So, too, the Methodist movement resisted separating or splitting from The Church of England to form a new denomination. Wesley would utterly despise a denomination that had lost its roots in the mission of reformation and had become instead little more than the religious analog of a corporate brand.
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We might do well to recall and reflect upon Albert Outler's lament about maintenance becoming the mission of the church, modified perhaps to reflect current realities and pressures as "survival become the mission of the church. Whatever we celebrate when we mark the Reformation, we must not celebrate schism or minimize the seriousness of divisions in the church. Without question, Methodism is a proud child of the Reformation, deeply committed to the gospel of justification freely offered by God in Christ. Yet, even as Methodism claims its rightful place in the Reformation procession, it recognizes its providential mission to continue the reformation.
Perhaps the first way United Methodists and others in the Wesleyan family celebrate the Reformation is by recalling their reforming mission —to remind the whole church of God's salvific gift, not only of justification or the pardon of sin but also of healing from the corrupting power of sin, of the sanctification that reforms sinners and enables holy living. In this reforming spirit, Wesley was fond of encouraging his followers to "provoke one another to love and to good works. So, United Methodists celebrate the Reformation first and foremost by living reformed lives, that is, living lives that reflect the power of God not only to pardon sinners but to sanctify them as well, forming holy tempers and holy lives.
We celebrate the Reformation best by fulfilling our providential mission of provoking one another to love and good works. Moreover, we do this best not by keeping to ourselves, like a pile of salt off in the corner to use again an image from John's Gospel or by celebrating our separated existence, as if schism and division were an inconsequential matter.
Rather, it is our "peculiar glory" to exist only for the sake of the whole church, for the sake of provoking our sisters and brothers in other churches to love and good works. This celebration of the Reformation provides a wonderful occasion for us to revisit, or perhaps visit for the first time, the relationships we have with other denominations. Some of those are found in formal full communion agreements, such as we have with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the northern and southern provinces of the Moravian Church and the Uniting Church of Sweden.
Others are informal, growing from a host of relationships established in local communities through shared worship experiences and works of mercy. Just as God raised us up so that others might learn of the glorious gift of sanctification, there is much we can learn from our Anglican, Lutheran and Catholic sisters and brothers, among others.
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In the end, to celebrate the Reformation as United Methodists is to celebrate the God who refuses to accept the separation, the division, the conflict that sin occasions. It is to celebrate the God who does not just pardon sinners but who also sanctifies — breaking down dividing walls, overcoming hostility, healing the brokenness that is sin by making sinners saints and enemies friends in Christ's one, holy, catholic body, which is the Church.
Contact him at dmbelljr01 gmail. Daniel Bell. The "big bang" Jesuits would have loved to do a Guy Fawkes on the Castle, but it was shielded by angels, and the surrounding hills.
On the left can be seen Luther's desk, and the spot where he threw the inkwell at the Devil. Over the centuries, souvenir hunters have removed chunks of the wall. Ground zero was a valley, just a stone's throw from the Wartburg Castle. In , Saint Martin took another step which caused consternation at the Vatican—he married his sweetheart—escaped nun Saint Katharine von Bora. After his escape from the spiritual Babylon, Saint Martin soon discovered that monks and nuns were nowhere mentioned in the Holy Bible!
In , to inaugurate the modern "women's-lib" movement, he helped a group of 12 nuns escape from the Nimbschen Convent.
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One of the escapees, Katharine von Bora, became his loving wife and helpmeet. Saints Martin and Katharine became the perfect partnership , as they devoted their lives to their 4 children, and demolishing the thick walls of Babylon!
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Saint Katharine Luther — It is a good thing that there was no German Equal Wrongs Amendment in force at that time. Otherwise, the gender roles would have been completely reversed, and there would have been no perfect partnership between the 2 saints Monks and nuns are the true transgenders because they are obsessed with SEX.
The spiritual Babylon is the Papacy, which began its rise in AD, and received a mighty blow in Babylon on the Thames!! The secret of Samson's great strength lay in his Nazarite vow not to cut his hair, and the Messiah's great strength lay in his Holy Name.
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