The Methodism Portal
Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.
Wesleyan theology, which is upheld by the Methodist Churches, focuses on sanctification and the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing doctrines include the new birth, assurance, imparted righteousness, the possibility of entire sanctification, and the works of piety. Scripture is considered as a primary authority, but Methodists also look to Christian tradition, including the historic creeds. Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all. Against the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people, many Methodists teach a form of Arminianism. However, Whitefield and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position.
In addition to evangelism, Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals, collectively known as the Social Gospel, are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Christ's command to spread the good news and serve all people. (Full article...)
The Methodist Church of Great Britain
is the largest Methodist
body in the United Kingdom
, with congregations across Great Britain
. It is a member of the World Council of Churches
, the World Methodist Council
and other ecumenical
associations. In July 2014 it had approximately 202,000 members in 4,650 congregations and 575,000 adherents in total.
British Methodism arose as a revival movement in the 18th century, chiefly led by the Church of England cleric John Wesley. According to historians such as Elie Halevy, Eric J. Hobsbawm and E. P. Thompson, Methodism had a major impact in the early decades of the making of the English working class (1760–1820). In the 19th century, the Wesleyan Methodist Church experienced many secessions, with the largest of the offshoots being the Primitive Methodists. The main streams of Methodism were reunited in 1932, forming the Methodist Church as it is today.
Methodist circuits, containing several local churches, are gathered into thirty-one districts. The supreme governing body of the church is the annual Methodist Conference; it is headed by the president of conference, a presbyteral minister, supported by a vice-president who can be a local preacher or deacon.
(28 June [O.S.
17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an Anglican
cleric and theologian
, and is largely credited with founding the Methodist movement. He helped to organize and form Methodist societies throughout Britain and Ireland, small groups that developed intensive, personal accountability
and religious instruction among members.
Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social justice issues of the day, including prison reform and abolitionism movements. Wesley's contribution as a theologian was to propose a system of opposing theological stances. His greatest theological achievement was his promotion of what he termed "Christian perfection" or holiness of heart and life. Wesley insisted that in this life, the Christian could come to a state where the love of God, or perfect love, reigned supreme in one's heart. His evangelical theology, especially his understanding of Christian perfection, was firmly grounded in his sacramental theology. He continually insisted on the general use of the means of grace (prayer, Scripture, meditation, Holy Communion, etc.) as the means by which God transforms the believer.
Today, Wesley's influence as a teacher persists. He continues to be the primary theological interpreter for Methodists the world over. Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians who attempt to discern what it means to participate in the Kingdom of God.
Did you know
If you would like to help in any of these project areas, new members are welcome!
Select [►] to view subcategories