Real holiness

Sometimes it takes a long time for things to get inside my head.

The current schism in the United Methodist Church has its roots in a conflict that goes back more than 150 years.

The Global Methodist Church and its antecedents (including the Good News Movement, the Confession Movement and the Wesley Covenant Association) are all descended from early Holiness factions in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

For example:

During the great Holiness movement “shakeout” from the 1860s onward, most Holiness believers left to join or form Holiness churches, alliances and denominations. But some stayed and have been pushing for their brand of reform ever since.

It has been obvious, for example, that the Good News folks were schismatics in search of a lever that would work. They finally found it in human sexuality, and they’re finally getting their way: a new church of their own. They couldn’t win the battle the way they wanted to by taking over the United Methodist Church, so now they’re forming their own.

The Provisional Discipline of the Global Methodist Church says: “With John Wesley, we believe that a life of holiness or ‘entire sanctification’ should be the goal of each individual’s journey with God.”

Well, that depends on how you define “holiness” and “sanctification,” doesn’t it? Wesley defined them as perfection in love. Haven’t heard a lot of love from the Global Methodist folks; just lies and ill-concealed hatred of those who disagree with them.

No, their version of “holiness,” which we’ll see more and more of as the new denomination matures, consists of following rules. Love be damned, it’s the rules that count.

I wonder how soon the churches that have disaffiliated from the UMC will realize the phony bill of goods they’ve been sold.

Could be like that big church in Texas where the ruling board voted to disaffiliate without submitting the question to members. Just follow your leaders. Do what you’re told. We know what’s best for you. (A fella named Jones runs that church. Why are you not surprised?)

This is a far cry from holiness. Phoebe Palmer and the other great Holiness advocates would be appalled.

Well, the Methodist church has split many times before and doubtless will again. And as the UMC continues to practice “big tent” thinking, some “holiness” folks will stay, just to keep working to unravel the ropes holding up the tent. It appears that’s what they do best. Real holiness? Nah.

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