Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Entire Sanctification, Revival, and Calvinism

John Wesley believed that if anyone would respond to God in faith, repent of rebellion against God, and live in obedience to God's commands, they would not only be saved, but would be on track towards moral purity. He firmly believed, practiced, and taught the doctrine of Christian Perfection (entire sanctification). He wrote, "This doctrine is the grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called Methodists; and for the sake of propagating this chiefly He appeared to have raised us up."

When he was asked by preachers what should be done to reform and/or revive the Church, Wesley replied, "Strongly and explicitly exhort all believers to go on to perfection."

This view of course was not a popular view in his day (or in ours!). Many of the people of his day believed in the doctrine of "predestination." This view of course came through the influence of John Calvin's teaching. Wesley viewed Calvinism, with its fatalistic outlook on humanity, as the antithesis of his own teaching. When he was asked, "What is the direct antidote to Methodism, the doctrine of holiness?" Wesley's answer was:

Calvinism: all the devices of Satan, for these fifty years, have done far less toward stopping this work of God than that single doctrine. It strikes at the root of salvation from sin previous to glory, putting the matter on the quite another issue...Be diligent to prevent them and to guard those tender minds against the predestination poison...Very frequently, both in public and in private, advise our people not to hear them. Make it a matter of constant and earnest prayer that God would stop the plague.

With the resurgence of Calvinism it would do us well to heed Wesley's advise today! May God help us to realize that if we want to see reform in the Church and revival, we should "Strongly and explicitly exhort all believers to go on to perfection"!

As the religious landscape in our nation grows darker and darker and we move further and further away from true Biblical Christianity; I believe that it is time once again for some men of God to rise up with a passion to preach the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth and spread Scriptural holiness across our land!!

Much of the thoughts for this post came from reading "A Model for Making Disciples" by D. Michael Henderson

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jon, well said! Wesley held back no punches on the effects of Calvinism.

    BTW, You should join SEA. We'd love to have you as a member if you're interested. http://arminians.org

    God bless,