Friday, July 31, 2009

Wesley's pointed questions for small groups

To be used in small groups of two or three (but beneficial for personal reflection too). I'm grateful to Lewis Allen for drawing my attention to this. Be sure that you know to go to Calvary and not Mount Sinai when you are through with them:

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?

4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?

5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

6. Did the Bible live in me today?

7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?

8. Am I enjoying prayer?

9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?

10. Do I pray about the money I spend?

11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

12. Do I disobey God in anything?

13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?

16. How do I spend my spare time?

17. Am I proud?

18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?

19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?

20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

21. Is Christ real to me?


Augustinian Successor said...

The answer is yes to all questions. The Old Adam in me is still alive and kicking. The Law always accuses; the Gospel forgives sins. And where is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.

Augustinian Successor said...

Doesn't mean though that we can't laugh at heretics! ;-D

Bill Hornbeck said...

I see a lot of great beneficial posts in this "Against Heresies" blog which make this blog one of my favorites to the extent that I promote it with a link in my own web site, but this post is not one of them for the following two reasons.

First, these 21 questions are like 21 direction signs to Mount Sinai. It is not sufficient to include 1 conclusion ("Be sure that you know to go to Calvary and not Mount Sinai when you are through with them"), considering that you recommend these 21 questions for both small group and personal reflection.

Second, John Wesley is also the poster boy for Arminianism. It is also not sufficent to be "Against Heresies" without addressing his heresy, considering that you recommend his pointed questions for personal reflection and even include a photo of a statue of him which tends to honor him.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Hornbeck said...

On the other hand, Spurgeon said: "High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit."

Here is the link to Spurgeon's "Evening, August 2" devotion today which contained this quote. (If you click the link later than the evening of August 2, you will have to click on the "Prev" link at the top of the page to turn back to it.) -

Again, I do very much appreciate all the diligent gleaning that you do at this "Against Heresies" blog. Thank you! May God continue to bless your ministry!

Yours truly,

Martin Downes said...

Thanks Bill,

The provenance of these questions shouldn't be an issue for us. They don't have an Arminian tinge to them, nor by posting them am I endorsing all of Wesley's theology. I do think that they are useful for self-examination and can be a help to the mortification of sin.

Take Q. 15

15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?

Yes to all of them. When I am convicted of these matters I should do exactly what John directs me to do (the apostle not Wesley by the way) and that is to confess these sins and to trust in the justice of my God.

I can find a myriad of ways to justify sinful words, ambitions, desires and actions. I am grateful for questions that probe my heart and sting my conscience and that send me to Christ my advocate.

Martin Downes said...

By the way Bill, to reassure you further, early this morning I was reading John Owen's "A Display of Arminianism."