Signing of the Mayflower Compact.
An essay by Gavin Finley MD
1. Puritan History, Past, Present and Future. An Introduction to this study. 2. John Winthrop and the Puritan dream of a shining 'city upon a hill'. 3. 'Manifest Destiny' is rooted in the Puritan dream of a 'nation under God'. 4. The Puritan belief in a 'Nation Under God' goes back to ancient Israel. 5. Gutenberg, Bibles and the Reformation bring in the Pilgrims and Puritans. 6. The Puritans rise up in the 1600's to dominate English Parliament. 7. The Puritan Army goes to battle against the king in the English Civil War. 8. The Puritan Army wears yellow ribbons and sashes in the English Civil War. 9. The Puritan Religion supports Parliament in the English Civil War. 10. Puritans vs. Pilgrims. Similarities and differences. 11. The Puritans in the New World and the signing of the Mayflower Compact. 12. Puritan belief and the American Revolution vs. the French Revolution. 13. America's Puritans today and the 'Religious Right' 14. The abortion issue and America's Puritans today 15. Today's Puritans and the expansion of America's global peacemaking role. 16. Today's American Puritans and the rise of Dominion Theology 17. Puritan belief and the future history of America.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION VS. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION;
AND THE VISIT OF ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE. (1831-32)It has been said that "Man proposes; But God disposes".
There is a God who is sovereign in the affairs of men. Wise observers of nations and history will recognize and take note of this. They will look into history and see the connection between the rise and fall of Godly virtue and moral integrity in a nation and the rise and fall of the nation itself. When an open and honest student of history compares the French Revolution with the American Revolution and considers the spiritual dimensions involved in the histories of each nation he will be drawn to some rather stark and awesome conclusions.
Such an observer was Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville. He came to America in 1831 from his native France on a study tour. He traveled throughout the new nation which was then forming as the United States of America. He observed and reflected on what he saw. He was well aware of the history of both the French Revolution and the American Revolution. In the latter part of the 1700's the French nation and the American colonies had both overthrown their respective monarchical rulers. De Tocqueville had wondered about the anarchy and mayhem of the French Revolution. It had brought such shame to his country. Now he was in America. Things seemed to have turned out differently over in the New World. The French Revolution had been a great disappointment to humanistic Utopians from both sides of the Atlantic.
It didn't have to be this way. But the great nation of France had been first abused by her Church and then tyrannized by her state. The blessings of wealth and power do come to great nations. But they must be nurtured with all diligence. Because prosperity can, and often does, lead to corruption from within. The man, or the nation, who may have started out well can make wrong turns in the road. And the once proud nation can be quickly brought down. This is one of the perennial lessons of life. It is demonstrated repeatedly in the lives of men and in the broader history of nations. After a life of compromise with foreign women and foreign gods King Solomon finally had to admit,"Righteousness exalts a nation:When a nation forgets their God there are consequences.
But sin is a reproach to any people." - Prov.14:34
Our Apostle Paul brought us this admonition:"Be not deceived; God is not mocked.The Judeo-Christian God is sovereign in human affairs. When men and nations turn their face away from 'the God who is there' they become the poorer for it. They fall short of attaining the glorious destiny they could have seen and experienced. The scriptures are plain. There is a God who overrules in the history of nations.
For whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. - Gal.6:7
THE GLORY OF FRANCE.France, in her better moments, had been a nation of refinement, excellence and dignity. The French royal court set the standard in manners and in the graces. The French have led the way in world diplomacy. They even showed the English, (and the rest of us in western Christendom), the practice of dining with a knife and fork. At times, they have displayed heroic acts of grandeur.
One of the most glorious and inspiring moments in western history was seen during the Napoleonic Wars. At that time France was at the peak of her power. A naval action, which came to be called the Battle of the Nile, was witness to an extraordinary incident.
It was the summer of 1798 and the English Naval squadron under Lord Nelson had been searching the Med. for the French fleet. They finally found them just off the coast of Egypt. The English lookouts spotted French ships of the line at anchor near the port of Alexandria.
The French had been caught off guard. It was during the evening hours of that historic day when the English ships sailed in. A fierce naval battle of 2,000 guns was soon raging in the gathering darkness. The French soon found themselves in some real trouble. Nelson's ships, of shallower draft, were delivering broadsides on the French vessels from the landward side as well as the seaward side. The French were not prepared for this. So as well as being unable to maneuver or to sail clear they soon found themselves being raked by cannon fire from both sides.
Aboard the flagship L'Orient the French admiral's young son was on the gun deck. His orders had been to stay at his post. But now the ship was heavily damaged and on fire. The rest of the crew, those who were not lying dead or wounded, had abandoned ship. As they came in closer the English sailors were amazed at what they saw. There on the burning deck that faithful young French boy was standing alone and facing them. The flames were all around him. But there he stood. It was only a short time later that the fires reached the powder magazine deep in the bowels of the vessel. The boy perished when the whole ship erupted in a massive explosion.
The French flagship L'Orient blows up
during the Battle of the Nile.
The sound of L'Orient blowing up was heard at Rosetta 20 miles away. And the glow of the fireball was seen in Alexandria. It was an enormous explosion of a magnitude rarely seen back in those times. The English gunners stood in awe at what they had just witnessed. For some twenty minutes the guns were silent. The watching sailors were absolutely horrified at the carnage that had taken place. The British sent a ship to rescue what French sailors they could from the water. About 70 were saved.
The devotion of that boy who stood on that burning deck was remembered long afterwards. His story was told and retold throughout Christendom. It is still remembered today. English poet Mrs. Dorothea Hemans heard about it and wrote the poem 'Cassabianca'. You can read the poem here
During the 19th and early 20th centuries the poem appeared in textbooks of English literature on both sides of the Atlantic. Schoolchildren in England and throughout the British Commonwealth as well as in America learned the poem by heart. It became very famous throughout the English speaking world. The poem showcased this astounding act of loyalty. Many people could scarcely believe that such devotion was possible. The realms of darkness were moved as well. They were clearly disturbed by this demonstration of total commitment in Christendom. This is why those of a profane disposition have been inclined to derange and twist the poem into the bawdy lines we heard in the schoolyard growing up.
The poem begins with the well remembered opening verse 'The boy stood on the burning deck'.
Such was, and is, the grandeur and the glory which our French brothers and sisters demonstrate for us from time to time. The stories of French gallantry are legion. Another classic example was seen in the actions of French flying ace Georges Guynemer in his World War 1 single air combat with German ace Ernst Udet. You can read about this remarkable incident here.
In spite of their shortcomings we have repeatedly caught glimpses of this sort of gallantry and heroism in the history of France. Shall we see it again?
There are good reasons to believe that we shall. The prophet Joel saw the coming of an awesome End-Time Revival. (Joel 2:28-32) In that day the Holy Spirit will be pouring out upon all flesh. And the lights of the God of Abraham will shine into a darkened world and out among the nations. (Isa.60)
Men and nations, can exhibit noble and upright character. Then there are occasions when our unbridled flesh or self-deceived ego can get the better of us. On such occasions our human Adamic nature can take over and the glory departs. Our own willful self centered disposition can lead us down the garden path into godlessness and personal tragedy. People, and nations who have shown great promise can be deceived. Even after having been greatly blessed their fortunes can take a rapid change for the worse. They can be led astray by their lesser and darker angels. Individuals and nations are then brought down, sometimes into oblivion.
This is not just true of the French. These ups and downs happen to all of us to varying degrees. (Rom. 3:23) We have all experienced times when we wrestle with the dark side of our nature. This is why the English speaking nations, people who, (so far), have welcomed and make room for the Gospel in their national life and culture, have done better than those nations who have not.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION DESCENDS INTO A "REIGN OF TERROR". AND "FREEDOM" LIES STILLBORN UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE GUILLOTINE. THIS REIGN OF TERROR CAME FROM A SECULAR REVOLUTION WITHOUT VIABLE GODLY LEADERSHIP. THIS IN TURN CAME FROM AN EARLIER HISTORY, THE CRUSHING OF THE REFORMATION IN FRANCE. AND THIS WAS PRIMARILY A RESULT OF THE SAINT BATHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE 200 YEARS EARLIER.The late 1700's was a sad time to be alive in France. The French character, capable of such nobility and excellence, was brought down low. The people of that great nation have had many wonderful national and human resources. France had the world at her feet. She could have led Europe into a new glorious age. Instead, the proud nation descended into a chamber of horrors. The late 18th century would see the glory of France twisted and defiled. She became caught up in a man-centered humanistic revolution that was ugly from its very beginnings.
This article will emphasize the spiritual dimension to this history of the French Revolution and the American Revolution. This is the 'rest of the story' that has not been told. It has been left out of the history books by secularist educators.
The spiritual decline of France can be traced back to the 1500's. At that time the Bible had been translated into French. Predictably, this was fueling a Biblical revival. The Reformation had influenced one third of the population of France. But the established Church, (and this is a typical pattern), was dead set against this. The politico-religious powers in France were determined to crush the Reformation before it could get underway. And so they proceeded to do just that. An awful chain of events was soon set in motion. And during one horrific week in 1572 the nation and the Church orchestrated and loosed a murderous rampage against their fellow countrymen. This was the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
This was an amazing event. It was not just a campaign against Protestant reformers. It was a Church sanctioned, premeditated, pre-planned mass murder of over 100,000 Biblical Christians. And it went on for weeks throughout the length and breadth of France. There was no place to run to. And no place to hide. There was "no exit".
This "no exit" nightmare became a preoccupation of the French existentialists that arose in the following centuries. The psyche of France is still characterized by an awful "angst" and a recurring sense of existential emptiness. We see it showcased in French literature, the novels, the plays, and the French film industry. A great spiritual emptiness still haunts the great nation of France today. Could this be traced back to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the murderous campaigns against the Huguenots?
The poppies still bloom in the open fields.
And they still bear witness to the lost flower of France.
Does this moroseness we see in France come from this great unconfessed national sin?
Is this blood guiltiness the source of the French malaise?
We shall discuss this bloody national and ecclesiastical act later on in this article.
And we shall bring some of the damning hidden ecclesiastical details to the light of day.
The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France.
- Aug. 1572 Click on the image for more info.
The Jesuits were the main persecutors and instigators of the murderous rampage against Biblical Christianity in France at that time. And the campaign against Biblical Christianity continued on into the 16th century. The Jesuit form of Church Dominionism continued to flaunt its power in France. A wonderful Biblical revival had been flowering. But it was trampled underfoot by Church and state. The Machiavellian machinations of Jesuit Cardinal Richelieu were astonishing in their scope and power. Under direct orders from Rome the cardinal, then "prime minister" in France, waged a bloody military campaign against the French Huguenots. This whole shameful and tragic saga ended at the siege of La Rochelle. This was truly a sad day for France.
The scattering of the lights of the French Reformation was a great loss for France and for European Christendom. France was cut off from the very spiritual nurturing that would have brought the nation many great blessings. The Good News of personal salvation in the Gospel is no enemy of the established Church or of the state. The spiritual food it brings to hungry hearts builds great moral strength into the citizenry of a nation. This personal accountability before God leads to personal integrity and good citizens. This is what really makes a nation great and keeps them free.
