Riley Case

Evangelical and Methodist a Popular History 

Excerpt: from page 22
It was preacisely in these areas--deference to established authority and traditions, the dignifying of the convictions of ordinary people on important matters, choice and participation by people long ignored, the reaching of marginalized people, and the sheltering of participants from the indoctrination of elite orthodoxies--that official Methodism had reversed field.  Creativity and unrestrained enthusiasm and ragged edges sooner or later had to be "organized" and directed, if not maniuplated.  And so over a period of time, Methodist leaders developed an authority system in which a chosen few saw themselves as the guardians of the many.