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The Rise and Fall of Christian Culture

Discuss religion and spirituality topics.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Postby MrPeabody » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:53 pm

fschmidt wrote:Women 1900s

Image

Women 1910s

Image

Women 1920s

Image

case closed


Case Closed. They all look fashionable and conservative and are dressed like women. Post 1960s - dressed like men. Your theories are wacky. You attack one of the few good guys of Christianity which speaks volumes about your real agenda.
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Postby gsjackson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:31 pm

I read the history of American Christianity pretty much the exact opposite as the OP. Calvinism's contribution to what would become American materialism -- an increasing focus on the "outward signs of election," such as size of house, etc. -- is certainly lamentable.

Finney and others of the Second Great Awakening were almost all post-millennials, who believed Christ would return only after an era of social justice had been implemented on earth. So they focused on making society better, and were at the heart of reformist movements, such as opposition to slavery.

By the Third Great Awakening later in the century, the key figures, such as Dwight Moody, had become pre-millennials, who believed that Christ's return was imminent and society was a lost cause, so the focus was on salvation of the individual soul. American evangelical Christians gradually disengaged from the mainstream culture. The Christian impetus toward social reform disappeared.

Moody also emphasized production values and showmanship in his evangelizing, the forerunner to today's TV preachers with the big bank accounts.

These are the three main worms in the apple of American Christian culture today, as I see it: an emphasis on materialistic values, a disengagement from mainstream culture and opposition to social reform, and rampant hucksterism.

This analysis contradicts pretty much every point you made.
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Postby fschmidt » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:56 pm

gsjackson, you should read The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism which shows how positive Protestant materialism created the modern world (the good parts, wealth and technology). As I said, Finney and the Second Great Awakening were responsible for the prohibition, banning prostitution, and women's suffrage. Banning prostitution and women's suffrage were the worst things to have happened to America. They were reformists in the way and spirit that Liberals are reformist. They have the same mentality.

I have nothing against materialism as long as it isn't at the expense of morality and spirituality. And I strongly support disengagement from mainstream culture. So our values are opposite, so it isn't a surprise that we see history differently.
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Postby gsjackson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:00 pm

I've read Weber. Along with the creation of wealth -- to the extent Weber was right about a Calvinist matrix -- came the tendency to define and value onesself in terms of material wealth. Materialism is INEVITABLY "at the expense of morality and spirituality." Check out Wall Street as exhibit A, the first of many. This is the main story of American life.

Leaving aside the fact that prohibition came about 45 years after Finney's death, and is generally seen as an outgrowth of the third Great Awakening, I'll accept for the sake of argument your contention that Methodism, or Christian perfection, was at the root of these social movements. You're still left with the burden of demonstrating how efforts to eliminate alcoholism and prostitution -- which usually function as demonstrable social pathologies -- are at the heart of what you say is collapsing Christian culture. The big social movement of the last 40 years has been the massive retreat from the rising culture of libertinism into fundamentalist/evangelical churches that have clear delineations of right and wrong. That has brought about a resurgence in American Christianity.

And how are you drawing a connection between the Second Great Awakening and women's suffrage? That's hardly self-evident.

Also, while I won't make the case that American culture is currently redeemable, it got that way in part because of all the elements that abandoned it to the predators -- evangelical Christians, druggies, whatever category you fit into, etc., etc.
Last edited by gsjackson on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gsjackson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:03 pm

What, the word prostituti*n is not allowed on this site? It's edited to p4p? What kind of crazy software have you put into operation, Winston?
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Postby fschmidt » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:04 pm

If materialism is inevitably at the expense of morality and spirituality, then why did it take so long for Calvin't materialistic view to cause the breakdown in morality and spirituality? My argument is that the breakdown in morality and spirituality was caused by overconfidence and lack of soul-searching.

What I was looking for in my research was the first cause, where Christianity went off the rails. So the first cause is the second Great Awakening which led to the third Great Awakening which led to women's suffrage which led to modern feminism. It is a chain and I wanted to know where it starts. My contention is that after the second Great Awakening, the rest of the sequence followed logically.

The Prohibition is an example of misguided moralism that accomplishes nothing and has no biblical basis. Banning prostitution is even worse because it empowers women at men's expense. It also has no real biblical basis. A biblical Christian law would outlaw all extramarital sex which, as a non-Christian, I wouldn't approve of, but at least such a law is consistent with Christianity and doesn't harm men to empower women. So both of these things which the Christian Temperance movement supported are examples of misguided moralism based on biblical ignorance.

