Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Wesleyan Church Statement on Christian Liberty

The Wesleyan Church, with offices in Fishers, Indiana, has previously articulated a position regarding Christian Liberty that is generally in agreement with most conservative Wesleyan church groups.  This statement comes close to my own perspective on this matter, in particular with the passage from Galatians and its applicability to all Christians, Jew and Gentile. Paul's epistle to Galatia expresses with great clarity much of the issue of law and commandment that was the focus of the council at Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15. This liberty and lack of bondage is at the heart of life in Christ and is threaded throughout the New Testament.


ChristianLiberty. Christ, through His death on the cross, has freed His followers from sin and from bondage to the law. Christians are "called unto liberty" (Galatians 5:13 KJV), and are not under the law as a means of salvation. They are rather exhorted, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1 KJV).

This liberty, however, is not to be construed as license (Galatians 5:13). Rather, love for Christconstrains the Christian to live righteously and holily as God demands. By the Spirit of God, His laws are written on the heart (Hebrews 8:10). So Christians resist evil and cleave to the good, not in order to be saved, but because they have been saved. Within the bounds of Christian liberty, there will be differences of opinion. In such cases, the believer seeks to avoid offending other believers. The stronger one is mindful of the opinions of the one with the weaker conscience (1 Corinthians 8 and 10), and is careful not to put a stumbling block in another's way (1 Corinthians10:24; Galatians 5:13). On the other hand, the weak does not criticize the strong (1 Corinthians10:29-30), for the conscience of the weak may need instruction. The recognition and exercise of that liberty which Christ affords will glorify God and promote the unity of the Church.


Pumice said...

I just noticed the FACTS acronym on the side. I like it. I have been trying to think up a response to TULIP but using other flowers.

Grace and Peace

A.M. Mallett said...

FACTS is a great acronym and many thanks again to Dr. Brian Abasciano