by Bill Clark
The following is based on the remarks delivered by UMAction Director John Lomperis on June 15 at the annual lunch of Cal-Pac Renewal, the evangelical renewal caucus within the California-Pacific Conference.
Lomperis is “convinced that our members and the mission field of an increasingly post-Christian 21st century America will be best served by our church if we recover our historic identity as Wesleyan Evangelicals.” He offers a “useful framework of four defining features of evangelicalism: high regard for the Bible as the final authority for faith and practice, centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ, emphasis on the need for personal repentance and conversion, and activism, energetically putting our faith into practice by spreading the love of God to our neighbors.”
Lomperis then adds a fifth, Wesleyan component: “entire sanctification, Christian perfection.”
In his remarks, Lomperis expands on each of the five defining features of evangelicalism. For example under emphasis on the Bible, he states that the one thing that Christian churches have to offer that people can’t find elsewhere in our culture is Scriptural Christianity. Under the centrality of the cross, he states the ministry to which Christian laity and clergy alike are called necessitates living in daily dependence on God, to whom we must regularly and fervently cry out.
Under the emphasis on repentance and conversion, Lomperis asks how do our congregations’ cultures spur Christians on to obey the Great Commission? And in regard to activism, he states that the world doesn’t need us to do something . . . the need is far more desperate and devastating than that. The world needs – people need – a relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As Wesley said, Lomperis adds, all believers should desire the very real possibility of God so filling us with love for Him and our neighbors that we are no longer committing sin in thought, word or deed.
“We have a daunting mission ahead of us,” states Lomperis in his closing remarks. “We face all sorts of pressures from inside and outside the church. On our own, we simply can’t do it. But thanks be to God, we are not alone.”
Lomperis lays down the following challenges:
- Let’s go forth to draw closer to Him in prayer, fasting, and repentance!
- Let’s devote ourselves to the kingdom work of reforming our denomination,
- Reaching the lost within and beyond our churches,
- Grounded in Scripture,
- Emphasizing the cross of Christ,
- Oriented for conversions,
- Active in our communities, and
- Seeking holiness in accountable community!
To read John Lomperis’ remarks, CLICK HERE. They are presented as a six-part posting on his blog. Enjoy!