Methodism was founded by John Wesley (an English cleric and theologian) within the Church of England. By 1796, Methodist had become a separate denomination.
United Methodists are the 2nd largest Protestant denomination in America and currently claims over 77 million Christians worldwide.
United Methodists believe in:
The Lord’s Supper
By sharing this meal, Methodists give thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. The Lord’s Supper is a holy meal of wine and bread which represents the blood and body of Christ.
Both adults and infants can be baptized. For United Methodists, baptism is a sign of God’s forgiveness for our sins as well as a promise of God’s saving love. In addition, it is the sacrament of initiation which joins us with the church and with Christians everywhere.
A Sacrament is something holy or consecrated. Like most other Protestants, Methodists recognize only those sacraments in which Jesus Christ Himself participated, such as – the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
United Methodism acknowledges the virtues of different points of view even within the same community of believers.
This is the Grace, the divine love, which “runs ahead” of our conscious impulses and leads our hearts toward faith.
Primacy of Grace
It is the spiritual environment and climate surrounding all human life. Also, Grace is God’s loving action in human existence through the Holy Spirit.
Faith and Good Works
Christian social action and personal religion are mutually reinforcing. In addition, personal salvation leads to involvement in Christian Mission in the world.
Conversion and New Birth
Change in the human heart can occur through the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit.
God endows each person with moral responsibility and dignity.
Note – singing is a big part of the Methodist Church service. Interestingly, the brother of the church’s founder, called – Charles Wesley, wrote around 6,000 hymns.
The Baptist Church
It is one of the most well-known denominations in Protestant Christianity. Furthermore, it is aptly named after its primary belief in believer’s baptism, where an individual chooses to publicly proclaim his faith in Christ by baptism.
The origins of Baptist can be seen in the late sixteenth century in English Congregationalism, that rejected the church life where children were baptized and where everyone in a given community was a member of a neighborhood parish.
In the present day, the Baptist churches have over 25 different sects or branches totaling over 33,000,000 members worldwide.
The wife and husband are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. A wife has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in nurturing the next generation and managing the household. A husband has the God-given responsibility to provide and to lead his family.
The Holy Bible
It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It was written by men inspired by God. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
The Christian & the Social Order
In the spirit of Christ, Baptists should oppose all forms of sexual immorality, including homosexuality, adultery, and pornography as well as racism, every form of selfishness, greed, and vice. All Baptists are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in human society and in our own lives.
Christ’s people should organize conventions and associations as the best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God.
The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, without division of essence, nature, or being, but with distinct personal attributes.
Baptists have a holy trusteeship in the gospel, a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, and a binding stewardship in their possessions.
The freedom of a teacher in a Baptist college, school, or seminary is limited by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day should be employed in exercises of spiritual devotion and worship and commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Missions and Evangelism
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Baptist lifestyle.
While both women and men are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
God’s Purpose of Grace
Those whom God has accepted in Christ will never fall away from the state of grace.
Salvation is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and involves the redemption of the whole man.
God the Father
God reigns with providential care over His creatures, His universe, and the flow of the stream of humanity.
Man is the special creation of God, in His own image.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God.
Bottom Line – Methodist vs Baptist
Baptists and Methodists are both Christian faiths that believe in the Bible, God, and the teaching and works of Jesus.
However, Methodists lean more toward Arminianism (denying original sin and total depravity), whereas Baptists lean more toward Reformed Theology or Calvinism (the belief that salvation is only possible through the grace of God).
Moreover, Baptist churches are autonomous when it comes to governance, while Methodists have bishops who appoint pastors to their churches. Also, Baptists only appoint men pastors, whereas Methodists have both men and women pastors.
The most important difference relies on the baptism. The Baptist church baptizes only people who fully know what the ceremony is for and are adult believers, while the Methodist church believes that all believers should be baptized, including infants.