248) 3rd Awakening Sets Up WW I – II

The Third Great Awakening 1890-1920

Problem: The Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants. Average income and population in the western world began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth for the first time in history. Rapid economic growth began to occur after 1870 in what has been called the Second Industrial Revolution due to the presence of an entrepreneurial class often linked to the Protestant work ethic. The Industrial revolution has been criticised for complete ecological collapse, causing mental illness, pollution, and turning humanity into slaves. Some studies state that over 95% of species have gone extinct and that the vast decrease in the biodiversity of life will lead to eventual mass starvation and collapse of society. 

Reaction: The marked difference in quality of life enjoyed by Western nations attributed to one’s own works crept into a new theology that poverty is not a personal failure (“the wages of sin”) but a societal failure that can be addressed by the state; a shift from preaching against personal to social sin; and a shift to more secular interpretation of the Bible and creed. The reaction to the growing awareness of an inevitable apocalyptic end to the world was met with either Postmillenialism, wherein the Church was responsible for cleaning up the mess humanity had made in order for Jesus Christ to return and take over, or Dispensationalism, wherein the Church escapes God’s judgment on humanity’s mistreatment of his earth through the Rapture.

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The Third Great Awakening in the 1850s–1900s was characterized by new denominations, active missionary work, Chautauquas, and the Social Gospel approach to social issues.[4] The YMCA…The Christian and Sanitary Commissions and numerous Freedmen’s Societies were also formed in the midst of the War.[19]

The Gilded Age plutocracy came under sharp attack from Social Gospel preachers and reformers, especially the battles involving child labor, compulsory elementary education, and the protection of women from exploitation in factories. With Jane Addams‘s Hull House in hicago as its center, the settlement house movement and the vocation of social work were deeply influenced by the Social Gospel. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union mobilized Protestant women for social crusades against liquor, pornography and prostitution, and sparked the demand for women’s suffrage. The Salvation Army founded in England by William and Catherine Booth arrived in America. The promotion of “muscular Christianity” became popular among young men and in 1891 basketball was invented at the YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.  

Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science gained a national following. The Society for Ethical Culture was established in New York in 1876 by Felix Adler and attracted a Reform Jewish clientele. The New Thought movement expanded with Unity and Church of Divine Science.

Contrast this approach of changing society through political institutions with the biblical approach of changing one individual at a time through individuals allowing God to speak through them.

With his boundless physical energy, natural shrewdness, self-confidence, and eternal optimism, Dwight Lyman Moody could have become a Gilded Age industrial giant like John D. Rockefeller or Jay Gould. Instead, he became one of the great evangelists of the nineteenth century…His father died when Moody was 4, leaving nine children for his mother, Betsey, to raise…and he only acquired the equivalent of a fifth-grade education…

He struck out on his own at age 17…attended YMCA and Sunday school classes, where he became a Christian at age 18. Shortly after that, he moved to Chicago…In 1858 he established a mission Sunday school…in a slum of Chicago…precursor to the now famous Moody Memorial Church)…He drew the children of the German and Scandinavian immigrant underclass to his mission with candy and pony rides, and he drew the adults through…English classes. He was convinced, “If you can really make a man believe you love him, you have won him…”

During the Civil War, he refused to fight, saying, “In this respect I am a Quaker,” but he worked through the YMCA and the United States Christian Commission to evangelize the Union troops. He relentlessly sought and received financial support for all his projects from rich Christian businessmen, such as Cyrus McCormick and John Wanamaker. In all this, he tried to mix effective social work with evangelism.

The Great Chicago Fire in October 1871 destroyed Moody’s mission church, his home, and the YMCA. He traveled to New York [City] to raise funds to rebuild the church and the YMCA, but while walking down Wall Street, he felt what he described as “a presence and power” as he had never known before, so much that he cried aloud, “Hold Lord, it is enough!” He returned to Chicago with a new vision: preaching the Kingdom of God, not social work, would change the world. He now devoted his immense energies solely to the “evangelization of the world in this generation.”

Innovative evangelism

Moody believed music would be a valuable tool in his evangelistic campaigns, so when, in 1870, he heard Ira Sankey sing at a YMCA convention, he convinced Sankey to give up a well-paying government career to join him on the sawdust trail…

calls for crusades poured in. During these crusades, Moody pioneered many techniques of evangelism: a house-to-house canvass of residents prior to a crusade; an ecumenical approach enlisting cooperation from all local churches and evangelical lay leaders regardless of denominational affiliations; philanthropic support by the business community; the rental of a large, central building; the showcasing of a gospel soloist; and the use of an inquiry room for those wanting to repent.

