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American Religion -- then, now, and in the future
Part One: America the Religious
- Despite what many revisionist historians are now teaching, the United States was established firmly on religious principles and on the premise that each person should be free to practice religion as led by Divine Providence as they see fit without government interference.
Part Two: The Birth of American Religion
- For most of American history the question "Are you religious?" meant "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" In that order. It can be said that Christian history begins with an unplanned pregnancy during the reign of Herod the Great (73/74 BCE - 4 BCE), the Roman client king of Judea... The baby was named Y'shua ben Yosef, which is to say "Yeshua son of Joseph."
Part Three: Impact of the American Religious Experience
- The religious debates, revivals and awakenings impacted every aspect of American life and beyond. Even in the East these American revivals had significant impact.
Part Four: Eastern Influences
- Once Roman Universalism (i.e. Catholicism) was established in the 4th century CE, very little meaningful dialogue occurred between Christian and non-Christian philosophers or religionists other than during missionary attempts... One thing that makes our current time unique to the American religious experience is the degree of non-Christian participation
Part Five: Globalism
- Many American Jews and Christians are seeking new less demanding, more inclusive, religious consciousness and forms. The growing communication with the East today is seen by many as critical in developing a widely desired global secular religion and political union. But at what cost?
Part Six: The Noahide Church
- Y'shua's (Jesus') brother James led the first century disciples and sent missionaries out into the Diaspora. Through the efforts of the Twelve Disciples (especially Peter and Paul), the original Jewish Way reform Movement quickly spread throughout Judea and lost its connection with Judaism and Torah.
Part Seven: The Rise of Islam
- With the rise of Islam circa 624-733 CE the Church faced stiff competition for the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of the world. Between 661 and 750 CE the armies of the Islamic Ummah conquered a large portion of the known world, China excepted. Determined that shari'a would be submitted to by everyone on earth.
Part Eight: The Church Divided
- In what remained of the embattled Roman Christian Empire following the Muslim assaults the Church was divided into two main bodies. The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church was centered in Constantinople (now Istanbul in northwest Turkey), and the Roman Orthodox Catholic Church, remained centered in Rome
Part Nine: Renewed Jewish Mysticism: Zohar and Kabbala
- The Jews of galut (or exile) manifested remarkable spiritual achievements throughout the Christian era, but generally out of the lime light. For instance the fifteenth century Jewish mystic Elias del Medigo and his disciple Picus de Mirandula were quite influential in the development of Jewish Theosophy.
Part Ten: Other Non-Christian Revivals
- Another example of non-Christian revival during the ascendancy of the Church occurred among the Wiccan/Pagan populations
Part Eleven: The Holy Inquisitions
- Beginning in 1232 the Christian rulers seriously sought to quell the spread of what they considered renewed ancient heresies. The Catholic Bishops ordered their subjects to disavow all non-Catholic beliefs and practices on pain of torture and death. This included Judaism and the pre-Christian indigenous religions of Europe.
Part Twelve: Post Christian America
- Today Christianity is no longer the most significant religious presence anywhere on earth, although it remains popular among some Americans and others. Secular Humanism, an essentially New Age spirituality, and religious apathy have clearly replaced Christianity in most areas outside of the Islamic world, which is fast becoming ever more dominant and more strictly observed.
Part Thirteen: The Ninety Five Theses of the Reformation
- The Sixteenth century Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther (one of history's most notorious anti-Semites), Calvin, and Zwingli did not intend to leave the Roman Catholic Church. They merely hoped to reform it.
Part Fourteen: Fundamentalist Christianity
- Today as the Church is dwindling in numbers and social relevance one segment appears to be almost holding its own: Fundamentalist Christianity.
Part Fifteen: "Messianic Judaism"
- This old/renewed heresy is taking place among Fundamentalist Christians today. These people are not religiously Jewish in their beliefs, nor in some cases doctrinally Christian. They exist in a no-man's land between the two religions. The vast majority are not Halachically Jews and yet they refer to themselves as Messianic Jews.
