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John Wesley on disagreements

February 02, 2020

In this era of so many disagreements, it is helpful to review John Wesley’s comments on this subject.

“No man can choose for or prescribe to another. Everyone must follow the dictates of his own conscience in sympathy and sincerity. He must be fully persuaded in his own mind and then act according to the best light he has. Nor has any creature the power to constrain another to walk by his own rule. God has given no right to any of the children of men to lord it over the conscience of his brethren. Every wise man will allow other the same liberty of thinking which he desires they should allow him… he bears with those who differ with him… ‘Tis certain, as long as we know in part, all men will not see all things alike. It is the unavoidable consequence of the present weakness and shortness of human understanding that we be of several minds, in religion as in common life. Though we may not think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart though we are not of one mind?”

(Please note the 18th century style and excuse the exclusive use of male pronouns.)

The Rev. Dave Hanson is a retired pastor and John Wesley scholar.

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