Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Caution Against Christian Prejudice

As, I believe, I have mentioned before, I have been singing through the Wesley hymns as part of my usage of Morning and Evening Prayer. Most recently I have been using Wesley Hymns (Compiled by Ken Bible. Lillenas [Nazarene] Pub. Co., 1982).

The hymnal included a section from John Wesley's A Plain Account of Genuine Christianity, which I found to be timely given a recent Wednesday evening discussion during which I talked with my congregation about lifting up and guarding the reputation of our sisters and brothers in Christ from other denominations. While we certainly have our disagreements, there are plenty of good Christians in other denominations. Just as we all know some "Nazarenes" by whom we would not want non-Nazarenes to judge us(!), so too, we ought to look at others the way we would hope to be looked at, with great Christian love and generosity.

Mr. Wesley cautions: "Be not prejudiced against [the Christian] for his name. Forgive his particularities of opinion and (what you think) superstitious modes of worship. These are circumstances but of small concern and do not enter into the essence of his character. Cover them with a veil of love." Amen.

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