The failure of freedom in the French Revolution had a spiritual basis. It was more than just a "choice" of "state" over "individual" as we have been told. The French attempt to craft a republic failed because the people, the individual building blocks of society, had been spiritually malnourished. French children were deprived of the Gospel. And they did not get the good moral teaching that goes along with this.
The result of this campaign against the French Bible was a deep spiritual malaise among the French masses. And so when the French Revolution came along the result was quite predictable. After the mobs had shed innocent blood and destroyed property the state rose up to restore order. French citizens did not have the personal character to take a leading role. They had been spiritually deprived by a Church that had cut them off from the Holy Scriptures and a personal faith lived out before God and men. And so they were kept as peasants, being personally ill equipped to take a responsible leading role in the establishment of a democratic republic in France. So the French nation ended up with the government they deserved. It turned out to be a dictatorship.
That, dear readers, is why the state won out over the individual in the French Revolution.
It also explains why true personal freedom lay stillborn in France.
There is a huge spiritual dimension to this history.
Unfortunately it is a story that has not been told.
Of course the flowery oratory was still there. "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!" This was proclaimed by the spokesmen of the French Revolution. But the mobs of hoodlums in the streets were going from bad to worse. Noble and godly French citizens were summarily tried by kangaroo courts and sent to their deaths. What "liberty, equality, and fraternity" had they seen under mob rule. Precious little. Freedom languished in the gutter under the shadow of the guillotine.
There is a very important lesson to be learned by Americans in the history of France in the 16th to 18th Centuries and particularly in the French Revolution. There has arisen in America in recent years a certain zeal to "separate church and state". If this is interpreted as the non-establishment of a religious denomination by the state then this is fine. Such a policy is true and correct and faithful to the intentions of the founders of the nation. Pilgrims from the Anabaptist flows of Biblical Christianity, (unlike the Puritans, also favor the separation/non-establishment of an institutionalized Church, (which they know from history would be controlled by the state and ultimately turn around and persecute uncompromising Christians). They still remember the tens of millions who died at the hands of established church, both Catholic and Protestant, in previous centuries. But if "separation of church and state" means that state empowered secularism is let loose to ravage religious faith in the nation well then that is an entirely different matter.
We need to remember our history lessons here. The political machinations we are seeing rise up in recent years are throwbacks to the French Revolution. And what sort of history was birthed out of this national experiment in state secularism? The Illuminist rhetoric was "liberty, equality, fraternity!" But the proud French nation received something quite the opposite. Instead of the Utopian rationalistic wonderland they expected the French Revolution delivered up a veritable chamber of horrors, something that came to be called the "Reign of Terror". The French experiment in "freedom, equality, and fraternity" proved to be anything but that. The monstrous history that unfolded was a bloody affront to freedom, and especially freedom of religion.
Mob rule is an awful thing. Robespierre was one of the founding fathers of the French Revolution. If you take a look at the image with the guillotine at the top of this article you will see one of the French founding fathers. In this French painting the head of the great and flowery orator Robespierre is being lifted up by the executioner, to the shrill cries of the godless anarchistic mob. The image on the left shows a more peaceful history. As we see, the early American story was quite different.
Luciferian Freemasons in France had dreamed of a French Utopia and set about to bring it into reality. But their dark angels had deluded them, carrying France to the edge of the Abyss. The French Revolution was a disaster. The nobility of France, her Reformist Biblical Christians the Huguenots, her educators, her sea captains, and a host of other worthy individuals in the citizenry of France went to Dr. Guillotine's blood spattered machine.
The wounds in the nation of France were deep and grievous. These wounds have yet to heal. And the full scope of this dreadful and shameful history has yet to be properly addressed in Western Christendom.
So here we go again with the same drive to crush Biblical Christian faith. Only this time the specter of a militant hard-line state secularism is raising its ugly head in America. The present ideological war being waged by the state and the Hollywood culture upon Biblical Christian faith has been and continues to be devastating in its impact. In the high schools and colleges our youth are being deliberately "dumbed down" and kept misinformed by those who rule at the top of the academic hierarchies.
This is so sad to see. History should be inspiring, engender hope, uplift truth, and teach valuable moral lessons. But alas, the history written down in our textbooks and being indoctrinated into our young people is dry and boring. And why? Because this spiritually and morally devitalized educational material is incomplete. It is missing its vital spark. And how did this happen? For the past hundred years the syllabuses of history have been run through a grid of rationalism, humanism, and more recently, "political correctness". All too often the history taught in the classrooms has been stripped of its key spiritual lessons. The doctored account of past history appears in the textbooks in the milieu of cold economics and a dry and empty rationalistic secularism. The powerful academic elites at the very top are in the driver's seat here. They dream up their biased and twisted story according to what they want their underlings to believe happened in times past. And so the history that our young people are forced to learn and regurgitate in school or for the college professor with the pink bow-tie is a history that never was.
This is a travesty. History should never be censored. The whole story should be told, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Never should vital parts of the human saga be edited out on the whims of Illuminist academic committees. The chronicles of past eras should be faithful to the truth. History should be respected and revered for all the things it has to teach us. Never should it be re-engineered for the masses whether it be for the purpose of social, political, or cultural programming or anything else for that matter. It is no wonder our school children today are bored, stir crazy, and unable to focus in class. 25% of American children are on Ritalin to treat so-called "attention deficit disorder". Public schools are often undisciplined jungles and all too often our children are subject to bullying by others. They are being fed an artificial educational diet which is deprived of its essential nutrients. All this is leaving our children spiritually and educationally malnourished.
Christian faith is lived out by grace through faith. It involves the whole person. It is not just a compartment in our brain we label as "religion". It is a relationship with a personal God. And His Presence within leads us into a new and living Way, a new lifestyle that involves our whole being. The normal Christian life is not just a ritual performed on Sunday morning in a church building.
Let us face the facts here. The extraordinary freedom we have enjoyed in the English-Speaking world did not come to us by accident. Great Britain and America have both seen many awakenings and revivals in recent centuries. Personal Christian faith in the nation has been bolstered and this has been the key to our success. The God who resides within the heart is the key here. He is the real preserver of life, liberty, and property. Our faith is a vital part of our integrity, our sense of responsibility, our concern for others, and who we really are, both as agents of heaven above and as citizens of nations here on earth. Faith is absolutely crucial to the American success. It should never be shut out or "checked at the door" on some twisted pretext of "separation of Church and State".
How then should we respond to this challenge. If we find that Christian faith has been banned from the schoolroom we should not stir up trouble or cause a fracas. We should quietly withdraw our children. They should not have to suffer in an educational system ruled over at the very top by godless hardliners. We should find another school for our children, - one that is not so narrow minded. Either that or home-school them if we can.
As we evaluate the economy of a nation most would agree that we should go beyond a bare assessment of a nation's natural resources, capital, and labor. Human resources are now evaluated in the economy of a nation. But this is still not sufficient. A nation's spiritual resources within those human resources should also be considered. They are in the picture here. In fact, the spirit of a nation is even more important. In the American national experience Christianity has been proven to be a precious national heritage.
Do we have proof of that? We certainly do. Here in this essay we are examining reactions in two test tubes, two trials for the making of a successful republic. The late 18th Century saw these two experiments carried out almost side by side. The American Revolution came to us as a "nation under God". It was a success. The French Revolution was based upon "human reason and Nature worth-ship without God". It was a dismal failure. What are we supposed to conclude from this? Can we look and learn?
The faith that began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob makes the difference in the destiny of men and nations. This is the faith, the hope and the love that brings the personal faith, lifts up personal integrity of citizens, and blesses the land. This is the faith that inspired and ordered the American Revolution. It also birthed the substantially harmonious and prosperous society Americans have enjoyed. Out of that faith comes the righteous rule and the graces that good people have always appreciated and praised in a civilized society.
Was the American revolution perfect? No. Not at all.
Will holy history produce something better in times to come?
Oh yes. And it relates to End-Time Bible prophecy.
But that is another story for another time.
Let's cut to the chase here. As we look back at the French Revolution we can make this clear observation. During those awful years the true spirit, heart, and life of France was fading away, - or in the case of the Huguenots, leaving the country. As a matter of fact Paul Revere was one of them The cause of this great national tragedy was readily apparent. The Christian faith in France was under siege. The principalities and powers behind the French Revolution were very deliberate in what they were doing. And what they were up to was very obvious for those who have eyes to see. They were attempting to trample Christianity under foot.
Mobs storm the Bastille in 1789.
And the French Revolution is birthed in anarchy.
So the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution was no accident of history. The spiritual basis for integrity in the body politic was not present. Accordingly true freedom simply could not be sustained in the hearts and lives of the French people of the time. And this was the sad result. The people got the government they deserved. This stillbirth of freedom in the French republic had a cause. It stemmed directly from earlier histories and the plot to crush the French Reformation and abolish personal Christian faith in France. The leaders of the French Revolution had set out to bring down their God and their king. But in this they had loosed the dark angels of anarchy. Now the rabble in the streets were bringing down their country.
The principles involved here are quite simple and straightforward. There can be no big expansions of individual freedom for citizens without the attendant personal integrity of those people to govern themselves in righteousness. Freedom calls not for violence but for the peaceful and constructive involvement of a helping virtuous citizenry who are at peace with God and with their fellow man. This comes from a sense of personal accountability and responsibility of individuals before God and country.
France without God did not have this in the 18th Century. Citizens who rise up and murder their fellow countrymen and fail to respect their rights and property have done themselves a disservice. They have just disqualified themselves from the high calling of true freedom. They have undermined the very foundations of their own personal or national security. They may talk of freedom and claim freedom. Like Robespierre, they may deliver flowery oratories on freedom. But there will be no fruit on the vine. They have sown the wind of lawlessness. And so they will reap the whirlwind of anarchy and national tragedy. This was the real story of the French Revolution. Unfortunately this critical lesson of history is not being told.
Liberty Leading the People
By Eugiene Delacroix (1830). Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.
The Reign of Terror was a squalid affair. With a solid spiritual foundation France could have led Christendom into a wonderful future. But alas, the great nation had been spiritually deprived. Her power hungry churchmen had rejected the religious awakenings that were starting to appear and refused to lead the people forward. Faithful priests were there to be sure, but the hierarchical system was compromised and corrupt. And so the French nation remained in a medieval spiritual state. In short, they were spiritually malnourished. The French citizens, bright and intelligent though they were, ended up being outclassed in the inspiration and integrity department compared to the citizens of the English speaking world.
This spiritual impoverishment would have dire consequences as the 1700's wore on. When France came to her time of dominance as the superpower of Western Christendom she was unprepared. The nation was not ready for the challenges that would come when its citizens overthrew the French monarchy. The French Republic started out with the best of intentions. But the proud nation did not have the personal strengths, the integrity, the social responsibility, or the "rugged individualism" that the American colonists had. So the French Revolution, slip sliding into anarchy, was unable to secure or to keep freedom for its citizens. So the gifted and proud nation of France staggered down the chute. Her humanistic man-centered Revolution was without spiritual foundations. So it failed. It proved to be little more than a painful, tragic, and prolonged saga of bloody anarchy.
The godless travesty of the French Revolution against noble French people was finally relieved.
