New England’s Avalanche of Apostasy: Snowing Over the Pilgrim’s Progress

         The northeast has had an exceptionally snowy winter. And it’s not over yet. Residents have experienced cold and snow way beyond the norm in an ongoing series of repeated winter storms and blizzards blowing in with gale force winds, much of it concentrated on the inner coastal areas of New England.

         The city of Boston has set new all-time snowfall records. The area’s snowfall is greatly out of proportion compared to other usually more prolific geographic snowy spots known for large accumulations and relatively high averages. Is all this random?

         Boston set a new season snowfall record on Sunday, measured from July 1 to June 30, with just over 9 feet to date. This had never happened before in official recorded history. The city also set by a large margin a new all-time winter record, and destroyed the previous monthly record with 64.9 inches in February, eclipsing the old mark of 43.3 inches set in January of 2005.

         The official measurements date back to roughly 1870. Unofficial record-keeping dates to the 1700s. There is no way to know for sure what the actual records are from the time of Boston’s founding, but residents of the Boston greater metropolitan area, which adds up to about 7.6 million people including commuters, have seen the record snowfall firsthand and generally refer to this as the worst winter in memory.

         Boston was founded in 1630. It could certainly be the case that the new official records were exceeded in all that time, but comparing the snowfall totals of the last 145 years gives a good indication that the current snowfall has been decidedly extreme. The previous annual record was set two decades ago. The snowfall is increasing at what appears to be an exponential rate with new records being set at shorter intervals.

         Adding this to all the other strange weather patterns happening in recent years all across the country tells us something is up. Other records are being broken as well. There is no comparable data for many of these events in recorded history and therefore no portent of what is to come, but it does not look good.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE PILGRIMS

         And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Daniel 2:21-22 KJV] [1]

         In 1620, the English Separatist Christians, also known as the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth Rock. They were the first English settlers in the region and founded Plymouth Colony, the second colony in America.

         These believers had suffered greatly for their faith while in England, and even had to flee to the European continent to escape persecution before coming to America. The Separatists had withdrawn completely from the English state church—the Anglican—many decades before, due to strong beliefs in pure New Covenant teachings. They paid for it severely. Many lost their lives and were imprisoned long before later brethren made it to these shores.

         There is confusion regarding the many denominations of the English Reformation of the 1500s, such as the Presbyterians, Puritans, and Separatists, but it was the latter group that the Lord had chosen to get to New England first.

         The Puritans were relative latecomers to America and had always insisted on keeping one foot in the official Anglican Church. They proved their lack of resolve by not only succeeding in avoiding much persecution, but also waiting for others to do the heavy lifting and putting forth a strong witness. Once the ocean highway was built by the pioneering Pilgrims they began infiltrating Plymouth Colony and the Boston area in droves.

         Thirteen years before the Pilgrim landing, in 1607, it was the Anglicans who began the first English settlement on the American continent, but this was to the south in Jamestown, Virginia. The Jamestown settlement experienced great hardship and was actually abandoned briefly in 1610. It had a purely economic motive rather than the spiritual motive of Plymouth.

         Regarding New England, though the Separatists were obviously the group closest to the heart of the New Covenant and the Gospel, they were soon overrun by all the others who later ventured to America. Still, they laid the initial spiritual foundation. The Puritans overlaid the Pilgrim’s foundation with their own, which included an ecclesiastical culture and governance, much legalism, and the aforementioned connection to the hybrid high church Anglican assembly. Nevertheless, there was a strong Christian presence in the New England colonies overall and the Puritans eventually distanced themselves from the Church of England.

THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING

         The first American Great Awakening began a century later in late 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts in a small church community led by Jonathan Edwards. It eventually spread like the proverbial wildfire throughout the northern colonies and later as far south as Georgia. This proved to unite many of the members of the various denominations, though the old school Christians fought the revival tooth and nail. The Awakening proved to be the initial unifying force of the young confederation of colonies that a few decades later rebelled against harsh English rule and won independence in the American Revolution.

