Please read: "Why I Left The Methodist Church" by Joe R. Price
THE METHODIST CHURCHINTRODUCTION
Methodism has approximately 13 million adherents in North America, with a worldwide following of more than 18 million. Methodism celebrated its bicentennial as an organized church in 1984. While there are currently 23 separate Methodist bodies in the United States, The United Methodist Church is numerically the strongest. (Handbook of Denominations in the United States, 8th ed., Mead, p. 159, 164)
In 1996, the United Methodist Church in the United States reported a lay and ministerial membership of 8,497,274, with an additional 1,366,632 preparatory members. That same year there were 36,771 local churches in the United States.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY
A. John Wesley (1703-1791).
John Wesleys place in the development of Protestantism has been the subject of debate. According to John H. Leith, Wesley "stands between Classic Protestantism and the Liberal Protestantism of the nineteenth century. Wesleys emphasis upon Christian experience, upon holiness, upon an optimism of grace gives a distinct character to his theology." (Creeds of the Churches, 3rd ed., Leith, p. 353)
John Wesley was the son of a clergyman in the Church of England, and was educated at Oxford University (John also became a clergyman). With his younger brother Charles (1707-1788), and fellow student George Whitefield, he started a movement at Oxford to protest and work against what was seen as a sterile formalism within the Church of England. This group, the "Holy Club," was started in 1729, and was dubbed by critics Bible Bigots and Bible Moths. Also, out of derision, these proponents of a lifestyle which stressed personal habits such as Bible study, prayer, acts of charity, piety and service, were called Methodists (due to this methodical lifestyle).
As a missionary in the Church of England, John Wesley came to Georgia in 1736 and for the next two years, labored as a missionary to the Indians. Unhappy and somewhat discouraged, he returned to England. Upon his return, the most important event of his life occurred, which gave spark to the rise of Methodism. This turning point in his life came when he attended a prayer meeting in Aldergate Street, London, on May 24, 1738. Upon hearing the preacher read Martin Luthers preface to the epistle of Romans, John later wrote,
"I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." (Quoted in Encyclopedia Americana, p. 793)
His brother Charles had had a similar experience on May 21, 1738 (just three days earlier). John was 34 years old at this time, having already been a clergyman in the Church of England for 12 years. His "experience of conversion" gave him the impetus to devote his life to promoting what he termed "practical divinity."
John Wesley did not plan to found a new church. He was interested in reforming the Anglican Church (Church of England). When met by resistance, he formed "societies" (within the Anglican Church) designed to promote the new found emphasis upon repentance, regeneration, justification, holiness and sanctification to which John, Charles, George Whitefield and others were committed.
B. Organizational Development.
By 1744, the organizational elements of Methodism were appearing. Such things as a circuit system and an itinerant ministry, class meetings, class leaders and lay preachers were being used. In 1744, the first annual conference of "Methodists" was held. By 1767, 26,000 Methodists (still members of the Church of England) were found in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In 1739, John Wesley drew up a set of General Rules, still printed in the Methodist Discipline, as "an ideal delineation of Bible rules and conduct." (Handbook of Denominations, p. 160) From 1746-1760, he issued four volumes of forty-four Sermons on Several Occasions, in which he set forth basic teachings on all the main themes of Christian doctrine. In 1754, he published a volume of Explanatory Notes Upon The New Testament as "a guide for Methodist biblical exegesis and doctrinal interpretation." (The Book of Discipline Of The United Methodist Church, 1980 ed., p. 41-42) (We will henceforth refer to this book simply as Discipline. Please note we will be referring to the 1980 edition. - jrp)
All of this, and many other things, caused a great deal of friction between Anglican Church officials and the Methodists. Relationships were strained, but bearable, until 1784.
C. Methodism In America.
Methodism was especially adapted to American life. Itinerant preachers serving among the frontiersmen made Methodism a major religious force by the late 1700s. In 1776, at the start of the Revolutionary War, there were only about 7,000 Methodists in America, but by its end, the membership had grown to nearly 15,000, with nearly 80 preachers.
