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METHODIST BELIEFS: GUIDELINES FOR USE BY METHODIST CHRISTIANS


Building on the Wesleyan Essentials of Christian Faith, These are Ideas and GUIDELINES FOR USE BY METHODIST CHRISTIANS in Congregations and Judicatories


A. RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN THE METHODIST FAMILY

In acknowledgement that we are a richly diverse family, living in all parts of the world, in the midst of a variety of challenges, with varieties of ways of expressing our faith, we commit ourselves to living in faithful relationship with all members of the Methodist family. This family of Methodist and United Churches can only be strengthened for its life an work in the world by living in mutual respect with one another.

We Promise To:

Some Of The Ways These Promises May Be Kept Are:


B. DIALOGUE WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN WORLD COMMUNIONS

Having reconciled the world to Himself, God has entrusted us the Gospel of reconciliation. This Gospel demands that Christians be one at all levels of their life together, even while the riches of God's grace allow and enable many expressions of the one Gospel and of communal existence.

Presuppositions:

When Methodists engage in dialogue with other families of Christian churches, it is desired that the following assumptions be made:

Purposes:

By engaging each other as a people with a common faith in Jesus Christ through inter-church dialogue, we seek the following purposes:

Procedures:

Methods and practices involved in inter-church dialogue and the building of relationships between Christians properly include the following:


C. ENGAGING IN INTERFAITH RELATIONSHIPS

Around the world today, people of many different religious beliefs and traditions live side by side, providing wonderful opportunities for growth and knowledge. These differences also lead to conflict and worse.

Because we treasure our faith in Christ Jesus, Methodists and related United Church Christians have both a divine and a human responsibility to draw upon our faith as we enter into relationship with people of other living religious traditions. As we do this, we will learn that it is within our grasp to work together in the building of societies which are based upon mutual trust, openness and respect, rather than upon fear, suspicion and violence. We shall seek together to discern and respond to the truths that the Holy Spirit has revealed and seeks to reveal to us, acknowledging out misunderstandings and encouraging one another towards truer perceptions of God's will for us all. Living Jesus' call to love our neighbor makes it imperative to know that neighbor. People around the globe experience different struggles because of the diversity of culture, ethnicity, race and religious expression. We encourage each community to be in prayer as new relationships are formed. We offer the following as possible guidelines for approaching other religious communities.

Christian mission includes offering Christ to others. In those places where different religious traditions exist together, it is important that the sharing always be characterized by humility, sensitivity, respect, and a concern for the other's freedom to decide with dignity.

People of diverse religious beliefs do live together side by side. Convictions are deeply held. It is frequently dificult to see beyond one's own tradition to the validity of another's tradition. Yet our faith in Christ Jesus calls us to strive for reconciliation and understanding in order that the human community might work together for the good of all.

WHAT WE BELIEVE
THE WESLEYAN ESSENTIALS OF CHRISTIAN FAITH