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A new order of the ages church history ii lesson 3


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A new order of the ages church history ii lesson 3

  2. 2. THE UNITED STATES BEGIN• On July 4, 1776 Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were appointed as a committee to prepare a Seal of the United States of America. By the time of final adoption the biblical content nearly evaporated, they found in the Bible those symbols that would unite and interpret their people’s experience. One out of many has smiled on our undertakings 1776 a new order of the ages.• No one knows exactly what they meant by new order of the ages, it is the rhetoric of the revolution. No event marked the new order for Christianity more clearly that the religious explosion we call the Great Awakening, the first in the long history of American revivals. 2
  3. 3. NEW ORDER FOR THE CHURCHES• The reformation unintentionally shattered traditional Christendom. It prayed and preached and fought for the true faith until no single church remained, only what we now call denominations.• The churches was faced with the problem of providing everyone in the colonies religious freedom to proclaim its own view. The only way each group could get such freedom for themselves was to grant it to all the others. 3
  4. 4. VOLUNTARYISM• The condition the church found themselves in, was they could not have a state church. Now they had to depend of voluntaryism because the state would no longer support the churches. They had to grow and maintain their mission of preaching and teaching on a voluntary basis. Men could accept or reject the gospel as they pleased.• The Great Awakening proved crucial in the “new order”. It convinced hosts of Christians that voluntaryism could work. After the first ecstatic waves of the Spirit, many believers considered revivals Gods gift for the creation of a Christian America. 4
  5. 5. GOD’S WILL IN SOCIETY• A Christian people if they are to enjoy the corporate blessings that God alone can give, must walk in His ways and fulfill His commands even in their civil government.• God’s will was embodied in “wholesome laws”. Puritans held that law without a moral base is no law at all. Since the sins of men are like raging seas which would overwhelm all if they have not banks. The test of any law, however, was whether or not it advanced the public good, which was another way of saying fulfilling God’s will in society. 5
  6. 6. LEGISLATE MORALITY• This attempt to legislate morality is one reason later Americans came to hate the Puritans. Because it did not allow what Americans prized most their personal freedoms.• The Puritans holy experiment blending belief in a church of the truly converted with the idea of a Christian state seemed destined to fail almost from the start. There are problems in operating any church on earth when only God knows who the real members are. 6
  7. 7. WORLDLY PURITANS/GODLY PURITANS• After the eighteenth century, two types of Puritans were visible. The spiritual heritage fell to the children of the Great Awakening. The call for personal conversion as the basis of church membership soon echoed throughout the Connecticut River valley. The preaching of Jonathan Edwards• The worldly puritans continued the Puritan sense of civic responsibility and concern for lawful government. Even when they could no longer feel the dread of living before the awesome Lord of history, these colonialists still held that empires rose and fell depending on whether men obeyed or disobeyed the design of Divine Providence. 7
  8. 8. THE GREAT REVIVALIST• George Whitefield he was brought to the colonies by the Wesley brothers in 1739, and he preached his way through Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. He left the colonies after a month but by now the revivals had become a hurricane.• Edwards was a brilliant psychologist, and a brilliant theologian, and the third president of Princeton. Some think he was only a revivalist preacher of hellfire and brimstone. 8
  9. 9. ADVOCATE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM• Isaac Backus: in 1741 a seventeen year old Isaac mother was converted to Christianity. Not long after his conversion Isaac Backus felt the call to join the ranks of the revivalists.• He formulated and publicized the evangelical position of the church and state that was ultimately to prevail throughout America.• In 1769, Baptists in New England formed the Warren Association to advance the cause. Basic to the Baptist position was the belief that all direct connections between the state and institutionalized religion must be broken. 9
  10. 10. ADVOCATE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONT.• By resisting established churches the revivalists never intended to surrender their dream for a Christian America.• In 1760 that was more than an empty dream. From 1740-1742 the Awakening had swept 25,000-50,000 members into the New England churches alone.• As a lasting legacy what the revivalists had set out to do was finalized when the Constitution was created the very First Amendment stated “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. 10