Prominent in American Methodism were such men as Philip Embury, Robert Strawbridge, Richard Boardman, Joseph Pilmoor, Francis Asbury (who became the architect of American Methodism), and Thomas Coke. Most of these men were sent to America by John Wesley to organize and promote Methodism. In fact, because the Anglican Church would not, Wesley himself ordained Coke as superintendent, to "preside over the flock of Christ" in America. In turn, Coke ordained Asbury as a second superintendent.
At the Christmas Conference, December 24, 1784, at Baltimore, Maryland, the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, with Coke and Asbury elected as superintendents (later called bishops).
D. Summary Of The Early Years Of Methodism.
1. The Methodist Church had its beginning from the Church of England.
2. John Wesley, although credited with founding the Methodist Church, never left the Church of England.
3. Wesley did not stress theology nearly as much as he did personal involvement in a religious experience, or "practical divinity."
4. The Wesleyan emphasis on the profession of a personal experience of salvation has influenced a large part of Protestantism.
5. Consider what John Wesley said about the use of party names:
"Would to God that all party names, and unscriptural phrases and forms which have divided the Christian world, were forgot," and "that the very name (Methodist-jrp) might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion." (Universal Knowledge, IX:540)
II. CHRONOLOGY OF MAJOR EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF METHODISM.
1729 - The Holy Club is formed at Oxford, University, by John and Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield.
1738, May 24 - John Wesleys personal experience of conversion.
1744 - First General Conference of Methodist societies held.
1746-1760 - Four volumes of 44 sermons, Sermons on Several Occasions, were published. A summary of Wesleys basic teachings, which has authoritative status in the United Methodist Church.
1754 - Wesleys Explanatory Notes Upon The New Testament published. Has authoritative status in the United Methodist Church.
1784, December 24 - The Methodist Episcopal Church in America was organized at Baltimore, Maryland, under the leadership of Thomas Coke.
1784 - The "Articles of Religion" was adopted as a statement of Methodisms principle tenets.
1792 - First General Conference, made up solely of ministers, was held.
1828 - Division over an insistence on lay representation led to the formation of the Methodist Protestant Church.
1844 - Division over slavery and a dispute over the constitutional powers of the General Conference vs. the episcopacy (purely a political and social division). Split resulted in the northern body keeping the name the Methodist Episcopal Church, while the southern body became the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
1872 - The laity allowed to participate in General Conference for the first time.
1939 - The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church united to form The Methodist Church, at Kansas City, MO.
1968 - The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church, at Dallas, TX.
CREEDS AND FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS
I. DOCTRINAL STANDARDS OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.
(From The Book Of Discipline, p. 49):
1. Sermons on Several Occasions, John Wesley (1746-1760)
2. Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, John Wesley (1754)
3. The Articles of Religion (1784)
4. Evangelical United Brethren Confession of Faith (1962)
1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - Inspired scripture is sufficient as a doctrinal standard.
2. 1 Timothy 6:3 - The words of Jesus Christ constitute the proper doctrinal standard.
3. John 12:48; 17:17; Heb. 1:1-2 - Christs word is the standard, Gods word is truth.
A. How Are These Standards Viewed?
1. As historical landmarks of the Methodist heritage.
"In the first place, the Articles and the Confession are not to be regarded as positive, juridical norms for doctrine, demanding unqualified assent on pain of excommunication. They are and ought to remain as important landmarks in our complex heritage and ought rightly to be retained in the Discipline... .they are not accorded any status of finality,....." (Ibid., 49-50)
2. Not legal tests for membership.
"Such statements never have been and ought not to be legal tests for membership." (Ibid., p. 50)
1. Doctrine (word of God, its teachings) is a test of membership in the Lords church.
a. 2 John 9-11 - Not to receive anyone who goes beyond the doctrine (teaching) of Christ.
b. Romans 16:17 - Mark (take note of) and turn away from those who cause divisions by promoting doctrines contrary to the ones delivered by inspired men.
