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Never As A Replacement

March 11, 2024

John Wesley was many things but one thing he was not was someone trying to establish a new religion. For all of John Wesley's life he believed in alliance and cooperation with The Anglican Church.

The fact that the people called Methodist became a church in England and the world was not Wesley's design. He organized people in Societies (like many did in England) and bands for mutual instruction, encouragement and engagement for the needs of others. But Wesley was clear that these meetings were no substitute or replacement for attendance and cooperation with the ministry of one's local Anglican Church that seemed to not be providing these ministries.

This cooperation with the Anglican Church was largely the result of Wesley's high view of The Lord's Supper and the priestly office. Wesley believed that one should participate in The Lord's Supper as often as one can and this means of grace was limited to the local church and not the group meetings of the people called Methodist. Wesley also held to a high view of people who had been ordained by Bishops as priests.

Reflection: How difficult is it to cooperate with a church or an organization that you think is not providing all that it could to others? Can you "find" the same graciousness to do all you can while still cooperating with others?