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#1
Old 02-26-2015, 05:15 PM
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What is the difference between Methodists and Presbyterians?

I am not a member of either one of these churches, but I have always wondered about the differences among the various mainstream Protestant denominations. There are many of them, but for the purposes of this thread I'd like to see what the differences might be between just the two named in the thread title, especially in the theological realm. I'm not so much interested in trivial differences, for example if one church's pastor wears a collar and the other doesn't. (unless the only differences are trivial ones)
#2
Old 02-26-2015, 06:04 PM
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Pressies are Calvinist, and --- theoretically --- believe in predestination, the prior election of the saved and the damned; although they rather toned down this message of hope the last few hundred years.

Methodists are an offshoot of Anglican theology, Arminian with a little added fervency.


Baptists, Congregationalists, Independents, modern Evangelicals etc. etc. are plain nuts.
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#3
Old 02-26-2015, 07:37 PM
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Methodists have bishops; presbyterians do not.
#4
Old 02-26-2015, 07:41 PM
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Methodists have bishops; presbyterians do not.
Which also means that Presbyterians will have considerably more variation from one congregation to another than will Methodists. So you might have some individual Presbyterian churches that aren't too far different from a Methodist church (because no bishop is telling them otherwise), but you're less likely to see a Methodist church that looks like the average Presbyterian church.
#5
Old 02-26-2015, 07:56 PM
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I am a member of no organized religion. I'm an Episcopalian. (Apologies to Will Rogers).

In terms of expected behavior, Methodists don't drink (or at least the observant ones) and are opposed to gambling. I've been told that Ohio's large and organized Methodist groups, particularly in the rural western portion of the state, played a role in defeating several statewide ballot initiatives to expand gambling.

The statement about variation within Presbyterianism is supported by my experience. One Presbyterian church I was quite familiar with was quite liberal, another was very conservative. Fox News did not yet exist when I was traveling in their circles but the first would have found it abhorrent and the second would likely have been receptive to the message.
#6
Old 02-26-2015, 08:28 PM
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It seems to me that being Presbyterian can also be sort of wrapped up in a Scots Irish identity, at least in the US. I've heard people say that they are Presbyterian (including some who hadn't seen the inside of a church in decades), but I haven't heard anyone argue a point based on Presbyterian dogma.
#7
Old 02-26-2015, 08:41 PM
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Methodists never have sex while standing, might be mistaken for dancing
#8
Old 02-26-2015, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jsquire View Post
I am a member of no organized religion. I'm an Episcopalian. (Apologies to Will Rogers).

In terms of expected behavior, Methodists don't drink (or at least the observant ones) and are opposed to gambling. I've been told that Ohio's large and organized Methodist groups, particularly in the rural western portion of the state, played a role in defeating several statewide ballot initiatives to expand gambling.

The statement about variation within Presbyterianism is supported by my experience. One Presbyterian church I was quite familiar with was quite liberal, another was very conservative. Fox News did not yet exist when I was traveling in their circles but the first would have found it abhorrent and the second would likely have been receptive to the message.
I've thrown back many beers with a friend of mine who's a Methodist minister. She would be amused to hear someone doesn't consider her observant.
#9
Old 02-26-2015, 10:21 PM
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There are about 15 different denominations within the greater Presbyterian Church family -- each with varying degrees of stubbornness.

The latest kerfluffe seems to be over the investment policy regarding businesses that deal with Israel. How Episcopalian of us, our investment strategy is tearing the church asunder.

Each denomination recognizes the pre-destination doctrine but few lay folk can explain it. It seems to me that the Doctrine of Pre-destination is like heated seats for cars in Florida. It comes with the package.

The real differences are generally polity differences and/or how fervent our overall evangelism should be.

And, gays.
#10
Old 02-26-2015, 10:33 PM
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I have also been told that, from a doctrine standpoint, we Presbyterians are much closer to Baptists than anything. Pre-destination and all.

I do know that Presbyterians do not enjoy sitting to close to one another in the pews.
#11
Old 02-27-2015, 01:50 AM
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Methodists don't drink in church. That was a revelation when grape juice hit my mouth when my mom started attending. Traditionally, they were big backers of Prohibition, but modern Methodists aren't as teetotal like Bapists, etc. are considered.

Arminianism (free will in theology) and Calvinism (determinination) are often considered opposites. Many religions support both, but the "stereotypical" religions for both are Methodism and Presbyerianism, respectively. In reality, they are not true opposites, but share lots of similarities. The differences are just more apparent or striking. But Baptists aren't the strict Calvinists that most people assume they are actually, and there is even a group (Free Will Bapists) who outright reject that. Even the Southern Baptists lean in the Arminian direction, although not as strongly as some!

