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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 10:54PM #1
bvarnell
Posts: 628
Hi!

I'm normally on the Anglican/Episcopal board but ventured over here to ask 2 questions.

first off, I am 15 and want to become an Episcopalian, my parents however are S. Baptists, While i would love to become an Episcopalian and for them to join me i kinda feel that that is a small chance.  My parents are looking for a new church and i've recommended the local UMC which is REALLY close and has a lot of stuff, however my dad is not buying it, when i recommended it (the UMC) he said 'Yeah, but they don't have an alter call, I don't know how Methodists get saved' (it makes me laugh) I'd go, happily, to a Methodist Church were my parents to go, and hold off on TEC.  so that brings me to my first question:

1) How do UMs get saved? I know they believe Christ is lord and the like but since they don't have an alter call? (I'm fine with that! I know the early church didn't do alter calls, and they did pretty good as far as new members go!) This is mainly to answer my dad's statements.

2) Do you think the UMC is moving toward weekly communion? TEC's weekly Eucharist is a BIG attraction for me.

Thanks! and please ask if i need to clarify anything.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 2:31PM #2
happygardener
Posts: 734
First off, I think it's admirable that you recognize the importance of developing your religious life as a family, with your parents. 

I'm sure that the clergy of  the Methodist and Episcopal Churches
in your community would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your family, and to invite you to worship with them.  You might want to visit with both churches, to consider where you might best "fit". 

You may be aware already that the Methodist and Episcopal churches are related.  John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist  "movement " in the 18th century was a priest in the Church of England. Wesley did not intend Methodism to develop into a separate denomination. But following the American Revolutionary War, there was some animosity in America toward the Church of England because of its relationship with the British monarchy.  Many clergy of the C of E in the U.S returned to England leading to a shortage of clergy here.  The Methodist movement in the U.S. then developed into a separate denomination in spite of Wesley's objections.  The shortage of clergy was, I believe, the basic cause of the new Methodist Church resorting to less than weekly Eucharistic service.  The available clergy had to travel around the country to make the Eucharistic service available in every community, and that led to the practice of periodic communion, usually monthly, as is most common  in Methodist Churches today.  Wesley, however, believed that Christians should benefit from frequent communion, and I understand that weekly communion is being offered more often.  I too believe that weekly communion is beneficial, and suggest that you mention that at your local church.  It is not uncommon for Methodists today to worship also in Episcopal churches. My brother sings in the choirs of both (Methodist and Episcopal) churches in his town, and other Methodists  in my family worship intermittently with Episcopalians.

I'm not well informed on Southern Baptist theology, but if I understand correctly an "altar call" is an invitation to be baptized into the church, and  for Baptists always refers to immersion.  Methodist baptism may be in any one of several forms (sprinkling, pouring, immersion) . Methodist and Episcopalians both baptize infants, while I think Baptists do not.  You and your parents whould talk to your clergy about the theological reasons for these variations.  If you have already been baptized in a Southern Baptist church  (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) I'm fairly certain that neither the Methodist or Episcopal Church would expect  you to be baptized again.  ( For the reasoning, again, I suggest discussion with clergy.)

Both churches of course offer lots of information on their respective websites.

I thank you for bringing your questions to the Methodist board, and pray that you and your family together will find a fulfilling church home. And feel free to return with any questions or concerns.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 12:05AM #3
bvarnell
Posts: 628
Thanks! I under stand that the UMC and TEC will be (or are?) in full communion with each other by 2012. 

An Alter Call is where the pastor gives men and women and children in the congregation the opportunity to come forward and 'get saved' that is accept Jesus as ones lord and Savior. 

But again Thanks happygardener! 

I'll be praying for my family as we find a new church!
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 9:05AM #4
Bevo
Posts: 561
Most Methodist churches do not make "altar calls."  However, our Methodist church does (or at least invites folks forward who wish to give their lives to Christ).  Perhaps the somewhat differing views of salvation between Methodism and the Baptist tradition account for this.  Methodism holds to the view that salvation is a journey rather than a destination.  This journey is characterized by prevenient grace, justifying grace and sanctifying grace.  Salvation is not yet fully obtained until "glorification" in the Age to Come.  Said another way, Methodism holds to a view of salvation that believes "all must be saved, all can be saved, all can know themselves saved, and all can be saved to the uttermost."  This view of salvation is much more inclusive of the totality of life than the Baptist view of salvation (being only what happens to a person when they die).  Secondly, Wesley believed that a person could lose their salvation, whereas the Baptist tradition does not.  Again, this view is proposed against the backdrop of salvation being more of a journey than a destination.  To the extent someone's journey of salvation has ended, then they have indeed "lost" their salvation.  They are no longer on their journey.  Their journey has ended.  And, against the backdrop of the Baptist view of salvation (what happens to a person when they die) a person cannot lose their salvation.

In my view, the Methodist view of salvation is more accurate and biblical.  The word "salvation" in essence means the total and complete redemption of all creation, both the seen and unseen.  What happens to us when we die is a part of salvation, but it is just that--only a part.  If this is so, then we can only conclude our salvation will not be made complete until the Age to Come.  Until then, we say, "I was saved, I am saved and I am being saved."
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 1:16PM #5
happygardener
Posts: 734
Bevo,

Thanks for that, a distinction nicely explained.  I hope you won't mind if I  may quote  you some time.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 1:41PM #6
Bevo
Posts: 561
Not at all.  The quote, "all must be saved, all can be saved, all can know themselves saved, and all can be saved to the uttermost" comes from the Bristol Quadrilateral and is famous for the four "alls" summary of Methodist doctrine which was taught to many children in Ireland in the last generation.  I think it is as good of a "thumbnail" summary of Methodist doctrine as there is.  The theology surrounding each of the "alls" listed is endless and incredibly (for me, anyway) interesting.

Oh, as a side bar to the discussioon, when I joined my Methodist church, I was asked if I had received Jesus Christ into my life as my Lord and Savior ("justifying grace").  But obviously, the journey doesn't end there!  Baptists use past tense verbs when they talk of their salvation--"I got saved when I was 16 years old."  Methodist use past, present and future tense verbs when they talk of their salvation.  Both are correct, only the Baptist view is not the full biblical view of salvation.  For example, the word salvation is cited over 120 times in the Hebrew text.  It is usually used in the context of "delieverance" or "victory" over some tangible event or circumstance.  That is an example of what I meant when I said salvation is the total and complete redemption of all creation, both the seen and unseen.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 4:39PM #7
bvarnell
Posts: 628
thanks Bevo! I believe what you said about salvation.  The Baptist view is non only un-biblical, but illogical.  If you are 'once saved always saved' why be a good christian at all? Its not like God is going to take away your salvation!
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 8:31AM #8
Bevo
Posts: 561
I wouldn't say the Baptist view is unbiblical or incorrect.   Rather, I believe it is incomplete.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 8:31AM #9
Bevo
Posts: 561
I wouldn't say the Baptist view is unbiblical or incorrect.   Rather, I believe it is incomplete.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2008 - 3:42PM #10
bvarnell
Posts: 628
yeah...fair enough
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