Alternating between Europe and America, Moody and Sankey held numerous evangelistic campaigns before more than 100 million people. At their 1883 Cambridge, England, meetings, seven leading university students, the famous “Cambridge Seven,” committed themselves to become missionaries in China (under Hudson Taylor)…

When the managers of the 1893 World’s Exhibition in Chicago decided to keep the Fair open on Sundays, many Christian leaders called for a boycott. Not Moody. He said, “Let us open so many preaching places and present the gospel so attractively that people will want to come and hear it.” On one single day, over 130,000 people attended evangelistic meetings coordinated by Moody…

he saw the need for an army of Bible-trained lay people to continue the work of inner-city evangelism. “If this world is going to be reached…it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in this world who have great talents.” In 1879 he established Northfield Seminary for girls, followed two years later by Mount Hermon School for boys.

in 1886, Moody started the Bible-Work Institute of the Chicago Evangelization Society (renamed Moody Bible Institute shortly before his death), one of the first in the Bible school movement, [then] Colportage Association (later Moody Press),

Believe it or not, the Social Gospel influenced Evangelical support for WWI in the Third Great Awakening bastions of England and America.

A just war is a war which is declared for right and noble reasons…a war that Christians feel to be necessary or ‘just’ in the circumstances…

[One] of the giants of the Strict Baptists [in England]…J. K. Popham was the editor of the Gospel Standard. He was the pastor of the famous Galeed church in Brighton…Popham believed the First World War was a just war, that the defence of the realm was a clear bounden duty of the government and the people… 

John Murray [in America] was just the same. He and two brothers fought in the war. Both his brothers were killed…John Murray was almost killed…He was resolute in his conviction that it was a just war. When America entered the Second World War students were exempt from conscription if they went to Seminary. He earnestly spoke to the new class at the beginning of the academic year, welcoming them but pointing out their duty to the powers that be, hoping that none were there simply to escape their responsibility of giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. This is what he said…

I hope you have felt something of the urge to enlist in the services of your country in the present emergency…in a very potent way…If perchance you have not weighed these considerations then I hardly think your decision for the course upon which you have embarked is worthy of your privilege and of the task that lies ahead of you [church ministry].

Contrast this approach of changing society through politicalinstitutions with the biblical approach of changing one individual at a time through individuals allowing God to speak through them.

With his boundless physical energy, natural shrewdness, self-confidence, and eternal optimism, Dwight Lyman Moody could have become a Gilded Age industrial giant like John D. Rockefeller or Jay Gould. Instead, he became one of the great evangelists of the nineteenth century…His father died when Moody was 4, leaving nine children for his mother, Betsey, to raise…and he only acquired the equivalent of a fifth-grade education…

He struck out on his own at age 17…attended YMCA and Sunday school classes, where he became a Christian at age 18. Shortly after that, he moved to Chicago…In 1858 he established a mission Sunday school…in a slum of Chicago…precursor to the now famous Moody Memorial Church)…He drew the children of the German and Scandinavian immigrant underclass to his mission with candy and pony rides, and he drew the adults through…English classes. He was convinced, “If you can really make a man believe you love him, you have won him…”

During the Civil War, he refused to fight, saying, “In this respect I am a Quaker,” but he worked through the YMCA and the United States Christian Commission to evangelize the Union troops. He relentlessly sought and received financial support for all his projects from rich Christian businessmen, such as Cyrus McCormick and John Wanamaker. In all this, he tried to mix effective social work with evangelism.

The Great Chicago Fire in October 1871 destroyed Moody’s mission church, his home, and the YMCA. He traveled to New York [City] to raise funds to rebuild the church and the YMCA, but while walking down Wall Street, he felt what he described as “a presence and power” as he had never known before, so much that he cried aloud, “Hold Lord, it is enough!” He returned to Chicago with a new vision: preaching the Kingdom of God, not social work, would change the world. He now devoted his immense energies solely to the “evangelization of the world in this generation.”

Innovative evangelism

Moody believed music would be a valuable tool in his evangelistic campaigns, so when, in 1870, he heard Ira Sankey sing at a YMCA convention, he convinced Sankey to give up a well-paying government career to join him on the sawdust trail…

calls for crusades poured in. During these crusades, Moody pioneered many techniques of evangelism: a house-to-house canvass of residents prior to a crusade; an ecumenical approach enlisting cooperation from all local churches and evangelical lay leaders regardless of denominational affiliations; philanthropic support by the business community; the rental of a large, central building; the showcasing of a gospel soloist; and the use of an inquiry room for those wanting to repent.

Alternating between Europe and America, Moody and Sankey held numerous evangelistic campaigns before more than 100 million people. At their 1883 Cambridge, England, meetings, seven leading university students, the famous “Cambridge Seven,” committed themselves to become missionaries in China (under Hudson Taylor)…

When the managers of the 1893 World’s Exhibition in Chicago decided to keep the Fair open on Sundays, many Christian leaders called for a boycott. Not Moody. He said, “Let us open so many preaching places and present the gospel so attractively that people will want to come and hear it.” On one single day, over 130,000 people attended evangelistic meetings coordinated by Moody…

he saw the need for an army of Bible-trained lay people to continue the work of inner-city evangelism. “If this world is going to be reached…it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in this world who have great talents.” In 1879 he established Northfield Seminary for girls, followed two years later by Mount Hermon School for boys.

in 1886, Moody started the Bible-Work Institute of the Chicago Evangelization Society (renamed Moody Bible Institute shortly before his death), one of the first in the Bible school movement, [then] Colportage Association (later Moody Press),

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