip IV also made middle-class Frenchmen an active part of the government. France soon saw the creation of professional judges, trained in law, and the creation of the Parlement de Paris which clarified and extended royal legal jurisdiction. 15
The former Celts and Anglo-Saxons of the Dark Ages became the citizens of England. An English state developed after the Norman invasion of 1066. In this invasion, William the Conqueror was able to exercise control over English lords. Royal rule was reined in by the uprising of 1215 which forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. This great document was an agreement to protect medieval customs, freedoms and the rights of nobles from the abuses of monarchies. The Magna Carta would be interpreted to include the rights of common Englishmen, as well. Under the reigns of Henry II (1154-1189) and Edward I (1272-1307), the English government would be greatly strengthened. Henry’s rule saw important contributions to English law, especially the introduction of a jury system and the enforcement of common law. Under the rule of Edward I, both Wales and the Scottish lowlands were brought under English rule. Edward’s parliament of 1295 had representatives, not only of England’s elite but, also, of its middle class. 16
The former Visigoths of the Dark Ages were overthrown by Muslims. From 711 until 1492, Muslims ruled most of Spain. As mentioned, from the mid-eighth to the mid-thirteenth centuries, European Catholics began chipping away at Muslim rule in this region. A number of cities began to fall to Crusaders: Toledo in 1086, Valencia in 1094, Cordoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248. A number of Muslim fiefs in this area became independent kingdoms, such as Galicia, Castile, Asturias, Leon, Valencia and Aragon. By 1340, the Muslim forces had been beaten back into the small kingdom of Granada. 17
Another important event which is connected with Spain’s history is the commissioning of Christopher Columbus for his famous voyage to the New World. Columbus dreamed of travelling farther than any man previously had done. The support for such a trip came from the Spanish government of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. In the year 1492, Columbus launched from port in search of an ocean route to Asia which would expand trade for the nation of Spain. Instead, he came to the central North American continent, formerly unknown to Europeans. The discovery of North America would mark the greatest expansion of western civilization. Kingdoms such as England, France and Spain would become colonial powers, establishing colonies on its landscape.
So, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of strong nation-states such as France, England and Spain. In time, more states such as Austria, Poland, Italy, and others, would emerge and take their place in the great puzzle of Europe and western civilization. However, governments and states were not the only significant developments during this time. Great philosophical changes were coming to western civilization. Prior to this, the Roman Catholic Church had a monopoly on knowledge and led the way in shaping the world-view of Europeans and western civilization. However, Catholic theology would be challenged by humanism and by the Protestant Reformation.
RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION
Humanism is a world-view that can be traced back as far as the Renaissance. It was a shift in emphasis away from heavenly things, such as God, angels and the after-life, to a focus on humanity and the potential of human achievements. Humanists began challenging scholastic interpretations of theology and began proposing a man-centered outlook on life. Such a man-centered view of life “ … has found no way to arrive at universals or absolutes which give meaning to existence and morals.” 18 Early humanists were less radical in this emphasis and still maintained a belief in Christian faith. However, the seeds of humanism laid the foundation for a world-view which would become more and more secular and opposed to Christian theology. 19
While humanism challenged Catholic teaching, another movement which would greatly challenge Catholic teaching was the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. The Protestant Reformation really marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern times. According to Philip Schaff, ” … it gave, directly or indirectly, a mighty impulse to every forward movement, and made Protestantism the chief propelling force in the history of modern civilization.” 20 The Protestant Reformation was a part of the great wave of new thinking which was sweeping Europe. There was a tremendous spirit of progress and freedom and a spirit of enquiry, causing men and women to question what was previously believed. The Catholic Church, instead of rising to the expectations of truth-seekers, seemed more and more to be digressing into corruption, impiety and rigid formality. Instead of providing clear and helpful instruction, it was retreating into vague mysticism. Speaking of the changing spirit of his time, Martin Luther wrote in 1522:
If you read all the annals of the past, you will find no century like this since the birth of Christ. Such building and planting, such good living and dressing, such enterprise in commerce, such a stir in all the arts, has not been since Christ came into the world. And how numerous are the sharp and intelligent people who leave nothing hidden and unturned: even a boy of twenty years knows more nowadays than was known formerly by twenty doctors of divinity. 21
Who was Martin Luther? Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in the town of Eisleben (today, in Germany). He grew up and went on to university where he studied philosophy and eventually obtained a Master of Arts degree. Luther considered studying law, however, the course of his life would change in the year 1505. During a fierce thunderstorm, feeling that his life was in danger, he became frightened and promised Saint Anne that he would become a monk if his life was spared. He entered a monastery and, in 1507, was ordained. Luther was on a deep spiritual quest for reality. He became deeply aware of his own personal sinfulness and need for salvation. He diligently practised the sacraments of the Church, yet found no peace in them. He also was very diligent in his study of Scripture. Through his study of the holy Scriptures, he came to the conclusion that salvation was a result of faith in Christ, not of religious works. Luther entered a deep, spiritual, conversion experience and his view of God and Christian faith changed dramatically. 22
MARTIN LUTHER painted by Ramona Stevens
I received inspiration to paint this piece from a painting of Martin Luther
by Lucas Cranach the Elder painted in 1525.
The new Christian spirituality of Martin Luther clashed irreconcilably with the old dogma and practices of the Catholic Church. While the Catholic Church was exalting the papacy, venerating saints and relics, offering prayers and masses for the dead, teaching the doctrine of purgatory, conducting superstitious rites and ceremonies and selling indulgences, Luther had entered into a personal faith which went beyond ceremony and sacraments and, in fact, changed his heart as well as his outlook. He had discovered that God’s grace was a gift to man and that he could have access to God through Jesus Christ without the need for a another, human mediator. The Catholic position of salvation, by sacraments, was irreconcilably different from the biblical position of salvation by faith. Luther could not keep to himself the revelation he had obtained. He began boldly proclaiming salvation, by faith, and the authority of the Bible over the authority of the Catholic Church.
What effect did the Protestant Reformation have on Europe and western civilization? It had a tremendous effect, primarily because it affected the hearts of individual people who embraced its truth. Large numbers of common people began personally placing their trust and faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. There was an awakening to truth, the most fundamental truth concerning the salvation of a man’s soul. This is not to say that the Protestant Reformation did not have its excesses. For all of the good that it included, it was, to some degree, sidetracked by such teachings as the bondage of the human will. It did not solve all of Europe’s problems, but what it did was hold high the authority of the Scriptures themselves and gave common people the freedom to look at those Scriptures in a new light. The Reformation spread rapidly throughout Germany, Switzerland, France, Scandinavia, Holland, Hungary, Bohemia, England and Scotland. It would also spread to the New World of North America as well as to English colonies around the world.
If the Protestant Reformation had a powerful spiritual effect upon Europe and western civilization, what was the political effect that came with it? Once again, there was a significant effect. The Protestant Reformation broke the stranglehold that the Catholic Church held over Europe. Almost immediately, kings and kingdoms took sides, some with the Catholic Church, others with the Reformers. Rulers decreed their kingdoms to be either Catholic or Protestant and there was a tremendous splitting of the European continent. The Catholic Church reacted strongly against these developments and launched wave after wave of persecutions intended to crush the young Protestant movement as well as the kingdoms which had broken allegiance with Rome. Many Protestant kingdoms fought back and thirty years of horrific warfare ensued.
The Thirty Year’s War (1618-1648) would have a profound effect upon Christendom and the response that men and women had toward it. Many devoted Catholics became more entrenched in Catholicism and in loyalty to the Catholic Church. Many Protestants also became fiercely loyal to Protestant denominations but did not, necessarily, show equal commitment to the living spirituality which was first seen in many early reformers. Many Protestants were hardened by the hurt of thirty years of violence. They maintained a strict outward religion which, in many cases, was not dramatically different from the Catholic tradition which they had left. Others, however, reacted very differently to these circumstances. They bewailed the injustices of their day and gave their hurt over to God. They sought God with humility and deep brokenness and, somewhere in their seeking, encountered God in a profound and spiritual way. Many Europeans were having conversion experiences and they began testifying to the change that had come to their lives. Such ones became known as Pietists. There were different kinds of Pietists. Radical Pietists sought for spirituality, not only by following the Bible but, also, through exploring Catholic mysticism. Moderate Pietists distanced themselves from Catholic mysticism and, instead, grounded their beliefs in the Bible itself. While Protestants reacted to the Thirty Years War in different ways, some becoming formalistic and others becoming Pietists, many Europeans rejected God completely, blaming religion for the suffering that had occurred. Intellectuals, called The Philosophers, rose up and some of them challenged Christian theology on many of its fundamental claims. This period is called by secular historians the Enlightenment (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries).
PHILOSOPHERS, ENLIGHTENMENT AND REVOLUTION
The philosophers of the Enlightenment period embraced humanism and prided themselves in the belief that they were advancing reason over speculation. Philosophers wrote plays, novels, histories, philosophical writings, dictionaries and encyclopedias. Their writings were filled with satire and criticism and became very popular. The Philosophers were also very political. There was a concentration of Philosophers in the nation of France and France was considered the hotbed and heartland of Enlightenment philosophy. 23 Francis Schaeffer describes the Enlightenment in this way:
The utopian dream of the Enlightenment can be summed up by five words: reason, nature, happiness, progress, and liberty. It was thoroughly secular in its thinking. The humanistic elements which had risen during the Renaissance came to flood tide during the Enlightenment. Here was man starting from himself absolutely. And if the humanistic elements of the Renaissance stand in sharp contrast to the Reformation, the Enlightenment was in total antithesis to it. 24
The Enlightenment in France coincided with revolutionary changes within the country. Hard economic times had hit, partly as a result of a series of bad harvests and also as a result of being at war, on and off, with Britain and other nations for over one hundred years. French public debt was also high compared to England’s. Unemployment was widespread. The monarchy even felt the pinch and King Louis XV, instead of showing flexibility, began taking hard stands and abusing his power. He exiled the entire Parliament de Paris in 1771 and tried to establish new law courts which he would be more likely able to control. There was a huge reaction against this and he was forced to restore the parliament. Many felt that they could not meet the taxation demands that were being made upon them and objected to the noble families, at the same time, being exempt from most taxes. King Louis XVI was still in his twenties when he came to power and he didn’t alleviate the tax burden of the common people.
A groundswell of support for revolution was breeding in France. A political body known as the Assembly of Notables began calling for the king to convene the Estates General. The Estates General was a general assembly made up of representatives of the nobility, the Church and the common people. The king did not want to but, when riots started breaking out, he conceded. The portion of the Estates General who represented the common people voted, themselves, to forming the National Assembly and claimed sovereignty and authority equal to, or above, the king. The king rejected their decision. Riots ensued. When the king saw that he was losing this struggle for power he attempted to flee the country but was caught. The French Revolution was not only an expression of the poor trying to obtain a better life but was deeply connected with the Enlightenment philosophies which were profoundly humanistic, man-centred and opposed to Christianity. It also was an expression of a new philosophy in the world called liberalism. The liberal writings of philosophers, such as Thomas Paine (1737-1809), contributed greatly to the revolution’s rejection of monarchical rule and also to the rejection of Christianity.
A second revolution broke out and this time victorious revolutionaries declared the first French Republic. The republic was ruled by a National Convention which became comprised of two main groups, the Girondins and the Jacobins. The Jacobins were the larger of the two groups and, by far, the most radical. What happened to France’s king? On January 17, 1793, the National Convention condemned him to death. On January 21st of that year, Louis XVI was guillotined. The Jacobins implemented a rule of terror throughout France. They set up courts which would prosecute anyone, and everyone, who was thought to be against the revolution. Laws were implemented to reduce the rights of the accused. Between 11,000 and 18,000 Frenchmen were condemned and guillotined. About 300,000 were imprisoned for some time during the Terror. Were all those who were imprisoned or guillotined really conspirators against the revolution? Certainly not. The leadership of the revolution was extremely insecure and they masked their insecurity with ruthless zeal by spreading the terror. People from every walk of life could be called for interrogation, even on the basis of the weakest suspicions of disloyalty. If such persons could not prove their innocence and their support of the revolution to their inquirers, they were swiftly condemned and dragged out before the bloodthirsty mobs who cheered as they were guillotined. Nobles and clergy were disproportionately targeted by the Terror and represented 15% of those killed.
The liberal revolutionaries enacted a campaign of secularism in France. Secularism is the removing of religious expression and influence from society. It is based on the concept that human behaviour and belief should not be influenced by religion or faith. This secularization in France involved closing down churches and removing crosses from public places. These efforts were not, ultimately, successful in stamping Christianity out of France. At an earlier stage of the revolution, large amounts of Church lands were confiscated and sold at auctions. 25 Why did French liberals turn against Christian faith? They feared Christian faith, perhaps more than any other influence. Francis Schaeffer has said; “No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions.” 26 Christianity has a standard for judging all humanity, whether or not that humanity is a ruler or a revolutionary.
The French Revolution is historic for many reasons. One reason for its political and historical significance is its role in the establishing of right-wing and left-wing politics. The terms “left” and “right” for politics, commonly used today, were first coined during the French Revolution. This was because of the seating arrangement of the Estates General. Within the Estates General, those who sat on the left more often supported the radical changes of the revolution. 27 Those who sat on the right were more reserved. The revolution itself was an expression of liberalism. Liberalism rose directly out of the Enlightenment period and was not based on a Christian world-view of God and man, which saw man as a fallen creature needing redemption but, rather, was based on the humanist view which considered man to be basically good-natured. Liberals traced the world’s problems, not to man’s fallen nature but, rather, to the oppression of controlling monarchs. The two main ideas within liberalism at this time were, firstly, the replacement of monarchies with a more representative form of government and, secondly, the secularization of society. Liberals believed that monarchs were suppressing the people and were not giving them the freedom that they deserved to shape and rule their own society. Peaceful attempts to influence monarchs to relinquish their hold on power had not achieved the kind of results that liberals were seeking. Consequently, many, perhaps, were willing to advocate and participate in violent revolution. The second principle of liberalism was the secularization of society. Liberals had a tremendous hatred for Christianity and for ecclesiastical authority. Why was this? This was largely because the Church, either Catholic or Protestant, generally had a good supportive relationship with the kings and nobility of their respective nations. For centuries, kings, nobles and churchmen shared political power and wealth and respected each others unique roles within society. This is not to say that these institutions did not, at times, quarrel or jostle for power and influence among themselves. However, generally speaking, the Church supported its royal rulers. The Church represented God to the people. Consequently, monarchs drew a lot of benefit and support from having a good relationship with the Church. This was the last thing that the liberals wanted to see happening. They wanted to overthrow the monarchs and, in many ways, the Church was an obstacle to this end. This is why liberals attacked the Church and Christian faith with such venom.
What happened to the French Revolution and how did it end? The revolution became more and more radical. The most notorious leader within it was Maximilien Robespierre. This cold and insanely bloodthirsty leader was a driving force in the increasing radicalization of the revolution. The leadership of the revolution began even turning upon itself. Girondins were being arrested and tried as traitors. To try to curb the assassination frenzy, Robespierre himself was made to stand before the tribunal. He was condemned and guillotined in July of 1794. In the final stages of the revolution, moderate Jacobins gained control and established a new government which they called the Directory. The Directory continued for a time, only to be overthrown by a rising star within the French military. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon established a government called the Consulat. However, within the Consulat, full executive authority was given to Napoleon himself.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE painted by Ramona Stevens
I was inspired to paint this piece by a painting of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David in 1800, titled “Napoleon at St Bernard Pass”.
The French Revolution marked the beginning of a whole new era in western civilization. Not only in France but throughout Europe, people were embracing the ideas of liberalism and revolution. Although the French Revolution ended in a terribly ugly way, this was not as clearly seen in the early days of the revolution. All over Europe people were applauding the victories of French revolutionaries who appeared to be obtaining new freedoms. Throughout Europe, whole movements began organizing themselves with a determination to gain their own freedoms. When peaceful diplomacy fell short of providing their goals, violent revolution was often considered to be the only avenue for change. A pressure cooker was building and early eruptions were seen in Greece and Russia. Revolts sprang up in Greece in the years of 1815 and 1821. This also occurred in Poland in 1846 and civil war erupted in Switzerland in 1847. These were early rumblings which led up to the great revolutionary year of 1848 in which revolts and revolutions swept Europe. France, Austria and Prussia all struggled to hold their nations together in the midst of ensuing chaos. One historian has said:
In 1848 revolutionary political and social ideologies combined with severe economic crisis and the romantic impulse to produce a vast upheaval across Europe. Only the most advanced and the most backward major countries – reforming Great Britain and immobile Russia – escaped untouched. Governments toppled; monarchs and ministers bowed or fled. National independence, liberal-democratic constitutions, and social reform: the lofty aspirations of a generation seemed at hand. Yet in the end, the revolutions failed. 28
Why did the revolutions ultimately fail? There is not one, sole reason; a combination of factors contributed to the failure. Not everyone wanted revolution. Not everyone considered the rule of kings to be that oppressive. Many Europeans had carved out a reasonable, or somewhat secure, living for themselves and their families. What would revolution bring to them? Revolutions were a big question mark. After all, the French Revolution had spun into one gigantic, chaotic killing frenzy. Also, many Europeans had strong feelings of nationalism towards their respective countries. For many Europeans, loyalty to the royal families that ruled them was a part of the nationalism that burned within them. Also, hadn’t Europe suffered enough fighting and bloodshed? People remembered the sufferings of the Thirty Years War and did not want to return to those days. So it was, that many drifted away from left-wing, liberal, revolutionary ideology to form the beginnings of conservative ideology. Conservative philosophy, at this time, generally centered around the belief that preserving the role of rulers was preserving stability and order. Although conservatism was embraced by many, it would still undergo a tremendous backlash from the liberal, revolutionary spirit during this era.
While continental Europe was buckling under the upheavals of violent revolution, what was going on in England, the world’s most powerful nation at this time? While England’s circumstances were similar in that England’s society was suffering from economic crisis, the response of the English people was profoundly different from their European counterparts. This is not to say that there were no Englishmen who did not desire to see revolution but England, as a whole, did not move in the direction of revolt. Why was this? Most historians equate this to a number of reasons and even secular historians acknowledge, to some degree, the influence of, what I consider to be, the largest factor to England’s non-involvement in revolution. While France was being swept with humanism, liberalism and revolutionary spirit, England was being swept with revival.
