Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Wesley and the Heroin Addict

From the truth is stranger than fiction file...

The Wesley impersonating evangelist John HolmeThat there is an evangelist who is sailing around Britain, stopping here and there to evangelise whilst riding a fold-out bike and dressed as John Wesley is perhaps not even the amazing part of the story. More amazing is the true story of the impersonator/ evangelist John Holme and his real life dilemma in deciding "What would John Wesley do?" concerning a heroin addict who relapses. Can one be a heroin addict and a Christian at the same time?

The modern Wesley on the little bike struggles, prays and then first tries to help him get professional medical help to assist the addict in getting through withdrawals. When that doesn't work, he puts him on a train to head to where he can get a little heroin, then wonders what happens next. He writes, "I sought the Lord as to what to do next with regard to him. It was obvious, I must go to Aberdeen and encourage him that he wasn’t a failure." The story is at He tells of going to find the recovering addict after an episode of backsliding and writes
Holme as WesleyAbout an hour later and after several visits to the spot where he sits I arrived to find Kenny sat down looking very crestfallen. If only I had taken a picture of the look on his face when he saw me approaching, it was priceless, a mixture of astonishment and delight. We hugged each other, talked for a while before going off to get something to eat in the local Internet cafe.
It's a story of a Wesley impersonator helping buy a junkie heroin and yet my heart is strangely warmed by the way he doesn't want to abandon the man, but stick with him through a very difficult time in his life.

I don't know what John Wesley would have done, with his own emphasis on personal holiness. Yet it seems all to Christ-like not to be Wesleyan to follow up on the young man and offer encouragement and love rather than condemnation. What do you think the impersonator/evangelist should have done?

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



  • At 10/02/2007 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When you see somebody in intense physical pain, like during heroin withdrawal, a caring person would want to do anything to stop the pain. I can understand why he helped the man buy heroin, but I think he unintentionally hurt him more.

    Logically, I can state the obvious about what the evangalist should have done, but I was not there to witness the pain of the addict.

  • At 10/02/2007 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can one be a heroin addict and a Christian at the same time?

    The same question could be asked of a smoker, drinker or a person who misuses his family member.

  • At 10/03/2007 6:33 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    I think what caught me off guard is that I can't imagine that I wouldhelp a heroin addict get heroin. I can't see the circumstances in which that would happen. But I never expected the guy who wants to travel around preaching for conversion whilst dressed as John Wesley would do so. He would seem to be a very unlikely chap for that task. So, I have to realize that I wasn't there. And taking away suffering between now and when some assistance can be secured, might have made a lot of sense.

    Here's one more question then: Are we really supposed to aleviate all suffering? I think we are to help prevent needless suffering. And the suffering of withdrawals while coming down off a drug addiction is necessary suffering to get from point A to Point B in recovery.

    Yet, I still acknowledge that I wasn't there and helping someone get from point A to Point B may have had to have involved a detour and a sign of love.

    I also agree that can you be a Christian and a heroin addict can be asked in a way to make most anyone squirm, by picking something with which one has a problem, instead of something that is a problem for someone else.


  • At 10/03/2007 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The majority of us are compassionate and caring by nature. I think that some are highly sensitive to the suffering and pain of others, whether it be necessary for recovery or not. The evangelist seems to be one of the more sensitive ones.

    Is it up to us to alleviate all suffering? How can we not want to considering our nature? Maybe it's all a test on tough love. If the evangelist practiced tough love with the addict, he probably would have suffered right along with him. That would be the true act of compassion.


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