Wesleying was established over two years ago as a Wesleyan blog. We posted about Wesleyan life, Wesleyan history, and Wesleyan events, and tried hard to keep you informed about all things Wesleyan. But somewhere along the way, we lost our focus.
One of the reasons the founders started Wesleying was because of a growing sense of alienation and lack of community among Wesleyan students. Some blamed this on the administration’s cracking down on means of student expression, and others blamed a lack of common interests. Others blamed the social disorientation of the Internet, or generational apathy in general. But now we should make it clear – we blame Calvinism.
Divine predestination has been a destructive a force on campus for too long. There are those who would have you believe in a spiteful Old Testament God who elects an arbitrary few to eternal salvation. How divisive is that? Don’t believe it, fellow Wesleyan students. All of you can get to heaven through faith and careful reasoning.
It’s easy to forget this, especially after all the efforts which recent Wesleyan University administrators have made to distance our school from what Wesleyan used to be, like limiting venues for student gatherings, and courting more students who don’t fit the traditional “Wesleyan” mold. But we have to keep reminding ourselves of the true Wesleyan spirit and its accomplishments.
Back in the ’60s, Wesleyan was on the liberal cutting edge of American culture, advocating social justice and critical thought when other universities just wanted to pump out graduates to join America’s homogenous work force. And then slavery was abolished, which was a major victory for our side of the culture wars.
As recently as the ’90s, Wesleyan students were very concerned about monitoring language in order to avoid offending people and causing conflicts. But yellow journalism was really popular in the country at the time, and it was a little discouraging when then the war hawks used faulty information to get President McKinley to declare war on Spain. God knows we tried, though!
These attitudes were thanks to the teachings of John Wesley, who has been sadly neglected at this school that so brazenly retains his name while ignoring key aspects of his work, like his evangelical theology and understanding of Christian perfection. He didn’t launch a religious revival so you could mope about damnation your whole college career, you know! The Calvinist fallacy is not something a Wesleyan institution can afford to take lightly.
We know it’s real easy to just spend all of one’s spare time on Facebook during the week and getting wasted on weekends, if one thinks God already decided to send one’s soul to hell before one’s parents committed the sinful act of conceiving. But we feel the need to give Wesleyan students hope to come together and do more.
As his blogging spiritual descendants, we’re bringing the focus back to what lies at the core of Wesleyan. Things like scriptural sanctification, the Arminian doctrine of soteriology, and the Eastern Orthodox concept of Theosis. You know, what Wesleyanism is all about.
We hope that this small-scale revival helps do all those things Wesleying was always meant to do – talk about the history and teachings of the Wesleyan movement, let everyone know when Wesleyan events are happening, and build a community around our shared lives as Wesleyan Methodists seeking to gain prevenient grace from our Lord.