Recently, I came across a fascinating remark from George Whitefield regarding John Wesley.
Whitefield and Wesley were contemporaries who both had massive followings during their time. But they disagreed on a number of key theological points.
Whitefield was much more a Calvinist while Wesley was much more an Arminian.
In light of their doctrinal disagreements, someone once asked Whitefield if he thought he’d see Wesley in heaven. Here is Whitefield’s reply:
“I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him.”
This statement alone reveals the spiritual stature of George Whitefield.
To recognize another servant of God’s place in the Kingdom despite doctrinal disagreements is a badge of a person who walks with God.
To speak well of another servant of God, honoring them in public even, is a mark of spiritual greatness and Christlike humility.
To have the insight to see when God’s hand is on a person, using them greatly, despite the doctrinal differences you may have with them, is a sign of someone who knows the Lord well.
Whitefield’s remark about Wesley is rare to see in our day where bickering, casting aspersions, and ignoring (especially) are the order of the day when it comes to theological disagreements among Christian leaders.
May Whitefield’s tribe increase!