JOHN WESLEY – “LIBERAL” OF THE 18TH CENTURY

Posted today on Facebook is a JohnWesley’s Manifesto. Wesley was an 18th century religious leader, founder of the Methodist movement which grew into the Methodist Church. Take a look:

1. Reduce the gap between rich people and poor people.

2. Help everyone to have a job.

3. Help the poorest, including introducing a minimum wage.

4. Offer the best possible education.

5. Help everyone to feel they can make a difference.

6. Promote tolerance.

7. Promote equal treatment for women.

8. Create a society based on values and not on profit and consumerism.

9. End all forms of slavery.

10. Avoid getting into wars.

11. Share the love of God with others.

12. Care for the environment.

These words today would be considered a “liberal” point of view and rejected by those who consider the conservative view of a higher spiritual value. But Wesley was living in the 18th century under monarchical rule. If “conservative” tends to be back-looking, Wesley is pretty far back. From my perspective the above is not liberal or conservative but universal as a practical way of being a respecter of all as equal in the sight of God. Everyone….everyone…is my brother or sister. All the advantages I have I will work for them to have as well. Being a Christian, I see the above as a practical way of Jesus’ teachings being lived out in the world today.

So why are these ideas so adamantly rejected today by so many, even people of faith? I struggle.