Portal:Methodism

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The Methodism Portal

Methodism is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. It originated in 18th century Great Britain, and through vigorous missionary activity, spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond. Wesley's theology focused on sanctification and the effect of faith on character. He stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one's heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one's neighbour as oneself. Most Methodists are Arminian, emphasizing that Christ accomplished salvation for every human being, and that humans must exercise an act of the will to receive it. One popular expression of Methodist doctrine is in the hymns of John Wesley's brother, Charles. Since enthusiastic congregational singing was a part of the early evangelical movement, Methoodist theology took root and spread through this channel.

Selected article

Logo of the United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. With at least 12 million members as of 2014, it is the largest denomination within the wider Methodist movement of approximately 80 million people across the world.

The United Methodist Church seeks to create disciples for Christ through outreach, evangelism, and through seeking holiness, also called sanctification, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The flame in the church logo represents the work of the Holy Spirit in the world, and the two parts of the flame also represent the predecessor denominations—The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church—united at the base symbolizing the 1968 merger.

The United Methodist Church understands itself to be part of the holy catholic church and it recognizes the historic creeds, the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed; which are used frequently in services of worship The church contains both liturgical and evangelical elements.

Selected biography

John Wesley portrait
John Wesley (28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an Anglican cleric and Christian theologian, and is largely credited with founding the Methodist movement. The Methodist movement began when Wesley took to open-air preaching in a similar manner as George Whitefield at Hanham Mount, Kingswood, and Bristol.

Wesley helped to organize and form Methodist societies throughout Britain and Ireland, small groups that developed intensive, personal accountability and religious instruction among members.

Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social justice issues of the day, including prison reform and abolitionism movements. Wesley's contribution as a theologian was to propose a system of opposing theological stances. His greatest theological achievement was his promotion of what he termed "Christian perfection" or holiness of heart and life. Wesley insisted that in this life, the Christian could come to a state where the love of God, or perfect love, reigned supreme in one's heart. His evangelical theology, especially his understanding of Christian perfection, was firmly grounded in his sacramental theology. He continually insisted on the general use of the means of grace (prayer, Scripture, meditation, Holy Communion, etc.) as the means by which God transforms the believer.

Today, Wesley's influence as a teacher persists. He continues to be the primary theological interpreter for Methodists the world over. Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians who attempt to discern what it means to participate in the Kingdom of God.

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