I haven't researched it, but I would bet anything that women's suffrage came out of the Christian Temperance movement because it fits the pattern. And of course we all know what a disaster that was.
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Postby MrPeabody » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:48 pm

fschmidt wrote:If materialism is inevitably at the expense of morality and spirituality, then why did it take so long for Calvin't materialistic view to cause the breakdown in morality and spirituality? My argument is that the breakdown in morality and spirituality was caused by overconfidence and lack of soul-searching.

What I was looking for in my research was the first cause, where Christianity went off the rails. So the first cause is the second Great Awakening which led to the third Great Awakening which led to women's suffrage which led to modern feminism. It is a chain and I wanted to know where it starts. My contention is that after the second Great Awakening, the rest of the sequence followed logically.

The Prohibition is an example of misguided moralism that accomplishes nothing and has no biblical basis. Banning p4p is even worse because it empowers women at men's expense. It also has no real biblical basis. A biblical Christian law would outlaw all extramarital sex which, as a non-Christian, I wouldn't approve of, but at least such a law is consistent with Christianity and doesn't harm men to empower women. So both of these things which the Christian Temperance movement supported are examples of misguided moralism based on biblical ignorance.

I haven't researched it, but I would bet anything that women's suffrage came out of the Christian Temperance movement because it fits the pattern. And of course we all know what a disaster that was.


Why don't you read history instead of spreading your delusions.

Here is an article written by communists explaining the roots of woman's liberation in Communism.



Workers Hammer No. 198
Spring 2007


In honour of International Women's Day

The Suffragettes, the Russian Revolution and women's liberation
(Women and Revolution pages)

http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wh/198/suffragettes.html

Bolshevik Revolution laid the basis for women’s liberation

The Bolshevik Revolution proved definitively that the road to women’s emancipation was through socialist revolution. The greatest victory for the working class and oppressed masses to date, the revolution smashed tsarist/capitalist rule and the Bolshevik-led soviets (workers and peasants councils) seized power. Land was taken from the landlords; industry was soon collectivised and the new workers state took steps to establish a planned economy. The revolution sought to bring women into full participation in economic, political and social life, and brought enormous gains to working women. The new workers state gave women a level of equality and freedom unparalleled anywhere in the world at that time—sweeping away centuries of patriarchal and religious power. Civil marriage was established, divorce was allowed at the request of either partner and all laws against homosexuality were abolished. However the Bolsheviks also understood that emancipation of women, and indeed of the toiling masses, requires an end to scarcity and poverty and therefore could not take place within the confines of an impoverished workers state. Rather it necessitated a vast leap in the development of the productive forces, which in turn required the extension of the revolution internationally, particularly to the more advanced capitalist countries such as Germany.


This was the banner of the Suffragettes. Notice the hammer and sickles.



Image[/url]
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Postby Moretorque » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:55 am

MrPeabody wrote:
fschmidt wrote:If materialism is inevitably at the expense of morality and spirituality, then why did it take so long for Calvin't materialistic view to cause the breakdown in morality and spirituality? My argument is that the breakdown in morality and spirituality was caused by overconfidence and lack of soul-searching.

What I was looking for in my research was the first cause, where Christianity went off the rails. So the first cause is the second Great Awakening which led to the third Great Awakening which led to women's suffrage which led to modern feminism. It is a chain and I wanted to know where it starts. My contention is that after the second Great Awakening, the rest of the sequence followed logically.

The Prohibition is an example of misguided moralism that accomplishes nothing and has no biblical basis. Banning p4p is even worse because it empowers women at men's expense. It also has no real biblical basis. A biblical Christian law would outlaw all extramarital sex which, as a non-Christian, I wouldn't approve of, but at least such a law is consistent with Christianity and doesn't harm men to empower women. So both of these things which the Christian Temperance movement supported are examples of misguided moralism based on biblical ignorance.

I haven't researched it, but I would bet anything that women's suffrage came out of the Christian Temperance movement because it fits the pattern. And of course we all know what a disaster that was.


Why don't you read history instead of spreading your delusions.

Here is an article written by communists explaining the roots of woman's liberation in Communism.



