A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT

Higher-Purpose

A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT 

By Jay Wegter

INTRODUCTION

The concept of the higher Christian life arose in the nineteenth century in connection with the holiness tradition in America.  The movement grew in popularity and ultimately spread to England.  Keswick, England became the home of the higher life conventions.  In time, the movement returned to America with great momentum.  “The Higher Life movement has influenced the rise of other theologically conservative movements, the founding of a number of institutions, the growth of foreign missions, and the theological perspective of several denominations.”1

Description of the Movement

          The higher Christian life is an explanation of the means and methods involved in advancing the believer’s progressive sanctification.  The purpose of this paper is to identify the areas where the higher life model of sanctification differs from the scriptural doctrine of sanctification.

          Though not identical, three terms are used synonymously to refer to the movement; “The higher Christian life,” the “Victorious Christian Life,” and “Keswick Teaching.”  In this paper, any of the three terms may be used to refer to the whole body of higher life teaching.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND

          The inception of the higher life movement is often identified with the publication of William Edwin Boardman’s book, The Higher Christian Life (1858).  The book argued that Christ was to be received for sanctification sometime after justification. Continue reading

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The Flattering Tongue

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Flattery is to compliment excessively and often insincerely given, especially in order to win favor.  Sincerity is sorely lacking in human relations today.  Flattery or sweet talk, which is another way that the tongue can be used for evil. People flatter continually starting from home to workplace. In the work place and offices people continually involved in internal politics and flattering in order to seek favour or, to get promoted to higher level.

Flattery is also a sin of the tongue. The Bible speaks of flattery as a characteristic of the wicked and of a sinful person. People from different walks of life trying to keep a record of the flattering speeches and conversations. Flattery is just a form of lying, and it has no place in the life of a Christian. It is an another produce of the misuse of the tongue.

He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,
(Daniel 11:32-34 ESV)

We are encountering people with flattering nature everywhere, speaking something before us and contrarily with others, in other occasions, in order to please others or to fulfil their self-centred wishes. Continue reading

Lordship Salvation aka Progressive Sanctification? High fashion, yes, but not for Christians.

jesus is your sanctification

Grant Swart

I needed to jot down just a few more recent thoughts concerning the subject of (progressive) sanctification, as I have seen it gaining in popularity as a subject for discussion in certain circles, particularly I suppose, in the social media. This is additional to my most recent article on the subject at SANCTIFICATION: Why & how can God accept sinners into His Presence?

As a subject, I don’t believe that progressive sanctification should be handled with much kindness. It is a hideous and potentially fatal religious proposition. The highest possible price was paid for it, it belongs to God’s people exclusively, and it should not be allowed to become a plastic accessory to be worn by fashionistas of the commercial free-will religious order.

Free-will, works religion, also known as Arminianism or various forms of synergism, is the highly fashionable religion being practiced by great numbers of churchgoers in these times. Followers of this religious form of worship, under the guise of Christianity, now crowd the pews of the great majority of what were once, Biblical and God-fearing churches.

In these shiny new will-worshipping theatres are man-made pavilions with many steps leading upwards, each step representing a higher level of self-righteousness and perceived holiness on which proud men stand and display their shame before other men, as witness to them worshipping their own efforts and abilities (Col. 2:23).

In order to solicit more support, in the great eagerness of their own driven will, they have named this system of will worship. Some call it “Lordship Salvation”. Even more ostentatiously they might call it “progressive sanctification” and deluded men heap wondrous praise and elevated prestige onto those who put great effort into achieving improved righteousness. These great congregations, having placed themselves under the spiritual governance of the powerful hierarchies and church councils which they have elected for themselves to serve under, often find themselves becoming the victims of their own ill-begotten belief systems when the whip of contrived church discipline inevitably turns on them. Continue reading

Salvation is of the LORD!

Jonah 2 ; 9

Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah 2:9

“Salvation” is a big word. It includes much more than a believer’s initial experience of grace in regeneration and conversion. It includes everything required to bring fallen men from the pit of the damned into the eternal presence of God’s glory in heaven. And, from first to last, it is the work of God’s free grace alone. Man does nothing. Man contributes nothing. Nothing is determined by or dependent upon the will of man or the works or worth of man. “Salvation is of the Lord!

All True Doctrine

This is the essence of all true doctrine. Continue reading

The Heresy Of Today’s Free-willism : Pelagius’s Legacy

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By Robert Truelove

Augustine vs. Pelagius

We will now move in our studies to a doctrinal controversy that occurred during the fifth century between Augustine bishop of Hippo and Pelagius, a British monk. Pelagius was the father of the doctrines now referred to as Pelagianism, which Augustine argued against and considered destructive of the gospel. In this short article, we will give a brief overview of their positions and point out the error of the Pelagian system. This is an issue that strikes at the very heart of the gospel message. I would ask that everyone who reads this would consider the practical importance of a proper understanding of sin and grace.

Pelagius taught that Adam was created neither good nor evil, but was created neutral. His will was completely free to choose to sin or not to sin. He also believed that whether Adam sinned or not he was still mortal and would one day die. He therefore denied that man was created holy and that by Adam’s sin, death entered into the world. As a matter a fact, he went so far as to say that man is born in the same condition as Adam was before the fall; that is, he is born without sin. The only difference, according to Pelagius, between him and Adam is that Adam did not have the example of sin before him whereas his posterity does. Pelagius therefore did not believe Continue reading

“Messiah the Prince”

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Daniel 9:25

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
(Daniel 9:25 KJV)

The man Gabriel appeared to Daniel, assuring him of the coming of Christ and of our Savior’s great accomplishments as our Savior at God’s appointed time (Daniel 9:20-24). By the accomplishment of these six great feats of grace, “Messiah the Prince” is identified. He who accomplished these things is the Christ, the Son of God, our Savior.

Transgression Finished

First, Gabriel told Daniel that when the Christ appeared, He would, by the sacrifice of Himself, “finish the transgression.” That is precisely what our blessed Savior did when our transgressions were laid on Him and borne by Him, and he carried them all away in the stream of His precious blood when He made satisfaction for us. They shall never be seen or brought up again!

Sins End Continue reading

Whosoever Will Revelation 22 : 17

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Tim James

Many times when I have spoken to someone about the electing grace of God, the response has been, “I believe in WHOSOEVER WILL.” I suppose that such a response is meant to imply that these two Bible teachings are mutually exclusive of one another or perhaps even diametrically opposed. Everyone who preaches the electing love of God believes that THE ELECT WILLINGLY COME TO CHRIST! The fact is that not only do I believe WHOSOEVER WILL. I know WHO they are! Our Lord said, “All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Our Lord said, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). Our Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The heavenly Father said to His beloved Son, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power” (Psalm 110:3). Who will come to Christ? Those who have been given to Christ, taught of the Father, and made willing in the day of our Lord’s power. They are His sheep! Continue reading