Going through some of the messages originally praught by Free Methodist pastors and leaders from the late 1800’s, it can be very interesting. In many ways, a completely different time. The views on how the Church should respond to culture has relaxed in HUGE ways, some for better, much for worse I’m sure.
But many of the things they spoke of could be very helpful reminders to us today.
In the opening sermon of the 1886 General Conference, Rev. W.B. Colt praught on the importance of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in our efforts. It might be better to say “resourcing”, than “involvement” really.
At points he reminds the church that things like status, education, speaking ability, talents, power, prestige, lineage, etc….are nothing without the Holy Spirit:
“the disciples had a power the world could not cope with, and though these persons were comparatively illiterate men – men not backed up by an honorable lineage, did not come from royal families, yet under the tread of the power of this endowment, the thrones of the day tottered and cedars licked the dust in less than three centuries.”
But this kind of thinking might allow someone without a Masters of Divinity, a guy with a guitar (or an organ for you contemporary service people), someone known to be “a sinner”, or even…gasp….a woman – to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit….what would Reverend Colt have to say about this?
“If a voice should ring out upon the night air tonight: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! would anybody be particular as to who or what threw on the water?”