Friday, March 23, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: His Education & "Preaching": Part 2 of 22

When “Dr. Williams, the phrenologist[,][1] . . . measured [Roberts’s] cranium, deduced certain patterns,” and “told . . . the young miner, ‘You ought to be a preacher,’” an affirmation also confirmed by a minister who had heard Roberts pray publicly one time, Evan was guided no longer to be a miner but a minister.[2]  However, his education for the ministry was extremely limited, as was his education in general, although he was “deeply influenced” by “C. R. Sheldon’s In His Steps.”[3]  Roberts “left school at age twelve, laboured in coal mines for twelve years, undertook part-time study and a brief pre-college course . . . [and] had no pastoral or evangelistic experience”[4] when he became the center of the Welsh holiness revival in 1904, although a novice (1 Timothy 3:6), one whose “schooldays were few and irregular,”[5] and “an unqualified preacher with only six weeks of adult pre-college education.”[6]  Incapable of careful exegesis of the Bible, he taught “experience-based doctrine” and held to “no dogmatic beliefs,” since he was “totally untrained” for “systematic theological instruction” or “expository preaching.”[7]  On the contrary, “visions and voices” were “what really constitute[d] [him a] pioneer in [the] new movement of the Spirit” in Wales.[8]  “Evan Roberts was not intellectual . . . was moved more by his emotions than by his ideas . . . was more intuitive than inductive or deductive . . . had no fundamental doctrine, no system of theology, no distinctive ideal.”[9]  He did not follow the pattern of Christ and the Apostles, as well as of earlier revival preachers such as Jonathan Edwards or Shubal Stearns, or earlier instruments of revival in Wales,[10] by preaching boldly and specifically on sin, clearly explaining the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, calling men to repentance and faith, and strongly warning about hell and judgment to come (Matthew 5:22-30).  Instead, Roberts set forth “no dies irae to terrify, but a dies caritas to win its way[.] . . . Sin—or at least vice—[was] seldom denounced[.]”[11]  Indeed, Roberts stated:  “What need have these people [in the Welsh holiness revival] to be told that they are sinners?”[12]  Some associated with his ministry testified that they never once preached the gospel to the lost during the entire course of their revivalistic work; they saw many make what were supposedly salvation decisions without hearing the gospel.[13]
            Thus, “Roberts does not call his hearers to repentance . . . but speaks of having been called to fulfill the words of the prophet Joel.  ‘Your old men shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions.’”  Rather than proclaiming the gospel, Roberts “frequently describe[d] visions that had appeared to him.”[14]  Surely, in his view, describing visions would bring more to salvation than gospel preaching.  He also “told his congregations that he had ‘not come to terrify them by preaching about the horrors of eternal damnation’” and “told reporters . . . ‘I preach nothing but Christ’s love,’” after the manner of Hannah W. Smith.[15]  Nevertheless, “his message was not so much Christocentric as pneuma-centric, a result of the influence of the Holiness movement, especially the teaching of Keswick.”[16]  Roberts spoke at the Welsh Keswick Conference at Llandrindod Wells in 1905 at the height of the holiness revival excitement,[17] and the message he proclaimed throughout Wales during his work was that of the “Spiritual Life Conventions such as Keswick and Llandrindod.”[18]  While Keswick proper was key for Roberts, Keswick antecedents, such as the “experience . . . called ‘perfect love’ or Christian perfection’ taught by J. Wesley and J. Fletcher . . . [were also] given attention in this revival.”[19]  Thus, while earlier revivals had believed that the Spirit of God bore testimony to Christ rather than emphasizing His own blessed Person, Evan Roberts stressed (as William Boardman had before him) that there “were thousands of believers in our churches who have received Christ, but had never received the Holy Ghost,” a change of emphasis from “[h]eretofore” when “the work of Christ ha[d] been the all-important truth.”[20]

[1]              The development of the quack system of phrenology was as follows:

