I am encouraged and challenged by the special relationship between Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield.
Benjamin Franklin - one of the founding fathers of America, scientist, inventor, author, musician, composer and deist.
George Whitefield - The Great Anglican Preacher, one of the founders of Methodism, major influencer of the Great Awakening, preached over 18,000 sermons, an average of 500 per year and 10 per week, could hold 20,000-30,000 people spell bound with his sermons. (No sound systems in his day).
George Whitefield was known as the man whose "voice startled England like a trumpet blast." Everyone in England and America knew of this powerful preacher. Even the deist, Ben Franklin could not stay away when Whitefield came to preach. Being the scientific minded, during a sermon, Ben walked away from Whitefield to measure and calculate how many people could hear Whitefield's voice; 30,000 people in open air.
More importantly, they struck up a relationship. Two men who have differing views about Jesus became friends. Ben published all of Whitefield's sermons. After one of Whitefield's sermons, Franklin noted the: "wonderful...change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seem'd as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro' the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street."(The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
We do not really know the full influence and outcome of this relationship whether Ben Franklin fully accepted the gift of salvation Jesus offered. But, it is very fascinating to me how important relationships are for Christians with non-Christians.
Jesus' reputation was a friend of sinners. "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’"(Matthew 11:19)
How can we become more like our Savior?
How can we connect relationally and in deep conversation with our FAB 5?
Impacting the world for Jesus Christ together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.