         It must be noted that the Revolution against the English throne had achieved in the secular what the Separatists had achieved in the Spirit. Both parties made the decision to risk everything and attempt an impossible goal. Both were driven by something otherworldly beyond the natural scope. Without those strong disciples of the Lord a century and a half before the Declaration of Independence was signed—those who were willing to risk it all in bringing the Gospel to a new continent—there would have been no American Revolution, no freedom, and all the blessings of God made possible since.

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING

         The Second American Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread rapidly primarily under the preaching of Charles Finney beginning about 1825. The next ten years were his most active as a revivalist. Again, God’s choice was not conventional. Though a Calvinist, he rejected much of the Old Divinity Calvinism, and preached against strict Predestination, proving that the doctrine of some people being born for heaven and others for hell to be heretical.

         Finney caught much flak from his detractors during his ministry. He was a strong advocate of preaching against sin and demanded repentance, exactly as had the Lord Jesus and the early believers. Jonathan Edwards had done the same. Both of these men were humble and unpretentious. Both fought against great odds. Both were seen as odd.

         Finney preached thousands of messages in revivals throughout his life and also founded Oberlin College in Ohio. His revivals were primarily located in upper New York state and Manhattan.

         The First Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards’ time had spread throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.

         The Separatists Pilgrims had established Plymouth Colony, which at its height covered most of the southeastern part of what is now the state of Massachusetts. This colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

         There is no doubt that great spiritual happenings were a matter of course for the greater New England and northeast region. The people there had been abundantly blessed by God. Later history, however, reveals the unfolding of a spiritual disaster.

SPIRITUAL SNOWSTORM?

         What has happened to the great Christian presence in the Northeast? In the region where great revival fires spread and untold numbers of people were saved there is now a general spiritual coldness, distance from God, and a growing hatred of real Christianity. As the record snowfalls of Boston portend, the hearts of millions have grown cold in an ever increasing spiritual snowstorm.

         Could the snow records be a sign? Could it be that the record snowfall is a clear indication of the great apostasy of the region?

         Boston’s snowfall record goes back to the beginning of official record keeping in about 1870. Charles Grandison Finney died in 1875. Coincidence? How could a place with such a powerful Christian spiritual history become the very opposite at present? What is the cause of the northeastern states’ descent into such a freezing cold spiritual condition?

         In looking once again at the impossible journey of the Separatist Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and the great spiritual foundation they set, and also at not one but two powerful Great Awakenings that shook the northeastern part of the country, it should give all believers serious pause over what can happen when people drift away from God. The spiritual temperature in the region is matching the frigid winter lows but remains constant all year long, and has resulted in a relative spiritual ice age.

         Keep your seeing eyes peeled. After just witnessing the greatest all-time snowfall upon the exact land claimed for God by the Separatists four centuries ago, there are not only warnings to be heeded but signs to be sighted.

         Something tells me the present early stages of the Great Awakening will not be having any breakouts out in Boston.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on March 17, 2015, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I suspect the reasons for the apostasy in the New England area, as well as the rest of the United States is based on the same issues Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed:

    “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” Exekiel 16:49

    Toss the sin of homosexuality to the mix, and I would say that’s a fairly good description of the present moral and spiritual condition in America. Plus, I don’t remember reading much of anything about the Lord being worshiped in Sodom or Gomorrah. It would seem that prosperity and abundance always tend to bring about complacency toward God and the spiritual life.

    Like

    • Thanks Scarlett.

      I would say that one’s reality determines one’s actions, and that both are determined by one’s will. The concept of each person on the planet living “in their own world” is certainly true, whether or not it appears that way. It is also obvious that human will exists and much more so than people imagine, and that one’s life is determined by one’s choices.

      The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were simply one case in point that proves this. The people in that region and their culture developed into what they were over time, and it is clear by their history in the Book of Genesis that the population had next to no impulse control. Their behavior proved exactly what the Word of God says about unbridled lust and passion, but the same is true regardless of the dominant sin people engage in.

      Greed has also run rampant in monetarily successful societies. We have very wealthy individuals and holders of high office in our own history and even current history who engage in the most heinous of lustful sins and even crimes, though they usually manage very well to keep it hidden. Ancient kings, Roman emperors, and even the great Solomon were known to do whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it, and sinned to their hearts content. They did this because there was no check whatsoever on their behavior. They created their own reality by their own choices.

