In Other Words

Go. Read. Now.

To those who would object that religion lies in the heart, not in outward things, Wesley responds that if “the union of the soul with God,” which is the root of all religion, “be really in the heart it cannot but put forth branches…He is well pleased with all that outward service that arises from the heart.” To other objections, such as the futility of trying to help the poor, Wesley’s response is that Christ did not cease from trying to do good, and neither should we. He also makes clear that for all of our “efforts” it is God who does the work. It is a very real trap that our motives may lead us into, and Wesley maintains that, to live a social Christian life, “let it be your sole aim that all who see your good works may `glorify your father which is in heaven.” Wesley cannot conclude without some practical advice. You’ve been told not to hide your holiness, but there are specific ways to reveal it. While giving practical advice on how to manage a lifestyle and “shine in all good works,” ultimately the formula is to “be thou full of faith and love; do good; suffer evil.”

If one is a believer in God, as you say Tena, then talk of the work that God calls God’s people to is talk of God.

This is how Christian progressives should talk about faith, credibly, sincerely, from a place of harmony with our social and political ideals.