Part Sixteen: Das Aufklärung and Haskalah
- For over a thousand years the Church had been viewed as the bastion of intellectual thought and authority in the West. then came the Age of Enlightenment or Das Aufklärung
Part Seventeen: More on Das Aufklärung: The Enlightenment: Secular Humanism
- Christian and Jewish theology and religious piety was systematically being replaced by a materialistic belief in the fundamental goodness of nature. Any meaningful belief in God was quickly waning both in concept and in practice. Everything was becoming relative. Little in religion was accepted as absolute or objectively true.
Part Eighteen: Romanticism and the First Great Awakening
- What is known as the Romantic era (or Romanticism) began in Europe during the mid to late 1700's in response to Das Aufklärung (i.e. the Enlightenment discussed previously) and came to the Americas with the original settlers.
Part Nineteen: The First Great Awakening
- This First Great Awakening began in the Dutch Reformed Churches of New Jersey circa 1726. It soon spread to the Presbyterian and Congregationalist communities. The Awakening finally reached its zenith in New England in the 1740's.
Part Twenty: E Pluribus Unum
- The spiritual fires ignited by the First Great Awakening spread southward into Virginia and to points beyond during the exciting days of the 1750's. It was impossible to maintain the fervor of the new Christian zealots however, and the Awakening fires soon cooled. Although somewhat short lived, the impact of this First Great Awakening was essential for the colonies as it created a bond between them, a spirit of e pluribus unum (i.e. "Out of many, one").
Part Twenty-One: The Second Great Awakening
- Towards the end of the eighteenth century and through the middle years of the nineteenth the spirit of Awakening reemerged. This renewal is often referred to as the Second Great Awakening (generally dated 1790-1830).
Part Twenty-Two: The Third Great Awakening Begins: D.L. Moody and the Fundamentalists
- The Third Great Awakening occurred just prior to the onset of the First World War. It had a profound impact on American and global religion. As a direct result of this Awakening the future was fundamentally altered as a plethora of religious innovators appeared on the scene setting the stage for the religion of the Twentieth Century.
Part Twenty-Three: The Third Great Awakening: William Miller
- William Miller (1782 - 1849) was a charismatic American Baptist preacher. His spiritual descendants are sometimes known as Millerites. His "Adventist" teachings (i.e. focusing on the second 'advent' or coming of Jesus) of the 1830s and 40s were very influential later on.
Part Twenty-Four: The Third Great Awakening: Prophet Ellen White
- Those who remained loyal to Miller's teachings and calculations had to come up with an answer for this catastrophic failure. And they did.
Part Twenty-Five: The Third Great Awakening: Charles Taze Russell, International Bible Students, and Jehovah's Witnesses
- Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 - October 31, 1916) was a deeply religious man from his earliest years. In 1881 Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was founded. In 1884 the organization was legally chartered. There were now hundreds of "Russellites" spreading his teachings and Russell came to be known as "the Pastor."
Part Twenty-Six: The Third Great Awakening: Calculating Armageddon
- Many of the reformers of the Third Great Awakening were fascinated by biblical prophecy and the End Times. Such studies can easily become a compulsion!
Part Twenty-Seven: The Third Great Awakening: Rabbinic and Karaite Judaism
- Judaism has always been very diverse and yet the Jews, in part because of historic persecution, always managed to maintain cohesiveness as a people. This began to change during the Russian Pogroms of the Third Great Awakening:
Part Twenty-Eight: The Third Great Awakening: The Trefa Banquet
- Inspired by Das Aufklärung and Haskalah certain American Jews began working to redefine or modernize American Judaism. This Jewish reformation exploded within the heart of American Judaism when, in July of 1883, the Trefa Banquet was held.
