He Is Not A Methodist

Steve Snider

A while back, a Methodist preacher in our area was asked to leave the congregation where he was preaching. I knew some of the members there, and, in talking with one of them, an interesting comment was made about his being released. The member told me, “We let him go because he is not a Methodist. I don’t know what he is, but he is not a Methodist!” Please understand that this is not intended to make fun of Methodists, but is simply an attempt to show what happens when we become aligned to a group, a creed, or anything else other than Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Their criticism of this preacher was not, “He is not preaching the Bible” or “He is not a Christian” but was simply, “He is not a Methodist.” This is, however, the sad reality when we decide to allow men, conventions, synods, or anything else like that to determine what we are going to believe and practice, religiously.

On one of my mission trips to India, I was teaching a class in the home of a family who were also Methodists. During the lesson, I made mention of creeds and how they were unnecessary, and one of the men in attendance stated, “There is nothing wrong with a creed; it just helps us understand what the Bible teaches.” I told this man, “In all kindness, the purpose of your creed is not to help you understand the Bible; it is to help you understand what you have to believe to be a Methodist!” I have always loved the logic of the gospel preacher Benjamin Franklin who wrote, “If a creed has more than the Bible it is wrong because it has more than the Bible. If a creed has less than the Bible, it is wrong because it has less than the Bible. If a creed is different from the Bible, it is wrong because it is different from the Bible. If a creed is the same as the Bible, then we don’t need it, because we have the Bible!” (Psalm 119:89,128,160)

Dear reader, if you are presently a part of some religious body that demands allegiance to a creed, a conference, or anything other than God or the Word of God, please think seriously about this matter. Paul said, in 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, that the scriptures will furnish us completely for every good work so we do not need any book other than the Bible. If we are truly desirous of pleasing God, shouldn’t our concern be to be followers of Christ – Christians – and not Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, or followers of any other religion that has its origin with men rather than Jesus Christ?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a man professing to be a proclaimer of God’s Word were judged by his loyalty to God’s Word and not his loyalty to a denomination? If I can speak plainly, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a man lost his job as a preacher because he was a Methodist instead of being simply a Christian? –PO Box 753, Barrackville, WV 26559. ssnider712@msn.com

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