on Social Reform
"It is melancholy
and amazing to see to what an extent the church treats the different
branches of reform either with indifference, or with direct opposition.
There is not, I venture to say upon the whole earth an inconsistency more
monstrous, more God-dishonoring, and I must say more manifestly insane than
the attitude which many of the churches take in respect to nearly every
branch of reform which is needed among mankind. ...
great business of the church is to reform the world - to put away every kind
of sin. The church was originally organized to be a body of reformers. The
very profession of Christianity implies the profession and virtually an
oath to do all that can be done for the reformation of the world. The
Christian church was designed to make aggressive movements to every
direction - to lift up her voice and put forth her energies in high and low
places - to reform individuals, communities and governments, and never rest
until the Kingdom and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven
shall be given to the saints of the Most High God - until every form of
iniquity shall be driven from the earth. ...
"The idea I
wish to present to the brethren is this--the great sin and utter shame of
the Church and of so many of the ministry in neglecting or refusing to
speak out and act promptly and efficiently on these great questions of
reform. How could they more directly grieve and quench the Spirit of God
than by such a course? Abandon the great work to which they are pledged and
sworn, and yet profess to be Christians! No wonder that such a church and
such a ministry should look coldly on revivals and find it impossible to
promote them. After so much light has blazed before the churches on these
subjects, it cannot be that they resist or neglect without great sin."
Attitude of the Church on the Reforms of the Age," Oberlin
Evangelist, January 21, 1846. For the entire letter click Finney.
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