You could see that one coming, right?
The Fourth Great Awakening is a debated concept that has not received the acceptance of the first three. Advocates such as economist Robert Fogel say it happened in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Jesus Movement is one evidence of this awakening, and it created a shift in church music styles.
Mainline Protestant denominations weakened sharply in both membership and influence while the most conservative religious denominations (such as the Southern Baptists and Missouri Synod Lutherans) grew rapidly in numbers, spread across the United States, had grave internal theological battles and schisms, and became politically powerful.
Billy Graham is the keynote speaker for the Fourth Great Awakening.
Billy Graham, the evangelical preacher who died [Feb. 21, 2021] at 99, held an unrivaled role for a religious figure in US public life [with] an audience of hundreds of millions around the world—including in the White House.
Since the 1950s, Graham was a frequent guest of numerous US presidents on both sides of the political spectrum. Photos of Graham’s encounters with presidents current and former…highlight the importance that US presidents have placed on religion in public life.
- Kneels in prayer for President Truman on the White House Lawn after meeting with the President in 1950,
- talks with US president Dwight Eisenhower during a visit at the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 10, 1957,
- talks with president John F. Kennedy at the White House on Dec. 12, 1961,
- shares a lighter moment with president Lyndon B. Johnson share a lighter moment as they leave Washington DC National City Christian Church August 23, 1964,
- with President Richard Nixon waves to cheering crowds in Charlotte, North Carolina on Oct. 15, 1971.
- talks with Vice President Gerald Ford before the start of their round of golf in the Pro-Am at the Kemper Open in Charlotte, North Carolina.on May 29, 1974,
- Applauds President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter as they arrive for the National Prayer Breakfast at a Washington hotel, Jan. 18, 1979,
- chats with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House on July 18, 1981,
- accompanies President George Bush after attending a nondenominational church service at the Fort Myers, Virginia on Jan. 17, 1991,
- reverenced with bowed heads by President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, along with others, during the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 2, 1995,
- receives President Barack Obama at his mountainside home in North Carolina on April 25, 2010 when he is 91 years old,
Following his death at age 99, Former President Jimmy Carter honored him with a eulogy that could have been Ghandi’s if not for the Christian characterization.
Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.
Really? He exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by throwing his support and that of his immense numbers of followers behind the reigning politicians like Richard Nixon whose criminal activities caused his downfall, warmongers (there’s a clue) in Viet Nam and the Middle East, Bill Clinton caught in flagrant? Doesn’t sound like the Jesus Christ of the Bible, more like Caiphus whose status as the most respected religious leader in the nation depended collaborating with the government even if it meant murder.
The massive disconnect between policy and practice is so obvious, so how are these hypocrites able to lead millions of followers into, well, frankly, war?
End times. Nothing triggers panic and the elimination of cognitive function creating a stampede of blind sheep like shouting into a crowded church “Apocalypse Now!”
That rings like a bell on the Titanic, whereas the actual church word is “eschatology” which puts your congregation to sleep. But America’s religious dependence on Washington can only be understood by the eschatological factor.
I’ll let Will Graham, the grandson of Billy Graham and the oldest son of Franklin Graham explain it since “Will has shared the hope of Jesus with more than one million people across six continents since beginning his evangelistic ministry“ Unlike D.L. Moody, Will’s ministry didn’t begin until 2006 after graduating from Liberty University in 1997 with a B.S. (no foreign language requirement, no focus on critical thinking skills) in Religion, a Master’s in Divinity in 2001 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, N.C.) which as of 2023 advertises they now have a stronger core curriculum to better equip our students, and two honorary Doctorates of Divinity.
