the current dangers to Christianity predicted 100 years ago

27 09 2007

, founder of The Salvation Army, lived from 1829 through 1912.  I don’t know what year he said the following quote, but it would surely be directed toward the 20th century.  With that in mind, think about what he said :

I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell. ~ William Booth

Did he see our current problems coming or what?  And since these issues were seen around a hundred years ago, shouldn’t the Church have been better prepared?

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4 responses

27 09 2007
mzmobo

WOW. He sure nailed that! hummm…must’ve been listening to the Holy Spirit!

I was thinking in Sunday school this week as we went over Stephen’s sermon before he was stoned that we’ve got to realize we are no different (“we” being the current generations) than the people Stephen talked about…your forefathers rejected the prophets…now you reject Jesus…and then they rejected the “William Booths” and even now most have trouble with our “David Wilkersons.”

If we listen then we are responsible. If we become responsible we must accept consequences for our actions. To prevent negative consequences, we must actually do something. It’s easier to turn a deaf ear and live the easy. Problem is, whether we choose to listen or choose to turn a deaf ear because we can’t stand so-called gloom and doom, the consequences still follow. (I know it’s another subject, but when will we realize that the things we reject as gloom and doom are the Lord showing His grace to us to prepare us???)

And so, today we are living ALL of what William Booth stated. Maybe in addition to the question why didn’t they listen, we should ask are we listening???

3 10 2007
L Cope

I agree with Booth for the most part–here’s my take. I think he makes some of the same errors that the Chruch worls makes today.

“religion without the Holy Ghost”

The Holy Spirit is the comforter and counselor. He only works in Love and through Love because God is Love. The Spirit “searches the deep things of God”–those deep things would be God’s Love —again. The Bible says “the letter killeth(little King James for you), but the Spirit brings life.”
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

I agree with Booth, religion has lost the power of the Holy Spirit(power of Love) and concentrates too much on doctrines –“the letter that killeth” God pours out his love only through the Holy Spirit, not through the letter of the law–mercy over justice.

“Christianity without Christ”

I am not sure what he means exactly. Would he rather those who do not designate themselves as Christians to not practice the basic tenants of Christianity– Love and Respect for others. Non-Christians, can share certain Christ-like values with Christians can’t they? The disciples asked the Lord (paraphrase) ” those men that are casting out devils and we forbade them because they were not with us” Don’t forbade them, because just because they are not with us does not mean they are against us”

“forgiveness without repentance”

I agree. Forgivness and repentance are both gifts that we receive from God that come through believing. They are both gifts.

“and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
“God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”
“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

salvation without regeneration

I am not sure what he means by regneration. There is a true regeneration that comes from the Holy Spirit and causes us to Love our brother and Love Christ and then there is a false holiness that says” Look at me I am obedient to the scriptures” “I pray twice per day, never miss church, always tithe etc…” In a lot of cases, those that are outside the four church walls are closer to salvation than those within. Holiness does not come from what you do or don’t do, but from why you do it or don’t it.

politics without God,

Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s. Politics was the sin of Judas Iscariot. He thought Christ was going to usher a physical kingdom on earth right then. Christ’s kingdom is within the hearts of the believer. If Christians today would Love their neighbor unconditionally, we would not have to legislate morality in this country. If churches would care for single moms, like they were commanded, they would not be on the welfare rolls. This is the real problem with the “Church” ,we have forgotten our first “Love”, Compassion and Mercy and replaced these with political slogans.

heaven without hell.

Hell is seperation from the Love of Christ. Heaven is an embrace of that love with the “springs of living water” flowing out of you unto and into others.

Don’t just buy what your pastor is selling, ask the tough questions.

Love in Christ

3 10 2007
Beppo

The Holy Spirit is more than just our comforter and counselor — He gives us power (Acts 1:8, Acts 10:37-38, Romans 15:18-19, 1 Cor. 2:4-5, and many more). And He gives us access to spiritual gifts. Now, I know some denominations and groups say that the Holy Spirit doesn’t empower people to do miraculous things anymore and that spiritual gifts don’t apply to today. But that’s not Scriptural. To me, “religion without the Holy Ghost” means what we see in many churches today — people follow their religious traditions but don’t accept the Holy Spirit. So many “Christians” today walk without power — they aren’t doing anything close to what Jesus did, and they aren’t seeing miraculous events around them. Jesus set the example, as did His disciples and apostles.

To give context to what William Booth might have meant, he said this in a letter no later than 1869, “I desire to give a few brief practical hints, and, first and foremost, I commend one qualification which seems to involve all others. That is the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost.” Note that this is before the modern Pentecostal “movement” that so many people have preconceptions and misconceptions about, so please leave those at the door. He’s referring to what is Scriptural, and that is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which we don’t necessarily receive at the time of salvation.

