Resolved to Love ... United to Serve

A Uniting Methodists Series



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WEsley and the catholic spirit and the importance of doctrine

Once again, somebody trots out the first half of Wesley's sermon on the catholic spirit and completely ignores the second half that describes who the person is who is truly of the catholic spirit. It is not an easy task that required multiple readings, but with the aid of a dictionary and a willing heart to understand what he wrote, I muddled through his complete sermon and was stunned at what I learned! Here is a link to the sermon as posted on the UMC website as a foundational document:

Also, Wesley believed that there was one doctrine delivered to the church once and for all. Here is what he thought about those that deviated from that doctrine; it is from his 'Prayer for Thursday Morning" as found in "A Collection of forms of Prayer for Every Day of the Week": "Give to all that are in error the light of thy truth, bring all Sinners to repentance, and give to all heretics humility and grace to make amends to thy church, by the public acknowledgment of an holy faith". Reality is, Wesley cared a great deal about being unified in a specific set of doctrine and beliefs. His move from the Fetter Lane Society to the Foundry was the result of a doctrinal dispute!

I write this not from the perspective as some great Wesleyan scholar, but as a long time life long member of the Methodist and then the United Methodist Church who got tired or the spiritual mishmash I was being fed.

Betsy more than 4 years ago