| Re: |
"I love how God works, how He thinks, and how he deliberatly obliterates the presuppositional molds we set up to legislate how He must move. It keeps me humble; it prevents me from adopting a condescending view of my own theological persuasion whereby God is permitted to operate soley under. I may disagree profoundly on some points with Finney, but Finney is still counted a brother to me; I read his essays and profit from them. I am staggered by the accounts of how God shut down entire cities, secular universities, emptied out jails, factories as men fell on their faces and besought God for repentance. And I am equally staggered by the awesome testimonies of men like Father Nash, and other prayer warriors who would labor in sweat and tears, wrestling with God for days before Finney would arrive in town...and then how Satan's kingdom would be smashed after he preached, and the "worst" drunkards, criminals, and other opposers of religion would get gloriously saved - and many of them would later go into lifetime missions."
Amen brother. I remember as a young christian in faith to have read the bio of Finney and his godly life and powerful ministry would inspire me to seek after God and long for the Holy Ghost unction. I remember from Finney's autobiography, when revival came in a town called Rome and people were under conviction of the Holy Spirit. A Sheriff came from another town to Rome for business and as he was approaching the town about 1 mile away felt awe-stricken and felt as if God pervaded the whole atmosphere and later on was convicted and converted. This phenomenon has been experienced in other historical revivals, when people were gripped by the presence of God without anyone preaching to them (the Hebrids revival for example).
When God rents heaven and stepps down thats when revival comes. When an anointed preacher lifts up the cross and preaches Jesus Christ and sinners and backsliders under conviction of sin repent and believe Him, the miracle of regeneration and sanctification will take place. There is no doubt in my mind that Finney was one of the most useful instruments in the hands of God to lead thousands and thousands to the experience of regereration and sanctification.
I dont know whether is ignorance, fear, prejudice that leads some christians not to pay due respect to godly men. God's principles in the bible never change, they are the same from generation to generetion but the methods to reach the lost can change.
The alter call and decision-based evengelism has been abused today and many come forward to "accept Christ" without conviction of sin and repentance and as a result millions profess to be 'born again' but live ungodly lives.
What in the 19th century they called the "mourners bench" or "anxious seat", was practiced first by the methodists in their revival meetings, not Finney.
Timothy Smith wrote this about these methods:
Long promotion of camp meetings had stamped Wesleyanism with a fervor which city churches expressed in yearly seasons of special religious interest called "protracted meetings." Here sinners were bidden each night to the "anxious seat," or mourner's bench, devised about 1808 in a crowded New York City chapel to enable saints to deal with seekers more conveniently. 12
During the Second Great Awakening, when the gosple was preached with mighty power and people under Holy Spirit conviction were often in desperate need for salvation. They wept and mourned for their sins and pled God for mercy and seekers would come forward and seat in a special place for spiritual counsel, help and prayer and i mean not the "sinners prayer" as is popular today. But they were not declared saved unless it was evident that God had done a new thing and brought them from spiritual death to new life in Jesus.
As for brother Finney he has this to say:
It is a settled point with me, that while backsliders and sinners can come to an anxious meeting and hold up their head and look you and others in the face without blushing and confusion, the work of searching is by no means performed, and they are in no state to be thoroughly broken down and converted to God. . . . When sinners and backsliders are really convicted by the Holy Ghost, they are greatly ashamed of themselves. Until they manifest deep shame, it should be known that the probe is not used sufficiently, and they do not see themselves as they ought. When I go into a meeting of inquiry and look over the multitudes, if I see them with heads up, looking at me and at each other, I have learned to understand what work I have to do. Instead of pressing them immediately to come to Christ, I must go to work to convict them of sin. Generally by looking over the room, a minister can easily tell, not only who are convicted and who are not, but who are so deeply convicted as to be prepared to receive Christ. Some are looking around and manifest no shame at all; others cannot look you in the face and yet can hold up their heads; others still cannot hold up their heads and yet are silent; others by their sobbing, and breathing, and agonizing, reveal at once the fact that the sword of the Spirit has wounded them to their very heart. . . . [There must be] that kind of genuine and deep conviction which breaks the sinner and the backslider right down, and makes him unutterably ashamed and confounded before the Lord, until he is not only stripped of every excuse, but driven to go all lengths in justifying God and condemning himself. 13
Wise counsel and great discernment. Before we rush too quickly and blame a servant of God for the woes of medern day shallow evengelism and counterfeit conversions, better search deeper into the facts of history and not base our convictions on the prejudices of theologians.