Franz Gall (1758–1828) and Johann Spurzheim (1776–1832) developed an early physiological psychology known as phrenology, which held three fundamental positions: the exterior conformation of the skull corresponds to the interior (brain); mind is analyzable into a number of functions (e.g., combativeness, hope, acquisitiveness, cautiousness, and secretiveness); and the functions of mind are differentially localized in the brain, and an excess in any function is correlated with an enlargement of the corresponding place in the brain. . . . [T]he term phrenology mean[s] literally the science of the mind. The theory asserted that personality and character traits could be judged by the location and size of bumps on the skull. . . . Some 37 localized areas of the brain were specified to contain independent and inherited regions relating to such character traits as self-esteem, conscientiousness, and spirituality. Three general character types—mental, motive, and vital—facilitated grouping of personalities. Phrenology maps were drawn to indicate the locations of particular faculties and were then used to analyze the corresponding bumps on the skull of a client. . . . Phrenology had a certain popular appeal; people thought personality could be determined by feeling an individual’s skull. However, phrenology was never accepted by scientists because its methodology was largely anecdotal. . . . The charlantanlike activities of Gall and Spurzheim and the multiplicity of faculties made phrenology the last faculty psychology. (pgs. 427, 790, 872, Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling (2nd ed.), D. G. Benner & P. C. Hill.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999)

Interestingly, one of Evan Roberts’s “heavily involved” helpers was “Annie May Rees, the daughter of a phrenologist” (pg. 52, see 76ff., Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones).

[2]              Pg. 10, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Pg. 110 mentions Evan’s interaction with another phrenologist later.

[3]              Pg. 6, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  “Sheldon, a Congregational minister, followed the liberal teaching of his day that Christ was merely an example,” and thus the book “promotes a social gospel rather than the Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ,” one of “[w]alking in the steps of Jesus” rather than “trust[ing] in His saving merits and vicarious satisfaction to get to Heaven” (Calvary Contender, 10/15/1997; elec. acc. Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library, ed. David Cloud).

[4]              Pg. xiii, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[5]              Pg. 55, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[6]              Pg. 96, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; pg. 85, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).

[7]              Pgs. 253, 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[8]              Pgs. 24-25, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Literature, 1950.

[9]              Pg. 55, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[10]            Thus, Vyrnwy Morgan noted “an unmistakable change of character . . . [in] the general record of revivals” in the years that led up to and included the Welsh holiness revival; “the notion of a material hell is gone, never to return[.] . . . There has been a change of emphasis.  It used to be on hell; it is now on character; it used to be on wrath; it is now on conduct” (xiv-xvi, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan).

[11]            Pg. 154, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.  For example, Roberts said, “There’s no need to preach against the drink [alcohol]”—rather, a solely positive message was sufficient (pg. 54, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).

[12]            Pg. 49, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[13]            Pg. 55, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  (Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950).

[14]            Pg. 47, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.  Stead quotes the South Wales Daily News of November 14, 1904.

[15]            E. g., “Mrs. Smith went herself to a man in prison, who was condemned to death for murder. . . . She only told him how God loved him, and grieved over him, stayed with him, and told him again and again, till he was conquered” (pg. 163, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910).

[16]            Pgs. 520-521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.

[17]            Pg. 171, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.

[18]            Pg. 54, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950.

[19]            Pg. 137, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.

[20]            Pg. 7, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Destructive Instinct of Evangelicalism and Now Fundamentalism for and with Celebrity

This is an unrelated post related to the one below, but I wanted to draw attention to it here by Victor David Hansen, titled, Camouflaged Elites.  I wish evangelicals would take into consideration, and now fiundamentalists, as they mime the culture.  They should be leading, but they conform.  Sad.


When I attended a Bible college and seminary in the 1980s, the founder and president incessantly talked about its grads going into "full time service" and touted full time service, full time service, and more full time service.  He may have been wrong on his statistics, but I heard him all the time talking about 90 plus percent going into full time service.  The words "full time service" are not in the Bible.  I would contend that every Christian is in full time service for and to the Lord, but I also get what Dr. Cedarholm, as we called him, B. Myron Cedarholm, was talking about.  He wanted the students in full time Christian service, meaning pastors, missionaries, "evangelists," Christian school teachers, and any other positions like that.

At that time in fundamentalism, at least at Maranatha Baptist Bible College, full time service was normal talk.  I don't remember any celebrity syndrome, at least in the circles I was in.  At Maranatha, we did have a gold medal wrestling coach, Ben Peterson, who was also a Maranatha seminary graduate, married to a Maranatha graduate.  While I was there, Mike Houk, one of our wrestlers, became the first world champion in United States history for Greco-Roman wrestling.  Even though we had celebrities in that sense, these men were not lauded much for those accomplishments.  You might say they were just regular dudes on campus, no different than anyone else for those accomplishments.

