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questions you would like to view. Below the menu list are Methodist FAQs.
General FAQs - If you want general information about what the can and cannots are about being a minister, this will fill the bill. More the legalities than the specifics.
Ministry FAQs - This is a general list of questions about conducting a ministry. It's less about the legalities and more about the nuts and bolts of having a ministry. There is much to learn about being a minister.
Seminary FAQs - This section has frequently asked questions about our seminary, how it works and what you can expect.
Gnostic FAQs - Gnosticism is an interesting religion. This section has FAQs about it and we also offer a course on this interesting religion.
Wedding FAQs - Along with our wedding training section, we also have this section on wedding FAQs so you can have a few more questions answered about how to do a wedding.
Humanist FAQs - Humanists are people who don't believe in God, but still believe in being human. Here are some answers to your questions. Feel free to send more info. if you have it.
Wiccan/Pagan FAQs - We have a wonderful course on both Wicca and Paganism, but this section will give you some basic answers to determine your interest and whet your appetite.
Druid FAQs- The Druids are fascinating. We have a wonderful courses on Druidism and this course will answer some basic questions about Druidism and get you excited to learn more.
Pantheist FAQs- Many people have not even heard of Pantheism, so these questions will help you learn about this interesting belief system.
Methodist FAQs- This is a more 'mainstream' religion, but there are differences between this denomination of Christianity and others. This explains it.
Buddhist FAQs - We have a wonderful course on Buddhism, as well as these questions to help you get a glimpse of what Buddhism is all about.
Dianic FAQs - These questions deal with a specific area of Wicca, known as Dianic. There are many areas of Wicca, so these questions wil clarify things.
Baptist FAQs - The Baptists are another denomination of Christianity with the core beliefs of Christians, but with their own distinctions that make Baptists unusual.. This will clarify some of the differences.
Mormon FAQs - The Mormon religion is something that holds fascination for a lot of people, like 'do Mormons drink coffee?', among others. Many questions are answered here about this unusual variation on Christianity.
1) What are the main differences between the
Methodist and Lutheran denominations?
This is a difficult question to answer in the abstract, for several
There are dozens of denominations of "Methodist" background
which differ greatly
from each other in theology and practice, from "holiness"
churches to "Pentecostal"
churches to "mainline" Methodist churches;
Even Methodist churches of the same denomination often differ to
some degree in
their theology and
practice, since Methodist churches, as a rule, tend to be more
concerned with "deeds"
then "creeds." Therefore, one might say that the most
between Lutheran and many Methodist churches is that the
is a confessional church (i.e., it binds itself and its member
a specific, formal confession of faith) while the Methodist church,
its varied forms,
tends not be as concerned with formal "confessions" of
which its congregations
The primary differences between Lutheranism and "classical"
Methodism rooted in the theology of John Wesley center in Wesley's
doctrine of salvation. Wesley taught, contrary to Lutheran theology,
that 1) man is free not only to reject
salvation but also to accept it (free salvation) by an act of human
will; 2) all people who are obedient to
the Gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them will
be saved (universal salvation); 3) the
Holy Spirit assures man of his salvation directly, through an inner
"experience" (sure salvation); 4)
Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and
are commanded by God to pursue it (full salvation). Wesley also
held to a "symbolic" view of the sacraments in contrast
to the Lutheran view of the sacraments as real and powerful means
2) What's different or distinctive about being
a United Methodist?
here are no exclusively United Methodist doctrines. Although we
have distinctive emphases, we have no affirmations that are not
also believed by other Christian groups. United Methodists have
traditionally proclaimed the following emphases:
The availability of God's grace for all;
The essential unity of faith and works;
Salvation as personal and social;
The church as a community of Christ's disciples who seek to share
in God's mission;
The inseparability of knowledge (intellect) and vital piety (devotion
to religious duties and practices) as components of faith;
Seeking holiness of heart and life both as individuals and in our
A cooperative ministry and mission in the world, often referred
to as "connectionalism"; The link between Christian doctrine and
3) Where did the church get its name?
John and Charles Wesley and a few other young men attending Oxford
University met regularly in 1729 for intellectual and spiritual
improvement and to help one another become better Christians. So
systematic were their habits of religious duty and their rules of
conduct that other students referred to them as "Methodists". The
word "United" now in our name comes from The Evangelical United
Brethren (EUB) Church, which united with The Methodist Church in
4) How many Methodist denominations are there
in the United States?
There are at least 19 Wesleyan denominations ... largest of these,
with 8.7 million members, is The United Methodist Church. It ranks
as the second largest Protestant denomination behind the Southern
5) How are official positions on social matter
determined by the church?
