General Conference 2019. A Reflection

Posted on the Feast of the Transfiguration.



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Do not confuse modern fundamentalism with historic Christianity

They have absolutely nothing in common with each other. And it is classic historic Christianity that the WCA and Africa is trying to reinstate in the United Methodist Church. Problem is, many of us in America have not been exposed to the robust and vibrant theology of classic Christianity. As a lifelong Methodist/United Methodist, I did not discover it until the church left me so broken and confused I was forced to wander off in search of something better, and I discovered the existence of the triune God who loves even me more than I could ever think about loving myself. I discovered, that it was OK that I was a broken and confused mess, because that is the starting point of historic Christianity that has successfully changed the world for over 2000 years. While my local church was off chasing down a path relevancy I encountered the power and relevancy of historic Christianity. My teachers were an odd assortment from the communion of saints past and present, including John Wesley. I developed an affinity for John Wesley because he was determined to create a practical religion for a plain people--something the American United Methodist Church knows nothing about. I now have a favorite young Calvinist because of his ability to take the centuries old Heidelberg Catechism and talk about historic Christianity in modern verbiage without diminishing any of the WOW Factor about who God is and who I am. The name of his book was "The Good News We Almost Forgot". And that is an appropriate title because Mainline Protestant Christianity--of which the United Methodist Church is a part has forgotten more than it realizes. I am unclear as to what your understanding is of Christianity of the Methodist/Wesleyan persuasion, but one thing I know for sure from my own reading of John Wesley, is that regardless of what else he did, Wesley never ever lost sight of his #1 Priority: the individual and their pursuit of holiness with the abundant help of God's grace; for Wesley, salvation/redemption was not a group project, it has to work its way into individual lives. Something else The United Methodist Church has forgotten.

from The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung:
"No doubt, the church in the west has many new things to learn. But for the most part, everything we need to learn is what we’ve already forgotten. The chief theological task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or to be relevant but to remember. We must remember the old, old story. We must remember the faith once delivered to the saints. We must remember the truths that spark reformation, revival, and regeneration…In a church age confused about the essential elements of the Christian faith—and whether Christianity has any doctrinal center at all—the Heidelberg Catechism offers a relentless reminder of the one doctrine that matters most: We are great sinners and Christ is a greater Savior."

betsy more than 2 years ago

General Conference 2019

You are so correct. I am not sure we have forgotten; many have never heard this preached from our pulpits and many preachers will not preach it because the message is not inclusive!!!

Edward Allred more than 2 years ago


If 7 million African Methodists and growing is considered an infection I would hope that we might catch that disease here.

Kevin more than 2 years ago