Can America Experience Another 'Jesus Movement' Before the End Times?

2 Chronicles 7:14..."we need to pray for another spiritual awakening of the United States"

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TylerR's picture

Editor

This is the kind of shallow foolishness that sickens me. We should never spend time glorifying the good 'ole USA; we should be glorifying the Gospel and Jesus Christ. Consider this:

The Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor said if America is disobedient to God it can cause it to be omitted from His Divine plan.

"If we turn from righteousness, if we turn from God, we're going to face the consequences … " Laurie cautioned, explaining that America isn't like every other nation, but has a special responsibility to God. "If we abandon God, if we forget God — even worse if we rebel against God — there will be consequences to pay."

The pastor told congregants that he believes in the concept of American exceptionalism, and that the nation, among very few others, is unique in the eyes of God.

He even took time to laud Charles Finney. He also appears to believe that by "revival," God will perhaps change His mind and decide to include America in His eschatological plans. Apparently, God doesn't already have a divine plan or decree, and it all depends on us, His awesome and sovereign creatures, to change His mind. 

Forget America. Just preach the Gospel, please. This sickening, superficial hybrid of Christianity and Americana is ridiculous and idiotic. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

dgszweda's picture

I agree Tyler.  Why this thinking still persists is beyond me.  Do we really think that God is focused on some man defined, man centered nation in his plan?  I think not.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Lest there be no misunderstanding, I agree with this quote from above: 

 

The Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor said if America is disobedient to God it can cause it to be omitted from His Divine plan.

"If we turn from righteousness, if we turn from God, we're going to face the consequences … " Laurie cautioned, explaining that America isn't like every other nation, but has a special responsibility to God. "If we abandon God, if we forget God — even worse if we rebel against God — there will be consequences to pay."

The pastor told congregants that he believes in the concept of American exceptionalism, and that the nation, among very few others, is unique in the eyes of God.

 

David R. Brumbelow

JohnBrian's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

I even like Charles Finney.  

Seriously! Have you read anything about his theology, or do you like him because Calvinists don't like him, and you don't like them, in the manner of  "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The Legacy of Charles Finney by Michael S. Horton

The page numbers in Horton's quotes are from Finney's Systematic Theology.

The bold is mine

Quote:

We will return to Finney's doctrine of justification, but it must be noted that it rests upon a denial of the doctrine of original sin. Held by both Roman Catholics and Protestants, this biblical teaching insists that we are all born into this world inheriting Adam's guilt and corruption. We are, therefore, in bondage to a sinful nature. As someone has said, "We sin because we're sinners": the condition of sin determines the acts of sin, rather than vice versa. But Finney followed Pelagius, the 5th-century heretic, who was condemned by more church councils than any other person in church history, in denying this doctrine.

Instead, Finney believed that human beings were capable of choosing whether they would be corrupt by nature or redeemed, referring to original sin as an "anti-scriptural and nonsensical dogma" (p. 179). In clear terms, Finney denied the notion that human beings possess a sinful nature (ibid.). Therefore, if Adam leads us into sin, not by our inheriting his guilt and corruption, but by following his poor example, this leads logically to the view of Christ, the Second Adam, as saving by example. This is precisely where Finney takes it, in his explanation of the atonement.

The first thing we must note about the atonement, Finney says, is that Christ could not have died for anyone else's sins than his own. His obedience to the law and his perfect righteousness were sufficient to save him, but could not legally be accepted on behalf of others.

Quote:

Finney did believe that Christ died for something--not for someone--but for something. In other words, he died for a purpose, but not for people. The purpose of that death was to reassert God's moral government and to lead us to eternal life by example, as Adam's example excited us to sin. Why did Christ die? God knew that "The atonement would present to creatures the highest possible motives to virtue.

With regard to justification, here's  Finney:

Quote:

for sinners to be forensically pronounced just, is impossible and absurd...

Quote:

Thus, in Finney's theology, God is not sovereign; man is not a sinner by nature; the atonement is not a true payment for sin; justification by imputation is insulting to reason and morality; the new birth is simply the effect of successful techniques, and revival is a natural result of clever campaigns.

CanJAmerican - my blog
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David R. Brumbelow's picture

W. A. Criswell liked Finney too.  Dr. Criswell was a conservative leader, SBC president, and longtime pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. 

“One of the tremendous affirmations of the great evangelist and preacher Charles G. Finney is this; that it is the truth of God that convicts and that saves.”  -W. A. Criswell 

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2014/06/w-criswell-on-calvinism-pred...

 

Have you read Lewis Drummond’s book on Finney?

David R. Brumbelow

David R. Brumbelow's picture

W. A. Criswell also said of Charles G. Finney:

“incomparable evangelist and preacher and Christian author, theologian of a century ago.”  -from wacriswell.com

I hope people will actually read both sides, rather than just those who hate Finney.  You might even find Finney believed in the sovereignty of God. 

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

TylerR wrote:

I've never understood the tendency in conservative Baptist circles to make an idol out of American exceptionalism. Why? 

Call me stumped, too.  Given Baptist history--more or less giving the Jews a run for their money in terms of oppression--why we ever succumbed to idolatry to the state just plain baffles me.

Regarding Finney, it strikes me that honoring him because of Graham, Criswell, and the like has a lot to do with why the church too often venerates the state.  It's not just the fallacy of appeal to authority, but rather the very American habit of leaping on the bandwagon--another typical method of propaganda, for what it's worth.  We have fallen in love with the state because it's big and powerful--Finney is the same.  Graham and Criswell, no strangers to big events themselves, fall into the same trap--honoring a man who was quite frankly heretical in his soteriology, Christology, and more, simply because he got thousands to walk the aisle and pray a prayer.  Hopefully a lot of them did indeed blunder into true faith as a result, but we ought to think a little more about Finney's theology than Graham and Criswell appear to have done.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JohnBrian's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Have you read Lewis Drummond’s book on Finney?

No, and don't intend to.

Have you read Finney's Systematic Theology?

If you had even a passing familiarity with it you would realize that he was a heretic. Not because the Calvinists say he was, but because his theological views were heretical.

So Graham and Criswell thought he was a wonderful guy - they clearly had not read his Sys Theo ether.

If you continue to insist that he was sound, against the evidence in his own writings, you end up discrediting your own writings. On the issue of Finney, it's OK to agree with the Calvinists, since all they are doing is quoting from the man himself.

What's more disturbing is all those who came forward to the anxious bench at his preaching. They clearly heard a false gospel, and having believed it, died in an unregenerate state. So the 2nd Great Awakening may not have been so great after all.

CanJAmerican - my blog
CanJAmerican - my twitter
whitejumaycan - my youtube