United Methodist Church of Big Bear Lake
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Methodists 101

 

What is a Methodist?

 

John Wesley and his brother Charles are considered the primary founders of the Methodist movement.  It started out as a group of people who wanted to put their faith into action in the world.  The group discussed how to do this, reported back to the group their successes and failures, and supported each other in their endeavors.  The manner in which they did this was methodical, so they became known as Methodists. Eventually, the movement grew, and became the Methodist church.

 

Most Methodists informally try to follow the example of John and Charles Wesley.  However, some follow this pattern in a more structured way, akin to the original groups. Learn more here about the modern-day equivalent.

How do we Methodists come to our understanding of faith?

 

Imagine a 3-sided pyramid.  Each side has a name: Tradition, Experience, Reason.  All three sides, and the base, together, are known as Faith. None of the three sides carries more importance than the others; all are required to create the pyramid. However, without a base, the pyramid is hollow and prone to collapse. The base, or foundation, of this pyramid is Scripture.  It gives the pyramid strength; the three walls are rooted in scripture, and cannot be separated from it.  Theologians call these four basic elements of faith the Weslyan Quadrilateral.

 

For a deeper understanding of how this works, learn more here and here.