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VIA MEDIA – Third Way People

You may remember that the idea of the via media is not really original to Wesley. It may have some Aristotelian roots but really was more a description of Wesley’s ministry than a prescribed statement or position that he took.  When he rejected the quietism of the Moravians and preached publicly. When he valued the sacraments and preached in the fields. When he embraced an evangelical identity and aligned with a catholic spirit. You get the idea. He was a “both-and” minister not “either-or.”  We are third way people. That does not mean compromised in a muddled accommodation nor transcendent in being above it all. We are truly both:  personal and social, sovereignty and choice, crisis and process, set apart and incarnate, Christ centered and spirit centered.

To help the contemporary church realize that this is the Way of Salvation, let me illustrate this tension between our orthodoxy and missiology. While working with folks who could not seem to capture the understanding of engagement without compromise, I framed the paradigm as “Anchored and Reaching” – again, both-and.  Imagine a bungee cord that you might carry with you to do exercises while traveling. One end is ANCHORED to the doorknob – (our orthodoxy, the Bible, the centrality of Jesus); the other end in the hands of God’s instrument (the church/us) REACHING that bungee into the room thereby strengthening your muscles (our mission).  The result of being BOTH anchored AND reaching is tension in the middle/strain/stress.

Wesleyan Holiness people live in the tension of the middle – the via media. There is where the effect of a strong anchor and a robust mission is most felt. To the doctrinal purist, (the doorknob) this brings fear and represents pressure toward drift. To the missional activist, (the bungee ends) this represents stodgy, irrelevant conservatism.  This is exactly the place Wesleyan Holiness people live and thrive. We are BOTH profoundly conservative in our anchored identity AND passionately active in our missional engagement.

Bless you!

Kevin Mannoia

Statement on DACA

In the growing pluralistic culture in which we live, it is easy to lose the voice of people who may not have the opportunity to speak.  Acknowledging the fears raised in many good and thoughtful people in our communities by the recent announcement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program rescission in six months, many Christians are urging caution, hospitality, and legislative action to provide a solution. Many young people who have arrived in America as minors may be at risk now and we ask all federal agencies to act with grace and dignity allowing these young people to pursue their future here with our  welcome and hospitality, particularly since they arrived here through no choice of their own.

In the economy of the Kingdom of God, there is justice that transcends the geopolitical lines we arbitrarily draw and sees the dignity of every person created in God's image. We are grateful that many WHC churches and schools are positively engaged in helping people at risk. While we respect the governments over us, we call for the protection and welcome of these children turned adults among us.

Kevin W. Mannoia

Learning to Live Fully in the Kingdom of God

By Lisa Jackinsky

Learning to live in a foreign country is hard. The ways of thinking are different, the ways of acting are different, the ways of being are different. It takes time and effort to adjust.

After college I spent two years in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer and experienced a completely different way of life: instead of huge superstores, there was a small outdoor market; instead of rock music, there was cumbia; instead of American football, there was soccer; and instead of roast beef, there was guinea pig. 

Learning to live fully in the kingdom of God is like learning to live in a new country. The ways of thinking and acting and being are different. It takes time and effort to adjust. This is the process of transformation, or, as some call it, spiritual formation – an active, relentless participation with God to become more like Christ; to become a new creation. 

In Colossians 1: 13, Paul reminds followers of Christ that, “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons (and) set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves…” The Common English Bible says He’s “transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.”

When we say “yes” to following Jesus, we’re transferred into the kingdom of God. But the customs are new to us. Just because I move to Ecuador doesn’t mean I suddenly love soccer, or cumbia, or rice with an egg on top for breakfast. It takes time. 

And so, Paul assures these Christians that he and others are praying for them – praying that they’ll fully adopt the customs and attitudes and ways of God’s kingdom.

In Colossians 1: 9 – 12, Paul describes four of those customs, four ways of life of this kingdom. Over the next four posts, we’ll explore each one.

Learn more about Lisa Jackinsky.

A Comment on the Nashville Statement

There are many in our midst who walk with Christ but who see their faith in highly dogmatic propositions.  It seems the role of issuing declarative statements of belief are, to these, both a means to defend the Gospel as well as to convince dissenters to reconsider their thinking.  The result is lines of division that fuel dissention and antagonism, the effusive statements of love notwithstanding. Reducing the Gospel of Christ to such propositional beliefs undermines the central call of Christ to his disciples to live as a witness to God’s love, represent the Holy Spirit’s invitation to full salvation, and reflect Christ in living. Rather, public release of such sterile statements forces intellectual agreement or disagreement and usurps the role of the Spirit to convict. Christian faith is much more.  The Truth we seek is more than a proposition, it is a person. The pursuit of that truth involves right living in relationship as much as right thinking about propositions.

While there is much in the Nashville statement that is intellectually and doctrinally sound, the sad effect of its release is the disunity among Christians that it creates and the poor witness to  Christ’s love and desire for all people to conform to His full image. The WHC and many Wesleyan Holiness denominations, and others have released good and grace-filled statements on human sexuality that provide thoughtful guidance without the need of the Nashville statement. We pray that the misrepresentation of the passion of Christ for the sins of the world by this statement may be mitigated by faithful, humble, Christ-followers reflecting Christ in daily living in communities across the land. Many who grieve over the effect of its release remain uncompromisingly committed to the centrality of Christ for life and salvation; the authority of the Scriptures in all matters of truth and life; and the call of God to represent God’s holy nature and reflect Christ well.

Kevin W. Mannoia

It can be a dangerous thing to venture into a conversation about politics right about now.  It seems there is as much anger and vitriolic rhetoric now as during the general campaign.  People from other places in the world are equally divided and opinionated. The good thing is that people are deeply invested in making their community/country better. But the ongoing divisiveness over how to do that can distract from the focus of each person engaging how we may.
For those whose citizenship is not of this world, who identify first as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven and second as a sojourner in this world, there is the eternal knowledge that God will be present and will act through Christ-followers who reflect Him well.  Whether happy or sad with the outcome, the security of Christ brings deep peace and assurance.  Though Christ-followers should be appropriately engaged and active in our communities, deeply interested in matters that affect how people are treated and policy is shaped, the eternal hope of Christ is in living as Kingdom citizens. 
Walking this balance between being in the world yet not of the world is not easy. Perhaps you worked very hard and your candidate was not elected…or was. In either case, the Christ-follower walks in humility, reflects the grace of Christ, is assured that we may bring Jesus as salt and light into any circumstances. So whether you are happy or whether you are sad, may I exhort you to stay engaged with people around you; work hard as a citizen of your country but be confident of your citizenship in Heaven; bring the hope and peace of Christ to your work; live humbly as Christ is reflected through you.
Blessings and peace to you,


January 30, 2020
University Presidents' Meeting
Washington D.C.

February 25, 2020
SoCal Pastors' & Leaders' Day
Pasadena Nazarene Church

March 12-15, 2020
E2020: Engage-Empower-Equip[Her]
Wesleyan Holiness
Women Clergy
Ridgecrest, NC

September 23-25, 2020
New Room Conference
"The Second Half of
the Gospel"
Nashville, TN

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