The mission of Methodists?

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    The mission of Methodists?

    So I was doing some study of Wesley as an outsider to the Methodist faith and there seemed to be this notion that by being saved, there is some path to healing the world outside of evangelism. Something along the lines of since our being saved has cured original sin, a Christian can take that light into the world and the world will be healed itself. I was wondering if someone could explain this and maybe site some of wesleys writings if they know them.

    #2
    I don't know what Wesley wrote about this subject but the Bible teaches that sometimes the presence of a believer spares a group from being judged. God would have spared Sodom if there were ten righteous people in it. When the ship carrying Paul to Rome for trial was caught in a storm God spared the lives of all on board because of Paul's presence. And I suspect that the reason the United States hasn't been judged for its sins is that there are many believers in it who are faithful to the Bible.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog

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      #3
      Originally posted by Jesmotguin View Post
      So I was doing some study of Wesley as an outsider to the Methodist faith and there seemed to be this notion that by being saved, there is some path to healing the world outside of evangelism. Something along the lines of since our being saved has cured original sin, a Christian can take that light into the world and the world will be healed itself. I was wondering if someone could explain this and maybe site some of wesleys writings if they know them.
      Hi Jesmotguin,
      I have some knowledge of the Wesleys and of their emphatic teaching that people must use logic and reason in all matters of faith.
      The name Methodist came about as a result of their intensive schooling in practical ways to demonstrate Christian faith.
      I have read John Wesley's diary and highly recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about what motivated this man. The premise of your post is not far off the mark, and who among Christ's followers would disparage Wesley's hope of this even if it seems somewhat idealistic?
      It has been asserted by a few scholars that England escaped the same horrors of the French Revolution by the Wesleys' (and thus God's) timely intervention to ease the suffering of the poor at the hands of the wealthy.

      Quotes from John Wesley:
      “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

      “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”


      “I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.”

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        #4
        The current United Methodist mission statement is "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world".

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          #5
          Originally posted by actionsub View Post
          The current United Methodist mission statement is "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world".
          Hello and welcome, actionsub ! :) Would you be willing to give us a rundown on Methodist beliefs and how they influence you?

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            #6
            Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post

            Hello and welcome, actionsub ! :) Would you be willing to give us a rundown on Methodist beliefs and how they influence you?
            At the time I came in, the Methodists I knew were pretty much Baptists who believed in infant baptism but not eternal security.

            Basically, Methodists were a revival movement within the Church of England, spurred by John Wesley's embrace of Arminianism via a run in with some Moravians.
            John Wesley's big thing was the assurance of salvation, and a rather rigorous discipleship.
            There is a belief that one can be "perfected in love in this lifetime". (In practice, the chances of this are about equal to that of seeing Elvis rise from the dead.)
            What that tends to result in is one of two things: a somewhat legalistic approach to life to make sure you're holy by not doing anything but church, or an obsessive
            compulsion to be doing something, anything, for God all the time without rest.

            Over the years, I've found Wesley's journey similar to that of Luther's. It was hearing the preface to Luther's commentary on Romans that assured Wesley
            of his salvation. However, Wesley tended to be somewhat of an autocratic control freak.

            As far as influence, I'm actually finding LUTHER'S beliefs more of an influence these days, particularly his stress on making a distinction between law and gospel,
            while maintaining both have a necessary place in discipleship.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Jesmotguin View Post
              So I was doing some study of Wesley as an outsider to the Methodist faith and there seemed to be this notion that by being saved, there is some path to healing the world outside of evangelism. Something along the lines of since our being saved has cured original sin, a Christian can take that light into the world and the world will be healed itself. I was wondering if someone could explain this and maybe site some of wesleys writings if they know them.
              I've never heard his beliefs stated as such. While the idea of salvation as a cure for original sin has some support, the world being "healed itself" merely from Christian influence sounds more like
              some liberal influence (and in United Methodism, there's plenty of it!) Most of the Methodists I know would probably reject that latter premise, and that any redemption of the world would only
              come with active Christian engagement and evangelism. Granted, there are a few that think if we all just play nice, the world will be a better place. Most of the latter were the Methodists I met
              in seminary; they did not tend to be the rank and file in the pews.

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                #8
                Originally posted by actionsub View Post

                At the time I came in, the Methodists I knew were pretty much Baptists who believed in infant baptism but not eternal security.

                Basically, Methodists were a revival movement within the Church of England, spurred by John Wesley's embrace of Arminianism via a run in with some Moravians.
                John Wesley's big thing was the assurance of salvation, and a rather rigorous discipleship.
                There is a belief that one can be "perfected in love in this lifetime". (In practice, the chances of this are about equal to that of seeing Elvis rise from the dead.)
                What that tends to result in is one of two things: a somewhat legalistic approach to life to make sure you're holy by not doing anything but church, or an obsessive
                compulsion to be doing something, anything, for God all the time without rest.

                Over the years, I've found Wesley's journey similar to that of Luther's. It was hearing the preface to Luther's commentary on Romans that assured Wesley
                of his salvation. However, Wesley tended to be somewhat of an autocratic control freak.

                As far as influence, I'm actually finding LUTHER'S beliefs more of an influence these days, particularly his stress on making a distinction between law and gospel,
                while maintaining both have a necessary place in discipleship.
                That's very interesting, thank you. :)

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                  #9
                  So, the liberals in the United Methodist Church and their influence is very well known, but I'd be interested to know how those devout Methodists cope, whether or not there is a strict, Confessional Methodist type organization out there. Let me know, by the way, if you've any questions regarding Lutheranism. :)

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                    #10
                    There is a flank group beginning to develop on the right: the Wesleyan Covenant Association. Plus, there's the "Good News" caucus that has been around since the early 70s. Good News is the one drawing a line in the sand of late over same-sex rights in the UMC.
                    As far as "confessional" Methodism, probably outside of the Apostles' or Nicene Creeds, there really is no "confession" that they can gather around in the same way that Lutherans have the book of Concord and the Reformed have the Westminster Confession. John Wesley himself was not overly wild about confessions, being more concerned with "experiential salvation" rather than detailed faith statements.

                    If any Methodist group really wanted to get confessional, it would probably require some alliance of sorts with the Anglican church from whence they splintered and their 39 Articles. Now Wesley did create his own sort of "Reader's Digest Condensed Version" of this Anglican confession, excising the parts he thought were too Calvinistic. This got further confused in the last century when the Methodist Episcopal Church (not to be confused with the Episcopalian denomination) merged with the Evangelical United Brethren (a similar group formed by German immigrants) to form the United Methodist Church. In their present form, the 25 Articles can be found here:
                    The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church – The United Methodist Church

                    The actual doctrinal standards come from Wesley's Notes on the New Testament and a four-volume collection of Wesley's Sermons.

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