Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Is it you, you troubler of Israel?" 1 Kings 18:17

In 1744 the President and faculty of Harvard went on record against George Whitefield, stating,

"In regard to the danger which we apprehend the people and churches of this land are in on the account of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield we have tho’t ourselves oblig’d to bear our testimony, in this public manner, against him and his way of preaching, as tending very much to the detriment of religion and the entire destruction of the order of these churches of Christ, which our fathers have taken such care and pains to settle, as by the platform, according to which the discipline of the churches of New England is regulated: and we do therefore hereby declare, that we look upon his going about, in an itinerant way, especially as he hath much of an enthusiastic turn, utterly inconsistent with the peace and order . . . of these churches of Christ . . . ."

I thank Andre Seu for reproducing this extract: Link.

Settled church order, the discipline of the churches, peace and order. I'm all for it. Really for it. Don't want the opposites of it. But daring new delivery systems (itinerant preaching -- gasp!) and unembarrassed passion for Jesus (an enthusiastic turn) -- well, if I had to choose, give me the latter any day.