But that relief only came when France went under martial law with the military dictatorship of Napoleon.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION EMBRACES STATE RULE BASED ON "HUMAN REASON".The French Revolution was a sad chapter for France. It was a national tragedy of epic proportions. That revolution would be the forerunner for many violent revolutions that would follow it in the modern era. Both communist Utopians and fascist Utopians would be in the coffee shops expounding their favorite man-centered state ideologies. When these fond notions took hold and piqued the imaginations of profane men they went on to be financed by the men in black to become even more popular. These new secularist political entities, whether they be left wing or right wing, cut God out of the equation. And the politics of Western Civilization was changed; - for the worse. Whether it was Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China under Mao, or Communist Cambodia under Pol Pot, these new humanistic ideologies all had this in common. Being promoted by certain elites they became wildly popular. Then they went on to become bloody failures.
AND SECULAR HUMANISM BEGINS TO BE TESTED IN THE CRUCIBLE OF HISTORY.
Secular humanism, (far more than the much lambasted "religion"), has spawned human tragedies of unprecedented magnitude. A survey of past history will confirm this fact. There were 50 million dead in World War 11. 60 million dead in Russia under Stalin's purges. 75 million dead under Mao's Red Guard in Communist China. Under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge 25% of the population of Cambodia was slaughtered in the killing fields or died of starvation and forced labor. During the 20th Century a large proportion of the dead were not military combatants on some battlefield. Many were innocent women and children dying in or close to their homes. Others died in concentration camps or in the Gulags. So during the modern era secular regimes have not delivered on their Utopian promises. Instead they have brought misery and death to tens of millions. So next time an agnostic, atheist, or secular humanist wants to remind you of those that died because of religion take a moment to remind them of their history.
With the coming of the French Revolution the former reverence the French nation had for the Judeo-Christian God faded even further away. God and king was replaced by a humanistic state governed by its elites and its bureaucracies. The Brave New World lifted up a new devotion to "human reason" and to "self". Secular humanism was the new "faith" and the "intelligentsia" including men of science became the new high priests. Even today, science offers the last word on everything and few dare to question their pronouncements. If they say life began by accident or in a "Big Bang" 15 million years ago then that is what students must regurgitate to their teachers. And if a college professor in cell biology so much as whispers about the possibility of "intelligent design" they are immediately terminated, lose tenure, and are black-balled with no hope of having their work published. See the Youtube videos or purchase on Amazon the video 'Expelled' by Ben Stein.
The 18th Century saw the era of machines advance in grand fashion. And the machine was the man-made idol now erected in the human heart. The specter of man as a unit in a machine or in more recent times part of a digital matrix is still with us today. The so-called "Enlightenment" said in effect that "man was the measure of all things". And even going back to the Garden of Eden man having enthroned himself at the center of the universe was going to discount God and reject any outside revelation that might come to us through the Holy Scriptures. Instead they substituted the worth-ship, (or worship), of man. Nature, (with a capital "N"), was now being set up by the state to be celebrated at the altar of the French heart. And so the curtains of human vision were pulled down lower to block out an upward view to the God of heaven. To their mind, naturalism had trumped the supernatural. Out of this came French and German rationalism
Because they had surrendered their destiny to mere man, Nature, and the machine there would be terrible repercussions. The French would not only lose their faith and their hope as a nation. They would also lose the very thing they had dumped God to seek out. They would lose their freedom.
This critically important issue is explored further in the YouTube video below by noted Christian Indian Professor Vishal Mangalwadi. This video is part three of four videos by this wonderful teacher. He goes far beyond the usual secularist treatment of history we get in the West. Professor Mangalwadi incorporates a Biblical world view that is both refreshing and inspiring. He brings out the forgotten and tabooed spiritual dimension to Western history. The result is a clear and telling view of the French and American republics as they emerged into the modern era.
Other videos can be found on Professor Mangalwadi's YouTube channel.
The new mindset and the mind game this new god of "self", "reason", and "Nature" brought to France was nothing new. It was something that harked back to the pagan Greeks. "Human reason" was being lauded and applauded. This was the basis for the giddy oratory of the "Enlightenment. It led very directly and logically to the regicide, the murder of Biblical Christians, the malignant campaign against noble citizens, the bloody social engineering, and a host of other crimes against humanity committed by the French Revolution in the late 18th century.
There is a big story here that will not be seen in our present day history books. The number one idolatry of modern history, was back then in France, (and still remains today in America), the worship of "self". This is the devotion of a self-deluded narcissistic humanism. Whether that humanism is "secular humanism" or whether it is a more veiled and sinister "religious humanism" matters little. Man has put himself on the throne. And he worships himself in the mirror of his own pride. This is the arrogance, the hubris that brings down nations.
There is a hidden sinister angel overshadowing all this dark man-centered humanism. His name is Lucifer. The Holy Scriptures showcase him as the angel of godless self-centeredness. He has rebelled against God from the beginning. He represents the apex of evil in the angelic realm and heads up the angelic principalities and powers who are presently bearing rule over the nations in this present evil age. This was the dark specter rising up in the 18th century. This humanistic man centered perspective on things was the new idolatry that was being installed in the heart of western man.
France was the first to imagine the grandeur of this new religion of secular humanism with its attendant devotion to Nature. This was the new worth-ship, (or worship), that was now set to become state policy. Later this new man centered faith would also emerge in Germany and Russia and throughout the west. As the monarchies faded away in the modern era history would see the emergence of secular humanism based on a narcissistic self-worship. Worship of Nature and a reverence for man made material things in the created order would become the accepted norm in Western Christendom. Most of the European nations, to varying degrees, came under its spell.
For the French back in the late 18th century it was a giddy time. The new "god of reason" was rising up to the adulation of many. The rationalistic faithful were elated. They believed that their new god of reason would bring "freedom". Also coming up in the humanistic worship procession was a capricious, unknown, and uncaring god they referred to as 'Nature'. This new nature worship was deified with a capital 'N'. Of course it was still the same old paganism. But now it was dressed up in new coverings of science, and reason. The old Greek goddess of nature and feminism, Gaia, (also the goddess of the "gays"), was at Europe's front door and ready to party. The lady of liberty at that time was being extolled in France. She was talking of "freedom" and ready to go out on the town in Paris and celebrate. And so she did. See the painting, "Liberty leading the people" in the image up above.
All this secular humanism was supposed to bring "Enlightenment" to the world.
The French Revolution was supposed to bring Western Civilization into a new era of great progress and human happiness. The modern humanistic planning committees of "the revolution" promised to use reason, (and by that they meant man-centered, humanistic reason), to bring in a new Utopia. The French Revolution was supposed to engineer a progressive new modern human society in the same way that reasoning men were engineering machines. In fact "the machine", a system of rigid unification, was now the model for the perfect new regimented human society. The universe was now looked upon in a different way. It was a clockwork ticking along with its creator strangely absent, - or removed from sight. This was the new glory of science and engineering being celebrated and lifted up in the era of the Industrial Revolution.
The 1700's was the age of steam powered machines. Steam power was being harnessed to do many wonderful things. Human ingenuity was lauded. These were indeed heady times for western man. The French Revolution was supposed to lead the way into a glorious future with all these modern labor-saving engineering marvels.
Of course human progress under human reason would not stop there. Social engineering would be next. It would be conceived and executed in the same way it had been done for machines. Enlightened man would perform the very same magic on the French population. A new era of social wonders would take their place next to the engineering wonders of the age. Human government and society would be ordered in the same manner as that of clockwork and the machines now being powered by steam engines. Governmental engineers would dispense with the robes of emperors and churchmen. They would now ordain, order, and fabricate a new covering for modern man. And everybody would comply.
Of course the old religious superstitions would have to go. They would be swept aside and replaced by "science" and "human progress". The out-dated Judeo-Christian God would also have to be excommunicated as well. France would lead the world into a new era. The French version of a new world order would be based on the "human reason" and the scientific rationalism of Voltaire along with many other luminaries then emerging onto the scene. The French planning committees would take the machine as its model. Then by a process of social engineering they would proceed to craft a new society for the masses. Their plan was to transform the French nation into a veritable man-centered Utopia based on secular humanism.
Did they manage to achieve their dream?
Just what did the French people get from their experiment with a humanistic revolution?
And what did the watching world see?
History tell us the sad story. The glory of France had quietly departed. The national glory had departed when the true God of France had been shown the door. Now the word "Ichabod" was written on the threshold. All that France got for her new "Nature religion" and her worship of 'human reason' was a tragic period of history, that was unprecedented in Europe for its sheer horror. The French Revolution turned into a long drawn out tribulation period known as the "Reign of Terror". God forbid that we should ever see its likes again.
The spiritual dimension to this history of the French Revolution is a very important. It is a key to understanding what really happened during those awful years. Yet this side of the French Revolution story has been "cloaked". And so the spiritual lesson it brings home to us is seldom told. The spiritual roots that gave rise to the "Reign of Terror" is a story that does not appear in our textbooks. This is just another story of spiritual censorship forced upon us by our debauched western academia. They try to explain away their smokescreen by pushing the notion that "separation of church and state" means Christian faith and values is to outlawed in American government and in American public education. This is their taboo, something that they themselves, the Secularist faithful, are foisting upon the rest of us.
The expulsion of Christianity from France in the 18th Century and the national tragedies that followed is a hidden story. It is obvious that this history is a great embarrassment to the high priests and high priestesses of secular humanism who now presumes to set the agenda for education in America. In fact the French Revolution is a great embarrassment to any humanism for that matter, whether it be secular humanism or religious humanism.
SECULAR HUMANISM IS INTRODUCED INTO MODERN HISTORY BY FRANCE.Secular humanism comes in by serpentine seduction. It usually presents its noble intentions in some very appealing oratory before the masses. But history repeatedly reveals just how terrible and destructive this is in its implementation. We have seen what secular humanism actually does to those nations that embraced godless National Socialism and godless Communism. 50 million dead in World War 2 because of national socialism that emerged in German and Italian fascism. 60 million dead in Russia under Stalin. 70 million dead under Chairman Mao and his "red guards" and their "cultural revolution". And secularists say that "religion" causes war and bloodshed! Are we blind to the true roots of these horrendous 20th Century histories?
AND A BRIEF ASIDE ON THE EMERGING SPECTER OF RELIGIOUS HUMANISM.
But just as an aside, let us ask this question. Is there another hidden humanism out there yet to be fully expressed and revealed in world history? Could it actually be worse than secular humanism in its spiritual destructiveness? And is this spirit awaiting its turn to go up on the stage of history something we might call 'religious humanism'.
If so, then just who are the dark angels at work here? Just what is their game as they pull the strings on their human charges and as they take their seats at the top of the hierarchies? Just what is their agenda and their Utopian plan for the world and for humanity? Have we seen religious hysteria rise up and carry people away to their destruction in times past? Has such a thing happened in the West before?
Of course the answer is "yes". We saw it in the crusades 800-900 years ago There is in fact a religious spirit emerging in the West called Dominion Theology. It is gaining ground in American churches. It is now seeking full expression among people and nations that have claimed to be nations "under God". Could this dominionist spirit of religious humanism be quietly agitating for world takeover not by the Gospel but by the arm of Christian flesh? Is there a movement to preach a 'last crusade'?
