What Is Methodism?
United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in The Book of Discipline, we share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:
God, who is one, is revealed in three distinct persons.
We believe in the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ. God became human in Jesus of Nazareth; and his life, death and resurrection demonstrates God's redeeming love.
The Holy Spirit is God's present activity in our midst. When we sense God's leading, God's challenge, or God's support or comfort, it's the Holy Spirit at work.
Genesis 1:27 asserts that we've been made in the image of the Creator. Like God we have the capacity to love and care, to communicate, and to create.
The church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
The kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
The Social Principles comprise a basic statement of our convictions about the fundamental relationships between God, God's creation, and humanity. This statement explains how United Methodists are called to live in the world.
We affirm our unity in Jesus Christ while acknowledging differences in applying our faith in different cultural contexts as we live out the gospel.
The Natural World
All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it.
The Nurturing Community
We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals.
The Social Community
We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God's sight. We reject discrimination and assert the rights of minority groups to equal opportunities.
The Economic Community
We claim all economic systems to be under the judgment of God no less than other facets of the created order.
The Political Community
We hold governments responsible for the protection of people’s basic freedoms. We believe that neither church nor state should attempt to dominate the other.
The World Community
God’s world is one world. We pledge ourselves to seek the meaning of the gospel in all issues that divide people and threaten the growth of world community.
Our Social Creed
We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation. We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.
We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world.