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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 9-11 A Day that Changed America

No, not 2001. This is about the 9/11 of 1893.

From an interesting article at the Christian History Institute website...

September 11, 1893 • World Parliament of Religions.

When you encounter Buddhists in airport terminals and Eastern mysticism in all shapes within the New Age movement, you have an extraordinary event of the late 19th century to thank (or blame). The World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in honor of the 400th year of Columbus' voyage to the New World, was not just a big trade fair. In addition to art exhibitions, technical, engineering, transportation, architectural and other displays it called together a conference of world religious leaders.

This Parliament of World Religions opened on this day September 11, 1893. Its inspiration lay in the suggestion of a Swedenborgian, Charles C. Bonney. John Henry Barrows, one of Chicago's most liberal clergymen, promoted the event. He claimed later that he had hoped leaders of world religions would be convinced of the superiority of Christianity.

Many Christians such as D. L. Moody refused to participate. Most Protestant evangelicals agreed with the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury that to participate was to presuppose the equality of religions. Salvation is in Christ alone, they protested. Nonetheless, the Roman Catholic Church sent delegates and as did some liberal Protestant denominations. Other representation included a dozen Buddhists, eight Hindus, two Shintoists, a Jain, a Taoist, a couple Muslims, Confucians and Zoroastrians.

The Parliament produced just about the results that evangelicals anticipated. The speeches were largely anti-Christian and denounced Christian missions as unchristian. To many people, Christianity began to seem just one among many equal traditions. Some began to question if Asian faiths were not legitimate alternatives to Christianity. Many decided they were. Great interest was generated in Buddhism and Hinduism.

Swami Vivekananda of the Hindu tradition and Anagarika Dharmapala of the Buddhists toured the United States. The outcome was a Vedanta Society and a Buddhist society. D. T. Suzuki, a Buddhist, was dispatched to the United States by another attendee of the conference where he translated works into English and established a Zen presence, including America's first Zen monasteries. Many other Eastern gurus, seeing ripe fields, have since set up shop in the United States and Americans have increasingly turned from traditional Christianity to homemade cults, many of which include motifs from Eastern religions.

As a consequence of this new exposure, Americans have became more devoted to the idea of religious pluralism. And since the Columbian Exposition, Eastern religions and their symbols have increasingly infiltrated American thought. This, of course, presents a foundational challenge to the basic Judeo-Christian heritage of America with implications for the future identity and destiny of the nation.

Barrows, John Henry. The World's Parliament of Religions. (Chicago: Parliament Publishing co, 1893).
Encyclopedia of American Religious History.
Encyclopedia of Religion.
"World's Columbian Exposition." Encyclopedia Americana

Mike Compton

 2006/6/7 1:10Profile

 Re: 9-11 A Day that Changed America

Some label this the birthday of the New Age movement. . .


 2006/6/7 1:15

 Re: 9-11 A Day that Changed America

I thought this (the above extract) was very interesting. It supports the recognition that men need to worship something or someone; and it bears this out, too...

John 3

17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 "[b]He who believes in Him is not condemned[/b]; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, [b]because their deeds were evil[/b].

20 "For everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 "But he who [b]does the truth[/b] [u]comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God[/u]."

Whatever individuals may say, when a scenario like this is presented, which points up a course of action which has been taken by several different groups of unconnected people, it bears out God's word powerfully.

 2006/6/7 10:37

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: The product of arrogance

It would seem that Pandora's box was opened.

He claimed later that he had hoped leaders of world religions would be convinced of the superiority of Christianity.

What risky reasoning! And arrogant! And foolish! People aren’t that easily convinced to change. No one is that eager to play dead to their entire faith system. That would mean a total uprooting of their entire world view, alienation from their culture, their friends, family… . Not only that, these visitors would have been just as evangelistic as any evangelicals invited to preach about their faith.

Sometimes I think professing Christians have an overly inflated view of themselves and a diminished view of others. They think all those other, less “advanced” people are stupid, passive people who should easily and eagerly see the “superiority” of western ways.

Another thought to consider: Christianity is NOT the most superior religion. Much of Christendom has practised, and still practises a Christ-less faith. There is nothing in this that should attract anyone, really. Without the genuine presence of Christ in the hearts of his followers, Christianity is as dead as any religion.

9-11, 1893 was perhaps more destructive than 9-11, 2001. But it wasn’t alarming because it was like the frog in the frying pan – a slow kill.



 2006/6/7 14:46Profile

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