The Five Freedoms
We have always been a denomination clinging to this word: freedom. These are the essential freedoms that define us as Free Methodists. They are born out of our commitment to equality and our belief in the freedom that Christ gives to all. We call this a theology of love. We are propelled by God's love for all of us equally, so this is how we believe people should be treated. These are the principles that our practices have stood on since our founding and continue to impact our daily life.
Freedom of All People
The Freedom of all people, regardless of ethnicity, to worship and live together. The Free Methodist Church has been abolitionist and fighting against the sin of racism since its founding in 1860. Recognizing that every person is created in the image of God, we work diligently to bring all people together into multicultural congregations, conferences, and Christian communities. We are imperfect and have not yet achieved the fullness of this value, yet this only compels us to work even harder for justice for all. To find out more about our current abolitionist work to end modern slavery, setfreemovement.com
Freedom of the Holy Spirit
The Freedom of the Holy Spirit in worship. The Free Methodist Church gives freedom to each local congregation to follow the Spirit’s leading on how they worship. Some Free Methodist Churches worship in a more liturgical style, while others worship in a more charismatic style. At FMCSB, we have a blended style of worship that brings together a community of people of all ages and backgrounds to create a family of God accepting both sacramental liturgy and the Christian year as well the most recent of worship songs and prayer services.
Freedom of Women
The Freedom of women to participate fully in the life, ministry and governance of the church as called and gifted by God. The Free Methodist Church ordains women to serve in the church and teaches equality in marriages. In harmony with a long tradition of equal opportunity for women to serve in the church from the days of the early church meeting in houses to today’s recognition that God calls and gifts women as well as men to serve His church, we affirm God’s call and equip God’s leaders to serve.
Freedom of the Poor
The Freedom of the poor to be treated with dignity in the church and in the world. The Free Methodist Church ended the practice of requiring the poor to sit in the “free pews” at the back of the sanctuary and made all pews “free.” This commitment to leave socio-economic distinctions and prejudices outside the sanctuary and invite all people into true fellowship and acceptance is an ongoing commitment of our church.
Freedom of the Laity
The Freedom of the laity to be given authority and decision-making positions within the church. The Free Methodist Church ended the clergy domination of the church and opened up a consistent partnership with clergy and laity working together to do God’s work. This elevation of laity to use their spiritual gifts alongside those given pastoral gifts enriches all aspects of life in the church and protects against institutional abuse.
Free Methodist Doctrine
The Free Methodist Church's theology is often referred to as "via media" or middle way. We seek to hold biblical truths as the foundation for our doctrine, and therefore, our lives. Our doctrine is not easily classified as theologically "conservative" or "liberal" but instead seeks to honor four sources of theology (also called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral):
Scripture ● Tradition ● Reason ● Experience
For a detailed description of the doctrine that makes us Free Methodists, use the link below to visit our denomination's website. We hope you find it insightful and uplifting.
Statements on Kingdom Issues
From time to time, the church must respond to issues in our society. These responses are born from our Kingdom perspective and not from political ideologies. As followers of Christ, we must speak the truth of Christ into the world in times of trouble and distress. We encourage you to read these statements.
Position on Dignity and Worth of Persons
Several members of our church collaborated to produce additional resolutions to the 2019 Free Methodist Church Book of Discipline, which have been approved by FMCUSA and added. These resolutions are Free Methodists' resolutions toward racism and poverty, along with a resolution on disability written by another pastor in our conference. These three resolutions have been combined into one section titled "Dignity and Worth of Persons."
The section on Racism:
Written by Ed Song
Co-sponsored by Ed Song, Joshua Canada, Soo-Ji Alvarez
Co-edited by Felicia Song, Don Patterson, Sandy Patterson, Jeff Mumm, Chelsea Mumm, Chandra Mallampalli, Beverly Chen, Kya Mangrum, Joshua Canada, Danielle Garcia, and Sameer Yadav
The section on Poverty:
Co-written and sponsored by Helen Rhee and Kelly Soifer