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Methodism and the Bible

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23.JAN.09

Editor: At a time when the Methodist Church South Caribbean District is holding its 191st Conference in SVG, it is an opportune time to ask them to re-examine their teachings, practices and even more fundamentally their future existence as a church.{{more}}

This writer was subjected to what is called “Baptism of Infants”, and many years after, August 1970, was received into the membership of the Methodist Church by a Minister, Mr. Garnes. (“Reverend” is reserved for God himself). It was a joy serving in various ways, including being a member of the Junior Choir that once beat the Senior Choir at a National Music Festival, a member and later President of the Kingstown Methodist Youth Fellowship and a Sunday School Teacher.

From an early age, as one who questioned things and respected the Bible, I had serious difficulties with many of the teachings and practices of that church, as indeed a host of other churches in SVG at the time. I severed membership officially in April 1978 and became and remain a Christian, a member of the Church of Christ to this day.

My love for the people called Methodist remains strong, and so with loving care and concern I ask the following:

1. Since Jesus Christ is the founder of his church, 1 Cor. 3:15, and the Bible says there is one church, why did John Wesley or any other person(s) have to build another?

2. The Bible claims it is a sufficient guide. Why then the need for the Methodist Book of Discipline?

3. Methodist teaches that baptism is not essential to salvation, but Jesus differs – Mark 16: 16.

4. Their claim of “Justification of faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort” contradicts the Bible – James 2: 24, 26.

5. For Methodist, baptism is usually by sprinkling, but in the Bible there is much water, a going down into, a burial; and coming up out of the water – John 3:23; Acts 8: 38, 39; Rom. 6:4.

6. In the Bible, people were baptized after they believed, repented and confessed Jesus as the Son of God. Since infants cannot do these things, why sprinkle them and call it baptism?

7. Why a period of probation is required before one can become a Methodist? There are clear examples in the Bible of persons obeying the gospel and being added to the church the same day – Acts 2: 41; 16: 30-34.

The Holy Spirit is calling all persons into the bride of Christ (His church), not to any religious institution of human origin. Renewal should result in a return to the teachings of Christ and his apostles found in the New Testament. I sincerely believe that our response to this will determine our eternal destiny.

Joel H. Jack
jj23svg@yahoo.com

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