For the last 15 years there has been steadily developing in American Methodism a “High Church” movement. This has been connected with an earlier development in English Methodism, the principles of which were being advocated as early as 1914 by the “Wesleyan Guild of Divine Worship,” earliest representative of similar (and more developed) organizations.

A number of terms has designated the movement. Liturgical Movement is one, although this is likely to be misunderstood, as it means an emphasis not upon mere ritual but upon worship as the act of the whole congregation, and moreover it is a term used of a movement beyond the distinctive Methodist development. Sacramental Revival describes it better, although again casual readers may miss many implications of this term.

Distinctive Beliefs

The title we have used above is less commonly used, more descriptive perhaps of the actual nature of the movement. We may describe the Methodist High Churchman as one who believes in:

1. High views of the Christian Faith: the wholehearted acceptance of divine revelation given in the Holy Scriptures and witnessed to in the historic Christian creeds.

2. High views of Christian worship: the acceptance of worship as the principal business of the church and the duty of every individual, and the belief that such worship must center around the divinely given Word and sacraments.

3. High views of the Church of Christ: belief in the Church as a divine institution headed by Christ himself, and one which has a mission to the whole world.

4. High views of the ministry: belief in a divine call to the ministry, the importance of ordination, and the distinctiveness of the clerical vocation.

By whatever name, the movement stands for a distinct view of the Christian ...

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