Friday, February 11, 2011

Wesleyan Core Term: Superintendency

One of the things that I love about pastoring at Centenary United Methodist Church is being able to use "Calvary Chapel" for Morning Prayer.  Praying Morning Prayer from Wesley's The Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America is a part of my commitment to the Order of Saint Luke, and a part of my regular devotional practice.

Whereas during the last couple of years I have read Scripture based on the daily reading lectionary passages as found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, for 2011 I have gone back to the practice of reading through the entire Bible during the year.  I have modified the way that I'm doing it so as to include Old Testament, Psalm, and New Testament readings each time, in order to go along with the practice as found in the Prayer Book.  (I don't know quite what I'll do, once I make it through the New Testament, but I plan to re-read the Psalms throughout the year.)

This year I am reading using the NRSV, once again.  (I've used several other versions in the past).  The unique thing is that I'm using my The Wesley Study Bible this time.  And, while I'm not reading all of the notes, I am making it a practice to read each of the "Wesleyan Core Term" and "Life Application Topic" sections as I go along.

In my reading, today, I read a "Wesleyan Core Term" section that I think may go well with my previous post about the statement from the 33 United Methodist bishops.  -  The core term is "Superintendency," and the relevant part said:

"In Num 3, the Lord tells Moses to set aside the Levites as the Lord's, as an offering for the firstborn of all of Israel.  They will serve the Lord at the tabernacle and before all the people.  In the same way, the bishop must be the Lord's servant before all the people.  Without submission to the Lord, the powers of the bishop are just human power. . . if God is not the head, then the bishop cannot lead the church." (italics mine.)

By this post, I do not mean to question whether any of the 33 bishops desire to serve God.  God alone knows each of our hearts.  However, it is clear that one's commitment to serve God must include submission to God and to the Word of God.  Additionally, one who takes up the role of the superintendency/episcopacy is especially called upon to "contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.  For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 3-4).


Jeremy D. Scott said...

Just posting to say that I also am reading through the Bible this year (on an OT, NT, Psalms/Proverbs dispersement) and am reading the Wesley Study Bible.

Solidarity. :-)

Jason Woolever said...

Here, here! Good post! I heartily agree!

Todd Stepp said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Yes, Jeremy, solidarity, indeed!

BTW, do you have a plan for reading through the Bible that follows that pattern, or are you just adapting another plan? - I'm using the plan sent out by Olivet (Nazarene University) as a check list, but I am adapting it for the OT/Psalm/NT pattern.


Anonymous said...

Brother Todd......

Good to see you on here.......I enjoy your contributions to the OSL Cyber Chapter -- and really can wrap my mind around your Wesleyan/Anglican
I'm IN !!!!

Todd Stepp said...

Thanks, Br. . . . Anonymous!