Jacob Dharmaraj: Response to Wonder, Love and Praise, Part II

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Common vision

Slogan should be Loving, Helping, Sharing our Joy to be Wesleyan.

Marilyn Davis 43 days ago

Wonder Love and Praise

The sbove-captioned document is an Methodist redaction of the World Council of Churches "Toward a Common Vision of the Church". This statement already has significant ecumenical support.

While Rev Dharmaraj raises important concerns about Interfaith relationships and the mission of the Church to a secular world, we do not have to start from scratch and reinvent a theology of the Church. That has been the temptation of Methodists for a long time with the result being the present split between a piety of individual faith and a faith centered on the social justice issues of the current time. The outcome is to focus on mission, be it individual conversion or social change while avoiding the questions about just who are we as a Christian community. We do not answer that question by avoiding it.

Indeed the slogan of "Making Disciples for the Transformation of the World" reveals this same split, ignoring completely the communal life of the Church as a corporate body in the world with its own identity, traditions, story, common life, Communion and Prayer. If we wonder about the losses of membership perhaps we should look at what it is that people are leaving? Is there very little there to leave? What is unique about our common identity? How are people formed in this identity?

Someone pointed out to me that when Roman Catholics leave their church they are usually mad as hell. When Methodists leave there is little fuss indicating very little attachment or identity loss. Why is that? Until Methodists intently focus on their own identity crisis as a church they will not adequately address making disciples or transforming the world.

Sarah Flynn 49 days ago