chapter  10
4 Pages

Conclusion

WithGlen O’Brien

This final chapter ends with a set of summary conclusions. An important strategy of survival for the Wesleyan-Holiness churches has been active co-operation with other Evangelical Christians. Wesleyan-Holiness churches experienced growth largely through ‘switchers’ from these two groups, leading to an inevitable dilution of Holiness distinctiveness. The emergence of the Wesleyan-Holiness denominations in Australia is not an example of American cultural and religious imperialism but a creative partnership between like-minded evangelical Christians from two modern nations sharing a general cultural and social similarity and a common set of religious convictions. The Wesleyan-Holiness churches have moved toward the ‘church’ end of the church-sect continuum, with a lessening of religious fervour in their worship style, and a lessening of lifestyle demands upon their members. However, they have remained strongly conversionist in outlook and have sought to engage secular Australians with the claims of the Christian faith. In these respects, the Wesleyan-Holiness churches in Australia remain ‘old time Methodists.’ If the Wesleyan-Holiness churches can continue to attract people who are looking for religious movements with strong convictions and certainty about the truth they claim to possess, they will in all likelihood negotiate the new world they inhabit with some degree of continued success.