Here we must be very discerning. True Christianity and the Gospel should not ever be maligned or shut out of society just because of some rogue religion appearing on the scene. This happened in France during the 1800's. At that time the secularists rose up and pushed the debauched French Church aside. Then they proceeded to over the French Revolution in the name of "Enlightenment", (human) Reason, and "Nature".
History does tell the sad story of religion run wild with the preaching of the First Crusade. Yes the crusades, just like the Islamic Jihads, were preached into existence. This was a profane carnal re-engineering of "christianity" to be sure. The crusades were not at all an expression of true Christian faith and practice. But here are the facts of history. The First Crusade was preached into existence in 1097 in Clermont France by Pope Urban.
So, we are left to answer this very important question. Could this "religious humanism", (which spawned that great Western tragedy known as the Crusades turn out to be just as bad, or even worse, than the "secular humanism" we have seen in the modern European history that began in the 1700's? And are elements of the "Last Crusade" being preached from the pulpits of the present American superpower today?
Whether it be secular humanism or religious humanism, both fall short of the glory of God. Each of them are evil Utopian visions entertained, crafted, and engineered by carnal domineering minds. Our popular culture of sex and bloody violence remains thoroughly medieval. In the continuing Arthurian legends the cross is still being magically transformed into the sword. The true cup of Christian communion becomes the "holy grail" and is spirited away and hidden. This is witchcraft, pure and simple with all its domination, intimidation and manipulation of the masses. Our western culture is now flooded with this spiritual poison. And western churchmen are becoming wealthy and powerful channeling these unholy flows of crusading christianity. Christians have been specifically warned about this in the New Testament Book of Jude.) Humanistic thinking, secular or religious, harks back to the Greeks, then before them to ancient Babylon, and all the way back to the garden of Eden. It was the serpent who introduced the skeptical thought, "Hath God said?" Both Secular humanism and religious humanism are Utopian visions with a carnal fleshly agenda for worldly implementation. Their plans are Hellenistic and pagan, being based upon man-centered philosophies rather than the authority of the true God we see showcased in Holy Scripture. And both secular humanism and religious humanism are man-centered belief systems and as such are deeply rooted in human pride.
Religious humanism is the more deceptive and seductive. This is the flavor of humanism that is now beginning to raise its ugly head. Religious humanism tries to swaddle itself in Christian coverings of holiness. Our Savior warned of "wolves in sheep's clothing". But religious humanism now discernable in Reconstructionism ,Dominion Theology, and the Replacement Theology twists Christianity into a churchy cult that alienates Israel. It is an unholy thing with a track record of deception and bloodguilt on a massive scale. The religious spirits at work here have dragged their duped human subjects a long way from the true devotion and consecration to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It has been said that the road to Hell is strewn with the wreckage of what began with the very best of intentions. The Crusades were a shameful, bloody, destructive, and tragic chapter in the history of Western Christendom. Pray God they are not repeated. A crusading Dominion Theology is actually just another more advanced and sophisticated expression of man-centered Greek style humanism. Nevertheless, this carnal and politicized religion of the beating drum is highly seductive, employing extremely sinister methods of religious command and control over the Christian masses. Those Christians who are superficial in their faith and do not know personally and intimately the Christ of the cross will be taken in. Jesus Himself said that the Agape God love of many would grow cold and many would fall away from the faith in the latter days. He said that all but the Elect would be deceived.
The Apostle John saw a terrible vision of the latter days of this age. He saw a vision of a compromised debauched harlot christianity. The awful thing is showcased for us in Revelation 17 and 18. John was absolutely astounded, even flabbergasted at what he saw. He saw a woman carrying a cup of defilement was riding a Beast with ten horns. This is an awful specter, and a warning of great deception yet to come. German Christians were taken in back during the 1930's during their days of deception. How about us?
Could "religious humanism" be preached into existence in the Christian west, even in America? This is indeed a sobering thought. Because such a system will surely come to a terrible judgment. All people of faith, it seems, will be tested in the crucible of the end-time drama.
Pray God that no one who reads these pages becomes a party to such a twisted approximation to the Christian faith. Because John the apostle and writer of the book of Revelation, definitely saw a vision of this end-stage religious humanism. The harlot was taking dominion in a time yet to come. When John saw the vision of this awful future reality he just couldn't believe what he was seeing. Could such a thing be possible?
Art used by permission of
Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
Visit her 'Revelation Illustrated' website.
Will such an apostate man-centered humanistic religious system emerge into history? Will it wield the enormous wealth and power John saw in vision? Will it really have dominion and a global reach?
Such a harlot religious system would be extremely powerful. It would be far more terrible than the medieval Romanized Church was in times past. The masses of people turning up to the church rallies would be blind-sided. And why? Because most Christians do not read their Bibles or know the God of the Bible in a saving personal way. So they do not have a Biblical world view to counter the world view of the culture that seeks to enclose them. Few Christians are guided in a personal way by the Holy Spirit. They have been presented with other spirits to concentrate on. Tragically many Christians today are highly vulnerable to all this. Without a vital Christian faith many will be caught up on the peer pressure and crowd dynamics. May will be seduced by a very pervasive high grade religious deception of the first order that has yet to come.
Compromised harlot religion always leads to great tragedy for men and nations. It brings much shame to the nation that allows it to come inside. Humanism seeks to return to the forefront of history. Only this time it is not the blatantly obvious secular humanism, communistic humanism, or fascist nationalistic humanism roaming the streets. Rather, it is an insidious religious humanism, a humanism of the most seductive and personally destructive kind. When she gets the chance a harlot religious system will always seize power drawing the people in its skirts deeper and deeper into compromise and ever closer to a denial of "the faith that was once delivered to the saints". We saw this deadly compromise happen to the Church in times past during the early fourth century. The corruption of personal Biblical Christianity set in soon after the awful compromise which began at the Council of Niceae. We can expect that a carnal usurping churchianity would naturally operate under a religious smokescreen. And it would seize power the way it has always done using an illegitimate authority. This is the spirit of Jezebel who usurped the legitimate authority of her husband Ahab, King of Israel. The three classical methods this spirit uses are "domination, intimidation, and manipulation".
Religious humanism is maneuvering and seeking to rise up again. This would be a national, international, and ecclesiastic disgrace. Dominion Theology in its actual execution would lead on to a tragedy of global proportions. Such harlotry would merely be a watered down compromised attenuated version of the true Christian faith. And as we saw in medieval times, it would lead to religious tyranny and the the deaths of many fine Christian believers. Will this happen in times to come in the latter days? Apparently so. (See Rev.17:6)
Such concerns about religious humanism are almost never spoken about today. The Kingdom Now Movement not even being recognized as a Fabian style encampment, a "controlled opposition front" set up at the gates of the established Christian Church. But history is giving us a warning. We need to be on our guard, as nations, and especially as individuals. Because the Seduction of Christianity is well underway in the West today. And the vision John saw of end-stage religious humanism will surely happen in the latter days. The harlot system will erupt into holy history during the first half of the final seven years of this age.
Such is the specter of religious humanism.
It is a serpent slithering along the pews in our churches today.
Pray God that we are able to discern it and avoid it.
And God forbid that we ever invite the thing into our hearts.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION EMBRACES SECULAR HUMANISM.When the French Revolution came on the scene it was the secular form of humanism that was in evidence. The revolution railed against established religion. The profane masses were unrestrained in their depravity. Edomites rose up among the citizenry. The mob raged against those humble fellow citizens who practiced a simple Christian faith. Madame Guyon was among the ones who were persecuted during the revolt. Many fine Christian men and women were sent to the guillotine in those dreadful times. Many others went off into exile or migrated north into the Netherlands or west into the more hopeful English-speaking parts of Christendom. The Catholic Church and indeed all public expression of Christianity in France was swept aside in favor of the new rationalism lauded by gifted pagan men like Voltaire.
AND IT RISES UP TO RAGE AGAINST CHRISTIAN FAITH.
And what happened then? Having embraced 'human reason' France soon found herself spiritually lost. She had mutinied against her king. France was now a ship without a captain. The inner "angst" and existential emptiness began to set in. Le France, the great ship of state, was a nation adrift, and "unstable as water". The consequences were terrible beyond telling. France, having rejected God, was under new leadership. The great nation was now being ruled over by a gang of godless bloodthirsty mutineers.
This was all very bad. France had rejected her God. And the Holy Scriptures were gone. Now the French people had no star to guide them. The French nation was now a ship adrift without chart or compass. The mutinous crew were on the bridge and trying to direct the ship, but they were a rabble at cross purposes with one another. The great ship of state was being drawn into a vortex and down into dark and gloomy spiritual void. Le France was now a castaway nation, adrift on a wine dark sea. Only a military dictator could save her now. And the little Corsican, Napoleon was there, waiting in the wings.
THE 1700'S GLORIFIES HUMANISM AS AN "AGE OF REASON" AND HATCHES "DEISM". HUMANISTIC EUROPE KICKS GOD OUT OF HIS MACHINERY, OUT OF HIS COSMOS, AND OUT OF HIS HEART. LEADERLESS AND WITHOUT A PERSONAL GOD MODERN EUROPEAN MAN IS LEFT COLD-HEARTED AND DESOLATE. HE EXISTS IN A COLD DARK ROOM OF EXISTENTIAL EMPTINESS. AND THERE IS "NO EXIT".The leaders of the French Revolution had acted swiftly and decisively. They had evicted God from their universe. It was into this religious vacuum that a debauched French Freemasonry rose up to the occasion. They presumed to present a substitute for the very Christian God they had just bundled up and banished from the country. Here is how it happened.
The late 1700's saw the coming of the 'Enlightenment'. Rationalistic man concocted a humanistic "philosophy of god". Their new "god", one of their own making, would be crafted according to their masonic blueprint. The new state approved belief system would then be set forth as the state religion. This lowest common denominator Christianity would be specially formulated for consumption by the semi-christian European masses.
This new 'Enlightened' form of religion was called 'Deism'. And from its very beginnings in the machinations of godless men it was a sham. Deism was actually a man centered religious construct. It was crafted by a collection of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, Freemasons and apostate churchmen. Deism bore no covenant connection to the Judeo-Christian God at all. But it had this going for it. It was "good enough for government work".
The god of Deism was a far cry from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. 18th Century Deism concocted and set up a distant and vague "god of Nature". It was a "god of the machine" and the universe was then being perceived as a machine that modern scientific man was now beginning to understand and conquer. This new more "manageable" sort of "god" had been fashioned by secular humanism. Of course this man-made god was unknowable. But most people did not want to get too close to god anyway. So as a matter of political expediency this new sacred cow was lifted up before the masses just as the calf was set up for worship by Jeroboam in ancient Israel 2900 years ago. Again, man was doing what man-centered humanistic people are always doing. They are bringing god "down to size".
This was the idolatry and the presumptuousness of modern man in the 1700's. Deism would "work with" this new religion of 'secular humanism' and not seek to expose it as Biblical Christianity does. And this was the "religion" that was being showcased by the French Revolution in those days. But it did not remain in France. This secular humanism and its attendant Deism belief of a god who is set up a clockwork universe and then disappeared began to dominate the thinking of European people as we came into the modern era. This cultural change was a very powerful paradigm shift in the West as it emerged out of the medieval era. The state secularism set forth by the French revolution is still very pwerful. It still dominates the thinking of the Western elites right up to this present day.
