Friday, July 07, 2017

Frederick B. Meyer: "Baptist" Kewsick Advocate & Apostate False Teacher, part 1 of 4

Frederick. B. Meyer, who had been present and and loved the pre-Keswick Broadlands Conference, Oxford Convention, and Brighton Convention,”[1] was a central figure in the spread of Keswick theology in Baptist churches.  Meyer was at one point President of the Baptist Union, at a time after C. H. Spurgeon had already separated from it because of the heresies that were filling it.  Meyer was also “a prolific author . . . [although] [h]is books are not of a very scholarly nature.”[2]  Nonethess, he was a definitive Keswick writer.[3]  “[R]aised by a Quaker grandmother, [he] was also much influenced by . . . Hannah Pearsall Smith.”[4]  It “is doubtful whether any other Keswick leader ever did more than Dr. Meyer to make the distinctive Keswick message known throughout the world,”[5] as he “spoke at twenty-six Keswick conventions as well as at important regional conventions, and encouraged Keswick teaching within the Baptist denomination through a Prayer Union, which attracted wide ministerial support . . . [and] became Keswick’s leading international representative,” making nearly twenty visits to the United States and Canada, addressing meetings in South Africa, and engaging in tours in the Middle and Far East,[6] where he preached Keswick theology to the heathen.   Indeed, Meyer was "Keswick’s best known international representative . . . h[e] travel[led] on behalf of the holiness movement . . . [in] South Africa, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Ceylon, China, Nigeria, and the United States” just between 1907-1910, being away “from Britain for several months at a time”[7] and traveling over twenty-five thousand miles spreading the Keswick teaching.[8] “He introduced Keswick teaching into the Baptist denomination,” so that, largely through him, “|Keswick’s influence . . . sprea[d]”[9] beyond its largely Anglican and Quaker roots.  

Meyer, having followed the Higher Life theology from the time of its origin at the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions,[10] contributed greatly to the infiltration of the Keswick theology into Baptist churches and other religious assemblies through his preaching, writing, ministry at specifically Keswick venues, and proclamation at convocations from A. B. Simpson’s deeper life conferences to Moody’s Northfield conferences.[11]  Meyer was critical to the rise of Keswick theology among Baptists churches and many others as he worked as an ecumenical conference speaker and Higher Life holiness evangelist.
Meyer held for years that “the saints alive on earth toward the end of the [first] century were rapt to heaven[,]” a view he mixed “with the historical interpretation of the Book of Revelation.”  Concerning this view of a first century catching away, “Mr. Meyer said, ‘In the main I throughly accept [this] conclusion.  It must be true.’”  After all, “the theory is not so fantastic as it seems . . . the miracle it involved . . . account[ed] in great measure . . . for the rapid spread of Christianity in the next [the second] century.  That there is no record of the event is . . . justified by the fact that there was nobody left to record it.”  On “the first day of 1905 Mr. Meyer preached a sermon advocating this view, which attracted considerable attention, one of the London daily newspapers giving an extended report of it,” as a prominent minister affirming that all Christians were snatched away near the end of the first century as the explanation for the rapid spread of Christianity in the second century would surely sell quite a few newspapers.[12]  Furthermore, in “1917 Meyer launched, with the support of several Keswick leaders, the Advent Testimony and Preparation Movement, which became a significant body,”[13] and of which Meyer “became [a] very pronounced” advocate.  By this time, Meyer was suggesting that the world was going to end because of the First World War:  “the Great War was . . . the Midnight Cry . . . he and some others suggested,”[14] an affirmation somewhat comparable to the prophetic proclamation of Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis of the Translation and the end of the world about that time.

See here for this entire study.

[1]           Pg. 126, Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Naselli.
[2]           Pg. 182, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[3]           Pg. 47, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[4]           Pg. 152, Changed by Grace: V. C. Kitchen, the Oxford Group, and A.A., Glenn Chesnut.  New York, NY:  iUniverse, 2006.
[5]           Pg. 186, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[6]           Pgs. 429-430, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.  Meyer “emphasized strongly in his own teaching the steps which led into ‘the blessed life’” (pg. 43, Transforming Keswick, Price & Randall).
[7]           Pg. 62, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[8]           Pg. 111, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[9]           Pg. 43, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.  By 1920, not Meyer alone, but other Baptists, including those corrupted by rationalism and theological modernism, were speaking at Keswick (pg. 140, ibid).
[10]         Pg. 65, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton;  pgs. 42-43, Transforming Keswick, Price & Randall;  pg. 103, The Keswick Story:  The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
[11]         “Keswick . . . was imported back into the United States by Moody, who brougth into his Northfield Conventions in the early 1890s such figures as F. B. Meyer . . . who returned five times within the decade;  Andrew Murray . . . [and]  H. W. Webb-Peploe” (pgs. 105-106, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton).
[12]         Pg. 157, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton.
[13]         Pg. 430, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.
[14]         Pg. 159, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.  The war was “the precursor of the return of Christ to reign on earth for a thousand years” (pg. 133, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).  Other Keswick supporters of the Advent Testimony movement from its inception were H. W. Webb-Peploe, John Steward Holden, and E. L. Langston;  Meyer ws the chairman of the Movement (pg. 133, ibid).

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