140 Sermons of John Wesley
Founder of Methodism
John Wesley was a priest in the Anglican Church, a Protestant
Methodism is a method of trying to live as Jesus Christ
said people should live. Prior to John Wesley, European Christianity was pretty
much an elitest religion for "the privileged". Many clergy felt that
the "lower classes" were incapable of living a moral life, and felt
it was beneath them [the clergy] to go into bars, pool halls, gambling halls,
hospitals, etc., to try and tell "those people" about Jesus.
John Wesley lived most of the 18th Century. Along with his
brother Charles, who wrote several thousand
hymns, and a few of his friends from seminary, he started Methodism.
The term 'methodist' began as a derogatory term used by several of his classmates
because his group took a methodical approach to
studying scripture, ordering their daily activities, etc. The Wesleys began
going to "the dregs of society" and preaching about salvation and
moral living, and helped lead many to salvation.
Methodism was a leader in opposing slavery in the United
States and also in the civil rights movement in the mid-20th Century, and several
Methodist sub-denominations in the United States are predominantly black memberships,
e.g., Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME), African Methodist Episcopal (AME)
and African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ). (Episcopal refers to heirarchy,
i.e., the denomination has bishops who oversee numerous churches, each with
in recent years the largest Methodist denomination in America,
has begun to drift from mainstream Methodist doctrine. If you
hear some report about a "Methodist" doctrine which
you feel is unbiblical, before condemning the "Methodist
position" please check whether other
Methodist denominations agree with that position!