The Methodist Church of Southern Africa upholds the ancient creeds of the Christian faith and is thus a mainline Christian denomination. Our theological emphasis is on the grace of God and we focus on the following 5 tenets:
- Every human being needs to be saved: To be saved means to be rescued from a life of spiritual death… a life in which we are separated from God because of our sinful choices … and to be brought into a personal relationship with God as forgiven children. This relationship will last for eternity.
- Every human can be saved: This means that no-one (yes, no one) is beyond the love of God. It is not only certain people who can decide to come home to God, but this opportunity is open to everyone on earth. Anyone on earth who turns away from a life of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord will be forgiven for their sins, restored to a right relationship with God, and live forever with God.
- Every human being can know that they are saved: No-one needs to wonder whether or not they are right with God and whether or not they will spend eternity with God after death. We can be absolutely sure because of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
- Every human being can be saved to the ”uttermost“: This means that we can all grow into the likeness of Jesus and be set free by God’s grace to live a life of perfect love in this world. We are not powerless prisoners of sin once we have received Christ – rather we have within us the power of God to overcome sin.
- Every human being can testify that they are saved: God wants all of us to both show and tell others the good news of what God has done and is doing for us and in us.
In addition to these emphases we also call our members to a very practical outworking of our faith. Our founder John Wesley called all Methodists to do all the good we can, to all the people we can, whenever and however we can. This remains a focus of our teaching and preaching.
The Methodist Church practices both infant and believers’ baptism. We do not, however, believe in re–baptising people. We perform both infant and believers’ baptism in obedience to the instructions of Jesus and the apostles.
In infant baptism we celebrate and declare the fact that Jesus Christ died for this child and that, as his/her parents fulfil their baptismal vows, and as God the Holy Spirit draws him/her to God the Father, he/she will come to faith in Jesus and be saved. It is a celebration of what we call the ”prevenient grace“ of God.
In believers baptism we celebrate and declare the fact that Jesus Christ died for this person and that, by the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, they have already accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour and have thus been saved from their sins and adopted as children in God’s family. It is a celebration of the ”justifying grace“ of God.
Baptism is only administered to those who have been prepared to become members and to the children of members of our church.
Confirmation is a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ and an acceptance into full membership of the Church. It is traditionally undertaken by young people who have been prepared for this big step through the ministry of their parents and /or of the Sunday School and Youth Ministries of the Church. Usually they attend specific Confirmation Classes to help them prepare for this big moment in their faith journey. It is also undertaken by people who have, for the first time, come home to God through faith in Jesus and wish to join the family of Christ’s Church. They would also then be taken through a period of preparation and instruction before the Confirmation service. When the person being Confirmed has not previously been baptised, their confirmation will be accompanied by baptism.
A Christian wedding is the moment when a man and woman who love one another make a vow to God and to each other (in the presence of their gathered family and friends) to live together in a relationship of love, honour and faithfulness until death parts them. It is a very holy moment in which God unites them in love by His Spirit. Because of the solemnity and importance of the moment of Christian marriage, at CMC members wishing to be married must undertake a journey of spiritual and personal preparation with the minister.
Membership in the Methodist Church is open to all who have repented of their sins, accepted Christ as their Saviour, and who desire to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour as members of the Methodist Church. Here at CMC we would love to have you join us in our faith journey with Jesus and invite you to join the New Members Orientation Programme that is presented regularly.