Both can run the gamut from liberal to very conservative. The UMC and PCUSA are rather mainline/easy to get along with. IMHO, Methodists are a good religion to use in fiction if you need someone to be as generic (in the non-pejorative sense) as possible. Superman was supposedly made Methodist for that reason.

I know that there are differences between Presbyterians and Congregationalists, but aside from the organization difference, don't ask me to name any!
#12
Old 02-27-2015, 02:53 AM
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Methodists think they're the only ones.

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Originally Posted by jasg View Post
Methodists never have sex while standing, might be mistaken for dancing
That's Baptists there.


And seriously, although those are very old jokes, I had a Methodist minister last year tell me that Presbyterians are outside the Christian tradition.
#13
Old 02-27-2015, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
but I haven't heard anyone argue a point based on Presbyterian dogma.
The Presbyterians I know, and have known, have been generically Fundamentalist: they believe that, apart from a few fundamental points, it doesn't matter what you believe.

Notably different from the RC and Anglicans I have known, who believe that the whole package is important, including things like apostolic succession, and the holy catholic church, but not so much any other particular fundamental point.
#14
Old 02-27-2015, 03:15 AM
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No difference in Australia. The Presbyterians and the Methodists are now the Uniting Church.

From the Wiki on the Methodist church: The church ceased to exist in 1977 when most of its congregations joined with the many congregations of the Congregational Union of Australia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia to form the Uniting Church in Australia.
#15
Old 02-27-2015, 03:22 AM
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In Canada, the differences were considered trivial enough that the Methodist Church of Canada and most of the Presbyterian Church in Canada merged in 1925.
#16
Old 02-27-2015, 03:29 AM
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Methodists are Baptists that can read. Presbyterians are Methodists who can write.

As a Presbyterian, I think I can attest to the fact that the bedrock non-negotiable point of faith is that no church related social event really starts until at least 15 minutes past the stated time. The is also referred to as Presbyterian Standard Time, a concept that is exactly the same to those familiar with Jewish Standard Time.

We like complicated governance. We have bodies of elders, sessions and who knows what else. It is hopelessly and intentionally complicated and nothing gets done. The politics of the members vary all the way from dyed in the wool Republican to bleeding heart liberal. Accordingly, those who disagree with this decade's minister roll their eyes in disagreement during the sermon at the clueless bastard/bitch. If you dig deep, you can find the more informed members are under the impression we are Calvinists and predestined. However, we have free will as to which, the early or late service, that we attend, or whether we will sleep in and go to brunch instead. We are a brunching denomination.

Some of the stuffier ministers claim that all ordained ministers are "Bishops". Fine with me. Just stick with either the white squares or the black ones.

We all say a generic confessional prayer that varies and is printed in the program for all to say aloud. We have the same number of drunks, masturbators, fornicators and adulterers as other folks, but we do not talk about the specifics at any church style event, that's what God invented telephones, gossip and the other six days of the week for. Ordinarily we do not end our sentences with prepositions. There are exceptions attributable to sinful laziness of not rewriting sentences poorly started.

We do not have nuns. We do not have priests or monks. Our ministers are disturbingly like Rev. Lovejoy.

We are supposed to feed the sick and cure the poor and have our children tested for dyslexia.
#17
Old 02-27-2015, 06:01 AM
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From the above posts we can conclude (well - postulate anyway) that both denominations have a sense of humour.
#18
Old 02-27-2015, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post

I know that there are differences between Presbyterians and Congregationalists, but aside from the organization difference, don't ask me to name any!
My understanding of Congregationalists is that most individual Congregations runs themselves.

"Classic" Presbyterianism has a multi-layered governance with Presbyteries, Synods and the General Assembly. Ruling Elders are elected to make decisions for the faithful, while Deacons take care of the day-to-day financial matters of the church.

Many of the PCUS issues today are so reaction to the General Assembly's overly leftist social agenda, including the gay thing, investments in Israel and an upcoming vote on fossil fuels.

There have been lots of splits and reconciliations through the years, including a nasty fuss over slavery that ended several years after the Civil War, like 1980.
#19
Old 02-27-2015, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Conrad Shadowdale View Post
There are about 15 different denominations within the greater Presbyterian Church family -- each with varying degrees of stubbornness.

