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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Finney Criticism

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JoeA
Member



Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Re:

So, Christ did not satisfy Divine justice when He died? I guess His death on the cross wasn't really all it's cracked up to be then. [b]Shame on anyone who believes that.[/b] SHOW ME SCRIPTURE that backs up Finney's point. I don't understand how people can worm their way around believing in Christ's full payment for our sins just because some preacher said so. Forget about what Finney said, forget about what Ravenhill, Reidhead, and Washer says. It doesn't matter what man has to say about anything. It only matters what God has said, and He cried with a loud voice [b]"It is finished!"[/b] and He sealed it with His blood.

And if such a belief leads to anti-nomianism (as some have said it does), then we can be assured that the person is most likely unregenerate. If i could have saved myself i would have done it along time ago. Re-read Romans and Hebrews, then come back and tell me if you still agree with Mr. Finney.


_________________
Joe Auvil

 2006/10/15 9:25Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: in constant jeopardy?

Hi everyone. I'm glad to see some actual quotes from this man as it gives me an opportunity to look at some of these things I've only heard about.

Brother Paul, it doesn't seem like the material you quoted changes much from what Overseer has quoted. For instance, Finney is quoted here as saying

Quote:
I insist that His offering could not touch the question of our intrinsic desert of damnation. His appeal is to the infinite mercy of God, to His loving disposition to pardon; and He points to His atonement, not as demanding our release, but as fulfilling a condition upon which our release is honorable to God.



But were not we, who are Christ's, crucified, buried, and resurrected with Him? is he asserting that Christ's giving us His life was only a payment for sins in a most general sense and not at all in any personal sense for each individual that is His?

The sense that I get from reading this is that he is saying that Christ's blood was shed so that it may be [u]continually offered or presented[/u] before God so as to placate the wrath of God upon those who are always and continually deserving of His wrath and that Christ now is in Heaven making intercession by pleading and appealing to God's sense of mercy while pointing to the blood that He shed so that God may have a [b]sense[/b] of justice in the satisfaction of the demands of His law but only a [b]sense[/b], since he says it is [i]honorable[/i] not just.

It would seem then that he is saying that we all stand every moment in constant jeopardy of our souls.

How then is there [b]any[/b] peace with God? Would this not rather leave for us a continual and uncertain approach to God for peace, rather than lasting peace?

How can anything less than complete and perfect justice be [b][i]honorable[/b][/i] with God when it comes to the demands of His law. It's as though Finney is saying that the only thing that Christ's shed blood will accomplish for us is to appease or turn away God's anger when we sin.

What of Christ's life then? Does he mean to say that His, that is Christ's life, is not imputed to us? that we do not wear His righteous garments by faith? What, are we naked before God every hour? What, does the scripture say in vain

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[b][color=000000] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.[/color][/b]



and

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[b][color=000000]ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.[/color][/b]



Well then, if we are hid with Christ and have put on Christ and are in Him and He in us does God still reckon us dead? If not dead, then alive and if alive then alive [b]in Christ[/b], [b] by Christ[/b] having not a righteousness which is [b]our own[/b]

Quote:
[b][color=000000] which is of the law... [/color][/b]




Quote:
[b][color=000000]...but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:[/color][/b]



What then, is it not a righteousness? Is it rather an honorableness? Is this what the inspired author said, that we have been made

Quote:
the honorableness of God in Him?



No!

The scripture says

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[b][color=000000] For he hath made him to be sin [u]for us[/u]...[/color][/b]



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[b][color=000000] who knew no sin[/color][/b]



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[b][color=000000]that [i]we[/i] might [u]be made[/u] the righteousness of God in him.[/color][/b]



What then, has God left off from the building of His Temple is us? Did He begin a good work and not finish it? Are we not then

Quote:
[b][color=000000]a new creature[/color][/b]



Did God create this [b]new creature[/b], with, as Finney puts it, an

Quote:
intrinsic desert of damnation



Some might say or ask, yes, but what of the old man? What does the scripture say

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[b][color=000000] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.[/color][/b]



Wherefore the Apostle asks

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[b][color=000000]Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?[/color][/b]



For the scripture also does not say in vain

[b][color=000000] For if, when we were enemies, we were [u]reconciled to God by the death of his Son[/u], much more, being reconciled, we shall be....[/color][/b]

[b][color=000000]...saved by his life.[/color][/b]

for He was

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[b][color=000000]delivered for our offences[/color][/b]



and was

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[b][color=000000]raised again for our justification[/color][/b]



Am I missing something brothers?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/10/15 10:56Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Trouble with selections

Well, on second thought ...

