Wesley Bros: Super Wesley World

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08082014

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Good evangelicals can tell you the day they were saved and the day they bought their first game console.  When I was in 5th grade, my mom told me I had to save my own money to get a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  All we had was an Atari.  By the time I had raised $100, my Dad decided it would take forever and just covered the other half for me without Mom knowing… This is how salvation worked in Medieval Catholic theology…you do as many good works as you can, it will never be enough, but it will at least cut some time in Purgatory, and Jesus will make up the difference.

This is not actually how United Methodists (or Protestants in general) believe justification works.

Mother of Methodism, Susanna Wesley once said, “I verily think one great reason why Christians are so often subject to despond is that they look more to themselves than to their Saviour: they would establish a righteousness of their own to rest on, without advertising enough to the sacrifice of Christ, by which we alone are justified before God.”  Funny how it took her own sons forever to get this…  But the Protestant Reformation emphasized a full trust in the work of God alone, not human effort.  Justification by faith alone, is the work of God through the cross of Jesus… John Wesley emphasized (a la Augustine) that this combats human pride, because we have nothing that didn’t first come from God.

Pixelating John and Charles took me back to the hours I spent on Mario Paint on the SNES.  We actually came up with lyrics to the background music on the game, disparaging my youngest bro (love ya Chris!).

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.

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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)
 
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