At Maranatha at the time, there was no push at all for people to go out into the world and work a "secular job."  That's not what Maranatha was for.  It was to produce full time Christian workers, church workers, and Dr. Cedarholm emphasized that in no uncertain terms.  It was pushed and pushed and pushed.  It wasn't whether you would go into full time service, but where and how you were going to serve.  I don't think that whole idea was proven scripturally ever to me, but it had an influence on all of us who there in that era.  I don't remember, let's call it, "celebrity-ism" being a problem in fundamentalism at that time, unless I was missing something.

Yes, there were celebrity Christians, in the sense of big-named preachers.  You could become a big fish in a small pond, but there were no "worldly" celebrities that anyone pointed up.  In my consideration, as I remember it, I would have been ashamed of myself if I didn't go into full time service.

The reasoning for going Christian and not secular, which is how it hashed itself out, was in no given order: time is short, the laborers are few, eternity is long, God is worth it, people are going to hell, nothing is more important, you only have one life, nothing is better, everything else is temporal, the church is the most important and greatest institution, Christians are different, believers judge importance differently, among many other related reasons.  All of these still apply when you start to decide what you will do with your life.

With everything I just said, in my entire Christian school class of around 40 more or less, only two of us are pastors.  I know of at least one other pastor's wife, I think, and I'm not trying to miss anybody.  I attended Maranatha Baptist Academy in Watertown, WI.

Maranatha had a sports program:  football, basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, softball, a little bit of track and field and cross country.  I lettered four years in football and basketball and track and field, the latter at the college wasn't taken seriously.  We didn't have a track or field.  We just ran.  I didn't practice the high jump or long jump.  I just jumped at meets to get more points.  But I remember looking over and seeing Dr. Cedarholm standing on the side of the track alone, watching us run.  No one else was there.  It did make an impression at the time.  Dr. Cedarholm was a bit of a celebrity himself.  He was a giant in the history of fundamentalism, had himself participated in the starting of hundreds of churches, but also graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1940, having lettered in football, track, baseball, tennis, and water polo.  We all knew this about him, but he never ever brought it up.  He would mention sports, but I don't remember him talking about his personal accolades.

Things have changed today, and mostly not for the better, especially related to celebrity.  I think there is evidence for this all over.  I see it with Bob Jones University invitation to Tim Tebow to come to campus there.  In a bigger picture, cultural way, I'm a Tim Tebow fan.  He gets attacked for his faith by the public.  We should defend that aspect of and for him. However, I think it's a blatant, serious error that BJU is inviting him to campus, promoting him in a fundraiser, because of his celebrity.  Sure, they can raise more money, but there are other ways this will cause serious damage, because it sends the wrong message about what is important.  Tebow himself is a compromiser and contrary to the historic values of fundamentalism and by having him, it really doesn't matter if someone compromises like him.

Maranatha now has its celebrities with Nate Oats coaching Buffalo men's basketball and Tom Allen coaching Indiana football.  In and of themselves, there's nothing wrong with having a job in the secular world, and these are high paying jobs, which determines a certain amount of success on their part.  When I was in college, what they've done would have been discouraged for all the reasons I gave above.  Dr. Cedarholm would not have emphasized these accomplishments, because it's not what he wanted.  He wanted full time Christian servants.  You will get more of what you emphasize.  If I was good enough to have "gone on to succeed in the world," Maranatha would have seen that as a sort of failure and would have mourned the loss.  Instead of preaching, he went for the worldly success is how it would have looked and been framed at the time.  I would have agreed.  I still do.

I don't think we should promote worldly success.  I think we should be lifting up mainly those who give up their lives to preach and evangelize.  I don't think we should be pushing our Christian kids in a different direction.   I believe that Jesus had this in mind when He said on various occasions something like, "let the dead bury the dead."  Unbelievers can bury the dead.  Only believers can do the work of the Lord.  We need more Christian workers.  There is more to what I'm saying than just going on to worldly success.  It includes the temptations for these celebrities that are emulated.  How many of them stay pure in their secular roles?

I would assume that Nate Oats or Tom Allen would have benefited from their time at Maranatha.  I'm sure that the biblical teaching still helps them and comes out in what they do.  However, can they really live all of the Bible and remain in those positions?  Should this not be taken into consideration in what they do?