The Deism spawned in France and spreading into Europe and America was nothing new really. It was the same old worn-out pagan gnostic mystery religion of the ancients. This older religion had been outshone back in the second and third centuries. The Roman persecutions against Christians were counter-productive. The witness of the martyrs just created new Christians. Paganism was in full retreat and had to go underground after Nicea. The witness of the early Church had lifted up the Christian Savior God above the worn out earthy soap opera gods of Mount Olympus. The cosmic Christ, the God of Israel who came to earth in the flesh was drawing all men unto Himself. Christian faith and witness, even unto death, was being showcased before men and angels. This was the true Light that was shining in the darkness. And in those early days Christian faith under fire was pushing paganism into the shadows.
Deism was a man-made religion. In the minds of these men God was absent from the scene. He had taken leave of the universe. He had gone off somewhere. So this "god" of the rationalists was an impersonal unknowable generic sort of a "deity", not unlike Allah, the god of the Islamic world. Man had been left alone to run things by himself using logic and human reason.
This gnostic unknown 'god of mystery' was all that many people wanted of God. Deism was even more appealing when a few 'Christian values' like "liberty, equality, and fraternity" were thrown in. These "values" sounded great in the oratory. But where was the spiritual power going to come from to bring them home into French hearts and into French history? Just who was the god at work here? And by whose divine grace would France gain access to these virtues of "liberty, equality, and fraternity"?
Well this was the problem. For those who hold to a Biblical world view the situation in France in the late 18th century was clearly untenable. The 'God who is there' had been showcased in Holy Scripture. And He was the One came to earth in the flesh as Jesus Christ our Saviour. Without a connection to Him France would lose her way. She would sink into an abyss just as deep as any other heathen nation. There would be no liberty, no equality, and no fraternity. In spite of all the oratory these virtues would not be forthcoming. And why? Because Divine Providence, the God who provided these graces in western Christendom, was not present. The architects of the French Revolution had rejected Him. They had told Him to take a hike!
So where was the inner control and the integrity of the masses going to come from? What was in the bosom of the French citizens that was going to make all this virtue happen? Was the much heralded "god of reason" going to deliver these blessings? How about the god the deists called "Nature". Was he, or "she" going to bring in the necessary virtue and the moral integrity for nation building? And what about all this talk about "man's reason"? Was man centered human reason going to take the nation on to glory? Or would the great French nation slip in the mud and stagger over a cliff to disaster?
History tells us the answer.
Humanistic man is forever deluding himself. Neo-paganism is forever trying to present itself. as something new. But it is always the same old paganism. We saw it in pre-Christian times. But during the 1800's it was promenading in the modern world. It was pretending to be sophisticated. Paganism was all dressed up in new clothes as "Enlightenment". It was ready to go out on the town just as it did in days of old. The pagan nature goddess "Gaia", (who incidentally is the god of the "gays"), was out on the streets. She was "coming out" to the adulation of many. Lucifer's god of "Enlightenment" was ready to deceive the people one more time.
The 18th century rationalists were crafty. They did steer clear of outright atheism. That would have been too blatant a move. And agnosticism was out of the question as well. Agnosticism would be an admission of ignorance. And that was not the style of these men at all. These were men who were presuming to lead the modern world into "Enlightenment". So out of their "Illuminism" the philosophical religion of Deism was fashioned. It was a half-way house between human reason and something we might call "religion". It was in fact a generic religion with "deity" being deliberately vague and having none of the many meaningful Biblical the Judeo-Christian God in known by in Holy Scripture.
Deism was in fact a hoax. It was a highly deceptive sham. Illuminists had to please the people. So they had to allow that there might be a god out there somewhere. But like Allah of the Muslims he was too mysterious and too unknowable for mere mortals, (such as the average Frenchmen), to ever approach or ever hope to know personally. The "god" the Deists crafted was like the inventor of a clockwork universe, even a cosmic joker. This "god" had played a joke on mankind. He had set the cosmos going like a huge clockwork machine. Then he had disappeared from the universe without a trace.
Where was he? No one knew. He had disappeared. He was out there somewhere, in the gnostic fog. He had removed himself far from mankind. He was 'out there' in the fog, beyond a huge chasm or gulf that mere mortals could not even think about crossing. And this 'god' did not come across to them. And so the machine god of Deism was "out ther" somewhere. But there was no personal communication with us as mere mortals.
Humanistic man liked this of course. God was "pout of sight, out of mind". So they did not consider this this to be a problem for them at all. As they saw it mankind had 'grown up'. With human reason and the new feats man was doing we didn't really "need" god any more. During the "Age of Enlightenment" religion and superstition was being pushed out to make way for a Brave New World. Many, at the time, considered that Mankind was coming into a new higher level of being. This was Illuminism . "Enlightened" rationalistic men, even god-men like Voltaire and Robespierre, were present before the people. They would boldly lead France into the future. They would study the universe to discover its inner workings. Then these "high priests of rationalism", would proceed to set up a New World Order based on this progressive French leadership. Social and political engineers would tinker with the world and get to master its inner workings. Then they would adjust society in the same way they might set out to re-engineer any other "machine". These "men of reason" were the new high priests of Science and Nature. These were the masters of a "brave new world". In the absence of Biblical revelation these heroes of the "age of reason" were being lauded and lifted up as saviors. Voltaire and Thomas Paine were promoting a new religion of the human mind called rationalism. A succession of thinkers and orators then proceeded to 'educate' the masses in France and take authority over the French Revolution. The "god of reason" was on the march. And its child, humanistic rationalism, soon began to take over the universities and the popular modes of thinking in Europe.
What awful new dangers this secular humanism was presenting to western Christendom! National socialism, communism, and other dangerous Utopian ideas were soon knocking on the door. The political and social consequences for the Europe were truly horrendous. The human soul, capable of responding to such beauty and nobility was soon brought down to the level of the machine. And in the awful wars of the 20th century that followed the human soul, intended for much higher and nobler things, was trampled into the mire and the mud of France.
Of course the revolutionary leaders were careful not to ban Christianity entirely. They were ready to admit that here might be a god was out there somewhere, .... maybe. But he was unknowable, like Allah, or Buddha. He had sort of "gone missing". And even if you did know him this god would be of no help to you anyway. And why?
Because as they saw it the universe and Nature is the central reality. The natural world runs on without God. Of course He could be around. But it doesn't matter. He is irrelevant. And he just doesn't care!
What a sad pathetic representation of God. This would be laughable if it were not so tragic. And God does indeed laugh at such foolishness. (See Psalm 2) But this was the best the French Revolution could come up with. Deism was the state approved 'religion' of the day. France had now officially turned her back on the God of the Bible. A rational machine age would soon bring in 'Utopia'. The final triumph of humanistic man near. It was just around the corner.
Or so she thought.
The consequences to all this were all too evident. History never lies. And truth comes out eventually. Indeed truth is continually being demonstrated in history before the watching world, if people have eyes to see. France no longer recognized the sure foundation of Biblical Christianity. Biblical revelation was disallowed by the French Revolution. History soon showed us what happens to a state that embraces secularism and chooses to worship at the altar of rationalism or 'human reason'. The French Revolution showed us what happens when a nation considers that human beings and human societies are just "machines" that need to be "understood" and then "re-engineered". The French Revolution held that a man-centered man-made Utopia was entirely possible. Nations could be programmed by political and social planners based on the new faith in "human reason". France with her humanistic man-centered 'Enlightenment' was now ushering in her Revolution before the watching world. The French version of Lady Liberty was in the wings. She was about to step onto the stage of history.
Liberty Leading the People
By Eug´ene Delacroix (1830). Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.
Alas, the Lady Liberty of France would not bring in the Utopia they had hoped for.
The rabble in the streets would turn the revolution into a 'Reign of Terror".
All this, of course, was a great tragedy. But anarchy and disharmony was not a true expression of the French character. The sad history seen here was merely demonstrating the true character of her new 'god of reason'. The humanistic god she now worshiped was a farce. This man centered concept of God crafted by Hellenized minds had chosen to reject Biblical revelation. It disallowed the Gospel message and the authority of the Holy Scriptures. The indwelling of the living Christ within the hearts and minds of French men, women, and children was not in the picture. So the god of Deism really had no relation to Christianity all.
France, and Europe, would be the sadder for this. A great nation had lost her king. And the King of kings, even the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been rejected as well. And now the great Le France was adrift and headed nowhere good.
The coming of the French revolution was a very important waypoint for western civilization. With it modern history had truly begun. A humanistic Utopianism based on man-centered 'reason' was now on the stage of history. This was rationalism and as the machine age dawned it stood ready to make its debut in the history of continental Europe. Secular humanism and the new 'Age of Reason' was now standing ready to be praised by men. But was it worthy of praise?
The history of the French Revolution tells us the story. This new 'god of human reason' made its debut by stirring up the dregs of humanity to bloody violence. The modern era being birthed in the streets of France in those awful years was far from praiseworthy. It was ugly. In fact it was a specter of sheer horror. In spite of the flowery words of Robespierre and others the bloody guillotine party just went on and on. The French Revolution was not the glorious thing proud and 'rational' men had intended it to be.
But had they really intended it to be glorious? Is it possible that there had been a hidden hand at work in the French Revolution? Could it be that wicked men in high places had worked behind the scenes to delude and defraud the people? Had Illuminists hatched a malicious plot to deceive the great nation of France? Was it the intention of wicked men to cut France off from her true God, and so bring her down? Or do people and nations really get the government they deserve? This is a frightening thought.
The French Revolution was a miserable affair. It had turned into outright debauchery and anarchy. The "Reign of Terror" had shocked all of European Christendom. They were absolutely appalled at the news they were hearing.
Where were the good men, the godly men of France? Where were those true Christian men of wisdom and integrity? And where were the good citizens who could have led France into a happier future? Alas. They were not there. But their memories live on, even as poppies in the open fields.
A study of the French Revolution vs. the American Revolution will reveal that they were quite different. The French Revolution was a wicked work. The best that could be said for it was that it was a seedy social upheaval, a revolt of the underclasses. These were a people who had been poorly served by their political and religious leaders. Spiritual neglect in French society had brought the people down to near animal existence. The dregs of that spiritually deprived society were now mobs in the streets raging against a debauched French monarchy and its nobility. An era of bloodthirsty anarchy had been let loose in France. It went on and on for years.
Many fine and noble people were sent to the guillotine during those awful times. A militant secularism had conspired with outright anarchy. And the revolution turned against French nobility and against Christianity with a vengeance. The compromised and less than holy Church in France had been swept aside. All the Church lands, (which at that time had amounted to about one third of France), had been confiscated by the state. The French Church was now being treated in the very same bloody and brutal manner in which they themselves had behaved toward evangelicals and reformers. Two centuries earlier the established Catholic Church had incited bloody murder against French Protestants, the Huguenots. This monstrous church-state approved outrage came to be known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. Later, Cardinal Richelieu had similarly crushed the Huguenots, at La Rochelle. This was the second time France and her Church had persecuted her Christian brethren with the merciless efficiency.
