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Featured Methodist church

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Skylarmarleaux, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Skylarmarleaux

    Skylarmarleaux New Member

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    I am now 30 years of age with children of my own. I have always attended Methodist churches and occasionally attended service at the baptist church. For the past 3 years I was a member of a baptist church because my husband enjoy the service and the fellowship. But for the last 7 months I have been back at my childhood church which is the Methodist church. I LOVE the atmosphere and the fullness that I receive when I attend service back at the Methodist church. Now it is many things that I do not remember that took place in the church as a child that are a little confusing to me and I just want to make sure that I am doing the right thing and not disobeying God. The church views Christmas and everything with the birth of Jesus to be no something that happened in the December month but as a kid I always remember us having Christmas. I need help and understanding on what beliefs and traditions are different from my Methodist church and the baptist church. I don't want to have a secret Christmas at my home and attend church as if it is not Christmas on steroids at my house. I love Christmas but I love the Lord and church more. I just need help and direction!!!
     
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  2. Winken

    Winken Heimat Supporter

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    Worship our Savior on Christmas Day. YOU set the date, follow the traditions that you understand. Comfort the children in the blessed knowledge that we worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, not a day, not a tradition. HE is at the center of our worship, our exchange of love and gifts. Consider what the children are hearing about "the" day from family and friends, acquaintances; talk about it, don't debate it or hide it. As a family love the opportunity to recall the greatest event in human history!
     
  3. actionsub

    actionsub Mike, he's just this guy, you know?

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    Some of the newer "seeker friendly" style Methodist churches downplay a lot of the trappings of Christianity. The more mainstream Methodist churches (I was raised Baptist) make far more out of Christmas and the Advent season leading up to it than I ever remember. Usually every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas day itself is devoted to some aspect of Jesus's first coming.

    So if this particular congregation is not celebrating Christmas, it definitely does not reflect Methodism as a whole.
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

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    Rather than relying on childhood memories why not go by whether the church teaches and practises Christianity.
     
  5. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    I would encourage you to not worry about what either church says, or any traditions but look only to the Bible. The hierarchy of who to believe is:
    #1- God, as revealed in his Word (the Bible)
    #2 -God, as revealed in his Word (the Bible)
    #3 -God, as revealed in his Word (the Bible)

    Here's your other option:

    Matthew 15:9
    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    To the extent traditions and customs do not conflict with God's Word, and to the extent they do not reflect poorly on your testimony for Christ and to the extent they reflect the fruits of the Spirit, then enjoy them if your conscience permits.

    Don't ever let a custom or tradition outsize itself and take precedence over your convictions about what the Bible says. Don't practice a tradition unless you test it against Scripture.

    Some examples of traditions (which become unquestioned doctrines for some) are:
    -Christmas trees (yes/no)
    -Christmas presents (yes/no)
    -participating in Halloween (yes/no)
    -wearing head coverings to church (yes/no)
    -refraining from engaging in commerce on Sunday (yes/no)
    -long hair for women (yes/no)
    -what is modest attire for women (dresses/pants/shorts/tank tops etc etc)
    -woman working outside of the home (yes/no)
    -marital roles (mutual submission/unidirectional submission)

    I picked on some traditions that Baptists tend to observe, depending upon where your church is in the spectrum. I'm not as familiar with any Methodist traditions so they might not be in my list.

    If you are observing any of these (or other outwardly manifested actions) because everyone else at church is also doing so, go back to your Bible and study them out. Know for yourself if they are actually commandments of men and being practiced in vain, or if they are asked of you by God in the Bible.

    Learn to stand up for what you believe, know why you believe it, and don't be cowed into the traditions of others or into commandments of men.
     
  6. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I see you are new, welcome :wave:.

    There is a Baptist subforum here on CF, I'm not sure about Methodist. Anyone know?

    If I want denomination specfic advice, it is usually most effective to post a question in that subforum. In Advice, you will get answers from every one.
     
  7. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Grounded in His word, anchored in church history. Supporter CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team

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    Here it is>Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene
     
  8. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Most of these are customs, not doctrines or "commandments of men."
     
  9. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you completely.

    However, they are often taught as doctrines and enforced with church discipline to the point of putting someone out of the church as an unbeliever after various admonitions.

    edited to add: I was too quick to reply. I agree that most of these are customs and commandments of men, not doctrines. I think we agree on the essence of what we're saying.
     
  10. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most Methodists follow similar church calendars to every other mainline denomination, so they observe Advent and Christmas.
     
  11. Dave-W

    Dave-W Grandparent of six grandchildren, #7 on the way! Supporter

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    True - but many elevate those issues to doctrinal level.
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I really don't think Christmas trees count as doctrines, church discipline, or anything close to either of them. This may seem too trivial to dispute, but it damages your point to identify them as such IMO.
     
