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What are we to make of evangelicalism’s historical "heroes" who carry with them still a tainted legacy of sin? Such is the question constantly facing the american church as what are some ways to make money we contemplate the theological and evangelistic impact of men like what are some ways to make money jonathan edwards and george whitefield, both of whom owned and, at points, defended the sinful institution of chattel slavery.

Both of these men leave behind an incredible record of what are some ways to make money gospel-rich theology and preaching. There is a reason we still study their work today what are some ways to make money and why many of us find much in it that what are some ways to make money edifies and stirs our affections for christ. Many are reluctant to admit the great sin of these what are some ways to make money figures, believing that doing so may eradicate their contributions to church what are some ways to make money history. Many of course readily admit the great sin of these what are some ways to make money figures for the very purpose of indicting their contributions to what are some ways to make money church history. Still others assert we must accept all of their contributions, good and bad, as the consequence of honest historical appraisal. We must admit the good and the bad, because both the good and the bad we do leave what are some ways to make money their own legacies. Certainly the historical evil of slavery continues to impact american what are some ways to make money society today.

In the case of george whitefield, english evangelist to the american colonies, whose ministry attracted tens of thousands, occasionally in one visit, to hear his extraordinary preaching gift and passionate and dramatic what are some ways to make money articulation of the grace of god, we find no remedy in "man of his times" ignorance. Early in his ministry, whitefield spoke out against slavery and against slave-holding. Unlike many of his contemporaries at the time, he expressed concern for the souls of slaves, urging that they not just be treated kindly, but also evangelized, and their children catechized and raised in the church. Which is to say, whitefield’s earliest expressed positions stand in prophetic witness against his what are some ways to make money later and longer-held expressed positions. The man knew better.

Something happened or changed in his disposition toward slavery, and it puts him beyond the excuse of simply being what are some ways to make money a "man of his times." perhaps it’s as simple as the growth of his platform. As his popularity grew, so did his prestige and power. Some of his admirers — perhaps in a way to court favor, perhaps out of genuine admiration, perhaps out of a strategy to sway his position — actually gifted him slaves.

Whitefield also began to see the economic advantage in implementing what are some ways to make money slave labor at his burgeoning orphanage in the georgia colony. This may be difficult to believe, but georgia originally did not allow slavery. Whitefield actually advocated for it there. There’s even good evidence that he brought slaves there two what are some ways to make money years before slavery was legalized! Thefore, whitefield was not merely a slave-holder or a slavery-advocate — he was instrumental in the institution of slavery in the what are some ways to make money georgia colony. He was complicit in this great evil.

Yes, with great power comes great responsibility. Also, with great power comes great opportunity to abuse it. There is something about bigness — and everything that comes with it (money, fame, accolades, access) — that can seduce anyone. Not a single one of us is immune to this what are some ways to make money great temptation. And if you give the devil a foothold, he will take more.

With power also comes the temptation to more pragmatic thinking, where we will justify our own decisions in service of what are some ways to make money "the greater good." how did whitefield justify his sin? Perhaps the same way many try to justify it today what are some ways to make money — his good outweighed his bad. His sin is put in the context of his success, effectively reducing it to an incidental blip on the massive what are some ways to make money radar screen of his exemplary evangelism.

All christians admire different figures from church history, for a variety of reasons. There is nothing inherently wrong with admiring the gifts and what are some ways to make money accomplishments of those who affirm christian orthodoxy and who have what are some ways to make money contributed to advancing the cause of the kingdom of god. But we must beware of whitewashing our heroes, sanding off their rough edges, excusing their unrepentant sins, dismissing the things in their lives that might bring their what are some ways to make money profession into question. The kinds of things we routinely discipline church members for what are some ways to make money today often get waved away with a swat of the what are some ways to make money hand when it comes to our "heroes of the faith."

As christians, we believe in the truth. This means looking at history with wide open eyes, being honest about the past and the sins therein. We gain nothing from lionizing our historical heroes and we what are some ways to make money lose nothing by being transparent about their besetting sins. Why? Because the christian faith and the church it has birthed what are some ways to make money are not built on the foundation of any man but what are some ways to make money jesus christ. The gates of hell can prevail against any of our what are some ways to make money legacies. But nothing prevails against christ.

