History of Methosism Methodism, or the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John’s brother Charles Wesley were also significant leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate Church after Wesley’s death. Because of vigorous missionary activity, the movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond,today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include Christian perfection, an assurance of salvation, the priesthood of all believers, the primacy of scripture and works of piety. Methodism also emphasises “social holiness”, missionary zeal, charity and service to the poor and vulnerable. These ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Jesus Christ’s command to spread the Good News and serve all people. Most Methodists teach that Christ died for all of humanity, not just for a limited group, and thus everyone is entitled to God’s grace and protection; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism. The Methodist movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage; denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition tend toward a less formal worship style, while American Methodism—in particular the United Methodist Church—is more liturgical. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition; Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church, and many other eminent hymn writers come from the Methodist tradition.
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