Why am I United Methodist?

January 17th, 2015

Several of my friends and colleagues are posting why they are United Methodist. I would write a full article, but my answer is too short. Why am I United Methodist? I am United Methodist not because I find it to be right, but I find it to be beautiful. Beauty trumps “rightness” every time.

But since you’re here …

In addition to the commonly held Protestant theological convictions (Trinity, salvation through Christ, Church as the body of Christ), I find it beautiful that the United Methodist Church emphasizes the following:

1. Grace. Prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. God moves toward us before we move toward God. God imparts and imputes Christ’s life in the midst of our life. The Holy Spirit transforms us into God’s image and likeness.

2. Our theological task. We use tradition, reason and experience as the lenses through which we read, interpret and share God’s word found in Scripture.

3. The radical center of a catholic spirit. If we are not of one mind we can be of one heart.

4. Good fruit. Works of piety in step with works of mercy, and works of mercy in step with works of justice.

5. We are all connected. Big steeple, little steeple, liberal and conservative, gay or straight, black or white or latino or native — all of our churches are connected in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

What do you find beautiful about your tradition? What about your tradition isn’t so beautiful?

Matt Rawle blogs at MattRawle.com.

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