John Day Thompson had to answer a heresy charge in 1896. He preached the Social Gospel. The Bible "is a record of man’s discovery of spiritual truth; it is to be treated as ‘any serious human book’ should be treated." It was not, therefore, divinely inspired, or God-breathed.
Which gospel would be proclaimed? Would it be the Simple Gospel of the Ranter missionary pioneers or the Social Gospel of the liberal theologians?
Kenneth Lysons comments that "In 1896, the Primitive Methodist Conference meeting at Burnley was asked to adjudicate on the matter as the final Connexional Court of Appeal where, by an overwhelming majority, it was resolved that no action be taken on the matter."
"It was a landmark decision, and it represented a watershed in the transition from the early Primitive Methodist evangelism based on the inerrancy of the Scriptures."
It would have deep and lasting consequences for the Primitive Methodist movement in the twentieth century.
Quotations from "A Little Primitive", Kenneth Lysons, p140-141