Methodism Versus Christianity
As implied in our title, Methodism is not Christianity. It is contrary to the Bible in origin, name, doctrine and practice. Because we believe there are good honest people in Methodism who can be converted to Christianity with the truth, we send forth this article for their consideration. All quotations from the METHODIST DISCIPLINE (M. D.), the official creed book of Methodism, are from the 1948 edition. Quotations from METHODIST DOCTRINAL BELIEFS (M. D. B.) by Cullen T. Carter, are taken from a tract published by the Board of Education, Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. All emphases on words are mine.
The M. D. says, "The Methodist Church is a church of Christ in which `the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly administered.' This church is a great Protestant body, though it did not come directly out of the Reformation but had its origin within the Church o f England. ITS FOUNDER WAS JOHN WESLEY." (Pg. 3).
May I kindly state that the claim that the Methodist church is a church of Christ is completely false. In order for any church to be a church of Christ, it must be scriptural in origin, name, doctrine, organization and practice. The Methodist church is unscriptural in all of these essential prerequisites. It originated in the wrong place at the wrong time, has the wrong founder, wears the wrong name, has the wrong organization and wrong practices, and teaches false doctrines. That you may see the striking difference between the Methodist church and the Lord's church, we present the following contrast for your honest and serious consideration.
1. ORIGIN: "Within the church of Eng land."
2. DATE: 1739.
3. FOUNDER: John Wesley (Methodist Discipline).
4. NAME: Methodists.
5. BAPTISM: Sprinkling and pouring.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1. ORIGIN: Jerusalem (Isa. 2; Acts 2).
2. DATE: About A. D. 33
3. FOUNDER: Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).
4. NAME: Christians (Acts 11:26).
5. BAPTISM: Burial (Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:4).
We shall discuss some of these contrasts and present others later, but these should be sufficient proof that there is a great difference between the Methodist church and the Lord's church. They originated at different places at different times (over 1700 years apart!); they have different founders, different organizations, wear different names, teach different doctrines and practice different things. THEREFORE THEY ARE DIFFERENT CHURCHES! They are destined for different places in eternity because one was planted by God and the other was not; one has Christ as its Savior (Eph. 5:23), and the other shall be rooted up (Matt. 15 :13) . Question: CAN ONE BE SAVED IN A CHURCH DESTINED TO BE ROOTED UP BY GOD? What think ye? Can one be saved in a church of which Christ is not the Savior?
The statement in the Discipline that "the pure Word of God is preached" in the Methodist church is proved to be false by comparing Methodist doctrine with the Bible. Notice the contradictory difference in the following example:
METHODIST DISCIPLINE: "We are justified by faith only" (Page 27).
BIBLE: "By works a man is justified and NOT by faith only" (James 2:34).
This one example of a direct contradiction is a serious one for it involves the plan of salvation for the whole world. No one can be saved by a false plan. And since the Methodist plan contradicts God's Word, it is false. Thus it is not possible for one to be saved who believes and follows Methodist doctrine. One must believe the gospel of Christ or be condemned (Mark 16:15-16).
Though the Discipline contradicts the Bible, it says, "We have therefore expected that the Discipline would be administered, not merely as a legal document, but as a revelation of the Holy Spirit working in and through our people." (Page 1) . How could it be a revelation of the Holy Spirit since it contradicts the Holy Spirit's words, the Bible? The fact that the Discipline is frequently revised, added to, and sometimes reversed proves this claim to be false. Furthermore, they contradict their own claim by saying, "Methodism created a book of its own, its Discipline." (Page 5).
But what about their claim to preach the pure Word of God? Is it the pure Word of God when men are taught to wear the name Methodist? Where does God authorize it? It is not in the Bible and Methodists admit it. "The name, Methodist Church, is not found in the Bible. No intelligent, informed person makes such a claim." (M. D. B. by Carter). Members of Christ's church were called Christians, not Methodists (Acts 11: 26). The apostle Paul persuaded men to be Christians, not Methodists (Acts 26:28). We can rejoice when we suffer as a Christian (1 Pet. 4:16) . There is salvation in none other name under heaven (Acts 4:2).
The Discipline says, "Let every adult person, and the parents of every child to be baptized, have the choice of sprinkling, pouring, or immersion." (Page 470). Is this the pure Word of God? The Bible says that baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:4). No one was ever sprinkled or poured for baptism by any person for any purpose in the entire Bible! The pure Word of God does not give men such a choice. Furthermore, no infant was ever baptized by anyone for any purpose in all the Bible record. There is no scripture that authorizes it. Hence the Discipline preaches false doctrine.
