Schism and heresy are not doctrinal divisions but failures to love.
In theological discussions about diversity within Methodist Churches, people usually reference a few standard quotes from John Wesley, particularly his sermon “Catholic Spirit.” However, these references are only a part of the greater whole of Wesley’s theology and his understanding of the mission of the Methodist movement; and hence as part of the issue of Methodist identity and holiness. Wesley proposed that the central mission of Methodism was to spread “scriptural holiness,” and hence his understanding of the unity and diversity the church must be understood in this context.
David N. Field is Research Associate of the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at the University of South Africa and Academic Coordinator for the Methodist e-Academy, which is a theological education project for Methodist Churches in Europe providing online supplementary education in Methodist Studies for ordination candidates and continuing education for pastors and lay leaders. His PhD is from University of Cape Town, South Africa. Author of many publications, Dr. Field is a lay member of the Evangelisch–methodistische Kirche (United Methodist Church) where he serves on the Commission for Church and Society of the Swiss Annual Conference, and he is a member of the World Methodist Council and a member of the executive committee of the Basel Bible Society.