2. Mans teachings are never to be the standard.
a. Matthew 15:6-9 - Sinful to follow the doctrines of men.
b. Galatians 1:6-9 - Stern warning against accepting different gospels.
II. DOCTRINAL GUIDELINES IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.
A. Four Main Sources And Guidelines For Christian Theology.
1. Scripture, tradition, experience and reason.
"...by what methods can our doctrinal reflection and construction be most fruitful and fulfilling? The answer comes in terms of our free inquiry within the boundaries defined by four main sources and guidelines for Christian theology: Scripture, tradition, experience, reason. These four are interdependent; none can be defined unambiguously. They allow for, indeed they positively encourage, variety in the United Methodist theologizing. Jointly, they have provided a broad and stable context for reflection and formulation." (The Book of Discipline, p. 78)
2. These four guidelines are to interact in the formulation of doctrine.
"These four norms for doctrinal formulations are not simply parallel and none can be subsumed by any other. There is a primacy that goes with Scripture, as the constitutive witness to biblical wellsprings of our faith. In practice, however, theological reflection may find its point of departure in tradition, "experience," or rational analysis. What matters most is that all four guidelines be brought to bear upon every doctrinal consideration." (Ibid., p. 81)
1. The source for Biblical doctrine is the authority of Christ, contained in inspired scripture.
a. Colossians 3:17 - Must do all in the name of (by the authority of) Christ.
b. 2 Timothy 3:16 - Scripture is profitable for establishing and instructing in doctrine.
c. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 - Turning to human traditions and experiences is specifically forbidden! (cf. 1 Cor. 1:21).
2. We must define our traditions, experiences and reasoning in terms of what the Bible reveals, not vice versa!
B. Methodist View Of The Bible.
1. Sufficient for salvation.
"The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." ("The Articles of Religion," Art. V; Book of Discipline, p. 56)
2. Bible reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation.
"We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation." ("The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church," Art. IV; The Book of Discipline, p. 64)
3. The words of men, inspired by God (thought inspiration - jrp).
a. "As we immerse ourselves in the biblical testimony, as we open our minds and hearts to the Word of God through the words of persons inspired by the Holy Spirit, faith is born and nourished,..." (The Book of Discipline, p. 78)
b. A 1967 survey by Jeffry Haddon asked 7,444 Methodist ministers: "Do you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, literally?"
-Response: 82% said "NO."
1. Sufficiency of the scriptures to provide salvation - 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3.
2. All scripture is inspired (breathed forth from God), whether it relates to salvation, history, prophecy, etc. - 2 Tim. 3:16.
3. The Bible is verbally inspired - 1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Ths. 2:13; Matthew 10:17-20.
BASIC DOCTRINES OF METHODISM
I. SIN AND SALVATION.
A. Original Sin.
1. "Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually." ("The Articles of Religion," Art. VII; The Book of Discipline, p. 57)
2. Man inherits a sinful nature, and is naturally inclined to evil.
1. Mans nature is free from sin until he arrives at accountability to Gods law:
a. Romans 7:9 - Paul was "alive" until "the commandment came" (accountability to the commands of God).
b. Matthew 18:3; 19:14 - The nature of a child illustrates the nature Christians should have!
2. For more study on this subject, see "Lesson Five: The Baptist Church."
B. Salvation By Faith Only.
"We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort." ("The Articles of Religion," Art. IX; The Book of Discipline, p. 57)
1. We cannot earn our salvation - Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5.
2. Works of faith (obedience) are essential to mans salvation - James 2:14-26; Hebrews 5:8-9.
3. The only place in the Bible where the expression "faith only" is used is James 2:24, and it says:
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (KJV)
