Was Charles Wesley really a Calvinist?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Music Man, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. Music Man

    Music Man
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    Maybe this question belongs somewhere else, but here goes:

    It sure seems to me, based on the few Charles Wesley hymns I have read, that he really does not "sound" like an Arminian. I know he wrote over 6,000 of them, so maybe I should reserve judgment until I read a few more, but I don't see how a true 5-point Arminian could have written "And Can It Be" for example.

    What do you think?

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]
     
  2. Rev. G

    Rev. G
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    Friend:

    I learned just this past summer that Bro. Charles differed with his brother John on theology. He was in line with Whitefield, but Bro. George encouraged him to continue the work with his brother. Interesting stuff, eh? I learned this from an international evangelist from Great Britain (Leslie Smith).

    "And Can It Be?" - One of my favorites of all time!

    Rev. G
     
  3. Rev. G

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    Chris:

    Hey! I just noticed that you are "Chris from Crowley." Now I know who you are.... :D

    Rev. G
     
  4. Abiyah

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    Your hypothesis intrigued me, so I got my
    hymnal to read the song, And Can It Be.

    Perhaps I do not see what you see. The only
    verse in my hymnal which could possible be
    questioned by those in my Arminian back-
    ground would be the final of the five verses I
    have, but it would not have been questioned
    at all.

    No condemnation now I dread;
    Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
    Alive in Him, my living Head,
    And clothed in righteousness divine,
    Bold I approach th' eternal throne,
    And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

    "No condemnation now I dread" would have
    been thought a fine line, if one remained sin-
    free. Many, really all believed they lived
    without sin, so they feared no condemnation.

    The difference is a definition of sin in the
    Arminian circles I was reared in. Sin was such
    very tangible acts as theft, lying, adultery, etc.
    Other less concrete sins were called "errors"
    and were passed off.

    Is this final verse the part of the song to which
    you refer? Also, can you tell me more about
    Ccharles' differences with his brother's ideas?

    [ September 23, 2002, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  5. Bible-belted

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    I think that it is difficult to see ow an arminian, believing as he would that he is able to believe in Christ, could see himself in the first verse (going by memory)

    And can it be that I should gain
    An interest in the saviour's blood?
    Died he for me, who caused his pain
    For me who Him to death pursued!

    Seems to me that an Arminian wold have a hard time saing that he chased Christ to the Cross if he thought he could as esily believe in Him.

    I also find it difficult to see how an arminian could write (again, memory)

    "Tis mercy all immense and free"

    This speaks of God's freedom and sovereignty to me.

    And the part about the quickening ray preceeding the chains falling off and walking away? That's a classic efectual call image IMO.

    [ September 23, 2002, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Latreia ]
     
  6. Abiyah

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    Latreia --

    Now that I have left Arminianism, I have spent
    more time trying to figure it out! 8o) Neither of
    these statements would have run cross-grain
    to what we were taught.

    And can it be that I should gain
    An interest in the saviour's blood?
    Died he for me, who caused his pain?
    For me who Him to death pursued?


    We were taught that it was our sins which
    nailed Him to the cross, that caused Him
    grief, that if was His death and resurrection
    that allowed us salvation, and that it is His
    blood that cleanses.

    We believed in the mercy of our Lord and that
    He freely gave it. What am I missing? When I
    realized Arminianism was wrong, this was
    completely based upon the fact that they teach
    that they do not sin, yet my Bible was showing
    me that they did. I must stilll be missing some
    other concepts. Any help will be appreciated.
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
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    Charles and John had differences, but not about Calvinism and Arminianism.

    Charles did believe John was creating too great a distance from the Anglican Church and considered himself a member of the Church of Enlgand until his death.

    http://wesley.nnu.edu/theojrnl/16-20/20-11.htm
     
  8. Bible-belted

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    We believed in the mercy of our Lord and that
    He freely gave it. What am I missing? When I
    realized Arminianism was wrong, this was
    completely based upon the fact that they teach
    that they do not sin, yet my Bible was showing
    me that they did. I must stilll be missing some
    other concepts. Any help will be appreciated.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Maybe Im seeing too much Abiyah. Let me think abut it some more.
     
  9. Abiyah

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    Thank you. 8o)
     
  10. KenH

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    We all tend to have better theology in our prayer lives and our serious hymnology than what we do in our other spiritual exercises. [​IMG]

    Ken

    [ September 23, 2002, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  11. russell55

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    Abiyah,

    Would you say that the fourth verse--the one about being chained in a dark dungeon until the quicken ray of God awakens you is a typical Arminian description of the conversion experience?

    And I don't think John Wesley believed in imputed righteousness, and I see imputed righteousness all over the 5th verse.

    BTW, this has been my favorite hymn since I was 8 or so. I used to always request it during Sunday evening hymn request services. The pianists in my tiny church were inexperienced (okay, they weren't particularly good), and I gave them more than a few grey hairs requesting that song all the time.
     
  12. Abiyah

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    Hi!
    Yes, I would say so.

    Now, remember that I am new to this Calvinist
    belief! I know what impute means all right,
    but what does imputed righteousness mean
    in religious circles? 8oD I have never heard the
    term before!

    I have sung it in churches before, and I recall
    the harmony as being very interesting and
    occasionally challlenging to the basses!
    Looking at the music on my copy, I have been
    trying out the parts.
     
  13. russell55

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    When we are justified, we are counted as righteous--even though we aren't actually righteous--because we are in Christ and his righteousness is accounted to us.
     
  14. rsr

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    Russell:

    Why do you think Wesley didn't believe in imputed righteousness? Although he shied away from the term because he thought it abused.

    John Wesley, sermon, Nov. 24, 1765

    http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-020.stm#II
     
  15. rsr

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    Good article on the Wesleys and their differences:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/2001/001/1.10.html

    Interesting that John edited Charles' hymns and excluded "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" -- my personal favorite and widely considered one of the best ever -- from the 1780 hymnal.

    [ October 01, 2002, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  16. russell55

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    I'd thought I read somewhere that he didn't but apparently I am mixed up.

    [ September 24, 2002, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  17. Aaron

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    Hello, russell55.

    Welcome to the Music Ministry Forum. [​IMG]
     
  18. Music Man

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    Rev. G., do you know where Bro. Smith got his information from?

    SDG,
    Chris [​IMG]
     
  19. Rev. G

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    No, but I do plan on finding out.

    Rev. G
     

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