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Quotes from Ironside’s   Holiness – the False and the True

 In which he describes his attempts to be sanctified and then eventually his rejection of the doctrine of full salvation.  These are not listed with approval but to show his errors.  Some would argue he “learned better” others would fear he did backslide.  His wife was  also a former Salavationist.

“From this time on mine was an ‘up-and-down experience,’ to use a term often heard in ‘testimony meetings.’ I longed for perfect victory over the lusts and desires of the flesh. Yet I seemed to have more trouble with evil thoughts and unholy propensities than I had ever known before. For a long time I kept these conflicts hidden, and known only to God and to myself. But after some eight to ten months, I became interested in what were called ‘holiness meetings,’ held weekly in the ‘Army’ hall, and also in a mission I sometimes attended. At these gatherings an experience was spoken of which I felt was just what I needed. It was designated by various terms: ‘The Second Blessing’; ‘Sanctification’; ‘Perfect Love’; ‘Higher Life’; ‘Cleansing from Inbred Sin’; and by other expressions.

“…Before, I had always held up Christ, and pointed the lost to Him. Now, almost imperceptibly, my own experience became my theme, and I held up myself as a striking example of consecration and holiness!

“As time went on, I began to be again conscious of inward desires toward evil — of thoughts that were unholy. I was nonplused. Going to a leading teacher for help, he said, ‘These are but temptations. Temptation is not sin. You only sin if you yield to the evil suggestion.’ This gave me peace for a time. I found it was the general way of excusing such evident movings of a fallen nature, which was supposed to have been eliminated. But gradually I sank to a lower and lower plane, permitting things I would once have shunned;

“[Owing to a later low state of spiritual experience,] I was tormented with the thought that I had backslidden, and might be lost eternally after all my former happy experiences of the Lord’s goodness. Twice I slipped out of the building when all were in bed, and made my way to a lonely spot where I spent the night in prayer, beseeching God not to take His Holy Spirit from me, but to again cleanse me fully from all inbred sin. Each time I ‘claimed it by faith,’ and was brighter for a few weeks; but I inevitably again fell into doubt and gloom, and was conscious of sinning both in thought and in word, and sometimes in unholy actions, which brought terrible remorse.”

“Again I spent the night in prayer . . . [and believed) that the work of full inward cleansing was indeed consummated, and that I was now, if never before, actually rid of all carnality.

“How readily one yields himself to self-deception in a matter of this kind! From this time on I became a more earnest advocate of the second blessing than ever;

“. . . [a later experience] showed me . . . that the carnal mind was still a part of my being.”

“And now I began to see what a string of derelicts this holiness teaching left in its train. I could count scores of persons who had gone into utter infidelity because of it. They always gave the same reason: ‘I tried it all. I found it a failure.

“Since turning aside from the perfectionist societies, I have often been asked if I find as high a standard maintained among Christians generally who do not profess to have the ‘second blessing’ as I have seen among those who do. “My answer is that after carefully, and I trust without prejudice, considering both, I have found a far higher standard maintained by believers who intelligently reject the eradication theory than among those who accept it. Quiet, unassuming Christians, who know their Bibles and their own hearts too well to permit their lips to talk of sinlessness and perfection in the flesh…

REPEAT – These quotes are not listed with approval but to show his errors. 

Henry “Harry” Allen Ironside was born this date 10/14/1876, in Toronto, Canada.  He was converted at 14 and began to preach.  Ironside was a Salvation Army officer for a time became disillusioned with holiness and joined the Plymouth Brethren.  He pastored Moody Memorial Church (1930-1948).  He was never ordained, authored over sixty books, mostly commentaries, he died 1/15/1951 in New Zealand (on a preaching tour) and is buried there.

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