4. There is no comfort in the doctrine of salvation by faith only! (cf. Matthew 7:21; Romans 6:17-18)
C. The Plan Of Salvation.
"Wesleys most creative thought was given to Gods plan of salvation. With many refinements he proclaimed: (1) All need to be saved from sin (original sin). (2) All may be saved from sin (justification of faith). (3) All may know that they are saved (Christian assurance by the witness of the Holy Spirit). (4) All may be saved to the uttermost (Christian perfection or holiness and the earthly culmination of a continuing process of salvation)." (The Encyclopedia Americana, p. 793)
1. Hear the word of God - John 6:44-45; Romans 10:17.
2. Believe in God and Christ - Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24.
3. Repent of sins - Acts 17:30.
4. Confess faith in Christ - Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10.
5. Be baptized - Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16.
6. Be faithful to Christ until death - Romans 12:1-2; Luke 9:62; Revelation 2:10.
1. Its Subjects: Adults And Children.
"...because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age." (The Book of Discipline, paragraph 221, p. 116)
2. Its Purposes.
a. Adults - Sign of Distinction, Regeneration and Church Membership.
1) "Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the church." ("The Articles of Religion," Art. XVII; The Book of Discipline, p. 59)
2) Part of the process of Church Membership.
"...after the completion of a reasonable period of training, and after the Sacrament of Baptism has been administered to those who have not been previously baptized, the pastor shall bring them before the congregation, administer the vows, receive them into the fellowship of the Church, and duly enroll them as full members." (The Book of Discipline, paragraph 216.1, p. 114)
b. Infants - Preparatory Membership in the Methodist Church.
"The pastor of the church shall, at the time of administering the Sacrament of Baptism, furnish the parents or guardians of the child who is baptized with a certificate of Baptism, which shall also clearly state that the child is now enrolled as a preparatory member in The United Methodist Church." (Ibid., paragraph 222, p. 116)
3. Method of Administration -- Sprinkling, Pouring or Immersion.
-Methodists recognize all three practices, although sprinkling is commonly practiced among them.
1. Subjects: Repentant Believers.
a. Acts 2:37-38,41 - Belief and repentance comes before baptism.
b. Children dont qualify:
1) No knowledge of good and evil - Deut. 1:39.
2) No ability to believe, no sin, therefore, no need for salvation.
2. Purposes of Baptism.
a. Salvation - Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21.
b. Fellowship with Christ - Galatians 3:27.
c. Added to Christs church - Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13.
3. Method of Administration.
a. "Baptizo" is defined "to immerse, to submerge, to plunge."
b. It is a burial - Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12.
c. Much water is required - John 3:23.
d. Sprinkling and pouring do not qualify as scriptural baptism.
III. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.
A. Types Of Membership.
1. Full Membership: Full membership status.
2. Affiliate Membership: Methodists away from home who wish to affiliate with a Methodist Church where they are temporarily living.
3. Associate Membership: Member of another denomination who wishes to temporarily associate with a Methodist Church.
4. Preparatory Membership - "Persons in preparation for full membership make up the preparatory roll of the church."
-(The Book of Discipline, p. 112, 118, 114)
1. Membership in the Lords church is determined upon the basis of ones conversion to Christ (through compliance with the Bibles plan of salvation), and ones faithfulness as a Christian - Acts 2:37-38, 41, 47; 2 John 9-11.
2. Membership is denied when unrepented sin and error exist - 2 John 9-11; cf. Acts 9:26-29; 2 Thess. 3:6.
A. The Lords Supper.
1. Frequency: Generally observed once a month.
-Consider what John Wesley advised:
"I also advise the elders to administer the supper of the Lord on every Lords Day." (Letters to America, 1784)
2. Elements: Tradition seems to decide. Some use unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, others use leavened bread. Some have been known to dip the leavened bread into the fruit of the vine to save time in its distribution.