Had shelved something that I wasn't sure was necessary or timely but following back up again here, think there is great misunderstanding of Finney's intent and a great overshooting of the point. Have a suspicion that drawing out so little from the greater context of this particular writing is to make an attempt at putting words into his mouth. Off the shelf;

Quote:
"They (theologians) insist upon it that the atonement of Christ is the ground of our forgiveness. They seem to assume that He literally bore the penalty for us in such a sense that Christ now [u]no longer[/u] appeals to mercy, but demands justice for us. To be consistent they must maintain that Christ does not plead at a mercy-seat for us, but having paid our debt, appears before a throne of justice, [u]and demands our discharge.[/u]



Thanks Paul for bringing in more context and John as well;
Quote:
Finney is explaining the work partially from the standpoint of confronting universalistic belief.



"[i]in such a sense...[/i]" Is oft repeated here.
Think there is something very important in Finney's expression and quite applicable to where we find ourselves today.

[i]... that Christ now no longer appeals to mercy, but demands justice for us. ... but having paid our debt, appears before a throne of justice, and demands our discharge[/i]

Is this not exactly the sentiment behind a 'easy-believism'? And that with a great emphasis or over emphasis, that there is nothing you can do, you cannot 'earn it', just accept it, "paid in full" ... on and on infinitum. The issue is not that these things are not ultimately true in the right sense, but the place of emphasis. Seems this is at the heart of both the cheapening and the universal ideals. Has it not taken the repent out of repentance? Shame, guilt, punishment, suffering for our sins ... [i]still[/i]. Has not the saint still a death sentence hanging over his head no different than the rest of humanity, don't get the wrong idea, just that [i]that[/i] payment is still coming due.

Is not the gospel ultimately just an exasperating, practically unutterable ... [i]Awe[/i]. Not only are we not worthy of the thought, merely;

Luk 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

And to note, this is when [i]ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you[/i]. Can well see the shifting emphasis of some who have gone back to preaching much on the 'law' if it is to just cause some kind of true evaluation of conscience, Jesus Himself going even further to the heart of the matter, always. This society is so conditioned to be comfort bound that even it's Christians have crafted all the catch-phraseology that steals the steam of anguish and soul searching in lieu of OSAS, "[u]just[/u] come to Jesus'. Again the trouble is not the truth hidden and inherent under the guise of these things but, [i]Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.[/i]

The great fear seems to be the fear of coming clean, of a right introspection, of being inspected by God Himself, seeing our true worth both from His perspective and ours. The awe is that He could, would be mindful of us ... and yet it is true. How staggering now as it was upon the first interruption of light shinning in the darkness. [i]Be ye thankful[/i] ? !

There is no getting around all the [i]If's[/i] of scripture, of enduring and endurance, of [i]cost[/i], the most important and now overshadowed with Christian lingo and what's in it for us sentiment; God's cost, God's Son ... To really think of it, it is horrifying. And to turn and make light of it, simplify it, humanize it...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Quote:
So, Christ did not satisfy Divine justice when He died? I guess His death on the cross wasn't really all it's cracked up to be then.


Don't see Finney saying this whatsoever. His words again,
Quote:
I cannot accept this view. I insist that His offering could not touch the question of our intrinsic desert of damnation. His appeal is to the infinite mercy of God, to His loving disposition to pardon; and He points to His atonement, not as demanding our release, [u]but as fulfilling a condition[/u] upon which our release is honorable to God.



There is the answer to "It is finished". Take note of the particular wordings he is using, [i]the question of our intrinsic desert of damnation[/i], is this not so?

Take the [i]demanding our release[/i]. How much of this is exactly what is heard from the presumptuous and spurious preachers of the gospel of plenty, word-of-faith, the 'claim' jumpers. It is the expression of "How do I get in on this", "What's in it for me?" rather than being bowled over with ... "[i]What do I have to do with Thee"?[/i] That the demons exhibited and even the Lord expressed towards us, [i]Your father the devil[/i] before we received pardon at His expense.

What is deserved versus what has been given. "Lord, Lord" versus "Have mercy on me, a sinner". This doesn't change anything of the sort even for the long suffering, long tarrying saints. What might one say of the apostle John so long after the Lords resurrection, Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

Phi 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, [i]work out your own salvation with fear and trembling[/i].