Methodism teaches that baptism is not necessary to salvation. "The forgiveness of sins and the new life must come before the administration of baptism . . . The Methodist Church regards water baptism as a church ordinance, and not essential to salvation." (M. D. B. by Carter, Pages 9, 15) . The pure Word of God says that "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." (Mark 16:16) . Baptism is essential to getting into Christ (Gal. 3:27), into Christ's death to receive benefits from his blood (Rom. 6:3), for remission of sins (Acts 2:38), to have sins washed away (Acts 22: 16), to be saved (I Pet. 3:21). It's Methodism versus the pure Word of God!
At the dedication of an organ in worship, the minister is to say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we dedicate this organ to the praise of Almighty God." (M. D., Page 550). "In the name of" simply means "by the authority of." Where in the pure Word of God does the Father, Son and Holy Spirit authorize the organ in the New Testament church? What church of Christ ever used it in Bible days? Again, it's Methodism versus the pure Word of God! There is not one Bible passage that authorizes an organ in the Lord's church!
It will no doubt shock many Methodists to learn that their Discipline teaches that all babies are born with original sin. Under the heading, "OF ORIGINAL OR BIRTH SIN" it says, "Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually." (Page 26). Thus every baby born is corrupted in its nature, is very far gone from original righteousness, is continually inclined to evil, according to Methodism. The Pelagian was "a follower of Pelagius, a British monk, who denied original sin and held that man has perfect freedom of the will." (Webster). Methodism says his talk was vain talk, that all men are born with sin. But the pure Word of God teaches no such thing as original or birth sin for infants (See Matt. 18:3; Mark 10:14). Hence Methodism does not preach the pure Word of God.
In the Bible, the only scriptural reason given by Christ for divorce and remarriage is fornication (Matt. 19:9). But in instructing the Methodist minister not to perform a marriage ceremony for a divorced person whose husband or wife is still living and unmarried, the Discipline says, "but this rule will NOT apply to the innocent person when it is clearly established by competent testimony that the true cause for divorce was adultery or OTHER VICIOUS CONDITIONS which through mental or physical peril invalidated the marriage vow." (Page 107). The Lord allows only ONE condition for divorce and remarriage, but the Discipline allows OTHER conditions! Methodism ADDS TO the pure Word of God (See Rev. 22:18).
I have tried to be as kind and plain as possible in proving that the Methodist Church is not the Lord's church, and that the Discipline is not revelation of the Holy Spirit, nor the pure Word of God. It adds to, takes from, changes and denies the Bible. God teaches if one does not abide in Christ's doctrine, he hath not God (2 John 9-11) ; and if one does not believe the gospel of Christ he shall be damned (Mark 16:16). Since Methodist doctrine is not the doctrine of Christ, then obviously all who follow it hath not God and shall be condemned. All Methodists are obligated to believe and uphold the Methodist Church in all it teaches. (M. D., Pages 37, 480). As long as one remains a Methodist he is bidding his preacher God speed and is therefore guilty of every false doctrine he preaches (2 John 9-11).
We earnestly and sincerely appeal to all good Methodist people to reject the Discipline and follow the Bible, to leave the church founded by Wesley and become a member of the one founded by Christ, to abide in Christ's doctrine rather than Methodist doctrine, to be a Christian instead of a Methodist. You alone must make the great choice that will determine your eternal destiny beyond the valley of the shadow of death. Consider the brevity of life, the certainty of death, the surety of the judgment, the ceaseless age of eternity, the horrors of hell, the happiness of heaven, and forsake the church destined to be rooted up by God (1latt. 15:13). Turn to God in obedience while time and opportunity yet remain. Enter, live, serve and die in the church for which Christ died (Acts 20:28), over which he reigns as head (Eph. 1:22), of which he is the Saviour (Eph. 5:23), the church of Christ. You can do so by believing in God and Christ, repenting of sins, confessing. your faith in Christ, and being buried in baptism for remission of sins (Heb. 11:6; John 8:24; Luke 13:3; Rom. 10:10; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:4). Because of my interest in, love for and concern about your soul, my Methodist friend, I pray that you will do this.
(Note: This article is available in tract form. Send inquiries to 2920 Tradewinds Trail, Orlando, Florida).
Truth Magazine, V:10, pp. 5-7