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John Wesley & The United Methodist Church

            John Wesley founded the United Methodist Church in 1738. Wesley did this after he was ordained an Anglican priest earlier that year. Before that year, John Wesley was an English theologian, and an evangelist. He received a formal education at the Charterhouse School and Christ Church, University of Oxford. Wesley became an ordained deacon in 1725, and was accepted into the priesthood of the Church of England in 1728. In 1729, he joined the Holy Club. This Holy Club consisted of members who held strictly and methodically to religious concepts and practices. Due to these beliefs and practices, their schoolmates called them "Methodists". (Encarta MSN) .
             Wesley states that there are several distinguishing characteristics of a Methodist. Wesley says that "a Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him, one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength." (Kerr 193, II Kings 23:25) A main component of being Methodist is that you clearly understand, explain, and defend Christian doctrine. (Kerr 191) Sometimes it is difficult to explain the deep things of God. (Kerr 191) Wesley's reaction to this is that the Holy Spirit will work within the children of God to give us the correct words to say.
             With this definition of a Methodist, it sounds to me that all Christians are Methodists. Wesley's response to this is that there are other distinctive marks that distinguish between each denomination of Christianity. Methodists are people who follow Jesus Christ's teachings as shown through the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is the only flawless guide to eternal life. They attempt to live their lives according to its teachings. (James 1:22-25) They seek to spread His Word throughout the world. They proclaim Jesus Christ's love for all humankind.
             Methodists seek to have the Holy Spirit work within them, (Ephesians 5:18) and display the fruit of the Spirit.

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