Friday, September 14, 2018


This is a letter to the editor in this morning’s Savannah Morning News:

Methodists facing progressive challenges

I read with great interest the letters to the editor related to the Roman Catholic Church, a second Reformation, and a column on the subject by Marc Thiessen. A recent letter to the editor reflects the sentiments of many Protestant, evangelical Christians: The foundational truths of the gospel are the antithesis of progressive secularism infiltrating culture today.

The free gift of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to God. This truth is scriptural without change. Adherence to this truth is what changes lives. We are human. We are sinful. We accept God’s grace through faith. We repent. We are transformed. We change. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, referred to this process as prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. We are “works in progress,” according to Wesley, an Anglican priest who sought reformation in the Anglican Church of England in the 1700s.

The United Methodist Church, originating in 1968, faces challenges today as progressive bishops move away from the traditional interpretation of scripture and the foundational truths of the Bible as found in the Old and New Testaments. It is hoped that Methodists, no longer really “united,” will rely on the Wesleyan Quadrilateral secondarily and the Bible primarily.

R. Urbano Keith Martin,


Dan said...

Only rigid neo-pelagians would say such things!

Anonymous said...

The write is correct about the problems with "progressive" (or regressive?) Protestantism, but when he talks about salvation though grace by faith in Christ, the "church" part gets left out. Christ did not come to earth to form a "society of the saved" (which is basically how Fundamentalists view Church)---as Catholics, we believe that salvation is a journey, a destination, not a matter of "instant salvation". That is why we need the Church, through its sacraments, to make it to hopefully our heavenly destination. As for his hope that Methodists rely primarily on the Bible, well, there are countless Protestant sects and sub-sects that claim the same, which makes you wonder how there can be so many interpretations of the Book they regard as their primary (if not sole) source of faith? You can't have scripture without tradition (otherwise, how would the Church have known what books to canonize in the Bible without oral tradition to sort which books were legitimate and which were not?) Basically, it would have been nice for the write to also mention the role of tradition, like the writings of the early church fathers and various ecumenical councils over the centuries.