This is a guest post from a Christian named bart.
Do you remember the days of the blind taste test? There would be a table with a can of Coke and a can of Pepsi and the tester would try to guess which was which or which was better or something like that. I wonder how John Wesley would fair in such a test? Imagine we:
- Built a time machine
- Blindfolded and transported Wesley to the year 2008
- Removed the sign in front of a random UMC
- Removed the blindfold and let John hang out for a week or so
- Then we ask him to determine if he had been at an Anglican or Methodist church
I would guess his analysis might go something like this:
“The distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not his opinions of any sort,” (Character of a Methodist). The method is what distinguishes us so let us look there first. I will ask these questions allowing me to discern the answer.
- Do these people wish to flee from the wrath to come?
- Do they meet in small groups (class-meetings) weekly for examination of the state of their heart?
- Do they seek to do no harm, do all the good they can to all the people they can, and keep the Ordinances of God?
- Is this movement clearly lay lead?
- And finally do they avoid superfluidity of dress (were fancy clothes (1 Tim 2:9))?
How would Wesley judge your church??