Information About the Evangelical Methodist Church
25 Articles of Religion
Article I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. There is but one living,and true God everlasting, without body or parts; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead, there are three persons of one substance, power and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Article II. Of the Word, or Son of God, who was made very Man. The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
Article III. Of the Resurrection of Christ. Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature. Wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all. men at the last day.
Article IV. Of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
Article V. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. Holy Scripture is the verbally inspired Word of God and containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture, we do understand these canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church. Of the names of the canonical books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, the Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of Ezra, The Book of Nehemiah, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecciesiates, or the Preacher, Cantica, or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the greater, Twelve Prophets the less. All the 27 books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical.
Article VI. Of the Old Testament.The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
Article VII. Of Original or Birth Sin. Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
Article VIII. Of FreeWill. The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength, and works to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
Article IX. Of the Jusitification of Man. We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservhgs; wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
Article X. Of Good Works. Although good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by its fruit.
Article XI. Works of Supererogation. Voluntary works, besides, over and above God's commandments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas, Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
Article XII. Of Sin After Justification. Not every sin, willingly committed after justification, is the sin against the Holy Ghost and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification; after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God rise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned who say they can no more sin as long they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
Article XIII. Of the Church. The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments duly administered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
Article XIV. Of Purgatory. The Romish doctrine covering purgatory, pardons, worshipping, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.
Article XV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in Such a Tongue as the People Understand. It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have public prayer in the. Church, or to minister the sacraments in a tongue not understood by the people.
Article XVI. Of the Ordinances. Ordinances ordained of Christ, are not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession; but rather they are certain signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by which he doth work invisibly in us, . and doth not onlv quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him. There are two Ordinances ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. Those five commonly called sacraments; that is to say, confirmation, penance, orders, matrirnony, and extreme unction, are not to be counted for Ordinances of the Gospel, being such as have partly grown out of the corrupt following of the apostles, and partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not the like nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, because they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God. The sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about; but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation; but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves condemnation, as St. Paul saith. I Cor. 11:29.
Article XVII. Of Baptism. Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration, or the new birth. The dedication or baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church.
Article XVIII. Of the Lord's Supper. The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that the Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a Memorial of our redemption by Christ's death; insomuch, that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise, the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be, proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Memorial, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received, and eaten, in the Supper is faith. The Ordinance of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
Article XIX. Of both Kinds. The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the laypeople, for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinances and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.
Article XX. Of the One Oblation of Christ Finished upon the Cross. The offering of Christ once made, is that Perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore, the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable, and dangerous deceit.
Article XXI. Of the Marriage of Ministers. The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christians, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best to godliness.
Article XXII. Of the Rites and Ceremonies of Churches. It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and ynay be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the rites and ceremonies of the Church to which he belongs, which are not repugnant to the Word of God, and are ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the like, as one that offendeth against the common order of the Church and woundeth the consciences of weak brethren. Every particular Church may ordain, change or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification.
Article XXIII. Of the Rulers of the United States of America. The president, the congress, the general assemblies, the governors, the councils of state, as the delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of America, according to the division of power made to them by the constitution of the United States, and by the constitutions of their respective states. And the said states are a sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.*
Article XXIV. Of Christian Men's Goods. The riches and goods of Christians are not common as touching the right, title and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor according to his ability.
Article XXV. Of a Christian Man's Oath. As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James his apostle; so we judge that the Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the prophet's teaching, in justice, judgment, and truth.
*(The Twenty-Third Article of Religion in the Disciplines of all our churches in foreign lands shall read:
Article XXIII. Of The Duty of Christians To The Civil Authority. It is the duty of all Christians, and especially of all Christian ministers, to observe and obey the laws and commands of the governing or supreme authority of the country. of which they are citizens or subjects, or in which they reside, so long, as they are not contrary to the Word of God. (Acts 5:29)"
1. The doctrine and spirit of pure Bible Christianity have existed at different times and in different degrees in all branches of the Church of Christ.
2. On the evening of May 24, 1738, John Wesley had undergone his "heartwarming" experience at a meeting of a religious society in Aidersgate Street, in London; an experience which his brother Charles Wesley had previously found.
3. In the latter part of 1739, eight or ten persons came to join Wesley in London. They appeared to be deeply convinced of sin and earnestly groaning for redemption. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that he would spend some time with them in prayer and advise them how to flee from the wrath to come. That they might have more time for this great work, he appointed a day when they might all come together, which from thence forward they did every week, namely, on Thursday in the evening. Their number increased daily. To all these he gave advice which he judged most needful for them, and they always concluded their meeting with prayer suited to their several necessities.
