Progressive Christians. Post-Modern Christians. All kinds of other Christians these days want to liberate us from the binding shackles of the moral norms of the Bible. These culture-specific and often barbaric or misogynistic or pre-scientific rules, we are told, do not bear the imprint of God’s revelation, but humanity’s limitations.
I know many people are not ready to embrace this move as liberation, but I’m trying to think about what this means for Wesleyan faith.
“Holiness of heart and life” is for Wesley often the very definition of salvation. Inward and outward holiness are essential attributes of the true Christian life for Wesley. The moral teachings of the Old and New Testaments provided the vocabulary of holiness for Wesley.
Not that Wesley was incapable of distinguishing or interpreting. He was famously opposed to slavery, which many Christians of his day found sanctions for in the Bible. But if we are suspicious of the Bible as a source of moral authority, then even the most subtle interpreter is handicapped by his starting materials.
So, if we view the Bible as a portrait of an antiquated morality, does that punch a hole in the center of Wesleyanism?
How do you construct a holiness without the foundation of biblical morality?