Thursday, January 17, 2019

On This Day (January 17): F.F. Bosworth is Born

By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer
Copyright (c) 2019

#FFBosworth
#OnThisDay


F.F. Bosworth
Photo courtesy of iFPHC.org

On January 17, 1877, Fred Francis ("F.F.") Bosworth was born to Burton and Amelia Bosworth on a farm near Utica, Neb., a village located 40 miles northwest of Lincoln, the state's capitol.

As a child growing up in Nebraska, Bosworth learned to care for cattle. He discovered his talent for music, and he learned to sell. He was a teenager when he visited a friend in Omaha, Neb., where he found Christ as Saviour. His friend, he recounted, had invited him to a revival meeting in a Methodist church. With a little persuasion, he went to the altar and got saved. He would later say: "I wish someone at that time had told me what I have been telling you people about being baptized with the Holy Spirit. I did a great deal of drifting not knowing what the right place was for me."

Springing from humble beginnings, Bosworth became a Pentecostal pioneer and famous healing evangelist whose ministry would span several decades, from the early years of the 20th century to the late 1950s. He played a prominent role in the Pentecostal movement that occurred in the United States in the early 1900s. He also worked with the healing evangelists of the Voice of Healing during the post-World War II revival. According to historian P. G. Chappell, Bosworth was possibly the most successful healing Pentecostal evangelist to come out of Zion, Ill.

Before his fame as a healing revivalist and noted author of Christ the Healer, Bosworth served as a pastor in Dallas, Texas. In addition to that position, he contributed to the founding of the Assemblies of God. Historian Darrin Rodgers, in a recent email, explained his role as follows:

F. F. Bosworth was an active participant at the founding general council (April 1914), he was listed in the first ministerial directory (April 1914), and he was one of the first executive presbyters (November 1914). Bosworth was one of the founding ministers of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.

-------------------

Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer, can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: bosworth25.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to know more
about F.F. Bosworth?


Follow the Bosworth Matters blog!


See it here:
ffbosworth.strikingly.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. 

#ChristTheHealer #BosworthMatters #BosworthMention #OTD #ThisDayInFFBosworthHistory

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wrong Turn: The Short Happy Life of Missionary Adventurer John Allen Chau

By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, The Guide to Effective Gospel Tract Ministry (Church Growth Institute)
Copyright (c) 2019

John Allen Chau
Image from Instagram.

The death of John Allen Chau was a tragedy that may have been avoided had he followed the clear teachings of the Bible.

The 26-year-old, described as a missionary, adventurer, and thrill-seeker, died on Nov. 17, 2018, when he visited North Sentinel, an island in the Andaman Sea. According to news reports, he wanted to share Christ with the Sentinelese. It is believed that he was killed by the Sentinelese who shun all outside visitors.

Chau's death has generated new questions about foreign missions, as well as criticism and praise by people in the United States and across the globe. Well-meaning Christians are comparing him to Jim Elliot, whose story is told in the book, Through Gates of Splendor. Many, it seems, are ready to recognize him as a martyr. Some, not surprisingly, see him as an inspiring example of courage.

I believe that such adulation of this man is unwarranted. Even more, it is unbiblical. Based on current news reports, and the testimony of witnesses, it seems that Chau may have been compassionate, but overzealous and foolhardy in his missionary venture. He may have had good intentions, yet he put himself at risk by breaking the law and going to a place that was forbidden to outsiders. At the same time, he endangered the Sentinelese by possibly exposing them to diseases that could wipe them out.

Chau, in his efforts to reach the people with the gospel of Christ, exhibited no signs of maturity, discernment, or even respect.

Those factors, among others, lead me to believe that his death was unnecessary. Furthermore, I am convinced that had he followed the clear teachings of Christ, he could be alive today. Christ instructed us to be wise and harmless when sharing the gospel. When our message is rejected, Christ said we should move on to other people. After all, we cannot force anyone to receive the gospel.

While I can lament the loss of his life and the terrible impact it will undoubtedly have on his family and friends, I cannot join the chorus of voices that are singing his praises. Neither can I support those who have promoted him to sainthood. 

In a November 2018 post on LinkedIn, I shared the following:

To be honest, I'm not convinced his priority was sharing the gospel. It could have been an ego trip covered in Christian jargon. I don't know. Like others, I thought of Jim Elliot and the book, Through Gates of Splendor. But I'm not ready to call this young man a martyr or place him in the same category as Elliot. I'm reminded of the words of Christ: "Be wise as serpents and HARMLESS as doves" (Matthew 10:16).