Quote:
I don't understand how people can worm their way around believing in Christ's full payment for our sins just because some preacher said so

And I don't see anywhere that this is the matter at hand, it is [i]just desserts[/i] that he is appealing to.

Perhaps a reading through a recent posting by John of George Whitefield would go a long way in understanding Finney's concerns here.

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=1007]The Holy Spirit convincing[/url]

Comments from and towards it;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=11777&forum=36&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=1]HolyGhost reproves world of sin, righteousness and judgement[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2006/10/15 13:42Profile
kdbutton
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Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 108


 Re:

Yikes! We argue with a dead man (though I will make no presumption on his state of eternal life) who has no opportunity to clarify or defend himself. No court in this nation would allow that.

Would we not do better to avoid arguements which generate strife.

Chris JD you did a great job handling the truth but so have many others in this string.

There is a world of people to be reached for Christ.

Remember that while Finney was preaching, unnoticed there was a man, Father Nash mighty in prayer and fasting, crying out to God's mercy for the salvation of souls and revival of communities.

The Holy Spirit moved! People were not argued into the kingdom, but it was by God's grace they were saved, and that not of themselves, it was a gift of God and not of works lest any of them could boast.

They heard the word, they believed and they were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise.

If Finney was wrong, God has already dealt with it. I don't know nor understand what strongholds he was up against, I will not presume anything.

We have the same word of truth to handle that he had but I fear God and pray as Paul did that He will give us all the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him so that we may know...

and also that we will devote ourselves to prayer as Nash did with an alert mind and a thankful heart... and pray that God will give us many opportunities to preach about his secret plan-that Christ is also "for you Gentiles". And pray that we will proclaim this message as clearly as we should. And that we will live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. and that our conversation be gracious and effective so that we will have the right answer for everyone.

In fact, please God I pray let us reach someone for Christ today, in Jesus' name!

Yikes!

 2006/10/15 13:47Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 More helps

Hello KD,

Perceptions are often not the reality here, but having said that it is worth the attemp at clarifying that which can be clarified. Have a great affinity to Father Nash, in fact clipped a whole lot on the matter of prayer from this, it just seemed to confuse myself as much as it would have others ... :-?

But there are some other items that can bring more understanding to all this, from Finney himself. Have no desire to defend or purpose anything other than that. A couple;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=12844&post_id=99424&order=0&viewmode=thread&pid=0&forum=34#99424]CONVERSION TO CHRIST. ~ Charles Finney[/url]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=643]On the Atonement [/url]


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Mike Balog

 2006/10/15 14:17Profile
JoeA
Member



Joined: 2004/11/29
Posts: 364
Decatur, Illinois

 Re: Trouble with selections

Hebrews 7:19 [b]For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. [/b]

What hope do we have if Christ did not satisfy Divine wrath, as Finney said He did not.

Quote:
They seem to assume that He literally bore the penalty for us in such a sense that Christ now no longer appeals to mercy, but demands justice for us. . . I cannot accept this view.



25-27 [b]Wherefore he is able also to save them [i]to the uttermost[/i] that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, [i]separate from sinners[/i], and made higher than the heavens;
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. [/b]

Able to save to the uttermost. This does not sound like a Savior Who can simply plead for our mercy, but rather One Who has aquired such mercy for us. And countering easy-believism, our Lord is "Seperate from sinners".

8:12 [b]For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. [/b]

9:12-14 [b]Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained [i]eternal redemption[/i] for us.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
[i]How much more shall the blood of Christ[/i], who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?[/b]

We cannot be reactionary to the truth of the Gospel. There is nothing wrong with the truth that Christ has paid our awful sin debt in full (He is a Mighty Savior). The fault is with the false prophets and wolves who leave out repentence and self-denial.

10:14 [b]For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.[/b]

19-22 [b]Having therefore, brethren, [i]boldness [/i]to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
And having an high priest over the house of God;
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. [/b]

26-29 [b]For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? [/b]

There must be balance. Because of the prevalence of anti-nomianism today, we have gone too far right and have given up Grace. We don't want people to think they can live however they want, and still be saved. So, in our zeal we've become Pharisaical, demanding that we must keep up the payments on what Christ has already paid in full. It doesn't have to do with wether or not i'm doing what i can to make sure i'm saved. The issue is wether or not God has so radically changed my heat that i now do those things which are pleasing to Him through the death and resurrection of Christ.


