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Methodist Church

What is a Methodist?

I think that one of the issues surrounding the Methodist church and it’s future is that we need to be able to answer the question: What is a Methodist?

One of the byproducts of the ecumenical movement is that the Methodist church starts to find that it is no different to many other churches. But if it is not different then why should we bother to keep it going. If the only difference is that our ancestors were Methodists then it’s high time we amalgamated with the church we split from.

John Wesley once wrote a booklet on the character of a Methodist and I’d like to suggest that this is still relevant to us today:

Because I didn’t fancy wading through all the stuff he said every time I want to think about this subject I condensed his thinking into some bullet points and thought s0meone might find it good to read:

  • Methodists do not always think the same (Wesley calls it having a particular set of notions). Of course Methodists are Christians and so believe the basics of Christianity as found in the bible but apart from that Methodists do not hold particular Christian beliefs.
  • We prefer to use plain and ordinary words when we speak about God – the only exceptions being to use biblical words when speaking about biblical things.
  • We are not distinguished by actions or customs. We do not abstain from anything that is not expressly prohibited by God.
  • We don’t live out our faith based on one part of the gospel message but instead on the whole. Salvation is about faith and the living out of that faith and not just a single act of being saved (important though this is).