1. Frequency: Every first day of the week - Acts 20:7.
2. Elements: Unleavened bread and fruit of the vine - Matthew 26:19, 26-29.
B. Instrumental Music In Worship.
1. There is no disagreement over the current use of such in the Methodist Church.
2. This was not always the case. Consider Adam Clarke (Methodist Commentator), on what John Wesley taught:
"Music, AS A SCIENCE, I esteem and admire: but instruments of music in the house of God I abominate and abhor. This is the abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity. The late and venerable and most eminent divine, the Rev John Wesley, who was a lover of music, and an elegant poet, when asked his opinion of instruments of music being introduced into the chapels of the Methodists, said in his terse and powerful manner, I have no objections to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen. I say the same. (Commentary, Adam Clarke, Vol. 4, p. 684; from "Handbook of Religious Quotations," compiled by Dawson and MacArthur, p. 89)
1. Sing (Vocal Music) - Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; et al.
2. To add another kind of music (instrumental music) is to add to Gods word - Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19.
3. For more on this subject, see "Lesson Five: The Baptist Church," p. 11-12.
V. SOCIAL CONCERNS.
A. Support And Operation Of Social Organizations (Educational, Medical, Convalescent, etc.).
1. As of 1984: The United Methodist Church "has property valued at $12,640,082,011, not including educational plants, hospitals, or homes for the aged. There are 145 institutions devoted to long-term care, 57 to health care, and 58 to child care. There are 81 United Methodist colleges, 8 universities, 13 schools of theology, 14 2-year colleges, 9 secondary schools, an elementary school, and a medical college." (Handbook of Denominations, Mead, p. 172)
2. A statement of Social Principles, including a "Social Creed" has been adopted (1972) and revised (1976) by the General of the United Methodist Church. Of this statement of Social Principles it is said:
"It is recommended that this statement of Social Principles be constantly available to United Methodist Christians and that it be emphasized regularly in every congregation. It is further recommended that our Social Creed be frequently used in Sunday worship." (The Book of Discipline, p. 104)
1. The NT church helped to relief needy saints - Acts 11:29; Romans 15:25-26.
2. No Bible authority for the church to own and operate social, benevolent or educational organizations.
3. Galatians 6:10; James 1:27 - Individual Christians should not neglect doing good for all men.
4. The church is not a worldwide benevolent organization. Neither was it designed to provide secular education.
B. Social Activities For Members.
1. Youth - The United Methodist Youth Fellowship is provided for youth ages 12-18. (The Book of Discipline, p. 148)
2. Adults - United Methodist Women; United Methodist Men; various other organizations.
3. Church socials, fund raisers, etc. are common in the Methodist Church.
1. The work of the church is not to feed the stomach, but to feed the soul the gospel of Christ - cf. John 6:26-27; Acts 2:42, 46; 1 Cor. 11:22, 34.
2. The Lords church is not a social organization, designed to provide recreation ("food, fun and frolic").
ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (U.M.C.)
I. CHURCH GOVERNMENT.
A. Governmental Organization.
1. Worldwide Organization.
a. General Conference - Highest legislative body, presided over by bishops. Its work done mainly through committees, whose reports, when adopted, become Methodist law. Meets every four years.
b. Jurisdictional Conferences - To assist in overseeing the work and interests of the United Methodist Church which falls within its boundaries. Gets its authority from the General Conference; Presided over by the bishops of its particular jurisdiction.
c. Central Conferences - Meets the year succeeding General Conference, and conducts the work of the U.M.C. outside the U.S.A.
d. Annual Conferences - Covers defined, geographical areas, and is made up of equal parts of clergy and lay members. This conference is the basic body in the Methodist Church (The Book of Discipline, p. 30) through which the churchs work flows. It ordains and admits ministers, votes on constitutional questions, supervises pensions and relief, etc.
e. District Conferences - May at times be held if directed to do so by the Annual Conference, to deal with the business of the districts involved.
f. Charge Conferences - Presided over by the district superintendent, the Charge Conference is composed of clergy and lay members within a charge (or district). Meets at least annually, to evaluate and direct the ministry of the church. It serves as "the connecting link between the local church and the general Church...." (Ibid., paragraph 249, p. 129)
2. Congregational Organization.
a. Administrative Board.
b. Council on Ministries.
c. Committee on Pastor-Parish Relations.
d. Board of Trustees.
e. Committee on Finance.
f. Committee on Nominations and Personnel.
g. Other committees, councils, task forces, etc.
h. Some of these boards, etc. are at times combined due to congregational size.