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Joe Auvil

 2006/10/15 15:20Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Brethren, I still don't think we have a proper understanding of Finney's point. We have to understand that Finney was battling very strong forces of Universalism and Antinomianism in his day, and many of his messages were seasoned to that specification. I've read quite a few Finney sermons, and though I can't say I agree 100% with everything he taught, I am also not too quick to call this great man of God a heretic on a public forum.

In fact, I deeply admire Finney; the Holy Spirit has used many of his messages to prick my heart in ways no other preacher has been able. There's just something about Finney's mind, how he understood the deep things of man's conscience and moral convictions. And the way he was able to convey the legal ramnifications of sin, righteousness and judgment was absolutely staggering. Brothers, it is not right to accuse this man of God as we would an enemy of the cross. Like it has already been pointed out - if Finney was in error, God will deal justice. I, however, happen to believe that Finney's crowning will be a staggering spectacle in heaven, and I don't know anyone here who would volunteer to be next in line.

Seriously, I wonder if Leonard Ravenhill would log onto SI and post such an accusation of Finney being a heretic. Would Daniel Nash, with all his deep intimacy and prevailing power in God, join forces with a man who preached such blatant falsehood and spend the last years of his life laboring in soul hot prayer over a heretic's "revival"? Yet some of us seem to know more than Nash and Ravenhill and Keith Green and other saints who have endorsed and have been transformed through Charles Finney's ministry.

The important question to ask, though, is what did Jesus Christ think about Charles Finney? Did God endorse Finney? That, to me, is really all that matters. It's God's gospel, not ours. Like Nicodemus reminded the Sannhedrin, let's not be quick to condemn this sleeping saint till we read more about him, get different perspectives, and ascertain a message's proper contextual light when we come across a view we think is heretical. God evidently didn't have a huge problem with Finney's heretical theology, at least not judging by the way Finney was used. I challenge you to read the mind-blowing accounts of his revivals in the 1830's. If someone still has a bone to pick with Finney's understanding of God, they should then beseech God in the Spirit through their [i]correct[/i] interpretation of scripture and have sweeping, blazing revivals of an even greater magnitude than Finney's! Go and fan entire cities into flames of repentance through your [i]correct[/i] understanding of the atonement, and go produce genuine converts where over 80% keep the faith and go to the mission field. This, brother, is not my challenge; Ravenhill said something similar in his potent message "The Burning Heart," where he aimed his gun at all the stagnate theologians who are prone to criticize Charles Finney.


Friends, please, I say we stop maligning Finney on SI, and instead shift our attention to our own walks, and look into why God doesn't use us like he used Finney, even though we understand scripture correctly and Finney was a Pelagian heretic. Ravenhill (who greatly admired Finney) rightly said, "Your theology can be as straight as a gun barrel - and just as empty."

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2006/10/15 17:31Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
What hope do we have if Christ did not satisfy Divine wrath, as Finney said He did not.


Brother, that is not what he is saying at all. If anything he is answering a critque, you are pouring into these comments that which is not stated.

Read "On the Atonement" linked below, it goes a long way in making sense of what was stated from these out takes.


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Mike Balog

 2006/10/15 17:42Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Bought but not owned? Purchased without rights?

Hi again everyone.

This is from the qoute of Charles Finney that Overseer shared with us, please indulge me that I have made the font bigger.

[b][size=small]"The fact of our intrinsic guilt remains, [u]and must forever remain[/u]; and our forgiveness is just as much an act of sovereign mercy, [u]as if Christ had never died for us[/u]." [/size][/b]



[b][color=000000]...put on the new man, which after God is [u]created in righteousness[/u] and true holiness.[/color][/b]

[b][color=000000]And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the [u]redemption of the transgressions[/u] that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.[/color][/b]

[b][color=000000]Ye are bought with a price[/color][/b]


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/10/15 22:33Profile
mamaluk
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Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524


 Re:

Finney

Quote:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." Here then it is plain, that all the law demands, is the exercise of whatever strength [b]we have[/b], in the service of God. Now, as [b]entire sanctification consists in perfect obedience to the law of God[/b], and as the law requires nothing more than the right use of whatever strength [b]we have[/b], it is, of course, forever settled, that a state of entire sanctification is [b]attainable[/b] in this life, on the ground of [b]natural ability [/b](Ibid. , p. 407).





[i]WHERE IS CHRIST IN ALL THIS ??? [/i]

1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very [b]God of peace sanctify you wholly[/b]; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:12
Wherefore Jesus also, that[b] He might sanctify[/b] the people [b][color=FF0000]with his own blood,[/color][/b] suffered without the gate.

 2006/10/15 22:58Profile





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