10/18/2009

PHC #7: The Finch Dissention--1936

Continuing our Pilgrim History series....
7. The Pilgrim Holiness Church--the Finch Dissention of 1936 .

So what do YOU think?

keith drury

9 comments:

vanilla said...

An amazingly thorough and even-handed presentation of a difficult period.

Your Christian spirit of care and your scholarship together have produced an excellent document.

davide said...

Q2. It seems that a lesson of Holiness church history is that we have been much too reactive to the current hot-button issue. We should have emulated Wesley who was so careful in these matters that he never officially separated from the Anglican Church. Christ’s command in Jn 13:34,35 becomes a stinging indictment in light of Dr Drury’s article.

Jn 13: 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Q4. Unfortunately, I cannot speak from experience to this issue because the splinter-of-a-splinter group that I have been a part of for much of my life is not large enough to worry about “centralization”.
Q7. Godly, but misguided: How about Barnabas - or was it Paul? (Act 15:39).

kerry said...

This story was recounted to me in detail by J. R. Mitchell, who was the son-in-law of Finch. Mitchell went through agony of the soul deciding whether to come out with his loved and respected father-in-law. The split ended up splitting the family, too, as Mitchell and other family members stayed with the Pilgrims. Later, on the Pilgrim General Board, the voice of J. R. Mitchell may have made the difference when merger with the Wesleyan Methodists was in the balance in what was a very difficult decision. Looking back, J. R. was sad about the split in 1936, but didn't regret his decision to stay.

Ken Schenck said...

As I look back with this question in mind, the people I admire are those that joined together in the 68 merger, those Pilgrims that joined together in the early 20th century, and those like Orange Scott who went back into the Methodist church after the abolition of slavery. The only separating ones I am inclined to respect are the original Wesleyan Methodists.

Anonymous said...

So,with all these unfortunate events taking place in the history of the holiness movement, is there hope for it to be revive?

Let's remember the words of Luther's wife which went something like this when throwing a question to him, Is God dead?

Failure to sustain this blessed gift of God lies in men, not God. the reasone which are too complex to carry on further!

Earle Wilson said...

(From Facebook discussion on this column)
I think you are being too generous with regard to the Finch controversy. I've had numerous and long talks with J. R. Mitchell, Finch's son in law, to know that Finch did not simply represent the conservative wing of the Pilgrim Holiness Church, he was guilty of heresy. He failed to make a distinction between the "self" and selfishness or self-... Read Morecenterredness. Self came to us from the hand of God. We cannot exist without a "self." He missed that truth completely. He repudiated Wesley's Perfect Love and instead proved himself to be terribly self-centerredness and unloving. He practiced "shunning" which is typical of some radical cults. He attempted to turn the beautiful doctrine of Christian holiness into something weird and cultic. I know of no person who has done more damage to the cause of Christian holiness. Call it what it is, heresy not conservatism.

Daniel Finch said...

(From facbook discussion)

Interesting and accurate insights. A few facts out of sequence but overall good but painful obsevations about my family.

Anonymous said...

Per Earle Wilson's comment on heresy:

The logical basis for Augustine's doctrine of original sin is that inherent depravity must be transferred by natural means (procreation) or else "God/the supernatural is required to facilitate the spread of sin." If 2 young Wesleyans get sanctified at 16, get married at 20, and then procreate, does the child come with original sin? Just wondering how the Wesleyans maintain an orthodox position on original sin??? Isn't that why Finney rejected OS? Not attacking, just would like to understand the logic...

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the how similar the actions of the religious community in their churches is with their actions in the political arena?