“Finney didn’t believe in the substitutionary atonement, instead he believed that Christ’s death on the cross was simply demonstrating obedience to God. Since Jesus was obedient enough to go all the way to death on the cross, we should do likewise. Christ didn’t so much accomplish something on the cross (pay for our sins) as He was setting a good example for us to follow. This alters the meaning of the Gospel completely!”
(Steven Kozar – Messed Up Church) Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) was the father of “Revivalism” in America, the most prominent preacher of the Second Great Awakening, and in many ways the father of modern Evangelicalism in America. He is often considered the predecessor of American Evangelists/Revivalists like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. …
He was a successful lawyer who became a Christian as a young man and decided to use his considerable powers of persuasion to begin preaching, in spite of having little theological training.
If you’ve ever heard a preacher give an impassioned, emotionally manipulative sermon that ends with an irresistible plea to come forward and somehow make a decision to become a Christian, you’ve witnessed the lasting impact of Charles Finney. If you’ve ever felt that the church was ineffective in building God’s Kingdom and what we really need is a big ‘ole revival, you’ve been influenced by Finney.
In overly simplistic terms, Finney was guilty of a form of “Pelagianism,” which means he over-emphasized man’s free will so much that the sovereignty of God (and God’s ability to save) was virtually ignored. Finney believed that Christians could accomplish God’s work by simply using their determination, so much so in fact, that he practically left God out of the equation:
Steve includes links to articles, starting with The Disturbing Legacy of Charles Finney, as well as 2 White Horse Inn videos, The Heresy of American Pelagianism, and The Gospel According to the Heretic Pelagius.