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6 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2008 - 7:21PM #1
GodsLostOne
Posts: 27
Hi, my name is Rachel. I've been searching for somewhere where I fit in and have found that Methodist's share my beliefs moreso than any other denomination.

A little about me:

I was raised Catholic and my mom was Protestant (dad was Catholic). My dad's side of the family is very religious and very dedicated to the Catholic church, while my mom's side is Protestant and aren't nearly as active in the church. I never really felt like I fit into either one...I always felt off.

Recently I've been trying to find my place...and hopefully I've found it.

I don't know much about being Methodist so any help would be appreciated.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 12, 2008 - 11:30AM #2
Bevo
Posts: 561
You may wish to read my response to Zorgblar, as he asked basically the same question.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2008 - 12:34PM #3
eklectic
Posts: 40
Welcome, Rachel. Methodists fit, of course, under the umbrella of Protestant Christianity, having come out of the Anglican Church. So they typically hold to creeds like the Nicene or Apostle's Creed for their statements of belief. But there is a very wide range of styles of Methodism. Some are very formal and liturgical. Others are very contemporary and progressive.

I was raised Baptist and am now a progressive Christian who attends a Methodist church. My wife is Southern Baptist. So we have an interesting marriage when it comes to discussing our beliefs and the practices that stem from those beliefs. But we both feel "at home" in the Methodist church.

Speaking for myself, the 3 things that I most appreciate about Methodism are:

1. They are busy working in the world to see God's kingdom come instead of just praying for it to. They believe works and faith go together.

2. They believe that God is love and that his love is extended to all (unlike other faith traditions that are more Calvinistic). Methodists typically say that everyone is a child of God but that some of us act more like it than others. :)

3. Methodists hold to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral that says we know truth, not just from the Bible, but through reason, experience, and tradtion. So Methodists are, IMO, more open-minded toward advances in science, psychology, medicine, and the arts. They look forward to what God is doing now and will do in the future instead of longing for the "good ol' days" that conservatives wish for.

Again, you'll find a wide variety of opinion and practice in the Methodist church. I think that is a good thing. Everyone can feel at home and find someone like them while being challenged to grow in areas that are "off-limits" to other denominations.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2008 - 6:08PM #4
GodsLostOne
Posts: 27
Thank you for the replies. Yes, I did read the links that you had given, Bevo.

eklectic, thank you for your response. I am the type of person that wants to make something, instead of just waiting for it...so your first response was very awesome to read.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 16, 2008 - 8:33AM #5
Bevo
Posts: 561
As I mentioned, the links I posted avail you to official Methodist doctrine.  This doctrine (the church's Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith) is unchangeable, and any practices contrary with Methodist doctrine are illegitimate.  Said another way, being a Methodist does not mean a person is free to believe whatever they wish.  Nor does the Quadrilateral allow for this.  The Quadrilateral has its roots in Anglicanism (Scripture, tradition and reason) and in the late 60's Methodist scholar Albert Outler added experience.  What the Quadrilateral basically expresses is that how we interpret and apply Scripture is often influenced by one's own unique traditions, reasoning and experiences.  And secondly, any experience, tradition or reasoning that is contrary to Scripture is not legitimate.

For the first time in 80 years, membership in the Methodist church in the US is below 8,000,000.  There are currently 7.9 million Methodists in the US.  There are currently more Mormons in the US than Methodists.  Over the past 43 years, membership in the Methodist church has declined by 3.6 million.

Many, including myself, attribute this decline to increasingly liberal practices by many Methodist churches (primarily in the northeast and west coast).  And many, including myself, believe the key to renewal in the Methodist tradition will best be accomplished by Methodism recapturing its rich doctrinal heritage.
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