Part Twenty-Nine: The Third Great Awakening: The Devaluation of Human Life
- Secular Humanism ravaged people's faith like a soulless beast and replaced it with nothing but a void of doubt and uncertainty. For some Secular Humanists humans came to be viewed as parasites the world would be better off without!
Part Thirty: Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky
- HPB (Madame Blavatsky), an 'expert' Russian Spiritualist, maintained that only in the East, which she considered to be the 'cradle of Occultism', were the ancient mysteries preserved intact. These Occult truths held the keys to the future and the past. She claimed that she had been initiated into certain Occult lodges there and had come to America to point the way Eastward. Those who embraced her movement and its inner "Luciferin" teachings would soon rule the world. In this she was correct, for a time.
Part Thirty-One: The Third Great Awakening: The Azuza Street Revival, Jewish Hasidism expands, Secular Mysticism, and More
- With so many diverse groups and ideologies arising during these few years even the most jaded skeptic must surely acknowledge that 'something' unusual was going on! Human consciousness was awakening (or going insane!), and yet with no apparent unified direction most of its potential was either wasted or misdirected.
Part Thirty-Two: The Third Great Awakening Concluded
- The World Parliament of Religions at the 1893 World's Fair housed along the banks of Lake Michigan in Chicago, was much more than a fair. Its White City World Parliament of Religions promoted "a new and more religious idea of divine providence through all ages and all lands." Its impact is seldom given the recognition it deserves.
Part Thirty-Three: Interjacent of the Third Great Awakening and the modern Era.
- The Scopes Monkey Trial. Traditional American religion was dying on the vine. Scientific and Secular Humanism was becoming the religion of the day. Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882) and his theories gained popular support during this period. The theory of natural selection gradually replaced biblical creationism in the nation's schools. The Christian push-back theories sometimes referred to "Creation Sciences" were largely baseless and denied their own beliefs.
Part Thirty-Four: Father Coughlin, Hitler, and the Return of the Occult
- During the Third Great Awakening people were witnessing the dawn of the modern Secular State. Those who warned that the Humanist dream was in reality a nightmare of epic proportions that was being unleased on the generally gullible public, were quickly dismissed as fanatics, paranoids, or lunatics.
Part Thirty-Five: The Fourth Great Awakening?: The 1960's and 70's
- And then the world exploded! George Orwell, Aldus Huxley, the Beatles, and Timothy Leary:
"Onward Through The Fog!"
Part Thirty-Six: A Jewish Awakening During a Time of Political and Religious Slumber
- Rabbi Meir Kahane (Z"L) and the JDL, Shlomo Carlebach, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, and more
Part Thirty-Seven: The JUBU: Jewish-Buddhists
- Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Jewish Renewal. While historically Judaism has sought to avoid merging with other belief systems the new social drive towards universalism was becoming ever more seductive to Jews as to Americans in general.
Part Thirty-Eight: After 'Nam
- In the years following the Vietnam "police action" what had appeared to be the dawning of a Fourth Great Awakening (the Age of Aquarius) collapsed and the Me Generation was born.
Part Thirty-Nine: Pre-September 11
- Absolute Relativity, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Islam Rising
Part Forty: The Jesus Family Tomb and the Ascendancy of New Age Religion
- The 2002 discovery of the remains of Jesus, his mother, brother and son. Also, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Yogi Bhajan and 3/HO Sikhism.
Part Forty-One: His Divine A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
- The International Society For Krishna Consciousness: Hare Krishna!
Part Forty-Two: The New Age Continues to Expand
- Guru Maharaji, "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo," Swami Muktananda, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Children of God, the Church of Satan, the OTO, Jews For Jesus, Burning Man, the Beatles, and much more.
Part Forty-Three: "The Dream is Over"
- Move, Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Secret Government
Part Forty-four: The War OF Terror
- 9-11 Changed Everything!
Awakeing in the Future: Where will YOU go from here?!
- This is an ongoing effort. Check back often and please remember to "like" and share.
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