Sunday, July 23, 2006

John Wesley Rides Again, Part 1 of ?

John Wesley has got to be one of the great figures in the history of the people who follow Jesus. Among other things:

  • He is credited with keeping England from a civil war (as happened "across the pond").
  • His life, thought, preaching and ministry was seminal in helping England abolish slavery without said civil war.
  • He understood that the message of Jesus meant physical ramifications for people or it wasn't the message of Jesus. His message: "there is no holiness apart from social holiness."
  • He wasn't afraid to throw-down with the big boys. The churched gentry (the power-brokers in English society) would have nothing to do with the coal miners or any other group who couldn't appropriately find their way into a church building. As a result, there was an ever widening gap between rich and poor, upper and lower class--all in the name of God, culture and social acceptability.
  • In contrast, he preached (against his own preferences) outdoors to the coal miners. He had no idea he was getting through until he saw tears coming down their blackened faces.
  • He made increasing amounts of money each year, but continued to live on the same amount, giving the rest away. He died with no substantial financial assets to speak of.
  • He exercised regularly and was in excellent physical health into his 70's.
  • He was fluent in Greek, Hebrew and Latin and required that all who served with him be the same.
  • His letter writing to people needing spiritual counsel was nothing short of remarkable in its scope and breadth.

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