Tag Archives: John Wesley

“how dare you defraud the Lord?

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
John Wesley

The founder of Methodism was plain spoken. No one ever was confused about where Wesley stood on an issue. And from his earliest ministry Wesley stood alongside those whom Jesus identified as the “least of these,” the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, the stranger, the one in prison.

And John Wesley never shied away from talking about money, either. These words, first uttered in the 18th century, need to be taken to heart by all of us who call ourselves Christians today.

Our stewardship of the bountiful resources entrusted to us is critical to the depth of our discipleship. The acquisition and hording of great wealth is morally indefensible. Hording more, spending more for other than necessities in a world where 25,000 of our family die every day from hunger can not be justified.

Wesley is right. How dare we defraud our Lord by applying His gifts for any other purpose than feed those who are starving?

social holiness

John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist Church, lived from 1703 until 1791, a long life for anyone in the 18th century. Some scholars state that he was one of the most influential men of his age, even going so far as to claim he was instrumental in preventing a repeat of the French Revolution from occurring in England.

In the preface to the Methodist Hymnbook, he wrote: “The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social, no holiness but social holiness.”

What is social holiness in a world filled with poverty and hunger? The answer can only be found in community.

Holiness today has to understood as people of faith reaching out to embrace all of humanity with the same love and acceptance with which Christ loves us. That depth of love is inclusive, totally inclusive, and will not allow the recipients to remain apart or in want.

Social holiness practiced today, the Gospel of Christ according to Wesley, would mean a world where we lived in true community…a world without hunger.