The Church is called by Jesus Christ to bring the Kingdom of heaven to earth. Throughout history, different faith traditions have explored and manifested in myriad ways this living gift of God.
The Wesleyan Holiness tradition values this expression of the Church with its many differences; we see the Church as one house of God with many rooms, representing the diverse experiences, priorities, and emphases of God with people.
Within the Wesleyan Holiness stream, five themes deepen our identity and engagement as we contribute to the larger river of God in the world.
Centrality of Christ
We are more centered than bounded in our expression of Christian faith, underscoring the importance of the central reference of our orthodoxy—Jesus Christ. Christ in his divinity represents the embodiment of personal holiness, and he is our example of the social holiness to which we aspire. He is the head of the Church and the means of being reconciled to God in salvation. We share these and countless other truths about Christ with many other streams of the Church.
Primacy of Scripture
John Wesley was a man of one book. We affirm this commitment to the primacy of Scripture as a core emphasis of our Christian identity. We accept that God’s truth is found in sources beyond Scripture, including reason, tradition, and experience, but all truth is held in submission to the Scriptures. We examine the Scriptures through the lens of where, to whom, and when they were written. We apply principles faithfully in harmony with the Holy Spirit, who inspires both the Scriptures and its readers.
Unity of the Church
We recognize many differences within the universal Church, the means by which God establishes the Kingdom on earth. Embracing the diversity of church traditions compels us to engage one another with kindness and grace, as well as love and justice—including those with whom we may have sharp differences.
Grace in Relationships
As recipients of God’s grace, we in turn strive to offer grace in every circumstance, motivated by a commitment to restoring God’s image in all people. Grace is a gift that woos our soul to God, even before we choose to follow Jesus. It provides the context for receiving salvation and then living it out daily in becoming holy as God is holy. But this grace is not offered by God without cost. Christ makes the fullness of grace attainable, so that each of us has the possibility not to sin.
Transformation of Life
We believe God’s holy nature is available to us, providing hopeful possibility for a person to move beyond sin into righteousness, and for communities to reflect the image of God. This hope of transformation moves us to engage with the passion of making a positive difference in the present.