I'm talking about this kind of thing, now probably required to be in this position, but is it true?  As a Christian can you represent the truth as a celebrity?

Scripture doesn't exalt the tentmaking of the Apostle Paul.  When the disciples came back from evangelism in Luke 10 and they talked about the devils being subject to them in Jesus' name, the Lord said, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."  Even certain good things He did not want them to promote.  Paul's celebrity he called, "dung."  Whatever he could glorify in a secular sense, he counted as loss.  None of it was important.

If someone is a hardworking breadwinner, of good character, and a faithful husband and father, celebrity will not come from that.  As churches, we don't want to emphasize what the world sees as popular or important.  In certain instances, we want to rebuke it or repudiate it.  Celebrity should not stop us from doing that, just because we feel the glow from the celebrity or the knowledge of the celebrity.  It adds nothing to the value of Christ, His life and truth, and His institution.

I include in this essay my own son.  He graduated first in his class from a charter school and was accepted at West Point.  He served in the United States embassy in Poland.  He's a Captain in the U. S. Army, who has qualified for special forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  What difference does any of that make if he's not faithful to God?  Is any of that any better than if I reported that he was a local manager at a 7-11 and in his church, evangelizing weekly and living for Jesus Christ?  I don't believe so.  All of his accomplishments should be nothing but a means to an end.  If it gets in the way of his faithfulness to God, it should not be celebrated.  Like I said above, it should be mourned.  If he can't and is not going to use it for God, then it is worthless.  It means nothing.  I see the Army as a potential threat of what is eternal and of true importance.  I tell him that all the time.  He assures me he wants to be used of God.  I will be happy if that is the case.  If I say anything on this blog about what he's doing, it's because I have people read here who know the family and would want to know what's happening.

The instinct in evangelicalism and now fundamentalism toward celebrity is a destructive one.  It won't help.  It could only hurt.  If believers reach celebrity, we should not celebrate the celebrity.  We should rejoice only that their names are written down in heaven.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Masculine Pastors: The Battle They Face and Will Face Even More

The two most common observations I read and hear about manhood today are some kind of (1) tortured masculinity and then (2) decreasing masculinity.  Men are either participating in a type of warped manhood or are more effeminate.  The two are related.

I like writing and talking about tortured or warped manhood, under which is a category I call, "fake manhood," but for now I want to focus on something else I've covered in recent days (herehere, here, and here), effeminacy, and especially as it applies to pastors.  When I was a child, we watched a television series called, The Waltons, which was a church going family in Virginia.  The "Baptist" pastor was soft speaking, appearing, and acting.  Most movie presentations of Jesus make Him the same type of character.  I'm finding that this is now what is expected of a pastor, if he truly is in a modern estimation to manifest the 'virtues of Christ.'  He must take on that pop understanding of Jesus.

I observe and sense myself a major societal push toward a pastor can't be both a real man and a pastor, because many, if not most today, buy into the concept of "toxic masculinity," where real masculinity is seen as unacceptable.  Since I've been a pastor, I've been clued into this for awhile, but I've been reminded of it again and again.  Many times, people pull out an expectation of softness or gentleness, essentially capitulation as a fulfillment of pastoral qualification, to fit my office.

At 55 years of age, I no longer participate in competitive sports.  When I did, if, as a pastor, I competed hard, like a man, some took offense to that kind of intensity, and would suggest this wasn't fitting of the office. Should the activity or manner of a pastor be conformed to others' perception of what they think he should be?

Manly talk manifests characteristics of manhood:  strength, confidence, and tenacity.  My experience with the men of my generation and older is that as a whole they speak in a different way than younger generations of men, the same for pastors.  In general they lack the before ascribed qualities.

In addition, the old way of talking as a man is now not tolerated, especially by the younger generation.  They don't want the kind of talk that comes from older men.  When the younger generation wants to say whatever it wants to say, it expects capitulation from the older.  The younger may term the older, "thinskinned."  What I often hear from the younger generation is what my generation calls a "smart mouth," which has a definition:  "an ability or tendency to make impertinent retorts; impudence."  My generation didn't tolerate a smart mouth.  Today it is expected.

Today many of a softer generation would see the strength of a former to be an instinct to authoritarianism.  Every generation sees some tendency to authoritarian leadership.  Today talking with a command voice and speaking with authority is confused for authoritarianism.  Authoritarians do both, but being a leader necessitates authority, which also requires both command voice and authoritative manner.

