Friday, September 01, 2017

Frederick B. Meyer: Applications from his Keswick Apostasy, part 1 of 2

            Frederick. B. Meyer was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, not a Bible-believing, historic Baptist minister.  His writings should be rejected, and he should be warned against.  Why should God’s people read the writings of one who spread the standard errors of Keswick, who also gave no evidence of personal conversion, who accepted absurd eschatological fictions, who refused to contend for Baptist doctrine, who found liturgy and baptismal regeneration acceptable but rejected the Regulative Principle of worship, who was grossly ecumenical, who radically watered down the demands of the gospel and taught that heathen did not need to hear about and consciously believe in Jesus Christ to be saved, who rejected the truth that Christ propitiated God’s wrath on the cross, who blasphemed Jehovah by claiming that Old Testament Israel thought He was only the God of the hills, not of the valleys, who blasphemed the Holy Spirit by claiming that He was thought of as an atmosphere, not a Person, for most of the history of the world, who rejected the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture for modernistic apostasy, and who spread continuationism, contributed to the rise of Pentecostalism, and was open to forms of spiritualism?  Would not the writings of such a man have a better place in a fire than in the minds and hearts of the Triune Jehovah’s people?  Are they not filled with the stench of the fires of hell?  F. B. Meyer was a heretic, and the Lord’s precious faithful ones should beware of both his pernicious personal influence and his baneful and continuing influence on the doctrines and practices of others.  That such a man as he is hailed by the adherents of the Higher Life as Keswick’s leading international representative provides yet another reason why Keswick theology must be rejected by true churches and faithful Christians.
            While F. B. Meyer did not, you must treasure the power of the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ.  Natural theology will only condemn, never save (Romans 1:18-32), but “the gospel of Christ . . . is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).  There is no other name than that of Jesus Christ by which men must be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and no other way of salvation than by repentant faith in Him and His substitutionary death, as validated by His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  All who do not receive this gospel must necessarily perish eternally, but the Holy Spirit, through the Word, produces faith in countless of those who hear it (Romans 10:17; James 1:18), so that they are washed in Christ’s blood, adopted into the family of their infinitely loving, gracious, and tender heavenly Father, and are enabled to join the eternal song in grateful worship of their God and Lord, Jesus Christ:  “Thou art worthy . . . for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. . . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:9-12)!  Is not this gospel, this best of all Good News, worth proclaiming in all its purity to the ends of the earth, worth living in light of, and worth dying for?  Where is the Christian who will not cry out, with his heart and soul, “Yes, it is so—Amen, Amen!”  Then, dear reader, act upon this truth.  Be part of reconciling the world to Christ by proclaiming His sweet name to all men unto the very ends of the earth.  Furthermore, do not allow the truth of this gospel to be corrupted in the least part.  View with horror the damage F. B. Meyer sought to inflict upon the gospel, and inflicted in truth upon countless precious souls who followed him in his damnable errors.  Rather than rejecting, or being the slightest bit ashamed of the precious doctrines of propitiation and of penal substitution, let the penal substitution of Christ on the cross, and His appeasement of the Father’s wrath thereon, be your only hope and confidence for a blessed eternity, and your joy and glory on earth even now.  Treasure them in your heart.  Meditate upon them in your mind.  Speak of them everywhere, and be heartily thankful to God for them always.  They are at the heart of that only saving gospel that is the undiluted power of God unto salvation.
            Hate the abominable error of F. B. Meyer of preaching Keswick theology to unconverted heathen instead of preaching the gospel.  Only God knows the number who are in hell today because of this fearful error and deriliction of obvious duty by Mr. Meyer and those whom he influenced.  Meyer’s practice in this regard is a clear example of how God is dishonored and people come to be eternally damned when cultural pressure is surrendered to, rather than resisted by, the Lord’s church and people.  Telling people in India that their heathen ancestors were saved, not lost, was surely easier and much more culturally acceptable.  Surely there was great pressure to lie to them in this manner, as F. B. Meyer did, or at least downplay or equivocate on the truth, as many others did.  What was the result?  God’s truth was not glorified, the gospel was corrupted, apostasy was furthered, and precious souls were deluded and lost.  Reader, you must never under any circumstances surrender, be ashamed of, or water down anything taught in God’s holy Word because of cultural pressure.  “[F]ear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
            Christians must practice the methodology of gospel proclamation taught in Scripture. The book of Acts clearly teaches and models by example aggressive evangelism for every church member;  all should go “every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4), with the goal of preaching to “every creature which is under heaven” (Ephesians 1:23; Mark 16:15), that is, giving clear presentations of the gospel to every single person on the face of the earth.  God’s Word presents house to house evangelism as an explicit pattern of Scripture (Acts 5:42; 20:20-21).  If Christians in the New Testament went out preaching “daily,” you can certainly go persistently.  If they sought to reach large groups at one time by preaching in the temple and other places “publickly,” then Christian men should follow their pattern by preaching on the streets, and all Christians should follow their pattern by distributing literature and proclaiming the gospel wherever sizeable groups of people can be found.  If they also went “house to house,” seeking to reach “every house,” then you also ought to specifically reach every single household in your area and send forth laborers from your church who will seek to do so likewise in communities that are further away, until “all men every where” have heard the gospel (Acts 21:28; 19:10; Mark 16:15).  Are you part of a church that is following the Biblical pattern and preaching publicly and house to house?  If not, it is time to either start obeying Scripture or time to leave that church for a faithful congregation.  If so, are you participating in this blessed and holy work, with zeal and love for Jesus Christ, and love for and holy boldness towards sinners?  If not, now is the time to repent—now is the time to beg God for a heart like His for the lost.
            Christian pastors and other spiritual leaders must by no means turn aside from the sufficient and God-glorifying Biblical methodology for gospel-proclamation to promotion and marketing techniques that violate Biblical principles.  F. B. Meyer learned from D. L. Moody, and others, a variety of how-to methods that could draw large crowds and build a big church—but without a pure gospel, and without pure methods of proclaiming that gospel, the glory goes to man, not to God, and truly beneficial long-term results will not follow.  A congregation may grow numerically as “an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21) filled with the blessings of Jehovah, or it may grow numerically utilizing unbiblical techniques and methodologies into a great mixed multitude of converted and unconverted people, filled with spiritual confusion and with the curse of the Lord.  The latter sort of “growth” is more easily accomplished—it is within the potency of human might and power, while the former is solely through the power of God’s Spirit—but the eternal consequences will be evident when each stands before the Judge of all the earth.

See here for this entire study.


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