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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 "The church moves forward on its knees" Who said this?

I would like to know who (first) said this.


 2007/8/30 16:29Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37631
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: "The church moves forward on its knees" Who said this?

I believe its Hudson Taylor's advice to Jonathan Goforth, he said to be successful in China you needed to "go forward on your knees."

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/8/30 16:40Profile

 Re: "The church moves forward on its knees" Who said this?

Hello Diane,

I recognise it, but don't know where it came from, and of course, it is not precisely scriptural.

The Church moves forward on its [u]feet[/u]. Now, that's scriptural.

(I don't mean to hijack your thread but I thought you'd appreciate that thought.)

On the matter of appreciation, I'd be glad if you'd check out an Article in that forum called 'THE SPOTLESS BRIDE -anonymous'. You will get the jist of the article from my reply.

 2007/8/30 18:07


Here is the quote:

"Brother, if you would enter that Province, you must [i]go forward on your knees[/i]". - Hudson Taylor.

And here is another quote by Hudson Taylor that I noticed: "Nor is God's work ever intended to be stationary, but always advancing."

The Church moves forward on its feet. Now, that's scriptural.

Hello sister Linn,

What about the verses in the New Testament about the importance of prayer? In Acts 13:1-4 there was prayer and fasting to determine who the Holy Spirit wanted to go forth in ministry, and Paul and Barnabas were chosen.

The passage in Ephesians on the Christian's armour ends with:
"[b]Praying always[/b] with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 ¶ [b]And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,[/b]
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:18-20

Prayer seems to be a vital part there in the preaching of the Gospel.

"Finally, brethren, [b]pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course[/b], and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith." 1 Thess. 3:1-2

Should not service for God be first covered in prayer?

To advance on our knees is to advance in dependence on God, is it not? Asking Him for wisdom every step of the way...

Could you please share some Scriptures on the Church moving forward on 'it's feet'? I am interested to see them. Thanks sister!

God be with you!


 2007/8/30 18:38

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


Wow! I got lots more than I asked for. Thanks ye’all! I was going to use the quote but have now decided against it – after reading your comments. Just like verses from scripture, the quote’s meaning and implication is really is embedded in its context. The words come alive in view of the lives of Hudson Taylor and Jonathan Goforth! They were pray-ers for sure. And yet, look at all they DID! However, most people today have no clue who they are, or what they did, or just how prayer functioned in their lives. So for most, the quote is like an empty shell.

The risk of using quotes is that they can either take on a new meaning (and wording) of their own - like this one, or they can become prescribed formulas – severed from the bigger picture.

Of course this idea of kneeling – just like the verbs we see in Ps. 1: walk, stand, and sit, or stand firm (Eph. 6:10) are really expressions, not to be taken literally or meticulously dissected. Expressions like “being constantly in prayer”, or “meditating day and night” (Ps. 1) reflect a general life pattern, not a clocked schedule or specific body position.

Both Dorcas and Roniya make some good points, and they should be synthesized. Prayer, living, doing…. – all work together and when lives are lived out in the power of Christ – the Church moves forward.

[God’s] intent was that now, through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers, authorities in the heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus. Eph 3:10

This suggests a purpose of cosmic proportion!




 2007/8/31 8:24Profile

 Re: "The church moves forward on its knees" Who said this?

Diane said:

I was going to use the quote but have now decided against it – after reading your comments. Just like verses from scripture, the quote’s meaning and implication is really is embedded in its context.

Hi Joy,

First, let me say that I hadn't realised, when I posted, that Greg had come close to answering Diane's question.

Second, your correction to the precise quote, confirms that 'church' was never in the original.

So, to give context to [i]my[/i] reply to Diane, I was picking up on the word 'church', (which is not in the original quote) and remembering a preacher I once heard saying something close to what I wrote here: 'The Church moves forward on its elders. They are the feet.'

Really, that is a reference to the Church as the 'body of Christ'. The feet carry the weight of the local body, and are responsible for where the body goes. Hopefully, the body will be led by its 'feet' in the right direction.

There is another aspect to this, as I understand it, in that according to the 'body' model of New Testament church format, there is no [i]rule[/i] which dictates which spiritual gifts God may have given to those who eventually become the elders. Therefore, there may be an apostle, or an evangelist among them (appropriately gifted for those functions), or, there may be a teacher... and so on. Which is not to imply there would be no prophetic gifting amongst them, but, it may be that the gift of prophecy is more clearly given to another member who is not an elder. (And so on.) Of course, an elder who is also an apostle, may be away for a good part of the year, as may an evangelist, so, others may be doing more of the pastoral and preaching 'work' for some of the time.

There is an assumption in this 'model' that the elders do genuninely know and submit to God, preach the word and bear fruit of the Spirit.

As an aside, I would say I personally am always unhappy to hear of a church leader trying to drag an entire congregation into some worthy activity which necessarily means that some members will never operate their gifts, or grow - because they are always rather being called upon to support the pastor's choice of spiritual pursuit. This is not scriptural. It is unhealthy for both individuals and the body (local church), and cannot but cause more problems than it solves, mainly by frustrating the Lord's own purposes for each member.

Some scripture:

1 Corinthians 12 and 14

John 13:3 - 17

(I'm aware this is a whole other discussion which, since Diane has her answer, you are welcome to pursue and perhaps others will join.)

In no way was I intending to imply that prayer is not essential to the Christian life, or, that we can move forward with God without that vital part of our relationship with Him which, in its many forms, we call 'prayer'. Need I say more?

 2007/8/31 17:36

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