Eternal Security : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I am a baptist who is considering membership in the A.M.E. denomination. I would like to know if your denomination believes in eternal security. Eternal security is the belief that once Jesus Christ saves an individual that person is saved forever. This belief has also been described as "once saved ; always saved". I would also like to know how I become a member of the A.M.E church.

Sincerely, JazzMan

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000


To answer your question, Methodism as taught by John Wesley does not subscribe to once saved always save. AME doctrine is built upon grace and living in God's grace, but it teaches that we can fall from God's grace. Now over the years it has been difficult to attach one particular view to the whole AME Curch. Their are some pastors and churches that teach once saved always saved. Their are a plethera of views on this subject in the church. We do, However agree on salvation through Jesus Christ and we do agree the emphasis should be placed on daily Christian Growth.

Now on your second question, You can join the AME Church by simply joining a local AME congregation. Once you express your desire to the pastor he or she will examine your ministerial credentials and give you counsel on how to proceed through the AME ministerial system.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000

I strongly recommend that you determine why it is that you are "considering membership" in the AME church? There is strong opposition by some of us AME's of those from other denominations coming into "our" denomination carrying the ideology of their previous denomination into the methodist way, the name is just what it implies, a "method" very different from other denominations. I'd be interested to know why you are considering a change. Remember, God is in every denomination. Think and Pray BRansom

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000

Rev. Fisher did a sermon called "Jesus on my mind" or what would Jesus do? Barbara I hope you will listen to it. Jesus did not exclude people he sat down with tax collectors and sinners. Our denomination was founded because of racial injustice. AME's know what it is like not to be wanted in a church!I am very much like the person who wrote the initial question. I am transfering my ministerial credentials from another denomination to the AME, for God has called me to do this. I have been greeted with open arms from my church Wayman Chapel, from my Pastor, my Presiding Elder and my Bishop. My congregation has thanked for being a part of the church. What we all have in common is our love for God. Jazzman I encourage you to visit AME churches, I know you will be welcomed. It takes courage to change denomination to leave the familiar. But God will be there to welcome you! I also have a feeling you will bring many gifts to the AME church. Also most AME churches have membership classes in which you will be taught how the church is run and you will be able to ask doctrinal questions. How many new members with many spiritual gifts do we turn away from the church? With Jesus on our mind we will welcome those who are hurting, or hungering for Christ in the AME church. Jazzman keep us posted on your journey with the AME church. Welcome aboard. Rev. Denise Rogers

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2000

Barbara, Please do not misinterpret my musings below as a personal attack. You are a charming woman from my cyberspace perspective but your comment in this thread comes across as a slight form of denominational chavinism. While I acknowledge that theological differences do exist within Protestanism I would venture to say that the differences are not irreconciliable or major. Much like our brother Jazz I too am a Baptist "refugee". My decision to join the AME Church had absolutely nothing to do with Methodist theology but more liberation theology which I learned during my salad days as an undergraduate student of history and philosophy. My denominational transfer was purely an act of SERENDIPITY because my current church is located across the street from where I used to live and Bishop AJ Richardson at that time was easily the most polished preacher in the Tallahassee, FL community. I too am perhaps gulity of "importing" theological ideas [baptism by immersion, moratorium on infant baptism, the aforementioned once saved always saved]yet I am perfectly capable of defending these alleged denominational heresies on Scriptual exegesis. Calvinist and Wesley's contributions to Methodism has indeed been fundamental in the theological development of our Zion. Yet, as important as these gentlemen are I will state for the record that my allegiance is not to Calvin, Wesley, Richard Allen or Henry McNeal Turner. I respect their profound contributions but I do not revere them. As my OT hero, Elijah, argued at the dawn of the Battle on Mt. Carmel, my allegiance is to the Lord. QED

