A Warning From The 1960’s


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As a child, I attended a very Evangelical type of Methodist Church. I was converted to Christ at the age of 8 while attending this church. To me, one of the most tragic things that happened in the 1900’s was the backsliding and spiritual decline of large parts of the Methodist Church throughout the Earth. My own research has led me to conclude that one of the main reasons for this backsliding was a compromising by many Methodists with trendy philosophies which spread in universities and in society in general in Western countries in the late 1800’s and 1900’s.

I will give you an example of such compromising. Read here how in 1967 an Evangelical Methodist in Wollongong backslid as a result of the humanistic preaching of the assistant principal of one of the Methodist theological colleges at an Easter Crusader Camp:

A Young Adult Reports

“Just recently the young people of Wesley Church attended a number of Crusader and M.Y.F. Camps throughout the district and since their arrival home have been demonstrating their activities and studies to the evening congregations at Wesley.

One report in particular is well worth repeating and with the kind permission of its author…, we print below her testimony.

‘At Easter I went to Otford Crusader Camp. For me this was mainly an intellectual experience. It showed me that theology and faith are two distinct categories and that given a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, as the basic nucleus of my faith, the study of theology in some depth can be stimulating and satisfying. At camp my horizons were widened, and I realised that however unorthodox my thinking it does not affect the nucleus of my faith.

The speaker at camp was Dr…, assistant principal of … College, and he directed our thoughts to such questions as: the existence of hell, the immortality of the soul, humanism, the importance of Christ's death, the nature of our resurrection…For a while after camp this really rocked me. So many “heretical” issues were raised, so many philosophical theories were thrown into discussion that the whole of the grounds on which my faith was built were cut away from under me. My fundamentalist viewpoint based upon literal translation of the Bible, was challenged by logical theories that appealed to the intellect. These seemed to me to be representative of two extremes and I didn’t know what to believe. Let me illustrate this:

Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Since Dr…had been in India we considered the position of the Hindus in the light of this statement. Were they automatically condemned to hell or is there room for an alternative answer? What happens to Mahatma Ghandi for example?

Perhaps the most dynamic issue for me was the question of the immortality of the soul. A consistent case was advanced by Dr…in favour of its denial, and this floored me. It was logically sound and appealing, but because my horizons had never expanded sufficiently to encompass such an idea my first reaction was to reject it utterly. But then, thinking about it, I was caught up in it, and found no reason why it should be so heretical…Surely, given our faith, the Bible can be put to one side. On the other side is theology, defined as the science that treats of God. The Bible is not scientific by nature. It is mythical. Most academics, arguing theology, will not accept the Bible, but Bonhoffer or Tillich they at least recognise. If the Church wishes to be respected in this age it would do better to appeal to a thinking man.’” [1]

At present, some leaders and members of some Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal groups are in the early stages of compromising with humanism, situational ethics and other trendy worldly philosophies. They have not gone as far as the above Methodists. But unless they repent, they will probably follow a similar route to the above Methodists from Wollongong in the 1960’s.



[1] “RECORD” May-August 1967, Wollongong Methodist Circuit, pages 2 and 3. This was the official magazine of the Methodist Churches in Wollongong.

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