Lost Episode for December 4

On December 4, 1873, The Independent published an article by Revivalist Charles Finney titled “The Decay of Conscience.” In the article, Finney trains his fire on the pulpits of his day: “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” Finney believed that the failure at every level in our society, especially from a moral perspective, can be traced back to the failure of spiritual leaders. His charge to the pastors is another lost episode in American history. Read and Reflect: Read Isaiah 56:10-11 and reflect on God’s critique of his spiritual “watchmen” and compare that with Finney’s message to pastors. Prayer: Good Shepherd, we thank you for our “under shepherds” who keep watch over […]

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