What is revival? Let’s go back to what we first discussed concerning God’s kingdom in the Earth. You will remember that after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, He commissioned His followers to preach the gospel and empowered them for this spiritual work. They went everywhere, preaching and living out their faith in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. Thousands were converted as the kingdom of God was dramatically expanding. Revival is an awakening of this experience, once again. This had happened in England. Two men, in particular, had had dramatic conversion experiences and began spreading their faith through large campaigns of open-air preaching. These 18th-century men were Charles Wesley (1703-1791) and George Whitfield (1714-1770). They travelled from one end of England to the other, addressing crowds of people who came to hear them. At these gatherings, unusual things were happening. Men and women were coming under deep conviction of personal sin, bewailing their condition and crying out to God for deliverance and salvation. Countless men and women were putting their faith in Jesus Christ, and His death and resurrection, and were entering a fresh, new spiritual experience of conversion. Along with this, there were many supernatural occurrences of people having visions, falling prostrate or even undergoing tremendous trembling. The world of Heaven was sweeping through the world of Earth in profound and undeniable ways. Along with the new experiences of faith, people were also repenting of their hardened, sinful ways. Through conversion, people were transformed from angry, prideful and covetous individuals to gentle-spirited, soft-hearted men and women who desired to share the same love of God that they had experienced. Such a state of heart and mind was in sharp contrast to the spirit of violent revolution. Revolutionaries had hoped to spark their kind of reforms in England, as well. However, it was like mixing oil with water. Christian revivals threw a wet blanket over revolutionary spirit. Liberals were simply unable to get revolution off the ground in England and, consequently, hated Christianity even more. While it is true that by the time of the French Revolution Charles Wesley was an old man, revivals did not stop with his passing. His followers were called Methodists and Methodist revivalism extended well into the time period of the French Revolution. Their influence has extended well into the nineteenth century and to our day.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the rise of the Philosophes. Philosophy and the ideology of revolution mingled together in the, so-called, Enlightenment and the years that followed it. This mingling together produced a new world-view, liberalism. Liberals opposed monarchs and, in many cases, opposed faith and pursued a policy of secularization. Liberalism found its highest expression in the French Revolution. When this revolution spun out of the control of the French government and people, a military leader named Napoleon rose up and took the reins of power. The French Revolution had encouraged other revolutions around Europe, all of which ultimately failed. They failed, but not without a tremendous struggle. The nation which saw the least amount of fight was England. Why? England had been touched by the hand of God. England had experienced revival to a greater degree than its European neighbors. Revival had gone down deep into the hearts of many Englishmen and had extinguished the fires of hatred and revolution.
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, COLONIZATION AND THE NEW WORLD
Why did so many Europeans feel the need for revolution during the eighteenth and nineteenth century? As well as the prospect of gaining political freedom and a voice in government, common westerners also aspired to gaining equalities of wealth and living conditions. The industrial revolution had sprung up in England in the eighteenth century. While other European nations were also trying to industrialize, England led the way. Natural resources, industrial technology and adequate capital enabled England to produce products and goods on a scale previously unknown. As well, England had colonies throughout the world from which she could extract great resources and convert them into manufactured goods. Such colonies, as well as foreign states, provided a market for her goods. As England’s wealthy class began investing in this system of industrialization and commerce, England’s economy took off in ways never before seen. However, the wealth that was generated, for the most part, stayed in the hands of the wealthy. Huge inequalities were forming between England’s upper class and England’s poor. The maintenance and the expansion of factories was built on the backs of struggling men and women who labored for long hours. 29
By the time of the industrial revolution, western nations such as England, France and Spain were managing more than their own individual countries. A number of western nations were colonial powers with growing empires around the world. The most notable of these was, of course, England. The first continent of great expansion was North America. British, French and Spanish colonies were set up in its virgin territory. These colonies flourished, grew and expanded. They grew because people were emigrating in large numbers to the ”New World.” Why were they coming? Again, they were coming for many reasons. One major reason for their coming was religious persecution back home. Since the time of the Reformation, and earlier, political rulers wanted to arrange their societies according to their own personal religious convictions. This, of course, meant that the faith and practice of many Christians was rejected by kings and rulers who did not support their values or beliefs. Sadly, European history is filled with the stories of religious persecution. Religious persecution led to great mass movements of people throughout Europe and, also, from Europe to the New World. Some people who were especially persecuted and contributed greatly to the numbers of those emigrating to the New World were the Pietists, Puritans and Non-Conformists. In many ways, these ones represented Europe’s and England’s strongest people. They were intensely serious, extremely hard-working and, in many cases, deeply spiritual. They came to a land which was almost entirely undeveloped and they built colonies and communities which would eventually become towns and cities. They subdued a wild and untamed land and became productive and prosperous. They formed the backbone of North American civilization and their strong faith was the main part of that backbone. The revivals, which had broken out in England and which involved John Wesley and George Whitfield, were brought over to the New World, as well. Here, they flourished as colonial America experienced the Great Awakenings.
North America was not the only frontier that western civilization pursued. Between 1880 and 1914, western expansion, perhaps, reached its peak. There was a great scramble for Africa in which British, French, Dutch, Italian, German, Spanish and Belgian imperial forces began penetrating the African continent and carving it up into colonies. As late as 1880, only 10% of the African continent was under European control but, by 1900, nearly all of it was ruled by Europe and western powers. Western powers also expanded into Asia. The Dutch had holdings in the East Indies as did Spain in the Philippines. The Middle East was divided up primarily between England and France. One of England’s greatest prizes was India which came under the rule of the British East India Company in 1848. Remarkably, fewer than 3,500 British ruled a population of 300 million Indians. India became a massive source of resources and a huge market for British goods. 30
Starting colonies was one thing, but holding colonies in the New World would prove to be a difficult task. Britain fought vigorously against the French in the New World and by the end of their battle over Quebec, in 1759, British forces had won all of France’s colonies. The glory of owning North America would be short lived for the British. England had large debt issues and her way of dealing with them was to tax her colonies. In 1765, Britain imposed a stamp tax on her North American colonies.
England’s efforts to extract excessive taxes from her colonies in the New World backfired. The colonies did not want to pay. They knew that they were descendents of Britain, and elsewhere, however, at this stage in history, they felt very independent from Britain. They had settled the New World and built colonies through much hard work. Why should they send their hard-earned wealth overseas to a government that they had no contact with? Small revolts grew and organized themselves into open rebellion. A fierce war broke out between loyalists and revolutionaries. On July 4, 1776, the second Continental Congress adopted The American Declaration of Independence, declaring sovereignty of the American states. North of the 49th parallel, England still had colonies which would go on to become the country of Canada. By 1780, England, at war with much of Europe, decided to let go of the thirteen American colonies. The Treaty of Paris, in 1783, formalized England’s acceptance of the independence of the thirteen colonies.
The eighteenth century was a century on the move. The industrial revolution propelled western civilization economically upward. With the increase of wealth, countries such as England, France and others became world empires with their own foreign colonies. Of all of the colonial entities to rise during this period, none was as strong and prosperous as the American colonies. They could not remain the property of England; they became the United States of America.
Art by Ramona Stevens based upon Josiah Wedgwood’s medallian of 1787.
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SLAVE TRADE
Ironically, while some people were gaining freedom through independence, there were others who were having their freedom taken away. Slavery goes far back in European history. For example, the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages created a shortage of farm and domestic workers within Europe. In many cases, these shortages were filled with slaves taken from the Balkans, southern Russia and elsewhere. However, when most people think of European slavery, they immediately think of the African slave trade. The African slave trade is a very dark chapter in the history of western civilization. Early on, it was tied to the sugar cultivation industry where slaves were brought to plantations in Portugal, Madeira and the Canary Islands to harvest sugar, which proved to be a very lucrative product. In the Americas, there were also huge shortages of labor and slaves began filling these shortages, especially in the South. In 1790, there were 757,181 slaves in the United States. The African slave trade involved 11,313,000 Africans being sold as slaves between the years of 1450 and 1900. 31 The heart of the African slave trade was the Atlantic slave trade which occurred in the eighteenth century. The acquisition and the selling of slaves dramatically increased after 1700 and even more so after 1750. Africans, both male and female, were violently captured through warfare, slave raiding and kidnapping. They were crowded into large ships and sent to the New World, as well as to Europe, to be sold as property. It is believed that European traders transported 6.13 million African slaves across the Atlantic Ocean between 1701 and 1800. By the 1780s, there was an average of 80,000 slaves being traded each year. Africans were taken from their homes and separated from their families. Many did not survive the voyage across the Atlantic. 32 In the Americas, they were sold as property and were heavily overworked.
Many have written about the atrocities of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is one of the darkest chapters in western and African history. It represents some of the cruelest treatment that man has dealt to his fellow man. The ending of the slave trade was one of the greatest things that England ever did. What did it take to end this atrocity? The ending of the slave trade was due to political, economic and spiritual factors.
There were political factors contributing to the ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The political control over slaves in some places was unstable. In Jamaica, in 1760, there was a great rebellion by slaves. A further Jamaican revolt occurred in 1831. In Haiti, slaves also rose up and took political control. However, Napoleon put down this rebellion in 1802. Political documents, such as The American Declaration of Independence, in 1776, and The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, in 1789, also influenced the abolition of the slave trade. The political lobbying of men like Thomas Fowell Buxton, who prepared documents and presented them to the British House of Commons attacking the slave trade, contributed as well. 33 34
As well as political factors, economic factors also contributed to the ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. As European and North American economies were moving into a capitalistic, free-trade empire, older economic systems, such as mercantilism and slavery, began to die out. 35 Europeans and Americans had perpetrated a terrible injustice upon the African people. The possibility of Africans striking back and fighting for their freedom was very real. If slaves revolted, they would upset the economic system that they were a part of. Europeans and North Americans began desiring more stable free-man labor.
While political and economic factors played a part, spiritual factors played the largest role in the ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In the late 1700s and the early 1800s, opposition to slavery was rising in evangelical Christian circles. The brutal violation of Africans who were made slaves was contrary to the spirit of Christian love. Quakers, such as John Woolman, as well as other Christians, published literature voicing objections to the slave trade and influenced many. The slave trade in England was officially ended in 1807, largely through the strong leadership of the Christian parliamentarian, William Wilberforce. 36
Art by Ramona Stevens
I was inspired to paint this peice by a painting of William Wilberforce done by Karl Anton Hickel in 1794.
William Wilberforce led a fight in parliament that ultimately was successful in ending the transatlantic slave trade. Wilberforce’s fight in parliament shows us the link between his mission of the abolition of the slave trade and his Christian faith. He did not try to separate faith from politics. For example, he wrote that if “a principle of true religion [ie, true Christianity] should in any considerable degree gain ground, there is no estimating the effects on public morals and the consequent influence on our political welfare.” 37 Wilberforce felt a responsibility to do what he could to see that true Christianity would take ground and felt that God had assigned him to this task. He said on one occasion; “My walk I am sensible is a public one, my business is with the World, and I must mix in the assemblies of men or quit the post which Providence seems to have assigned me.”38Wilberforce looked to the Bible for direction in all areas of life, including politics. He believed that social reform must have a spiritual base and that those who would attempt reform without this base would fail in their efforts and, in the end, do harm. 39 He said; “My judgment … rests altogether on the word of God.”40 Realizing the responsibility that goes with making such statements, he further said; “A man who acts from the principles I profess, reflects that he is to give an account of his political conduct at the judgment seat of Christ.” 41 He taught that the gospel of Christ could never “be too strongly insisted on.” 42 Wilberforce did not simply believe and teach these things in a general way; he applied his faith to the issue of the abolition of slavery. He made the famous declaration that “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners” (reforming of morals). 43 He taught that the abolition of the slave trade was “the grand object of my parliamentary existence,” and that “before this great cause all others dwindle in my eyes.” 44 Wilberforce boldly declared that “in the Scripture, no national crime is condemned so frequently and few so strongly as oppression and cruelty, and the not using of our best endeavors to deliver our fellow creatures from them.” 45 He believed that the slave trade was not only terrible for the suffering slaves but that it was also bad for England because it brought England under God’s judgment.46
Wilberforce was combating the slave trade for the sake of the slaves, as well as for the sake of England, his underlying motivation was his faith.
Many other abolitionists shared Wilberforce’s motivation and Wilberforce did not combat the slave trade alone. He was well aware of the Quaker’s stand for abolition and, in 1787, Wilberforce consulted the Quaker’s Abolition Committee, seeking advice on how he could best initiate parliamentary action against the slave trade. Their advice became useful to Wilberforce in constructing some of his arguments. On one occasion, Wilberforce engaged in an attempt to persuade William Eden, a high-ranking government minister, of the injustice of the slave trade. He based his arguments largely on the writings of a Quaker named Benezet. 47 48
Wilberforce not only received encouragement from Quakers but also from the revivalist John Wesley. Wesley was a life-long opponent of slavery. He spoke against it, and wrote against it, in a short pamphlet called “Thoughts Upon Slavery.” Wilberforce greatly admired John Wesley and met him on one occasion. In a letter to Wilberforce, just six days before Wesley’s death, Wesley said:
… if God is with you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? Oh, be not weary in well-doing. Go on, in the name of God and in the power of His might, till even American slavery, the vilest that ever saw the sun, shall vanish away before it … that He who has guided you from your youth up, may continue to strengthen you in this and in all things, is the prayer of Dear Sir, your affectionate servant, John Wesley. 49
Being the last letter that Wesley wrote before his death, this was an especially great inspiration for Wilberforce in his battle against the slave trade.
As well as Wesley inspiring Wilberforce, so did Thomas Clarkson. Clarkson was a committed Christian who found the slave trade revolting. In 1785, in the early days of abolitionism, Clarkson wrote an essay called “Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species” and read his essay before the Cambridge University Senate. This essay became famous and it was officially published in 1786. Clarkson knew of Wilberforce, who had not yet entered the abolitionist cause, and, in 1787, visited Wilberforce’s home and left a copy of his writing. 50 This essay greatly impacted Wilberforce. One writer has said that “[t]his book was one of the decisive influences in leading William Wilberforce to oppose slavery in Parliament.” 51 This essay was the first piece of what would be volumes of abolitionist literature written by Clarkson. In a conversation with Prime Minister William Pitt, Wilberforce promised to examine the abolitionist evidence which Clarkson had amassed.
As well as being assisted and encouraged by the Christian counsel of individuals such as Wesley, Clarkson, and others, Wilberforce worked with a small group of colleagues that became known as the “Clapham Community.” The group began in 1792 when Wilberforce’s friend, Henry Thornton, invited Wilberforce to share a place of residence with him in an area of south London called Clapham. Wilberforce accepted the invitation and the two lived together as bachelors for five years. Before long, many other abolitionists were visiting this home and even moved into the area. Their homes became headquarters for many abolitionist efforts. They held “cabinet councils” where they worked out their strategies for combating the slave trade. The evangelical scholar, Granville Sharp, who is regarded by some as the father of English abolitionism, also joined the group. His writings and his encouragement were of great help to Wilberforce. 52 53 54 55 For the most part, the members of this group had in common strong Christian faith. Garth Lean says that “they aimed to make every decision on a basis of what, as far as they could see, God desired for the whole fellowship and for the country; they believed this perspective was not best found alone.”56 Lean further says that this nucleus of Christian abolitionists “sustained him [Wilberforce] in his struggles as he did in theirs.”57
Having found a motivation for abolitionism within his own spiritual experience, as well as being aided by the Christian abolitionist encouragement of others, Wilberforce engaged in an unrelenting war against the slave trade. In 1789, Wilberforce began putting forward motions in Parliament for the banning of the slave trade. His first motion took the form of a three-and-a-half-hour speech before Parliament in which he condemned the trading of slaves. This was a courageous endeavor that he was embarking on, one that could cost him his political career.
Prior to his abolitionist stand, Wilberforce had gained much popularity in England. Many historians believe that Wilberforce was a likely candidate to succeed William Pitt as Prime Minister, had he not embarked on a public fight against the slave trade. 58 59 But Wilberforce’s mind was made up. He declared; “So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would; I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”60Soon, Wilberforce found himself standing against a wave of opposition that would continue for the duration of his life. There was much public criticism and vicious slander directed at him. West Indian sea captains threatened his life. The royal family, along with other powerful political individuals, opposed him. The famous admiral, Lord Nelson, viciously spoke out against him. Prime Minister Pitt, who initially encouraged Wilberforce, eventually withdrew his support for abolitionism.
However, even with all of these obstacles, Wilberforce could not be dissuaded. He was laboring for a cause that many thought was unachievable. Yet, with a bottom-line mentality, Wilberforce declared to the House of Commons that, regardless of the consequences, he had determined that he would never rest until he had effected the abolition of the slave trade. 61 62 One person commented; “It is necessary to watch him, as he is blessed with a very sufficient quantity of that enthusiastic spirit, which is so far from yielding that it grows more vigorous from blows.” 63 Wilberforce continued to bring forward motions in Parliament for abolition. With great fervor and intensity, he debated with pro-slavery forces who opposed his motions. On April 18, 1791, Wilberforce’s debate lasted until 3:30 A.M., only to have his motion rejected. Sometimes Wilberforce’s motions lost by large margins. Other times, the votes were close. In 1793, his motion, on a third reading, lost by three votes. On several occasions, in 1793 and 1804, Wilberforce’s motion for abolition was passed in the House of Commons, only to have it overturned in the House of Lords. 64 In 1805, Wilberforce put forward his thirteenth motion for the abolition of the slave trade, only to have it again rejected. Mr. Hatsell, the clerk of the House of Commons, said to him; “You ought not to expect to carry a measure of this kind.” 65 Wilberforce responded; “I do expect to carry it, and, what is more, I feel assured I shall carry it speedily.” 66 Finally, in February of 1807, a motion in favor of abolition was carried in the House of Commons, winning by the huge majority of 283 to 16. Wilberforce’s long, hard battle had succeeded. However, now addressing slavery in the whole of the British Empire, Wilberforce and the abolitionists continued their fight. In 1833, just three days before Wilberforce’s death, the “Emancipation Act” was passed, officially banning slavery in the British Empire. 67 68 Christopher D. Hancock said that “[t]he most malignant evil of the British Empire ceased largely because of the faith and persistence of William Wilberforce.” 69
While slavery and abolition were being fought over in England, much was happening on Europe’s continent. We saw how the French Revolution collapsed and, in a short matter of time, was replaced by the dictatorship of Napoleon. Napoleon’s rule would spread farther than to the borders of
France. France had become strong and Napoleon used his forces to start annexing neighboring states. It wasn’t long until most of Europe was under his rule. The one nation that he could not make headway against was England. These two world powers stood deadlocked against each other, neither one being able to break the other’s strength. Napoleon’s ground forces were stronger than England’s, but England had a mighty navy which proved impenetrable for the French to crack. England implemented orders in council which required any trading ship to purchase a license in a British port. Napoleon implemented a continental system which disallowed European trade with England. Although it had some compliance, many continued to trade with England anyway. What was the result of this deadlock? Both nations suffered economically. For France, it meant that she was cut off from trading with America. For England, it meant that she was cut off from much economic trade with Europe. Napoleon, however, made a crucial mistake. He attempted to acquire large portions of Russia. In so doing, he overextended his forces and lost many of them to starvation and frostbite in wintertime. It was a loss that he could not afford to take and the weakened France fell to the British in the Battle of Waterloo in June 18, 1815. After France’s collapse, Europe was once again divided into much the same borders that it had had before Napoleon’s conquests.
