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What's The Difference?

Many times in casual conversations we are asked, "What's the difference between the Evangelical Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church?" This question comes from the merely curious as well as those who are sincerely seeking to learn more about the EMC and want to know if we are "really" Methodist.

History shows us that both denominations share roots in the 18th century English Methodist movement of John Wesley's day, as well as in the later U. S. Methodism of Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke and the tireless circuit riders of the 1800's. The "old fashioned" Methodism grew rapidly, largely because of its Bible based emphasis on "free will" and on individual personal responsibility before God for all. Camp meetings and missions thrusts gave it a lively vitality and inspired adherents to share their faith to the lost of the whole world. Methodism was on the march and became a true worldwide blessing.

In our century, things began to change. Slowly the revival fire that had driven the expansion of U. S. Methodism began to die out. Methodist leadership,  literature and educational institutions became increasingly liberal and humanistic. The message being declared was no longer a consistent church-wide declaration of the infallible authority of the Bible nor of the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, bodily resurrection and second coming. The imperative of a personal religious experience (including the "new birth" and " sanctification" [the spirit filled life] ) was dropped as a requisite for membership or even leadership. Methodism in this country stagnated and no longer grew as a church.

In such a dismal spiritual climate the Evangelical Methodist Church, an authentic Methodist movement, was born in 1946. Most of our early leaders were from the Methodist Church and for their insistence that true Methodism be proclaimed, they paid with their pulpits, pensions and church property. The EMC preaches the Biblical imperatives of true Methodism, including the beliefs summarized above and more.

The Evangelical Methodist Church's distinctive includes a congregational system of church government which affords a great degree of freedom for the local church. Each one sets its own budget, calls its own pastor and operates its own program free from any coercive hierarchical pressure. The young and dynamic denomination, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, primarily exists as an umbrella, resource, encouragement and stimulus for the most important unit of the group, the local Evangelical Methodist Church.

Standards of professional ministry are carefully maintained and jealously guarded so that every EMC pastor or conference official can be counted on to believe and preach the timeless Bible based truths of early Methodism. Both the Bible depreciating heresy of liberalism, as well as the emotion based modern charismatic movement, are rejected in favor of a Bible based view of God, man, sin and salvation.

People who consider themselves true Methodists and who find the gospel message central to life and eternity, who are tired of the Bible being relegated to second place in church life, who weary of a steady diet of social action issues, who believe in Jesus, His sinless birth and life, atoning death, literal resurrection and sure return will find a welcome haven in their local Evangelical Methodist Church.

By ~ Rev. J. Vernon Conner
Mid-States District Superintendent
Evangelical Methodist Church

Want to know more about Evangelical Methodist Churches?
Visit the Evangelical Methodist Church Web Site.



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