I am speaking out of my capacity as someone with Methodist and Wesleyan friends, as well as someone who agrees for the most part with Wesleyan theology. John Wesley would not approve of the prosperity anti-gospel, and the Word of
BANK Faith movement. I have already made my opposition known to Tither-Driven Churches; I would now like to use John Wesley himself as an example, especially in light of lame-line seminaries aligning themselves with heresy in order to make a cheap buck. It’s pretty unbelieveable that this same school United Seminary has a member on its board who would rather go on an anti-Catholic rant (he’s a Methodist pastor) rather than confronting heretics. Apostacy wins. Tradition loses.
There is a difference between Catholics and the Word of
Bank Faith movement. Catholic priests preach the Gospel, the Good News God ordained for the poor, for the broken hearted, for the unborn, and for the elderly. The prosperity anti-gospel does the exact opposite; we cannot compare the two. Catholic clergy and laity affirm the content of the Gospel while the prosperity anti-gospel movement, they CHANGE the content of the gospel to its very antithesis.
This leads me to reflect on John Wesley’s sermon on 1st Timothy 6:9; now, 1st and 2nd Timothy are not just friendly pastoral letters telling us how we should run our “CHUCH”; no indeed, historically, Paul is confronting rich women who were trying to take over the life of the church by their wealth and power. Theologically reconsidered, Paul’s message to Timothy and his church matches Jesus’ priestly ministry, that God just does not have a heart for the poor, but that they are His very heart, His existence, and, as the song goes, He is the Defender of the Weak, a Comfort to those in need. Our love and solidarity for the poor do not take a backseat to ecclesiology or pastoral authority; rather it is the reverse.
John Wesley preached on thedangers of riches, and greed ruled his day like it does our: “How many thousands do we find at this day, in whom the ruling principle is, the desire to enlarge the pleasure of tasting! Perhaps they do not gratify this desire in a gross manner, so as to incur the imputation of intemperance; much less so as to violate health or impair their understanding by gluttony or drunkenness. But they live in a genteel, regular sensuality; in an elegant epicurism, which does not hurt the body, but only destroys the soul, keeping it at a distance from all true religion.” Of course when you believe in either a hedonistic god like John Piper who only works for His own good please, well, I guess it’s okay to affirm a capitalism where each works for his own good.
Philosophically, John Wesley was a contemporary, and a vocal opponent of the pagan philosopher economist Adam Smith. United Methodist theologian Joerg Rieger notes in his book, NO Rising Tide that it was faithful Christians like John Wesley who first confronted Smith and his unbiblical theories, not any “godless Marxists.” Justice must include covenant, and the New Covenant, just as the First Covenant, gives first priority to the widows, the orphans, the elderly,the exiled, and the unborn over those concerned with the here and now, the middle-class, and those who see themselves in “stable-homes.” This goes against the logic of “satan likes to see a poor preacher’; that’s just bad anti-gospel theology, and misses the whole point about Scripture’s message (and John Wesley’s view) about stewardship.
Are modern-day Protestant clergy here in Amerika superior to the apostles and disciples, that we don’t have to go through persecution, or fellowship with the disabled, or suffer through poverty, chosen or unchosen? I guess according to UTS and Copeland, they are. Maybe Protestants need to start learning from Catholics and start taking Vows of Poverty.