Friday, May 28, 2010

David Hume goes to hear George Whitefield

Do you really believe God's Word-The Bible with all your heart, soul, and mind?
How strong are your convictions? Does your life give evidence? Do others, even unbelievers, know without a doubt that you truly believe what you profess?

I've heard it asked by preachers in our day,
"If you (and I) were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us?"

Consider the following historical account:

David Hume, a well known Scottish philosopher and historian in the 18th Century, who was also a Deist, didn't believe in any inspiration or revelation or the Son of God or in the Bible, but reportedly thought it worthwhile to travel 20 miles to hear Whitefield preach. About five o'clock one morning, he was going down the street in London. He came around the corner and went straight into the hands of another man who said,
"Why aren't you David Hume?"
"Where are you going at this early hour ?"
"I'm going to hear George Whitefield preach," replied Hume.
"You don't believe a word Whitefield preaches," said the man.
"No," Hume answered, "but he does!"

Even the Deists knew when a man was not just "talking theology".

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who was George Whitefield?

This post barely skims the surface of the life of this man of God. In short, George Whitefield was one of the greatest evangelists or "revivalists" since the Reformation. Born in England in 1714, ordained & preached his first official sermon at 22, he
later described that sermon rather comically, saying:
“Some few mocked, but most for the present, seemed struck, and I have since heard that a complaint was made to the bishop, that I drove fifteen people mad, the first sermon”. The bishop responded with the wish that the madness would not wear off before the next Sunday.

On another occasion, Whitefield said:
"I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher".
In his younger years, Whitefield was part of the Holy Club at Oxford in England with John and Charles Wesley. Whitefield crossed the Atlantic 13 times in his life—an odd number (not even) because he died and was buried in America, not in England. The trips across the Atlantic took 8-10 weeks each.

He was directly involved, along with Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and others in America's first "Great Awakening", which also impacted England, and it is estimated that over Whitfield's lifetime 80% of all American Colonists heard him preach at least once. Thousands upon thousands were saved under his preaching. Benjamin Franklin, a friend of Whitefield's, once calculated how many people could hear him speak in his "Open-Air Preaching" gatherings to be thirty thousand people. It is said by other sources that his voice could be heard a mile away, and his open-air preaching reached as many as 100,000 in one gathering! Pretty amazing with no microphones.

Whitefield once said:
“I know no other reason why Jesus has put me into the ministry, than because I am the chief of sinners, and therefore fittest to preach free grace to a world lying in the wicked one."

If you are still interested, here's one more tidbit from the following website:

After a visit to America in 1738, Whitefield returned to England to find closed Anglican pulpits because of his powerful Spirit-anointed preaching. J. C. Ryle, the first Bishop of Liverpool wrote, 'The Church was too much asleep to understand him, and was vexed at a man who would not keep still and let the devil alone'. The pulpit ban became a blessing in disguise when Whitefield took to open-air preaching. The evangelist described his first open-air preaching in his Journal: 'I hastened to Kingswood [Bristol]. There were about 10,000 people to hear me. The trees and hedges were full. All was hush when I began; the sun shone bright and God enabled me to preach for an hour with great power, and so loudly that all, I was told, could hear me. The fire is kindled in this country and I know all the devils in hell shall not be able to quench it'. Miners, just up from the mines, listened and the tears flowed making white gutters down their coal-black faces. Whitefield's preaching gave birth to the 18th century Evangelical Revival.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ben Franklin on prayer

In light of the judge's recent ruling against the "National Day of Prayer",
I was thinking how in our country today the liberals, socialists, and other non-believers in education, politics, law, the media, etc. are trying to re-write American History.

The Communist Karl Marx himself declared: “The first battlefield is the rewriting of history.”

They are attempting to tear down our founding father's faith, and their dependence on God, and on prayer to God. They are trying to dismiss or discredit any ties to God and prayer which they alluded to in our Original Documents. Yes, they were sinful men as we are, with many faults that can be pointed out. I'm sure some were actually born-again believers in Christ, and some were not. I know some were deists, some may have believed in God but not in the Divinity of Jesus, etc., but that's not my point.

My point is that the God to whom they prayed, and incorporated into the Documents and founding of our country was the Sovereign Almighty Creator of the Universe! Even as the men in the Bible were sinful and flawed, and scripture clearly points out many of their flaws, it was never about the men themselves. It was about the God they served. That's because it's not about them, it's about the God who made them and Jesus who redeemed them! The Bible, as well as all of history, is actually "HIS-STORY".

Benjamin Franklin, talked about prayer in the following address to the
Constitutional Convention:
"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard; and they were graciously answered. All of us, who were engaged in the struggle, must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, That God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"

Sure, you can bring up things about Ben Franklin and other "Founding Fathers" to discredit their character or their relationship with Jesus, but again, it's not about the men, it's about the GOD who guided them!