What We Believe

One of the interesting things is that we are not a very doctrinal denomination. We have no Augsburg Confession as the Lutherans do, or Westminster Catechism like the Presbyterians, or Papal Encyclicals as the Catholics. There is no one set of systematic beliefs we are required to adhere to. In a sense, we are the First  Amendment of the Protestant denominations: our members are free to harbor a wide variety of  beliefs.

Our “doctrine” is brief and simple. We believe in Jesus as the Son of God; in the salvation he brings through his life, death and resurrection; in the new life he bestows through the Holy Spirit. These are basic to just about all Christian congregations. In the details, we aren’t as specific.

We do have guiding documents, such as Wesley’s sermons, the Articles of Faith, the Social Principals and such, but we do not require absolute adherence to every word of them for people to be members of our congregations or worshiping communities. You can read these documents by going to the United Methodist website: www.umc.org. In the top bar there is a link to “What We Believe.

Wesleyan doctrine and theology have always been very practical. Our faith and practice of it is both personal and social, and not historically divisive. We seem to be able to get along with fellow Methodists who are liberal and conservative, marchers and thinkers, dreamers and doers. We have never thought that unity meant uniformity. Wesley would say, “In essentials, unity; in  non-essentials, liberty; and in all things,charity.