Join us at CCF this July as we explore the values of our Free Methodist Heritage and Denomination. Our goal is to messengers of the Freedom in Christ that is found in our biblical heritage. We are FREE TO FREE OTHERS!
Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 (MSG)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
John 8:34-36 (Passion Translation)
“I speak eternal truth,” Jesus said. “When you sin, you are not free. You’ve become a slave, in bondage to your sin. And slaves have no permanent standing in a family, like a son does, for a son is a part of the family forever. So if the revelation of being a son sets you free from sin, then become a true son and be unquestionably free! Even though you are descendants of Abraham, you desire to kill Me because the message I bring has not found a home in your hearts. Yet the truths I speak I’ve seen and received in My Father’s presence. But you are doing what you’ve learned from your father!”
John 8:36 (NRSV)
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Early Free Methodists were concerned about a number of issues in their historical setting that still have relevance today. Formed in the early days of the American Civil War, these supporters of the anti-slavery movement believed in equality for all, regardless of racial background. They wanted a church “free” for all to attend.
The Methodist Church had a practice of renting seats in their churches as a way of collecting financial support from their members. Since this practice was seen as disenfranchising the poor, who could not afford the seats, Free Methodists wanted “free seats” for all, regardless of socio-economic status.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, taught that all Christians could be “free from the domination of sin” in their daily lives through the renewing activity of the Holy Spirit and faithful adherence to spiritual disciplines. Free Methodists wanted to recover this expectation in their movement.
A lively spiritual refreshing was sweeping the United States in the mid 1800s, and the Free Methodists wanted this “freedom of the Spirit”in their worship services as well.
Finally, many members of Methodist churches were also members of secret societies that often divided their loyalties toward their Christian commitments. Free Methodists wanted all their members to be “free” from such binding involvements outside the fellowship of Christian believers.