Friday, August 18, 2017

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

            In light of Meyer’s belief that pagan devil-worshippers were really worshippers of the true God, it is not surprising that he was weak in his condemnation of spiritualism.  “Not all Christians regarded paranormal manifestations as necessarily evil.  The Baptist theologian F. B. Meyer . . . believed telepathy and clairvoyance to be natural capactities of the mind, endowed by God, analagous to wireless telegraphy.”[1]  Furthermore, Meyer believed that those on earth received visitations from the dead;  for example, while preaching the funeral of one Mr. Buckley, Meyer stated that while Buckley was dying he “saw his spirit relations, and even called them by name.”[2]  Meyer did not endorse spiritualism per se—it came in for general condemnation in his pamphlet The Modern Craze of Spiritualism.  However, as a reviewer of his pamphlet noted, “[H]e deals too tenderly with clairvoyance, which . . . [is] an easy stepping-stone to the séance;  and . . . he astonishes by saying that ‘in passing over, the soul may sometimes manifest itself to the beloved ere it is definitely withdrawn into the presence of God,’ . . . [a teaching which is] erroneous and dangerous.”[3]  Thus, Meyer condemned what he recognized as spiritualism, but certain spiritualistic phenomena were not considered to truly be spiritualism.  For F. B. Meyer, if not for Scripture, the dead did communicate with the living, and clairvoyance was an ability endowed by God—forms of what truly was spiritualism were acceptable.
F. B. Meyer did believe in the bare fact that believers should be immersed, and he performed a variety of ministries in and with Baptist churches, contributing to their being corrupted with his damnable false teachings, as well as serving as the leader of the Baptist Union during a period when it was capitulating to theological modernism and liberalism.  While he contributed greatly to the infiltration of Keswick theology in Baptist churches, and contributed to the rise of Pentecostalism, he was very far from an advocate of historic Baptist doctrine—he was a far better representative of the easy heterodoxy, ecumenical practice, and happy apostasy of Keswick.

See here for this entire study.

[1]           Pg. 70, Photography and Spirit, John Harvey.  London:  Reaktion Books, 2007.
[2]           Pg. 28, “Spiritualism at the Leicester Cemetary,” in The Medium and Daybreak:  A Weekly Journal Devoted to the History, Phenomena, Philosophy, and Teachings of Spiritualism, 15:718 (January 11, 1884) 1-32.
[3]           Pg. 577, “Book Notices,” in The Christian Worker’s Magazine, 20:7, March, 1920.

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