We have looked at the ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trade which was effectively and formally ended by British legislation in 1833. However, there were still many slaves in America and slavery was still viewed as an essential element to farming in the South, especially in the cotton industry. Many were adamant that slavery must continue in America. Many others, however, were just as adamant that slavery must be ended in America, as well. One man who was very vocal, and also very influential, during this time was the Christian revivalist, Charles Finney.
Finney made no secret of where he stood on this issue. He condemned slavery in the strongest language possible. Whether behind a pulpit or behind a pen, Finney thundered that slavery was “a most revolting wickedness” and “an outrageous violation of fundamental right.” 70 He posed, before one of his audiences, this piercing question and sharp rebuke concerning slavery:
What! Shall men be suffered to commit one of the most God-dishonoring and most heaven-daring sins on earth, and not be reproved? It is a sin against which all men should bear testimony, and lift their voice like a trumpet, till this giant iniquity is banished from the land and from the world.71
CHARLES GRANDISON FINNEY
Art by Ramona Stevens(based upon a painting by Waldo and Jewett circa 1834)
Slavery was a terrible evil that had to be overturned and Finney rallied abolitionist forces further with these stirring words:
Are we to hold our peace and be partakers in the sin of slavery, by convenience, as we have been? God forbid, we will speak of it, and bear our testimony against it, and pray over it, and complain of it to God and man. Heaven shall know, and the world shall know, and hell shall know, that we protest against the sin, and will continue to rebuke it, till it is broken up. 72
In his protest against the sin of slavery, Finney took an unflinching public stand. He had said on a previous occasion that he was “exceedingly anxious to arouse public attention to the subject.”73 Finney forbade slave owners from partaking in communion. He became the vice-president of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society 74 and involved himself in this fight in other ways, as well. Charles Cole, Jr. claims that “[no] one was more influential, directly or indirectly, in winning converts to abolitionism than the Oberlin evangelist [Finney].” 75
The movement for abolition of American slavery was strong and widespread in the North. However, the southern states resisted this movement forcefully. When Abraham Lincoln, an abolitionist, became president in 1860, it led to eleven states declaring independence from the northern states. A long civil war broke out (1861-1865) and the South was defeated decisively. American slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment of 1865. Lincoln had defended the slaves and fought for their freedom. He did so at the cost of his own life which was ended by an assassin’s bullet. 76
The era of the slave trade is a dark chapter in the history of western civilization. Between 1701 and 1800, 6.13 million black slaves were traded in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Slaves suffered tremendous mistreatment and were heavily overworked. Political, economic and spiritual forces converged to bring an end to this atrocity. Spiritual forces played the largest role in ending the slave trade. Great Christian abolitionists, such as William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, from England, and Charles Finney and Abraham Lincoln, from America, labored tirelessly until slavery in their nations and commonwealth was officially broken up. History defends the rightness of their cause.
THE EMERGENCE OF DARWINISN AND THE EMERGENCE OF THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM
The abolishing of slavery in America was a huge victory for Blacks in America and this victory was attained in 1865. Just six years prior to this accomplishment, something else had happened (in the year 1859) that had set them back and made their future more difficult.
In 1859, Charles Darwin published his famous book, “On The Origin Of Species.” Although not all of his ideas were original, the publishing of this book really represents the launching of the “theory of evolution.” Most people are unaware that the full title of Darwin’s book is “On The Origin Of Species : The Preservation Of Favored Races And The Struggle For Life.” The “Origin” book didn’t particularly deal with human life but, instead, theorized about the process of evolution on its widest biological scale. In 1871, Darwin printed another book, titled “The Descent Of Man,” in which he applied his theories to human life. Through this book, Darwin spread the idea of there being different races of people. These races included primitive and lower races as well as advanced and higher races. 77 The late Harvard University professor, Stephen J. Gould, commented; “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” 78
It would be hard to overstate the degree of frenzy that Darwin’s material stirred up within the scientific community. However, this theory did not simply stay in the scientific arena. It received great attention from social commentators and political leaders. It came to be believed that Black people evolved from less intelligent gorillas, while Orientals evolved from a species of orangutans and Caucasians evolved from chimpanzees, allegedly the most intelligent of all primates. 79 A world-wide effort was launched to gather and study supposed “missing link” specimens. Different countries were eager to prove that their race of humanity evolved before other races. Germans boasted the “Neanderthal” fossils while the British did a similar boast with “Piltdown Man.” 80 There is documented evidence that the remains of possibly 10,000 Australian aboriginals, another people-group which were considered primitive, were taken to museums in England to research and try to substantiate missing-links evidence. The United States was also deeply involved in this same pursuit. In fact, the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington has the remains of over 15,000 individuals. Where did these remains come from? They were a result of widespread grave robbing practices, as well as the actual
hunting of aboriginal people. An 1866 memoir from Korah Wills, a mayor in Queensland, Australia, tells of how he hunted and killed tribesmen for the purpose of gathering specimens. Museums were not only interested in bones but, in some cases, fresh skin which was stuffed and made into evolutionary displays. 81
Evolutionary theory flourished in America. What was the early fruit of evolutionary theory spreading in America? Evolutionary theory quickly found its way into school textbooks and, with it, taught the belief that there were multiple races of man. In 1925, a school biology textbook titled, “A Civic Biology Presented in Problems,” taught children the following:
The Races of Man. At the present time there exist upon the earth five races … the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America. 82
From this, we see both the root and the fruit of Darwinian evolution in the American educational system.
On the last page of Charles Darwin’s book, The Descent of Man, Darwin expressed that he would prefer to be descended from a monkey over being descended from a savage. Darwin did not invent racism, but it was his theory that gave racism such a platform and such a supposed legitimacy. By theorizing that different ethnic groups evolved into humans, at different times, feelings of racism were reinforced with the scientific rhetoric that he propounded. At the center of this theory was the teaching that there were different races of man.
What does the Bible have to say about the issue of race? God’s Word teaches us that all humanity descended from one man and one woman, Adam and Eve. The Bible says; “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3.20). Eve was the mother of all people. English Bibles do not really use the word “race” except for the type of race that you run. The only possible exception to this that I am aware of is that, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, the word “generation” in Matthew 24.34 may be a synonym for race. The Bible refers to people as being “ of one blood” ; “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts 17.26). Here, Scripture clearly puts all of humanity on one frame. Every nation of men was made from one blood. Therefore, we should look upon others who are not from our own particular ethnic group as relatives.
The acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution marked a major shift in world-views away from biblical revelation and toward secularism. It has profoundly impacted western civilization in negative ways. The world-view of many in America was changing as it was also on the continent of Europe. Political, not just philosophical, changes were coming to Europe, as well.
As European states such as France, Belgium, Holland and others had been unified countries for years, north and east of them was a hodgepodge of independent German states, Prussia and Austria. The leadership of Prussia began to feel strongly a need for a united Germany. This became the goal of Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). Bismarck had been appointed prime minister and he began engaging in war with Denmark in 1864, Austria in1866 and France in 1870-1871. He was successful in forming a “North German Federation” which, basically, became the nation of Germany. Germany would become the most industrialized and the most powerful country on the European continent. 83
We have looked at how political liberalism had gained much influence in western civilization, largely because of humanism, secularism and Darwinism. Political liberalism was about to have a sister born onto the Earth, theological liberalism.
In the nineteenth century, modernism and theological liberalism gained wide acceptance in England. Many ministers began to view fundamentalism as being narrow, irrelevant and unaccommodating. Reverend Charles H. Spurgeon reacted to this, calling it a downward trend and warned his fellow Englishmen of the gravity of an apostasy of this kind.
The pervasive influence of modernism upon 19 th-century thought can hardly be understated. It was an era of intellectualism and rationalism. The spirit of criticism expressed itself in education and in common life. Theological dogmas were scrutinized and discarded in the name of logic and reason. Enquiry into science was applauded. Re-evaluation of social and religious values was thought to be an essential task in achieving the goal of greater individualism and humanism. 84 Books, such as “Principles of Geology : Antiquity of Man” and Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” were introducing and popularizing new ideas that proposed to explain the history of the natural world and the origins of life in ways that boldly challenged the claims of the Bible. 85
The influence of modernism on 19th-century thought carried over into theological circles and gave rise to liberal theology in England. Modernism’s attack on belief in the transcendent and the supernatural cultivated the perfect atmosphere for modern biblical criticism to flourish.
Emphasis was placed on reason and “everything had to be intellectualized and voided of its mystery.” 86 This new age demanded theological fluidity and a spirituality that was not confined within rigid lines. Liberal theology argued that theological positions must incorporate modern enlightenment. 87 88 89 It embraced the modernist concept of humanism, claiming that God’s highest self-expression was found in a human man, Christ. It felt that this kind of fluidity would bring a freshness to the study of the Bible and, also, might help win back the modernist, educated community which was unsympathetic towards evangelicalism. 90 91
One doctrinal tenet that liberal theology challenged and redefined was that of the inspiration of the Bible. The former position, that the Bible was the inspired and inerrant Word of God, was first challenged by a compromised position which claimed that various biblical books had varying degrees of divine inspiration. This implied that Scripture was not necessarily true in all of its claims. 92
Not only did liberal theology challenge and redefine the claim of the divine inspiration of the Bible, it also promoted a new form of interpreting the Bible. It argued that spiritual truths were conveyed allegorically and poetically and that this should be the governing rule used when interpreting the Bible. Such a governing rule dismissed a literal interpretation of such things as the creation narrative and miracles. 93
As well as challenging miracles, theological liberalism challenged the doctrine of the atonement. The evangelical position that the death of Christ was a substitutionary sacrifice on man’s behalf, which appeased the wrath of God, became open for debate. The purpose for the death of Christ began to be viewed as simply an example of self-sacrifice for us to follow, rather than a price paid redemptively. 94 95
In a short period of time, theological liberalism became widely accepted in 19th-century England. Initially, many English theologians were influenced by liberal German theologians. The German professor, J. G. T. Eichoran (1752-1827), seemed to be the first to use the expression, “higher criticism.” Alberecht Rirschel (1822-1889) was another liberal German theologian. He rejected the doctrine of original sin and the juristic element in Christ’s work. He believed that the modern man wanted, above all other things, to live according to reason and that Christianity could aid and strengthen him in this endeavour. He believed that Christianity was an outlook on life and morality but not an immediate relationship with God. Some have viewed him as the father of liberal theology. 96 97 98
While German liberal theology was being read in England, English liberal theologians were spreading their teaching, as well. Joseph Preistley (1733-1804) began teaching that the doctrine of the virgin birth was false, that Christ was less than infallible and that the teachings of the Apostle Paul were not given absolute authority. Edward Evanson (1731-1805) denied the apostolic authorship of the Gospel of John. Thomas Belsham (1750-1829) began teaching that the Pentateuch had more than one author and that the creation narratives were in contradiction with scientific knowledge. The persuasive influence of these liberal theologians, and others, can hardly be understated. Anglican Bishop, J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), stated; “Whether we like it or not we cannot shut higher criticism out. Like frogs in the plague of Egypt, it creeps in everywhere.” 99
While theological liberalism was spreading like frogs in England, not all ministers accepted these changes. Perhaps the most vocal opponent to the new teachings was Reverend Charles H. Spurgeon. He began publishing a warning to all Christians in his periodical, “The Sword and the Trowel.” In the third issue of his periodical, Spurgeon began warning his readers of some specific things. He lamented that preachers were spreading unbelief. He warned that such ministers were ten times more dangerous than atheists. He argued that along with the abandonment of sound doctrine also went the living of a holy life. Spurgeon warned that some ministers were amusing themselves at play houses or theatres. He said that there was a time in England when a Nonconformist minister would lose his whole church for making such a compromise. He lamented that the doctrines of atonement and of the inspiration of the Scriptures were being derided, that the Holy Spirit was being degraded, that punishment for sin and belief in the resurrection was treated as fiction. 100 101 102 He reminded his readers that many of them were called by the name of “Nonconformist,” and that “Our nonconformity is beyond measure precious as a vital spiritual force, but only while it remains such will it justify its own existence.” 103 With strong and compelling language, Spurgeon communicated the gravity of the downgrade issue. Liberal theology was not just another side of Christianity; it was apostasy. He declared; “A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese.” 104
In his second article, Spurgeon told his readers that the stand that he was taking was simply his duty to take as a minister. He assured them that he did not gain pleasure in stirring up antagonism and that he had not written from hatred. His motive for writing was that “the gospel is too precious for us to be indifferent to its adulteration. By the life we bear to the Lord Jesus we are bound to defend the treasure with which He has put us in trust.” 105
Spurgeon opposed the humanistic focus of modern liberalism. He maintained that theology should not be man-centred, nor should it be shaped to accommodate human wisdom. He lamented that, “The new religion practically sets ‘thought’ above revelation, and, constitutes man the supreme judge of what ought to be true.” 106 Spurgeon’s decision to oppose theological liberalism, both by word and by action of disassociation, offended many in 19th-century England. Spurgeon was urged to soften his rhetoric. Because Spurgeon was suffering from kidney problems during this time, some felt that his writings were just the rantings of a stressed, dying man. Others thought that Spurgeon was being too vague. 107 108 Some claimed that Spurgeon was crying “wolf,” creating an issue unnecessarily. Others responded with a defence of theological liberalism. One paper, The Christian World, said that young ministers, and others, must now decide whether or not they would accept the “’modern thought’ which in Mr Spurgeon’s eyes is a ‘deadly cobra’,” but in their eyes was “’the glory of the century.’” 109 This magazine said further that “Mr. Spurgeon professes to despise or ignore the science and criticism at the progressive life and thought of the present day.” 110 John Clifford, the vice-president of a Baptist denomination in 1887, said that Spurgeon’s statements had not been proven. Spurgeon was subsequently censored in April 1888. 111 112
Was liberal theology the glory of the nineteenth century? Did it bring to England a new and improved form of Christianity that Englishmen of other generations did not know? While it is true that God does express Himself through human form, liberal theology was wrong to center its teachings on human expression and humanism. Their redefinition of the inspiration of the Bible was too great an alteration to be tolerated. It directly undermined the authority of the Bible, the very grounds of Christianity itself. Although the Bible does convey some of its truths through allegory and poetry, this does not mean that we should view the bulk of Scripture in this way. By making allegorical interpretations the governing rule of hermeneutics, many in Spurgeon’s day were able to dismiss the difficult teachings or commands of Scripture. While Christ’s sacrifice was an example, it was foremost an atonement. By challenging the doctrine of the atonement, 19th-century English theologians were challenging Christianity’s most central theme. By simply flowing with the downgrade, many Victorian Englishmen were making a compromise. Spurgeon may have been suffering from kidney problems but the 19th-century, modernist Church was suffering from spiritual sickness that was much more serious. Spurgeon was not being vague. He named his issues: the inspiration of the Scriptures, the atonement, punishment for sin, the resurrection and holiness. Then he addressed these issues directly, clearly and with great persuasion. This is in contrast to many liberal theologians whose writings were deeply philosophical and often mind-bending in their complexity. It is because Spurgeon approached these issues so directly that he was asked to temper his rhetoric. It was precisely his strong preaching that was needed to communicate the seriousness of the situation. As Spurgeon said; “A little plain speaking would do a world of good just now.” 113 Because liberalism had spread in 19th-century England to the extent that it had, it cannot fairly be said that Spurgeon was crying “wolf.” The old story of the boy who cried “wolf” does not apply because, as Spurgeon has said, “The parallels only fail in the all important point that he cried ‘Wolf’ when there was none, and we are crying ‘Wolf’ when packs of them are howling so loudly that it would be superfluous for us to shout at all if a wretched indifferentism had not brought a deep slumber upon those who ought to guard the flocks.” 114 Spurgeon was not overreacting on his point, for theological liberalism in England was as plenteous as the frogs in Egypt. The liberal theologians of Spurgeon’s day were more dangerous to the English Church than atheists, or even Darwin. Atheists did not have the trust of the English churchmen. Many liberal theologians did have this trust and were undermining the truth of sacred Scripture. Spurgeon was a Nonconformist in the true sense of the word and voiced his concerns out of his duty as a minister.
Darwinism and theological liberalism had the same effect on many 19th-century westerners. They undermined truth and the foundation of western civilization. Darwinism provided a new explanation for the world. This explanation was amoral and promoted racism and the suppression of minorities. At its core was the idea that there were different races of men. It rejected the biblical teaching that all men came from one pair of humans. Theological liberalism also undermined the truth and the foundation of western civilization. It attacked the authority of Scripture, the atonement, the miracles of Christ and other bedrock beliefs that are paramount to the continuity of the Christian faith.
EUGENICS AND WORLD WARS
Europe had been a major hub for the development of liberal philosophy, both political and theological. After coming through an era of revolution, Europeans were back at philosophizing again. This time, they were crafting the ideology of socialism. Social thinkers could see that the industrial revolution had led to inequalities of class within European nations. They began proposing an economic system by which the government would organize a country’s economy, rather than allowing the market to take its natural course. Socialists believed that private property should be strictly regulated or even abolished by the government. 115
Socialism would become the building block for even more radical ideologies such as Marxism and communism. Karl Marx (1818-1883), together with Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), published the “Communist Manifesto.” Marx interpreted history in terms of class struggle and maintained that wealthier classes always exploited those poorer than themselves. He called the middle class the bourgeoisie and the working class the proletariat. He predicted that the proletariat would defeat the bourgeoisie in violent revolution and began encouraging such an end. 116
In 1914, the governments of Europe chose to face each other in a massive military confrontation that we know as World War I. Why did they do so? Tensions had been building for a long time. On the one hand, the constant ideological and philosophical differences, between left-wing and right-wing, liberal and conservative, socialist and capitalist, peace-makers and revolutionaries, had generated so much division in western society that many wondered if these disputes could be settled by any other way than with violence. On the other hand, nations that were split by ideologies were in some way unified by strong feelings of nationalism and national pride. Many felt that it was the destiny of their country to rise above other countries and exert rightful dominance over them. There were economic jealousies between less-developed and more-developed nations. Charles Darwin had also provided westerners with the building blocks of a philosophy of the survival of the fittest. This was a philosophy that claimed that some races of men were more evolved than other races of men. Social Darwinism, coupled together with nationalism, provided a powerful impetus for nations to reach out and take for themselves all that they could.