I understand that there are verses that taken apart from the rest of scripture might seem to portray a softer view of a church leader.  Two come to mind.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
"Be gentle" and "soft answer" are popular requirements for pastors from people who want gentleness and softness.  I'm not rejecting those two verses.  I'm saying they've got to be taken into the context of much more required of the other kind of speech or style for men.

A lot of places in both the Old and New Testaments remind me of what a younger generation doesn't want to hear.  There are so many of them from the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Paul.  The latter, writing about the false teachers among the Galatians, said in Galatians 5:12, "I would they were even cut off which trouble you."  Concerning those who said that circumcision should be added to grace, Paul would that they would be mutilated, in essence a botched circumcision to paint the picture.

The Apostle Paul informed Titus (2:15) to "speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."  As much as Titus might receive opposition for teaching what Paul wrote in Titus 2, today it might be worse.  We need men who will rebuke, like Paul did when he withstood Peter to the face, with all authority.  Then, how does a pastor obey the command, "let no man despise thee"?  People go ahead and despise, so what do you do about that?  You either don't allow it, if possible, and then stand up to it.  That's the kind of strength of manhood that we need from leaders in churches that we are getting so seldom today, in part because of a challenge against manhood in this culture.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Kethiv / Qere and King James Only (KJVO) or Perfect Preservation

Sometimes anti-perfect preservationists, opponents of the perfectly preserved Word in the Hebrew and Greek Textus Receptus, argue that the presence of the kethiv / qere in the Hebrew Old Testament proves that Scripture has not been perfectly preserved.  While this is not the easiest issue to address for someone who does not know Hebrew, the Christian who accepts God's promises of preservation (Psalm 12:6-7; Isaiah 59:21; Matthew 28:19-20; Revelation 22:18-19, etc.) should have an answer to people who attempt to cast doubt on God's promises to keep His Words from the presence of the kethiv / qere.

In the Hebrew text, the kethiv / qere are notes indicating that a given word is written (kethiv) one way but is to be read (qere) a different way. Anti-preservationists typically assert that the kethiv / qere are textual variants, similar to the footnotes in a NA27 or UBS5 Greek NT.  The vast majority of the time this is simply assumed, not proven.  However, anti-preservationists must justify this assumption. Why is there always only one qere / kethiv pair if the qere is a textual variant?  Were there never, ever multiple variants?

Anti-preservationists must also prove that the traditional Jewish view of the kethiv / qere is incorrect (see my essay Evidences for the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points for sources):

The Talmud clearly speaks of the Kethiv/Qere distinction and other textual distinctions considered Masoretic, and traces them to Moses at Sinai.

Said R. Isaac, “The correct text of Scripture deriving from the scribes, the embellishments of the letters derived from the scribes, the words that are read in the text not as they are spelled out, the words that are spelled out but not read—all represent law revealed by God to Moses at Sinai.”

“The correct text of Scripture deriving from the scribes”:  These are the words in Hebrew for land, heaven, Egypt [where the tone vowels are lengthened, but nothing in the lettering indicates this change].

Up until quite recently the Kethiv/Qere were “by all writers, allowed to be, at the least, nearly as old as the Times of Ezra;  and by many of the ancient Jewish Writers they are taken to be as old, as the Text, to which they belong” (pg. 286, Whitfield, A Dissertation on the Hebrew Vowel-Points).

Note as well that a variety of explanations can be made by for the kethiv / qere by advocates of perfect preservation other than (alleged) corruption in the Hebrew text by following the standard harmonizing practice of old Jewish interpreters such as Kimchi, to explain the existence of both readings.  For example, Whitfield explains the three instances in Psalm 71:20  of the same kethiv / qere by writing:  “I cannot think it probable, three Mistakes of the same kind could, any how happen in the Compass of one Verse.  Supposing the points as ancient as we are endeavouring to prove them, I believe this Diversity in this, and some other places, betwixt the reading by the Letters and by the points, was originally designed by the Holy Penman, perhaps to shew that the Import of the place might be applied to himself as a single Person, or to the Community whereof he was the Head” (pg. 198, A Dissertation on the Hebrew Vowel-Points).

