The Importance Of Methodism In Society

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Why were the poor so important to the first generations of Methodism?
The poor were important because of the teachings of John Wesley who was a firm believer in Matthew 6:19, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
From the beginning Wesley identified with the lower and middle class and made no apologies for it. He fought hard against slavery even till his death when he wrote to William Wilberforce, urging him to continue the fight. This feeling of compassion for the less fortunate
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He believed we should bring hope to those without hope. Wesley wanted Methodist to emphasize the importance of being active in social work and not just send help or money but delivering it personally.
Wesley believed that one could not serve God and possessions. He warned that possessions could lead to death of one’s faith and religion. He did not believe that money was evil, he believed that being rich could be dangerous to one’s soul. He stated that if we increased our wealth then we were not working for the poor.
In Wesley’s own words: “Wealth is an excellent gift of God, answering the noblest ends. In the hands of his children it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked. It gives to the traveler and the stranger where to lay his head. By if we may supply the place of a husband to the widow, and of a father to the fatherless; we may be a defense for the oppressed, a means of health to the sick, of ease to them that are in pain. It may be as eyes to the blind, as feet to the lame; yea, a lifter up from the gates off
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Wesley believed that sharing everything that he had was the cornerstone of Christian faith. He expresses this in his sermon, "The Use of Money". In this sermon Wesley states:
"Earn all you can." Wesley believed that when we work we are participating in God's creative, healing activity. This does not mean become a workaholic or cause harm to one's health or at the risk of one's soul. It means good honest work.
"Save all you can." Wesley thought that life should be simplified. As long as there are poor people then we should have luxuries. He is not speaking of retirement fund, stocks, or bonds. This means to be content with simple food, furnishings, clothing, and to spend money on nothing that is not necessary to live.
"Give all you can." He felt that we should not indulge foolishly or waste anything. That we should same all we possibly could and give it to God. He believed in the New Testament lesson on stewardship that Jesus taught.
Identify and briefly discuss one emphasis in Wesley or 19th Wesleyanism that, if taken seriously by the contemporary church, would have a significant impact on current efforts in moral

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