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2000

Thank you all for responding to my question. I especially appreciate Rev. Fisher's prompt response. I was also encouraged by Dr. Tyler's, Rev. Denise Roger's and Mr. Bill Dickens response. I am interested in the A.M.E. denomination because I believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church. I also believe that the body of Christ must be organized and united to accomplish the will of God. Although a Baptist for most of my life in Virginia, I have been looking at other denominations. I have recently learned that the A.M.E. denomination has for over 200 years been organized and focused on addressing the problems which plague African-American people from a Christ centered point of view. For example, it was Richard Allen's goal back in 1787 to uplift African-Americans through christian education. I consider it divine providence that the A.M.E. denomination was able to start some of the first seminaries and colleges and universities in this country. I also see the hand of God in the A.M.E. denomination when you consider the fact that your denomination has churches in every state of the U.S. and all over the world. I know from personal experience that only God can get black people to work together. I have also learned that it was A.M.E. ministers who initiated the lawsuit of BROWN vs THE TOPEKA BOARD OF EDUCATION which led to the desegregation of schools(source Encarta Africana). It was the A.M.E. church in the 1960's which worked to end Apartheid in South Africa long before it became popular to do so in the U.S. in the 1980's (source Ebony Magazine) It is because of achievements of this nature and also because of A.M.E. classmates who are actively involved in their churches in addressing social issues that I am interested in this denomination. My personal thoughts are that my time and money donated to my local church would eventually find its way to support A.M.E. colleges, seminaries, and universities. I am also thinking that the A.M.E. denomination has national programs which are supported financially by the local churches. Finally, I would like to say to Barbara Ransom that I know that I am too small to introduce or take away any doctrine from this great denomination. I am praying to God about membership in the A.M.E. church and I know that no perfect church exists but this denomination appears to be doing something besides building multimillion dollar cathedrals in the midst of poor black communities. I am also thinking and hoping that the A.M.E. denomination is a theocracy governed by bishops who are led by the Holy Spirit as opposed to a democracy led by various carnal minded boardmembers.



-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000

I have found in my fellowship with members of other denominations that to me the most important question to me is have you been born again? Have you been converted. It is my opinion that confessing Jesus as you Lord saves you. "Whosoever calles upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." But what I find is that many people have not been converted. The old appetites and way of thinking is what really needs a change. I walked around for a few months saved, but when I was converted that was the experience that affirmed to me that I was truly saved. Wesley was an Anglecan Priest, but it was the experience at Aldersgate that led to his conversion. Methodism places a high regard on conversion. That is why at District and Annual Conference the question is always asked, "How many conversions?" thank God that he allows us to have experiences with him that will lead to our conversion just like the women at the well. From her experience with Jesus she knew her life would never be the same, Saul had such an experience with Jesus that it changed his name to Paul. Peter the cursing sailor had such an experience with the resurrected Lord that he changed to be the great orrator at Pentecost. Thank God for His saving grace and the Holy Spirit for His changing power. Rev. Rogers it is always good to see you posting on line. Stay encouraged in Montana, because there is a move of God going on there. His quenching power will move upon the landscape that Billings, Montana will never be the same.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000

Re your post of 10/20/00. The AME Church having originated out of a protest against the white racism of the times, it adopted wholesale the theological constructs of early Methodism which had its roots in the Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church of England. Those Articles essentially embracea Christian orthodoxy regarding the way of salvation. However, emerging as a religious protest movement on religious/social grounds, the AME Church in its theological Leadership has not been nor is not known for its emphasis essentially on biblical hermenutics that takes positions on the issue of "once saved; always saved" as have other denominations whose genesis had more to do with questions of biblical/theological constructs. That is not a criticism, but merely an observation. Those Bishops and Pastors who have matriculated at liberal theological institutions may have varied interpretations of the "once saved; always saved" issue that might surprise you. HOwever, your question re "eternal security" is a valid one and it is important to those Christian Disciples who wish to understand the difference between "works" and "grace." Therefore, may I refer you to two of the many excellent Biblical Web Sites that I would refer any "seeker" to. They are as follows: Under "Question Topics", click on "go" beside Bible Theology. On the next screen scroll down to the section on Doctrine and click on "Can A Saved Person Ever Be Lost." (2) Immediate access to article "Can Anyone Reallty Know For Sure." There are 12 relevant sections related to the article for information. (3) On the Berean Call screen click on "Perspectives". On the next screen scroll down to "Once Saved, Always Saved?" These are times when Christians need to know the Word of God and how to use it, for it is the "sword of the Spirit." Sound "doctrine" is essential for the Accuser is busy. "Deceit" is one of the hall marks of our times in these "perilous times."

Peace, A Servant of the Lord

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2000

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