Dang. I can’t help compare the educational and training demands for me to take care of dementia patients. Could the comprehension skills of the two populations be comparable? Yes, that was snarky, but we’re not comparing apples with apples, are we? I’m applying medical and nursing skills to provide end of life comfort while he’s preparing for not just a lifetime but an eternity for his population which is supposedly lost and going to hell. How? “When the impact of COVID-19 forced the postponement of several [SEVERAL whereas how many of us work full time?] in-person outreaches in 2020 [unlike the medical and nursing personnel who continued to treat patients in person], Will pivoted into a virtual evangelism strategy. The livestreams have featured award-winning musical artists…which will continue to be a part of Will’s ministry in the future.”
Seriously, what exactly is he doing besides “serving” read ‘earning salaries” on the boards of
- Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.)
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada (Calgary, AB)
- Blue Ridge Broadcasting (Black Mountain, N.C.)
- Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.)
Harsh? How many of my readers have a life of ease from a family legacy, and call it “ministry”? As for Liberty University, it merits its own post. Later.
Back to Will’s explanation of eschatology.
The three main schools of Christian eschatological thought are all related to the controversial theme of the Millennium.
Perhaps the key text for explaining the differences between the Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial and Amillennial camps is found in Revelation 20:1-7 where mention is made of Satan being bound for “a thousand years” (v. 2) and of those who “lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”.
Let’s underline the differences.
1.- Premillenialism… stemming from the time of the Church Fathers, believes that when Jesus returns He will establish His kingdom upon the earth for 1,000 years (which may be symbolic or literal).
Dispensationalist Premillenialism believes that Christ will rapture His church before the Great Tribulation..begin to work with the nation of Israel as in the days of the Old Covenant [with the Great Tribulation God’s way of whipping Israel into shape to accept Jesus Christ as King of the Jews.]
Post-Millennialism believes that the Millennium occurs before Jesus’ Second Coming rather than after. Since Scripture speaks of the Millennium as a time of great prosperity for the kingdom of God…The world, as they see it, is in an ongoing golden process of progress…The 1,000 years do not have to be literal…merely symbolize a long time of advancement for the cause of the Gospel. Post-Millennialism reached its zenith amidst the cultural buoyancy of the nineteenth-century…
Then got shot down by World Wars I and II and the sorry state the world has been in ever since.
etymologically, means ‘no Millennium’…Christ is ruling right now over His church from heaven alongside his saints. And Satan is currently bound in the sense that he cannot prevent people from hearing the Gospel and believing in Christ.
Belief in Christ’s personal return to set up his earthly kingdom—premillennialism—has always claimed adherents,but few people in the mid-1800s imagined it would attract more than a handful…
Given the embarrassing recent history of premillennialism in the United States (see the story of the Millerites…its revival was nothing less than amazing…
Dispensationalism was introduced as a premillennial position, and it largely took over the fundamentalist movement…The American church denominations rejected Darby’s ecclesiology but accepted his eschatology…“
Most people don’t have the insight to try the spirits, or time for Bible study, or the knowledge base to compare scripture with scripture. Instead, in their panic and to their detriment they snatch at the most attractive salvation package being offered.
The liberalism of the socially-oriented denominations had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.
Churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their view.
the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching.
It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history…
What separated dispensationalists from everybody else was their novel method of biblical interpretation.
Dispensationalists claim to have a literal hermeneutic, taking prophecies in a simple, material sense… The problem with this approach is that it arrives at interpretations which are later contradicted by the New Testament… the best interpreter of scriptures is other scriptures…which allows the Author to foreshadow spiritual realities through physical means, and later interpret them in clear, didactic writing…
Dispensationalists’ presuppositions start with the inductive reasoning that biblical history has a particular discontinuity in the way God reacts to humanity…For dispensationalists, Israel is an ethnic nation consisting of Hebrews (Israelites) [and right there is a contradiction in literal interpretation of scripture], beginning with Abraham and continuing in existence to the present. The Church, on the other hand, consists of all saved individuals in this present dispensation—i.e., from the “birth of the Church” in Acts until the time of the rapture…
Classical dispensationalists refer to the present-day Church as a “parenthesis” or temporary interlude in the progress of Israel’s prophesied history….Dispensationalists believe that Israel as a nation will embrace Jesus as their messiah toward the end of the Great Tribulation, right before the Second Coming…
Darby…saw that prophecy required a future fulfillment and realization of Israel’s kingdom. The New Testament church was seen as a separate program not related to that kingdom. [See the post Your First Love for details on this racist paradigm.] Tus arose a prophetic earthly kingdom program for Israel and a separate “mystery” heavenly program for the church….
