Difference between Methodist and Presbyterian

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    Methodist and Presbyterian

    The most popular religion in the world is Christianity. There are more Christians in the world than the followers of any other religion. However, these people do not all have exactly the same beliefs and practices. There are many divisions and sub divisions within Christianity, all of which have some practices that are unique to them such as the core belief of Christianity that Jesus Christ is the lord and the saviour of the masses and so on. The most common and well known wedge amongst the Christians of the world is due to the division between the Protestants and the Catholics. This, however, is not just the only dividing factor. There are other differences responsible for varying faiths within Christianity, two of which are the Methodists and the Presbyterians.

    Let us first shed light on the Presbyterian Church, which was founded by John Knox, a formal Catholic priest, in 1560. This faith has its roots in Calvinism. The faith was founded by Knox in Scotland and he did so by using a lot of the church’s doctrines in order to help him construct the core beliefs of Presbyterians. In contrast to this, the Methodist Church became known and began to gain influence first in England in 1739, thanks to a religious vigilante, John Wesley, who broke his ties with the Church (Anglican Church) and came up with his own doctrine of religion. He called this ideology Wesleyism. Some of the beliefs of his new Methodist faith were based on Lutheranism.

    The two types of churches have many differences. One important differentiating factor between the two is how they address social issues. The Presbyterian Church opposes the death penalty openly, be it for any crime. On the other hand, the Methodist Church allows the death penalty, but only for crimes that are very serious. Moreover, this punishment, according to the Methodist Church should only be administered by law. Another issue, homosexuality, is where the two churches have opposing views. Although both view it as a sin, the Methodists consider it to be a sin in all cases without any exception whereas the Presbyterians believe that it is a sensitive issue that is difficult to judge without proper examination.

    The Governance of the Church is yet another issue where these two churches can be distinguished. The Methodist Church employs a worship guide that is known as ‘The Directory of Worship’. The Presbyterian Church, however, uses the ‘The Book of Discipline’ as its worship guide. Moving on, the two faiths have different methods of selecting and giving responsibility to church pastors. The Presbyterian faith ‘calls’ or hires pastors so as to serve the community. Methodists, however, send their already existing pastors to various church locations with the responsibility of presiding over the respective regions of the Methodist Churches.

    Salvation is a very important thing in any religion. It is also present in Presbyterian and the Methodist Churches but is quite different to each other. The Methodist Church recognizes the good deeds of the people as a symbol of the strength of their faith. It focuses on ‘deeds not creeds’. To be righteous, people need to do good deeds. The Presbyterian Church, on the other hand, believes in justification only by grace and says that the ‘predestined elect’ is the only thing that will lead one to heaven.

    Summary

    1. Presbyterian Church-founded by John Knox, a formal Catholic priest, in 1560, had its roots in Calvinism, founded by Knox in Scotland, used a lot of the church’s doctrines to construct the core beliefs of Presbyterians; Methodist Church found in England in 1739, by John Wesley who broke his ties with the Church, ideology of Wesleyism, beliefs based on Lutheranism.

    2. The Presbyterian Church opposes the death penalty openly, for any crime; Methodist Church allows the death penalty for serious crimes.

    3. The Methodist Church employs the worship guide: ‘The Directory of Worship’; Presbyterian Church uses the ‘The Book of Discipline’ as its worship guide.

    4. The Presbyterian faith ‘calls’ or hires pastors; Methodists send their existing pastors to various church locations

    5. The Methodist Church recognizes the good deeds of the people as a symbol of the strength of their faith, focuses on ‘deeds not creeds’; The Presbyterian Church believes in justification only by grace and says that the ‘predestined elect’ is the only thing that will lead to heaven.

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