When war erupted in Europe, it might have stayed a small conflict had there not been alliances made between ruling powers. For example, Britain, France and Russia were bonded in a pact to protect each other. This, understandably, made Germany, the country they surrounded, uncomfortable. German leaders believed that they were being encircled and began planning a strategy of defence. In south-eastern Europe, a number of large people-groups had broken off into independent countries. Greece had won independence in 1832. Serbia and Romania also won independence and a part of Bulgaria won local autonomy. This was partly a result of the collapsing of the Ottoman Empire. In 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. This greatly angered Serbians because of the large Serbian population within these regions. When Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, together with his wife, was assassinated during a visit to Bosnia, this became the trigger to set off World War I. Austria-Hungary reacted with an ultimatum, demanding that Serbia open itself up to Austrian forces who wanted to come in and obtain justice. When Austria-Hungary did not get the response it desired, it declared war on Serbia. Russia decided to come to Serbia’s side and declared war on Austria-Hungary. Germany feared that it, too, might be pulled into war if it did not act decisively first. So it was that Germany declared war on Russia’s ally, France. England, France and Russia pitted themselves against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Germans had a plan for the swift overthrow of France, followed by the overthrow of Russia. Germany broke through French lines and did penetrate deep into France. However, the idea of a quick overthrow of either of these nations proved false. Both sides dug themselves into trenches and, for four years, engaged in a horrific war.
Perhaps the most unprepared nation for World War 1 was Russia. Even though it had a large number of soldiers, they were poorly equipped and poorly provided for. They were simply slaughtered in masses as they went up against well-prepared German forces. Many Russian soldiers were sent to the front without rifles and were told to find firearms from fallen soldiers. In the year 1915, alone, there were two million Russian casualties. Russia’s problems were immense. Virtually everyone in the country was a peasant. Even though the country was ruled by Tsars, there was an enormous leadership vacuum. As breadwinning fathers were falling in droves on the battlefield, the economic crisis on the home front was continually worsening. In March of 1916, riots broke out in Petrograd. In March of 1917, a new provisional government was set up and Tsar Nicholas abdicated. The socialist, Alexander Kerenski, tried to pull the country together but did not have the support or the resources that he needed to do so. While he scrambled, another revolution was brewing, that of the Bolsheviks. A young Marxist revolutionary, named Vladimir Lenin, began speaking in Russia, boldly advocating violent revolution. He denounced all attempts towards the peaceful evolution of socialism. For Lenin, the only way socialism could be established was by force. Lenin led the Bolshevik wing of the Russian Socialist Party. His first attempt to seize control of the government failed. The Bolsheviks gained a slight majority in the Petrograd Soviet and, sensing that they had the support of the people, reached out to take full control. On November 6, 1917, the Bolsheviks violently seized the government buildings, crushed the remaining members of the provisional government and declared Lenin the head of the new government. 117 Communism was now born in Russia.
It is common knowledge that Lenin and Marx were atheists. They built the political philosophy of communism upon the ideas of class struggle, revolution and the communal reorganization of society to the benefit of its working population. However, the underlying platform for this was atheism and Darwinian evolution which, at a fundamental level, removed the sanctity of human life. Lenin had dedicated his life to a communist philosophy which he knew could only be established by violent revolution. 118 He had tirelessly appealed to the people to rise up and support him in the overthrow of the Tsar and, later, the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Christian faith was a roadblock to Lenin’s plan. Jesus Christ taught peace and self-sacrifice and this clashed with Lenin’s revolutionary plans. Communism could only rise up from a foundation of atheism, and Darwinism provided the platform to legitimize this foundation in the eyes of the people. Through the difficult transition into communism, Lenin had assured the people that a freer state was around the corner for them. However, communism evolved into a police state which increasingly monitored and controlled its people. 119 By jettisoning Christianity and exalting atheism, the values of communism allowed for the mass genocides that history records under the rule of individuals such as Joseph Stalin.
Joseph Stalin had joined the Bolsheviks and rose to the position of General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee in 1922. He was a ruthless leader, known for his purges, and he launched a policy of collectivization which was the consolidation of peasant farms into state-run enterprises. Russian peasants were stripped of their land and livestock and many were deported to forced-labor camps. The death toll of Russian peasants during these years, as a result of Stalin’s brutal coercion, is staggering. In 1945, Stalin conceded to Winston Churchill that ten million people died in the process of collectivization. 120
While the story of World War 1 is horrific, the story of World War II is another disturbing chapter in the history of western civilization. It is the story of a radical, racist, eugenicist Adolph Hitler coming to power, with the support of his nation, Germany, and enacting a repression upon targeted people-groups, especially Jews. World War II was the united, successful effort of allied powers to overthrow Hitler’s Germany and bring his repression to an end. Hitler was a eugenicist who purposed to create and propagate a master race of German people who would rule the world. He spoke openly about his pride in being German and about his belief that Jews, Blacks and other peoples were inferior. Hitler led the Nazi government to power. In the election of 1930, the Nazis won 6.5 million votes and 107 seats. In the election of 1932, they won 14.5 million votes which was 38% of the total cast. This made Nazis the ruling party. In 1933, Hitler pushed through legislation called the “Enabling Act” which gave him absolute, dictatorial power for the next four years. He swiftly took other measures to make Germany a one-party state and to secure his power. Hitler’s early rule saw some financial gains realized for the average German person. His popularity began to rise to even greater heights. However, behind the scenes, Hitler had organized something horrible. Jews and certain other minorities were being gathered up and sent to concentration camps where they suffered terrible tortures and mass executions.
Hitler began expanding the borders of Germany through military campaigns and through intimidating neighboring countries. Because there was no one country strong enough to resist him on its own, most capitulated to him easily. England maintained her sovereignty but, initially, also followed a policy of appeasement, hoping to avoid war. In March of 1938, Germany annexed Austria. In September of 1938, Britain and France agreed to allow the German annexation of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. England’s Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, signed the “Munich Pact” with Hitler on September 30,1938 and thought he had attained “peace in our time.” In March of 1939, Germany went on to annex the rest of Czechoslovakia. However, on September 3, 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The British and the French would be joined by Russia. Italy and Japan aligned themselves with Hitler’s regime, as did many Arabs.
Germany received support from many Muslim Arabs who approved of the Nazi extermination of Jews. Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini was a Nazi collaborator who was instrumental in the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 and the Iraq coup of 1941. He came to Germany where he was received and was very influential in having Jewish children sent to death camps, rather than having them sent to Palestine. Haj Amin el-Husseini offered to help Hitler on the condition that Hitler would exterminate the entire Jewish population in Palestine. He spread antisemitism and support for Hitler throughout the Muslim Middle East where he was hugely popular. When Hitler came to power he was congratulated by several Arab capitals. There were many pro-Nazi demonstrations in Egypt and Egypt later became a safe haven for Nazi war criminals. Hitler’s Mein Kampf was translated into Arabic and remains a best-seller among Palestinian Arabs today. 121
America was slow to enter the war, however, she did supply some military aid to England and the Soviet Union. Once America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the Japanese, she joined the war full-board and became a decisive factor in tipping the balance of power in favor of the allies. Germany, although strong, had taken on too much and, from 1942 to January of 1943, was badly coming apart. By January of 1945, Russian forces had penetrated Poland and were closing in on Germany. As they entered Berlin, on May 7th of that year, Hitler committed suicide. Three months later, America dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This resulted in unprecedented mass destruction and, on August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrendered. It is estimated that World War II took the lives of 50 million soldiers and civilians. 122
What would lead a madman like Adolf Hitler to launching genocide against the Jews? He was influenced by a movement called eugenics, which, although it didn’t originate in Germany, would arrive there in time. What is eugenics? The word “eugenics” was first coined in 1883 by the British scientist, Francis Galton. It comes from the Greek word “eugenes” which means “wellborn.” Galton used the word “eugenics” to convey social uses by which information on a person’s heredity could be used for “better breeding.” Eugenics represented the idea of the social selection of “fit” persons within society and the removal of “unfit” persons. Fit persons were those deemed strong, healthy and independent, whereas, unfit persons were those who, in some way, were dependent on the society, social order and family to which they belonged. Eugenics presupposed that fitness and unfitness was largely determined by heredity and that positive change in humanity could be obtained by selective breeding.
Before the word “eugenics” was used in 1883, the idea had already been hashed around and developed by philosophers for a long time. In 1798, an English writer, Thomas Malthus, theorized that the finite world food supply would not be enough to support the expanding human population worldwide and that population control was needed to address this deficiency. He also spoke out against charity for the poor. 123 In 1850, Herbert Spencer taught that man and society followed the rules of cold science and not of a caring God. He was the first to coin the phrase “survival of the fittest.” This would become a much used phrase in years to come, especially in evolutionary circles. Spencer taught that the fittest would perfect society and the unfit would become more impoverished, less educated and die off. 124
The publishing of Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin Of Species, in 1859, added tremendous fuel to the developing philosophy, not yet named, of eugenics. Darwin’s theory was built on the concept of the survival of the fittest and, after him, a fury of philosophers began writing on the topic of the biological breeding of the strong people in society and leaving the weak to perish. By the time Galton coined the word “eugenics” in 1883, the concept was already highly developed and popular. As things digressed, the concept of “unfit” was expanded to include “races” of people, not only the handicapped and the poor. Between 1890 and 1920, 18 million refugees migrated to the United States. Rather than blending into a melting pot of culture and diversity, most retained their distinctive differences and there was little integration. The mainstream culture had little patience for those who would not, or could not, integrate and racism in America skyrocketed. All of these developments influenced the philosophy of eugenics during this time. Many social activists began voicing their belief that some people and some people-groups were superior to other people and other people-groups. It was not long before such opinions were being spread, not only by social activists but by elite philosophers, educators and politicians.
When discussing the spread of eugenics by activists, philosophers, educators and politicians, it would be hard to overstate the extent to which they popularized the philosophy of eugenics in America during the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century. Nancy Leys Stepan has said; “In fact, one of the puzzles about eugenics is that, far from viewing it as a bizarre notion of extremists at the fringes of respectable science, and social reform, many well-placed scientists, medical doctors, and social activists endorsed it as an appropriate outcome of developments in the science of human heredity.” 125 These same well-placed scientists, medical doctors and social activists were instrumental in mainstreaming eugenics as the science of their day. In fact, eugenics had become so much a part of health reform by the 1920s that anyone daring to criticize it was mocked. Edwin Black has said; “Racism, group hatred, xenophobia and enmity towards one’s neighbours have existed in almost every culture throughout history. But it took millennia for these deeply personal, almost tribal hostilities to migrate into the safe harbour of scientific thought, and thus rationalizing destructive actions against the despised or unwanted.” 126 This safe harbour of scientific thought was really a cloak for prejudice, selfishness and racism.
While eugenics was finding a safe harbour among universities in America, it was also making inroads into the political arena. In America, for example, on January 29th of 1907, the Indiana representative, Horace Reed, introduced a bill which was later passed. This eugenics bill made lawful the sterilization of poor-house residents, the mentally impaired and prisoners. The State of Washington also adopted the use of sterilization of habitual criminals, as did California and Nevada, of convicts. Connecticut sterilized mental asylum residents. Iowa sterilized those it considered “criminals, idiots, feeble-minded, imbeciles, drunkards, drug fiends, epileptics, … moral or sexual perverts,” whom they had in custody. 127 In 1911, the State of New Jersey passed legislation which created a “Board of Examiners of Feebleminded, Epileptics and Other Defectives.” 128 The term “other defectives” was ambiguous and open to interpretation. The board was also to identify prisoners and children, residing in poor-houses as well as charitable institutions, of whom “procreation is inadvisable.” 129 Decisions were made in a formal hearing where persons being considered defective were given a court-appointed attorney, but denied a family-hired or personally-selected attorney. New Jersey’s governor, Woodrow Wilson, signed the bill into law on April 21, 1911. In 1912, the State of New York practically duplicated the New Jersey legislation for its own state. It would shock many readers that in the United States thousands of people were sterilized involuntarily. Statistics vary on the exact numbers. The most conservative figures begin at 60,000, though the highest numbers are estimated at up to 180,000. 130
MARGARET SANGER painted by Ramona Stevens
I painted this piece after seeing a photo of Margaret Sanger at the following site:https://www.google.ca/search?q=picture+of+margaret+sanger&client=firefox-a&hs=buJ&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=wkRvUbSgLtDpigLHrIHQBQ&ved=0CDEQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=887
As eugenics flourished in America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it gained a convert who became a powerful proponent, Margaret Sanger. Who was Margaret Sanger? Sanger was a nurse in New York City who encountered many women caught in the difficult situation of having unwanted pregnancies. New York City had large slum districts where many Americans suffered from poverty and poor health care. Among the suffering were single, pregnant women. Sanger became more than a nurse; she became a social activist who travelled the country, zealously advocating birth control and the legalization of abortion. She was a nurse, a social activist, a feminist and the producer of the periodicals “The Woman Rebel” and “The Birth Control Review.” Sanger had a shady past, being indicted for violating the United States postal obscenity laws in 1914 and also for jumping bail and hiding in England under a false name. She also served time in jail for running an illegal birth control clinic in New York in 1916. 131 She was the founder of “The American Birth Control League” which later became “Planned Parenthood.”
Sanger was more than the founder of Planned Parenthood. She was a self-confessed eugenicist. In fact, she represents one of the most extreme eugenicists of her day. She vigorously opposed charitable efforts to help the poor and argued passionately that it was better to do less to help them so that the superior strains of humanity could progress without competition from the unfit. She would refer to those in the lowest income class as being “human waste.” 132 To her, birth control was a form of eugenics. She said:
Birth control, which has been criticized as negative and destructive, is really the greatest and most truly eugenic method, and its adoption as part of the program of eugenics would immediately give a concrete and realistic power to that science. As a matter of fact, Birth Control has been accepted by the most clear thinking and far seeing of the eugenicists themselves as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health. 133
Eugenics, Darwinism, humanism, secularism and liberalism all worked together and provided a foundation for other dictators. Not all of these dictators were a part of western civilization but they would play a part in influencing her and her future.
One communist dictator of this kind was Mao Tse-tung. His rule is the bloodiest in Chinese and world history. Mao (1893-1976) was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party who, in 1927, led an abortive revolt against the nationalist Kuomintang. He retreated to northwestern China, solidified control of that region and, for many years, wrestled with the Kuomintang. In 1949, shortly after World War II, Mao was successful in defeating the Kuomintang and bringing China under communist rule. He then became the chairman of the new People’s Republic of China (1949). 134 Mao was fascinated with Darwin and evolution. In his book, “The Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung,” Stuart R. Schram says that Mao “devoured” Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species.135
As well as Darwin having influence in China, Darwin’s influence also spread in Germany, partly because of the influence of another man, named Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel was a huge fan of Darwin and had the opportunity of meeting Darwin in 1866. Haeckel wrote a two-volume work called “Generelle Morphologie.” He argued for everything from the universal relevance of Darwinism to the formation of a liberal nation-state. Haeckel believed in the superiority of the Germanic people and also in combating Christian faith. He commended evolution with “German nature” philosophy. 136 Haeckel’s influence became an important precursor to Hitler’s philosophy becoming accepted in Germany.
While Darwinian evolution affected the world-view of communists from Lenin to Stalin to Mao, it also influenced and provided a foundation for the Naziism of Adolf Hitler. To trace this development, we need to look at the development of the social Darwinism of Germany’s philosophical writers contemporary to Darwin, and beyond. Perhaps the first German writer to incorporate Darwinism into philosophy was the liberal politician, Bartholomaus von Carneri. Von Carneri was followed by another influential writer, Albert E. F. Schaffle who wrote a four-volume work called “Structure and Life of the Social Body.” Friedrich Hellwald, in 1875, wrote “History of Culture,” also explaining history from a Darwinian point of view. These early writers, and others, began spreading social Darwinism in Germany. 137
The early German social Darwinists were to be followed by others who proposed a new ethic for society. German Darwinian biologist, Arnold Dodel, said; “The new world view actually rests on the theory of evolution. On it we have to construct a new ethics … All values will be revalued.” 138 The new ethics, proposed by Darwinists, placed the process of evolution as the highest good. What that meant was, society, not just species within biology, functioned best by the survival of the fittest. Institutions which thought to help or strengthen the weak in society were viewed as unnatural and counter-productive to the natural unfolding of evolution. Consequently, social Darwinists attacked Christian faith with venom. Values, such as loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek, were opposite to evolutionary process and, consequently, seen as agents for the retarding of progress and advancement.
Initially, social Darwinists and eugenicists interpreted the process and progress of evolution to be the elimination of those in society who suffered physical or mental handicaps. Social Darwinists also believed that criminals represented less-developed humanity. Anthropologist, Felix von Luschan, in a speech delivered in 1909, said; “The sick, the weak, the dumb, the stupid, the alcoholic, the bum, the criminal; all these are inferior compared with the healthy, the strong, the intelligent, the clever, the sober, the pure.” 139 University professor, Karl Vogt, argued; “If it is a capital offence in the civilized world to kill one’s old lame father, there are Indian tribes in which this is considered an entirely praise-worthy deed of a son.” 140 Inflammatory statements, such as these, were used to soften people up to the idea to eliminating the disabled and unproductive. Concerning physically or mentally handicapped children, Haeckel even went so far as to say; “A small dose of morphine or cyanide would not only free this pitiable creature itself, but also its relatives from the burden of a long, worthless and painful existence.” 141 He argued that the decision not to kill the “defective” children was based on emotion and not reason. 142
It is not surprising that social Darwinists also advocated for abortion. Helene Stocker, speaking in a 1913 conference, argued that those embracing a scientific world-view couldn’t escape the question of who should be given a right to birth. She said; “Because we want higher humans, we need eugenics and race hygiene.” 143 In 1909, she also said in a speech; “Children from parents with infectious diseases, or children of the chronically ill, as well as children of those with heart or mental illnesses should not be permitted to be born.” 144
While social Darwinists in Germany began by advocating the elimination of or, at least, the unaiding of the handicapped, elderly and unwanted unborn, they quickly moved to devaluing other races. Richard Weikart explains:
The disabled and criminals were not the only ones whose lives were devalued by Darwinian-inspired social thought. Many social Darwinists and eugenicists consigned most of the world’s population to the realm of the “inferior.” They regarded non-European races as varieties of the human species — or sometimes even as completely separate species – that were not as advanced in their evolutionary development as Europeans. 145
Many social Darwinists believed that Darwin had proven inequality in humans, even racial inequality. Even Darwin himself taught that certain races had a lower intellect and lower moral faculties than did Europeans. He believed that there was a gap between the “highest races” and the “lowest savages” (his terms). He even attributed characteristics such as selfishness, cowardice and laziness to heredity. He rejected the belief that education, the environment and training could shape human nature. 146 Richard Wickart says that; “This had dire consequences for racial thought, since all attempts to bring European culture to the “uncivilized” peoples of the world would be futile, if it were true. Darwin was not original in formulating these ideas, to be sure, but he and many Darwinists vigorously promoted this kind of biological racism, and most biological racists after Darwin saw his theory as confirmation of their position.” 147
One notorious social Darwinist who promoted this kind of racism was the aforementioned Haeckel. He taught that different human people-groups were, in fact, different species. In 1868, he wrote about ten distinct species of humans, which he listed in order of their alleged superiority and inferiority. In his popular book, “Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte,” he displayed twelve facial profiles starting with one representing the European and then descending to an East Asian, a Fuegian, an Australian, a black African, and a Tasmanian. On his chart, the Tasmanian greatly resembled the profile of a gorilla. 148 Haeckel made the audacious claim that “The difference between the reason of a Goethe, Kant, Lamarck, Darwin and that of the lowest primitive human, a Vedda, Akka, Australian Negro, and Patagonian, is much greater than the gradual difference between the reason of the latter and the ‘most rational’ mammal, the anthropoid apes and even [other] apes, dogs and elephants.” 149 Haeckel even suggested to a Mr. H. Rohleder that he tried to inseminate a chimpanzee with sperm from a black African man. 150
While social Darwinists in Germany began this devaluing of the weak and handicapped, then progressed to devaluing other ethnic groups in comparison to Europeans, some of them moved from this to particularly exalting the German heredity over others. Ploetz wrote; “Through reading the works of Darwin, Haeckel and other biologists already at school, as well as through some novels by Felix Dahn and other glorifiers of German antiquity and medieval times I was permanently enthused for the Germanic race … and determined to make it my life’s task … to help in Germany and other states with German-speaking populations to lead it upward again to purity and the height of the first millennia.”151 Oscar Peschel argued that Otto von Bismarck’s effort of unifying the German states through war with Austria was justified because; “Even we in Germany should view the most recent events [i.e., the war] as a lawful evolutionary process … With such magnificent events it is no longer a matter of right or blame, but rather it is a Darwinian struggle for existence, where the modern triumphs and the obsolete descends into the palaeontological grave.” 152
The call to militarism for the purpose of one ethnic group exerting itself over another was given alleged scientific support from Darwin. Darwin himself said in his book, Descent of Man; “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” 153 He also said; “The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.”154
Social Darwinism found fertile soil in Germany. Not only did it flourish but it intermixed itself with eugenics, German nationalism and militarism. It would be hard to exaggerate the extent to which the early, German social Darwinists influenced their society with these views. This type of writing was accepted by many from various levels of society and gained great popularity.