There are "things hard to be understood" in the kethiv / qere, and no one explanation (including the modern anti-preservation one) easily explains all the data.  I believe a perfect preservationist would do well to take seriously the traditional Jewish view that both readings were present from the time Moses gave the law at Sinai, although I think it is also possible that (under inspiration, as for the book of Ezra itself, etc.) Ezra could have put at least some of them in because, perhaps, of pronunciation changes over time.  After all, Ezra is about 1,000 years after Moses and pronunciation can change in 1,000 years very, very easily.  Why could not (for example) the kethiv / qere ("to him," English) in Job 13:15 have represented a way to convey the idea of "to him" in Hebrew in the time in which Job (as I believe) penned the book of Job (the kethiv) but by the times of Ezra the qere have represented the way to convey this same idea, and so both accurately be represented in the KJV translation?

Jews and Christians have been aware of the kethiv / qere in the Hebrew Old Testament for millennia without adopting the modern notion that their presence indicates a failure on God's part to preserve His Words or the presence of corruption in the text.  There is no need whatsoever to abandon traditional explanations for their presence and reject the plain meaning of texts on verbal, plenary preservation because of their presence.

Please see my essays The Battle Over the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points and Evidences for the Inspiration of the Hebrew Vowel Points for more information.  (Note: material in these essays, especially the second one, can get technical and difficult to follow unless one knows Hebrew.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Why Should Men Protect or Defend Women If They Aren't or Can't Be In Charge of Women?

I want to protect and defend women, but I can't when they don't do what I tell them to do (and I'm not talking about something in disobedience to scripture).  If I have to protect my daughters, and I tell one of them not to go somewhere, that means they shouldn't go where I tell them not to go.  You can't have it both ways.  If we live in an egalitarian society, women don't need men's protection -- they can protect themselves.  If they can't protect themselves, then that's not egalitarian.  The truth is, women need men's protection.  Egalitarianism itself has resulted in the abuse of women.  It's only natural that this has occurred and is occurring.

The secular state would have you believe that women are equal with men; they just haven't caught up in their evolution.  It's nothing that has ever been proven.  It's a theory that can be and has been proven wrong, however.  It isn't happening.  If someone invades the United States, our country wouldn't and couldn't win with an egalitarian military, unless the invaders agreed to do the same.  For sure, Russia wouldn't do that.

I can argue the position of this post from scripture.  That's easy.  I'm saying it's true even without scripture.  I know women want protection.  That's easy to see.  They don't want to be told what to do, and we can see that all over, including in churches.

The contradiction about which I'm writing here is obvious to anyone, so why do men abdicate headship?  That's more complicated.  The Bible has the answer to that too, right at the beginning, but the answer is also very natural.  From a certain perspective, it doesn't make any sense that men would give up their authority to women, when they are stronger and more dominant than women.  I'm sure some men ask themselves on a regular basis why they do that.

Not in any order, first, men don't want the conflict required to take charge.  Women use means to make life difficult for a man who takes charge and protects.  Some of you men reading this post know of your experience of kneeling in the mud attempting to fix something in the yard, laying in the tight place under the sink to fix plumbing, and multiple other hard tasks.  You do those all the time.  When you're done, you don't want to go into the house and fight with your wife, because she wants her way.  You just give in because it's hard.  You shouldn't, but you do.

Second, many men prefer being liked by women to being their head and protector.  This is the situation that we in society today with the conflict between truth and kindness.  It's not kind to tell the truth.  A transgender wants the right pronoun, and you can't tell the truth.  It's against the law in some parts of the world now.  Men won't get the treatment they want if they act like a man, so they succumb to the wives.  Today they then justify their soft behavior by explaining that they are not authoritarian and they are choosing to respect their wives. 

Men have fooled themselves into thinking that they receive their authority with the consent of women.  No, they've been given their authority from God.  They look to their wives permission to be a man.  Women put on the pressure -- silent treatment, emotional fits, the cold shoulder -- and men abdicate.

When women get their way as I've described above, they think they are getting something, but what they lose, even by any way of reasoning, is much more.  Men are disrespected and they don't treat their women with respect.  The sons don't see a future as a man.  They have no role, so they are without position and aim.  Women have sons.  What do they say to their sons?  What role are these boys to take?