Workers Hammer No. 198
Spring 2007


In honour of International Women's Day

The Suffragettes, the Russian Revolution and women's liberation
(Women and Revolution pages)

http://www.icl-fi.org/english/wh/198/suffragettes.html

Bolshevik Revolution laid the basis for women’s liberation

The Bolshevik Revolution proved definitively that the road to women’s emancipation was through socialist revolution. The greatest victory for the working class and oppressed masses to date, the revolution smashed tsarist/capitalist rule and the Bolshevik-led soviets (workers and peasants councils) seized power. Land was taken from the landlords; industry was soon collectivised and the new workers state took steps to establish a planned economy. The revolution sought to bring women into full participation in economic, political and social life, and brought enormous gains to working women. The new workers state gave women a level of equality and freedom unparalleled anywhere in the world at that time—sweeping away centuries of patriarchal and religious power. Civil marriage was established, divorce was allowed at the request of either partner and all laws against homosexuality were abolished. However the Bolsheviks also understood that emancipation of women, and indeed of the toiling masses, requires an end to scarcity and poverty and therefore could not take place within the confines of an impoverished workers state. Rather it necessitated a vast leap in the development of the productive forces, which in turn required the extension of the revolution internationally, particularly to the more advanced capitalist countries such as Germany.


This was the banner of the Suffragettes. Notice the hammer and sickles.



Image[/url]



I don't know, the 10 planks look pretty much like slavery to me weather your male or female.
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Postby fschmidt » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:14 am

It only took seconds to find a link between Christian Temperance and women's suffrage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman%27s_ ... ance_Union

MrPeabody, you do know how to use Google?

also see http://www.democraticunderground.com/11396091
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Postby MrPeabody » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:30 am

fschmidt wrote:It only took seconds to find a link between Christian Temperance and women's suffrage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman%27s_ ... ance_Union

MrPeabody, you do know how to use Google?

also see http://www.democraticunderground.com/11396091


According to your article, this is the requirements of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union:

"Requirements for joining the WCTU include paying membership dues and signing a pledge of abstinence from alcohol. The pledge of the Southern Californian WCTU for example, is "I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain from all distilled, fermented, and malt liquors, including beer, wine, and hard cider, and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of and traffic in the same."[31] Current issues for the WCTU include alcohol, which the organization considers to be North America's number one drug problem, as well as illegal drugs, abortion[32] and gay marriage.[33] The WCTU has warned against the dangers of tobacco since 1875. They continue to this day in their fight against those substances they see as harmful to society. The WCTU strongly supports banning same-sex marriage, which it sees as a negative influence on families."


You really can't see the difference between the above and a Communist Feminist movement out to destroy the family and men? Geezzz.
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Postby MrPeabody » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:10 am

Betty Friedan, who started the Feminist movement, was a Communist. Cultivating hate and conflict is a communist technique of gaining control. This is the Feminism you are experiencing today.

"BETTY FRIEDAN IS UNIVERSALLY REGARDED as one of the founding mothers of feminism's Second Wave. In The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, Friedan aimed to expose the sexist underpinnings of America's post-World War II complacent prosperity. Friedan argued that millions of American housewives found the destiny of mother and housewife which society mapped out for them stifling, repressive and even dehumanizing."

"Here are some of the highlights of Friedan's hidden radical and feminist political past that Horowitz has brought to light:

• While at Smith College (1938-1942) Friedan's leftist politics were developed by the radical outlook of her professors. She put her beliefs into practice. Friedan (then using her maiden name, Betty Goldstein) was editor of a college campus weekly paper where she argued for her positions e.g. non-intervention in WWII (up until Pearl Harbor), unionization of the maids on the college campus. She attended a summer course at the famous activist training camp, Highlander Folk School.8

• Friedan spent one year doing graduate work in psychology at Berkeley (1942-1943). She was offered a scholarship but declined it. While at Berkeley her social milieu consisted of active members of the Communist Party United States of America (CPUSA). Notably, one of her boyfriends, David Bohm, a party member, was a physicist at work on the Manhattan Project, developing the atomic bomb. He was later called up by HUAC, (as were several of her Berkeley professors). Bohm was acquitted and left the country.9

• After leaving Berkeley, Friedan's first job in New York City was as a journalist at Federated Press, the U.S.'s premier leftist news service. While at FP (1943-46) Friedan wrote stories, for example, promoting unions, exposing and opposing corporate exploitation, denouncing racism and sexism.10"

http://nova.wpunj.edu/newpolitics/issue35/boucher35.htm
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Postby Ghost » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:33 am

fschmidt wrote:
Ghost wrote:Milton tried to justify the ways of God to man. That fails because most humans are irrational. Perhaps that is why religion on the surface appears to be about dogmas that are not to be questioned: most humans are too stupid to rationally understand why things must be a certain way. (Such as why one should not envy, or why girls should be virgins at marriage, or why men should not f**k the wives of other men.)