So this judgment on the French Church was not surprising really. The Church of France had departed from the faith which had been first delivered to the saints. - Jude 1:3 In persecuting their own Christian saints in France they themselves had sown rebellion and anarchy to the winds. They had sown the seeds of their own destruction.
The horrific persecutions by the French Church against their own Protestant Reformers back in the 1500's were a shameful chapter in French history. There had been a whole series of outrages against evangelical Christians. These are acts for which they had not repented. Now in the late 1700's the French Church was paying for their sins. They were reaping the whirlwind. The French Church was being crushed. They were being guillotined by a secular pagan movement.
This sinister and murderous 'secular humanism' was a serpents egg incubating in the bosom of France. The French Church bore some responsibility here. Their own ecclesiastical neglect had allowed this spiritual climate of rationalism and humanism to develop. It was in France where this false 'god of reason' was nurtured. Now the viper was hatching. It was slithering into French history to do its devilish and destructive work. The French Revolution was an awful time. It was a bloody initiation into the "Age of Reason".
FRANCE LEADS THE WAY INTO STATE SECULARISM.Modern history would go on to manifest other secularist Utopian parties devoted to the god of "human reason". These too would turn into bloody outrages against humanity. We saw them in a number of subsequent popular uprising by "the people". We saw mass killings by right wing nationalist socialist revolutions and by left wing "people's revolutions" as they emerged in the 20th century. These monstrous genocides were done by secularist regimes. 50 million died in World War 2. 60 million people died under the godless communists of Russia. 50 million died in China. In Cambodia a third of the entire population was butchered by secularist Utopians in the "killing fields".
AND LEADS WESTERN CIVILIZATION INTO THE MODERN ERA.
There was no doubt about it. The French Revolution had produced a brutish godless secular humanism. Neo-pagan Deism cut French citizens off from the God of the Scriptures. The man made philosophy kept the people spiritually debased, befuddled, and in a spiritual fog. They were given just enough confusing conflicted religion to prevent them from coming to know the true God. The people and their leaders had rejected the God of the Bible. And a cynical priest craft had acted to prevent the people from hearing the Gospel. Now a brutal Utopian secularist movement was carrying the people off to somewhere they didn't want to go. This would be a pattern of things to come as modern history unfolded.
Oh yes, there have been religious wars and many religious outrages against humanity. Secularists love to remind Christians about this. But when it took on political power in the 20th century this rampant Utopian secular humanism took the cake. It proved to be far bloodier than all the previous religious wars put together. But the facts of history are clear. The first time we saw the frightening specter of a militant Utopian secular state on the rampage was in the French Revolution.
These were awful times for France. The novel 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens was written against the backdrop of these tragic events. This sad history stands ready to tell us its story. And as we have seen, there are some significant spiritual lessons to be learned here. And they need to be told to our children - if the history professor with the pink bow tie does not censor them out. Because there is a moral to nearly every story which gives meaning to history. The facts outlining the political and economic dimensions to the story are not enough. If the spiritual dimension is not included then our education becomes the poorer for it. History then becomes unenlightening, and just plain boring.
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE AND HIS PERSPECTIVE ONAlexis De Tocqueville had pondered these facts of history. The revolution had even taken the life of his own great grandfather, a nobleman. Where was the promise of 'Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity'? Where was the dream of a Republican Utopia? Could it be achieved without a personal Christian faith? Why had masonic Deism with its faith in 'Nature' and 'human reason' fallen so short of the mark? What had happened?
THE EARLY HISTORIES OF THE FRANCE AND AMERICA.
De Tocqueville puzzled over the turbulent politics of France. For years the nation continued to wrestle with a resurgence of the very same anarchy which had marked the French Revolution in the beginning. Martial law had become necessary to maintain law and order. Having rejected the gentle discipline of the indwelling Christ France was destined to require something stronger and more brutal to police it from the outside. A dictatorship under Napoleon was just ahead.
The recurring political upheavals in France necessitated martial law and a military government. This was the essential remedy and the bitter but necessary pill France had to swallow. Martial law was eventually codified in France and instituted as 'Napoleonic Law'. France never fully recovered from her revolution. She would not see any longstanding stable government. In the early 1800's Napoleon went on to become "Emperor for life".
Alexis De Tocqueville had witnessed continuing turmoil in France throughout his lifetime. And yet as he studied and observed America in the 1830's he found himself looking at an entirely different picture. When he compared the French Revolution vs. the American Revolution and saw what was happening in America he soon come to realize that the spiritual climates of each country were quite different. French rationalism and secularism advanced by men like Voltaire had produced a more humanistic and rationalistic society in France than the Puritan society emerging over in the New World. The martial figure of Napoleon came into government in 1799. Soon afterwards France went to war on the continent in a major way. The move was on to establish a 'Pax Francais'.
France struggled to find peace in those times. But with Christ, the Prince of Peace, rejected by successive agnostic regimes in France this was difficult. The Catholic Church in France, having rejected and crushed reform, threw a cold blanket over the much needed revival that stood ready to take France forward spiritually. So France remained morally weak. She was a great nation. But she was 'unstable as water'.
When revolution and secularism was on the rise the Christian Church in France was too weak to provide any healthy counterbalance. And so an overbearing new secular humanism and a raging anarchy spilled over into the streets of Paris. The French Revolution was based on cold human reason and a rising machine age rationalism. The thinnest possible smattering of 'religion' was there of course. But it was just for show. The new Emperor needed some clothes at least. Some attempt had to be made to cover the state in its naked bid for power.
The French had cut their ties to their monarchy as had the Americans. But their experience would be quite different. The American Revolution had been relatively peaceful. But the French experiment in a reasoned revolution was a disaster. The revolution crafted by "men of enlightenment" and engineered to produce "liberty, equality, and fraternity and the rationalism, pushed by Voltaire, Locke and others proved to be a sham.
History does not lie. But those who rewrite history do. God is not mocked. The French had indeed unleashed a revolution. It was indeed based on 'human reason'. But the facts reveal that as an experiment it was a complete failure. The glory of France had departed. Their much celebrated 'Revolution' had been crafted by neo-pagan Utopian Freemasons with lofty ideals. But it ended up being directed by the mobs in the street. The result was a total disaster.
When we compare and contrast the French Revolution vs. the American Revolution we come to a critical question. Just why did these two revolutions end up with such different outcomes? Why had the American Revolution led to stability? And why did the French revolution led to anarchy? If something positive and peaceful was going on in America just what, or Who was stabilizing the American Revolution? Dare we ask that question in our school rooms and colleges?
The American revolution was no cakewalk. There were many reasons why the American experiment could have or even should have ended in abject failure. The Americans, like the French, were undergoing a wrenching transition. They were in a hostile land an ocean away from their traditional roots. There was much political, religious and racial ferment in the English colonies as they took on migrants from many different countries. Ethnic and regional turmoils alone could well have ripped the American republic apart right at the very beginning. And the Civil War, which came later, could have split the country in two. Why had the American colonists succeeded with their revolution and France failed? And why had the French attempt to simply create a stable and happy republic for Frenchmen turned out to be such a shambles?
THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION TO MODERN HISTORY.To find the answers to these questions it will be necessary for us to step outside the secular college. We may need to exit the classroom. We may even need to excuse ourselves and slip quietly away from the lecture being given by the history professor with the pink bow tie.
OR TELLING ...... "THE REST OF THE STORY".
Here are some facts of history which are rarely given the prominence they deserve. During the 1700's there were a series of Christian revivals in England and America. The Great Awakening in the early 1700's was just the first of many revivals among the English speaking people. These were evangelical revivals. And they put a new leadership into men's souls in a very personal and powerful way. These "Awakenings" continued to break out on both sides of the Atlantic. (They continue to do so to this day.) Might this added spiritual dimension have had something to do with the stability we saw in America and in the American Revolution?
How about the impact of the Pilgrims and the Puritans? These godly movers and shakers were very prominent in the migrations to the New World. There is no question that they played a big part in the early settlement of America. Could they have contributed something to American society, something that may have promoted this political and social stability?
Of course American history was not just one big Sunday School picnic. It collected its share of bad guys, hoodlums, and ruffians. There were also the more sophisticated pagans and freethinkers. But the facts remain. The English colonies in America had been settled by a significant number of people of personal Biblical Christian faith. These people had set and maintained the standards in the New World. That is, up until recent times.
Early America was also something of a Congregational hothouse. The English colonies in the New World were places of great danger. The people lived in close knit communities in the wilderness. Communities in the New World, whether the French and Spanish Jesuit or Franciscan colonies or English Puritan colonies were often religious communities as well. Whatever the religious connection the companies banded together for protection. The Puritans and their friends the Puritans were a Christian community the likes of which had not been seen since the early centuries of the Church before the Council of Niceae. They brought with them their non-hierarchical congregational Biblical Christian faith. They may have appeared just a democratic society but this was not entirely the case. God was at the center of their community. Their 'meeting houses' were the places where the people gathered for worship. Afterwards they would shift gears and conduct a self-ruling colonial form of governmental order. They congregated on Sunday for Christian services and also to resolve social/political issues. This was the spiritual dimension being injected into American social life.
So the English colonies had their Christian faith and their political life wrapped up together. And so when the American Revolution came along it was quite different from the French Revolution. Here on the frontier of the English speaking world was a people, who were already geographically separated from their king. They were in a hostile wilderness. Because of their situation and because of the sort of people they had become these new Americans were quite different from the French. And when their time of separation from Great Britain came the English colonists found themselves facing another trial. So they did what they had been doing all along. An influential and significant portion of them set the pattern for the American Revolution. They resolved to turn their eyes upon God to help them.
Were there consequences to this? Oh yes. The covenant connection they had entered into was a walk not so much of 'human reason' but of Christian faith. And God Almighty Himself was preserving them.
Does this important truth get much airing in our public schools today? How about our colleges? Can our students see and discern what is happening in the wider spiritual dimensions of history? Are they asking themselves what is happening in the broad sweep of history? Or are the students just asking themselves "What does this history mean to ME right now?" or "How do I feel about this?"
Clearly the secularist attack on the French Church and the replacement of the Church by rationalistic humanism degraded French society. All the man centered humanistic philosophies in the world can argue round and round in circles forever. But they will NEVER answer the big questions of life. "Who am I?", "Where did I come from?", and "Where am I going?" These are questions that call for answers. For a government to set up a society which discounts the Christian faith is more than just high minded presumption. It amounts to spiritual neglect. It is a travesty against the people who live in Christendom. It will inevitably lead the people of that nation into national misery.
Man is a spirit being. He was created for fellowship with God. He was designed to walk in communion with God. Only when man is in a living covenant connection with His Maker is he truly alive. When God is not present within a man's spirit then he is spiritually dead on the inside. Such a man may be walking around on the planet. He may be eating and drinking and consuming pleasure. But he does not have eternal Life within him. A society of such people will eventually end up in great sorrow. This is what history shows us time and time again.
The owner's manual of man is the Bible. As man seeks to answer these big questions and opens the revealed Word of God in the Bible then he enters into a serendipity. He finds himself being drawn, even wooed, by God. He is led to the wells of salvation. Soon he finds himself drinking at the streams of Eternal Life.