4. After this rise of the United Societies in Europe the spiritual movement fostered by them spread to America. In the year 1776 Philip Embury, a local preacher from Ireland, began to preach in New York City and formed a society in the John Street Church. Another local preacher, Thomas Webb, captain in the British Army, soon joined him and began preaching. About the same time, Robert Strawbridge, from Ireland, settled in Frederick County, Maryland, preaching there and forming societies. In 1769 John Wesley sent Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilrnoor to America. In 1771 Francis Asbury and Richard Wright were sent over, landing in Philadelphia, where on October 28th, in St. George's Church, Asbury preached his first sermon on this continent. The work was signally owned of God; at the close of the War of the Revolution, the number of traveling preachers was about eighty, and the members in the societies about fifteen thousand.
5. On May 9, 1946, in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, a small group of preachers and laymen met together for consultation and prayer, endeavoring to cope with the growing apostasy of the church. For years there had been a great need in America and the.world for people who loved God to fellowship together in a church with a positive teaching and preaching of the Bible with an evangelical emphasis. After long hours of waiting before God in prayer, they felt definitely led to organize The EVANGELICAL METHODIST CHURCH. This church was founded upon the inspiration and authenticity of the Bible and upon the Twenty-Five Articles of Religion as set forth by John Wesley, both in belief and practice.
The Evangelical Methodist Church is congregational in government with property rights vested in the local church. It is also a connectional church with sufficient supervision to provide the strength of unity.
6. The following people were present in the organizational meeting and banded together to promote, under God, The Evangelical Methodist Church.
Dr. W. W. Breckbill, of Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Rev. 1. L. Neuenswander, of Lawrence, Kansas.
Rev. N. H. Giesler, of Macon, Mississippi. Laymen: Mrs. N. H. Giesler, of Macon,
7. The Evangelical Methodist Church in belief and practice knows that the only infallible proof of any genuine church of Christ is its ability to seek and save the lost, to disseminate the Christian spirit and life, to spread Scriptural truth as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Word of God, over all lands, and to transform all people through the gospel of Christ. The sole object of the rules, regulations, and usages ofthe Evangelical Methodist Church is that it may fulfill in all places and years its original divine commission as a leader in the evangelistic proclamation of the Gospel, in moral reforms, by being true to the Bible, and seeking the salvation of all men from all sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
THE GENERAL RULES
There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, "a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins." But wherever this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown by its fruits.
It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation.
First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced; such as
The taking of the name of God in vain; The profaning of the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work therein, or by buying or selling; Drunkenness, or drinking spirituous liquors; Fighting, quarrelling, brawling; brother
going to law with brother; returning evil for evil or railing for railing; the using many words in buying or selling;
The buying or selling goods that have not paid the duty; The giving or taking things on usury, i.e., unlawful interest-,
Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of magistrates or ministers.
Doing to others as we would not that they should do unto us; Doing what we know is not for the glory of God; as,
The putting on of gold and costly apparel: The taking such diversions as cannot be used
in the name of the Lord Jesus; The singing of those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or love of God;
Softness or needless self-indulgence; Laying up treasures on earth;
Borrowing without a probability of paying, or taking up goods without a probability of paying for them. It is expected of all who continue in these societies that they should -continue to evidence their desire of salvation.
Second, By doing good, by being in every kind merciful after their power, as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible to all men;
To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick or in prison;
To their souls, by instructing, reproving or exhorting all we have any intercourse with; trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine that "we are not to do good unless our hearts be free to it."
By doing good, especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another, helping each other in business; and so much the more because the world will love its own, and them only.
By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed.
By running with patience the race which is set before them, denying themselves and taking up their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and offscouring of the world; and looking that i-nen should say all rnanner of evil o them falsely for the Lord's sake.
It is expected of all who desire to continue in these societies that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation.
Third, By attending upon all the ordinances of God; such are,
The public worship of God;
The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded.
The Supper of the Lord;
Family and private prayer;
Searching the Scriptures; and Fasting or abstinence.
These are the General Rules of our societies; all of which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written Word, which is the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of our faith and practice. And all these we know his Spirit writes on truly awakened hearts. If there be any among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be known unto them who watch over that soul, as they who must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways; we will bear with him for a season; but if then he repent not, he hath no more place among us, we have delivered our own souls.