The Methodist way of preaching


DrTony:

This is a fascinating piece and brings to question what each of us does when asked to present the message.

Originally posted on John Meunier:

By 1751, John Wesley had become concerned about a new kind of preaching that was taking hold in some Methodist societies. The men who were preaching this new way called themselves “gospel” preachers. The preached only the promises of Christ and none of the law. In Wesley’s account, indeed, they even mocked the original style of Methodist preaching that was careful to preach both law and gospel as warranted by the state of the hearers.

In his “Letter on Preaching Christ,” Wesley describes both the methods by which law and gospel were to be preached and decries the damaging effects of the gospel preaching. He points out that in several cities that once had thriving societies, the numbers had been seriously eroded by the gospel preachers. Without the starch of the law, Methodist zeal and discipline waned.

In contrast, Wesley highlighted the contrary example of a society in Yorkshire, which…

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Accidental Witness


DrTony:

I am reblogging this so that it shows up on Facebook.

Originally posted on United Methodeviations:

As Epiphany closes the Christmastide once more, a few incidents stand out in my mind as symbolic of the current state of the church and our faith in the present day:

  1. At a hotel where I stayed this week, a manager was giving instruction to her maintenance crew — at full voice in the lobby: “I want every decoration down and stored.  I want Christmas totally and absolutely GONE by the end of the day!”
  2. Two gentlemen were taking the nativity scene down from in front of a local church.  There was a plastic bucket sitting on a wheeled cart.  One of the men grabbed the plastic baby Jesus by his ankle, tossed him underhand, and deposited him headfirst down into the bucket.
  3. Another crèche scene obviously outlived its usefulness — the church put it on the curb in a jumble of bits and pieces, Mary and Jesus and animals…

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Missing Letter “R”


DrTony:

It is an old joke, told many times, but it is well worth retelling. :)

Originally posted on A Pastor's Thoughts:

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned
to helping the other monks in copying the old canons
and laws of the church, by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are
copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question
this, pointing out that if someone made even a smallimage
error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!
In fact, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, “We have been copying
from the copies for centuries, but you make a
good point, my son.”

He goes down into the dark caves
underneath the monastery where the original
manuscripts are held as archives,
in a locked vault that hasn’t
been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.
So…

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My Grandfather’s Diary entry for this day, 11 November 1918


DrTony:

As noted, this is something I have posted before. Not too many people are going to pay attention to the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month today and that’s a shame. As George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (“Reason in Common Sense”, p. 284, volume 1 of The Life of Reason) When you see how the victors treated the losers at Versailles, you begin to understand why there was a second world war (when the first was supposed to be the war to end all wars) and why we have the conflicts in the Middle East even today.

Originally posted on Thoughts From The Heart On The Left:

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TRUST


DrTony:

Tom, thanks for posting this prayer. I found this to be highly appropriate for what is going on in my life right now.

Originally posted on Hopeful:

I shared this prayer by Thomas Merton last year. But isn’t this great?

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe 601655_169972666467393_1690513489_nthat the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death…

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Looking in from the outside — a pastor visits another church


DrTony:

I am doing like several others on the Methoblog have done and reblogging this piece by Jay Voorhees. It is worth reading and, more importantly, the basis for examining how your church reacts to visitors. I would also point out that I mentioned some of the problems with web pages in my own piece last August, “Can You Find Your Church?” – https://heartontheleft.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/can-you-find-your-church/

Originally posted on Only Wonder Understands:

As most of my Facebook friends know by now, I’m currently in Los Angeles having helped my eldest drive from Nashville to establish a new home. Needing to recover from the drive and needing some time off, I chose to stay over a few extra days to enjoy the sunshine, connect with some old friends, and generally relax. That is how I found myself this morning going through the task that many do each week — trying to find a church to attend, and walking into a new place of worship unannounced.

I do have pastor friends here in the area, and I gave serious thought to visiting their churches. But it as I thought about it, I decided it would be interesting to not lean on my previous relationships but to go somewhere cold — just like most of the visitors to our churches. For most of us in…

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This Is Our Witness?


DrTony:

We sing that people will know that we are Christians by our love but somehow I don’t think that is what people sometimes here. We have to begin thinking about what we are doint.

Originally posted on ancoraimparo87:

My oldest grandchild texted me this link a couple of days ago. “Take a look at this,” she wrote, “and tell me what you think when you get a chance.” The link opens an article about the church trial of United Methodist pastor  Frank Schaefer for officiating at his gay son’s wedding six years ago. His action violated the denomination’s clear prohibition of clergy performing same-sex marriages.  Rev. Schaefer was found guilty of violating the policy and suspended for thirty days. At the end of his suspension he must either agree to follow all provisions of the United Methodist Book of Discipline (the denomination’s law book) or surrender his ministerial orders.

This whole affair was news to my granddaughter. She’s not a United Methodist, so she hasn’t followed our internal conflict closely. She’s been raised Catholic, and has grown into an intelligent, curious young adult with intense curiosity about a…

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