If, in classic comparison, the Catholic Church is the Soviet Union in Excelsis, the presbyterians are the trotskyites: capable of infinite splits, excommunicating each parent cell for insufficient purity, until reducing to the old English ( applied to the Scots ? ) joke of:


"Only thee and me shall go to Heaven, and I ha' ma doots about thee."




Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
It seems to me that being Presbyterian can also be sort of wrapped up in a Scots Irish identity, at least in the US.

Whilst it is true that Americans strangely call Ulster-folk Scots-Irish, and that the prots in Northern Ireland are likely to be presbyterian, and likely to be Unionists, these are not universals. Plus there are a number of roman catholics in Northern Ireland.


More stereotypical would be Scotland itself: the Established Church of Scotland itself has been wholly presbyterian since the Unhanged Thief stole the British Isles.

Plus, vide above, there are a lot of splinter cells.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Conrad Shadowdale View Post
I do know that Presbyterians do not enjoy sitting to close to one another in the pews.

Let's hope they look pawkily on the Kiss of Peace too.

"Keep yer hands to yersel', an' we shall both be friends..."
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Last edited by Claverhouse; 02-27-2015 at 08:53 AM.
#20
Old 02-27-2015, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
In Canada, the differences were considered trivial enough that the Methodist Church of Canada and most of the Presbyterian Church in Canada merged in 1925.
As did the Congregationalists. We're just one big happy family!
#21
Old 02-27-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jsquire View Post
...Methodists don't drink (or at least the observant ones) and are opposed to gambling.
I was raised Methodist. My mother was an observant true believer who drank, gambled, and smoked (all in moderation). I never heard anything from the minister or other church members against drinking or gambling, so I wonder where this notion comes from.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:12 AM
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And in New Zealand Methodists and Presbyterians are very close but not yet united. Some places, but not everywhere.

Presbyterianism is solidly rooted in the southern part of New Zealand with Knox College, Dunedin being a seminary for Presbyterian ministers. Dunedin is regarded as the Edinburgh of the south. Much of Dunedin is still owned by the church.

We Presbyterians scorn the other fainthearted Christian faiths and look to John Knox and Martin Luther as our guides. Well...thats what my aged mum tells me.
#23
Old 02-27-2015, 11:23 AM
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del

Last edited by Little Nemo; 02-27-2015 at 11:24 AM.
#24
Old 02-27-2015, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
I was raised Methodist. My mother was an observant true believer who drank, gambled, and smoked (all in moderation). I never heard anything from the minister or other church members against drinking or gambling, so I wonder where this notion comes from.
Historically, the Methodists (particularly Primitive Methodists) preached living a godly (upright, moral) life, and abstaining from drunkenness was a big part of that. The (U.S.) Methodist Episcopal Church's Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals was a major player in the late-19th/early-20th century temperance movement leading up to Prohibition in 1920.
#25
Old 02-27-2015, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
And seriously, although those are very old jokes, I had a Methodist minister last year tell me that Presbyterians are outside the Christian tradition.
Let's see. The Methodists were basically an offshoot of the Anglicans, who, of course, broke away from the Catholics primarily over governance rather than specific issues of theology.

The Presbyterians are an iteration of the Reformed movement that took its basic theology from John Calvin (and others). Other than predestination and the doctrine of the elect, the biggest practical difference anymore seems to be that Methodists -- like Lutherans, Anglicans and Catholics -- believe that God is actually present (in some way) in the Eucharist, while Presbyterians believe it's only a symbolic remembrance of the Last Supper.

In my experience, the real difference seems to be that Methodists tend to be a little more outgoing while the Presbyterians are more reserved.

Last edited by kunilou; 02-27-2015 at 12:02 PM.
#26
Old 02-27-2015, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slash2k View Post
Historically, the Methodists (particularly Primitive Methodists) preached living a godly (upright, moral) life, and abstaining from drunkenness was a big part of that. The (U.S.) Methodist Episcopal Church's Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals was a major player in the late-19th/early-20th century temperance movement leading up to Prohibition in 1920.
I don't recall this kind of church history being discussed in our congregation. It does shed light on why our Pennsylvania cousins (also Methodists) joked about how Methodists never recognize each other in the liquor store.

I will mention that I never saw my mother drunk, and I'm not sure I even saw her tipsy.
#27
Old 02-27-2015, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
I was raised Methodist. My mother was an observant true believer who drank, gambled, and smoked (all in moderation). I never heard anything from the minister or other church members against drinking or gambling, so I wonder where this notion comes from.

