Onaway United Methodist
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
A church with Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
 

What We Believe

 
Basic Christian Affirmations
 
We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mystery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ.
  • We share the Christian belief that God's redemptive love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in personal experience and in the community of believers.
  • We understand ourselves to be part of Christ's universal church when by adoration, proclamation, and service we become conformed to Christ.
  • With other Christians we recognize that the reign of God is both a present and a future reality.
  • We share with other Christian communities a recognition of the authority of Scripture in faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, the sober realization that the church is in need of continual reformation and renewal, and that our daily lives are transformed by the grace of God as we seek to follow Him on our journey.
We believe that...
 
preaching and teaching is grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened in personal experience, and tested by reason.
 
Scripture
The Bible is our primary source for Christian doctrine.  Biblical authors testify to God's self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God's work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit's ongoing activity in human history.
 
Tradition 
Our attempt to understand God does not start anew with each generation or each person.  Our faith also does not leap from New Testament times to the present as though nothing could be learned from all Christian thinkers and preachers in between.  We learn from traditions found in many cultures, but Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged.
 
Experience
In our theological task, we examine experience, both personal and church-wide, to confirm the realities of God's grace attested in Scripture.  Experience is the personal appropriation of God's forgiving and empowering grace.  Experience authenticates in our lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradition.
 
Reason
Although we recognize that God's revelation and our experience of God's grace continually surpass the scope of reason, we also believe that disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason.  By reason we read and interpret Scripture.  By reason we determine whether our Christian witness is clear.  By reason we ask questions of faith and seek to understand God's action and will.
 
United Methodists confess belief in the triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.   This confession embraces the biblical witness to God's activity in creation, encompasses God's gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history, and anticipates the consummation of God's reign. 
 
 
Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases
 
Although John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) shared with many other Christians a belief in grace, justification, assurance, and sanctification, he combined them in a powerful manner to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life.   Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life.  By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit.  While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as "prevenient grace," continues as "justifying grace," and is brought to fruition in "sanctifying grace."