Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Grammy Awards Debauchery May Precede Revival

In light of the darkness portrayed in the recent Video Music and Grammy Awards and the subsequent outcry from people of conscience, I found this quote in the introduction of Arnold Dallimore's biography of George Whitefield very fitting:

Lord Chesterfield, the elegant worldling who instructed his son in the arts of seduction as part of a polite education, came to the place where he too deplored the evils of the age. Addressing Parliament in 1737 on the obscenity of the theatre he carried the matter to its basic cause. 'When we complain of the licentiousness of the stage', he asserted, 'I fear we have more reason to complain of the general decay of virtue and morality among the people [general public].' [1]

Because of our myopic view of the culture in which we live, we think things are worse than they ever have been in world history. Yet, a notable religious newspaper of that same era, The Weekly Miscellany (1732), had an article which was later summarized by one of John Wesley's biographers as follows:
It [the article] broadly asserts that the people were engulfed in voluptuousness [creating sex appeal] and business [very busy], and that a zeal for godliness looked as odd upon a man as would the antiquated dress of his great grand-father. It states that freethinkers were formed into clubs, to propagate their tenets, and to make the nation a race of profligates; and that atheism was scattered broadcast throughout the kingdom. It affirms that it was publicly avowed that vice was profitable to the state;[2] that the country would be benefited by the establishment of [legalized prostitution]; and that polygamy [having more than one wife], concubinage [living together unmarried], and even sodomy [homosexuality] were not sinful. [3]
It reads like the links posted in a Facebook news feed!

The encouraging part about Dallimore's introduction is that he is giving a picture of the conditions of the culture in England just preceding the greatest outpouring of God's grace since the Reformation: the Great Awakening.

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Let us, therefore, raise our eyes to the fields, for they are ripe and ready for harvest, praying to the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers -- for they are few -- into His harvest.[4] Pray for it in expectancy.

[1]  Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, the Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival,(London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1971 reprint), Vol. 1, 28. Note: This is said to be the best biography ever written about George Whitfield, and the reading of it has been a great blessing to this blogger.
[2] Consider the vices which already add to our government profits by our current tax revenues from state lotteries and sales of alcohol and tobacco products and the proposed sale of legalized recreational drugs such as marijuana.
[3] Luke Tyerman, The Life and Times of John Wesley (London: Hodder & Stoughton Publisher, 1880), Vol. I, 217.
[4] John 4:35; Matthew 9:37, 38