Maintaining the Church in a Chaotic Time



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Mission supersedes unity

While JW never left the C of E and was opposed to Methodists leaving his actions took him further and further away. All for the sake of the mission.. Like a man in a rowboat with his eyes on the shore, every stroke of the oars takes him farther away from it. His field preaching took him into the parishes of churches where he had no authority to preach. He rationalized this by saying as fellow of Oxford he could teach anywhere in the British realm. He ordained "general superintendents" for the Methodists in the United States claiming he was "bishop extraordinary" for American Methodists, yet he was not elected bishop himself..clearly, this was a divisive action which could have led to charges brought against him. Thirdly, he and his brother taught a doctrine of holiness not articulated in the C of E and which led to divisions within the church causing him to be shut out of most parishes. American Methodists have had their own problems with holiness movements dividing the church. So it is misleading to suggest that JW valued unity above all else. He wanted to believe that, but his actions tell a different story.

Sarah Flynn more than 5 years ago


I find it odd that a member of a denomination which broke away from another denomination which separated from another denomination is calling for unity. Unity of what? And why is it so important to keep this particular fraction of a fraction which we now call "whole" together? Go ahead and make that case.

Kevin more than 5 years ago

The simplest definition of the church there is!

Here is what John Wesley once wrote about the church:
“This is the original design of the Church of Christ. It is a body of men and women compacted together, in order,
first, to save each their own soul;
then to assist each other in working out their salvation; and
afterwards, as far as in them lies, to save all men and women from present and future misery, to overturn the kingdom of Satan, and set up the kingdom of Christ.
And this ought to be the continued care and endeavor of every member of his Church; otherwise he is not worthy to be called a member therof, as he is not a living member of Christ.”--- “Wesley on the church”, posted on John Meunier’s Arrow though the Air Blog, April 24, 2012

Betsy more than 5 years ago

Wesley and the catholic spirit

The church is catholic: “John Wesley summoned Methodists to a ‘Catholic Spirit’ founded on the common witness of the orthodox heritage, unity in essentials, an orientation toward common mission, a disciplined life, and bonds of love,” according to the Faith and Order paper. Catholicity, from a Wesleyan perspective, unifies"

If you think that the catholic spirit as Wesley understood it can be used to justify the theological spectrum that is currently plaguing the UMC you are dead wrong! A catholic spirit reaches across different faith traditions, it is not about allowing multiple understandings to run amuck within a single denomination or church! Wesley's sermon, the "Catholic Spirit' actually defends why there are so many versions of Christianity. The catholic church is The Church universal that embraces all versions of Christianity that profess faith in the triune God!

Betsy more than 5 years ago

Unity and leaving

There is much that is very good here. The thought of my own individual church going through a division is sickening, but the thought of disobeying God is much worse.

For those who "on the claim of conscience, cannot abide by church doctrine and discipline and insist on disrupting the church..." more must be done than just allowing them to leave with property and pensions intact. They will not leave voluntarily for 2 reasons:
1. They know the money-the purses and wallets of parishioners-will stay with the orthodox church, not go with them.
2. They seek legitimacy, not just the legality that society gives them. Legitimacy in sexual matters comes only from the church, and the disruptive dissenters clearly and accurately recognize that leaving to start their own rump church will not confer legitimacy.

Consequently, a mechanism must be devised where those dissenters who would disrupt the church and refuse to follow its discipline would be removed. This mechanism must be enforceable, enforced and efficient. And this should also apply to the enablers of disruptive dissent.

In Christ,

The enemy hates clarity

theenemyhatesclarity more than 5 years ago