John Meunier

Author's details

Name: John Meunier
Date registered: March 3, 2012
URL: http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com

Latest posts

  1. John Meunier: Living up to the General Rules — August 26, 2014
  2. John Meunier: Labor Day break — August 24, 2014
  3. John Meunier: Theology is practical — August 23, 2014
  4. John Meunier: Out of the isolation room — August 21, 2014
  5. John Meunier: NT Wright: Paul the theologian — August 21, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. John Meunier: DeLong covenant document criticizes UMC — 6 comments
  2. John Meunier: Bishop Schol affirms loving, committed same-sex relationships — 5 comments
  3. John Meunier: You win or lose as a team — 3 comments
  4. John Meunier: If we die, we die — 2 comments
  5. John Meunier: How do you respond to Ms. McEwen? — 2 comments

Author's posts listings

Aug 26 2014

John Meunier: Living up to the General Rules

Original post at https://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/living-up-to-the-general-rules/


At the end of his explanation of the General Rules of the United Societies — rules which we still hold as binding on ourselves — John Wesley wrote this:

These are the General Rules of our societies; all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. And all these, we know, his Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there be any among us who habitually break any of them, let it be made known unto them who watch over that soul as they that must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways; we will bear with him for a season: But then if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. We have delivered our own souls.

I notice several things here.

First, Wesley takes very seriously the notion that pastors and lay leaders are on the hook if they do not actively look to the salvation and preservation of souls. I was in a class once in which another pastor told me that his job was not to be anyone’s sin police. That got a lot of nods of agreement, and I was right there with the others. But Wesley would not have agreed. He would not have used the phrase “sin police,” not least of which because it is cute rather than instructive, but he would have reminded us that those who watch over the souls of others will be held to account by Jesus for what we do and what we fail to do.

Second, I notice again the rock solid commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture to guide our faith and practice. Such an idea would not get even a moment of indulgence from many pastors and most seminary professors today.

Finally, just imagine that last portion being read at Annual Conference. Indeed, I wonder what would happen at General Conference if the text of the General Rules were up for a vote. Perhaps that is why it wise that the General Rules are protected by our Constitution.

As a church that protects and preserves these rules, though, I wonder how we live them. How do we — within local congregational settings — get to the point where such a text could be read and embraced? How do we be the church in light of what we hold as our general rules?

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/living-up-to-the-general-rules/

Aug 24 2014

John Meunier: Labor Day break

Original post at http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/labor-day-break/


School starts again. Summer ends. Lots of stuff going on. Blogging will be scarce for several days.

Grace and peace.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/labor-day-break/

Aug 23 2014

John Meunier: Theology is practical

Original post at http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/theology-is-practical/


Theology, to be Christian, is by definition practical. Either it serves the formation of the church or it is trivial and inconsequential. Preachers are the acid test of theology that would be Christian. Alas, too much theology today seems to have as its goal the convincing of preachers that they are too dumb to understand real theology. Before preachers buy into that assumption, we would like preachers to ask themselves if the problem lies with theologies which have become inconsequential.

– Stanley Hauerwas & Will Willimon, Resident Aliens

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/theology-is-practical/

Aug 21 2014

John Meunier: Out of the isolation room

Original post at http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/out-of-the-isolation-room/


This summer working at the hospital, I’ve had several visits with people in isolation rooms. To go visit them, I have to put on a gown and rubber gloves and sometimes a mask. When I leave the room, I throw all these things away and wash my hands again.

I do all this because the person is infected and diseased and cannot be let out of the room.

Now, by one way of thinking, the doctor’s work is to kill off the infection, so the patient will be saved. But thought of another way, the real problem the patient has here is that he is dangerous to everyone around him and can’t leave that room. The ultimate bad result is that he will die and never leave that room again. What he needs to be liberated from is that isolated room and freed to be back in the world again. In order to do that, his infection has to be purged from him. Killing the infection is a means by which his liberation from isolation is made possible.

By way of analogy, sin is a contamination and disease. So long as we are so infected, we cannot get out of the isolation cell know as the world, both because we are too weak to do it but not inconsequentially because we are dangerous to those on the outside. Granted, it is a spacious and often comfortable isolation room, but we are trapped and unable to enter the world that is without sin and corruption so long as we are tainted.

Jesus came to usher us into that holy, pure, and beautiful kingdom. But first, our sins must be purged by the means of cross and forgiveness. Our sin must be dealt with as a necessary step to salvation, but that is not salvation itself. Salvation is getting out of the room.

Like all analogies, this is clumsy and limited, but I think there is something useful here.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/out-of-the-isolation-room/

Aug 21 2014

John Meunier: NT Wright: Paul the theologian

Original post at http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/nt-wright-paul-the-theologian/


Yes, it is an hour long, but it is typically excellent NT Wright on Paul as the first theologian and the necessity of theology in the life of the church.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/nt-wright-paul-the-theologian/

Aug 19 2014

John Meunier: Suffer for the name #LukeActs2014

Original post at http://johnmeunier.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/suffer-for-the-name-lukeacts2014/


I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. (Acts 9:16, NIV)

I wonder if they invite Jesus to those recruitment events designed to lure young people into the ministry. Do they talk about suffering and hardship at those things? Jesus sure did.

In this encounter with Saul, I notice how little wooing is being done here. Jesus has no sales pitch. He does not even ask. He strikes him blind. He chooses Saul. What Saul wanted had nothing to do with the matter. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. I will show him how much he must suffer for me name. Don’t even bother asking about a pension and a benefits package.

The New Testament attitude toward suffering and calling is so radically out of line with my own.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/08/suffer-for-the-name-lukeacts2014/

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