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A STUDY OF THE ORIGINS AND BELIEFS OF THE MAJOR DENOMINATIONS The Methodist Church
The Methodist Church Introduction and History The Methodist Church traces its beginnings back to John Wesley who was studying at Oxford in 1739. He and his brother Charles formed a group of students devoted to study, prayer and helping the underpriviledged. Their fellow students labeled them “Methodists”.
The Methodist Church Introduction and History Both Wesley were ordained ministers in the Church of England. Due to their evangelistic methods they were barred from speaking from its pulpits. Wesley did not intend to create a new church but started several small faith-restoration groups within the Anglican church.
The Methodist Church Introduction and History The Methodist movement spread and became its own separate church when it held its first conference in 1744. Several divisions and schisms occurred in the Methodist Church in America. In 1939 the three largest branches agreed to reunite under one name “The Methodist Church”.
The Methodist Church Introduction and History Then in 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united to form the “United Methodist Church”
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Scripture The Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God. Creeds It recognizes ecumenical creeds, the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. It believes it is “a branch” of the visible church.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Doctrine Articles of Religion – Methodist Church Confession of Faith – Evangelical UBC General Rules – Methodist Societies Standard Sermons of John Wesley J Wesley’s Notes on the NT Wesley recognized none as Methodist who did not recognize the named standards.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Triune God - One God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit Sin – Babies are born in sin because of original sin. Baptism – One should be baptized as soon as possible after birth. The questions asked are not asked of the infant but of the parents or sponsors themselves.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion are recognized. Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Funerals and Anointing the Sick are performed but are not considered sacraments. Baptism is sprinkling, pouring, or immersion Holy Communion – does not hold to transsubstantiation.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Free Will – People are free to make their own choices and will be held accountable to God for the choices they make. Grace - God fives unmerited favor freely to all people, though it may be resisted.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Grace - John Wesley described God’s grace as threefold: Prevenient – It is a gift always available but can be refused. Justifying – There are no hoops we need to jump through to please God, we only need to respond in faith. Santifying – Salvation is not a one time event.
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: What does the Bible say? Our belief of the gospel produces our faith: Rom 10:17 Our faith gives us access to grace: Rom 5:1-2 The gospel saves us: I Cor 15:2 It is by God’s grace we are saved: Eph 2:5 We can fall from grace: Gal 5:4
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Women Clergy On May 4, 1956 they approved full clergy rights for women. What does the Bible say? Women are not to teach or have authority over men in the worship of God. I Tim 2:11-15 and I Cor 14:34
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Mission of the Church There is no religion but social religion and no holiness but social holiness. What does the Bible say? Individual Christians have the responsibility to care for the poor, sick, fatherless and widows (James 1:27 and Matt 25:31-46)
The Methodist Church What do they believe about: Mission of the Church What does the Bible say? The church is to care for its own, care for other saints, and care for qualified widows. (Acts 6:1-6, I Cor 16:1-2 and I Tim 5:3-10)
The Methodist Church Methodist in Mission: The early members of the groups that eventually became The United Methodist Church: established institutions for higher learning; started hospitals and shelters for children and the elderly; founded Goodwill Industries in 1902; became actively involved in efforts for world peace; adopted a Social Creed and Social Principles to guide them as they relate to God’s world and God’s people
The Methodist Church Methodist in Mission: What does the Bible say? The Bible gives us many examples of individuals doing good things to help others and indirectly society. There are no examples of the church through direct command, example, or necessary inference being involved with any of the above endeavors.
The Methodist Church Hierarchy: Laity – the people Clergy – some are called to specific ministry Deacons – ordained ministers to serve both the church and the world Elders – ordained to lead the congregations in the celebration of the sacraments; some serve beyond the church Local pastors – serve in a specific church
The Methodist Church Hierarchy: What does the Bible say? There is no separation of laity and clergy. Both deacons and elders are to perform duties specific to the church and are not authorized to serve the world or the local community on behalf of the church.
The Methodist Church On Homosexuality: “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching”. The blessing of homosexual unions are prohibited. They define marriage as the union of one man to one woman.
The Methodist Church On Homosexuality: What does the Bible say: Homosexuality is a sin – Rom 1:18-32 Marriage is between a man and a woman – Gen 2:24
A STUDY OF THE ORIGINS AND BELIEFS OF THE MAJOR DENOMINATIONS Next week’s Lesson: The Baptist Church