Finney was against the idea that is so popular today, that a person can accept Christ anytime they hear the gosple preached without any conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. In an article he adviced his fellow ministers:
But without this (conviction of sin) they cannot understand or appreciate the gospel method of salvation. One cannot intelligently and heartily ask or accept a pardon until he sees and feels the fact and justice of his condemnation. . . . It is absurd to suppose that a careless, unconvicted sinner can intelligently and thankfully accept the gospel offer of pardon until he accepts the righteousness of God in his condemnation. Conversion to Christ is an intelligent change. Hence the conviction of ill desert must precede the acceptance of mercy; for without this conviction the soul does not understand its need of mercy.14
Spiritual discernment and testing all things and holding fast to the good is what we need today.
With the same unbiased zeal that i speak of Finney, i would have spoken of Whitefield or Spurgeon or any other Spirit filled christian, if they were victims of slander and prejudice as 'poor' Finney has been unfairly. Im not a follower of any party.
*** Edited ***
| 2009/12/7 2:22||Profile|
| Re: Charles Spurgeon on Charles Finney |
A word fitly spoken like apples of gold in settings of silver.
The more I read about church history the more amazed I am at how God uses, so vividly, men and women of so many different theological persuasions. This is a confirmation of what the Spirit has been convicting me of. Sectarianism is making me want to vomit more and more. I listened to this sermon today and Pastor Zac Poonen annihilates any reason to raise Paul above Appollos.
| 2009/12/14 23:20||Profile|
| Re: Charles Spurgeon on Charles Finney |
Bump, I found alot of good post and descided to bump this thread up rather than start a new thread on a simmaler subject
| 2012/8/4 15:26||Profile|
| Re: |
Hey, now this is a good thread. Thanks for the resurrection. I had forgotten about it, and it was nice to reread all the comments!
Paul Frederick West
| 2012/8/4 15:47||Profile|
| Re: Spurgeon |
Spurgeon preaches me into a state of rest most evenings.
Though his sermons are sooo good that the effect often backfires and I lose sleep, instead. Not only is he one of the best preachers, EVER...but he is like a best friend, too.
And he speaks truth from God's Word on EVERY subject imaginable!!! I keep copies of his sermons in the cupboard of my bed's headboard. He literally preaches me to sleep like a lullabye which keeps the nightmares away.
And his sermons have an almost telepathic effect. This saint and I are about two and half centuries apart...different in gender, race, culture, yet he "gets" me?!? His sermons reach right in and just irrigate every nook and cranny of my thoughts, fears, neuroses, hopes, wishes, prayers until my eyelids rest like butterflies on a flowerbed.
How does he know me? I just marvel as I read and listen to his sermons stream with a command of the English language like lyrics to a favorite song. His language is Wow! I love this man...so much! He is like a dad to me. A spiritual mentor. I quote him often and folks look at me like I'm crazy...so what?
Have you actually read his sermons? What a writer and speaker? Gifted, truly. We have nothing in common but Christ, which makes him closer to me than my own heartbeat, at times. Spurgeon is family. He affirms the strength of spiritual connection in Christ. And he's not even on this planet anymore.
Yet, saints like Spurgeon who speak so intimately to the very psyche of a fellow Christian also affirm one's sense of utter loneliness, isolation and irrelevance in the world.
God, this man IS among those whom I have never ever met, yet closer to me than any person that I have ever known on this earth. And most folks that I know have never, ever heard of Spurgeon, nor would care to know him.
And as a Christian, I often find myself standing in this socially abyssmal gap where I "have more friends above than below" (as Spurgeon often says).
Spurgeon is one of "my people" that I will be gathered to when the time for me has come. Frienships in Christ are truly eternal in their effect and significance and intimacy. But now...what a dungeon this place can be. When I turn the last page of one of Spurgeon's sermons, I get sad like a prisoner returning from an all too brief visitation.
He's that great of a writer, speaker and preacher to me, anyway.
| 2012/8/6 21:47||Profile|