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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

14 Wesleyan Group's Theologians Speak  

"It may appear to be a relatively simple matter, indeed quite natural, to be appropriately and adequately involved in helping others, righting wrongs, and in general making a wholesome contribution to individuals and society. (1 Jn 3:17). It seems to be an easy step from one's individual expression of aid to the expansion and extension of the Christian moral perspective to the most remote issues. The justice of the prophets, the self-renunciation and forgiveness of Christ, and other themes of biblical religion would be the thought, life, and ordinary activity of the 'normal' Christian. ...

"It is possible to examine various views of social order to see which one or ones can best be made to fit in with a biblical frame of reference. But one must keep in mind the numerous pitfalls in such an undertaking, and one of the chief problems is over- identification of religion with a political system. Thus any statement of preference must be tempered by an appropriate amount of the fallibilistic principle. ...

"A Christian social order would then be one in which God would provide the basic force through salvation of the individuals in the social order. The goal would then be as follows: regenerate, sanctified, growing, free selves in an enriching society, in a universe that sponsors value from its ultimate structures or from God. ...

"The Wesleyan view of sanctification opens the door to victorious Christian living and wholesome social order, but as everyone can generally observe, it does not mean that such fulfillment is a necessary outcome. Very laborious work is required to achieve social as well as spiritual goals. The significance of hard labor is clearly enunciated by James. (James 3:18). Anyone with the slightest familiarity with farming can grasp the impact of this passage. :...

"In a Christian perspective the whole earth (universe?) should be regarded as the community with which we are concerned. Community is a much better model of the universe than either a mind or a machine. This would include all humanity of every culture, race, sex, and geographical and demographic description. World order seems to be the grant hope of Isaiah. It is possible to interpret Paul's great vision as at least including the emerging world order. (Eph 1:9-10)"

Wesley "did not think that society would fall like a ripe fruit into the kingdom of heaven, but neither was he willing to turn away hopelessly from the conquest, and his view of
perfection gave him hope for society as well as individuals.  In any case, there is no excuse for avoidance of responsibility." " . . . He was instrumental in fostering a climate conducive  to  the evolution of a whole new understanding of the person in society along with new legislation for that social order. The slave  trade and slavery were
condemned.  Transportation of slaves was prohibited, all slave-owning interests and slave possession were rejected. . . . . New developments in the industrial revolution enabled workers to form unions, prohibited child labor under the age of nine, and limited the working day to twelve hours.  Prison reform made conditions more sanitary and humane." 

A Contemporary Wesleyan Theology, Charles W. Carter, Gen. Ed., Francis Asbury Press, 1983, Vol 2, p. 712-14. Sponsorship by The Wesleyan Church, Free Methodist Church, Anderson Church of God, Friends, United Methodist, Missionary, Oriental Missionary Society, Evangelical Church of Korea, Evangelical Church of North America, Salvation Army, World Gospel Mission, Church of the Nazarene, Christian Holiness Association and the Methodist Church of England.

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