Women lose the strength of manhood they need.  They know it.  Men step back and stand back, waiting for women to lead.  Men don't take the initiative to lead.  They want sex, which isn't manhood, but it's what they are left with.  Men manipulate women like women do men.  Women want men by nature, but can't have them without sex.  Men lack the conviction of headship and protection.  They expect sex without commitment.  What's the use of being a man?  What's the reward of it?  Why would being a man be worth it with today's women?

I could draw a direct line to the high school mass murder in the Florida high school among all the other mass murders by young men.  These young men are without purpose or direction.  They don't have leadership, because there is little to nothing to tell them.  They don't know what to do.  They pursue a type of fake manhood.  The option is to control them either by imprisoning them or drugging them.

Part of the attraction for men for men and women for women is a lesser degree of men wanting women and women wanting men.  It even explains the drop in sperm volume today in the American male.  There is less masculinity today.  Men are choosing to be women and even reward effeminate men for being women.  I know I would be a more attractive pastor if I was more sensitive and softer.  I know that.

The rise of homosexuality also traces, I believe, to the role reversal or elimination, depending on the perspective.  Women take women in place of men and men take men in place of women.  The interchangeability allows for interchangeability.  Women take women and men take men.  They have their reasons.  None of it is right, but it's an obvious fallout.

I'm not blaming the above on women.  Men could change it.  My own position is that they won't without the gospel, but they do need to change it.  There can't be any compromise. You can't take this position and believe that's it's permissible to have women in the military.  Women can't share the engineering positions with men.  They can't be the CEO in charge of America's company, working themselves up the power triangle.

Men need to take charge again. They shouldn't be celebrating the diversity, the glass window being broken, yearning for the first female president.  None of this is good.  It's not good for men or women.

If women are going to be in charge, then they should jump into the hole in the ground to repair underground sewage.  When the large electrical line goes down because of a tree falling, call out the women.  I don't want them to, but I'm also going to be in charge if I'm expected to do all these grunge jobs.  I want to jump in that hole, but I'm not going to jump in for women who don't want my authority.

You could say that women can't have it both ways.  It's true in one sense, because they might want it both ways, but they'll never have it both ways.  They want authority and protection, but they won't have the latter without recanting the former.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: His conversion (?): Part 1 of 22

Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis were the central minister and the most influential expositor,[1] respectively, of the Welsh holiness revivalism concentrated from December 1904 to May 1905,[2] co-opting and eclipsing a genuine revival movement in Wales that had already been occurring.  Roberts received infant baptism a few weeks after his birth on June 8, 1878[3] and grew up in the Calvinistic Methodist denomination.  His “name appears in the church roll for the first time in 1893-94” after taking a “preparation class,”[4] but evidence of his own personal conversion is very weak at best.[5]  A minister claimed that he had been the instrument some time after 1898 of Roberts’s “conversion or consecration,”[6] but Roberts himself does not appear to have affirmed that he was born again at that time—indeed, Roberts testified that he was not a Christian until a number of months before the onset of his work of holiness revivalism.[7]  The closest one can come to a testimony of conversion by Roberts appears to be a time when he was “taking steps to enter ministerial training” and seeking to be “baptized with the Spirit.”  Hearing a “voice . . . within his troubled heart” about willingness to receive the Spirit, “he went . . . to the chapel”[8] where a Keswick-style Convention was taking place[9] and at that meeting, affirmed:
What boiled in my bosom was the verse, “For God commendeth his love.”  I fell on my knees with my arms outstretched on the seat before me.  The perspiration poured down my face and my tears streamed quickly until I thought the blood came out.  Mrs. Davies of Mona, Newquay, came to wipe my face, and Magdalen Phillips stood on my right and Maud Davies on my left.  I cried, “Bend Me, Bend Me, Bend Me. . . . OH! OH! OH! . . . After I was bended, a wave of peace and joy filled my bosom.[10]
Roberts affirmed that “Living Energy” came and “invaded his soul, burst all his bonds, and overwhelmed him,” and he gave his testimony at the afternoon service about this experience “as if it were a kind of conversion or new birth”[11] through seeking and receiving Spirit baptism. Through this Keswick-inspired experience, “the blessing . . . [was] borne to Wales from Keswick and the conventions at Llandrindod and Pontypridd.”[12]  Evan Roberts testified that a “living energy or force enter[ed] his bosom till it held his breath and made his legs tremble.”[13]  He took this feeling as evidence that his sins were forgiven and that the spirit which had entered him, hindering his breathing and making his legs wobbly, was the Holy Spirit.  Such “bodily agitations . . . [and] convulsions were the natural and legitimate results of the new birth,”[14] in his view, although his landlady turned him out of the house, having “become afraid of him,” fearing “he was possessed or somewhat mad.”[15]
            Although there are not strong grounds to conclude that Roberts was, at whatever point, genuinely converted, and not just the subject of a variety of powerful religious experiences arising from his flesh or from the devil, at least “ever since he had been filled with the Spirit he had been physically conscious of the Spirit’s prohibitions and commands”[16] in voices and visions.  He “began to have visions”[17] from the time of his Spirit baptism and alleged conversion, so that “it [was] evident that Evan Roberts [was] conscious that he ha[d] received a gift of prophecy through his baptism of the Spirit.”[18]  Roberts’s experiences were comparable to those of “St. Teresa, Jakob Boehme, George Fox, [and] Ignatius Loyola,”[19] having the same sources in the spirit world as such Roman Catholic, theosophist, and Quaker luminaries.

