AMERICAN MINUTE, By Bill Federer

Charles Finney died AUGUST 16, 1875. An attorney, Finney saw so many Scripture references in Blackstone’s Law Commentaries that he bought a Bible and came to faith. Charles Finney’s 1835 Revival Lectures inspired George Williams to found the YMCA-Young Men’s Christian Association-in 1844, and William Booth to found The Salvation Army in 1865. Charles Finney formed the Benevolent Empire, a network of volunteer organizations to aid poor with healthcare and social needs, which in 1834 had a budget rivaling the Federal Government. Concerning the Kingdom of God, Charles Finney wrote “Every member must work or quit. No honorary members.” While Charles Finney was president of Oberlin College, 1851-1866, it was a station on the Underground Railroad smuggling slaves to freedom and it granted the first college degree in the United States to a black woman, Mary Jane Patterson. Charles Finney wrote: “The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.” Charles Finney concluded: “God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”

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