Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why write about the Primitive Methodists? (Part one)

What relevance has a movement that began in the 1800s make to our world? What difference can it make to us today?

The story of the Primitive Methodist Movement is a story that needs to be told. It is a remarkable story of God at work, changing lives and transforming communities, and ultimately profoundly impacting life in England and the world beyond. It is a story of ordinary men and women with a message, the gospel of Jesus Christ, who loudly and boldly proclaimed the love of God to people in towns and villages across England. In the space of a few decades from 1810 onwards almost every locality was touched by the gospel in a radical way.

Those whose lives and relationships were devastated by alcohol abuse, became sober. Men who dealt with anger by getting into fist-fights became men of peace. Broken families were restored, relationships renewed, and hatred was replaced by love. Those who wasted their hard-earned wages on gambling became prudent with money. Foul-mouthed, cursing men and women learned to speak words of truth and grace.

I profoundly believe that what God did nearly two hundred years ago, he can do now. Society and culture, circumstances and situations may change but the message of the gospel and the problems of human nature do not.

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