Then it is necessary for the church to be raptured away before prophecy can resume its earthly program for Israel…his eschatological doctrine [that the rapture can occur at any moment] became widely popular in the United States, especially among Baptists and Old School Presbyterians…Dispensationalism was adopted, modified, and made popular in the United States by the Scofield Reference Bible. It was introduced…to a small but influential circle of American evangelicals…disturbed by the inroads of religious liberalism. Dispensationalism was introduced as a premillennial position, and it largely took over the fundamentalist movement…
Why is this influence of dispensational theology so great? In view of the fact that we are living in dramatic, apocalyptic, pessimistic and uncertain times, dispensational theology becomes very attractive to those Christians who see no way out of a seemingly hopeless situation apart from God’s direct intervention in history to take away (rapture) His true church out of this wicked and very perverse world…
The hope of the church is the rapture, the “first” second coming of Christ. Before the great tribulation, which will last for seven years, the true church is to be taken from the earth secretly and then, at a later time, Christ will return in a public “second” second coming. As Darby put it, “The church’s joining Christ has nothing to do with Christ’s appearing or coming to earth.”
Christ at the public second public coming will establish…the millennial kingdom on earth and Christ will offer the Kingdom to Israel again, David’s throne will again be occupied, the temple restored, and sacrifices reinstituted. Judaism will be completely restored and there will be a division between Jew and Gentile.
This teaching on The Rapture of a Gentile Church is not in the Bible and contradicts the clear biblical timing of occurring at “the last trump“. In order to account for this, Dispensationalists invent another series of trumpets that are not mentioned at all in the Bible, and twist and take out of context many scriptures to make a square interpretation fit into the circular eternal plan of God.
In my experience talking with people who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, they have no idea where the rapture teaching came from. Their faith in preservation from suffering is based on preaching from dispensationalists’ pulpits rather than personal Bible study.
The validity of Dispensationalism is extremely prejudiced by the fact that it is a recent development. It only began in the late 1800’s with John Nelson Darby, and was popularized throughout North America with the Scofield Reference Bible published in 1909.
This year became in a sense a turning point in the history of contemporary dispensationalism as the Reference Bible made an immediate impact among evangelical believers. This Bible is now practically a textbook in many Bible colleges…The Scofield Bible creates a false sense of authority by continually referring to its explanatory notes, based on Darby’s interpretation of Scripture.
The reliability of Dispensationalism is extremely prejudiced by the fact that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (I Corinthians 14:33)
Dispensationalism is a complex theological system and there are numerous shades of interpretation. The simplest definition is…A system of Biblical interpretation adhering to literalism in interpretation and distinguishing a series of periods in God’s dealings with man in which God introduced a succession of tests of responsibilities….Most dispensationalists hold to seven dispensations…Some have only four. Others have as many as eight…
Darby taught that Israel and the church are separate entities…God governs his relationship to Israel and the church according to quite distinct principles. Israel and the church belong to different dispensations, that of law and that of grace…
Champions of biblical orthodoxy…? Literal interpretation…? Darby’s teaching should raise alerts on many fronts.
- The claim that God inserted the exclusively Gentile Church into his plan after Israel did not accept Jesus Christ and demanded his death is patently false. The New Testament documents over and over that all Israel did not reject Jesus Christ, only the corrupt leaders who allied with the Gentiles. Paul himself, considered the founder of the Gentile Church, never stopped identifying himself as an Israelite, as did all the early believers of Jesus as the risen Lord and Savior. Even more important is that God’s plan had included the church since before time began, in eternity.
