Conversion of Charles Finney

This morning I read about the conversion of Charles G. Finney. I thought you would be moved and very interested to read it for yourself. I trust it will make in impact on your life as it has on mine. I had read it in an old book that was given to me called “They Found the Secret” which documents (rather poorly in my opinion) how many famous saints of history discovered the power and working and Presence of the Holy Spirit.

When I found Charles Finney’s book online I came to learn that the book (which was written for a Moody Bible institute publication) had taken the liberty to edit out some portions of his story. Of course any author would normally only quote portions of another work but I found it just slightly odd that he was basically including the entirety of his conversion story as told by Charles G. Finney himself except for one small portion. Apparently the bit about the very serious elder breaking out in spasmodic laughter was too scandalous?

He wrote:

“It seemed as if it was impossible for him to keep from laughing from the very bottom of his heart.”

The reason I bring that up is because among my circle of friends the topic of “holy laughter” has come up. Have you ever experienced the joy of God so much that you couldn’t help but laugh? I am a firm believer that God is the most joyful being any of us will ever meet and I like to think that he is also playful, has a GREAT sense of humor (have you ever asked God to tell you a joke? I have!), and quite childlike and invites us into his joy and fun!

Isn’t it ridiculous how we like to edit and censor God. I thought about this first thing this morning – thinking about how God was angry at Moses for initially refusing his call and having doubt. He was mad!

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses (Exodus 4:13-14 NIV)

One movie rendition I watched with my daughter yesterday omitted that part.

God is an actual real life person who has very real emotions. Yet there are those who criticize others for being like God – emotional. I mean God gets mad, laughs, crys, and quite often does things that apparently many deem as embarrassing.

If you have any interest, please consider reading at the very least the first two chapters of Charles Finneys account: http://hopefaithprayer.com/books/Charles-G-Finney-An-Autobiography.pdf

ps. I suppose many Christians have chosen a faith that is always “respectable” and serious, much like the elder mentioned above. I think it’s time we give that up in favor of the lighthearted and good natured fun God wants to have with his kids. What do you think? Leave a comment!

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Categories: Following Jesus | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Conversion of Charles Finney

  1. Great points here. I think it’s interesting that when someone cries in church everyone assumes that the Lord is working on them, maybe even revival has hit the place! But when they laugh hysterically, the same are offended. Some might even say it’s from the devil. Pretty messed up logic when you remember that in God’s presence is fullness of joy!

  2. Bruce Engels

    Hey Daniel, Thanks for the thoughts. Praise God for having such a dynamic personality. I only wish that there were more verses of Scripture that read, “Jesus Laughed.” He did rejoice as well as expressing many other emotions, but I guess I don’t quite get the holy laughter movement. Maybe I just take my faith way too seriously. I think my greatest rejoicing was after being baptized at 26 years of age. Things started getting complicated after that.
    The songs are still coming to me through the grace of God. Like to share one with you sometime about spontaneous praise titled “Longing Just To Praise You Now.” My sister is working on a couple of the songs God gave to me for worship one Sunday at her church. It is a blessing to be able to share God’s heart through song. Enjoy the blessing as He works so powerfully through you my brother in the faith.

    • I suppose I don’t think of “it” as a movement. I just think Jesus is funny… after all, he made you didn’t he? HA!

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