The Top Ten Ways Methodists Are Different from Folks Up and Down the Road
1. Salvation is by faith, not works. BUT, the kind of faith that is saving always brings good works with it to the party. It's not enough to just Believe - we also have to Behave!
2. Faith is related to Reason. Methodists believe that Science and Theology can work and play well together. We don't check our brains at the door of the Sanctuary.
3. "Once saved, always saved" is a doctrine in many churches, but not in the Methodist Church. We believe we are all equally in need of God's Grace, and that we never reach a point where we've "got it made with God."
4. God's Grace. Let the other churches focus on making us feel guilty and worthless. Methodists focus instead on the positive point of God's amazing Grace, wherein He gives us what we don't deserve!
5. The infallibility of Scripture. We believe the Scriptures contain all knowledge necessary for salvation. However, it also contains a lot of other stuff, most of which is necessary to lead a really abundant life in the here and now.
6. Infant Baptism. Yes, we baptize infants. No, we don't apologize for it. Yes, it's Scriptural. No, the child doesn't ask for it. Yes, it's a huge charge on the parents, family, and congregation. Later, the child will go through Confirmation classes (at about age 12), and then decide whether or not to profess Jesus as his or her Savior.
7. Rebaptism. It's not necessary, and we don't do it. God meant it the first time, even if you didn't.
8. Holy Communion. It's not just snacks in church! It's a means of Grace where we celebrate the horizontal relationship with each other, and the vertical relationship we have with God. And where does the Horizontal meet the Vertical? At the Cross!
9. Sanctification, or Salvation by Process. Salvation for Methodists is a life-long process, not an event.
10. We are connected. Every Methodist church is connected to every other Methodist church worldwide.
Q. How do I become a member of the church?
A. Talk to the pastor.
Q. What do you mean "Confirmation"?
A. Confirmation is a series of classes, usually taught in the Spring, which teaches our young folks what it means to be a Christian, a United Methodist, and a member of Eastlawn.
Q. What do all of those LETTERS stand for?
A. Great question. Methodists are big on letters. Such as:
- UMC (United Methodist Church)
- UMW (United Methodist Women)
- UMM (United Methodist Men)
- UMYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship)
- NOW (Nuture, Outreach, and Witness)
- SPRC (Staff-Parish Relations Committee)
(adapted and used by permission of our sister church, Safe Harbor UMC, Moss Point, MS.)