John Wesley said that a man with an experience is never at the mercy of one who only has an argument.
Dr. Cairns gave little attention to Wesley in his Church History class, less than a full session if I recall correctly. He concluded the brief lecture with a personal anecdote. He began by stating that he was a Baptist and that he did not subscribe to the Wesleyan doctrine of sanctification, or Christian perfection as it is sometimes called. But he did think there was something we needed to know. He had attended Bible college decades earlier on the plains of central Canada. There was a motherly, elderly, Godly, Wesleyan saint who lived in a small house on the campus. She believed in sanctification and she was the one all of the young students turned to when they were homesick or had something they needed to talk about.
Dr. Cairns continued, “I will tell you this, I can’t explain it, but when you put your hand on the gate to enter her yard you could feel the presence of God. You were on holy ground and when she prayed things happened.” That’s the kind of Wesleyan I want to be.
September 2, 2010