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Awakening Religious Tensions - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date History and Political Science: Awakening Religious Tensions How do these documents help explain the appeal of the Great Awakening to American colonists, particularly the "common people"? What legacies, ideas or practices remained after the revivals of the Great Awakening ended?…
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Awakening Religious Tensions
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Download file to see previous pages He put a lot of emphasis on being ‘born again’. George Whitefield truly believed that true conversion brought a noticeable change in the souls of those who were converted. George Whitefield greatly disliked what he termed as ‘lukewarm’ Christianity. This, to him, was the reason why so many Christians were unaware that they were doomed in the hereafter. He exhorted his massive audiences to guard against serving God half heartedly. He also made changes in his ministry that stimulated people to actively seek for true change. Watching the sermons George Whitfield was an experience that changed most of his congregations. Audiences sat spell bound as he enunciated statements such as “The Lord Jesus Christ understood how very wicked and devious men's hearts were; he also knew that many reach hell even as they narrowly bypassed heaven’s gates” with numerous gripping gestures (Bushman 123). George Whitefield’s messages succeeded in changing the way Christian sermons were delivered in the majority of churches. Gilbert Tennent’s sermons added to the urgency of the Christian message in the first Great Awakening. In his sermon titled, “The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry”, Tennent referred to ministers who opposed the spirit of the Great Awakening as ‘Pharisee-teachers’. ...
This sparked a division in many churches, and resulted in a number of congregants starting to look for churches that had ministered who had been born again and could prove it. Another minister of the Great Awakening who spurred remarkable changes in American Christian society was James Davenport. Davenport was quite radical in his interpretation of what he believed to be ‘tainted’ or ‘not inspired by God’. For instance, he encouraged his hearers to prevent the devil from influencing their daily lives. He even sanctioned public bonfires in which all artifacts and instruments such as jewelry and novels which were perceived to be ‘inspired by the devil’ were burned in a pile. In a news report on the result of his preaching, on paper documented in 1743 that “Great groups of people rushed toward the place of meeting, and shoved artifacts with Violence into the burning pile, proclaiming, Go you with the Rest” (Bushman 125). Davenport influenced his crowd to become more aware of evil existing in day to day existence, and pushed for a return to purity, zealousness, and steadfastness in the Christian faith. All these developments were received with great happiness by congregations on both sides of the Atlantic. Moreover, they did not inspire much approval among other ministers. An ordained minister of an established church order, Charles Chauncy, particularly abhorred what he referred to as the ‘emotionalism’ he saw in most of the meetings of the first Great Awakening. In a letter penned to George Wishart, a Scottish minister in 1742, Chauncy complained, “There was definitely no extraordinary difference brought about by the preaching and it is vain to act as if there was. Instead, what happened was that there rose a spirit of censorious, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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