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  #1  
Unread 18th July 2010, 03:22 PM
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Core differences between Baptist (Calvinist) and United Methodist?

What are the core differences between Calvinistic doctrine and United Methodist? I am not a 5 point Calvinist, because I see some contradictions in Scripture, but I was raised in a Calvinist church, so a lot of my beliefs are more Calvinistic, but I moved and attending a UM church today so I was wondering what the difference is.
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Unread 18th July 2010, 07:20 PM
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If we're talking directly about the positions vs. TULIP, then the only thing that is retained is Total Depravity - but in the same way Arminius himself accepted Depravity, with prevenient grace given to all to allow the choice to follow or deny. So to go along with that, the UMC rejects predestination (and those things which imply or lead to it like Limited Atonement) and once saved always saved. Views on how God's mercy is poured out in salvific issues beyond that is a mixed bag.

If you mean some of the secondary positions, like Postmillennialism or views on the nature of Communion or Baptism, then that's a more open-ended question. There is no set end times view, although you will probably notice that Methodists tend to reject Dispensationalism (the theology in "Left Behind", in other words). Communion and Baptism are held as sacraments in denoms like Presbyterianism, but not Baptist churches. Methodists view those as sacraments, outward signs of inward grace initiated by God, and not as ordinances observed by Man.


Of course, this probably doesn't help, but there are Reformed Methodists that do follow in the Calvinistic tradition. They're in a severe minority and isolated around Wales, but they do exist. And it goes without saying that they aren't affiliated with the UMC.
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Unread 18th July 2010, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Qyt27 View Post
If we're talking directly about the positions vs. TULIP, then the only thing that is retained is Total Depravity - but in the same way Arminius himself accepted Depravity, with prevenient grace given to all to allow the choice to follow or deny. So to go along with that, the UMC rejects predestination (and those things which imply or lead to it like Limited Atonement) and once saved always saved. Views on how God's mercy is poured out in salvific issues beyond that is a mixed bag.

If you mean some of the secondary positions, like Postmillennialism or views on the nature of Communion or Baptism, then that's a more open-ended question. There is no set end times view, although you will probably notice that Methodists tend to reject Dispensationalism (the theology in "Left Behind", in other words). Communion and Baptism are held as sacraments in denoms like Presbyterianism, but not Baptist churches. Methodists view those as sacraments, outward signs of inward grace initiated by God, and not as ordinances observed by Man.


Of course, this probably doesn't help, but there are Reformed Methodists that do follow in the Calvinistic tradition. They're in a severe minority and isolated around Wales, but they do exist. And it goes without saying that they aren't affiliated with the UMC.
I would assume then that by Limited Atonement you take it as normal Calvinist do, as in Grace is sufficient to cover all sins, but only efficient or limited to those who put their faith in Christ?

As far as predestination and God's sovereignty in salvation goes, how then is Romans 9 generally perceived in UM?

I think my main concern is doctrinal stances within salvation and all that's included in that, i.e. sanctification, the ordinances/sacraments, and the authority of God's Word over liturgy, is it mostly taken literally or figuratively etc. basically the main issues. As far as secondary positions, I'm not too concerned with that as the most important thing to my mind is the authority of God's word, it's accuracy when it DOES touch on science or history (though I don't think it's meant to be used as a history or science book, it's just accurate when it touches on these issues), and salvation. The rest IS important, but obviously not as important.

Thanks for your response.
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Unread 19th July 2010, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by faceofbear View Post
I would assume then that by Limited Atonement you take it as normal Calvinist do, as in Grace is sufficient to cover all sins, but only efficient or limited to those who put their faith in Christ?
By 'limited atonement' I meant the idea that Christ only died for a distinct group rather than the potentiality of all mankind (even wherein a distinct group is made up of those who respond to His grace). There was actually a thread not even a few days ago concerning views on atonement. It may help some to put this question in perspective, or maybe not.

http://www.christianforums.com/t7481720/

As far as predestination and God's sovereignty in salvation goes, how then is Romans 9 generally perceived in UM?
Someone else will have to address this, as my reading of it is leaning more toward the concept of what material and spiritual Israel is and the Jew vs. Gentile issue for believers. Part of this glancing reading is because my head hurts right now.

I think my main concern is doctrinal stances within salvation and all that's included in that, i.e. sanctification, the ordinances/sacraments, and the authority of God's Word over liturgy, is it mostly taken literally or figuratively etc. basically the main issues. As far as secondary positions, I'm not too concerned with that as the most important thing to my mind is the authority of God's word, it's accuracy when it DOES touch on science or history (though I don't think it's meant to be used as a history or science book, it's just accurate when it touches on these issues), and salvation. The rest IS important, but obviously not as important.
You mean whether the UMC is literalist and teaches Inerrancy, Young/Old Earth or other types of Creationism, and so forth? Those things are left to the individual believer to come to a conclusion on between themselves and God, the denomination doesn't dictate that for them.

As Methodism is descended from the Church of England, there's still lots of similarities between the UMC's positions on things and Anglican positions* (note, I said Anglican, not specifically the Episcopal Church as it exists in the U.S. - most of the Anglican Communion is more conservative than the Episcopals are). There's also a wide range of congregations within the UMC, with decidedly conservative blocs, and also liberal ones. Most fall somewhere in between those two extremes, though. It also depends on what part of the country or world you're in.

*case in point: the Methodist Articles of Religion are a trimmed-down and revised version of the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles. You can compare the two:
Thirty-Nine Articles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Articles of Religion (Methodist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Unread 19th July 2010, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by faceofbear View Post
I would assume then that by Limited Atonement you take it as normal Calvinist do, as in Grace is sufficient to cover all sins, but only efficient or limited to those who put their faith in Christ?

As far as predestination and God's sovereignty in salvation goes, how then is Romans 9 generally perceived in UM?
The Wesleyan/Arminian (and early pre-Augustinian Church) position is that Romans 9 refers to nations, not individuals. The topic starts there and ends in Rom 11.
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Unread 24th July 2010, 02:09 AM
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Here is a site that might give you some ideas - Theology Topics
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Unread 24th July 2010, 11:59 PM
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Wesleyan views that a TULIP Calvinst would be uncomfortable with:
  • Christ died for all, not just those who come to faith.
  • God's grace is granted even before salvation, in that the Holy Spirit is always encouraging us to respond in faith.
  • God's grace is universal and people have the free will to say YES or NO to that offering.
  • That not all do respond in faith is evidence that grace can be, and sometimes is, resisted by those that God offers it to.
  • Even those who have come to faith retain their free will to subsequently walk away and turn their backs on the grace that God offers and they had previously received.
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Unread 25th July 2010, 04:34 PM
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Unread 26th July 2010, 01:43 AM
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What do you do with passages that do mention predestination, election, God revealing the truth to Peter, and some of which Jesus says that He gives people to Jesus etc. Sorry this is brief I'm on my cell phone. I'm just curious because I'm mixed on semantics right now.
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Unread 28th July 2010, 05:08 PM
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