Only the General Conference, a representative body of no more than
1000 clergy and lay persons which meets every four years, officially
determines church policy and speaks on social issues. Through a
set of Social Principles, the General Conference speaks to human
issues from a biblical and theological foundation. These principles
are intended to be instructive and persuasive. Agreement is not
required, but members are called to a "prayerful, studied dialogue
of faith and practice". Official resources of the church such
as curriculum must reflect the official positions of the church.
6) Do lay people have much to say about what
happens in the church?
Laity and clergy have equal voice in annual, jurisdictional, and
general conferences of the church. There are also guidelines that
encourage fair representation of women, young adults, and youth
in decision-making. Of course, at the local level, lay persons are
deeply involved in every aspect of the church's mission and ministry.
7) What is the difference between the Methodist
church and the "Free" Methodist church?
In a nutshell, the Free Methodist church differs from the United
Methodist church in that it continues to provide a more uniform
expression consistent with historic Methodism.
Both the United Methodist Church (commonly referred to as Methodist)
and the Free Methodist Church share a common heritage, hearkening
back to the Wesleyan revival in England during the middle 1700s.
However, by the middle 1800s concern arose over the waning of several
key expressions of the Wesleyan revival. So the Free Methodist Church
began as an attempt to restore those vital "Wesleyan" convictions, such as the doctrine of entire sanctification, the
concern for the poor, the vision to end discrimination and racism,
and Christian growth through small groups.
Since that time the Free Methodist church has proven itself capable
of preserving a sound commitment to classic conservative Christian
doctrines such as the infallibility of scripture, salvation by faith,
and the deity of Jesus Christ.
8) What is a "connectional" church
The Free Methodist church government is a "hybrid" system
blending valuable features of hierarchical and congregational systems.
Hierarchical church governments, such as Roman Catholic and Episcopal,
govern local churches through "higher"-archies which oversee
and rule over the affairs of the local church. Pastors are appointed
by overseeing bodies; they are not "called" by local congregations.
This is one trait the Free Methodist church shares in common with
Congregational forms of church government are purely local in scope.
Each congregation is "autonomous" and any associations
they have with other churches is purely voluntary. They write their
own constitutions and administrate their own local ministry independent
of any overseeing body.
In this regard local Free Methodist churches have a great deal of
liberty to set their local mission and devise methods and ministries
that fulfill that mission.
However, the historic conviction of the Free Methodist church is
that local churches are safeguarded from error and extremism through
accountability to overseeing leaders and governing policies. In
addition, there is the conviction that churches working together
regionally and nationally can effect greater change and bear more
fruit through combining resources and efforts. So for the sake of
greater effectiveness and for preserving doctrinal integrity Free
Methodist churches "connect" with one another in systems
and structures of accountability. (The Free Methodist Book of Discipline
contains the vital information about these systems and structures
that govern and connect all Free Methodist churches.)
9) How big is the Free Methodist church?
(based on statistics ending 12/31/1999)
The Free Methodist church in the United States numbers 74,170 members
with over 90,000 attendees in Sunday worship services.
There are 900 churches in the US and the average size congregation
is 100 attendees.
Interestingly, in the past 25 years the Free Methodist church around
the world has increased by 350%. That growth has largely been seen
in Africa, especially in war torn countries, such as the Congo,
Rwanda and Burundi. For example, Rwandan church grew by 250% even
during the years of widespread violence and tribal genocide.
The growth of the church overseas is certainly related to the dedicated
missionary emphasis of the North American church during the past
10) When and why did the Free Methodist church
The Free Methodist church began August 23, 1860 in Pekin, New York,
in response to a growing desire for a church denomination that would
stay true to the principles of the Wesleyan revival, particularly
regarding, the work of the Holy Spirit, the way of holiness and
the necessity of ministry to the poor.
The founder, Benjamin Titus Roberts, was an outspoken critic of
many current practices of the Methodist Episcopal church, including
pew rental and other discriminatory practices that favored rich
over the poor, the failure of the Methodist church to stand against
slavery, and the increasing "formalism" in worship, including
the hiring of professional musicians.
In addition he joined a number of other exponents of the necessity
of a "second work" of grace beyond salvation during which
a believer was thoroughly sanctified, made holy, and set apart to
serve God with a whole heart, mind and strength.
This "radical optimism" concerning just how thoroughly
transformed and how victorious over sin a person could be made by
the power of God gave Roberts, though reluctant to start a new denomination,
the motivation to do whatever was necessary to revive the message
of entire sanctification. This message referred to as "scriptural
holiness." When Roberts no longer had a way to influence the
Methodist Episcopal church with this message, he gave his energies
to the founding of the Free Methodist church with its central mission
of spreading scriptural holiness across the land and ministering
the gospel to the poor.