Sunday, April 25, 2010

If a Conviction Infringes Upon the Written Word of God...

While listening to a message from Thabiti Anyabwile, I was stunned by this quote by Daniel Alexander Payne. Payne was a United States clergyman, educator, college administrator and author. He became a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was a major shaper of it in the 19th century. He was one of the founders of Wilberforce University in Ohio. In 1863 he became its first president, and the first African-American president of a college in the United States.

“An individual man or woman must never follow conviction in regard to moral, religious, civil, or political questions until they are first tested by the unerring word of God. If a conviction infringes upon the written word of God, or in any manner conflicts with that word, the conviction is not to be followed. It is our duty to abandon it. Moreover, I will add that light on a doubtful conviction is not to be sought for in the conscience, but in the Bible. The conscience, like the conviction, may be blind, erroneous, misled, or perverted; therefore it is not always a safe guide. The only safe guide for a man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, priest or people is the Bible, the whole Bible, nothing but the Bible.”

—Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne (1811-1893)

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