“Prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God's listening ears…When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and, above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end…All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do everything, prayer is omnipotent.”
“Herein lies the whole secret of a real Christian life, a life of liberty and joy and power and fullness. To have as one's ever-present Friend, and to be conscious that one has as his ever-present Friend, the Holy Spirit and to surrender one's life in all its departments entirely to His control, this is true Christian living. ”
Vicegerents - Leading in Surrendered Worship
“…We humans were made to be vicegerents, that is we had act on God's behalf within the world, but this is only possible and can only escape serious and dangerous distortion when worship precedes action. Only those who are worshipping The Creator will be humble enought to be trusted with this stewardship.” N.T. Wright (The Day the Revolution Began)
Activism Not Slack-tavism
“This legalization of vice, which is the endorsement of the “necessity” of impurity for man and the institution of slavery of woman, is the most open denial which modern times have seen of the principle of the sacredness of the individual being.” - Josephine Butler - Pioneer of Womens Rights
Oberlin College - A Pioneer in Social Mobility
Oberlin College, private coeducational institution of higher learning at Oberlin, Ohio, offering programs in liberal arts and music. It was founded by Presbyterian minister John J. Shipherd and Philo P. Stewart in 1833 as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute to educate ministers and schoolteachers for the West.
The founders of this seminal educational institution wanted to create not only a new, but utterly unique venture and thus, decided to name it after the Alsatian pastor Johann Friedrich Oberlin. Oberlin, a Lutheran Pastor, was not only philanthropic, but patently innovative in his Christ originated and focused mission on caring for his community. Education, first in Christian Theology (essentially the source and key to all successful education advancements in the modern era) but as importantly the cognitive domain. He is credited with pioneering supervised education for children whilst their parents worked.
From the get-go Oberlin was to be coeducational – almost completely unheard of in Western context, and certainly a first for the fledgling nation. One of the founders, Stewart wrote that … “the education of the female character, bringing within the reach of the mis-judged and neglected sex all the instructive privileges which hitherto have unreasonably distinguished the leading sex from theirs.” This attracted the ire of many in the culture and when the administration threw open their doors to Black students in 1835 – shock was the response. The combination of such, almost unheard-of offerings, fostered not simply what one today would perceive as ‘racist’ responses, rather moral ones. Co-education of women and men in the same facility was a real concern to the pious church.
However, many of these ‘concerns’ were allayed by some core and strategic values and visions of this seminal work.
The colleges first president, Asa Mahan was not only a well-known Holiness leader, but that puritanical leaning was not just for personal Christian morality, but a core driver for social change. He believed that conversion to Christ should lead to an automatic commitment to change society. If you like, best-practice civil society modes were linked to Judeo-Christian values, so action must follow a revelation of that best-practice; action that leads and spawns proto-typical social justice movement – Not ‘instead’ of Christian faith, but because of it.
Slavery, alcohol misuse, poverty, educational dearth and the social disorder and chaos cultivated by an immoral culture, were all targets of a culture changing Christian education – These were all seen as inseparable – it was Christian Justice, not ‘Social Justice.’
These controversies may have unravelled this good work and its intention, but when leading Revivalist Charles Grandison Finney, became the college’s president from 1851 to 1866, it was clear that Righteousness, and justice for social change were the agenda, and consequentially reservations subsided.
- This Day in Christian History, Editors – Curtis & Graves (Christian History Institute)