What We Believe
We believe God
created heaven and earth;
sent his only son, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins;
provided the Bible as his word;
loves and desires fellowship with us.
What is a United Methodist?
Methodism, as the name implies, has always encouraged its followers to disciplined living. John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism, took their Christianity seriously and practiced disciplined Christian living. The Methodist tradition has taught us that method or spiritual discipline can help move us toward God. United Methodism is vital today because it calls us back to the one mighty fact of our religion: the grace of God in the hearts of people.
As Christians, United Methodists hold many basic Christian beliefs in common with other Christians of all times and nations. In addition, we have some emphases and practices that are distinctly our own Wesleyan way. United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the faith. The Wesleyan emphasis on God’s grace and on the Christian life, faith and love put into practice in our daily living, has been the hallmark of those traditions now incorporated into The United Methodist Church.
As United Methodists, we are a people of open hearts and open minds. People who are different from one another worship and work together in Christ’s name. We welcome you to join us as we live out our faith in Jesus Christ each day!
Statement on Biblical Authority
Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture. We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide. We believe that illumined by tradition, reason, and experience, the revelation of Scripture is the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
Statement of Faith
We affirm classical Wesleyan doctrine and the historic faith, which the church has used to define the parameters of Christian teaching. Doctrine, properly understood, unifies the church and gives direction to its life. We affirm the following Doctrinal Standards:
- The Nicene Creed (AD 381)
- The Apostle’s Creed (AD 150)
- The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church (AD 1808)
- The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (AD 1963)
- The Standard Sermons of John Wesley
- The Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament by John Wesley (1755)
- The General Rules of The Methodist Church (1868)
Statement of Moral Principles
Given our current time and context, we highlight and affirm the following moral principles, acknowledging that other moral principles merit our further attention.
Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally. We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold any role of leadership within the church.
We believe that all persons are of sacred worth. Therefore, we gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member, holding a leadership position in the church, or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on race, color, nationality, national origin, marital status, or economic condition.
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God. In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the Church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual or group are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Tifton First.