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Methodist vs. Baptist?

Discussion in 'Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene' started by BigChrisfilm, Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. BigChrisfilm

    BigChrisfilm Contributor

    What are the big differences between Baptist and Methodist? Also, do you believe in faith alone for salvation? How do you get saved?
  2. sinner/SAVED

    sinner/SAVED homo unis libri / εραστής της φρόνησης

    Depends on which Baptists you are thinking of. There are many and their beliefs are diverse.

    Justification is by faith, a product of grace.

    This is in agreement with most Baptists, but also the starting point of our differences. Most Baptists that I am familiar with see Justification as the goal of faith. Methodists see Justification as the starting point.
  3. Qyöt27

    Qyöt27 AMV Editor At Large

    I once saw it humorously quipped that there were many times a Baptist and a Catholic get married and end up going to a Methodist church as a compromise. Not that that's the way the denomination arose (far from, actually), but you'll see similarities to both [usually the older, pre-Fundamentalist era] Protestants and to the high churches (i.e. Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism, primarily Anglicanism though, since that's were Methodism originated and broke off due to mostly external politics during the American Revolution, although there were some internal conflicts as well - John Wesley remained a priest in the Church of England, though).

    You can also see other points here:

    Some of the social/political issues that Baptists like in the SBC get entangled in are not focal points in Methodism, and are either left to the believer to discern or if officially stated, get approached in a more pragmatic fashion - the bottom line being that even in those tough decisions, all are in need of grace and the church's duty is to be a hospital for the sick, not a museum for the holy.

    Political, economic, social, and theological (am I missing any more?) positions amongst Methodists run pretty much the entire gamut. For instance, if Wikipedia's article on Methodism is to be taken for its word on this point:
  4. Oye11

    Oye11 Veteran

    The differences are rather distinct and thus we worship on separate corners. Though I very much enjoy the company of some Baptist believers as long as they are not pushing Calvinism. Here is a list of general differences that come to mind.

    Baptists claim to base their beliefs on the bible alone and Methodists include tradition, reason, and experience as sources of authority.

    Baptists believe baptism should be performed via dunking and only after a confession of faith. Methodists believe the children of believers should be admitted into the Church via baptism which can include sprinkling with water. The rite is confirmed later when the recepient comes to faith.

    Almost all Baptist groups believe that once a believer experiences salvation they can never lose or forfeit it. Methodists though very much tend to follow the opposing Arminian or traditional Catholic theology which attributes responsibility to the believer to remain in grace or lose their standing. An exception is small group of self described Methodists in the U.K. who trace themelves to George Whitefield. They are full Calvinist.

    Baptists tend to be rather informal, Methodists, more liturgical with the candles, robes, responsive readings, etc. Many Baptists have tended to want to disassociate with appearances of Roman Catholicism while Methodists find many old traditions valuable.

    Methodists typically ordain women to the ministry. Baptists usually do not.

    Methodists generally are tolerant of a wider range of belief. You`ll find theologically liberal and conservative Methodist Churches, often depending on region. It is also common to find considerable diversity in belief within single congregations.
  5. GraceSeeker

    GraceSeeker Senior Member

    Oye11 appears to have noted the major differences. Of them, several are primarily liturgical in nature:
    1) Methodists celebrate Holy Communion as a sacrament. I believe Baptists simply refer to it as an ordinance.
    2) Baptists, as the name implies, make a bigger deal out of baptism than do Methodists. (Though that might be slighting the Methodist view of this sacrament some.) Most Baptists practice (usually adult) believers baptism by immersion and Methodist practice baptism of all ages (including infants who are presented by believing parents) by any of three means: immersion, pouring, or sprinkling.
    3) While most people today probably couldn't tell the difference between a Methodist order of worship and a Baptist order of worship -- differeneces arising more out of personal preferences of the pastors than denominational issues -- the Methodist order of worship is based on a liturgy of prayers and the Baptist order for the service is based on a liturgy of the word.

    Some of those liturgical issues, such as baptism, have theological roots based on different interpretations of a few key passages of scripture and whether church history and tradition are brought to bear in the decision making process or not.

    One key theological difference is in the view of eternal security. Methodists believe that people have free will, that this free will is always a part of the nature that God created in us, and thus that people are always capable not only of sinning, but even of turning their backs on God and rejecting the salvation offered to us in Jesus Christ. (This is true not only for the unsaved but those who have already been saved as well.) Baptist theology is that God is sovereign and faithful that he will therefore never lose any that are placed in his keeping. Thus you hear the mantra, "once saved always saved". Yet, if one examines the Methodist concept of entire sanctification you will find that it results in the same outcome, though arriving at it from a different direction. Entire sanctification holds that as one grows in grace, one desires more and more the things of God and less and less that which is contrary to God's will in your life. Eventually (be it gradually or instantaneous not being an issue), by virtue of God's grace - not one's own righteousness, the process transforms the individual into one whose will exactly matches the will of God. In this condition they want for nothing apart from God and therefore would be just as eternally secure for they would never be inclined to exercise their free will to turn away from God. The remaining difference between Methodists and Baptists on this is that Methodist look at "saved" people who return to living lives of sin and say they are backslidden, and Baptists look on these people and suggest that maybe they weren't really saved the first time.
  6. GraceSeeker

    GraceSeeker Senior Member

    To add a few more names to the eclectic mix that is United Methodism, other United Methodists (who all happened to have been members of General Conference at one time or another) include: George Wallace, George McGovern (a PK), Oral Roberts (he is a layperson not a pastor), and Bobby Knight.
  7. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    A former Pastor of mine once said from the pulpit that a Methodist is "a Presbyterian without money and a Baptist without religion." He is ordained so it must be true. :D
  8. Citanul

    Citanul Well, when exactly do you mean?

    South Africa
    I'm not sure of the exact wording but the movie A River Runs Through It states that a Methodist is a Baptist who can read. ;)
  9. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

    that is what happened to some close friends of my family, great people
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