Saturday, February 02, 2008

Godly Men

I am currently reading volume 2 of Ian Murray’s biography of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As I was reading a much quoted line from Robert Murray M'cheyne came into my head, “A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.” As I was reading this struck me as true about Lloyd-Jones. Even though is has been with Christ for now over 25 years Lloyd-Jones still speaks and convicts. One particular area in which Christ used Lloyd-Jones’s words to convict me is in the area of doctrinal differences. In a letter written to his daughter Elizabeth concerning the chapels at Oxford Martyn Lloyd-Jones quickly corrected Elizabeth’s thinking. It seems as though quite a few evangelical students at Oxford were critical of the hymns being sung during chapels. Some students were causing a stir and many did not attend the chapels for this reason. Elizabeth mentioned this in one of her letters and voiced her sympathies with this group. Her father was direct and concise in his correction:

“Your attitude is not one I can commend…Your duty is to show that your views and beliefs lead to a higher and finer type of Christian life and living. Then that will lead others to speak to you and to enquire as to your secret. To start a division on odd points and to raise difficulties especially in a matter like that of hymns seems to me to be the worst possible approach. It gives the impression that you are intolerant and that you regard yourselves as heresy hunters. Your duty it seems to me is to attend the services. If you find you cannot sing a hymn, just refrain from doing so.... You must beware of falling into what appears to be the common evangelical trap and snare namely an over-punctiliousness about matters that are relatively unimportant and a tendency to neglect more vital matters such as love and charity…”

I am perhaps more guilty than was Elizabeth in my attitudes concerning congregational singing. Though dead yet he speaks! I have rightfully fallen under his hand of correction. It seems as though M’cheyne’s comment rings true and God continues to use these men as weapons long after they have departed this earth.

1 comment:

Skip Crust said...


Good stuff, my friend! I need to read more stuff from your library. I strongly believe that listening to many voices makes our Christian experience much richer! I'm subscribing to both your and Shaunna's blog now to keep up with you guys. I think Shaunna found mine. Looking forward to hearing what God is doing in you!