Jeremy Bentham AD 1748-1832
John Stuart Mill AD 1806-1873
Bertrand Russell AD 1872-1970
Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.”
When we read the history of Modern Missions we see the continuation of the Book of Acts or the moving of the Holy Spirit. What is interesting is to see how God can take one man and use that man to touch someone else who in turn touches someone else.
For example, we have John Newton who not only corresponded with John Wesley, but also communicated with Thomas Scott and Thomas Scott preached the Word so powerfully that a young man by the name of William Carey was so quickened by the Holy Spirit that he brought in what is now known as the “Modern Missionary Movement.”
What we see in the spiritual realm with the Holy Spirit – we also see in the natural realm with some of the so-called philosophers and their ideas that were passed on until evil strongholds were built.
One such man is Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) who is probably not as well known as some of the other philosophers that we have been looking at or even one of his disciples known as John Stuart Mills. Jeremy Bentham was an atheist as well as an apologist for homosexuality. Both of these men rejected Biblical law and advocated ethical theory based upon human reasoning.
Both of these men set the stage for what we today call liberalism or what is now known as the “progressive movement.” Bentham was the original liberal who was dead set against the Christian order and English Common Law as represented by Blackstone. It was during this time that all English speaking countries followed Blackstone’s commentaries and his support of English Common Law. I remember seeing Blackstone commentaries of Scripture here in the USA, but they have now been set aside.
Bentham set himself against the Apostles of Christ, Scriptures, and 1700 years of Christian heritage. Some of the philosophers before him did not go as far as Bentham in denying the existence of the Christian faith. It was Bentham who penned: “Religion has inflicted the deepest injury upon humanity,” Religion for him was the Christian faith. For Bentham, “if God does not explain Himself to the satisfaction of human reasoning then He loses His right to exist,” and because God does not explain Himself to the satisfaction of human reasoning then he does not exist for Bentham and so it is man (Bentham) who sets the standards of what is right and wrong.
Bentham was also the driving force in the introduction of homosexuality, according to him, if it did not produce ‘bad consequences.’
Just like John Newton influenced Thomas Scott and in turn Thomas influencing William Carey and bringing in the Modern Missionary Movement, so it is with Jeremy Bentham. Although his disciples – John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell eclipsed him in being well known, it was Bentham who set the stage for what we call “political liberalism.”
Although Bentham went only as far in confessing his atheism, but his disciple John Stuart Mill let it all out and before he died became the god-father of Bertrand Russell who died in 1970.
It was John Stuart Mill who was a proponent of “feminism” and “gender equalitarianism.” It was Mill who laid the groundwork for free sex, no-fault divorce, abortion and the destruction of the nuclear family.
Bertrand Russell, godson of John Stuart Mill, is probably one of the most famous atheists of all time and wrote the little pamphlet called: Why I Am Not a Christian. Bertrand Russell was a prime mover shaping the worldview that we now have in the Western world.
It was Bentham who took Thomas Aquinas’ idea that human reasoning was another path way to gaining knowledge and building a platform for ethics built on human reasoning. Bentham operated on the premise that there are two things that mankind is faced with: pain and pleasure, that he calls “sovereign masters.” So in his twisted reasoning there is no personal Creator, but only nature operating under pain and pleasure.
This reasoning has led to the breakdown of moral standards that we see now in our language, movies, art forms, news casts, dress, bill boards, etc. Now we call the murder of children “a choice,” the killing of the elderly “humane,” miserable unnatural perversions “gay” and witchcraft sold to our children as “harmless fun.”
Scripture tells us in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
The problem we face today is if all that is evil is good then what is left to call evil? This is why our modern society finds it hard to define evil. This is why Christians are called “homophobes” accused of hating homosexuals and who face heavy fines if they speak against certain sexual sins according to God’s laws.
This is why we find in our political, legal and social systems today – the required action is what produces the greatest amount of pleasure. How true that when we reject God and His moral standards – anything goes, because there is no ultimate standard to judge what is ultimate good and true.
The separation of human reasoning from the influence of sacred doctrine will create an atmosphere where anything is accepted and then honored. This is what we are seeing in our Western Civilization today.