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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Charles Finney?

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saltlicker20
Member



Joined: 2005/11/11
Posts: 57
Grand Saline, TX

 Charles Finney?

After listening to Keith Green's message "Devotions or Devotion" off of SI, I was introduced to Finney (since most of the sermon is reading off of Finney's work).

I have heard wonderful stories about him and God moving through him. However, I have also read that many consider him a heretic and extremely damaging to the Evangelical movement today.

I want to know why?? Was Finney a man of God?? Should he be looked up to??? Please break it down into layman's terms...haha, I'm tired of reading theologians ideas on this issue and just want some str8 talk.


DO
I Pet 4:2


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DO

 2006/3/7 18:50Profile
letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re: Charles Finney?

I am intereseted, also. I have heard many reputable speakers praise him, but often with a disclaimer that they don't agree with all his ideas.

The accusations I have heard were that he lied to get ordained, in that he said he agreed with all the tenets of his particular denomination. I have also heard that he didn't believe in original sin. When I asked the question of where Finney said sin came from, I never got an answer that I can remember. So I am interested, too.

I have done a little research on this subject, but it got to the point that I decided it was not worth the time to study for hours just to find out the theological mistakes of the man, when it is clear he was hungry for God, and the revival He brings.

I am convinced that a man can be right on 100 out of 100 tenets of the Christian faith, as far as knowledge is concerned, but still not be rightly related to God. It seems that Finney had clean hands and a pure heart, but was imperfect in his understanding of Biblical theology.

An excellent and brief quote from Finney:

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=9603&post_id=75416&order=1&viewmode=flat&pid=75406&forum=36#75416


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Hal Bachman

 2006/3/7 21:30Profile
Phricee
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Joined: 2006/3/7
Posts: 2


 Re: Charles Finney?

Finney was a preacher of righteousness. But one of the main problems that I believe people had with him was his emphasis on the will of man involved in salvation. In his autobiography he details his views in contrast to the belief that if God wills one to be saved, it will happen without the involvement or response of the human will. Back then, many believed that if it was God's will to save them, that He simply would drop it on them. So their only hope was to pray and wish upon a star that they would be the "elect". Repentance was not an act of the will in response to the conviction of and with the help of the Holy Spirit, but just a gift to be granted randomly.
Finney's message was basically one that put the heart of discipleship immediately into every convert. He didn't have a sinner's prayer type format. He just encouraged people to lay down anything that would stand between them and their salvation and throw everything at the feet of God. We don't start people out that way anymore, that type of preaching is reserved for 20-year "seasoned" Christians. Many people experienced no assurance of salvation under his ministry UNTIL they had put away a particular pet sin that they had. Of course, it was different for everyone.
One man experienced no assurance of salvation until he went to pray in the woods(the woods were known in the town as a place get right with God). This was because he expressly knew that God wanted him to pray in the woods, but his pride did not want him to be seen going into the woods to pray. He would do everything BUT go into the woods, he would throw himself into puddles to pray, but he felt no change until he went into the woods.
You should read his autobiography if you get a chance, he also more explains the whole "getting into the denomination" thing.
I have never heard of the same kind of Holy Spirit conviction and thorough repentance as I have heard from his ministry

 2006/3/7 22:28Profile
GaryE
Member



Joined: 2005/4/26
Posts: 376
Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania

 Re: Charles Finney?

I doubt there is a man or woman that doesn't have some opinion or belief that I think them to be wrong about. That doesn't make them to be any less of a man or woman of God.

Charles Finney did not believe that God would predestinate a person to be a sinner. He refuted the idea of election and predestination because of this. Some people who accept John Calvin's ideas of predestination think that Finney was a false teacher, mostly over this point.




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Gary Eckenroth

 2006/3/8 0:57Profile









 Re: Finney


Our brother Robert is doing a great one on the Revival Board called ~

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=9750&post_id=75434&order=0&viewmode=flat&pid=74829&forum=40]"Betrayal of the Ages"[/url]

 2006/3/8 1:29
brianb
Member



Joined: 2006/3/8
Posts: 1


 Re: Charles Finney?

8-) whats needed is to chew on the meat and spit out the bones.
the bible is the only book that you can 100% trust.
i think when the bible said study to show yourself approved, it ment we would take that as our referance.the bible sias we can learn from the ant, i am sure we can learn from mr finney, and how God worked through his life.