One of the million benefits of having the entirety of what are some ways to make money the spirit-breathed scriptures in the christian bible is that we are what are some ways to make money able to see how the lord himself regards the great what are some ways to make money sinners of historical faith. The vantage point of the old testament shows us the what are some ways to make money heinous sins of so many of the patriarchs, many we often consider "heroes" of the faith. And the new testament perspective on the old shows us what are some ways to make money a reading of them in the language of grace. Think of how many of the sinful patriarchs — whose collective sins include adultery and sexual exploitation, abuse of power and drunkeness, even murder — are lauded for their faith. Very few heroes of the old testament would not be what are some ways to make money able to find their sins listed in 1 corinthians 6:9-10.

Please hear what I’m saying (and not what I’m not). This is not a whitewashing of sin or justifying of what are some ways to make money sin. If that were the case, we would not have clearly before our eyes the honest what are some ways to make money depictions found in the old testament. But with both testaments testifying to both the reality of what are some ways to make money grievous sin and the reality of a great savior, we see the grounds for reading history with a "hermeneutic of grace." again, this doesn’t mean acting like men like george whitefield weren’t horrific sinners. But it does mean believing, at the very least, that no sin is outside the scope of christ’s redemption. We can affirm both that sin kills and is deserving what are some ways to make money of condemnation from a vengeful god who has, among other things, said man-stealing is wrath-deserving (ex. 21:16) and that enslavers will not inherit the kingdom of god what are some ways to make money (1 tim. 1:10), and also that the blood of christ "speaks a better word" (heb. 12:24) for those who will, in faith, claim it for themselves.

Christians affirm the bad news as well as the good. Because we are people of the truth, we should be the most honest about sin and its what are some ways to make money effects, past and present. And we should be the most optimistic about those who what are some ways to make money profess faith in christ. We may have our doubts about this sinner and that, often times for very good reasons. But if we believe in the gospel, we should agree that nobody’s worst sins define them in the eyes of god what are some ways to make money — even if they do taint or corrupt them in the what are some ways to make money eyes of man. Sin can tarnish our legacy. But in christ, it cannot solidify our identity.

As I said, I don’t think it will do to call whitefield’s advocacy of slavery a "blind spot." he was complicit. He was duplicitous. He bears his own responsibility for tarnishing his own legacy what are some ways to make money at the expense and abuse of people made in god’s image. He brings his own profession into question. Nevertheless, I want to be circumspect. I want to ask myself the question, "what, in the future, might people look back on and wonder about in the what are some ways to make money light of my public profession of faith? Is there anything in my life and teaching now that what are some ways to make money brings my salvation validly into question in the public eye? Or will?"

First, I have no complaints with those who cannot believe he what are some ways to make money was. Because my faith does not rest on george whitefield’s eternal state, I can honestly and sincerly see how so many simply what are some ways to make money cannot answer this question favorably. I especially understand not just how my african-american brothers and sisters cannot answer in the affirmative, but also how they cannot abide white evangelical "whitewashing" his legacy. I cannot feel what they feel, but I can understand why they feel it. I have no interest in diminishing that or chastizing that.

A good tree does not produce bad fruit, after all. As far as we can tell, whitefield never repudiated his sin, never repented of it. That alone brings the genuineness of his faith into question what are some ways to make money in many of our churches today. Why should whitefield get a pass from the same scrutiny? If he held his same views as a member of what are some ways to make money your church, would he not face discipline? I affirm the rationale of those who answer the question what are some ways to make money of whitefield’s salvation "no," and I affirm their freedom to do so. I see how you get there. I respect the conclusion. I will not argue it.

For my part, however, I want to "believe all things, hope all things." why? Because george whitefield was a great preacher and left many what are some ways to make money contributions that stir my heart toward jesus above all? No. Because I do not presume to know the eternal fate what are some ways to make money of anyone who professed christ crucified as their only hope what are some ways to make money for salvation. I have my doubts and questions and concerns. If I were whitefield’s pastor today, I would plead with him to repent as I would what are some ways to make money any professing christian living a life that brings their profession what are some ways to make money into question. And if he were unwilling, I would recommend my congregation to remove him. This is what the church has been tasked to do.

In the end, I hope and trust whitefield was saved, not because I have benefited from his work (though I have), but because I am sure I will die with sin what are some ways to make money unrepented of myself, and as the worst sinner I know, my only hope is found not on the grand scale what are some ways to make money weighing my good against my bad, but on the grand cross of christ, where even the vilest of sinners may find atonement.

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