Friday, March 21, 2014

Republicans do believe it but most Americans know God did not Create America: part 11

The lie:  Most Americans Believe God Created America, Claims Mike Huckabee (Video): 

Our continued explanation of the truth about what and why Americans believe how America was made and by who:

Jonathan Edwards(1703-1758). Edwards held his sermons in Northampton Connecticut. He described his parishioners there as being nothing out of the ordinary; they were sober, orderly, and good, but lacking in religious fervour.

They were no better or worse than the men and women living in the other colonies. That was until in 1734 when two young people died shockingly sudden deaths.

This all changed suddenly as the people were real nervous and concerned. This was reinforced by Edwards himself who was known for his hell fire and brimstone sermons.

Edwards plunged the town into a frenzy of religious fervor. Peoplecould talk of nothing but religion; they even stopped working inorder to spend the entire day reading the Bible.

In about 6 months there had been around 300 born again conversions in Northampton alone. They came from all classes of society. Edwards saw this craze as the direct work of God himself.

 He meant this quite literally as he repeatedly said that God seems to have gone out of his usual way of behaving in New England.

 He was real pleased to see that this was moving the people in a most marvelous and miraculous manner. It must be said however, that the Holy Spirit sometimes manifestedhimself in some rather disturbing ways.

 People would sink into deep despair thinking that God would not save them. This would be followed right away with an equally extreme feeling of elation when they all of a sudden felt saved.

 They would break out with laughter while weeping and tears streaming down their faces at the same time.Sometimes they would cry out in a loud voice expressing their love for God. We are obviously far from the calm control that was supposed to be the hallmark of true enlightenment.

These intensely emotional mood swings have continued to be the hallmark of religious revival in America. It was a rebirth attended by violent swings from anger and fear to instantaneous joy and laughter.

This was a new version of the western struggle with God.The awakening eventually spread like wild fire to encompass all of the colonies. Eventually emotions died down until after a couple of years things were pretty much back to normal.

The new birth of the awakening was an evangelical version of the enlightenments ideal of the pursuit of happiness. It represented an existential liberation. It liberated the people from a world in which everything awakens powerful feelings of apprehension.

The awakening occurred in the poorer colonies where people had few expectations of happiness in the world. This happened despite the hopes of the sophisticated enlightenment.

 The experience of being born again resulted in a feeling of joy. There was a perception of beauty that was quite different from any natural sensation. Therefore, during the awakening a God experience had made the enlightenment of the new world available to the poor as well as the successful people in the colonies.

*The God of Jonathan Edwards also contributed to the revolutionary enthusiasm of 1775. In the eyes of the revivalists England had lost the new light that had shown so brightly during the puritan revolution. To them England now seemed decadent and regressive.

It was Edwards and his colleagues who led Americans of the lower classes to take the first steps toward revolution. Edwards felt that human effort would hasten the coming of God’s kingdom. He believed that this was attainable and imminent in the new world.

James M Joiner
Gardner, Ma 

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