But what if a man or woman belongs to a society which has made "human reason" their god as the French did? What if he chooses to avoid God? And what if he is given no answers to the big questions of life?
The result is a sad one. He slips further and further under a spell and into a dark void where nobody speaks of God. It is a "conspiracy of silence". Many of us grew up and were schooled in this sort of spiritual vacuum. It is deadly.
It is not man's sin that sends a man or woman to hell. It is man's neglect of God's great salvation. This is what condemns him. This wonderful plan is now freely offered. God has laid it out before us in the Bible.
French rationalism, (and German rationalism and English rationalism for that matter) are failed philosophies of life. History has shown this quite dramatically and conclusively. Not only does rationalism fail to answer the big questions of life. But worship of human reason fails to satisfy the deep longings, and fill the existential emptiness in man's soul. There is a deep dissatisfaction which invariably accompanies a people who are drifting from God. But few people want to speak of such things. That can change when the Gospel is presented to them. It often occurs when they have come to the end of themselves and they are in some sort of crisis.
The late 1700's was called the "Age of Reason". Rationalism was the big story back in those days. The Machine Age had dawned. Human reason, scientific facts, and 'logic' now stood ready to replace king and priest. This 'god of reason' was all the newly "Enlightened" thinking man needed. (Or so he thought).
Later the pendulum of humanism would swing back away from human reason and into the non-rational realm. A humanistic existentialism later arose in Europe. Humanistic man had high hopes for this movement too. But when it was picked up in France this humanistic existentialism proved to be just as godless and spiritually empty as the humanistic rationalism that had preceded it. And it proved to be just as meaningless. There was no doubt about it. These man-centered machine age mind games that so-called "enlightened" people were playing with themselves were proving to be a futile waste of time. All they produced were 'angst', and a terrible existential emptiness and deadness of soul.
Unfortunately the march of the "god of reason" did not end there in the oratory of the French Revolution. It led on to deadness of the mind and body as well. As modern history unfolded state outrages based upon "human reason" would continue. They would take us into two terrible world wars. All of European Christendom was appalled to see their young men being sacrificed to the mindless mechanized "war machine" in the muddy trenches of World War 1. Where was the 'reason' in all that?
Man is a spirit being. He is designed for a real-time relationship with a loving and personal God. Our God is omniscient. He is all knowing. A relationship with such a God brings downloads of helpful information. God delivers them to us personally by His Holy Spirit. They often arrive just at the very time the information or the encouragement is needed. This personal alignment with an Eternal God is a marvelous reality. This is human guidance at its best. This is how great men and great nations come to prominence. This is how it was meant to be.
Man was made for communion with God. This is a fact of human existence. Puritans know this. So do the Pilgrims. But as we shall see, the French in the 1700's were not in a position to avail themselves of the rich heritage they had in their God. They had alienated and made war on their reformers. Evangelical Christians, fine people such as Madam Guyon, had been persecuted mercilessly.
The French equivalent to the English-American Puritans were the Huguenots. These are people whose enlightenment comes from the Holy Scriptures and who know their God personally. Alas, the French Church-State juggernaut had made these saints enemies of the Church and enemies of the state. There were many times in French history when the political and ecclesiastical powers carried deadly power. They did not suffer such people to live.
The result of this ongoing persecution of Biblical Christians in France was quite predictable. The French Revolution, when it finally came, was godless. It turned out to be one of the saddest chapters in the history of western Christendom.
The horror stories went on for years. France was led into the dark days of the Napoleonic Wars. And the 'god of reason' came looking for her young men. France's new god started out by calling for a sacrifice.
Without God a sadness gripped this once great nation. French existentialists such as Jean Paul Sartre tried to find a way out of the misery. But they failed. They leaped off into an existence beyond the cold stare of 'reason'. But it too proved to be just as meaningless as the rationalism they were trying to escape from.
The French existentialists soon discovered that they were up against "a wall" or in "a room" with "no exit". The whole depressing exercise led on to spiritual deadness. Nihilism and despair put their cold grip on the nation. This awful sense of hopelessness deeply demoralized French society. And it led on to defeat by the Germans in the early 20th century.
The spiritual malaise in France went on and on. A stabilizing evangelical revival in France might have produced a happier history. God is no respecter of persons, or of nations for that matter. A return to God could have given French society and culture the moral re-armament it needed to go through its revolution and find political and social stability.
France was a large and blessed country. She had wonderful natural and human resources. If the God of history had been invited in would He possibly have brought great blessings to France? Might He have prevented all this misery?
We know that He would have done so. And how do we know? Because a similar revolution was going on at the very same time period over in America. But here was a difference. God had been invited in to their national proceedings. Then when we compare the French Revolution with the American Revolution we discover that the results were quite different. Should that surprise us?
The American Revolution was a different story. The English colonists had to face some significant challenges in the wilderness. But a hopeful picture was emerging there. It was far quieter and more peaceful than the tumult seen in the French Revolution.
Those politically engaged Puritans and their separatist friends the Pilgrims were a big part of the story here. These were the people of the Book. And because of the persecutions they had suffered in England they were gathering together in significant numbers in the English colonies over in the New World. It was their personal Christian faith, their care for others, and their personal integrity which characterized the human capital forming in America in those early days. They were the people whose personal faith and good works had brought a stabilizing influence into the heart of American society and its politics. And they were the ones that would go on to work patiently and diligently for a continuation of the stable self governing society they had formerly been allowed to enjoy under the British Crown.
THE BLOOD GUILTINESS AND THE SHAME OF FRENCH HISTORYUnfortunately such Christian Awakenings were short lived in France. Her Reformers had been the Huguenots. But they had been silenced. Their bones lay in the rivers of France. Many of them lay buried at La Rochelle. For centuries the blood of Christian martyrs had been sprinkled all across the French countryside. The voices of these fine French citizens were no longer heard.
IN THE FORMER PERSECUTIONS CARRIED OUT AGAINST
EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, REFORMERS, AND HUGUENOTS.
French history would be the sadder. France had lost some of her best people. The blood of her saints was crying out from the ground as poppies in the open fields.
The poppies would be seen again centuries later. The Great War would take the lives of millions of young men. And poppies would be given every year in remembrance of those who had fallen. Such was the legacy remembered in the poem 'Flanders Fields'.
It didn't have to be this way. The Reformation in France, and a vital personal Biblical Christianity, had actually come into flower during the 1500's. Like England, one third of France had embraced the Protestant Reformation. French Bible translators had been at work as well. The lights were going on all over Europe. France was right there along with them. She was poised to move forward into the Light of the Gospel and bring France into true greatness.
Here is a very important lesson of history which all Christian believers must understand. Ecclesiastical politics and true Biblical Christianity are usually in conflict. Here we see another case in point. The Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy in France had their position of wealth and power. And they had their political agenda.
The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France. - Aug. 1572
The French Jesuits were the ones in power at the time. For them the way ahead was quite clear. They were determined that France would not have a Reformation. The clergy owned one third of the land of France. They had the power. Or at least they had earthly power. (Their true spiritual power before God was questionable.) They were bound and determined to see to it that France would not move forward into a more enlightened Biblical Christianity. The implications of this for the future of France was enormous. The only "Enlightenment" the powers of France would allow was an up and coming man-made faith system. It was a false religion based on a man made concept we might term the 'god of reason'.
This was so sad.
The political and ecclesiastical status quo was to be maintained.
France would be forbidden to move forward spiritually.
The country and the people were to stay just as they were.
The results of this policy was soon to be seen. Church and state were united on what had to be done. Both were bound and determined to crush the seeds of Reformation in France before they could "cause any trouble".
This treacherous and murderous piece of church business was unleashed in August of 1572. It became infamous as the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre. In an orgy of bloody murder lasting just days and weeks over 100,000 French Christians were slaughtered. The rivers of France were so choked with corpses that fish were not eaten for many months.
This was an incredible incident in Christian history. The religious powers in France were actually inciting the citizens to 'rise up' and butcher their fellow countrymen. The campaign was orchestrated to happen at the same time throughout the whole length and breadth of France. There was to be 'no escape'. This was a church sanctioned mass murder on a huge scale. And all this death and mayhem against Protestant Christians was being carried out under the blessings of the Rome and the French church.
In the Vatican there was great rejoicing upon hearing the news of the massacre in France. Bells were rung to celebrate the occasion. The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre. It still hangs in the Vatican!
The medal struck by Pope Gregory XIII to commemorate
the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
The pope even minted a medal to commemorate the occasion. It is hard for us to imagine such religious godlessness when we hear about these things today. But that is the way it was.
THE CAMPAIGNS AGAINST BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY CONTINUES.This French ecclesiastical policy of murderous malice against evangelicals and reformers continued into the following century. In 1627 the state of France, dominated by Jesuits, continued the policy to stamp out the Biblical revival and the Reformation in the land. Cardinal Richelieu launched a deadly campaign against the French Protestants known as Huguenots. They were finally pushed to the sea and the final battle was joined at the Siege of La Rochelle. The city under the cardinal's guns had been a vital and prosperous sea port on the French coast. It was also a Protestant stronghold nestled in a France that the cardinal was determined would always remain Catholic. So as Richelieu saw it, the Protestants had to go.
AND THE 1600's IN FRANCE SEES THE FRENCH HUGUENOTS PERSECUTED
AND WARRED ON BY FRENCH PRIME MINISTER CARDINAL RICHELIIEU.
La Rochelle fell to the Catholic armies 13 months later. Countless women and children perished in that awful siege. Those who were still alive when the Catholic armies finally broke in were starving. This was dominion theology in its French Catholic expression. Established church leadership had taken their theology down into political policy. Abandoning the way of the cross religious dominionism again raised its ugly head. Taking up the sword to kill for Christ the French religious dominionists then proceeded to war on the Huguenots, suppress French Biblical Christianity, and crush their own Reformation. This was most unfortunate. The proud nation of France was stuck in the status quo. She would not move forward spiritually. She would not know the spiritual awakenings the English speaking people were beginning to experience. The great nation of France was poised to enter the modern era in glory to the praise of nations. But instead she entered into some of the more beastly chapters of her history.
These persecutions, massacres, and wars against the Huguenots were just awful. Mob rule and bloody mayhem was the official policy of both the French government and the French church. And what was the grand purpose supposedly justifying all this church sanctioned mass murder? Why it was for the establishment of "church unity" and "national unity" in France!
Cardinal Richelieu, the king's "prime minister" at the siege of La Rochelle.
God help us and protect us from such drives for "church unity". Because these sort of ambitious ecclesiastical acts are not holy as we have been led to believe. Often they are religious power plays driven by men with an insatiable lust for wealth and power. The real reason for a lot of these calls for "unity" is for the purpose of building up religious empires. men desire to make an impact in the merchant places of mammon and in the halls of political power in this world. All too often churchmen merchandize the anointing of God to build up their own ministries. And they make merchandise of God's people. History, (and present day experience), has demonstrated this sad fact to us repeatedly. The compromises to our Christian faith that are called for in order to "establish" our Christian ministries in the systems of this world have always lead the church into corruption. These realities are well known in the Pilgrim flows of Christendom. The concessions we as Christian believers make to this world are to our shame. These are the monsters in our past, the devilish gargoyles in our church walls. And from what we have seen of the former church-state dalliances we observe that there are shameful consequences to all this church politicking. The stage of church history is spattered with innocent blood.
