As I have been reading his journals I occasionally come across entries like this:
April 28, 1782 “Coming to Congleton, I found the Calvinists were just breaking in, and striving to make havoc of the flock. Is this brotherly love? Is this doing as we would be done to? No more than robbing on the highway. But if it is decreed, they cannot help it: So we cannot blame them.” (Emphasis in original)We see the same attitudes today. The guilty parties can be Calvinists, Arminians, Pentecostals, Catholics, you name it. They are people who have serious disagreements. I disagree with most of them, but they all believe in a core of basics such as the divinity of Christ and salvation through grace. (Yes, even the Catholics believe in salvation through grace. The disagreements are on how and why, not what.) Instead of going after the cults, pagans and atheists, they raid the folds of neighboring shepherds.
Wesley also ran into the opposite attitude.
November 1, 1785, “When I came to Northhampton, the new Presbyterian meeting house was offered me, twice as large as our own.”This is the way it should be. This is why so many Sunday worshipers cooperate with Saturday worshipers. This is why non-English congregations are allowed to rent space.
John Wesley was an Arminian. George Whitefield was a Calvinist. They had their disagreements and some serious head butting. But they always came back to seeing each other as brothers in Christ. In fact, Whitefield had Wesley preach his funeral.
Brothers and sisters, lets stop the sheep stealing and get to changing the world.
Wesley, John. The Works of John Wesley, Volume IV, Third Edition. Kansas City: Beacon Hill
Press of Kansas City, 1979.
homo unius libri