- Dispensationalism itself is split into many factions teaching different things. So which faction is correct? During his career, John Darby himself was a fractious man. “Perhaps he should be described as a petty tyrant, for he was most tyrannical about petty things…All who did not agree with his interpretations of the Bible were characterized as “not having the truth,”…and therefore as somewhat “apostate”…” Darby’s overbearing personality caused much friction. The early history of the Plymouth Brethren movement was dominated by rivalry and strife. Even within Darby’s lifetime several divisions within the Brethren movement took place.
- A forensic psychiatric review of his case file reveals common manic behaviors, leading to a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. “…a man with magnetic, electric personal qualities…he often demonstrated as much zeal in destroying a work of his own…He left a massive set of Collected Writings which are almost uniformly unintelligible.”
So if it’s not in the Bible, where does it come from?
“It comes from the ecstatic utterances of Margaret MacDonald in 1830…that were picked up by John Darby.”
The History of the Rapture
This doctrine is new; it was never taught or even discussed prior to the 1830’s. It seems to have first come from a “prophetic vision” by Margaret Macdonald, a woman in 1830, who was a part of the cult group the “Irvingites,” while having an emotional experience…After that, another cult group called the “Millerites,” predicted the return of Christ on October 22, 1844. It did not happen; that should have been a clue, but this would not die. [Miller…went on to play a role in the founding of the Seventh Day Adventist Church]…
At the same time, this belief was then picked up by Irish born…John N. Darby…who took this new fad to America in 1862 to 1877….He was, in fact, a failed lawyer who was very “intolerant to criticism” and prideful. This should be another clue…
in 1909, a Texan named Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), published the Scofield Reference Bible, a King James Version that contained extensive footnotes demonstrating how various biblical passages supported the ideas of premillennial dispensationalism. It became a best-seller. It was largely through the influence of Scofield’s notes that dispensationalism became influential among fundamentalist Christians… [emphasis added]
Proponents of dispensationalism claim to be biblical literalists…
It is supremely inconsistent that persons whose identity is based on the doctrine of biblical inerrancy rely on the new teachings of latecomer John Darby and the extensive footnotes of Cyrus Schofield.
What happened to “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (II Peter 1:20)
It is most telling that instead of relying on the written word, Dispensationalism relies on direct revelation by a spirit. Note the first sentence by a dispensationalist teacher.
The Holy Spirit reveals there is a time-gap between the first two verses of the Old Testament. This is not the only time-gap in the Old Testament; there are two (2) others. There is the “gap” in the Old Testament between the first and second comings of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is commonly called the “Church Age” or the “Age of Grace.” The other is the 1,000 year Millennial reign of the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, which will be here on the Earth after His second coming and before the final great Judgment Day, followed by the creation of the New Heaven and Earth in eternity. The late Clarence Larkin referred to these Old Testament “gaps” as Valleys between the peaks of prophecy. The illustration below is a schematic of this line of reasoning:
All three of these Scriptural Old Testament “gaps” or valleys have one thing in common: These are things that are spiritually discerned through the Holy Spirit, spelled out plainly in the New testament, which sheds light on what is written in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit reveals these things through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ – the source of all true wisdom. (See Revelation 19:10 & Colossians 2:2-3). The Spirit of Prophecy certainly looks forward into the future, but it also can look backward into the past and you will be able to see this in the KJV Holy Bible. Keep in mind that what transpired in the past directly sets the course for what will happen in the future. This is why it is essential to understand why there is a gap between the first two verses of the Bible.
When we broaden our horizons, Bible-believing Christians can recognize Darby’s Dispensationalism for what it is. One of the many new religious movements that sprang up in the late 19th century on the basis of “new revelation.”
There are two ways to determine if Margaret MacDonald, John Darby, Muhammed, Ellen White, Joseph Smith, and all the rest of the hordes of prophets claiming to report God’s revelation through them are, in fact, God’s messengers.
First, external validation of prophecies that the claimant has made. If a single prophecy fails, then the person is a false prophet.