L Cope, I have to disagree with your interpretation of the “deep things of God” (from 1 Cor. 2:10). I can’t see how it means God’s love. In context with the chapter it means God’s secret wisdom or thoughts. The original Greek word for “deep things” is bathos, which means profundity, as in great depth or something profound. For context, the word bathos is used 9 times in the Bible, and it’s always translated into some version of depth or deepness or deep things. Once it is even used in conjunction with satan (in Rev. 2:24). You’ve got to be really careful in how you interpret what the Bible actually says. It seems like you really want to focus on the love of God — which is awesome beyond description — but there is more to our walk with Him than just the merciful side of love.

Back to your comment… The Church has largely forgotten or ignored the power of the Holy Spirit (which is more than love), but we also must not put aside doctrine. I’m not talking about legalism, where people consider you holy because of how you dress or whether you own a TV — that’s not Scriptural stuff. We want to avoid that extreme. However, we also don’t want to go to the other extreme of preaching/teaching only grace, love, and mercy. We must not neglect those things, but the Bible does give us instructions for how we must live if we love Jesus. Granted, truly loving Him and letting the Holy Spirit transform our lives will bring about these changes in time, but the commandments Jesus gave us reveal to us where we are falling short of how we should be living. That “conviction” doesn’t mean we aren’t saved or that we fell from grace — it means that we need to repent and continue changing our life to become more like Jesus.

On “Christianity without Christ”, I think he’s referring to people who preach what they call Christianity but leave out Christ. There are churches in America who say they’re Christian, but they say that Jesus isn’t the only way or that Jesus is living among us now. Of course, that’s heresy and blasphemy, but nonetheless there are churches who teach these things under the name of Christianity. I think Booth’s statement of “salvation without regeneration” falls into this same category, where people are supposedly “saved” into Christianity, but they really aren’t saved and thus they aren’t regenerated (reborn).

L Cope, on your comment of “Holiness does not come from what you do or don’t do, but from why you do it or don’t it”, I’d like to add something. God does judge our motives, and He knows our heart (as many people like to say), but He also judges our works. Read the letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3; He says, “I know your works”. Our motives are important, of course, but if our motives are right, our works will be right also. A lot of people do wrong things but say, “God knows my heart.” They’re right, but their implication is wrong, because their motives are not right if they’re doing wrong things and excusing it. Also, on a side note, we will be judged on what we were called to do, regardless of our good intentions.

4 10 2007
L Cope

The Holy Spirit question– I am Baptized with the Holy Spirit and do speak with other tongues. However, I am not convinced that all that have been Baptized with the Holy Spirit must speak in tongues because Paul said “Do all speak in tongues?–the answer was “no” Now, I think every believer should seek the Holy Spirit in greater measure and some, like myself, will even speak in tongues. There are people from all denominations(mainstream) that speak in tongues.
After writing about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians, Paul says “let me show you The Most Excellent way” and then goes to ch. 13. All these gifts are powered by the Holy Spirit through Love because the Holy Spirit is God and God is Love; therefore, the Holy Spirit is Love. “Though I speak all mysteries and give my body to be burned and have not Love, I am nothing and the gfits are nothing(paraphrase). This undefined “power” you speak of I have now defined for you–it is Love and Love only. For example, if you have a word of wisdon for someone that is not born out of Love it is coming from your own mind or worse yet, the devil. Also, if you have a prophecy born out of Love, in and through Love then it is from God.

Remember, Love is not an emotion only from God it is every Part of His total character and Christ on the cross is the manifestion of that character(Love). Love comes before obedience and true obedience is created by Love. The Holy Spirit builds Love, he does not brow beat obedience into us.

Also, you mentioned what Jesus did. I would like to mention a few things about this—Jesus spent his whole time on earth doing two things –telling the Paharisees and religious leaders (conparable to the majority of Christians today, especially fundamentalists), (paraphrase) “You search the scriptures and in them you think you have eternal life”. And he spent the other half loving sinners unto repentance who were being judged by the fundamentalist–oops Paharisees. The modern Christian Church (especially fundamentalists) resemble the Pharisees more then Jesus, not because of disobedience(this is where you and I disagree), but because they put doctrine in front of Love. Only the Love of Christ will bring men unto repentance and forgiveness.

Also, God does know our hearts and he will judge every person according to whether he has done good or bad works–I agree. What does this mean? What are those good and bad works? I think we need to go back to the Pharisees. Bad works, evil or sin is first and foremost, putting Love on the backburner and trying to earn your way into heaven through religious works and being “good”. On the other hand good works is mercy, forgivness, patience–the rest of the fruits that Paul speaks about in Galatians. Jesus said “you will know them by their fruits”. Jesus also said “watch for the yeast of the Scribes and Pharisees” —This yeast was placing doctrine above and before Love(God is Love).

The Letter killeth, but the Spirit(the Holy Spirit is Love) gives Life. Good doctrine is good only if the central focus is Love (Cross of Christ)

“For God so Loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.”

“We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This is what “born again” means.

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