Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
May 9th, 2016 by Joel Watts

John Wesley, intercede for the people called Methodists

As with others, I believe in the intercessory prayer of the Church Triumphant. While I know John Wesley didn’t, if the doctrine is correct, then he has learned better by now. To that end, I will acknowledge our Articles of Religion do not think highly of intercession, but recalling a Resolution so passed to suggest we interpret the anti-Catholic articles ecumenically, I will proceed.

I believe we can ask for the departed to pray for us, just as we ask the living.

General Conference is beginning, and it is threatening to be one that is detrimental to our denomination. Since communication has broken down, why not turn to prayer?

people called methodists

Join me — either wholly or amended:

Fr. John, father of the people called Methodists,

We ask you to intercede on behalf of the people rooted in Christ and born in a time of abandonment by episkope. Pray for us who have denied the power of the Spirit.

As you have in your societies, give us strength to preach grace but be ready to turn some over to the evil one so that they may learn of Jesus so that we may learn that grace is not merely niceness, that holiness is refinement and refining is based in fire.

Let us once again be reminded of what the connexion is, that we are not our own, but one another’s. Our pastors break their vows and our bishops ignore theirs. As you who have dealt with covenantal chaos, pray for wisdom for those who hold to the covenant. Pray that the Spirit gives us bishops who lead and who, when they vow before you to guard our covenant in every way, they do so even if they disagree.

Let us not hold so dearly to our denomination that we lose God. Seek our forgiveness for suggesting we throw down the doors to remove all things that give offense to modernity and in doing so, we give offense to God. We have made it a good thing to have more numbers, but lose souls. We have sought justice without righteousness, holiness without transformation, power without authority.

Fr. John, you who restored the rule of Scripture, we confess that we have turned from Scripture, following those who say to ignore it. We confess that we have abused Scripture, to harm others, to harm ourselves, and to harm the word of God. We abuse Scripture to deny the covenant we have made to one another.

I confess that I have accept what others have said, finding it easier to not read, to not think, and to be fooled

Fr. John, you who taught us to be revived in the Sacrament, we have broken the table, dishonored it, and refused to use it as a converting ordinance. No longer is the Great Thanksgiving about amendment of our actions, therapy of our souls, and union of our church, but now a perfunctory observance, and now to be used as a political statement, the body and blood of our Lord trodden underfoot, whereby that is the real symbol of our unity.

I confess that I have taken the Sacrament without it converting my heart.

Fr. John, you who reminded us to seek the expression of the Spirit, but we instead believe the Spirit now speaks what we say, is found only in hateful protest, and is nothing more than an impersonal force. We ignore the leading of the Spirit, while hypocritically saying we will follow it, no matter where it leads. We have forsaken divine healing and the authority given to us by Jesus to use the Spirit to defeat the forces of evil in this world.

I confess I have denied the work and power of the Spirit, supposing it long dead, or a false manifestation. I have ignored the birthright of the Christian.

Fr. John, we have changed the meaning of evil, of unity, of grace, of salvation, or discipleship so that these things look more like our current world than they do Christian. Pray that God has not forsaken the people called Methodists joined together in The United Methodist Church. Pray that we once more become more Christian than American. Pray that we once again turn to the God of our Fathers, to the Son who has redeemed us, and to the Spirit who transforms us.

I confess I too have played politics, seeking nuance when plain words are needed.
I confess I have been too American, or too conservative, or too liberal rather than seeking to be Christian.
I confess I have not sought the Holy Trinity, but instead attempted to fashion a God after the trends of the world.

Fr. John, father of the people called Methodists, intercede for us, that once again we who proclaim our goal of Christian unity find unity within ourselves.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

One Response to “John Wesley, intercede for the people called Methodists”
  1. Keith Caldwelll says

    Amen and Amen!
    May we ask all of the Saints to pray for us.
    Pastor Keith Caldwell Turk Lake/ Belding UMC

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