I would like to be part of a religion, but it is important to me that those involved must be rational and moral. If they are too stupid, then they can easily be corrupted. If they are moral already but not intelligent, that makes it easy for them to be corrupted.


Don't these 2 paragraphs contradict each other? I agree with the first one. Given that people, on average, aren't very bright, religion works like this: It is a group with rules. God is the head of the group, and being virtual, He cannot be corrupted. Those in the group who are corrupted leave or are forced to leave. The membership is defined by those who adhere to the values, rather than the values being defined by the changing fancies of the members. To keep things on track, a guidebook is used called The Bible.

Finding such like-minded men is really only possible on the internet.

How many have you found? Since I can't find enough to form even a small group, I will just settle for the real life group closest to my views, namely the Karaite Jews.


Therein lies the problem. At least there is the internet to find like-minded men. Potentially, I have found several whom I think would be good to try to form a community with. But while the internet makes it easier to find them initially, life is always pulling different people in different directions. Coming together and creating a community is difficult, but I think it is the indecision, fear, comfort and therefore laziness that makes even intelligent and moral men fail to act. It is difficult, but it shouldn't be this difficult.

I came to China and already I realize I could make it here. (Although this is not where I want to end up for several big reasons...) So it should not be so overly difficult to gather like-minded men and then after some planning and preparation, go to a country like Mexico or Belize, and begin a moral sub-culture. Cult/religious leaders have charisma enough to make people do extreme things for them. Inspiring that fervor in like-minded men is key, and yet from behind a screen, it is next to impossible without charisma. Even with, it would be very difficult. I think it is particularly difficult to do so in America because although it is mental and emotional torture to live in such a society, it is also more than comfortable enough to prevent action for most. I don't want to give up on the idea of forming a sub-culture, but right now it is dead in the water.
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Christian Culture

Postby Rock » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:32 am

fschmidt wrote:http://www.actbiblically.org/The-Rise-and-Fall-of-Christian-Culture-tp5001012.html

After months of trying to figure out what caused Christian culture to rise and fall, I think I finally have the answer. Anyone interested in this question can read my post and comment here.


That's a fascinating post fschmidt. I'm starting to explore Christianity too. I'm in the middle of "Zealot, the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth" after having the book brought to my attention by author Reza Aslan's recent Fox News interview. What I've gotten so far from this book is a picture of what things might have really been like vs. what is presented in the New Testament. Aslan also gave an interview with "The Young Turks" which I found to make a lot of sense. Here is an excerpt of what he said at the end of the interview"

"I don't believe in a religion, I believe in God. The only reason I call myself a Muslim is because the symbols and metaphors that Islam uses to talk about God are ones that make sense to me. It's not that Islam is more true than Christianity or Christianity is more true than Judaism. They are all equally true, equally valid ways of expressing what is absolutely inexpressible. If you believe there is something beyond the material world, something that is truly transcendent, then you need some kind of language to talk about it, to make sense of it. That's ALL that religion is. Anybody who says I believe in Christianity or I believe in Islam misses the point. Christianity and Islam are not things to believe, they are sign posts to God. They are a means to an end, not an end in of themselves.

You either believe there is something beyond the material world or you do not. If you do not, fine. If you do, then do you want to actually experience it, commune with it, or not? If you do not, fine. If you do, then you need some help, you need a way to express what is fundamentally undefinable. And that's all religion does, it gives you a language to express it. Anything more than that and you're missing the point of what religion really is. The great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart once said 'if you focus too narrowly on a single path to God, all you will ever find is the path.'"


Here's the full interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL6E4eMX-4k
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Re: The Rise and Fall of Christian Culture

Postby Winston » Mon May 23, 2016 9:14 am

That's a great quote about religion Rock. That's how I've always seen religion too, as symbols, not as literal truth. In higher dimensions and planes, literal truth is probably undefinable by words. Some levels of reality are just beyond words, because words can only define the physical plane and are very limited. Heck, one cannot even describe what an apple or orange tastes like with mere words, you gotta taste it yourself to know what it tastes like. lol. So words are even limited on the physical plane.

Fschmidt, what happened to the link in your OP? It appears to be broken. Is ActBiblically.org your website? What happened to it?
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