-(The Book of Discipline, p. 125)
1. Worldwide (universal) Church.
a. Christ is head - Ephesians 1:22.
b. Each Christian is a member of the body, His church - Ephesians 1:23.
c. No earthly organization which activates the universal church is revealed in the New Testament.
2. The Local Church.
a. Christ, the Head - Ephesians 4:15.
b. Elders - Acts 14:23.
c. Deacons - Philippians 1:1.
d. Saints - Philippians 1:1.
3. The contrast between the complexity of the Methodist hierarchy and the simplicity of the New Testament pattern is truly overwhelming!
II. OFFICES AND FUNCTIONS IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.
A. Bishops (Ordained elders).
1. Six bishops oversee each jurisdiction of 500,000 members or less, with one additional bishop for each additional 500,000 members, or major fraction thereof. (The Book of Discipline, p. 237)
a. Elected by the respective Jurisdictional and Central Conferences.
b. Council of Bishops - All U.M.C. bishops meet at least once a year to plan and oversee the temporal and spiritual interests of the entire Church. (Ibid., p. 35)
2. District Superintendents (Ordained elders).
-Oversees the pastors and churches in a district.
3. Ordained Ministers - The pastor of a local church.
4. Diaconal Ministers - A ministry of service in either the local congregation or larger parish. They are not subject to the appointments of the district superintendent, as are ordained ministers.
1. Elders (Bishops): Oversee individual congregations only - Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:2.
2. Deacons: Servants within the congregation - Phil. 1:1; cf. Acts 6:1-6.
3. Evangelists: Preach the word of God - 2 Timothy 4:5.
B. Men And Women Serving In These Offices.
"Both men and women are included in all provisions of the Discipline which refer to the ministry." (The Book of Discipline, p. 192)
1. 1 Timothy 2:12 - Women are not to have dominion over men.
2. 1 Timothy 3:1ff - Only men can be bishops, not women.
3. 1 Corinthians 14:33-34 - Women are not permitted to speak in the worship assembly.
4. The Bible gives the role of oversight and teaching to men, not women.
The Methodist Church is just over 200 years old. The church Christ built (Matthew 16:18) is almost 2,000 years old. The Methodist Church was formed out of the Church of England, itself also having been founded by a man (Henry VIII). The doctrines, practices and organization of the Methodist Church which have been considered in this lesson demonstrate its human origin.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. How many Methodists are there worldwide? How many denominations of Methodists are there in the United States?
2. Who is credited with founding the Methodist Church? Was he ever a member of the Methodist Church?
3. Briefly relate the history of Methodism. When, where and by whom?
4. What one event in John Wesleys life ignited his religious zeal and fueled the movement of Methodism?
5. Where and when was the first Methodist Church organized?
6. When and how was the First Methodist Church formed? What about the United Methodist Church?
7. What are the doctrinal standards of the U.M.C.? How are they viewed?
8. According to the U.M.C., what are the four sources of Christian theology? Is this consistent with Bible doctrine?
9. What views of the Bible are held within Methodism?
10. What type of original sin does Methodism teach?
11. According to Methodisms "Articles of Religion," what kind of doctrine is salvation by faith only?
12. In the Methodist Church, who is to be baptized? Why? How?
13. Name the types of membership found in the United Methodist Church.
14. How often is the Lords Supper observed in the U.M.C.?
15. What was Wesleys opinion on using instrumental music in worship?
16. What types of organizations are owned and operated by the U.M.C.? What does the Bible say regarding church owned and supported organizations?
17. Does the Bible endorse church sponsored recreational or social activities?
18. Name the conference structure in the U.M.C. Does the Bible provide any functional organization for the universal church?
19. Name the offices in the U.M.C. Are women allowed to hold these offices?
20. Do you believe the Methodist Church is ordained by God? Why or why not?