Saturday, May 8, 2010

Must a Person be Old-Fashioned to be a Faithful Wesleyan?

My heart's sympathy lies with the 18th century and early Methodism. However, as a 21st century Christian does this mean that I must eschew anything new? Well, it depends on a person's definition of "old-fashioned".

Since you are reading this online it means I use the internet and am a web publisher. I send my friends text and pic messages on my cell phone. I download decades old sermons from old, now dead ministers in mp3 form so I can listen on the go. I preach from the English Standard Version, not the famed King James Version. I watch cable television and Blu-Rays. I am not old-fashioned.

However...

I think much of the multimedia today is garbage and I believe Christians should take Nancy Reagan's advice on another topic: Just Say No:
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11 ESV)
I think the Church will never beat the world at being the world and it should stop trying. The world lulls sinners to sleep through entertainment and the Church awakens them to the things of the Spirit:
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:13-14 ESV)
A Christian doesn't have to be unfashionable but he must be modest:
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, (1 Timothy 2:9 ESV)
A believer's vocabulary must differentiate himself from fallen society or he proves that he is still part of it:
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:4-5 ESV)
If a so-called saint is indistinguishable from the world it reveals that he isn't:
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19 ESV)

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:7-10 ESV)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14 ESV)
Nothing is wrong with laughter but a Wesleyan must be known for his circumspection:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
Yes, if a person is going to be a Wesleyan people (including professing Christians) may well think he is old-fashioned, holier-than-thou and narrow-minded. In short, they may judge him for being judgmental. It's probably inevitable.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV)