Wesley Bros: A cartoonist’s journey to ordination


Click image to expand…

From my sketchbook on the night of my ordination. I thought I’d butcher Methodist history a little. After the American Revolution, the American Methodists were left without clergy. After the Church of England refused to ordain clergy at Wesley’s request, John felt backed in a corner and promoted his 2nd in command (Thomas Coke, an Anglican elder) to Bishop and sent him to America to ordain him some Methodists. John also speed-ordained two of his lay-preachers, Whatcoat and Vassey. All of this seriously aggrieved Charles Wesley, who staunchly held that “ordination means separation.” Charles wrote this poem about John’s deed:
“So easily are Bishops made
By man’s or woman’s whims
Wesley his hands on Coke has laid
But who laid hands on him?”
I think we can also put “apostolic succession” in quotation marks while we’re at it.

Charlie Baber

Rev. Charlie Baber is author and illustrator of the weekly web comic: Wesley Bros. When he isn’t finding new ways to mash-up church history with modern culture, he has actual responsibilities as a Deacon serving at Highland UMC in Raleigh, NC. Check out Charlie’s site at www.wesleybros.com.

Leave a Reply

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
1 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Brent WhitePreachermanRev. Dr. Jaime Potter Alvarez Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Rev. Dr. Jaime Potter Alvarez

I am wrestling with two question as the fierce struggle over homosexuality rages. First, the question of Covenant: I am in Covenant with the church that educated, ordained and appointed me to serve communities in various places. Do I have the right to break Covenant because I disagree with a part of the Covenant? I took my promises seriously when Bishop Nichols laid his hands on my head. How can I turn my back on those vows? Second, the question of degrees of sin: I don’t think I can wiggle my way out of seeing that Paul condemned homosexuality. The… Read more »


First of all ,the sin of homosexuality should be seen as living in Sin or choosing to live in a sinful lifestyle. if one commits the act of murder he/she can repent and no longer lives in the murderous lifestyle. hit one commits a homosexual sex act he/she can repent and not continue in that lifestyle. Secondly, homosexuality is not being attacked, but should be perceived as Christians standing up for the truth in God’s word and what is right in the eyes of God. people who descend homosexuality as normal is the only group seeking justification for sinful living.… Read more »

Brent White

I agree, Preacherman. To Rev. Alvarez’s point, the issue at stake is, first, whether or not homosexual behavior is a sin. Even your struggle (“Haven’t we all sinned, and why don’t they take away our credentials?”) concedes the point that homosexual behavior is sin. But people on the pro-gay side say it’s not… and they go further to say, usually, that the Bible has nothing to say about the issue, or, if it does, it’s hopelessly relative to time and place, etc. I disagree that “all sins are equal,” so the gluttony example isn’t on point. Who would say, for… Read more »

%d bloggers like this: