Wesleyan Core Term - Ethics


Engraved on the fountain outside of the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Ala., is Martin Luther King Jr.’s paraphrase of Amos 5:24: “Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” King, like Amos before him, reminded believers that faithfulness requires more than a beautiful worship and fervent prayer. A faithful life is a just and righteous life. John Wesley was known for his rigorous schedule of prayer, Scripture reading, and worship. But for Wesley, when someone was in need, helping that person took priority over prayer and other works of piety. Wesley wrote that a Christian, however zealous for works of piety, should be more zealous for works of mercy. “Whenever, therefore, one interferes with the other, works of mercy are to be preferred [over works of piety]. Even reading, hearing, prayer, are to be omitted, or to be postponed, ‘at charity’s almighty call’ – when we are called to relieve the distress of our neighbor, whether in body or soul” (Sermon 92: “O Zeal,” PII.9). -John Wesley Study Bible pg 1097