Methodists/revelation

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Question
Good morning, I have recently been reading about what Methodists beliefs are. I was raised Baptist but I recently bought a house and there is a Methodist church right across the street from my home so I see it every time I look out the window. I have a strong desire to attend services. Is it necessary to convert from Baptist to Methodist to start attending services? I also wanted to know if Methodists have a belief on the return of Jesus and what is the belief in regards to Revelations and the Anti-Christ as well as the Tribulation? Thank You for your time! Sincerely, Jennifer

Answer
Dear Jennifer:

    United Methodist churches welcome worshipers of all denominations. You would not need to convert to attend services. Here is a short summary of some similarities and differences of Baptists and United Methodists:

    United Methodists and Baptists have much in common -- belief in God and Bible, acceptance of Jesus as Christ and savior and divine, observance of Baptism and Communion as the two sacraments. “Our tradition asserts the real, personal, living presence of Jesus Christ. We understand the divine presence in temporal and relational terms. In the Holy Meal of the church, the past, present, and future of the living Christ come together.”
    United Methodists baptize infants, youth, and adults; Baptists baptize only confessing youth and adults. Baptists baptize by immersion; United Methodists use immersion, sprinkling, and pouring. United Methodists have communion open to all; Baptists open the table to baptized church members only. United Methodists have bishops and are governed by districts and Conferences of churches; Baptists have independent congregations, which choose their pastors. United Methodist pastors are sent to congregations by bishops, after consultation with the congregation. United Methodism ordains women as pastors and elects them as Superintendents and Bishops. Some Baptists (Southern, for example) officially discourage women as clergy, though churches can choose to call them.

    Since we do not have an official set of Biblical beliefs, we simply accept Revelation as a New Testament book. Within our churches are people for whom the Tribulation is very important, and scholars who point out that there is no Tribulation as such in Revelation. The New Testament definition of the Anti-Christ is in John's letters, not in Revelation. The Anti-Christ is one who does not accept that Christ came in the flesh(I John 4:2-3).

    I hope that you enjoy your exploration of United Methodism.

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The Rev. William E. Olewiler

Expertise

United Methodist church structure and doctrine. Science and religion. Christian Education and the Sunday School. Religion and race. Women in the church. United Methodist pastor for 22 years. Member, commissions on Religion and Race and Status and Role of Women. Masters in Divinity and Religious Education.

Experience

Ordained deacon and elder, United Methodist Church. District and conference leadership.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, George Washington University, Washington DC Master of Arts, Political Science, Brown University, Providence RI Master of Arts, Teaching Secondary Social Studies, Teachers College/Columbia University, New York NY Master of Divinity, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC Doctor of Ministry, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC

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