Christ also stated, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet" (NIV, Matthew 10:14).

A dear reader took exception to my comments. She challenged my suggestion that the endeavor may have been an “ego trip.” She explained that people would not risk their lives in this manner because of an ego trip. She also noted that he stated his intentions in his diary.

I respectfully disagreed with the reader. In fact, I reminded her that people engage in high-risk activities all the time and that some are called daredevils. I also explained that I did not believe everything I read. In other words, people can write whatever they choose in their diaries whether it’s true or not. Statements in a diary aren't necessarily true because they appear in a diary.

Also, I might add, even when people express themselves with much clarity in their diaries, we're still reading a book -- and not their hearts. Only God knows a person’s heart. Chau might have been telling the truth in his diary. Or he might have wanted a certain legacy ... to be remembered in a certain way. I don’t know. My gut feeling is that he was sincere but misguided, something to which I can relate. I was the same way when I was his age.

But let’s suppose for a moment that he wrote the truth. In that case, I believe he was still in error. Had he come to me for advice, I would have kindly referred him to Matthew 10. The chapter is an account of Christ sending out his twelve disciples. In addition to verses 14 and 16 as noted above, I would ask him to consider verse 23: “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.”

Consider what John MacArthur had to say about that passage. In The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, he presented the following:

Persecution is never to be sought or endured for its own sake; nor should we intentionally bring it on ourselves, supposedly for Christ’s sake. We have no right to provoke animosity or ridicule. And Christ here urges escaping persecution when doing so is expedient and possible. We are not obligated to stay in a place of opposition and danger until we are killed, or even imprisoned. Whenever they persecute you in this city, Jesus says, flee to the next.

MacArthur explained that the above model is what Paul followed and what every other minister and missionary should follow. In Paul’s case (Acts 12-14, 17), he noted:

When persecution became so severe in one place that he could no longer minister effectively, he left and went to another. He was not afraid of persecution, and many times he was severely beaten before he left a city. At least once he was stoned and left for dead. But he did not try to test the limits of the opposition. He endured whatever ridicule, reviling, beatings, and imprisonment were necessary while he ministered. But he left a place when his effectiveness there ceased.

There are other passages of Scripture that address the issue, but I think the ones mentioned here are enough to support my position. That said, I can only wonder about the advice Chau received from his church.

To some people, I should note, the term "persecution" is not adequate or accurate in describing Chau's case. The reason? The Sentinelese oppose all outsiders regardless of their beliefs. Even so, I think the biblical directive to "flee" and move on when rejected is still applicable here.

As I close, I want to be clear about my assessment. I want to stress that it is not my intention to sound harsh and uncaring in my commentary. Also, I do not condemn the young man for his actions. Quite the contrary, I respect his courage (if we can call it that). But I question his judgment, even as I was heartbroken by his untimely demise.

Chau’s death was painfully tragic, but I hope it wasn't in vain. Perhaps if we’re listening and doing our due diligence in studying the Bible, we can still learn something from this mission that sadly took a wrong turn.

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ROSCOE BARNES III, Ph.D., is a writer, chaplain, historian, and former newspaper reporter. He is the author of more than a dozen books and Gospel tracts. For more information about his work and history, see his Personal Profile here or visit his website: http://www.roscoebarnes.net. Connect with him on Twitter (@roscoebarnes3) or by email: roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Prosperity on the Pages of F.F. Bosworth's Magazine

A Look at A.J. Gordon's Message on Giving and 'Abundant Temporal Prosperity'

By Roscoe Barnes III
Copyright (c) 2018

#FFBosworth
#BosworthMatters

Adoniram Judson Gordon

In 1929, the year that saw the beginning of the Great Depression, F.F. Bosworth published an article on financial prosperity that was written by Adoniram Judson ("A.J.") Gordon (1836-1895). The article was titled, “God’s Tenth,” and it appeared on pages 18 and 19 in the November 1929 issue of Exploits of Faith.

The date of publication is especially important when you consider the Great Depression, which started after the October 1929 stock market crash.

Gordon is known for his classic, The Ministry of Healing: Or, Miracles of Cure in All Ages (1882). In his article on prosperity, he wrote about the power of tithing and how it can result, when done correctly, in both spiritual blessings and temporal financial prosperity.

