The United Methodist Church is in a major crisis right now. Billy Abraham (who is part of the Theological Symposium at Wesleyan HQ these next two days) has given his own spin on the factions within the church here. Part of the UM problem, he suggests, is that it was a conglomeration of multiple parent bodies in 1960s.
The practical focus of The Wesleyan Church, coming as it did at the leading edge of the Church Growth Movement, has minimized distinctions between our parent bodies, especially The Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Pilgrim Holiness Church. The identities of both were arguably forged most in the fires of turn of the century revivalism, as well as the fundamentalizing forces of the mid-twentieth century.
So what is your point, Schenck? My point is that this twin parentage might suggest different levels of proximity to the man himself, John Wesley. For example, as someone from the Pilgrim side, I respect Wesley, but think we can do better. I get a little annoyed at those who think that Wesley is some sort of control or final authority in relation to what Wesleyans must think. Good grief, the guy lived in the 1700s. We potentially have 200 years of further Wesleyan thinking to draw on.
I get especially annoyed with what I view as "I've learned a little" trump-ism. This is the person that now thinks he or she is smarter than everyone else because they've now read a little in the man. I consider this is a transitional stage. Full maturity, IMO, is when one not only knows a little about the man, great though he was, but can now think Wesleyan for him or herself.