The Uniting Methodist Church VS THe Baptist Church
When comparing Baptists with Methodists, the first question is, of course, Which Baptists? Not only are there different
denominations of Baptist heritage but also individuals can differ greatly, even on matters that are at the core of belief.
WHEN CHANGING DO BAPTIST HAVE TO LEAVE BEHIND MY BELIEFS?
Many have shared that they appreciated not being asked to abandon "treasures" from their upbringing when they join the Methodist
church. They weren't asked to 'view their former churches as "wrong." Methodist Priests welcome the gifts Baptists bring to
the larger Body of Christ. Baptists typically bring joy to Methodists with their devotion to Bible study, dedication to missions,
and an aim toward personal conversion.
HOW DO BAPTISTS APPROACH THE BIBLE? Methodists
generally read the Bible in order to encounter THE living Word of God - namely Jesus Christ - and let the theories sort themselves
out (John 1:14-18: Hebrews 1:1-2). Christianity is more than a list of beliefs: it is a relationship with God through Christ.
And that relationship grows and changes.
For instance, some quote Bible say that women should not
instruct men because of eve coming from adam. The MethodistChurch is believes very
differently. They believe that men can learn a lot from women.
United Methodists value their heritage and their Catholic heritage.
Like many Baptists, They look to the scriptures and their own life experience with God in order to judge what is true. But
they also trust (within limits) the workings of reason. The mind is a gift from God and should be used to the fullest for
the glory of God and like their Catholic brothers and sisters, they respect the wisdom represented in the tradition of the
WHAT ABOUT BEING "BORN AGAIN?
" Many Christians stress, as an absolute need, the "born-again"
experience. Methodists welcome that gift from God. But, once again, what they seek is not a particular experience or feeling:
what they seek is a relationship. So they include many who cannot point to a particular point in time when they received God's
And they believe that faith is a continuous process of choosing
God's way. If humans are free to choose God - and they do believe in "free will".
They also think that they should share god’s love with
HOW ARE THE CHURCHES ORGANIZED?
Some differences are due to their two histories. Baptists
are descended from various groups who found themselves as persecuted minorities in communities with "official churches." A
disbelieve grew toward central organizations. Therefore an association developed linking independent congregations.
Methodists had a different history of persecution. They support
the independence of heart and mind of each believer, but they find a strength and correction when they are connected.
WHAT ABOUT WORSHIP?
Their worship descended from the liturgy of the Church of England
(the Episcopal Church) and was adapted to the American frontier during the great revival period. They have "high" churches
and "low" churches. But all of them love to sing. They pray spontaneously as well as use the great prayers of Jesus and of
the saintly of every age. And they expect sermons to relate the Bible to our every day lives.
They also celebrate Baptism and the Lord's Supper, but we view
them differently than Baptists. As best as they understand it, Baptists generally do not view the sacraments as a new event
in the spiritual lives of Christians. They are educational symbols to remind them of Jesus' sacrifice and to give public testimony
to thier conversion experience.
But United Methodists believe they receive a new gift from
God in these special moments.
HOW AND WHEN DO THEY BAPTIZE?
How much water should one use in baptism? Full immersion is
a vivid representation of our "dying and being raised in Christ. A handful of water on the head represents our anointing.
Methodists baptize all these ways. Since baptism is the initiation rite into the Body of Christ, the church is always present
- no private baptisms.
At what age is it appropriate to baptize? As I understand it,
Baptists view baptism as a response to a conversion experience. Therefore, they await a profession of faith and belief before
baptizing. This is frequently called "adult" baptism, although each year several thousands of six year-old children are baptized
in Southern Baptist churches.
Methodists do not think God requires abstract understanding
for salvation. Faith is not primarily a mental agreement to certain propositions - for even the demons believe - it is a relationship
of trust and loyalty. And even babies can have that. Baptizing is the beginning of your growth in Christ. They believe God
probably sees all people being baptized as "babes in Christ."
The church opens its membership to believers and their households,
but that is not the same as salvation. There is a need for decisions all along the way of their lives.
Because infants can be baptized, they are welcome to share
in the Lord's Supper - as is anyone seeking to love the Lord and follow his ways.
"YOU PREACH IN A DIFFERENT WAY"
Some who have
joined the church have commented that they were glad to get away from preachers who "yelled" and who try to "scare" people
If they are only trying to escape hell, then "any port in
the storm" will do. God is just the lesser of two evils. We'd rather be drawn by the gift of God’s love presented by
Jesus: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom," (Luke ).