What are Methodists, Anyway?
Following in the tradition of John Wesley, the Methodist outlook on theology is thoroughly based on scripture, but also enlivened through tradition, experience, and reason.
Methodists believe that “all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God.” They believe that the written Word of God is the only and sufficient rule both of Christian faith and practice in our lives.
Methodists live in a vital faith relationship with God. They turn from sin, and turn to Christ in faith. It is faith in Christ alone that can reconcile us to God.
Methodists are people who have the love of God in their hearts. This is the gift of God’s Holy Spirit; and the same Spirit causes Methodists to love God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, and with all their strength. Methodists believe that the power of God is greater than the power of human sin.
Methodists do good to all, neighbors, strangers, friends, and enemies. This includes every kind of good. Methodists provide food for the hungry and clothing for the naked. They visit people who are sick and in prison. Even more important, Methodists labor for the enrichment of the souls of all people.
Methodists believe that Christian faith relates to our social life in this world. They believe in the betterment of social conditions for all people.
Methodists seek to deepen their faith by opening their hearts and minds to all the means of grace, including scripture, prayer, worship, the sacraments, and works of service.
Actually, Methodists are nothing more than Christians and do not wish to be distinguished from any other genuine believers who are living the life of faith and hope and love.
By the way, this brief summary statement is based on John Wesley’s tract “The Character of a Methodist” https://www.craigladams.com/Books/styled/page38/page41/
Thanks for the reminder.Hope to maintain that godly standard.
I am thankful to my ancestors for bringing me up with this foundation, two of whom were instrumental in the founding of Methodist churches. My pastor in my teen years taught us the history of our denomination, making it important to me all of my life..his name was Frank B. Stanger who later was President of Asbury Seminary. Today, as we resist the onslaught of the progressives and others who would change Methodism to fit our present culture, I refer back to the powerful sermons of John Wesley and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the witness of these men of God..thanks be to God! These truths from The Word will live forever.
Dr. Stanger was president of Asbury Theological Seminary during the time I attended there.
And unlike some of our friends in other streams of the Christian faith, Methodists believe that people have free will and that I Timothy 2:3-4 is actually true: “This is good and pleases God our Savior who WANTS ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and come to a knowledge of the truth.”