Methodism’s founder, John Wesley (1703-1791), once said: “I am not afraid, that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.” (Wikipedia)
It is we who may slide into being a dead sect and a form of religion without power. All it takes is to concentrate on religion instead of Jesus. One needs not be a Methodist to have this happen.
The key to stop our sliding and lethargy is the same as when Wesley warned: ‘hold fast to the doctrine, spirit and discipline with which we started out.’ Our spiritual lives become empty because we become empty.
“You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!” Jesus