  13. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    I am aware of churches that would rebuke someone for having them, and potentially even invoke discipline.

    My point was to question everything man is telling you not to do (or to do) against the Bible itself. Don't take things for true unless you have verified them from Scripture for being true. Be a skeptic until you confirm it in God's work.
     
  14. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    In fact, the point of the OP's original question specifically deals with customs (potentially even "doctrines" given her level of discomfort) surrounding Christmas celebrations.

    It is not a far stretch to suppose, from her post, that perhaps even a Christmas tree may be the custom under question.

    The danger I sense in her dilemma and viewpoint is that she may be taking direction from a church without proving it against the word of God.
     
  15. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes, I agree in principle. It's the application of the principle to actual practices that takes some sorting out.
     
  16. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would never even let a church tell me whether I could or should have a Christmas tree. I would be praying directly to God for that answer.

    When a church gets that into your home life for something like this, I would wonder why they were not focusing on greater issues in the Christian community (like porn, love, prayer, the sick, spreading the gospel, ect.)
     
  17. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Tobeloved, I have noticed in some of your posts that there are certain commandments of men that you have also accepted as doctrines. For example, you've referenced the "headship" doctrine, which is built on a word that is not found in the Bible. Therefore, by definition at least a hair of that doctrine is a commandment of man.

    Have you ever studied the headship position from a skeptical perspective to confirm that you are indeed relying on the full counsel of Scripture and not following a man made doctrine that is in vain?

    I don't intend my question as a thread jack to discuss the topic of headship .... I'm just pointing out that most of us have at least several blind spots where we assume the positioning and applications we've heard our whole lives are the truth.

    If you study the skeptic's viewpoint and still rest on your original interpretation, then that's entirely fine too. Then you have personally verified it to be a doctrine of God and not a vain commandment of man.

    At least you know at a deeper level what you believe and why you believe it.

    There are some applications of the 'headship' doctrine that are unquestionably FAR outside of anything found in the Bible and extremely harmful to those being subjected to it, such as teachings that a woman must be subordinate to her husband EVEN if he commands her to sin because he will answer for any of her sins done under his command instead of her. Women living under this doctrine can be terribly abused without having a sense that they are being treated unjustly.

    I have not studied your posts to ascertain where on that spectrum you are - I'm just mentioning that in some circles the headship doctrine morphs into its own animal - far beyond anything most Christians could stretch the words of the Bible into.

    So, all of that to say => it is healthy for ALL of us to examine EVERYTHING we believe against the Bible. Particularly anything that is enslaving to our lives; things that we accommodate at great inconvenience. I'm HAPPY to be inconvenienced in service to my Lord; I have just learned during my spiritual journey that some of my inconveniences were Pharisaical fences and actually repugnant to the plain teachings in Scripture.

    I personally study the skeptics positions until I'm satisfied that my position answers their questions satisfactorily, in my judgement.
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    C'mon. You know that the concept is found in scripture, even if that isn't the word used. There are all sorts of words and terms that we all use which refer to some Biblical principle...but none of us is using the original Greek word, are we?
    So you DO recognize what ToBeLoved was referring to after all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  19. ToBeLoved

    ToBeLoved Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So the Bible is incorrect?

    1 Corinthians 11:3
    3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
     
  20. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    The Bible is beautifully, inerrantly and unfailingly correct, including that verse and all other verses.

    The question I posed to you is: have you challenged yourself on whether your understanding of it is correct? Are you reading that verse through a filter that you don't even realize is there?

    Be careful for which translations you use when studying out this issue, however. The ESV translation was chaired by a man who is heavily into a perversion of the headship doctrine, and he translated the verse this way:

    But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wifea]">[a] is her husband,b]">[b] and the head of Christ is God.

    Notice he substituted "wife" for "woman" in the text, while including notes that imply the literal translation is "woman" and "man". Wife instead of woman is an enormous difference.

    He also made this change in Gen 3:16:

    ..Your desire shall be contrary to a]">[a] your husband..

    which is vastly different than:

    ...and thy desire shall be to thy husband...


    The specifics of headship per se are not the point of my comment. My comment was just pointing out that most (all?) of us have filters that we don't even recognize are filters. Some of our filters inadvertently pull doctrines of the devil into our sincerely held beliefs. We think we are understanding something as the pure, unadulterated Word of God when it isn't necessarily so.

    Infamously, the devil's best line is "yea, hath not God said...." and then with a small twist you think you are understanding what God said but it is actually entirely different.

    So, the only question I pose to you is: have you challenged yourself on whether your understanding of it is correct? Are you reading that verse through a filter that you don't even realize is there?
     
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