      God wants a better reality for us. When one hears the real Gospel presented properly for the first time, one gets convicted of sin. One sees that their reality is not what they thought it was, and even that it is plainly wrong. One’s life contains sin, and sin will eventually destroy that person. Few see this in the early going. It is like comparing young teenagers smoking cigarettes with young healthy lungs to what those people and their lungs look like many years later.

      Whatever sin people choose to engage in will cost them, and often greatly. Some people choose to sin with abandon and pay for it. Others choose to check their behavior and do relatively well even without God’s help. It takes discipline. Most people see the benefits of discipline as applied to anything else, but few see it as a way to limit bad choices in a spiritual sense. Nevertheless, human discipline without God will never eliminate all bad behavior or result in salvation.

      God says the soul that sins will die spiritually, and because of that will later die physically. But human death was not part of God’s original plan. It came as a result of very bad choices. STDs in America have risen to near epidemic levels but you rarely hear about it. Could it be because the majority is engaging in the illicit behavior that causes and spreads the diseases, including those in the media? Yet the spiritual disease of sin is far greater.

      If a person can manage to look beyond their own created reality even briefly and consider the results of a life lived against the dictates of lust, against the lack of impulse control, against the lack of love toward one another, and against the lack of knowing the Word of God and applying it, and consider the obvious fact that his or her own choices made the reality he or she lives in, then one can see that a much better reality is possible. But one has to believe it before they choose it. Most do not.

      The reason the Lord Jesus said only few would be saved is the same reason only very few baseball players ever make the major leagues. There are thousands of excellent baseball players that never get close. As they move into higher leagues at various levels, their weaknesses are revealed and they either cannot overcome them or refuse to try. The best continually work on their weaknesses in the effort to eliminate them, improve, and never quit. They work very hard at their craft in a highly competitive field. Many that eventually make it to the show are not necessarily blessed with great natural talent—they worked their way there.

      It is the same with overcoming sin. Most never acknowledge sin. Most refuse to try to overcome it. Most never try to stop sinning, no matter what the sins are (and there are many). This refusal is a choice. And the choice creates one’s reality. Hence, there are no excuses.

      The Lord Jesus put forth the perfect example both in word and deed. He proved what is possible if one decides to be disciplined and become a real disciple. One will not be perfect, but one can certainly manage to eliminate the bulk of that which makes one a sinner with no check on behavior, and actually become a force for good in the world. One can be delivered from the power of sin and be born again to new life with power over sin.

      Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD. [Genesis 13:13]

      Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.
      “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
      “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
      “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
      [Matthew 11:20-24]

      This is perspective. By the Lord’s pronouncements against the three Galilean cities whose residents possessed a cultural following of Old Covenant Scripture, He claimed that they were worse than the residents of Sodom. He implied that if the residents of Sodom had experienced the Lord’s ministry, had heard the Gospel, and had seen His miracles, they would have repented and thus never would have been destroyed.

      The sin of Sodom was obviously great, but the much greater sin is rejecting the Lord Jesus and the power He possesses—the only power that exists that can eliminate one’s chosen evil and sinful reality for His reality of spiritual power, Life, Truth, and Love.

      Also, by the preceding verses of judgment against unrepentant Galilean villages, the same judgment is upon Unreal Christianity which identifies with them. The people of Unreal Christianity have heard the real Gospel but rejected it and created substitutes with no spiritual power or love. They created a false reality that does not eliminate the power of sin yet claims salvation. The world of the not yet repentant, as characterized by Sodom, contains many who would certainly repent if they heard the real Gospel, but all they know of Christianity are the false versions and reject them because they know such religion has no power to change their reality. They perceive Christianity as just another false reality itself.

      Regardless of the Christian fakers, the Truth of the Gospel must be presented so all fakers can be saved and made real.

      Like

  2. There is no doubt that all of the snowstorms in the Northeast this winter have caused a lot of hardship for many people. I see it as God’s wrath on sin.

    There has been a severe drought in California for a few years now. I just hitchhiked out of northern California this past week; I was helping some friends for a month and a half. They have had very little snow this winter and not very much rain (they have a cow-calf herd). If there is no water, there is no life.

