Methodists study Wesleyan theology for its interpretation of church practice and doctrine, which is characterized by wide evangelicalism in doctrine. Methodist churches are organized into local conferences and districts that generally follow the guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Thus, they consider themselves to be catholic in orientation with a focus on the social justice aspects of Christianity.
In addition to their support of social justice, it can be said that methodists are evangelical in belief for the following reasons: 1 emphasis on the supremacy of God's word over all other things; 2 belief in eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ; 3 conviction that believers are called to live by faith in Christ and act in accordance with His teachings; 4 worship of a savior who came to earth and died for our sins; 5 proclamation of the gospel message of repentance from sin and faith in Christ as a means of receiving forgiveness and being saved from judgment; 6 distribution of food and clothing to those in need with prayers for those individuals.
Evangelical Methodism was founded by John Wesley in 1738. He began the work that would become known as Methodism by preaching regularly in England and establishing small groups of Christians that met together to pray and study the Bible.
However, in Wesleyan-Arminian theology, justification refers to "pardon, the forgiveness of sins," as opposed to "being made genuinely just and righteous," which Methodists believe is done by sanctification. Also, while Methodist churches may have a role for priests, they do not have a formalized system of episcopacy like some other Christian traditions.
Methodism. Many Methodist congregations allow charismatic worship, despite its tradition of preaching holiness and experiencing religion, while others forbid it. In general, American Methodism has been more welcoming to new forms of worship than other branches of Christianity, but there are exceptions.
The word "charismatic" is used to describe Christians who believe that God works through the Holy Spirit to change people's lives today, making them aware of his presence and power. These experiences are called "charisms". Jesus was considered a great teacher and prophet, but he also had many other charisms that led many people to trust in him: healing, exorcising demons, providing food for thousands of people, and more. Even after his death and resurrection, Jesus continued to show himself to his followers and lead them into all truth.
Charismatics believe that the Holy Spirit continues to work in today's world, just as he did during Jesus' time. They expect to encounter his power in their lives at some point, so they practice disciplines such as prayer and fasting to make themselves available to receive these gifts. Jesus said that we should be like little children, who have no strength of themselves but rely on God for everything they need.
Methodist theologian Thomas A. Lambrecht points out that Methodism's founder, John Wesley, used the term "infallible" to characterize the Scriptures. The Bible is not God, and those who believe it is infallible do not worship it. It is rather by virtue of its revelation from God that the Bible is able to stand as a reliable guide for living.
In addition to Wesley, other prominent early Methodist leaders who referred to the Bible as "infallible" include George Whitefield, Hugh Blair, and Alexander Campbell. Today, the United Methodist Church officially affirms the inerrancy of the Bible when it states that "the Word of God is true and faithful" A Joint Declaration on Biblical Inerrancy from the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Although most Christians agree that the Bible is the word of God, not all Christians agree about biblical inerrancy. Some Christian groups that hold to inerrancy of the Bible include the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the United Methodist Church.
Biblical inerrancy is important to the United Methodist Church because it was one of the first churches to separate itself from Rome.
The primary distinctions Anglicans believe in texts and gospels, whilst Methodists believe in a systematic approach to worship. Anglicans adhere to Anglicanism, whilst Methodists adhere to Methodism. The Anglican Church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea, whereas Methodism was founded by John Wesley.
Women have played an important role in the history of both churches. Elizabeth Garrett was baptized into the church by John Wesley himself. She went on to become one of the leading figures in the Methodist movement. Catherine Winkworth was also involved in the founding of the Methodist Church. She was appointed editor of the journal "The Wesleys Record" and wrote several books on theology. In 1813, she became the first woman to be ordained in the Methodist Church when she was made pastor of a church in Gloucestershire.
There are currently about 7 million Anglicans and 1.5 million Methodists worldwide.
Initially, the Methodists sought change inside the Church of England (Anglicanism), but the movement progressively drifted away from that denomination. The activities of John Wesley sparked a schism between American Methodists and the Church of England (which held that only bishops could ordain people to ministry). In 1789, another rift occurred when the Association of Baptists in Philadelphia declared their support for Methodist teachings on baptism. This led to the formation of the United Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania.
The divisions within the Church of England were resolved in 1815 with the Formation of the Primitive Methodist Church in Britain. This body was given authority by the Crown to send missionaries to America. They also had control over the appointment of ministers within their sphere of influence. However, the new church was not without its problems - it was largely made up of Americans who spoke English instead of the British language. Also, the PMC had ties to the Episcopal Church in America which broke away from the Church of England in 1948. These factors led to the formation of two new churches in the United States: the Primitive Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
In the 1950s, many members of the PMC and the UMBC decided to break away from those denominations and form their own independent churches. This was done so that each congregation could choose their own spiritual leadership rather than having this role dictated by a bishop or other ordained minister.