[1]              Of course, other men were involved, such as “W. S. Jones,” who not long before 1904 “had a vision,” after which it “soon became evident that God had chosen him to be the first receiver and transmitter of Holy Spirit baptism.  Around him there gathered a group of young pastors such as Keri Evans, W. W. Lewis and D. Saunders who sought the same experience” (pgs. xvi-xvii, An Instrument of Revival, Jones).  Nevertheless, “Evan Roberts . . . must be placed at the center of events” (Pg. xviii, Ibid.).

[2]              Pg. 65, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones.  It is worth noting that practically all the resources employed in this study of Roberts, Penn-Lewis, and the Welsh revival are written by men sympathetic or even adulatory of Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis and hostile to their critics.  For example, one of the least adulatory and most even-handed writers, J. Vyrnwy Morgan, stated that “he would rather burn . . . [his] manuscript . . . than be the cause of adversely affecting the work of God through Mr. Roberts . . . I have . . . profound regard for Mr. Evan Roberts” (pg. 268, The Welsh Religious Revival, 1904-5:  A Retrospect and a Criticism.  London:  Chapman & Hall, 1909).  Morgan notes:  “The title of this volume should not be taken as implying any hostility to revivals.  Criticism is the science of discrimination, and it is the science upon which this [book] is based” (pg. xi).  Other works cited frequently do not hesitate to attack the character, impugn the motives, and employ other unjustifiable tactics to oppose critics of Roberts, Penn-Lewis, and their ministries.  The intent of these resources was by no means to put Roberts or Penn-Lewis in a bad light.

[3]              Pg. 3, An Instrument of Revival:  The Complete Life of Evan Roberts, 1878-1951, Brynmor Pierce Jones.

[4]              Pg. 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[5]              Roberts’s very sympathetic biographer B. P. Jones believes that Roberts was converted “[a]t some point” (pg. 5, An Instrument of Revival, Jones) but gives no specific or certain details or words of Roberts himself about this event which Jones affirms took place.  Similarly, S. B. Shaw records Roberts’s birth, youth, and entrance into revivalistic work in the Welsh holiness revival with not a jot or tittle of reference to an experience of personal conversion (pgs. 121-125, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905).  Nor does W. T. Stead record a syllable that recounts a reasonable personal conversion testimony in his account of Evan Roberts’s life (pgs. 41ff., The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).  Instead, Roberts passes from thinking he is not a Christian to being someone who has visions and encounters with supernatural forces and therefore concludes that he belongs to God.

[6]              Pg. 9, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[7]              Pg. 41, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.  “[A]ccording to his own account . . . he was not a Christian until little more than fifteen months” before Stead wrote his book in 1904 (Ibid).

[8]              Pg. 24, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[9]              Pg. 34, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Literature, 1950.

[10]            Pg. 24, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Note the discussion by the headmaster of the school where Roberts prepared for the ministry for a few weeks on pgs. 110-112, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).

[11]            Pgs. 23-24, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[12]            Pg. 85, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950.

[13]            Pg. 19, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Brynmor P. Jones.

[14]            Pg. 234, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.

[15]            Pg. 42, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead.

[16]            Pg. 108, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

[17]            Pg. 111, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).

[18]            Pg. 178, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

[19]            Pg. 180, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.