Do United Methodists believe that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary to go to heaven?
Yes, United Methodists do believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way the Bible gives as clearly God’s gift and way of salvation and heaven. God can save anyone that God chooses to save and we cannot decide whom God will save. We simply trust the plain teaching of scripture. See John 3:16, Acts 4:12 and many other texts.
What does it mean to be saved, to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
The phrase being saved in the Christian tradition carries with it the obvious assumption that someone is in need of rescuing. It implies that one needs to be freed from imminent danger; that a life is imperiled; that dreams, hopes, and aspirations are all very near to being lost. Being saved in the Christian faith is really a two-part experience: being saved from something and being saved to something.
To be saved means turning away from a life that is without God, that is focused solely upon ourselves. It means giving up the obsession with our needs, our wants, our pleasures, our comforts, our importance, our egos, and our power. If my world is nothing but me, then no one else, including God, is likely to get in. Being saved from also means being saved from destructive patterns of life — things that destroy us instead of build us up. Some of those common destructive elements (which Christians call sin) are alcohol, drugs, sexual misuse and abuse, intolerance, lust for power, pursuit of money at the expense of others, and so forth. Involvement in such patterns usually comes from a need to fill a void in life, to cover a feeling of inadequacy.
When God becomes a part of our life, we realize that a focus on self is not a full life. We understand that self-focus alone has no future and offers nothing to build up anyone else or to advance the great causes of humanity.
One really important thing to point out is that by being saved it also means being saved to. We are saved to an ongoing personal relationship with God. Because we are his child, we have full access to him. We communicate with God and get direction for our life through prayer, reading his word and teaching (sermons, Bible Studies etc). We also have full benefits (because we have accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ) to the abundant life spoken of in John 10:10b.
Does the United Methodist Church ordain women?
Clergywomen have been part of Methodism since John Wesley licensed Sarah Crosby to preach in 1761. Although women were ordained in the Methodist tradition as early as the late 1800s, it was the May 4, 1956 General Conference vote for full clergy rights that forever changed the face of ordained clergy.
What does the United Methodist Church say about tithing?
The Church says that tithing is “the minimum goal of giving….”, but does not specify net or gross. Some people tithe out of their gross income. Many tithe from their adjusted gross income and many tithe out of the after tax income. The important thing is to begin to tithe. God can always work on the details later.
In addition, each annual (regional) conference, as part of its responsibilities in the area of stewardship, is to “educate the local church that tithing is the minimum goal of giving in The United Methodist Church.”
Why does the United Methodist Church have the insignia of the Cross & Flame?
The Cross and Flame emblem is a powerful reminder of who and whose we are as United Methodists. The elements of the emblem remind us of a transforming moment in the life of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, when he sensed God’s presence and felt his heart “strangely warmed.” The two tongues of a single flame may also be understood to represent the union of two denominations.
The symbolism is as follows:
  • The Cross represents The United Methodist church to God through Christ
  • The Flame represents the Holy Spirit and is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw “tongues, as of fire” (Acts 2:3).
Who makes the decision of hiring a new pastor for a United Methodist local church?
In The United Methodist Church, clergy appointments are made annually by the bishop, who has the responsibility for setting all the pastoral appointments in the conference. This unique system of assigning clergy dates back to John Wesley. This is not the type of system where the church “calls” or “hires” its pastor.
The church’s Pastor Parish Relations (PPR) committee consults with the district superintendent and communicates if they desire a change in pastoral leadership. Recommendations of the pastor parish relations committee are advisory only.
Pastors also can indicate whether they wish to stay at their current appointments, wish to move to another appointment, or have no preference. Pastors in The United Methodist Church agree to serve where called and to accept and abide by the appointments.