Feast of St Macrina, Grandmother of St Basil the Great
WHEN THE Wesley brothers, John and Charles, began the Methodist movement in England, it was specifically designed to be a renewal movement for the Church. It was never intended to separate from the Church of England, and in its creation it presupposed attendance at both the Methodist Society meetings and the Church of England service. This was keeping in line with the Wesleys’ belief that liturgy and spontaneity were both necessary for spiritual formation, discipleship, and holiness.
These two elements reflect a balance between the transcendence and immanence of God. For a healthy sense of the Trinity, it is extremely beneficial for traditions to have both a liturgical and a spontaneous dimension of fellowship. Liturgy can act as a corrective for purely subjective expressions of the faith, and more interpersonal expressions of the faith can reinforce the truths expressed in the liturgy. The state of the Church of England during the time of the Wesleys proves that the axiom lex orandi lex credendi in and of itself does not work. There must be a deeper experience of the presence of God for people to truly experience the holy transformation God desires for the covenant people.
Steven Bruns is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church. He holds graduate degrees from Asbury Theological Seminary, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and his PhD from the London School of Theology. Currently, he is the Chair of the Ministry and Theology Department at Central Christian College of Kansas.