The Great Awakenings

The Essence of Contemporary American Religion

© John of AllFaith*

American Religion -- then, now, and in the future

Part One: America the Formerly 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 Yeshua 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 a significant impact.

Part Four: Eastern Influences

  • 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... The degree of non-Christian participation makes our current time unique to the American religious experience.

Part Five: Globalism

  • Many American Jews and Christians seek 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

  • Yeshua's (Jesus') brother James led the first-century disciples and sent missionaries into the Diaspora. Through the efforts of the Twelve Disciples (especially Peter and Paul), the original Jewish Way reform movement quickly spread throughout the known world 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 world's hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Between 661 and 750 CE, the armies of the Islamic Ummah conquered a large portion of the known world, other than China. Determined that everyone on earth would submit to shari'a.

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 stayed out of the limelight. For instance, the fifteenth-century Jewish mystic Elias del Medigo and his disciple Picus de Mirandula were influential in developing Jewish Theosophy, but few know of them today.

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, including 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 a dwindling selection of Americans and others. Secular Humanism, an essentially New Age spirituality, and religious apathy have replaced Christianity in most areas outside the Islamic world, which is fast becoming 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 'Nicolaitan heresy' is gaining popularity, especially among Fundamentalist Christians today. These people are not religiously Jewish in their beliefs, nor in some cases doctrinally Christian. Indeed, they generally know nothing of the Way sect of Yeshua ben Miriam. They exist within a no-man's land between the two great religions without a connection to the third. The vast majority are not Halachically Jewish, yet refer to themselves as Messianic Jews. Rather than restoring the Jewish Way sect as they intend, they often create only more divisions within Christendom.

Part Sixteen: Das Aufklärung and Haskalah

  • For over a thousand years, the Church had been viewed as the West's bastion of intellectual thought and authority but then arose the Age of Enlightenment or Das Aufklärung.

Part Seventeen: More on Das Aufklärung: The Enlightenment: Secular Humanism

  • Christian and Jewish theology and religious piety are being systematically replaced by a materialistic belief in the fundamental goodness of nature. Any meaningful belief in God is quickly waning in conception and practice. During this period, 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 1700s 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 1740s.

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 1750s. 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") that unified the people into a coherent nation. 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 before the onset of the First World War. It had a profound impact on American and global religions. 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 Globalist religions 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.

Part Twenty-Four: The Third Great Awakening: 'Prophetess' 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 J's Witnesses

  • Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 - October 31, 1916) was a deeply religious man from his earliest years. Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was founded in 1881. In 1884, the organization was legally chartered. There were now hundreds of "Russellites" spreading his teachings, and Russell became 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! And they did.

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 historical persecution, always managed to maintain a degree of 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 ["unclean" or non-kosher] Banquet" was held.

Part Twenty-Nine: The Third Great Awakening: The Devaluation of Human Life begins in earnest:

  • Secular Humanism ravaged people's faith like a soulless beast, replacing it with a void of materialism, doubt, and uncertainty. The Secular Humanists came to view humans as parasites. This ideology quickly led to the widespread embrace of infanticide or abortion. It inspired people like Hitler to justify genocide.

Part Thirty: Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky

  • HPB (Madame Blavatsky), a supposedly 'expert' Russian Spiritualist, maintained that only in the East, which she considered the 'cradle of Occultism,' were the ancient mysteries kept intact. Occult truths held the keys to the future and the past. She claimed that she had been initiated into certain Occult lodges and had come to America to point the way Eastward. She promised those who embraced her movement and its inner "Luciferin" teachings would soon rule the world. In this, she was correct for a time.
    As the man much of the world feared was the Anti-Christ came onto the world stage in the 1930s, HPB's teachings became pivotal to his vision of the global Third Reich. Dietrich Eckart, a close student of MPB, boasted that he had initiated Adolf Hitler into Theosophy's Secret Doctrine."

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!), yet with no apparent unified direction, most of its potential was 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 with the mandate of law. The Christian push-back theories, sometimes called "Creation Sciences," were largely baseless in the eyes of courts and denied their own beliefs, causing more Christians to abandon their faith.

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 unleashed onto the generally gullible public were quickly dismissed as fanatics, paranoids, or lunatics. However, they were correct, as history proved.

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 it was 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 (an "Age of Aquarius") collapsed, and the "Me Generation" was born, the Hippie movement died, and the Globalists won.

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"

  • The Move Compound, Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Clintons, the Secret Government.

Part Forty-four: The War OF Terror

  • 9-11 Changed Everything!

2022: The Globalists have bankrupted the world, silenced free speech, and brought us to the brink of a global nuclear war and the foretold War of Magog. Innocent children are being legally murdered, and the general population supports it. Gender confusion, perversions of all kinds, and anti-white racism are now accepted as normal and even good. Christianity and Judaism have become viewed as cults by the government, media, and a large percentage of the public. Latin Mass Catholics are being placed on terrorist watch lists. Many Jews and Christians have assimilated into the globalist agenda so that they embrace such anti-religious bigotry. The world has gone insane.

Awakening in the Future: What will YOU do now that the War of Magog seems imminent? As the prophet stated, "As for me and my house, we will trust in HaShem.

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John of AllFaith

* By John of AllFaith, © 1989, John F Kennedy University, updated October 22, 2023

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