 2006/3/8 18:08Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Here is some info for you:

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/finney.htm

There is one calling him a heritic.

http://www.stopsinning.net/Johnson.htm

There is one refuting the one calling him a heretic.


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Josh Parsley

 2006/3/9 8:55Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
whats needed is to chew on the meat and spit out the bones.
the bible is the only book that you can 100% trust.
i think when the bible said study to show yourself approved, it ment we would take that as our referance.the bible sias we can learn from the ant, i am sure we can learn from mr finney, and how God worked through his life.



There are certain 'strengths' that Charles Finney had and also their were what I would consider 'weaknesses'. He has an unorthodox soteriology that has given rise to some extreme teachings that were weighty upon folk who sat under them. I was raised under an Oberlin (Govt of God) 'type' view of salvation. It leaves you feeling like there is no grace- only judgment when you fail. This is not entirely true, but it was Finney's belief.

I personally enjoy his revival lectures and accounts. Beyond that I cannot accept much of Finney's theology. I believe it is good to 'proove all things and hold fast [u]to that which is good[/u]. You need a good foundation of orthodox salvation doctrines (both Calvin and Armenian) before digging into Finney's. You will be way off if not. Finney had a lawyers education and it affected his doctrine. You should keep this in mind. ;-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/3/9 9:09Profile
letsgetbusy
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Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I am interested to look into Finney's 'assurance' views. I have noticed some similar views in the likes of Wesley, Reidhead and others. Wesley had no assurance of salvation though he had been a missionary and preached the gospel. Only after his Aldersgate experience did he receive the 'inner witness.' Reidhead stated in his famous '10 Shekels' sermon that the only people that God witnesses through are those that surrender their life to God.

I know this opens up some other cans. One thing I like about this site is the common ground you find between many preachers of the old paths. It seems that Finney, Wesley, and Reidhead preached on the 'inner witness.'

I get the feeling that many also preach on this same process and call the steps by different names, and many debate on this subject, not realizing they actually agree more than they think, just referring to certain points with different names.


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Hal Bachman

 2006/3/9 11:49Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 785


 Re:

I personally do believe that Finney did a lot of damage or at the least, helped set up the damage. Look at the fruits that His theology has produced from his time to our time:
1) Revival Psychology. Church services that are setup because of the psychology of revival created by Finney. Why do we do church the way we do? Because according to Finney, it produced the best results. Do we do what we do because we are results driven? Pragmatism is not a fruit of the Spirit. Obedience to the Word of God is fruit.

2) Social Gospel theology. Let's fix up this world and make it a good place to live so that Christ will come back to a nice place to reign and rule. I've read my Bible. I know what the end looks like. It isn't what Finney preached. He left out half of the Gospel--the redemption of creation (I am not talking about universalism, which is total heresy). And that isn't created by Christians moralizing the world. It is done by God creating a new heaven and new earth.

3) Finney said the atonement is "the substitution of Christ’s sufferings for the punishment of sinners, a covering of their sins by his sufferings." This is very wrong for many reasons and it really is a heresy that creeps ALL OVER the church. Jesus Christ being beaten, whipped with a scourge, wearing a crown of thorns, and being crucified are not sufficient punishments to redeem mankind. There are men in this world who have suffered much more than this and yet that alone is not sufficient to save anyone. However it is that Christ endured the wrath of God, being slaughtered by the Father, having become sin. "He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" is what the scripture states. Do you see the difference? This might seem like a battle of words, but look at how it affects the Gospel! With Finney's theology there is not a necessity for Christ. God could have just forgiven us according to Finney and we could possibly be perfect if we wanted to. Although he may have made much of sin, He made little of God and His Christ. And by and by, he invalidates all those precious OT examples that demonstrate the necessity of Christ.

It takes a long time and a lot more effort than I can put in to dismantle Finney's theology. And I know some of you are lover's of Finney and his ways, but I want to warn you about something that I am very guilty of myself: We can look up to great men of God. We can be inspired by their lives and spurred on toward godliness more and more by their example. But they are not Jesus Christ. Their words do not carry the weight and authority of scripture. If you want to be spurred on and motivated, be motivated by Christ and Him crucified. If you want a man to look up to, fix your eyes on the Savior. If you want someone to model your life after, be conformed to His image. If you want a revivalist to look up to, look up to Christ--the only revivalist who did it all perfectly and was a model of that life which we strive to live.

 2013/6/26 17:31Profile





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