“if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
Let’s take a look at Darby’s Prophetic Map of the End Times developed in the late 1800’s. Note, according to Darby’s teaching, the rapture can occur at any moment. Therefore, if his prophecies are true, the political elements should have been in play over the last 140 years or so.
This article looks back over what Darby wrote in the light of various things that have happened in the world since then...we Christians should be intelligent as to events in the world, and also know what will happen here after the rapture of the church. Of course we will not be here!
- France, not the USA, becomes the dominant Western power instead of England.
- The USA does not become a world power.
- Russia dominates Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon.
- Islam is of no importance.
Clearly Darby’s predictions have not come to pass.
So in addition to marking him as a false prophet, how can Dispensationalists believe that the rapture could have occurred at any moment since Darby’s new doctrine was taught?
I’m hearing the dispensationalist argument – his predictions just haven’t happened yet. But they will! in an extremely short war where Socialist France allied with Communist Russia splits West and East they knock the USA and the Moslem countries out of commission.
But since Christians won’t be here when that happens, Darby is safe from judgment. But by the same token, without any proof of true prophecies, he is also barred from consideration as a true prophet, isn’t he?
So let’s apply the second proof. As with any other literature, internal consistency provides reliability on which to place our trust in the revelation of the many prophets claiming to speak for God.
Literary experts determine if any “newly discovered” composition is, in fact, the claimed work of a famous author from centuries ago by its consistency with previously established, i.e. canonized (secular as well as religious) works by the same author.
When William Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors and authors published his collected plays in 1623, 7 years after the Bard shuffled off this mortal coil, that book, now known as the First Folio, established what was and was not to be officially “Shakespeare.” Yet, as with any other great artist, Shakespeare left us wanting more. The search for “lost” Shakespeare has spanned centuries…William Shakespeare & Others: Collaborative Plays, edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, uses the latest computer technology paired with old school critical connoisseurship…to coolly lay out all the arguments…beside the very texts in question…
fellow playwright Ben Jonson...calls Shakespeare “not of an age, but for all time,”…the publication of the plays would win Will…a lasting legacy.
Anyone who contradicts internal reliability to make him / herself the authority to redefine the authorship, credibility and meaning of parts of any ancient piece of literature is patently a deceiver. He / she doesn’t know enough about the circumstances in the time and place of the writing to support their claims.
The early Christians…produced translations in each of the major dialects.
The Armenian language first developed an alphabet around 406 AD. An Armenian translation of the entire Bible existed by 414. Early Christians were obviously very zealous about bringing the Scriptures into the languages of the people. There were also very ancient translations of the New Testament into Palestinian Aramaic, Georgian, Ge’ez (Ethiopic), Arabic, Nubian, Persian, Sogdian (Middle Persian), Gothic, Slavonic, and others. The Early centuries of Christianity thus saw the Scriptures translated into a variety of vernacular tongues as the gospel spread throughout the known world…[emphasis added.]
The only way that the Dispensational view works is to take the original language out of the equation and justify their doctrine based on only the King James interpretation of the Scripture. This is understandable considering the large majority of Christians that are holding firm to the belief that the King James version is the only accepted version of the Gospel…We are instructed to study the Scripture to show ourselves approved and to light a path during the time of trial, not to divide the word to justify our translation. (Psalm 119:105)
The Dispensationalists want to twist the word to justify their translation, believing this brings light unto the understanding of Scripture. The basic principle behind this translation is to completely disregard the entire Old Testament and the Gospels as they were written for only the Jews and that only the portion of Scripture written for the Gentiles is relevant for the Church…
this fits your doctrine to justify your stance of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (which is also false and not supported by your doctrine) but how can you call yourselves a follower of Christ when you no longer follow His words?…
The Dispensational view removes about 7/8ths of the Bible to support their claim of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Without removing these portions of the Bible, they have nothing to stand upon!!
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life” (Revelation 22: 18-19)