What is a Methodist?

By Pastor Mark McAdow
John Wesley the founder of The Methodist movement and later The Methodist Church was often asked the question, “What is a Methodist?”  In reference to that, he wrote a simple booklet called, The Character of a Methodist.”  I reread it this week in preparation for our upcoming decision about whether to affiliate with the newest expression of Methodist, The Global Methodist Church. We will be praying and voting for that decision on Wednesday August 30 as the Willow View Family. All members are welcomed and encouraged to participate in this crucial decision.

Here are a few excerpts from his booklet with revised English. “We do believe that ‘all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.’  This distinguishes us from all non-Christians. We believe that the written Word of God is the only and sufficient rule both of Christian faith and practice in our lives.”  This is primary and the very reason we disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church Denomination last October. The majority of the US Bishops have moved away from Scripture in some foundational areas and no longer uphold the UM Book of Discipline, that all UM Pastors were required to affirm and uphold.  In some cases, even the Divinity of Jesus Christ is denied. Wesley said this, “We believe that Christ is the eternal, supreme God. This distinguishes us from those who consider Jesus Christ to be less than divine.”

John Wesley said this about salvation. “The Methodist trusts in Christ alone for his salvation. The Methodist knows that the blood of Jesus has cleansed him from all sin. Through Christ and Christ alone the Methodist has received forgiveness for his sins. The Methodist never forgets this. He rejoices that by God’s kindness he, a sinner, has been place in a new and right relationship with his Creator. This miracle has been accomplished through Jesus Christ, the- Methodist’s beloved Savior.”

Wesley’s summary statement about who a Methodist follows here: “A Methodist is a person who has the love of God in his heart. This is a gift of God’s Holy Spirit. And the same Spirit causes a Methodist to love the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, with all his strength.”  That is a pretty good definition of the Christian life!  I’m glad to be called a Methodist if that’s what it means!

Are you a Methodist? The more important question is, “Are you a Christian?” That’s the only thing that really matters. The rest is just a matter of preference and heritage. I am glad to be a Christian and a Methodist. This summer we’ve talked about the Great Commandment and The Great Commission- loving God and loving others.  “We love because He first loved us.” -I John 4:19. John Wesley’s final words were “The Best is yet to come!” I believe that is true! I’m thankful to be a part of God’s Family and The New Willow View!

Yours in Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark

PS - We’re looking at the key goals of The Global Methodist Church this month as identified in their Mission statement:  The mission of The Global Methodist Church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly and witness boldly!”  Wasn’t Worship special last Sunday? Remember how to prepare for Worship? Sleep- before you get here! Read God’s Word every day. Pray about what He wants you to hear and expect Him to show up! Looking forward to worshipping Jesus with you again this Sunday!

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