Bosworth’s publication of Gordon’s article sheds light on his own view of financial prosperity. Contrary to what some historians have argued, Bosworth preached on prosperity and he published articles on the topic. His writings indicate he was neither extreme nor extravagant. Yet, he clearly believed, like Gordon, that God rewards the faithful givers and tithers with blessings that may be spiritual and material in nature.

In his article, “God’s Tenth,” Gordon builds his case with Malachi 3:10, which addresses the issue of tithing. “Here plainly the giving of tithes is made the condition of an abundant outpouring of the Spirit,” he writes, adding the tendency of some is to spiritualize the verse “which robs us of so much vital truth by frittering away its meaning in metaphor and simile.”

Gordon makes a bold statement about the people who follow God’s instructions on giving. In short, he says they will be pleasantly surprised.

If any Christian who has never tried it will make the experiment, conscientiously following it through to the end, in prosperity and adversity, we predict for him two surprises; first, he will be astonished at the increased amount which he is enabled by this method to give to the Lord; and second, he will be astonished at the increased spiritual and temporal prosperity which the Lord will give him.

While referencing the words “Prove me now herewith” from his text, Gordon presents two points for consideration. His first point is “that faithful and proportionate giving will be rewarded with superabundant spiritual blessing.” In his second point, Gordon suggests that people who give faithfully and proportionately “will be rewarded with abundant temporal prosperity.”

Preaching Prosperity at the
Beginning of the Great Depression

Gordon’s article was not the only one on prosperity that appeared in Exploits in 1929. A few months earlier, in the May 1929 issue (pages 7-13), Bosworth published his own article, "God's Financial Plan Insures the Prosperity of His People." The article was actually a sermon he had preached in the Park Place Tabernacle in Anderson, Ind. At the time of its publication, the United States was starting to feel the early effects of the economic recession that occurred during the summer of 1929.

One can only wonder if Bosworth had a premonition of things to come. Of course, it is also  possible that he looked at the news reports and saw the need to prepare his readers, which wouldn't be a surprise given his business background. 

Bosworth's focus on financial prosperity might have also been inspired by the success -- and seemingly endless wealth -- of the Roaring Twenties. Like others, he probably thought the success would last longer. Even so, he believed that God would wonderfully bless His faithful tithers with spiritual and financial prosperity.

The full article by Gordon is presented below. It is shared here courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (iFPHC.org).

------------------------------


God’s Tenth

By Rev. A. J. Gordon

In touching the question of giving we touch the most vital point pertaining to the consecration and spiritual power of the churches. In saying this we speak from experience, as we certainly speak according to the Scripture. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive.” Mal. 3:10. Here plainly the giving of tithes is made the condition of an abundant outpouring of the Spirit. The spiritualizing method of interpreting Scripture, which robs us of so much vital truth by frittering away its meaning in metaphor and simile, has often robbed us of the real significance of this text. Prayer, testimony, effort, self-denial – how often do we hear these duties mentioned as summing up and fulfilling the requirements of tithes?

What Tithes Mean

But “tithes” means money or other property of equivalent value; and the effusion of God’s Spirit is here made contingent upon bringing in these tithes and paying up these dues to God. A tenth of his income was required of the Jew to be set apart and sacredly devoted to God’s treasury. And this was the first tenth and not the last tenth; the first fruits, and not dregs and leavings. In the New Testament, the same principle is carried over: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” 1 Cor. 16:2. Here is consecrated giving – laying by in store a certain sum set apart and made sacred to God’s use, and which thereafter one should no more think of using for himself than he would of taking the same sum from his neighbor’s pocket. And here is proportionate giving – “as God hath prospered him.”

If any Christian who has never tried it will make the experiment, conscientiously following it through to the end, in prosperity and adversity, we predict for him two surprises; first, he will be astonished at the increased amount which he is enabled by this method to give to the Lord; and second, he will be astonished at the increased spiritual and temporal prosperity which the Lord will give him. For observe that here is an instance where the Lord actually makes a challenge to His people, and sets up a test case, saying, “Prove me now herewith.”

Taking this Scripture in connection with others, we find that there are two points to be demonstrated.

Right Giving Brings Spiritual Blessing

1. That faithful and proportionate giving will be rewarded with superabundant spiritual blessing. The statement does not require proof, since experiment has stamped it already as an axiom. Other things being equal, that Christian who opens the broadest outlet for charity will find the widest inlet for the Spirit. The health of a human body depends upon its exhalations as well as upon its inhalations. It is reported that a boy who was to impersonate a shining cherub in a play, on being covered over with a coating of gold leaf, which entirely closed the pores of his skin, died in consequence, before relief could be afforded. Woe to the Christian who gets so gold-leafed over with his wealth that the pores of his sympathy are shut, and the outgoings of his charity are restrained. He is thenceforth dead spiritually, though he may have a name to live.