    They are teaching homosexuality in California public schools and Hollywood is greatly pushing the homosexual agenda. There are too many people in California that worship the creation and not the Creator (Romans Chapter 1). I see the drought getting worse. Maybe there will be famine in the United States someday.

    People need to repent of sin.

    Jesus Christ is Lord.

    Like

    • Right you are, Tim. I agree. Thanks for the comment from the scene.

      I read an article the other day that said California, without a lot of rain, is scheduled to run out of water in a year and that the only water left will be ground water, which is being pumped out right now and has been for a while. California has always existed on man-made water sources—damned up rivers and etc. But lake levels are going down drastically. I would think this would give people pause and maybe rethink some things. A few probably are but the majority has become oblivious these days. You know about it, I know about it, a lot of people know about it, but I’m pretty sure most of California doesn’t know about it or probably care. They will, though, when the taps run dry.

      There is another Water source from a Well that will never run dry…

      Like

  3. I like the way you write about Real Christianity vs Unreal Christianity. Just thought you would like to read this:

    “Unreal City,
    Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
    A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
    I had not thought death had undone so many.”

    “He who was living is now dead
    We who were living are now dying”

    “Falling towers
    Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
    Vienna London
    Unreal”

    —T.S. Eliot
    “The Waste Land”

    “Goodbye, Las Vegas”
    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/goodbye-las-vegas/

    Like

    • Thanks. Hey, there’s some real insight there. Depending on perspective, some people figure out that what goes up must come down. It’s just a matter of time. But most people seem to try to run ahead of the inevitable and slam their hands over the ears in a failed and childish effort to be deaf to it. Better to grab onto the eternal, put our treasure in heaven, and trust the Lord Jesus to see us through in the here and now. Babylon is fallen, is fallen…

      Like

  4. Brother Dawson, your comment was a blog post in itself and a great one at that.

    So,there are no excuses for anyone, are there? Since the Lord God has commanded that all men from every quarter of the earth must repent. No if’s and’s, or buts. His last warning for all to repent may come during the Great Tribulation, but I believe, as the Word indicates, it will come. .

    Acts 7:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

    Blessings,
    Scarlett

    Like

    • Thank you, Scarlett. I appreciate it. Regarding the word length of responses, it also has every bit as much to do with the comment or question that inspired them.

      And no, regarding the necessity of repentance, there are no excuses. Thinking about that tax collector in prayer beating himself up because he knew he was a spiritual failure but wanted desperately not to be, it is indicative of a person’s heart whether or not to recognized the obvious—that every single one of us are sinners bound for hell, and that hell is the default destination of all human beings.

      That being the case (and those who are honest know it is the case, without question), the Lord God knew He must do something about it and that He was the only one who could. Because of His perfect sinless life and sacrificial death, He arranged for the possibility that NO!—hell no longer need be the default destination of every person—but a Way has been created, a single Way, often a lonely Way, a straight and narrow path constricted by pressure from both sides with a very narrow entry, but a Way nonetheless.

      It is a sad bewitching thing that sinners have insisted on heaven as their eternal home as if it is some right they possess because they are deserving and whatnot. But it is even sadder that Unreal Christianity has done exactly the same thing, teaching that all “Christians” are heaven bound though these “Christians” never repent, never get right with God, never obey His Word, never follow Him, never become His disciple, and most of all never honor what it took for heaven to become an option.

      The Lord Jesus is the only one deserving of honor and praise. Religious works for the sake of salvation, belief in false gospels, following men instead of God, trusting denominations and churches and hierarchies and “pastors” and church attendance and honoring religious culture though never honoring the Lord will get one the same as an unrepentant attitude toward sin—HELL.

      I love the way the Lord pointed out that prideful Pharisee who was doing everything right as hell bound with no remedy other than repentance which he refused, but also the way he showed us that tax collector, grieving and broken, wanting to get it right—this is an illustration of all of us who decide to eventually repent, surrender to the Lord Jesus, give up our pride, and make possible the inflow of his LIFE into our beings. The Lord said he who would save his life must destroy it. That’s what real repentance does.

      Thanks again. Be blessed.

      Like

  1. Pingback: A Brief Recognition of New England’s Errand into the Wilderness | The Road

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