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John Wesley visits General Conference

June 06, 2016

General Conference of The United Methodist Church met recently for 10 days in Portland, Ore. Someone asked me what I thought John Wesley would say about the Conference. I know exactly what John Wesley said about another Conference held in 1764.

He wrote in his journal:

“I spent some hours at the General Assembly, composed of about a hundred and fifty ministers. I was surprised to find, one, that anyone was admitted, even lads 12 or 14 years old; two, that the chief speakers were lawyers, six or seven on one side only; three, that a single question took up the whole time, which when I went away, seemed to be as far from a conclusion as ever, namely, “Shall Mr. Lindsay be removed to Kilmarnock parish or not?’ The argument for it was, ‘He has a large family, and this living is twice as good as his own.’ The argument against it was, ‘The people are resolved not to hear him, and will leave the kirk if he comes.’ If then the real point in view had been, as their law directs, majus bonum Ecclesiae (The greater benefit of the Church), instead of taking up five hours, the debate might have been determined in five minutes.”

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