PART 1 - CHARLES CHAUNCY
Have you ever wondered why even famous American institutions of higher learning, like Harvard and Princeton, went from being colleges founded as 100% Christian, slid quickly into the hotbeds of Universalism at best, and paganism at worst, in the past century or so?
Have you even wondered why an entire society, beginning in the liberal New England region, pushed secularist thought and humanist reason so much that it now permeates every level of society .....which also now threatens to destroy the principles of Religious Freedom, upon which the United States was founded?
How did this all happen? Well, the seeds of this can be traced to two decades, before and after the American Revolution of the 1770's! In this short series, we will look briefly at the men who never really believed in the founding Biblical principles of a new nation....while still fighting the good fight for it! We will take a good look at men from Charles Chauncy to Thomas Paine and Jefferson himself! Regardless of what the well-intentioned modern Christian historian David Barton says, he cannot revise the History of these men, in order to make them look like followers of the Jesus Christ every one of them rejected. What these men did in part, was set in motion the secular United States we see today, which France has lived under since the French Revolution.
Charles Chauncy (1705-1787) was a Congregational minister in Boston, who was the great grandson of the second president of Harvard College (now Harvard University). When the winds of True Revival swept through the comatose body of New England Christianity, Chauncy was one of its first and most vocal enemies! Here was a supposed minister of the Gospel, literally resisting the Spirit and fires of the Lord! He hated the reaction of the masses of people, by the thousands, who responded to the Call to Repent and realize the fleeting nature of Life, their miserable estate before God and the need for Salvation. In churches and wide open fields they came, sometimes up to 30,000 at a time, to hear the most fiery and powerful preacher of the Gospel for 200 years until Billy Graham came along.
George Whitefield was that man! Chauncy hated him. He hated him personally. He hated the preaching which came out of the true Reformation - about the Total Depravity of man and the need for forgiveness and crying out to God to be saved. Thousands reacted to this powerful preaching with tears and heart-felt emotion. This was something which those in the elite of the clergy, and the upper crust of society, frown vehemently upon. Never mind that their churches were the beneficiaries of all these people getting saved and coming to Christ! In fact, Chauncy and his elitist clergy friends, which included the boards of Harvard and Yale, banned Whitefield from even being allowed on the premises of their colleges! To make it worse, Chauncy then proceed to preach against not just Whitefield, but the First Great Awakening Move of God! But wait, there was more - he followed Whitefield all over Massachusetts as he preached open air to scores of thousands, and then published pamphlet sermons against Whitefield and his messages!
One day, when both men happened to meet accidentally on a Boston street, Chauncy was overheard saying to Whitefield "I am sorry to see you return!" To which Whitefield said "so is the devil!1" But personal animosity aside, what this Chauncy did was not just conduct his personal war against True Revival, led by the Holy Spirit, as the leader of a prominent congregation and a Harvard official, he used it to lead millions now, away from the Full Counsel of God, as found in the Scriptures.
Chauncy called himself a Calvinist like the great Jonathan Edwards or Whitefield or the rest of the Revival preachers, but he was not one. His doubt of the Word was the impetus for him first believing and then sowing the seeds of "common sense" or Reason as the unbelieving French called it. He ceased to believing in the Triune God or the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit! He stopped believing in Original Sin (whereas Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden) and thus, he did not believe in a literal hell! Two years before he died, Chauncy published a book he could never have gotten away with years before during the American Revolution. It was called "The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations".
This man is solely responsible for the spread of liberal Protestantism and even worse than that, he gave us what came to be known as the Unitarian Universalist. Chauncy pastored there for 60 years and had the opportunity to corrupt many a mind, in what is now known as the hotbed of all kinds of liberalism - the North East USA! The Unitarian movement he spawned has had awful consequences for the Furtherance of the True Gospel of Christ in that region. True Christianity is not welcome in these Ivy League colleges anymore. Charles Chauncy was but one of the founding pillars of American Atheism, and a man who showed the spiritual path out away from Jesus Christ for many we see today.
PART 2: THOMAS PAINE, JEFFERSON AND THE FRENCH INFLUENCE
PART 3: ETHAN ALLEN AND ELIHU PALMER
1. Seasons of Refreshing by Keith J, Hardman (Baker Books 1994 pg 74)