The persecution of Biblical Christians in France was so sad to see. Had these people been welcomed then the French nation could have had gone on to have a wonderful leadership role in the world. France was a great nation in western Christendom. The French believed, (and many of them still believe), that they were destined to rule the world. Yet here they were, waging war on the Holy Scriptures, feeding the rats of anarchy, and letting loose the dogs of war. They were killing and driving out their best and brightest citizens. In their modern history our French brethren had shown themselves to be 'unstable as water'. (Gen.49:3-4)
Interestingly, many of the surviving French Huguenots, some of France's best and brightest citizens, would escape this juggernaut and make their way to haven in Holland. Many then migrated further west to England and America. One of them was Paul Revere.
THE SHORT-LIVED PAX FRANCAIS ENDS AT TRAFALGAR AND WATERLOO.The era of French dominance did in fact finally come. It came a mere decade after the French Revolution. Napoleon became supreme Emperor of France in 1799. Without a specific plan for peaceful rule the little corporal brought his Grand Army and his own version of tyranny to the continent. But just what sort of leading role was France going to provide after she had conquered? Where was the "virtue" that Robespierre had spoken about? Where was the righteousness? And where were the graces that bring in a stable political system, a peaceful society, and establish a great nation? Where was the 'liberty, the equality, and the fraternity'?
AND THE PAX AMERICANA APPEARS ON THE HORIZON OF HISTORY.
Meanwhile, across the water in England and America the English speaking countries of England and America were being saved from destructive uprisings. They were experiencing upheavals, to be sure. But it was the upheavals of the heart that were the real story here. During the 1700's England and America had both been experiencing a series of Christian revivals. These had originally fired up in the mid 1700's as 'the Great Awakening'. Men like John Wesley in England and Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield in the American colonies preached the Gospel. Wesley went out initially without church approval. A new evangelical movement was changing hearts. This was a powerful move of God. Only the Spirit of God can meet the existential or experiential needs of men. The rational inquiries of men are addressed by a personal knowledge of Christ, the Living Word of God.
God was bringing a lot of help here. During the 1700's the holy scriptures were being printed in great numbers. The Bible was becoming more and more available. The common man in Christendom was beginning to get the deep spiritual enrichment which had been denied him for so long. And the Dark Ages were fading away. This was the real basis for the political stability that was being seen in the English colonies over in the New World. God was at work here. Not just politics and economics. And He was really the one who was setting men free.
Here is the spiritual principle explaining this history of the French Revolution vs. the American Revolution. Political and economic realities follow on from spiritual realities. There really can be no political freedom of any real consequence in a nation unless there is spiritual freedom nestled in the souls of its individual citizens. The personal freedom history was showcasing over in the New World was no accident. It was coming into the new nation by the grace and in the providence of Almighty God.
A vital and personal Christianity was seen in early America. It was carried in with the English Puritans and the Pilgrims. It continues to do so even today in spite of the moral declensions we are seeing of late. The discipline and the drive was not humanistic. It was coming from a body of people living out their lives in submission to the God who was there. He was a One who was leading them on. The Judeo-Christian God was progressively revealing Himself to them in the Holy Scriptures and in their personal and daily walk with Him.. New Life was springing up in the hearts of those who would otherwise have been ordinary people. And with that New Life came the dreams of all sorts of new possibilities. These 'spiritual resources' are what determines the true destiny of nations. Unfortunately these spiritual issues are not given much attention in our schools and colleges today. And they are not spoken of by the history professor with the pink bow tie.
America was blessed in other ways as well. The land was large and had abundant natural resources. The new land Here the people of vision had been given a fresh slate to write on. The heritage of the Magna Carta and English Common Law were there of course. And the Puritans brought other valuable treasures with them for promoting a stable government. In fact they had just gone through the school of hard knocks in the English Civil War.
The bid for a 'nation under God' was a big thing with the Puritans. And the English Civil War may well have been the true beginning of America. The new nation of America was quickening in the womb of Great Britain. It would not be born until 130 years later.
The early English colonies forming over in the New World were a fairly egalitarian group. The Puritans and the Pilgrim separatists lived in a close-knit Christian congregational society. Their Christian piety was legendary. When a person or a nation makes peace with God He brings His peace into their national life as well. All these factors helped to ensure the successful birth of the new nation when the American Revolution finally came.
The most important harmonizing factor in the American Revolution were the personal human resources each citizen carried with them. These "people of the Book" brought with them a high level of personal integrity. This was readily seen in their dealings with others. It stemmed out of their faith in God and a personal belief in their own future. They believed that God had called them out individually and their nation corporately for a divine purpose. This collective dream would later be formulated into American foreign policy as the concept of 'manifest destiny'.
A vital and active Christian faith was being carried into the New World and was being nurtured there. It was nestled within the hearts of her new settlers. As we have seen, the ruling powers had tolerated Reformation and revival better in England and in America than in France. The American people were not better people than the French. They had just been the beneficiaries of a better spiritual nurturing. And their revolution was going to lead to peace and prosperity.. The Christian ethos was far richer and deeper in America than anything the French had at the time. The vision the English settlers had for the New World involved some pretty high ideals. They had spoken of a 'City upon a hill'. Their vision for America was that it would be the first nation founded on Biblical Christian faith. As such it would be a light to the world. This was more than just the popular human demands of a street mob for the overthrowing of a debauched monarchy. Similarly, the American Revolution was more than just 'republicanism'. This new and fresh flow of history had its political expression, yes. But the real ferment and the changes were occurring at a much deeper spiritual level than our history books record.
The sophistry we engage in at political levels can be deep and meaningful. Or they can be superficial and fractious. The revolution in America was reaching down deeper than the humanistic egalitarian political thoughts and feelings of "liberty, equality, and fraternity". These were the "values" men were trying to install into government over in France. Certainly these were nice thoughts and sentiments. But without God where was the faith, where was the hope, and where was the brotherly love that was going to bring all this to pass? And where was the God who was going to make it all happen? Had He been invited to the party?
The stark shadow of the guillotine seemed to cut across them all.
American history involves a revolution of the very spirit of man. It cuts deep. That fact is an essential part of the story of America. History cannot be told in any accurate or meaningful way if liberal professors and educators insist on leaving God out of the equation. History is not all about "class warfare" as our leftist professors have told us. Nor is it just about "human rights". If it did then American history would merely mirror French history. The fact is that it doesn't. Evangelical revivals have punctuated the history of English speaking people. We have been blessed in this area more than any of the other nations. And these Christian Revivals have influenced history greatly and for the better.
The success of the Puritans in America was not an accident. With the liberation of human hearts from the oppression and the bondage of sin came a liberation of the total man. Both England and America would be greatly challenged and blessed by their Christian heritage. And both would rise to greatness in their time. English speaking people were no longer just ignorant subjects groping their way through the medieval darkness. Nor were they just peasants locked in the Dark Ages and beholden to their lords and bishops. The Bible was translated and in their hands. They were learning to launch out into life with their own personal covenant connection with God. Their personal destiny was no longer set by family or social tradition. No longer were they bound to enter the same service or trade as their fathers and their grandfathers before them. Nor were they going to be locked in a social class or forced to live a life as just angry socialist rebels destined to rage all their lives against the ruling class or be beaten down by their rulers. This new evangelical faith was ratcheting up the personal power level to levels not seen before in history. This in turn was giving a huge boost to peaceful private enterprise. With this higher level of personal accountability and responsibility before God came the call for a higher level of authority to bring it to pass. All of this brought with it the privilege of achieving a higher station in life and a higher level of prosperity than the common people had ever known before.
America's new land also created many new opportunities for men of personal charisma, good and bad. People could 'write their own ticket' to achieve their own destiny. Personal human potential was on the up and up.
Personal Christian faith had a part in all this. Biblical Christians were subject to a higher devotion and discipline. Out of that came a higher level of personal integrity. The new nation of America was a nation of "business". It would need men of integrity to make it work. If it did not get them then it would have to pay through the nose for a whole army of lawyers to ensure that the covenants of contract and property law were all upheld. The new nation was calling for "rugged individualists" yes. They were needed to open up the frontier. But it would also need steadfast men of faith and integrity. Men who were governed by their principles and not their pocketbooks.
Thanks to the inroads of Biblical Christianity America got their men for the job. These were the men who guided America through their revolution. First, they got on their knees before God and sought His face, His Providence, and His guidance. Then they took their families across the mountains and through the dark valleys. They guided them past the evil political encampments of of anarchy and rebellion. And then they delivered them safely on the other side. When they lifted up their eyes whole new vistas lay before them. This was their journey in God. And this was their peace and security in the New World. A stable constitution and political stability all came out of this same Christian devotion. That is the lesson of history that we are only now coming to understand.
The American and French Revolutions had many similarities. But they were also a study in contrasts. America had their revolution in 1776. The French Revolution followed soon after that in 1789. Both of these were democratic revolutions. But they were quite different from each other as history demonstrated. The French Revolution embodied secular humanism and a devotion to 'Nature'. A dominating secular state believing in "human reason" was emerging into history. And it set itself against the Christianity.
Many priests and nuns were executed by the guillotine. The French Revolution even wanted to institute a decimalized ten day week with three weeks in the month. This would have destroyed the sabbath. In this, and many other ways, the French Revolution evidenced its hostility to Judeo-Christian faith in general and Biblical Christianity in particular.
The Revolution in France was led by a spirit of secularism and guided by French freemasonry. This took France into a decline from which she has not yet fully recovered. The American Revolution, on the other hand, embodied an affirmation of Christian faith. It emerged out of a congregational style democracy. It was a republic based on a citizenry who were walking in a personal Christian faith. This gave birth to a nation which grew up quickly from humble middle class beginnings. America would emerge 200 years later as the superpower we see today.
SOME CONCLUSIONS FROM THE HISTORY OF FRANCE AND AMERICAIn the years 1831-1832 America had received a special visitor. Alexis De Tocqueville had come over from France. He was on a study tour of America. He and his team looked hard to find the basis for America's success. He looked at the government, the factories, the agriculture etc. Nothing really stood out. It was only when he went into the churches and got right down to the main spiritual roots of America that he discovered something highly significant. This key observation marked the conclusion of his study. His spiritual assessment of the new American nation has not been mentioned in our history books. De Toqueville said that,
"America is great because America is good.Here we are now in the 21st century. What do the Europeans today think of America's preoccupation with God in political matters? It seems that they are somewhat puzzled and bemused by it. The French are still scratching their heads over why President Bill Clinton had to be impeached for "moral failure" of all things. As they see it, his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was a personal private affair. Why had America's modern Puritans kicked up such a fuss? How on earth could that little indiscretion in the Oval Office have any bearing on Clinton's fitness to perform his presidential duties? They just don't understand it.
If America ever ceases to be good, it will also cease from being great."
Of course generally speaking, the French, like many others even here in America, still do not know the God of the Bible. Nor do they have a Biblical world view. So they cannot be expected to understand these things.
Will they ever understand?
Oh yes, they most certainly will.
There is an awesome awakening coming to France.
When that final revival comes everything will change.
And the true glory of France will be seen at last.
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