The Three Essentials of the Wesleyan Gospel

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You are both right

I read Carolyn Moore's article. You are both right. You are coming at it from what we, as individuals need to understand about God. Rev. Moore is coming at it from the perspective of how the United Methodist Church needs to view itself in the grand scheme of things. And as to your thoughts on doctrine: my own experience as a person who was not only baptized into the Methodist/United Methodist Church but was also born into it, the UMC is not teaching the people in the pew enough clear, practical doctrine. It was only when I was finally forced to distance myself from all things church that I finally stumbled into an understanding of who God is that I never thought possible. My teaching came at the hands of an unlikely assortment of people from the communion of saints past and present who criss-crossed denominational lines. Unfortunately, except for John Wesley himself, none of the others had any connection to the Wesleyan camp. It was a lesson in what all I did not know and understand about basic orthodox Christianity; beginning with it has absolutely nothing in common with modern fundamentalism. I finally found myself standing in the wide open space of God's amazing grace wishing I had been taught these things a long time ago. My favorite teacher is a Presbyterian pastor who makes this accurate assessment of where mainline Protestant Christianity in America is falling short:


"…Essentially, the Pharisees' problem, and ours, is in understanding the difference between knowing God and knowing about God. We easily confuse the two. One implies information, while the other is a vital relationship...Typically Protestant churches are better at helping people know [some] things about God than we are at helping them know God as people who live with him. It should come as no surprise that when Christians really need their faith, if [some] knowledge is all they have, they will soon wander away in search of a God worth worshiping. [The church version will no longer "do"]…M. Craig Barnes, When God Interrupts: Finding New Life in Unwanted Change (modified)


The sad thing about that statement from a Presbyterian is that the UMC is in existence because John Wesley was a master at helping people know and understand God as people who live with him. The UMC has been teaching the people in its pews nothing in particular for a very long time. When I needed my faith I wandered off and most definitely discovered a God worth worshiping!

Joan Watson more than 2 years ago

Thank you!

Thank you for this beautifully worded, very Wesleyan understanding of the basics.

Joyce Day more than 2 years ago