August 20, 2023
Reflections From the Heart of Allan Redenius
One of my heroes of the faith is John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. It’s the denomination in which I was a member for over thirty years. It was there that my faith grew through Biblical teaching. It was the way of John Wesley.
It was Wesley’s remark upon receiving Christ into his heart that has so inspired me. “My heart was strangely warmed.” Over the years, my heart too has been strangely warmed in the presence of Jesus, more than once.
Last week, Armona and I went to the Gilmore City Methodist Church, in which we married fifty-three years ago. Like a new car, once so shiny and spiffy, years later, the church—like us—is not so new anymore. Worse than that, the size of the congregation has dwindled to a handful of faithful souls, refusing to give up their church.
It’s been my observation that changing your place of worship, where you attend church, is a painful experience. The thinking goes like this. “All my friends are here. I was baptized in this building. This place is just part of my DNA, who I am.” All these thoughts and attachments are so very real. I still have an affinity toward Good Hope Lutheran Church in Titonka, Iowa. My grandparents, my parents, were loyal to the end to that church. That church is part of who I was, who I am.
John Wesley taught of something called Wesleyan Quadrilateral. Decisions of faith which should be made using these four components:
For all of those people in that denomination, my heart is not strangely warmed, but aches in sorrow. I pray that they remember not only their heritage, but make their decisions, not on the building, but on strong Biblical teaching.
I wonder what John Wesley would think of the controversies behind the division of Methodism? More importantly, what does Jesus think?
May we all stay faithful to Christ,
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