Thursday, April 26, 2007

United in Christ, even in disagreement

One of my favourite stories, which I have heard a couple of times over the last few years, is that of George Whitefield, the great evangelist, and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. It's a tale I've often used to remind myself of the possibility and beauty of Christian fellowship with people who are different, and who differ with you. Whitefield was a Calvinist and Wesley, of course, an Arminian, who believed in the possibility of sinless perfection. They were good friends but disagreed profoundly over this issue.

One day, one of Whitefield's supporters walked over to him and asked, "Sir, do you think we shall see Mr. Wesley in heaven?". Whitefield turned to look at this fellow, and replied: "I fear not". He paused, then continued reverently: "For he will be so near the throne, and we shall be at such a distance, that we shall hardly get a sight of him!"

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