By Robert Wurtz II
I find a disturbing sense of ANGER in some teachings and preachings at times that does not work the righteousness of God my friends. We need to know the difference between Anger and Anointing and its sometimes hard for people to tell the difference. They are both 'energy' sources (as it were) and when you lash out in anger you are tapping into the fires of hell. Don't ever preach out of sheer anger. Don't ever be guilty of such a crime. The sword of the Spirit becomes a 'corn knife' to hack people to death rather than to use 'surgically.' My pastor was told as a young preacher once in the 1960's 'You really ripped em' from Dan to Beersheeba tonight!' He told that man 'Please don't characterize me like that, I don't want to known as that.' When your teachings or preaching does not edify it is at best earthly and at worst demonic. If you are a young preacher reading this- seek the Lord for God's anointing and he will lead you in the right manor as to speak.
The intention of the Total Sanctification movement was quite nobel and the results of such teaching were good at first as it sparked revival; but later on, the movement of holiness as it played out became EXTREMELY legalistic. Holiness in our part of the country had reached such extremes (in our circles) that drinking coffee was sin. Playing softball was sin as late as the early 1960's. Fun was sin and on and on and on. I would say that it is quite possible that these teachings took 'holiness' to such a state of legalism as to be somewhat responsible for the rebellion backlash of the 1960's. People who lived in the 1940's in my circle of friends and family speak of a legalistic Christianity that made children feel as though God was nothing but mean and mad. This in turn invoked a knee-jerk reaction among the survivors that now teach Children that God is love and neglect to teach them the Fear of God. What a tragedy! And that, because, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. So we see then, that EXTREME doctrines do nothing but keep the Church's doctrines swinging back and forth from one extreme to another. Then whole denominations would form to focus on these extremes.
To say that a believer can be 'immaculate' in his/her walk with God is to claim beyond even what the Apostle Paul claimed. Knowing that ultimately he must suffer the pains of death by martyrdom according to all that was shown him after the Damascus road; Paul still states 'neither am I perfect.' He was pressing to the ultimate goal of His life, which was to be faithful unto the death that He might receive a crown of life. This is what it is to run the race, lay aside every weight and sin, and finish the coarse having kept the faith and therefore receive the prize. He brought his body into subjection lest when he had preached to other he himself would be ADOKIMOS (disqualified). The words 'bring my body into subjection' literally mean to ‘hit under the eye' and take away captive. This is hard to do with a Phantom foe. The fight was very real and so was the enemy.
What does it profit to teach 'Perfectionism' and not have a clear cut means of reaching perfection other than to say 'You must be born again' or It happens when you receive the 'second blessing' or you must strive to the death to obtain it day by day. This would be like me arguing doctrinally for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and not being full of the Holy Ghost myself or not being able to lead others to a genuine experience in the truth of God's word. Does anyone know anyone who has so arrived as the Total Sanctification camp so taught? Wesley never claimed it as far as I have read through the years. And if the 'founder' never attained it what are we to make of that? What good does it do to sing about it- if it can't be played out in shoeleather? Lets sing those old hymns! But lets show the people how to live them.
'Preach it until you reach it'- what kind of philosophy is that? We are not talking about a doctrine that has not been grossly abused here. This doctrine has so caused despair in holiness circles that it is unreal. Why? Did the people get taught how to attain victory from God's word? Did they just despair and quit the church? Some certainly did. Did the ministers believe the flesh had to be dealt with and teach the people how to do it? Were kids shown love in these holiness homes? What is holiness by the way? Last I heard less than 35% of the United Methodist Church have a biblical worldview according to Barna. Is that where Total Sanctification has led them and will ultimately lead us? Lets pray we can balance these teachings and get it right this time around when God sends revival ministers to preach revival once again.