Follower of The Way

The Schaeffers

Posted in Christ and Culture,History by sosipater on October 17, 2006

Over at CCW Online’s bulletin insert page is a nice introduction to Francis and Edith Schaeffer.  I would encourage you to read it and read Schaeffer too (both of them.)  I loved this section, as I can relate to a certain degree what Francis Schaeffer went through those many years ago.

Just after World War II, Francis and Edith decided to move to Switzerland to help strengthen the few, isolated churches in Europe who still taught the Gospel. Francis worked tirelessly in what was called the “Separated Movement,” a group of churches in the U.S. and Europe who left liberal denominational affiliations over the issue of the inerrancy of the Bible. But after several years in this work, he came to a crisis point. He noticed that, though these churches clung to correct doctrine, often there was no love or kindness demonstrated in relationships among the members. People within the movement were quick to turn on each other and divide over doctrinal minutia. Worse yet, he noticed even in himself a love for theological debate that had less to do with compassion for the lost and more to do with gamesmanship and self-righteousness.

As Edith prayed for him, Francis spent the next few weeks pacing the hayloft over the chalet in which his family was living. He went all the way back to his agnostic roots and rethought his reasons for believing in God. He studied Jesus’ words about how believers should live. In his book True Spirituality, he sums up his conclusions this way:

In the midst of being right, if self is exalted, my fellowship with God can be destroyed. It is not wrong to be right, but it is wrong to have the wrong attitude in being right, and to forget that my relationship with my fellow man must always be personal. . . . Christianity is not love in abstraction, but to love the individual who stands before me in a person-to-person relationship. He must never be faceless to me or I am denying everything I say I believe.1

1Schaeffer, Francis True Spirituality 1971 Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL pg. 152 and 157


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