Friday, March 26, 2010

Oppressed Methodists

Who knew.
Well I guess studying early modern British history I was supposed to know, but didn't care. I'm listening to an audiobook that I have the darnest trouble wrestling my mind away from, which I need to do when work or home requires all my mental skills and I have to get off auto-pilot. This audiobook is of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. Apparently Wilberforce's parents were very fearful of Methodist, which seems to have been too enthusiastic zeal for Jesus Christ and an annoying tendency to bring him into the world (seriously I have no idea what Methodists are about), tendencies. Through the biography of Wilberforce Methodism and Methodist tendencies tend to be this boogeyman that others worried about. It seems Methodists weren't too keen on theater.
The author seems to pit milquetoast Anglicanism against enthused Methodism, which this is my first of hearing of this. Now I know of limp Anglicanism, gad nothing new there and I am vaguely aware of Methodists in history. I have heard of the Wesley brothers, and I did take Religion in America in my undergrad days. However, I just figured them to be like any other Protestant group like Quakers or Baptists to have had the initial hardships then blended into the Christian landscape. Well maybe, depending on one's social class and ambitions. If you really wanted to get anywhere you must be CofE Anglican. And as far as I can tell and I am almost done with the book, Wilberforce, that servant of G-d, never left the Church of England, he just was a really enthusiastic happy moral faithful evangelistic Anglican.

1 comment:

Roland said...

When I visited Wesley Chapel in London, in the museum there was a poster that condemned both Methodists and Catholics for their "enthusiasm," which seems to have been an all-purpose put-down for people who took their religion seriously. It was an era when secularism was already beginning to creep into the C. of E.