With the entrance of Adolf Hitler into German history, Darwinism was catapulted to an even uglier height. By Hitler’s time, a whole new generation of social Darwinists had risen up. Names such as Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels, Guido von List and Josef Reimer are all possible influences. A former roommate of Hitler claims that Hitler often visited the library in Vienna where he read huge amounts of material. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler does mention the social Darwinist Georg von Schonerer and Stewart Chamberlain. Because Hitler so rarely refers to the names of others whom he studied, one can’t be precisely sure of all of his influences. However, the influence of Charles Darwin is unmistakeable. Hitler said; “All of nature is a constant struggle between power and weakness, a constant triumph of the strong over the weak.” 155 Even more offensive still are his words, taken from Mein Kampf:
If reproduction as such is limited and the number of births decreased, then the natural struggle for existence, which only allows the strongest and healthiest to survive, will be replaced by the obvious desire to save at any cost even the weakest and sickest; thereby a progeny is produced, which must become ever more miserable, the longer this mocking of nature and its will persists … . A stronger race (Geschlecht) will supplant the weaker, since the drive for life in its final form will decimate every ridiculous fetter of the so-called humaneness of individuals, in order to make place for the humaneness of nature, which destroys the weak to make place for the strong. 156
Also, in Mein Kampf, he explains that his world-view “by no means believes in the equality of races, but recognizes along with their differences their higher or lower value, and through this knowledge feels obliged, according to the eternal will that rules this universe, to promote the victory of the better, the stronger, and to demand the submission of the worse and weaker.” 157
Where was the Christian Church in Germany during this time of Nazi influence? According to philosopher Francis Schaeffer, the Christian consensus had been so greatly undermined by “rationalistic philosophy,” “romantic pantheism” and “liberal theology” that it had to a large degree been lost. He says; “Thus biblical Christianity was no longer giving the consensus for German society. After World War I came political and economic chaos and a flood of moral permissiveness in Germany. Thus, many factors created the situation. But in that setting the theory of the survival of the fittest sanctioned what occurred.” 158
A DIFFERENT PATHWAY
Western civilization did not just wake up one day and find itself immersed in the First and Second World Wars; western civilization caused the First and Second World Wars. There was a road that led to it. There was a pathway of stepping stones which western civilization followed into these awful wars. Were the stepping stones of humanism, liberalism, secularism, Darwinism, eugenics, racism and world-war the inevitable, rational progression of civilized society moving from truth to truth? No!!
It would be wrong to imply that only left-wing liberals promoted eugenics. Conservatives did as well. However, in my opinion, eugenics is more consistent with liberal belief than with conservative belief because it is based in Darwinism, something that liberal philosophy is built upon and something that many conservatives reject. While many leading philosophers and rulers argued that they were following this pathway with the sincere motive of advancing the new discoveries of science, philosophy and truth, they chose this pathway in spite of a tremendous amount of conflicting evidence. The conflicting evidence had to be dismissed in order for western civilization to end up where it did in the two World Wars.
What was the conflicting evidence and the different pathway that western civilization could have heeded and chosen? This was the Christian witness and the way of God’ kingdom revealed through Jesus Christ in the Bible. Many in western civilization had followed this pathway and their lives served as a testimony to the rightness of this way. This is not to say that Christians have always lived a good example of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. In fact, there are probably more poor examples of Christianity than good ones in western civilization. However, poor examples do not negate the true ones of those who faithfully and piously followed Jesus. Christianity, at its best, has left an incredible record and witness for the world to see.
From the earliest days of colonization, Christian faith was seen in the lives of western people. Pietists and Puritans built communities that were centered on Jesus Christ and the Bible. They held high standards of commitment, conversion and holy living. For so many early colonists, there was a living relationship with God and a submission to His will. This relationship is seen so noticeably in the experience of revival that is an undeniable part of western history.
Revivals were common in the eighteenth century and, because there were so many revivals in the New World between 1734 and the end of 1743, this period became known as the Great Awakening. Ministers, such as John Wesley (1703-1791), George Whitfield (1714-1770), Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), Gilbert Tennent (1703-1764), and others, began preaching in the colonies with great unction and conviction and with incredible results. There was testimony after testimony of people having dramatic experiences with God and becoming converted to Christ.
The First Great Awakening was followed by the Second Great Awakening, an even greater revival movement. The First Great Awakening had not only a beginning but, sadly, an ending too. It has been said that by the end of 1743, the Great Awakening was over. Whitfield and Tennent were alive, and in ministry, but the floodgates of souls had dried up. People would now look back to the good old days of awakening. While some were looking back, others were looking forward, and rightfully so, because an awakening of greater scope, greater magnitude and greater duration was coming.
When I say that the Second Great Awakening was greater in magnitude than the First Great Awakening, it is because the First Great Awakening occurred mainly on the eastern seaboard of America, while The Second Great Awakening swept America from Maine to Tennessee and from Georgia to Canada. Some feel that it started in Kentucky but it spread throughout the East, South and West, and parts of the middle states. When I say that the Second Great Awakening was of greater duration than the first, it is because the First Great Awakening, although it stretched from the 1730s into the 1740s, really had three-to-five very good years of major impact. The Second Great Awakening, however, lasted for over a quarter of a century. Gardiner Spring writes; “From the time I entered College, in 1800, down to the year 1825, there was an uninterrupted series of these celestial visitations, spreading over different parts of the land. During the whole of these twenty-five years, there was not a month in which we could not point to some village, some city, some seminary of learning, and say: ‘[… What hath God wrought!]’” 159 A Mr. M’Gready writes:
the year 1800 exceeds all that our eyes ever beheld on earth, all the blessed displays of Almighty power and grace, all the sweet gales of the divine Spirit, and soul refreshing showers of the blessings of heaven which we enjoyed before, and which we considered wonderful beyond conception, were like but a few scattering drops before a mighty rain, when compared with the overflowing floods of salvation, which the eternal, gracious Jehovah has poured out like a mighty river, upon this our guilty, unworthy country. The Lord has indeed shewed Himself a prayer hearing God. He has given His people a praying spirit and a lively faith and then He has answered their prayers far beyond their highest expectations.160
It is not as easy to pin the beginnings of the Second Great Awakening as it is the beginnings of the First Great Awakening. Nor is it easy to say that it started with any one particular minister. There is one movement, though, which certainly played a major role in this awakening, and that is Methodism. Methodists had been streaming into America since the days of Wesley. They had been very active in evangelism and revival ministry. Methodist missionaries did much outreach in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, as well as in the southern states. They had been enormously successful and had, between the years of 1774 and 1784, grown approximately 1,400 %, which was about six times the rate of the increase of the American population. 161 This means that this growth was not just by Methodist families getting larger; it means that there were a lot of Americans converting to Methodism.
Americans were converting to Methodism in droves but it would be wrong to paint the Second Great Awakening as solely a Methodist revival. God was moving across denominational lines and it was more important to be, firstly, a Christian than to be a Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, or other.
The Second Great Awakening did not mark the end of America’s revival history. The Second Great Awakening leads directly into a new period of revival seen through the ministry of Charles Finney. Finney was born in Warren, Connecticut, in 1792. As a young man, he had a powerful conversion and, shortly after, began preaching. Finney preached against sin and called men and women to repent and put their faith in Jesus. The messages would arrest people and challenge them to their very core. Many came under deep conviction. The gospel was being preached with intensity and earnestness and was bearing good fruit. People by the thousands were committing their lives to Christ. Finney conducted meetings throughout New York State and settled in Rochester, in 1830 and again in1842, where the revivals reached an incredible peak.
Both eastern America and Ireland had a tremendous revival in the year 1859 that was not directly related to the Finney revivals.
Beginning in the 1880s, and carrying on well into the twentieth century, revivals were springing up throughout America as the revivalist, Maria Woodworth-Etter, conducted meetings from one end of the country to the other. In Woodworth-Etter’s meetings, there were tremendous displays of God’s power as attendees fell into trances, had visions, healings and conversions. Revival was rolling forward with tremendous power and evidence. Other ministers, such as D. L. Moody, saw great revivals during this time.
With all of the revivals of the Great Awakenings, the ministry of Charles Finney, Woodworth-Etter, D. L. Moody, and others, revivals reached an incredible peak. With the onset of the twentieth century, revivals did not diminish but, instead, were turned up a notch. An individual in Wales, Evan Roberts, started having encounters with God (at night) in which he was told that there was going to be a tremendous outpouring of revival in the Earth. Almost immediately, in the year 1904, the Welsh Revival erupted and it is believed that 100,000 souls were saved.
The Welsh Revival reached an amazing climax but even this was not the highest peak that revivals would hit in 20th-century western civilization. In 1906, a Black preacher, blind in one eye, came to Los Angeles. His name was William J. Seymour.
WILLIAM J. SEYMOUR painted by Stephen Chen based upon an old photo of William Seymour.
After hearing him a number of times, he was rejected by the pastor of the church who had invited him, at least initially. He stayed at the home of some churchmen and conducted a prayer meeting. The prayer meeting was moved to another location on Bonnie Brae Street. Revival erupted and, because of the crowds, they relocated to a rundown building on 312 Azusa Street. Here, a revival broke out with a depth and magnitude of incredible proportions. Thousands came to the building, filling it out completely and overflowing to the outdoors. Countless accounts of conversions, visions and healings of every sort were occurring. Meetings ran seemingly non-stop as people continued to have powerful encounters with God. Frank Bartleman, a participant at Azusa, said of the revivals happening at this time:
All nations are represented, as at Jerusalem. Thousands are here from all over the Union, and from many parts of the world, sent of God for Pentecost. These will scatter the fire to the ends of the earth. Missionary zeal is at white heat. The ‘gifts’ of the [S]pirit are being given, the church’s panoply restored. Surely we are in the days of restoration, the ‘last days,’ wonderful days, glorious days. But awful days for the withstanders. They are days of privilege, responsibility, and peril. Demons are being cast out, the sick healed, many blessedly saved, restored, and baptized with the Holy Ghost and power, Heroes are being developed, the weak made strong in the Lord. Men’s hearts are being searched as with a lighted candle. It is a tremendous sifting time, not only of actions, but of inner, secret motives. Nothing can escape the all-searching eye of God. Jesus is being lifted up, the ‘blood’ magnified, and the Holy Spirit honoured once more. There is much slaying power manifest. And this is the chief cause of resistance on the part of those who refuse to obey. It is real business. God is with us in great earnestness. We dare not trifle. Strong men lie for hours under the mighty power of God, cut down like grass. The revival will be a world-wide one, without doubt 162
At Azusa, meetings ran for decades but outside of Azusa revival was also spreading. Pentecostal revivals began sweeping, not only the West but, also, the southern and eastern states. Pentecostal revivals left the shores of America and began impacting and establishing themselves throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and South America.
The Azusa Revival could never be contained in one building. From its earliest days, revived participants spilled out into the streets and began holding street meetings in the surrounding area. Azusa’s revival began in 1906 and, by September of that year, evangelists had been sent out from Los Angeles to San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Spokane and Seattle. By December of that year, Azusa revivalists were working in Denver, Colorado Springs, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Akron, Alliance, Cleveland, Chattanooga, Norfolk and the states of Virginia and New York. Also, in 1906, they had sent thirteen missionaries to Angola, Africa. In 1907, Azusa had sent out missionaries to Mexico, Canada, Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia and West Africa. By 1908, Pentecostalism had spread to Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa and Northern Russia.163 As early as June 16, 1908, a convention of Pentecostal leaders was assembling in England under the leadership of an Anglican priest, Alexander A. Body, who had recently been baptized in the Holy Spirit. 164 In 1907, reports came in that a Pentecostal mission had been set up in Latvia and that there was an outbreak of tongues manifestations in Estonia. Ivan Voronaev, a Russian-born Baptist pastor who had immigrated to the United States, was confronted with Pentecostalism when his daughter had a profound experience with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He went to visit the church where she experienced this and had his own powerful experience with the Holy Spirit. After his church split over the issue of tongues, he left for Russia and founded the first Russian Pentecostal Church in the Ukraine. His Church grew to one thousand members and, by the time of World War II, there were reported 80,000 believers in the region.165 Janet Lancaster heard of Pentecostalism in 1906 and, two years later, announced having the gift. She was ministering in Australia and a revival of Spirit baptism and divine healing broke out in her meetings. In 1907, Pentecostal missionaries penetrated China and Pentecostalism began to spread there also. A number of Alliance Missionaries to China had an experience with the baptism in the Spirit and began spreading Pentecostalism in China, even further.
Despite all the humanist, secular leaders, throughout this time, who chose to follow the stepping stones of humanism, liberalism, secularism, Darwinism, racism and World War, there was another pathway made bright and shining by multitudes who chose it, the pathway of Christian faith. Why didn’t the secular leaders take this route? While they shouted “God is dead,” God was showing Himself to be powerfully alive. While they were stating their unbelief in Him, there were hundreds of thousands of glowing testimonies to the contrary. On every side men and women, from every walk of life and every background, were experiencing God in profound ways. There is denial when men and women choose to turn away from the evidence. During these formative nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when secularism reached its own peak, the evidence for faith in Jesus Christ had never been greater.
After the Second World War was over, both Europe and North America began making adjustments for years of peace. West European lands, that had been under Hitler’s control, were restored to their respective countries. The one exception to this was Germany, which was divided into western and eastern regions. Western Germany became a free democratic state. Eastern Germany, along with the rest of eastern Europe, fell under communist rule and, together, they became known as the Communist Bloc. Much tension developed between the free western world and the communist world, which denied people many freedoms and rights. This tension became known as the Cold War. In March of 1946, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, told an American audience that an iron curtain had come down across the continent of Europe, dividing Europe into two antagonistic camps. Also, within the United States, there were many voices denouncing Joseph Stalin and the communist Soviet Union. Westerners watched as the Soviets sought influence in Iran, Turkey and Greece. These, and many other similar actions on the part of the Soviet Union, led westerners to believe that Stalin was working towards bringing the world under communist control.
While the western world initially was united in their distrust of the communist world, American administrations would shift back and forth on these sentiments. Conservative (in the case of America, Republican Party) administrations maintained, for the most part, distrust towards communism. Communism was simply a political system that stripped people of the freedom to own property, the freedom to generate wealth, the freedom to provide security for their families, the freedom of speech and the freedom to be upwardly mobile and, to a large extent, the freedom of religion. Francis Schaeffer has said; “The young followed Marxism in spite of clear evidence that oppression was not an excess of Stalin, but was and is an integral part of the system of communism.” 166 Conservatives were determined to resist such an ideology. Liberals, within the western world, viewed communism in a somewhat different way. While not trusting it completely, there were many points to communism and socialism which were consistent with political liberalism. Socialists said many things which resonated with many liberals, even in the West. Consequently, when liberal, left-wing governments were in power, tensions between the free world and the communist world were, to some degree, relaxed. Talk of post-war Soviet espionage was thought to be the exaggerated content of fictional radio and television programs. However, on July 11, 1995, the United States government released a cache of Soviet cables that had been decoded in the years of the Cold War. The information, contained within them, revealed the shocking extent to which Soviet espionage had penetrated the United States government. Without this cable information being made public, the Soviet penetration would likely never be believed by the common westerner. The extent to which liberal (in the case of America, Democratic Party) administrations courted and aided Russian spies in their work is shocking. A defecting communist party member, named Whittaker Chambers, in a private meeting with Democratic President Roosevelt’s Assistant Secretary of State, Adolph Berle, informed Berle of a communist espionage network consisting of at least two dozen Soviet spies who worked in the Roosevelt administration. In the list of spies was the name of Alger Hiss, a top state department official. Roosevelt even promoted Hiss to become a trusted aide. Years later, in 1948, Chambers testified before a House Un-American Activities Committee that Hiss was a Soviet agent. Hiss was made to stand before the committee and he denied the charges against him. Richard Nixon, at that time a congressman from California, decided to press the investigation but Democratic President Truman denounced the investigation as a ”red herring.” In 1948, Chambers, and two other investigators, entered Hiss’s farm in Maryland. They found confidential documents from the Navy and State departments hidden in a hollowed-out pumpkin. These documents became known as the “Pumpkin Papers” and they contained evidence of espionage rings in the United States. The Soviet cables proved, irrefutably, that Hiss was a Soviet Spy. The shocking truth is that the Democratic Roosevelt administration had Soviet spies working in the White House, the Treasury Department, the State Department, the War Department and the Office of Strategic Services. Throughout the 1940s and the 1950s, communists had a considerably influential presence in the United States government. 167
While there were, undoubtedly, some things that the Soviet spies learned that were of little consequence to the security of America, there were also other things that were discovered that were of huge importance to America’s protection. In 1949, the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) became a nuclear power. Where did they get the information to construct a nuclear weapon? Before the Soviets, America was the only nation in the world that had nuclear weapons. Communists obtained this information through their spy network and this has resulted in the arms race and the threat of nuclear war.
