The 18th Century Enlightenment opened a frontal attack on God! The very term "Enlightenment" suggested that prior to this time, mankind had been in darkness- the darkness of Christianity, which was equated with superstition and ignorance... The Enlightenment is a name given by historians to an Intellectual Movement that was predominant in the Western World during the 18th Century. Those involved in the Enlightenment were known as "Free Thinkers" or "The Enlightened Ones". Strongly influenced by the rise of modern Science and by the aftermath of the long religious conflict that followed the Reformation, the thinkers of the Enlightenment were committed to the idea of critical inquiry emphasizing logic and reason, rather than having faith in a Supreme God. Anything that could not be "proven" by Science, was regarded as unworthy of acceptance, including Religion. Thus, the "Enlightenment" period also became known as "The Age of Reason". The dramatic success of the new Science stimulated an enormous sense of self-confidence and pride in the intellectual abilities of man. They assumed that Science could unravel all mysteries and solve all problems. Increasingly, Religion was thought to be something that was unnecessary, if even true.
A FRONTAL ATTACK ON GOD
As a result, Christianity was no longer seen as the main influence in Society, and there was a spirit of questioning one's former beliefs and traditions. They preached against the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church and its fanaticism, which was a good thing, but then they carried things to the opposite extreme. They began to worship human reasoning and to depend upon that for guidance, instead of upon the Word of God.
According to the Intellectuals of their day, sometimes referred to as "the Philosophes", who were the self-proclaimed apostles of the Enlightenment, God did not reveal Himself through revelation of the Scriptures. All of man's knowledge of God came through His Creation... Nature, by means of rational inquiry. There was no need for formal Religion; one "worshipped" God by living in accord with Human Reason. The Bible, while it contained some inspiring passages, was considered a hodge-podge of man-made tales, many of them actually harmful, if even believed!
For the most part- the Intellectuals of the Enlightenment period held to a morality that was similar to Judaeo-Christianity, but derived it solely from reason and recognized no religious authority in moral matters. Virtue was regarded as better than vice, but virtue's definition was decided by man's own reason, and the performing of virtuous acts was done by man's own power... God was left entirely out of the question. Man's inner nature was regarded as being "naturally good" from birth (the typical Spiritualist/New Age belief), and so it was "natural" for him to want to do the right thing and to be good, supposedly without any help from any "outside God figure.
During the Enlightenment, the clergy were not particularly effective in countering the anti-religious ideas, and in fact, some of the clergy even became participants in the Enlightenment. Those who didn't openly embrace it, out of fear, nonetheless showed themselves to be tolerant of the ideas that were undermining a faith in God. Then there began to be the start of these humanistic ideas being "attached" to Christianity, and this influence would not be shaken off easily. The Enlightenment began a process that has carried through Western Religion to the present day. In this process, some Religious leaders have concentrated their energies on "reconciling" faith in God with modern culture- the culture of these skeptical Intellectuals who considered themselves to be "enlightened". This of course, causes tension between those who have true faith in God, and those who think themselves to be too "wise" to too "intellectual" to be guided by and to live by the plain Word of God. And that is why, to this day, we still have the "Liberals " and the "Conservatives" in the Christian Churches, which causes incalculable trouble and divisions in the Churches.
THE RETURN TO NATURE
Many of the popular thinkers of the Enlightenment were pantheists and Atheist. Anticlerical feeling was fostered by the Society of the Freemasons. The Freemasons during the Enlightenment became primarily a Society for men without Religious affiliations. It was a very important organization whose membership included such notable figures as Voltaire, Mozart and Frederick the Great. Whereas, the Art in those days formerly had been of a Religious theme, now it became popular to paint on the subject of "Nature". They had thought God only revealed Himself or "Itself" through Nature, and not through the Revelation of the Scriptures. They thought that man could figure out the secrets of life by reasoning-out the processes of Nature. These ideas really had their origin at the Tower of Babel, in ancient Babylon. The Babylonians had wanted to build a tower all the way up to the heavens, so that they could figure out the secrets of Nature and keep it from raining again, and from destroying the World, as had happened during the flood. There was a self-sufficient prideful attitude and a defiance of God-, which was the same attitude that resurfaced during the Age of Reason of "The Enlightenment."
The men of the Enlightenment had a spirit of curiosity and of critical inquiry about everything. They wanted to peer into Nature, to find out its workings, reasoning that the workings of Nature had a logical reason behind it...
Just as reason and observation had been applied to the physical world of Nature- so too, reasoned these men of the Enlightenment -should these same Natural Laws be applied to human behavior. Just as Natural Laws had been found to govern the natural process of Nature, so it was hoped that Natural Laws governing morality, Government and the social order would be found by reason and observation. It is this attempt to find the Natural Laws, or self-evident truths, of human behavior and apply them to knowledge, Government, and religious belief that is called the Enlightenment. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was one of the better known thinkers of the Enlightenment. He believed that it is civilization that is evil, and that man is by nature good until corrupted by Society.
It was this supposed "innate goodness" of human nature that made man capable of using his uncorrupted human reasoning to govern Society. Catholic Theologian Thomas Aquinas also taught that man's reasoning powers or intellect were not fallen or corrupted. Aquinas formulated the concept of Natural Law based on the theories of Aristotle. And the theories of Aquinas and Aristotle were to be the chief sources for Jesuit Theology and philosophy. -The Jesuits, pg. 202
It was the Enlightenment period that paved the way for Adam Weishaupt and his Illuminati Group to later take shape and prosper. The Illuminati Group was formed after the Enlightenment had already started. The Illuminati became known also as "The Free Thinkers" and "The Enlightened Ones", because they too were anti-Christian Rationalists or Humanists who considered all Religions to be "false". And, as you recall- the Illuminati had attached itself to the Freemasonry Organization. The Masonic Lodges played a major role in disseminating the "new ideas" of the Enlightenment in Europe. -Columbia Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, pg. 2206 (1978) The idea of the deification of Human Reasoning can be found all throughout the writings of both the Illuminati and the Freemasons. In reality, the only thing that was "free" about these so-called "Free Thinkers" was their desire to be free from God's rulership and to set themselves up instead as God!
It is the reliance upon Human Reason, instead of upon God's Word and His Law that is the cause of the violent crime and corruption in our world today! In this age of boasted "enlightenment", the Christian Church is confronted with a world lying in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. A well-nigh universal disregard for the Law of God is rapidly making the world like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just as in the days before the great flood, violence again fills the land. This present age presents a sad commentary to those whose eyes have been opened to discern the evils that prevail on every hand. Fear and love of God had nearly left our world. Isaiah prophesied of this time by saying: "darkness shall cover the Earth, and gross darkness the people."
Multitudes are being led away by the delusions of a faithless generation, and are living in darkness. This prevailing spirit of our time is that of apostasy, a spirit of pretended "illumination" because of supposed knowledge of truth, which in reality is but the blindest presumption! There is a spirit of opposition to the plain World of the Lord. There is a spirit of idolatrous exaltation of mere human reason above the revealed wisdom of God.
This awful spirit of unbelief is permeating through all ranks of Society. It is taught freely in our Universities, colleges, high schools, and even in the nurseries! Thousands... even those who claim to be Christians are now giving heed to lying spirits and doctrines of devils. Everywhere the spirit of darkness, clocked in Religious garb confronts the seeker after truth. The Lord is seeking, in His compassion to truly enlighten the understanding of those who are now in the darkness of error. He is calling upon His Church to awake from the spiritual lethargy that Satan has sought to bring upon them, and fulfill their heaven-appointed work of TRULY enlightening the World!