Methodism, rightly ordered, should be uniquely equipped to respond to the polemics and political polarization of today’s America.
“Rightly ordered” must be stressed, because American Methodism is not, in any of its major denominations, currently institutionally and intellectually equipped to offer healing balm to American society. But the spiritual tools are embedded in our Wesleyan DNA and should be unsheathed for the present moment.
Methodism was a healing balm in Britain during the eighteenth-century revivals. And Methodism was key to building American democracy and civil society in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, much of institutional American Methodism derailed from Christian orthodoxy and forgot its heritage of personal and social righteousness. And yet, even in its errors and decline, Methodism for much of the last century, if only by force of habit, was central to cohering the best of American civil society, fostering social solidarity and political reform.
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