Do you Love All Christians?

William Grimshaw was one of the preachers of the English revival during the times of John Newton, George Whitefield, John Wesley and William Wilberforce. Grimshaw was a large hearted Christian who loved all those who had embraced Christ, even though their views might be different from his. This is documented in Faith Cook’s biography of Grimshaw,

“Grimshaw stood out to a marked degree against much of the contention which involved many of his contemporaries in sharp altercations. He had a genuine love for all true Christians, whatever their denominational label, declaring, 

‘I love them and will love them and none shall make me do otherwise, and my house shall always be open. To them all.’

Like his friend, Whitefield, he could say,

‘Do not tell me you are a Baptist, an Independent, a Presbyterian, a Dissenter; tell me you are a Christian, that is all I want; this is the religion of heaven, and must be ours upon earth.

Grimshaw was aware of the damage which can be wrought within a church or body of believers by an insistence on party labels about commonly held fundamental beliefs, and he wrote in his ‘Experiences’:

“By these means Satan stirs up disputes, contentions, and controversies about opinions and doctrines; and then divides the church of Christ into sects and parties… They [would] have it believed that if men hold not so, they are not to be saved; as if the right and hop of salvation depended rather upon opinion or what we hold, than with what we are in Christ Jesus.?”1

Notice also how Grimshaw protected his flock by avoiding controversy he deemed unprofitable,

“[Grimshaw] kept nothing back from his people that he thought profitable; but he did not think it to their profit to insist upon subjects of controversy, which as they are usually managed, rather alienate the minds of religious professors from each other than promote love, peace or holiness. He zeal was too ardent, his time too precious…The sense he had of the evil of sin, the worth of souls, the nearness of eternity, and the love of the Savior filled his heart and raised him far above a systematical accuracy.”2

1. Cook, Faith. William Grimshaw of Haworth. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997. Print. p. 244
2. Cook, Faith. William Grimshaw of Haworth. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1997. Print. p. 229-130