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Monday, December 19, 2011

John Wesleyn's Influence and Views on Money

VirtueOnline - News - Reformation, Renewal and Revival - John Wesley's Church Planting Movement

How might these values be helpful for the church today?

"Coming to Christ under the influence of the Wesleyan Methodists changed people by making Jesus the Lord of their lives. "Methodists" were given that name because they methodically sought to obey the Lord in all areas of their lives by obeying three main rules:

one, do no harm;

two, do as much good as you can; and

three, use all the means of grace that God has provided.

The resulting spiritual change affected their daily lives in four main ways, each of which improved the social and economic status of the new believers:

First, they abandoned sinful habits which had previously ruined their lives.

Second, they began a new life of holiness which led to health and wealth.

Third, by going to the Methodist meetings they learned to read, which gave them upward mobility.

And fourth, they developed a new view on money, which enabled them to profit from the technological innovations of their age."

I'm particularly intrigued by Wesley's view on money:

"Wesley often preached on this topic; his most famous message on money made three points: Gain all you can; save [economize] all you can; give all you can."

It's taken me a long time but I think I've come around to understand this. Part of it has to do with my transition to being a business owner and some of it has to do with having worked for SWEA and done fund raising with affluent Christians. I'm not on board with the idea that Jesus was impoverished so we should be too, though I'm certainly not in the camp of the health and wealth gospel believing that it's our birthright in Christ to be wealthy.

Let's not be naive about money's influence and how it could be harnessed for good and godly purposes.

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