Last modified: 2021-01-16 by rob raeside
Keywords: evangelisch-methodistische kirche | methodist |
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John Wesley (1703 – 1791) was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist,
who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as
Methodism. He was born as no. 15 of 19 children in a family of clergymen. His
father Sam Wesley had been also a graduate of the University of Oxford. In the
age of five the house of John’s parents burnt down and he was saved in the very
last minute. This experience had a deep influence onto his complete further
Methodism teaches prevenient grace, which means that salvation is initiated when one chooses to respond to God, who draws the individual near to him. Methodism interprets Scripture as teaching that the saving work of Jesus Christ is for all people (unlimited atonement) but effective only to those who respond and believe, in accordance with the Reformation principles of sola gratia (grace alone) and sola fide (faith alone). John Wesley taught a few key points fundamental to Methodism:
A person is free not only to reject salvation but also to accept it by an act of free will. As a result of prevenient grace faith is a work of God and a decision of mankind as well.
All people, who are obedient to the gospel according to the measure of knowledge given them, will be saved. Sanctification is considered to be more than mere salvation, more than this it is the complete renovation of the follower. More important than Scripture and doctrines are good action and the ethical attitude of the faithful.
The Holy Spirit assures a Christian that they are justified by faith in Jesus (assurance of faith).
Christians in this life are capable of Christian perfection and are commanded by God to pursue it.
There are four criteria, who help us, to understand the Scripture: 1) the Holy Bible, 2) tradition, 3) experience and finally 4) the assistance of reason.
Methodism is organised in the World Methodist Council (WMC), established in 1881. It comprises denominations in 138 countries with 51,000,000 followers.
The salvation Army teaches Methodist virtues but is no member of the council.
The German branch is the Evangelish-methodistische Kirche (EmK), which had in 2008 nearly 35,000 followers (members). The branch has a central conference and is organised by districts, led by super intendents.
The banner of the church is light grey, with a bannerhead of red over a narrow stripe of white. In the upper half the is the logo of the church, a black Latin cross, surrounded by red and dark grey curvy elements, on the lower right end of the cross is the name of the organisation in black letters:
“Evangelish-“(1st line)”methodistische”(2nd line)”Kirche”(3rd line).
The red and grey elements are symbolising fire and smoke and are a reminder on the saving of John Wesley as described above. The cross is symbolising salvation.
Until 2008 Methodists in Germany, Austria and Switzerland used a different logo, which jokers called the “cleft tablet” (“Spalt-Tablette” had been a well known aspirin in Germany in the past. (see: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spalt_(Marke) )
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 December 2020