Temporal Prosperity Follows Consecrated Giving

2. That faithful and proportionate giving will be rewarded with abundant temporal prosperity. This is a saying hard to be received, but it has the emphatic support of Scripture. “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Prov. 3:9-10. This is but one specimen of many from the Old Testament. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Luke 6:38. Do we believe these words of our Lord? Can we question that they refer to abundant temporal returns in recompense for abundant giving?

Experience Proves Plan Is Wise

There is a Christian league in this country banded together to promote systematic giving. It brings every member into covenant to keep a strict account with the Lord, and to render Him one tenth of the income. An annual report is made by each member, giving a statement of his business and spiritual prosperity. The secretary recently told us that the results have been surprising, even to the most sanguine advocates of the tithing system; that not only has the income of the missionary societies receiving the funds been greatly increased, but that, out of thousands entering into this league, all but two or three have reported greatly increased business prosperity. Are there not some things to be proved which we have not yet dreamed of, either in our philosophy or our mathematics?

----------------------

Related articles:

F.F. Bosworth Mentioned in Kate Bowler's Blessed: A History of The American Prosperity Gospel (2013). See here.

12 Mistaken Claims about F.F. Bosworth. See here.


-------------------

Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer, can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: bosworth25.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to know more
about F.F. Bosworth?

Follow the Bosworth Matters blog!

See it here:
ffbosworth.strikingly.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer #BosworthMatters #BosworthMention #AJGordon

Monday, January 7, 2019

New Volunteer Service Brochure

#PrisonMinistry



This is my new and improved volunteer service brochure. In case you haven't heard, I am absolutely thrilled about it. Special thanks to the corporate offices of Management & Training Corporation (MTC).

#PrisonMinistry #Corrections #Chaplains #Volunteers #Volunteering #Mississippi #MakingADifference







Friday, January 4, 2019

Anne Moody History Project Recognized by the Mississippi Department of Corrections

Warden and Staff Praised for Work Honoring Anne Moody, author of Coming of Age in Mississippi

#AnneMoody



Commissioner Hall’s letter to Warden Bradley

Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall of the Mississippi Department of Correction (MDOC) wrote this letter to congratulate Warden Jody Bradley of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility (WCCF) on his retirement. She praised him for his work and for the achievements of the Anne Moody History Project (AMHP), a staff-led community service endeavor created to honor civil rights pioneer Anne Moody, author of Coming of Age in Mississippi. Moody, who died in 2015 at the age of 74, was born and raised in Wilkinson County.



Warden Jody Bradley of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility is Retiring

Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall Sends Letter Congratulating Him on Retirement and the Work of the Anne Moody History Project

By Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D.
Chaplain, Wilkinson County Correctional Facility
Copyright (c) 2019

#AnneMoody
Chandra Berryman, director of Private and Regional Prisons for the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), presents Warden Jody Bradley with a letter from MDOC Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall congratulating him on his retirement and the community service of the Anne Moody History Project. Bradley is retiring after three and a half years of service as warden of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility (WCCF) in Woodville, Miss. He has over 30 years of experience in corrections. 
---------------------------------------


WOODVILLE, Miss. -- Chandra Berryman, director of Private and Regional Prisons for the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), recently presented Warden Jody Bradley with a letter from Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall congratulating him on his retirement and the community service of the Anne Moody History Project (AMHP).

Berryman presented the letter on Thursday, Jan. 3, at a surprise retirement breakfast held for Bradley by his staff at Wilkinson Country Correctional Facility (WCCF), Woodville, Miss.

Bradley is retiring after three and a half years of service as warden of WCCF. He has over 30 years of experience in corrections.

In her letter dated Jan. 2, 2019, Hall noted Bradley has “faithfully served” his facility and community for several years. “Your extensive training and teaching background have been positives for both the facility and the community,” she wrote. “I appreciate your commendable involvement with the community.”

She also commended him and his staff for their work on civil rights pioneer Anne Moody, who lived in Wilkinson County.

“Your strong community ties were instrumental in Wilkinson’s successful efforts to rekindle and ignite interest in Mississippi’s celebrated author Anne Moody,” Hall wrote. “A section of Mississippi Highway 24 known as ‘Anne Moody Memorial Highway’ ensures that her name will be remember for generations to come not only because of her book, Coming of Age in Mississippi.”

