Lutheranism and Methodism are part of the Protestant movement, which means they have more similarities than differences. Researchers are trying to establish how the two churches differ in the Methodism vs. Lutheranism debate.
Methodism and Lutheranism differ in a few ways. For instance, Methodists have two sacraments; Baptism and Holy Communion. On the other side, Lutherans recognize three sacraments; Baptism, Confession, and Eucharist.
What is the difference between Lutheranism and Methodism? What is the theological comparison between Lutheranism and Methodism? What are the similarities between Lutheranism and Methodism? Which came first between Lutheranism and Methodism? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the difference between Lutheranism and Methodism?
A few differences exist between Lutheranism and Methodism. The table below shows these differences.
|Beliefs, Values, and Practices
|The name Lutheran comes from the derogatory term that Dr. John Maier Von Eck, a German Scholastic theologian, used against Martin Luther during the Leipzig debate in 1519. Later, Roman Catholics labeled all who identified with Martin Luther’s theology as Lutheran. However, Luther preferred the term Evangelical to Lutheran.
|The name Methodist was given to a Holy Club that John Wesley formed alongside his brothers during their time at the University of Oxford. They were named the Methodists because they used rule and their method to carry out their religious affairs.
|The split between the Roman Catholic Church and Lutherans (Martin Luther and those that identified with his theology) was made public in1521-during the Edict of Worms.
|Methodism emerged during the Methodist Revival of the 18th century. Methodists were part of the Church of England, which got its independence from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century, the same time Lutheranism emerged.
|Martin Luther, a German reformer and monk, is regarded as the early influencer in the Lutheran movement.
|The early influencers in the Methodist movement are John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield.
|Doctrine of predestination
|Lutherans believe in the doctrine of predestination. This doctrine states that everything that happens on earth is preplanned by God.
|Methodists do not believe in the doctrine of predestination. They believe that humans have the free will to accept or reject salvation.
|Lutherans recognize three sacraments; Baptism, the Eucharist, and Confession.
|Methodists recognize only two sacraments; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
|Significant Texts other than the Bible
|Lutheran churches use the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the Book of Concord, Martin Luther’s large and shorter catechism, and the Augsburg Confession.
|Methodists use the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, Edited versions of the 39 Articles of Religion and Book of Prayer, and the Methodist Hymnal.
|The Holy Communion
|Lutherans affirm that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are present in the elements (wine and bread) used during the Eucharist.
|Methodists also believe that the presence of Christ is manifested in the elements (wine and bread) used during the Holy Communion. This is called the Holy Mystery.
|The Lutheran Church has approximately 81 million members worldwide. It is one of the largest protestant movements.
|The Methodist Church has around 70 million members worldwide.
What is the theological comparison between Lutheranism and Methodism?
Lutheran theology can only be best understood by looking at the writings of Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and some of their students in The Book of Concord. From the analysis, it is evident that Luther emphasizes God’s absolute omnipotence and Sovereign grace, a distinction between the Gospel (promise) and Law (command) in God’s word, a definition of faith, and a Christo-centered theology of salvation/justification.
On the other side, Methodist theology, the starting point being the edited 39 Articles of the Church of England used in Methodism, is a system of well-outlined doctrine that separates itself from other movements, such as Calvinism, while emphasizing the essence of Christian growth and holiness.
Methodism is, to a large extent, Evangelical in doctrine and displays traits of Wesleyan theology. John Wesley stresses more on Christian holiness. According to Wesley, Methodists should love God with all their mind, heart, strength, and soul. Also, they should love their neighbors as they love themselves.
What are the similarities between Lutheranism and Methodism?
There are more similarities than differences between Lutheranism and Methodism. The table below shows these similarities.
|Beliefs, Values, and Practices
|Nature of God
|Lutherans believe in the Holy Trinity, that God exists in the forms; of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
|Methodists also affirm that God exists in the forms; of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
|In Lutherans, it is okay to baptize infants because it regenerates the Holy Spirit in them. The infants must undergo confirmation after they are old enough to understand the benefits of the Baptism and other rites that make them full members of the Church.
|Methodism affirms infant baptism because it regenerates the Holy Spirit in them.
|Nature of the Human Beings
|Lutherans acknowledge that man is prone to sin.
|Methodists affirm that man is prone to sin.
|Lutherans believe in justification by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in the Holy Scriptures alone.
|Methodists believe in justification by faith alone in Christ alone.
|Source of Authority in the Church
|Lutherans believe the Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith.
|Methodists also believe that the Holy Scriptures are the final authority in the Church.
|Lutherans use the Hebrew Bible. Luther removed deuterocanonical books from the Bible, citing contradicting doctrines.
|Being part of the Protestant movement, Methodists use the Hebrew Bible.
|View about the Bible
|Lutherans believe that the Bible is inspired. They affirm that the Holy Scriptures (New and Old Testament) are the only sources of divine inspiration.
|Methodists also acknowledge that the Bible is inspired. They affirm that the Holy Scriptures (New and Old Testament) are the only sources of divine inspiration.
|Two natures of Jesus Christ
|Lutherans believe that Jesus was the Messiah who many prophets in the Old Testament prophesied could come to save humankind.
According to the Lutherans, Jesus exists as the child born by the Virgin Mary and as the Son of God.
|Methodists affirm that Jesus was the Savior who many prophets in the Old Testament prophesied could come to save humankind.
According to the Methodists, Jesus exists as the Virgin Mary’s child and the Son of God.
|Lutherans affirm that Heaven exists. They believe that the righteous shall be rewarded with the gift of eternal life in paradise during judgment day.
|Methodists also believe that Heaven is reserved for righteous people after judgment day.
|Lutherans affirm that the wicked shall be punished for eternity in hell after judgment day.
|Methodists affirm that hell exists and that all sinners and non-believers will be thrown there to burn for eternity.
|The second coming of the Messiah
|Lutherans believe in the 2nd coming of the Messiah and that he will judge everyone according to their deeds here on earth and their faith in him.
|Methodists also believe in the 2nd coming of Christ and that the living and the dead will be judged.
Which came first between Lutheranism and Methodism?
Lutheranism came before Methodism. The split between the Roman Catholic Church and Lutherans (Martin Luther and those that identified with his theology) was made public in1521-during the Edict of Worms. This means that Lutheranism emerged during the early 16th century. On the other hand, Methodism emerged during the Methodist Revival of the 18th century. Therefore, Methodism was born two centuries after the emergence of the Lutheran movement.
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