Billy Graham and the Keswick Movement

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Michael Wrenn, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    4,319
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd like to get comments on the following:

    "It was Stephen Olford who introduced Billy Graham to the Keswick message at a Keswick Convention in 1946 over a period of days of Bible study and prayer in a hotel room. This teaching gave Billy Graham the assurance of God's power in his life, which Graham wrote in his autobiography, Just As I Am, came to him as a second blessing and had empowered his preaching ever since."

    See also this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_Life_movement

    I have been aware of the Keswick doctrine of holiness ever since I began studying denominations in the 70's. Their view came to be distinguished from that of the Wesleyans and Methodists. From the above referenced article: "A gradual distinction developed between traditional Methodists and the newer Keswick speakers. Keswick took on a more Calvinistic tone, as Keswick preachers took pains to distance themselves from the Wesleyan doctrine of eradication (the doctrine that original sin could be completely extinguished from the Christian soul prior to death). Keswick speakers began using the term "counteraction" to describe the Holy Spirit's effect on original sin, often comparing it to how air pressure counteracts gravity in lifting an airplane. Modern Wesleyan-Arminian theologians regard the Keswick theology as something different from their own dogma of entire sanctification."

    Questions: What do you think of this as regards what happened to Billy Graham? Also, do you think this is a scripturally justifiable view of holiness and sanctification?

    I read years ago that this Keswick view of holiness and sanctification is held by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Does anyone know if that is true? I'm just curious.
     
    #1 Michael Wrenn, Mar 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  2. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Billy Graham is rather famous for uttering the most famous phrase of Keswickian origins -- "let go and let God."

    There are likely some denominations that have by and large adopted a Keswick doctrine as their own, but there are tons more that have de facto adopted it, probably without even knowing it in its original sense, because they have heard a speaker say that famous line and it resonated in them, so they adopted and spread the effort. I've heard it everywhere, and it may be the second most often used phrase next to, "God helps those who help themselves." Neither is biblical, but both are widely held and practiced.
     
  3. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just curious to how this is different from both Wesley sinless perfection grace, or the second act of Grace as Assemblies of god teach it?
     
  4. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is not a second act of grace per se becasue there is NO second act of grace. That is how it is different. But, of course, it did stem from that understanding, with the theory that if we could simply let go, God would take over -- a rather Calvinistic thought -- for those who were decidedly Arminian when they thunk it up.
     
  5. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Think this is a big reason left the Assemblies of God, as their theology seemed to set up 2 classes of christians, have the Spirit and those who 'sorta" have Him!
     
  6. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Assemblies of God does not teach the second act of Grace. You may be referring to the Baptist of the Holy Spirit which involves speaking in tongues; but that is very different from a second act of Grace. In fact, one reason the AOG was formed in 1914, was a rejection of the second act of Grace as is believed by the Pentecostal Holiness Denomination.

    Also, the AOG does not believe in the possibly of sinless perfection as the Pentecostal Holiness do.
     
    #7 drfuss, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  8. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can understand your 2 classes of Christians comment; but it has nothing to do with a second act of Grace. They apparently did not make their theology very clear to you.
     
  9. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    They were not "Reformed" at any time. My statement was that unwittingly, the Keswick movement betrayed their Arminian roots and made God more sovereign than they would largely admit.

    By saying, "Let go and let God..." the primary phrase by which the movement is defined, they are indeed saying that GOD is solely to be in control, even though they proceed in that thought from a very human "choice" to "let go."

    Once they do "let go and let God" is God not then utterly sovereign in their life and are they not admitting that they NEED Him to be so? Of course, in the true Keswick movement, as in the Arminian or semi-Pelagian thought behind it, the ones seriously holding this as doctrine would say that at any time they could also therefore stop "letting go and letting God." That ends up being the distinguishing factor between Keswick and Reformed.
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can an under-developped theology ever truly be clear?
     
  11. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    The AoG though DOES teach a second gracing from the Holy Spirit, in which one as a 'fuller" measure of Him, and that is given to live more Holy and to be empowered to witness!

    Tongues only evidence per them that second Grace has happened!