WCCF also led efforts to have a day and street named in Moody’s honor. Her birthday, September 15, was proclaimed “Anne Moody Day” in her hometown of Centreville in 2017. The Centreville town officials also renamed Fort Street, “Anne Moody Street.” In May 2018, WCCF welcomed a visit by officials from the state’s Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH).

Moody, who died in 2015 at the age of 74, was born and raised in Wilkinson County. Bradley said the work on her history was done through the facility’s Anne Moody History Project (AMHP), a community service endeavor created by WCCF staff to promote and help preserve the legacy of Moody.

Hall noted: “The various activities related to the Anne Moody History Project cement Moody’s place in Mississippi’s history thanks to you and the Wilkinson staff.”


Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall of the Mississippi Department of Correction (MDOC) wrote this letter to congratulate Warden Jody Bradley of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility (WCCF) on his retirement. She praised him for his work and for the achievements of the Anne Moody History Project (AMHP), a staff-led community service endeavor created to honor civil rights pioneer Anne Moody, author of Coming of Age in Mississippi. Moody, who died in 2015 at the age of 74, was born and raised in Wilkinson County.
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ROSCOE BARNES III, Ph.D., is a writer, chaplain, historian, and former newspaper reporter. He is the author of more than a dozen books and Gospel tracts. For more information about his work and history, see his Personal Profile here or visit his website: http://www.roscoebarnes.net. Connect with him on Twitter (@roscoebarnes3) or by email: roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My Top 10 Blog Posts on F.F. Bosworth in 2018

By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer
Copyright (c) 2019

#FFBosworth
#BosworthMatters




----------------------------------------------


As we move into 2019, I want to share with you a list of my Top 10 blog posts on F.F. Bosworth in 2018. Of the 50+ posts shared on my Bosworth Matters blog, the one that generated the most views was about William Branham and Ern Baxter. The second most viewed post was the story of P.C. Nelson and how his work with Bosworth inspired him to start his own healing ministry. Interestingly, the number three post also featured Branham. It recounted an incident in South Africa in which he was rebuked by Bosworth. 

The list that follows is based primarily on the stats generated by Strikingly.com for the last three months of the year and my notes taken throughout the year. The last two posts (9 and 10) are based on stats reported prior to October 2018. Strikingly.com's Simple Blog does not provide stats in any graph or chart that shows the entire year at a glance. Instead, it shows up to three months. Even so, the list below is a good indication of what readers wanted to know about  the life history of Bosworth. Take a look.


Top 10 Blog Posts on F.F. Bosworth in 2018

1. Why Ern Baxter Left the Ministry of William Branham: A Look at Problematic Concerns About Faith and ‘Borderline Psychic” Phenomena. See here.

2. What P.C. Nelson Saw in the F.F. Bosworth Revival Meetings: How the Experience Moved Him to Begin His Own Healing Ministry. See here.

3. “Brother Branham, you’re wrong.” F.F. Bosworth’s Surprising Rebuke of William Branham. See here.

4. F.F. Bosworth’s Endorsement of T.L. Osborn’s Most Famous Book: Letter of Support Appeared in Healing the Sick and Casting Out Devils. See here.

5. Bob Bosworth’s Promotion of Christ the Healer: How He Used Music and Reading to Share His Father’s Classic on Divine Healing. See here.

6. 12 Mistaken Claims about F.F. Bosworth. See here.

7. The Passing of Eugene Peterson and F.F. Bosworth: A Look at Their Transition and 'Ultimate Triumph.' See here.

8. F.F. Bosworth Mentioned in P.C. Nelson's book, Does Christ Heal Today? (1941). See here.

9.  F.F. Bosworth and Kenneth Hagin Jr.: A Look at the Similarities in Their Writings on the Past Tense of God’s Word. See here.

10. Fred Francis Bosworth -- Reporter of Pentecost: He 'Kept the News Flowing.' See here.


----------------------------

Note: My book, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer, can be purchased here with a 25% discount. Use the discount code: bosworth25.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to know more
about F.F. Bosworth?

Follow the Bosworth Matters blog!

See it here:
ffbosworth.strikingly.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------

For more information:
Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer

On This Day (January 17): F.F. Bosworth is Born

By Roscoe Barnes III Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer Copyright (c) 2019 #FFBosworth #OnThisDay F.F. Boswor...