While the Cold War was alive and well in the minds of conservative Republicans, many Democrats continued to have a waning commitment towards opposing the communist enemy. During the administration of Democratic President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), communists came to power in Nicaragua, Grenada and the Seychelles. The Soviet army invaded Afghanistan and President Carter retracted the ban on travelling to North Korea and Cuba. In a speech that he made, on May 22, 1977, he urged Americans to abandon their ”inordinate fear of communism.” This courting with the communist world was brought to an abrupt end under the Republican presidency of Ronald Reagan, which lasted from 1981 to 1989. Under Reagan’s leadership, no country fell to communism, three Soviet-backed regimes started to come apart and, by the end of his presidency, the United Soviet Socialist Republic was negotiating the terms of its own dissolution. 168
Since the dissolution of the USSR other threatening nations have risen to the forefront. The twentieth century has seen North Korea develop nuclear weapons. In January 2011, the U.S. Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, warned that North Korean long-range missiles were becoming a direct threat to America. America‘s strongest military defence against such long-range missiles has been missile defence interceptors which are designed to strike down any rockets directed at the United States. Democratic President Barak Obama chose to relax this defence system considerably by reducing the number of missile defence interceptors in Alaska and California by approximately one third. He has also cancelled outright the program for fielding similar missile defence interceptors in Poland.
Another threat to the United States has been the spread of fundamentalist Islam. Fundamentalist Islam advocates a literal interpretation of the Quran. A literal interpretation of the Quran has led some followers of the book to violence and oppression. The Quran, the Islamic religious book, states; ”So when the sacred months have passed, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war; but if they repent and establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, then leave their way free to them; for surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 9:5). Fundamentalist Islam calls for the set-up of sharia law in every place where Muslims find themselves. Sharia is an Islamic legal code which enforces the dictates of Islam. It does not support freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, equal treatment under the law, freedom from terrorism, or freedom of democracy as we know it in the West. Sharia law is not exactly the same in every Muslim country but, rather, is defined and enforced in varying degrees depending upon the interpretation that fundamentalist or liberal Muslims place upon it.
The largest and most influential Islamic organization in the world today is called the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization was founded in 1928 in Egypt and expressed its two-fold mission as being to implement sharia law world-wide and to re-establish the global Islamic state (Caliphate). Because of its terrorist activities, the Muslim Brotherhood was suppressed by Egypt’s government, a situation that later was completely reversed and now has reversed itself again back to suppressing the Muslem Brotherhood. As far back as 1953, representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood were granted a meeting with Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Since that time, they have enjoyed a friendly relationship with other United States government administrations. The Muslim Brotherhood received a great welcome from America when, in January of 2010, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reversed a six-year ban on entrance to the United States for Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood works to infiltrate political systems around the world for the long-range purpose of establishing sharia law within society. One spokesman for the movement, Sayyid Qutb, in International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations, has said; ”Wherever an Islamic community exists which is a concrete example of the Divinely-ordained system of life, it has a God-given right to step forward and take control of the political authority.” 169 A quotes like this reveals the nature of The Muslem Brotherhood’s mission in the Western World and beyond. This ideology is wrong and must be resisted.
The Muslim Brotherhood is very deeply entrenched in the United States, as well as around the world. The Brotherhood has created numerous front organizations that are active in American society and politics. These enjoy the privilege of having much discourse with high-level government officials, especially at the federal level. Postmodern, liberal philosophy has advocated for multiculturalism, tolerance, political correctness and the hearing of the alternative voices of minority groups. Under Democrat Bill Clinton’s administration, Muslim Brotherhood leader, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was a welcomed visitor to the White House. He assisted President Clinton and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) in creating a presidential guideline called ”Religious Expression in Public School.” From around 1993 to 1998, the U.S. Pentagon relied on Alamoudi to nominate and approve Muslim chaplains for the U. S. Army. On video, he was caught saying that he was a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. In 2003, he was arrested and found to be in possession of $340,000.00 given to him by the Libyan president, Muammar Qaddafi, to be used for jihad. He was also found to have conspired with Al Qaeda operatives. Today Alamoudi is serving a 23-year prison term for terrorism-related charges, yet political correctness prevails in national and international politics. 171 John Brennan, the counter-terrorism adviser to Democratic president, Barak Obama, announced that the term ”jihadist” would no longer be applied to America’s enemies. The word is not politically correct. 172 As did his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush, Democratic President Barak Obama has launched a determined effort to befriend the Muslim world. In a speech, on June 4, 2009, in Cairo, Egypt, Obama announced that he seeks “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”`173A Wikipedia reports that:
The president opened his speech seeking a common ground between Muslims and the United States. He quoted from the Quran, ‘Be conscious of God and always speak the truth”.  Obama described Muslim contributions to Western civilization, citing the founding of algebra, the development of navigational tools, the invention of the fountain pen, and the influence of Islamic architecture. He described his own personal experiences with Islam, including having Muslim family members, growing up in Indonesia, a majority-Muslim country and hearing ‘the call of the azaan’, and working ‘in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.’ He also listed several of the United States’ connections to Islam, including Morocco being the first country to recognize the United States, American Muslim sportsmen (such as Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and civil rights leaders (such as Malcolm X), the nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zewail, the Bangladeshi American architect-engineer Fazlur Khan who designed the Sears Tower,  the election of Keith Ellison as the U. S.’s first Muslim congressman, and the presence of over 1,200 mosques in the U.S. 173B
When the American Muslim community requested to construct a mosque near the site of the Ground Zero, New York, where terrorist attacks which had led to the destruction of the Twin Towers and to the loss of thousands of American lives, Democratic President Barak Obama said, in 2010, that Muslims had the right to construct a mosque near this location. 174 He later said that he was not commenting on the wisdom of erecting a mosque in that location. 175 In 2012, news stations around the world published the story of a Quran that was allegedly burned by soldiers in Afghanistan. Afghan Muslims retaliated by killing four American soldiers. President Barak Obama publicly apologized for the incidence of the Quran burning and promised to hold responsible those who had burned the Quran. 176
In the post-war world, both Christian faith and secularism extended their influence. Post-war Christian faith is seen in many lives and ministries throughout western civilization. One ministry that has had much influence in the twentieth century is that of Billy Graham. Graham was born in 1918 and, after his conversion to faith in Jesus Christ in 1934, launched out into evangelistic ministry. He is known for his mass crusade meetings. He has preached to live audiences totaling 215 million people in more than 185 countries. By 2008, his total lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, is estimated at 2.2 billion people. More than 2.5 million people have responded to his altar calls, indicating that they wanted to accept Christ. 177
As well as great evangelistic ministries, such as Billy Graham’s, the 20th-century western world has seen revivals. The Hebrides Revival, of 1949, saw large numbers of people come under deep conviction of sin and, later, released into Christian conversion. Also, the Pensacola Revival, which broke out on Father’s Day of 1995 in Pensacola, Florida, saw many testimonies of salvation and healing. It is reported that over one million people visited the revival between 1995 and 2000. It is reported that 200,000 people gave their lives to Christ during the revival. 178
While the Christian faith was spreading in the western world, secularism was also spreading. There were influential philosophers who contributed towards this. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a professor of classical languages who retired from his profession early, due to health reasons. He went on to become a philosopher and launched a vicious attack against Christian faith. His most famous statement was ”God is dead.” Nietzsche taught that human existence was meaningless and that people should accept their own meaninglessness. Although his life was from before the World Wars, his work became extremely popular among post-war secularists. Although it is disputed, it is believed that he went insane in the year 1889. 179
Another contributor to secular philosophy was Sigmund Freud (1858-1939). Freud was a psychologist, again from pre-World War II times, whose ideas became very popular after the war. He proposed that human behavior was basically irrational. He believed that people acted on the basis of what existed in their unconscious mind and that a person’s unconscious mind was driven by sexual, aggressive and pleasure-seeking desires. He also believed that human behavior was guided by people’s own moral values. He believed that the unconscious mind and morals should work together in guiding behavior. However, he also thought that values could repress a person’s desires in a negative way. People have interpreted Freud’s teachings in different ways, and to different degrees, but many have used them to try to validate and defend an unrestrained lifestyle that does not want to be repressed. 180
Post-World War II westerners wanted peace. However, they had different ideas on how to achieve peace. Conservatives argued that to protect peace we must have a strong resistance toward hostile forces. Conservatives have resisted and opposed communist influence in many ways. Liberals have sought peace by extending generosity of spirit and trust toward those who have expressed hostility toward them. They have extended trust to try to win them over. Post-World War II westerners have been divided into two other camps, as well. Some have embraced secularism and have claimed that “God is dead.” Others have opened their eyes to Christian faith and revivalism and have pursued them with passion.
TWO POLITICAL VIEWS FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Both Christian and secular thought has contributed much to the leading political world-views of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The twentieth and twenty-first-century political world had seen its world-views, more and more, shaken and adjusted. On the left-hand side of the political spectrum is political liberalism, a position represented in America, for the most part, by the Democratic Party and in Canada mostly by the Liberal, New Democratic, Green, and Bloc Quebecois Parties. On the right-hand side of the political spectrum is political conservatism, represented in America, for the most part, by the Republican Party and in Canada mostly by the Conservative Party. What does modern liberalism and conservatism stand for? The remainder of this book will deal mostly with this question and explore these political platforms more than explore post-war events.
Political liberalism, again, is rooted in the call for representative democratic government and the spreading of secularism. It views mankind as being essentially good-natured and believes that most of the problems within society stem from a lack of education and a state of inequality. It extols the values of individual freedom and equality. It maintains that the individual has civil liberties and rights. It views state rule as being a social contract between individuals and their state. It also promotes institutions and agencies for the purpose of meeting social needs. It considers this intervention essential to solving society’s problems. It believes that without government subsidies and the support of broad-based government programs, the economy, and society in general, will naturally create inequality. Modern liberalism has drifted much closer to socialism than early liberal philosophers would have done. Early liberal philosophers opposed government regulation of the economy but this position has been almost completely reversed by liberals today. Today, most liberals accept the teaching of economist John Maynard Keynes, who taught that market spontaneity has high potential for economic depression. They also stress that governmental intervention is needed to help individuals to obtain their goals and without it, the market does not work well. Liberals generally promote the heavy intervention of the government into national economies. 181
Political conservatism is based on a very different world-view than is liberalism. It rejects the idea that mankind is essentially good-natured. It also rejects the idea that mankind’s problems are fundamentally related to a lack of education. It maintains that, while men and women are rational, reason is not the defining characteristic of their nature. Men and women, as well as being rational, are also irrational and passionate. Consequently, human nature must be reined in by strong values taught in the family, reinforced by institutions and, to some degree, maintained by governments and courts. 182 Social conservatives defend the traditional family, which is composed of a man and woman joined in marriage and any children that they may, or may not, have. Most conservatives maintain that this is the most fundamental building block of society and that without the traditional family, society self-destructs from within. In the controversy over abortion, many conservatives support a pro-life position and the sanctity of human life. Conservatives promote the economic freedom of corporations, reduced social spending, privatization, deregulation of business and the downsizing of government activities. Conservatives also believe strongly in people’s rights to private property. Conservatives stress the importance of competition within economic markets, a competition that thrives only when governments stay minimally involved with it. Conservatives maintain that granting the public control of property and business maximizes people’s interest in property and business and the responsible use of them. Conservatives believe that the market system, itself, serves as its stimulator and regulator. Conservatism also seeks to limit bureaucracies because they are inefficient. 183
Post-war America saw incredible economic growth and incredible distribution of wealth among the population on a scale dramatically greater than what was known in non-western societies. Conservatives credited this to conservative policies of economic freedom and non-regulation of the economy by government. Post-war liberalism began taking an increasingly negative outlook toward American society and called for increasing attention to be given toward the poor in America. It called for the reforming of democracy. While liberals could see that America was gaining incredible wealth, and that the distribution of wealth was greater in the United States than in non-western countries, they still felt that America should not be compared with non-western countries. They argue that the poor are in America too, but that they are less visible and more ignored. 184
As well as being divided on economic issues, liberals and conservatives became divided on many social issues. One issue which has divided liberals and conservatives is that of abortion. Generally speaking, though not without exceptions, left-wing politicians defend abortion, calling it a woman’s right to “choose.” Many, but not all, right-wing politicians oppose abortion on demand.
Pro-life conservatives maintain that the main reason for opposing abortion is that human life is sacred. While conservatives do defend woman’s rights, pro-life advocates maintain that woman’s rights should not extend to the right of killing unborn children. Pro-abortion advocates argue that abortion is needed to protect mothers from birth-related injuries. However, survey data shows that 95% of abortions are done as a means of birth control to eliminate unplanned pregnancies, not for health reasons. One percent of abortions are done for a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or for fetal abnormalities, and only 3% are done because of a mother’s health problems. Pro-life conservatives argue that a human fetus is a human life. Only twenty-one days after conception, a fetus’ heart is beating. At six weeks, it is possible to monitor the child’s brain waves. At eight weeks, a fetus’ stomach, liver, kidneys and brain are functioning. This is evidence of life having begun yet, in America, 500,000 abortions happen each year after the 8th week of pregnancy. At eleven weeks, all of a fetus’ organs are functioning and they swallow, digest and sleep. Yet, many abortions happen at this late stage. This issue is one that deeply divides liberals and conservatives. 185
Abortion was legalized in the United States as a result of the Supreme Court case, “Roe vs Wade,” in 1973, under the Republican presidency of Richard Nixon. In Canada, abortion was legalized and inserted into the Criminal Code Section 287, drafted by Liberal Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, in 1969. Originally, there were certain restrictions on abortion in Trudeau’s legislation. However, Dr. Henry Morgentaler fought these restrictions in court and they were dropped from the legislation (up until, and including, the time of the writing of this book in 2012). Abortion in Canada is completely unregulated. 186
Political liberalism is continually evolving and, in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, has been moving further and further left in the positions it stands for. Liberal, secularist elites have done much to propagate humanism and the humanistic philosophies of men such as Nietzsche and Freud. Cultural movements in the 1960s brought large numbers of youth and young adults in line with these philosophies, also. A counterculture of young people began public demonstrations and vocal opposition towards, what they perceived to be, the established culture. They promoted radical politics, sexual experimentation, drug use, communal living and new artistic styles. Rock music was a major facilitator and outlet of expression for this subculture. According to one historian, they were ” … interacting with a revival of leftist thought to create a ‘counterculture’ that rebelled against parents, authority figures, and the status quo.” 187 Many of these radical liberals held demonstrations at university campuses. Others staged protests in front of government buildings as well as at numerous other locations.
The radical, leftist counterculture movement of the 1960s would profoundly shape the political liberalism of future decades. A sizable portion of the drug culture became politically active in left-wing parties and launched a movement to legalize supposedly less harmful drugs such as marijuana. This is not to say that all liberals want marijuana legalized. Those advocating unrestrained sexual activity also became politically active within liberal structures, using them to promote this lifestyle and even to promote homosexual, lesbian and transgender lifestyles. As well, the feminist movement has been strongly active within liberal politics and many have used liberal structures to promote abortion.
What has been the response to the radicalization of liberalism and the political left? Many conservatives have expressed their concern that modern, left-wing politics is undermining family values, morality and the most fundamental values that society needs to hold itself together. Because liberal activists have sought to change society in such radical ways, they have often encountered legal obstacles toward these ends. Modern liberalism, in some ways similar to early liberalism, feels, to some degree, threatened by the legal system of its day. Many view the legal system as a system that works against individual freedoms and, for liberalism, individual freedom is a fundamental right. I believe it is not coincidental that liberals have fought so strongly for leniency within the justice system. Many liberal politicians and judges argue that criminals should be acquitted, or paroled, on the grounds that they were too young, too old, abused or, in some way, influenced toward their activities by a negative environment. Many reject the entire concept of judicial punishment and, instead, view the judicial system as existing only for the purpose of rehabilitating perpetrators. Liberals very frequently argue that long criminal sentences do not curb criminal activities. This rational is, again, rooted in the belief that mankind is essentially good-natured and only acts deviantly because of the inequalities that he has suffered and because of his lack of education. Some liberals even support the abolition of prisoner’s incarceration.
What has been the conservative response to the liberal position on the reduction or abolition of incarceration? Generally speaking, conservatives believe that when a criminal commits a heinous crime he should be segregated and separated from society for a considerable time. The criminal justice system exists not only to reform criminals but, also, to measure out a punishment to them that fits their crime. Punishment is not viewed as being unfair to the criminal but, rather, as being fair to the victim. This goes back to the most fundamental meaning of justice. Many conservatives point out that victims should receive justice and that this, not just the reform of the criminal, should be the priority. Liberals argue tenaciously that studies have shown that long jail sentences don’ t reform criminals, nor curb their criminal activities. Conservatives point out that not all authorities agree with this position. Washington Post columnist, George Will, in his article, “More Prison, Less Crime,” quotes social scientist, James Q. Wilson, as saying that “the typical criminal commits from 12 to 16 crimes a year (not counting drug offences)” and that ten years of scholarly studies “have shown that states that sent a higher fraction of convicts to prison had lower rates of crime, even after controlling for all of the other ways – poverty, urbanization, and the proportion of young men in the population – that the states differed. A high risk of punishment reduces crime. Deterrence works.” 188 Conservatives point out that while long jail sentences may not necessarily prevent a convict from committing crime again, neither will letting him off easily prevent repeated crime. There are ample examples of repeat- offenders who pass in and out of the criminal system as if passing through a revolving door.
Another area where activists are driving the agenda of liberal organizations and politics is in the field of environmentalism. Liberals are putting enormous emphasis on, and priority toward, the preserving of nature, along with its landscapes and natural resources. Huge political campaigns have had this as a major point of focus. Democratic President Barak Obama proposed ”cap and trade” legislation which would have imposed heavy charges upon corporations that emitted large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Aiding his administration was the Environmental Protection Agency which, in 2009, announced warnings that greenhouse gas emissions were creating a situation of global warming which posed a serious threat to public health and safety. The claim of imminent danger was, however, in the face of a great deal of conflicting evidence which indicated that the situation was much less serious. William Gray, a professor of atmospheric science from Colorado State University claims; ”I have closely followed the greenhouse gas warming arguments. From what I have learned of how the atmosphere functions in over fifty years of study and forecasting, I have been unable to convince myself that a doubling of human-induced greenhouse gases can lead to anything but quite small and likely insignificant amounts of global warming – about 0.2 to 0.3 degree Celsius.”189 The Environmental Protection Agency also proposed regulation that, if it had been implemented, would have penalized U.S. fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries in a major way. Americans obtain 85% of their energy from fossil fuels and such penalties would significantly raise the cost of energy for all Americans. Obama’s cap-and-trade bill was passed in Congress in 2009 but never received approval from the Senate. While preserving the environment has worthwhile benefits, there is also a downside to radicals carrying this to the furthest degree. This is precisely what has happened in western society. A country’s natural resources are needed for the development of its economy and for the provision of its people. Throughout the western world the extracting of natural resources from the forest industry to the oil industry, and many other things in between, has been threatened by many liberal activists and many politicians who have called for restrictions on these industries. Restrictions on industry, in many ways, threaten economies, especially in difficult economic times. When industries such as forestry, oil, mining and agriculture are allowed to expand, economies are allowed to become strong. Strong economies translate into an abundance of stable jobs and stable jobs usually result in economic provision and security for families. By sacrificing this kind of economic growth, the repercussions are felt throughout every area of society right down to its most fundamental unit, the family.
While some countries in the world, such as Japan, have very limited natural resources, western nations, such as Canada and the United States, have colossal amounts of natural resources which we can afford to extract for the good, and the security, of our people. Efforts to replenish resources, such as tree-planting forests which have been logged, are important steps that countries can take. Such resource industries do not need to be hampered but can be managed responsibly and the resources can be renewed. There have been numerous examples of liberals interfering with the extraction of natural resources, sometimes in the interests of a particular type of fish, bird or animal whose existence may be threatened by the harvesting of such. Conservatives consider this to be radical and unbalanced, to be preserving animal life over the necessary means of supporting human life.
Liberals implement secularization under the code word/term ”separation of church and state.’’ Wikipedia acknowledges that “Some libertarians also support the Democratic Party because Democratic positions on such issues as civil rights and separation of church and state are more closely aligned to their own than the position of the Republican Party.’’ 190 What does this mean? As liberal governments assume more and more control over public life, the education system, the workforce, the professions, and other areas, they squeeze out expressions of Christianity in the name of separation of Church and state. This is their direct approach to secularization. Liberals also have an indirect approach, and that is, of actively opposing Christian expression in the name of supporting and favoring minority religions. Wikipedia also acknowledges in its article on the Democratic Party, under the subsection, ”Ideology’’ that Democrats historically have ”favored religious and ethnic minorities.’’ 191 This is a way of saying that Democrats side with religious minorities over/against Christianity. This is simply a way of secularizing society by opposing Christian expression in the name of not offending other religions that disagree with Jesus Christ.
Liberal radicalization has led to a great suppression of religious freedom. Consider the following examples in the United States. As of 1965, constitutional rights of freedom of the press and freedom of speech do not apply to teachers or students, if the the topic is religion. (Stein Versus Oshinskey). As of 1965, if a student says grace over his lunch in the public school system, it has been ruled unconstitutional for him to pray out loud. (Reed Versus Van Hoven) As of 1999, it has been ruled unconstitutional for a war memorial to be erected in the shape of a cross. (Lowe Versus City of Eugene). As of 1970, it has been ruled unconstitutional for a student in the public school system to hear a prayer read, even if that prayer is contained in the public Congressional Record published by the United States government. As of 1976, it has been ruled unconstitutional for a board of education to use the word ”God” in its official writings. (Ohio Versus Whisner). As of 1979, it has been ruled unconstitutional for a kindergarten class, in a school assembly, to ask whose birthday is celebrated at Christmas. (Florey Versus Sioux City Falls School District). As of 1985, it has been ruled unconstitutional for a school graduation ceremony to open or close with prayer. (Grahm Versus Central Community School District). As of 1987, in Alaska’s public schools, students were told that they could not have the word ”Christmas” in their notebooks or exchange Christmas cards or presents displaying the word ”Christmas.” In 1987, a 185-year-old symbol of the city of Nevada was changed because of its ”religious significance.” As well in Nevada, a monument honoring the life of a fireman who died in the line of duty was required to be removed, or changed, because it contained a cross. In Omaha, Nebraska, schoolboy, James Gierke, ten years old, was forbidden to read his Bible silently, forbidden to open his Bible at school and was informed that to do so was against the law. 192 In 1990, it was ruled that a public cemetery may not have a planter in the shape of a cross because such a sight could result in “emotional distress” and cause an “injury-in-fact.” (Warsaw Versus Tahachapi). In 1990, it was ruled to be unconstitutional for a public school teacher to be seen with a personal copy of a Bible while at school. (Roberts Versus Madigan). 193
The spirit of liberal secularism is summed up in the magazine, The Humanist, which calls humanism an actual religion of its own, a religion of humanity, and stated:
‘… the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive the role as the proselytizers of a new faith; a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the education level …’ 194
This quote expresses the heart of humanism. Such a veiwpoint is oppressive to free minds.
While radical liberalism promotes secularism, within radical liberalism is a powerful movement to promote sexual deviance. This can be seen from as far back as the time of the publishing of the Humanist Manifesto, first published in the 1930s but updated in 1973. It says:
We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. 195
Such a humanistic world-view regarding sexual licence was implemented in socialist, communist Russia. Harvard University socialist and professor,Pitirim Sorokin, who at one time taught at the University of St. Petersburg, Russia, said the following about the Russian sexual revolution:
During the first stage of the Revolution, its leaders deliberately attempted to destroy marriage and the family. Free love was glorified by the official ‘glass of water’ theory. If a person is thirsty, so went the Party line, it is immaterial what glass he uses when satisfying his thirst; it is equally unimportant how he satisfies his sex hunger. The legal distinction between marriage and casual sexual intercourse was abolished. The Communist law spoke only of contracts between males and females for the satisfaction of their desires either for an indefinite or a definite period, a year, a month, a week, or even for a single night. One could marry and divorce as many times as desired. Husband or wife could obtain a divorce without the other being notified. It was not even necessary that marriage be registered. Bigamy and even polygamy were permissible under the new provisions. … Premarital relations were praised and extramarital relations were considered normal. Within a few years, hordes of wild, homeless children became a menace to the Soviet Union. Millions of lives, especially of young girls, were wrecked. Divorces skyrocketed, as did abortions. The hatreds and conflicts among polygamous and polyandrous mates rapidly mounted – and so did psychoneuroses. The results were so appalling that the government was forced to reverse its policy. The propaganda of the ‘glass of water’ theory was declared to be counter-revolutionary, and its place was taken by official glorification of premarital chastity and of the sanctity of marriage. … Considering that the whole cycle occurred under a single regime, the experiment is highly informative. It clearly shows the destructive consequences of unlimited sexual freedom. 196
While such a humanistic approach to sexuality was applied in the communist USSR, such an experiment was not restricted to easterners. Western civilization has had its own sexual revolution and this has been encouraged and implemented by many liberals in America.
How has such a viewpoint been implemented in America? One example would be: On June 14, 1994, Democratic president, Bill Clinton, appointed Ruth Bader Ginsberg to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Ginsberg has advocated for lowering the age of sexual consent to twelve years of age and she has favored the legalization of prostitution. She also opposed the Supreme Court ruling in “Conzales versus Earhart” which overturned partial-birth abortions, making them illegal. On February 3, 1993, Clinton nominated Roberta Achtenberg to a prominent position in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Achtenberg is an avowed lesbian activist. On June 19, 1993, Clinton sent a letter to John Larimore of the Gay and Lesbian Information Bureau, stating; “I want to extend my appreciation to the many members of the Gay and Lesbian Information Bureau who are selflessly giving their time to support my administration. … The response we received to our request for help has been remarkable. All of you who joined our ranks are making a real contribution to the future of this nation.” 197 On November 2, 1994, twenty-two gay and lesbian Clinton appointees from his administration held a coming-out breakfast for the press. On December 8th of that year, the Democrats added ”sexual orientation” to the list of non-discrimination policies at the White House. 198 On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder informed the U. S. Congress that Obama’s Democrat administration would not defend Doma (Defence of Marriage Act) legislation which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. 199 More recently still, Obama has said; “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” 200Each of these actions shows a liberal agenda to promote sexual deviance.
The Bible, of course, mandates a high moral standard for human conduct. According to the
Scriptures, sexual activity is reserved for the marriage relationship. Scripture also speaks out against same-sex lifestyles; “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18.22). While many liberals have mocked this, there are some secular sociologists whose research has shown that sexual deviance and permissiveness does lead to the decay of civilization. British anthropologist, J. D. Unwin, studied eighty societies and wrote his findings in a book titled
”Sex and Culture.” In it, he claims that cultures that were developing had two things, an ”expansive energy” and a”productive energy.” He found that cultures that were overly sexually permissive, with fewer restraints on this activity, became less energetic and began to decay. 201 A similar claim was made by the sociologist, Pitirim A. Sorokin. Sorokin was the founder of the sociology department at Harvard University. He said:
Since a disorderly sexual life tends to undermine the physical and mental health, the morality, and the creativity of its devotees, it has a similar effect upon a society that is composed largely of profligates. And the greater the number of profligates, and the more debauched their behavior, the graver are the consequences for the whole society. And if sexual anarchists compose any considerable portion of its membership, they eventually destroy the society itself. 202
This is precisely what happened with the Roman Empire, which turned inward, became gluttonous and debauched, sexually deviant and, subsequently, collapsed. Now western civilization has been traveling on the same path.
One controversial position that many liberals have taken is espousing the censorship of hate- speech. Throughout western civilization, liberal activists and governments have fought for the establishment of “hate-speech” legislation. Although it varies from country to country, hate-speech legislation typically bans and penalizes speech, or print, which speaks out against a group on the basis of that group’s race, gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Some Western countries that have some form of hate-speech laws are: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. Canada’s legislation protects its citizens who may have made such speech if the statements are factual or if they are supported by the religious text of the religious one speaking. Advocacy against hate- speech was added to the Canadian Criminal Code in 1970 under the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau. The government of Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin adopted Private Member Bill C-250 which was a homosexual hate-crime bill. One Canadian example of hate-speech legislation trumping religious freedom and freedom of speech occurred when, in 2003, a Reverend Boissoin, of Alberta, submitted a letter to the Red Deer Advocate. The letter condemned homosexuality and was published. The Alberta Human Rights And Citizenship Commission began proceedings against Boissoin. In 2008, after five years, a ruling was made against Boissoin and he was ordered to pay $7,000 dollars, besides being ordered to ”cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals”. This shocking ruling was designed to completely muzzle Boissoin’s freedom of speech, even in his own church. 203 Boissoin fought the ruling and, fortunately, after a long legal battle, it was overturned in 2009 by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and he was exonerated. 204 In the United States, the Senate approved a “Hate Crime Prevention Act” in 2010, with it tacked onto a $680 billion Defense Appropriations plan. Democratic President Barack Obama signed it into law. 205
Hate-speech legislation is controversial because not everyone defines ”hatred” the same way. One person may be offended at just about anything and interpret the offensive speech as hatred. This may happen even if the speaker has goodwill towards his listeners. Offense is sometimes called hatred and if anyone offends another person, they may be accused of verbal hatred. Hate-speech legislation has the potential of shutting down all freedom of speech on sensitive issues. For this reason, many conservatives have opposed such legislation. This is not to say that conservatives will not support legislation that prosecutes speech which advocates physical violence. Many conservatives will draw the line here and oppose speech that advocates physical violence. However, many conservatives object to the stifling of the free exchange of ideas. Conservatives point out that if you end freedom of speech you destroy the means of bringing reform. Freedom of speech is related to freedom of conscience and many maintain that, in a free society, one should be able to speak his or her conscience. Physical-violence-speech is easy to define but hate-speech, in general, is much harder to define and usually comes down to the personal opinion of judges and juries. Some conservatives don’t believe in legislation prohibiting any speech. Hate-speech legislation is so easy to abuse and such laws can be, and are, used to go way beyond what they were intended to do. For these reasons, many conservatives have opposed such legislation.
Many conservatives have stressed that they just want freedom and that radical liberalism takes freedom away. Many conservatives have found liberals too controlling. While this is not universally true, there is a feeling, based on liberal activism, that if a conservative is a vegetarian, he exercises his choice to be one but if a radical liberal is a vegetarian, he wants meat products removed from store shelves; that if a conservative believes in God, he still respects those who don’t, but if a radical liberal doesn’t believe in God, he wants mention of God silenced in the public sphere; that conservatives generally recognize and respect those who disagree with them but many liberals want those who dissent from their views silenced by means of hate-speech legislation; that if a liberal has a different sexual lifestyle than others in society, he wants laws put in place to enforce the acceptance and the affirming of his lifestyle. Conservatives want freedom. They want freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of economy and freedom from criminal abuse.
The radicalization of the left in western civilization has led many Christians and other social conservatives to move further to the right. In America, this voting bloc is sometimes called the ”Christian Right” or ”Religious Right.” While evangelicals have been a significant and substantial voting bloc within the United States Republican Party, Canadian evangelicals have not come down as strongly on the side of right-wing politics as have the Americans. Nevertheless, historically, Canadian evangelicals have tended to vote Conservative in slightly higher numbers than they do for other parties, with this trend seeming to increase over time. In 1996, Liberals had 35% of the evangelical vote. This support has been rapidly diminishing to only 11% in 2008. 206 One reason that many Canadian evangelical voters have turned away from the Liberal Party is due to an increasing antagonism towards Christian values, expressed by Liberal leaders. Before the 2004 general election, the Liberal Party commissioned a poll which asked Ontarians; ”Would you be more or less likely to vote for the Conservatives if you knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians.” 207 The question presented by the Liberals clearly portrayed evangelicals in a negative light and associated them with the Conservative Party, the party that the Liberals were positioned against. 208In the western world, many Christian voters feel that they cannot vote for a party that promotes secularism as strongly as the political left does. Many liberals feel that religion should be kept out of schools and workplaces in order not to offend those who are offended by, either, religion or a particular religion. Christians, however, respond that they can’t be part-time Christians. Christian faith is something a Christian carries with them wherever they go. To ask Christians not to express their faith is to ask them not to express themselves. A person’s faith is the most important part of their life and personality. To expect a Christian to not express their faith is to reject that Christian as a person. Liberalism’s adamant policies of secularization violate a Christian’s most fundamental human right, religious freedom. Christian values are, in fact, what have made western society strong in its times of strength. Alexis de Tocqueville, a famous French statesman, philosopher and historian, toured America, beginning in 1831. In his book, “Democracy in America,” he said:
I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors …; in her fertile fields and boundless forest; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. 209
A Christian world-view is also fundamentally different, and opposite to, a liberal world-view in regard to the nature of man. Liberals believe that man is essentially good-natured. The Bible teaches that mankind, although originally created good, is fallen. Mankind is rational at times, but also irrational and passionate and is inclined towards evil. A Christian knows that education and material benefits will not change a person’s nature. The answer is not to say that God is dead or that morality is suppressing people, leading to bad behavior. The answer is in repenting and putting faith in Jesus Christ. God can make the necessary changes to a person’s life and to society if we will submit to Him and let Him lead. Christians reject a humanistic viewpoint which is centered on man rather than centered on God.
Many Christians reject the liberal goals of “big” government which seek to meet society’s needs through funded, secular institutions and agencies. Such big government does meet some of society’s needs but it also exercises tighter control over peoples’ lives and creates dependency on the government. This dependency is created by people being forced to come to government programs to have their needs met and, also, by liberal governments controlling the economy. Many Christians do not want to give over more and more control of their lives to a government that does not share their values. At the same time, Christians want to build the family strong, knowing that it is the most fundamental institution in society. Many conservatives feel that liberals are working against the family, in many ways, by promoting the homosexual lifestyle and even gay marriage. Drug abuse, and the legalization of harmful drugs such as marijuana, also threatens families and are, therefore, opposed by Christian voters. Christians point out that the secularization of society has weakened morality, not strengthened it. Western society has produced a generation of criminals who are without a moral foundation and who commit violent crimes for which they show little or no remorse. This is consistent with a world-view that rejects the sanctity of life and views life as being meaningless. The majority of Christians believe in the sanctity of human life and oppose abortion. For very many Christians, this issue is completely non-negotiable and makes a left-wing vote impossible to reconcile with their conscience. For reasons such as mentioned, many Christians see a great divide between their values and left-wing liberalism. While conservatism is not a synonym for Christianity, many feel that the political right-wing is the only option where Christian values may be given a voice and support.
While left-wing liberals have increasingly radicalized their movement by moving further and further to the political left, many conservatives have moderated their views. It is possible for a conservative politician to take liberal stands on social and economic policies and, in many cases, not be removed from his party. When this happens, such a politician is called center-right or mid-right. This creates much confusion among voters and such a politician cannot necessarily count on receiving the support of voters who want a true conservative representative and not a conservative in name only.
Similarly, when a liberal takes conservative positions, he is called center-left or middle-left. This also confuses voters and makes a real game out of politics. Even liberals with a secularism agenda will sometimes say that they go to church and are a person of faith. This must be scrutinized because, remember, political liberalism has a sister, liberal theology. There are Churches which deny the major tenets of the Bible and still call themselves Christian. Theological liberalism can fit quite comfortably within political liberalism, but this does not mean that the politician claiming Christian faith is, necessarily, truly Christian.
Where is western civilization headed from here? No man on earth has the privilege of knowing how long western civilization will continue and whether, or not, western civilization will change course, toward God, before the end of time. However secular forces are pushing hard for a one-world government. The assembling of a one-world government is the determined effort of many leaders today. In 1943, Wendell Wilkie’s book, “One World,” was published and sold over two million copies. Two years later, Emery Reves’ book, “The Anatomy of Peace,” argued for the setting up of a federal world-government. Books, such as these, began feeding the grass roots movement towards one-world government. In the United States, individuals such as Grenville Clark, Norman Cousins, Alan Cranston and Robert Hutchins, were all instrumental in organizing and, finally, forming the organization, the “United World Federalists,” in 1947. This organization later changed its name to “World Federalist Association” and then to “Citizens for Global Solutions.” By 1949, they claimed a membership of 47,000. Similar movements arose in other countries leading to the formation of a global coalition in 1947, now called the “World Federalist Movement.” This organization has seen a steady increase in membership and, by 1950, claimed 156,000 members and had spread to 22 countries. The international headquarters for the World Federalist Movement is based in New York City, across from the United Nations building. According to Wikipedia; “The Movement has had Special Consultive Status with ECOSOC since 1970 and is affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and a current board member on the Conference NGOs (CONGO). It currently counts 30,000 to 50,000 supporters.” ECOSOC is the “Economic and Social Council of the United Nations” and is responsible for the coordination of social, economic and related work of fourteen United Nations specialized agencies. 210
The World Federalist Movement works together with other member organizations such as “Citizens for Global Solutions,” “Union of European Federalists,” “World Federalist Movement – Canada,” “World Federalist Movement of Japan,” “Ugandan World Federalists,” “One World Trust,” “Committee for a Democratic UN,” “Democratic World Federalists,” and others. 211
World Federalists have worked hard at proposing and promoting amendments to the United Nations charter. Such amendments would institute reforms toward a world court with compulsory jurisdiction and judicial review authority and a more representative Security Council. They also support a United Nations standing, peacekeeping force and an international criminal court. The efforts of the World Federalist Movement show that the push towards global government is very real and is backed by thousands of people laboring toward this end. 212
Such a one-world government, that liberals and other secularists are pushing for, is not one based on Jesus Christ. It is largely a secular government with a secular agenda. Such acceptance of a one-world government will mark the end of western civilization, if it is implemented. Such a one-world government would swallow up, and assimilate, western civilization into its global, secular culture, not respecting and, eventually, not tolerating Christian values and faith.
THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
Western civilization is an old civilization with roots stretching into other ancient civilizations before it. Western civilization began assembling while the Roman civilization was coming apart. The Dark Ages saw individuals, such as Clovis and Charlemagne, rising up and Europeans being organized under their rule. Europeans were being grouped into ethnic divisions such as Franks, Anglo-Saxons, Visigoths and Germans. In the Middle Ages, we have seen the rise of actual nations such as England, France and Spain, as well as loosely-united German states. Nationhood afforded much desired privileges such as national armies, national taxation, codified law, international trade and the founding of colonies. European nations branched out by establishing colonies in the New World of America, in Africa and in the East. With these colonies, nations became powerful empires.
While monarchs in western civilizations were forming nations, philosophers and social thinkers were forming philosophies for those nations to follow. Humanism was an early departure from Christian thought. It shifted emphasis away from God and heavenly things toward a man-centered view of the world. The, so-called, enlightenment built upon the foundation of humanism and philosophers began boldly challenging Christian faith. Early liberalism grew out of the, so called, enlightenment and humanism. Liberals wanted freedom from monarchs and wanted the secularization of society.
French liberals led the way in implementing freedom from monarchs and the secularization of society. They killed their king and began killing churchmen in droves. However, the killing circle became wider and wider until revolutionaries were killing revolutionaries. The experiment of liberalism had failed in France, yet much of Europe was eager to follow its example. Riots and revolutions sprang up everywhere. Some liberals were even willing to wander further left into the new philosophy of socialism.
Humanism, liberalism, secularism and socialism kept spreading and kept eating away at public security and order. These values divided societies and reinforced feelings of inequality and injustice. The glue that had held societies together was coming apart. A new vision of liberal nations was born, and, also, with it sometimes came strong feelings of nationalism. Nationalism, the belief that one nation or people-group is greater than another people-group, and racism were strong urges within developing western society. Once Darwin’s theory was accepted in the West, racism became more than a feeling; it became a science. Darwinism taught the survival of the fittest and taught that there were different races of men, some more evolved than others. Darwinism provided the philosophical basis for racist, national and foreign policies and it supported secularism. Darwinism spawned eugenics and, when eugenics was established in western society, world war was just around the corner. Western societies did not wake up into World War I and World War II; they arrived there. Western civilization followed the stepping stones of humanism to liberalism, from liberalism to secularism, from secularism to Darwinism, from Darwinism to eugenics and from eugenics to World War.
World War I and World War II brought incredible terror and insecurity. How would these wars turn out? How much would they cost western civilization? The World Wars cost western civilization a terrible price. Tens of millions of lives were lost and the damage to families cannot be measured. The ending of these wars, however, brought hope. It brought a temporary peace and, with that peace, a chance to reflect on the past. What kind of society would post-war western civilization construct?
Both Christian faith and secularism would share influence on post-war western society. While evangelists, such as Billy Graham, and revivals, such as Hebrides and Pensacola, shone the light and truth for seeking souls, secularists were also influencing countless westerners. Many philosophers, educators and other elite were claiming that God was dead, that repression of desires was wrong and that life was meaningless. A huge student movement sprang up, aligning itself with liberal ideas. It represented a radicalization of leftist and liberal thought. Many liberals became more radical than ever before and took on new campaigns, such as promoting the sexual revolution and gay lifestyle and the legalization of drugs like marijuana.
Post-war western civilization has seen a polarization between left-wing liberalism and right-wing conservatism. Many liberals have even made a friend of communism. Communism promised freedom for workers and then, once it was established in a nation, created a police state, took away workers’ freedoms and burned the bridges which would allow people to become upwardly mobile. Yet, many liberals made a friend of communism and now we have nuclear warheads pointed toward us. Liberals have held a world-view that mankind is inherently good-natured and this has profoundly affected their perception of the Muslim world and its mission, leading to an optimistic view of a peaceful, non-aggressive practice of Islam. Liberals and conservatives have locked horns over the issues of abortion, gay marriage, free speech, environmentalism and the punishing of violent crime. There has been a polarization of these two very different world-views and, even with this polarization, some fence-sitting politicians try to live in the middle ground of center-middle politics.
Western civilization has been stretched and stressed with the turmoil of inner division. Where is the future headed? More and more, it appears that much of western society is ready to pack it in and assimilate itself with a global community and a global government.
The pathway that most of western civilization, both pre-world wars and post-world wars, has chosen is not the only pathway that was presented to it. Nor is it the only pathway that western society must follow through the twenty-first century. Jesus Christ, the King of God’s kingdom, has presented another way. He has been there all along trying to get us to see the right way. He was there at the earliest beginnings of western civilization, at the starting gate. He has been there all along and has given us His Word, a Word which calls us to repentance and faith.
Everyone who is of the truth, hears Jesus’ voice. His voice has called us to seek, first, God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is separate from western civilization but, at the same time, it was injected into western civilization. Since the time of its injection, it has been persecuted by western society. From the Caesars to the secularists, God’s kingdom has been attacked. It has survived every attack and is strongly present in the Earth. The Church of Jesus Christ, non-denominational and trans-denominational, is God’s kingdom on Earth. Secularists have said; “Where is the proof?” The question is really a refusal to see. With every stepping-stone, there has been a detour sign. With every footstep, there has been a loud voice calling to western society to forsake its wicked ways. At every turn, there has been a bright and shining Christian witness as living proof of the truth of Jesus Christ and His saving power. There has been reformation and there has been revival. There have been pietists and there have been awakenings. There were great leaders like Charles Wesley, Charles Finney and William Wilberforce who were pointing western society to a higher road. Many have rejected this higher road, but not all. Many have accepted God’s kingdom, submitted to Christ’s rule and have been included in His family. They have a stability that others have not found. Why? Because they have built their lives on the rock of hearing Jesus’ words and obeying Him. They have made the right choice. Although we can’t take the whole civilization with us, we can, one by one, make the same choice.
The words of Jesus Christ ring out:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
To see how World War II and post-World War II voters in America and Canada have voted, both liberal and conservative, the following chart is included:
AMERICAN PRESIDENTS FROM WORLD WAR II TO THE PRESENT
Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat 1932
Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat 1936
Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat 1940
Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat 1944
Harry S. Truman Democrat 1948
Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican 1952
Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican 1956
John F. Kennedy Democrat 1960
Lyndon B. Johnson Democrat 1964
Richard M. Nixon Republican 1968
Richard M. Nixon Republican 1972
Jimmy Carter Democrat 1976
Ronald Reagan Republican 1980
Ronald Reagan Republican 1984
George H. W. Bush, Senior Republican 1988
William J. Clinton Democrat 1992
William J. Clinton Democrat 1996
George W. Bush, Junior Republican 2000
George W. Bush, Junior Republican 2004
Barak Obama Democrat 2008 to present (2012) 213
PRIME MINISTERS OF CANADA FROM WORLD WAR II TO THE PRESENT
William Lyon MacKenzie King Liberal 1935
Louis Stephen St. Laurent Liberal 1948
John George Diefenbaker Conservative 1957
Lester Bowles Pearson Liberal 1963
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal 1968
Charles Joseph Clark Conservative 1979
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal 1980
John Napier Turner Liberal 1984
Martin Brian Mulroney Conservative 1984
A. Kim Campbell Conservative 1993 (Not voted into office. Appointed).
Joseph Jacques Jean Chretien Liberal 1993
Paul Edgar Phillipe Martin Liberal 2003
Stephen Harper Conservative 2006 to present ( 2015)
- Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, et al., The Western Heritage to 1715, Vol. I, 3rd ed. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987), 1.
- Ibid., 1-3.
- Ibid., 1-3.
- Philip Schaff, History of The Christian Church, Vol. 1, 3rd ed. (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1996, originally published 1858), 377-382.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003), 167.
- Ibid., 182-184.
- Ibid., 194.
- Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (Old Tappen: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1976), 23.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 179-182.
- Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, et al., The Western Heritage to 1715, Vol. 1, 3rd ed. 217-220.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 208.
- Ibid., 209.
- Ibid., 285-286.
- Perry Anderson, “The Absolutist States of Western Europe,” in States and Societies (Great Britain: The Open University, 1983), 137.
- De Lamar Jensen, Renaissance Europe, 2nd ed. (Lexington: D. C. Heath & Co., 1992), 35-37.
- Ibid., 37-38.
- Ibid., 41.
- Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, 55.
- De Lamar Jensen, Renaissance Europe, 2nd ed., 121.
- Philip Schaff, History of The Christian Church, Vol. 7, 3rd ed., by Philip Schaff. History of The Christian Church, Vol. 7, 3rd ed. by Philip Schaff. Copyright 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Martin Luther, quoted in History of The Christian Church, Vol. 7, 3rd ed., 2. History of The Christian Church, Vol. 7, 3rd ed. by Philip Schaff, Copyright 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through The Centuries (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1981), 288-289.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 607-608.
- Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, 121.
- John Merriman, A History of Modern Europe, Vol. 2 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996), 495-535.
- Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, 26.
- “Left-Wing Politics” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-Wing_politics
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 778.
- Ibid., 726-727.
- Ibid., 869-878.
- Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery : A History of Slavery in Africa, 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 19.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 650.
- Patrick Manning, “The End of Slavery,” in Slavery and African Life (Cambridge University Press, 1990), 149, 155, 150, 149.
- Thomas Fowell Burton, “The Principles of Abolition,” as found in Robert O. Collins, Ed., Western Africa History (Marchs Wiener Pub., 1990), 207.
- Seymour Drescher, “Beyond Economic Interest,” in Econicide : British Slavery in the Era of Abolition (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977), 167-168, 170.
- Patrick Manning, “The End of Slavery,” in Slavery and African Life, 149, 151.
- William Wilberforce, A Practical View of Christianity, Ed. Kevin Charles Belmonte (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996), 211.
A Practical View of Christianity by William Wilberforce,Copyright 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in John Pollock, Wilberforce (Belleville: Lion Publishing Co., 1986), 97.
- John Pollock, “A Man Who Changed His Times,” in Character Counts – Leadership Qualities in Washington, Wilberforce, Lincoln and Solzhenitsyn, Ed. O. S. Guinness (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 87.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in John Pollock, Wilberforce, 145.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in Christopher D. Hancock, “The ‘Shrimp’ Who Stopped Slavery,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997): 15.
- William Wilberforce, A Practical View of Christianity, 6.A Practical View of Christianity by William Wilberforce Copyright 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in J. Douglas Holladay, “A Life of Significance,” in Character Counts – Leadership Qualities in Washington, Wilberforce, Lincoln and Solzhenitsyn, 69.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in John Pollock, Wilberforce, 143.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in Richard V. Pierard, “Little Known or Remarkable Facts About Wilberforce and the Century of Reform,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997): 2.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in Michael Henderson, “Christians Living in a Hungry World,” Crux 18 (1982): 12.
- Garth Lean, God’s Politician William Wilberforce’s Struggle (Colorado Springs: Helmers & Howard, 1987), 49.
- John Pollock, Wilberforce, 73.
- John Wesley, quoted in Garth Lean, God’s Politician William Wilberforce’s Struggle, 58.
- John Pollock, Wilberforce, 52, 55.
- “Welcome to Wilberforce House,” n.d., http://www.hulldc.gov.uk/wilberforce/explore_thomas_clarkson.html
- Garth Lean, God’s Politician William Wilberforce’s Struggle, 101.
- Bruce Hindmarsh, “Aristocratic Activities : The Clapham Sect Was One of the Most Elite and Effective Bands of Christian Social Reformers – Ever,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997):24.
- Michael Henderson, “Christians Living in a Hungry World,” Crux 18 (1982): 9.
- Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, “Granville Sharp: A Model of Evangelical Scholarship and Social Activism,” n.d., http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/gsharp.htm
- Garth Lean, God’s Politician William Wilberforce’s Struggle, 104.
- Ibid., 103.
- “A Web of English History : William Wilberforce (1759-1833).” 04/14/ 2003 http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/adw03/c-eight/people/wilberf.htm
- Garth Lean, God’s Politician William Wilberforce’s Struggle, XII.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in John Pollock, Wilberforce, 56.
- Christopher D. Hancock, “The ‘Shrimp’ Who Stopped Slavery,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997): 16.
- John Pollock, “A Man Who Changed His Times,” in Character Counts – Leadership Qualities in Washington, Wilberforce, Lincoln and Solzhenitsyn, 77-78.
- A Jamaican Slave Owner’s Servant, quoted in Christopher D. Hancock, “The ‘Shrimp’ Who Stopped Slavery,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997): 17.
- “A Web of English History : William Wilberforce (1759-1833).”
- Mr. Hatsell, quoted in Michael Henderson, “Christians Living in a Hungry World,” Crux 18 (1982): 10.
- William Wilberforce, quoted in “Christians Living in a Hungry World,” Crux 18 (1982): 10.
- “A Web of English History : William Wilberforce (1759-1833).”
- Christopher D. Hancock, “The ‘Shrimp’ Who Stopped Slavery,” Christian History, Issue 53 (1997): 19.
- Christopher D. Hancock, “William Wilberforce and The Century of Reform,”Christian History Issue 53 (1997): 5.
- Charles Finney, quoted in J. H. Fairchild, Ed., Lectures On Systematic Theology (New York: George H. Doran Co., 1921), 228.
- Charles Finney, Lectures to Professing Christians (Oberlin: E. J. Goodrich, 1878), 71.
- Ibid., 74.
- Charles Finney, quoted in Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe, Charles Finney and The Spirit of American Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1996), 141.
- Charles C. Cole, Jr., The Secular Ideas of the Northern Evangelists (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), 209-210.
- Ibid., 204.
- John P. MacKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 833-834.
- Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation (Green Forest: Master Books, 2007), 90-91.
- Stephen Jay Gould, “Ontogeny and Phylogeny” quoted in Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 15.
- Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 23.
- Ibid., 26.
- Ibid., 24-25.
- George William Hunter, A Civic Biology Presented in Problems (New York: American Book Company, 1914), 196.
- Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, et al., The Western Heritage, Vol. II, 3rd ed. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987), 770-773.
- Vernon F. Story, The Development of English Theology in the Nineteenth Century 1800 – 1860 (London: Longmans Green and Co., 1913), 201.
- H. A. Wilson, “Development of Evangelicalism,” in Liberal Evangelicalism (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1970), 19-20.
- John Dickie, Fifty Years of British Theology (Edinburgh: Morrison and Gibb Ltd., 1937), 201.
- Alan P. F. Sell, Theology in Turmoil : The Roots, Course and Significance of the Conservative-Liberal Debate in Modern Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986), 88.
- V. F. Storr, “The Bible and Its Values,” in Liberal Evangelicalism, 87.
- H. A. Wilson, “Development of Evangelicalism,” in Liberal Evangelicalism, 26-27.
- E. A. Burroughs, “Evangelicalism and Personality,” in Liberal Evangelicalism, 87.
- Robert Anderson, The Bible and Modern Criticism (London: Pickering and Inglis, n.d.), 39.
- Ibid., 178-171.
- V. F. Storr, “The Bible and Its Values,” in Liberal Evangelicalism, 83-85.
- H. A. Wilson, “Development of Evangelicalism,” in Liberal Evangelicalism, 23-24.
- Alan P. F. Sell, Theology in Turmoil : The Roots, Course and Significance of the Conservative-Liberal Debate in Modern Theology, 128.
- Ibid., 40, 82, 85.
- Karl Barth, Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century : Its Background and History (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), 644.
- Alan P. F. Sell, Theology in Turmoil : The Roots, Course and Significance of the Conservative-Liberal Debate in Modern Theology, 41.
- J. C. Ryle quoted in Theology in Turmoil : The Roots, Course and Significance of the Conservative-Liberal Debate in Modern Theology, 51.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Aug. 1887, in The Down Grade Controversy (Pasadena: Pilgrim Publications, n.d.), 17, 19.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Sept. 1887, in The Down Grade Controversy, 23.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, “Choice Teachings for the Chosen,” in Iain H. Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), 187.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Aug. 1887, in The Down Grade Controversy, 19.
- Ibid., 17.
- Ibid., 23.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, “Choice Teachings for the Chosen,” in Iain H. Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon, 187.
- John MacArthur, Ashamed of The Gospel : When The Church Becomes Like The World (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1993), 207.
- Ibid., 208.
- The Christian World quoted in Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Oct.1887, in The Down Grade Controversy, 30.
- The Christian World, 22 Sept. 1887, quotedin The Forgotten Spurgeon, 184.
- Ernst W. Bacon, Spurgeon: Heir of the Puritans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1967), 133.
- Susannah Spurgeon and Joseph Harrald, Ed., C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, 2 Vols. (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), 470.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Aug. 1887, inThe Down Grade Controversy, 20.
- Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Oct. 1887, in The Down Grade Controversy, 28.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 764.
- Ibid., 765-766.
- Ibid., 904-909.
- Ibid., 906.
- H. G. Wells, The Outline of History : The Whole Story of Man (Garden City: Doubleday and Co. Inc., 1971).
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 960-961.
- John P. McKay, Bennett D. Hill, et al., A History of Western Society, 7th ed., 967-983.
- Edwin Black, War Against The Weak (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003), 11. and Maafa 21, Denton, Tx: Life Dynamics, Inc., 2010. DVD
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- Edwin Black, War Against The Weak, 9.
- Ibid., 68.
- Ibid., 68.
- Ibid., 68.
- Edwin Black, War Against The Weak, and Maafa 21.
- Edwin Black, War Against The Weak, and Maafa 21.
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- Ibid., 189.
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- Arnold Dodel, Aus Leben und Wissenschaft (Stuttgart, 1896-1905), 2:48.
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- Ernst Haeckel, Ewigkeit (Berlin, 1917), 33-34.
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- Ibid., 420-421.
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- Gardiner Spring, quoted in Joseph Tracy, The Great Awakening (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, First Printing 1842, 1997), 118. I have corrected his misquote of Numbers 23:23.
- Mr. M’Gready, Short Narrative of the Revival of Religion in Logan County, in the State of Kentucky, and the adjacent Settlements in the State of Tennessee, from May 1797, until September 1800, published in four instalments in the New York Missionary Magazine, 1802.
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- Ibid., 247.
- Vinson Synan, The Century of The Holy Spirit (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 78-79.
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Artwork in this book was produced by Ramona Stevens and Stephen Chen and used by permission.
The painting of William Seymour was produced by Stephen Chen and all other art was produced by Ramona Stevens.
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