    So no sinless perfection, but higher living for christ with the "Holy Ghost baptism!"

    I could have 'tolerated" it IF they would have stated one can be filled up dasily by HS, different than the indwelling by him, but the Tongues as ONLY evidence of that act was where we parted lines!
     
    #11 DaChaser1, Mar 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2012
  12. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess my problem is your calling the Baptism of the Holy Spirit a "second Grace". The Pentecostal Holiness Denomination believes in: a work of salvation, a second work of Grace, and the Baptism of the Holy spirit. They believe these are three different things.

    At least partially, the AOG came out of the Pentecostal Holiness Churches in 1914, because the AOG rejected the second work of Grace experience of the PHC. The AOG does teach that the Baptism of the Holy spirit does provide "a 'fuller" measure of Him, and that is given to live more Holy and to be empowered to witness"!

    The AOG has changed (matured) over the past 50 years. For instance, originally the AOG did not define which type of Arminian theology that they believed in. They were both Wesleyan Arminians (especially the older ministers) and Classic Arminians. In 1978, the AOG adopted the Classic Arminian position (not specifically identified as such in their literature) at their General Council meeting. Many of the older ministers are still Wesleyan Arminians. The point is you may find differences in what the AOG believes or how they express it, depending on who you talk to.

    To see what the AOG believes today, go to their website and check it out. I have seen much written material out there which misrepresents what the AOG believes today, particularily written by those who are not AOG and/or are hostile to the AOG beliefs.
     
    #12 drfuss, Mar 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2012
  13. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    4,319
    Likes Received:
    0
    They still believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit subsequent to regeneration with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, right?
     
  14. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes they still do. But in many AOG churches, it is not stressed like it used to be.

    BTW, I was very active in the AOG for over 30 years and still have immediate family and many friends, who are still very active in the AOG. I have attended a SBC church for the last 19 years.
     
  15. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    4,319
    Likes Received:
    0
    I could fit into the AoG, except for that one doctrine; it would keep me out.
     
  16. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    trust me, i am NOT hostile to them per beliefs, as would hold that they at least teach/preach gospel, with their "peculiar distinctives" unlike those in say Word of faith, prosperity, health & wealth, who have a "different jesus and Gospel!"
     
  17. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    So old school would be "classical pentacostalists" while newer ones charasmatics?

    IF they would drop tongues as THE only sign of that fullness of the HS in a believer...

    would seem to fit into what we baptists labels as being empowered/filled by the HS for act and service!
     
  18. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. The old school (classical pentecostals) would be more like the charasmatics. Many AOG churches (especially the larger ones) tend to have services more like the Baptists churches that have gone the way of contemporary music. The trend is for the newer ones to reject the WOF charasmatics you see on TV. Of course, there are exceptions just like the SBC churches can be different.

    Concerning speaking in tongues, there are many Christians active in AOG churches that have never spoke in tongues. Unlike years ago, speaking in tongues is not a requirement for many leadership positions.

    The above only reflects what I see through the eyes of my family and many AOG friends. Others may have a different opinion.
     
    #18 drfuss, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2012
  19. DaChaser1

    DaChaser1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would you know IF they still hold to tongues being olly evidence of receiving 'fullness" of the Holy spirit?

    Would they still have prophetic utterances, tongues messages in service?
     
  20. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    I assume you mean "only" evidence rather than "olly". I don't think that the AOG ever officially believed that the speaking in tongues was the only evidence of receiving fullness of the Holy spirit, but I have heard many practically say that. I have also seen many who have spoke in tongues whose life does not reflect the fullness of the Holy spirit (IMO). Fullness of the Holy Spirit may mean different things to different people.

    Yes, many AOG churches still have those type of messages, but with less emphasis. However, some of the larger chruches forbid those messages in the services; saying these type messages are for smaller groups of Christians. I think the reason for the limitations are that the large churches would probably get too many messages and they need to do keep order in the services.

    BTW, when I joined my current large SBC church, they had the same limited policy in the new member class concerning tongues or other messages. The class teacher said all messages need the prior approval of the Pastor.
     

Share This Page

Loading...