I'm newly-ish Methodist after a being a lifelong (with bouts of agnosticism) non-denominationalist / lite fundamentalist and I've never heard anyone from the pulpit on down say anything against partaking. As a matter of fact, our recently acquired pastor just told me a story about some of the wine she got for Christmas. And this is in the bible buckle south.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
It does shed light on why our Pennsylvania cousins (also Methodists) joked about how Methodists never recognize each other in the liquor store.
Fundamental religious differences: Jews don't recognize Christ as the Messiah. Protestants don't recognize the authority of the Pope. Baptists don't recognize each other at the liquor store.
#29
Old 02-27-2015, 01:42 PM
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I was raised United Methodist and am still active in the church.

By comparison to the other local churches where I grew up, the main difference compared to them is that Methodists rotate their ministers. That is, ministers are assigned to churches by a regional council for a period of time, and then moved to another church. The congregation doesn't have much say in the matter, although if true conflict occurs, ministers can be moved on more quickly.

There is a lot variation in the communion, from one congregation to another. Details like frequency: weekly vs monthly (most common) vs yearly, or grape juice (most common) vs wine, or big cup vs little sipper cup (most common), or leavened (most common) vs unleavened bread, or whole loaf vs precut cubes (most common). The one absolutely universal part of a Methodist communion is that it is "open table"--anyone who feels the call of Christ is allowed to partake, whether or not they're a member of the congregation or the Methodist Church or even baptized.

There's no universal prescription against alcohol. In my confirmation classes, we learned about the active role our Methodist Church played in prohibition. But these days the church is not prohibitionist, instead it's more anti-drunkenness.

Oh, the Church does not have a fixed policy about baptism. It's up to each congregation about whether to baptize infants (under two) or wait until confirmation (junior high). My current church didn't want to baptize my kids until they were older until I threatened to take them to my hometown congregation at Christmastime to be baptized. They did ended changing policy. Oh, the baptism is Trinitarian, but that's true for almost everyone.

I'm sure there's other "important" doctrinal differences between Methodists and other churches, but Methodists are not really dogmatic and there's few day-to-day difference once you get past communion, baptism and confirmation.

There were (maybe still are) some scuffles in the higher levels of the church about gay rights. One congregation I was in was very pro-gay and did a lot of outreach and community work along those lines. Others, not so much. It's mostly left to the individual churches what to do.
#30
Old 02-27-2015, 01:46 PM
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FWIW, George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are both Methodists.
#31
Old 02-27-2015, 01:52 PM
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I was raised Presbyterian and married a Methodist. This shocked my former boss, an Orthodox Jew. "But that means you can't dance or drink anymore!" (Which was news to my husband and his parents. Although the Methodist minister who married us was old enough to remember the not dancing part.)

As far as who's in charge: from what I understand, at the individual church level, the choir members are.

Old joke: "How can there by a dancing foot and a praying knee on the same leg?"
"When they're connected by a fatted calf."
#32
Old 02-27-2015, 01:54 PM
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A Presbyterian was rescued after being on a desert island for a decade. The rescuers asked him what his three huts were for.

"That one's my house, and that one's my church."

"So what's the third hut?" he was then asked.

"Oh, that's were I used to go to church."
#33
Old 02-27-2015, 03:53 PM
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My grandmother's very Presbyterian version of pre-destination was that only Presbyterians go to heaven.

Not really a true definition, strictly speaking.

As a final thought, my mother once attended a Methodist Church where drinking, smoking and dancing were verboten. As an addition to the sin catalogue, the minister said that "every motion picture watched was another brick in the road to hell."

Again, I think that is misapplied doctrine.

She returned to the Presbyterian fold shortly thereafter and is, undoubtedly, in heaven to this day, having smoked, drank and danced until the end of her days, as a happy Scot-Irish Presbyterian.
#34
Old 02-27-2015, 04:23 PM
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FWIW, George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are both Methodists.
The Bush family was Episcopalian, and now two of the kids went into opposite directions - Catholicism and Methodism. Jeb is in Florida and has a Mexican wife, while George moved to Texas, where the two flavors of religion among white people are Methodist and Baptist, and went with (I think) the church his wife attended.
#35
Old 02-27-2015, 04:26 PM
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I was raised in the 70's in Georgia. There, Presbyterians were very liberal as far as fundamentalism, more like what I see Episcopalians portrayed other places.
#36
Old 02-27-2015, 04:48 PM
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The Methodist thing about being anti-alcohol goes back to John Wesley, founder of Methodism. His world was that of 18th-century England, where life was really crappy for lots of people, and, as happens in such places, alcoholism and excessive indulgence were common. He saw lots of lives ruined by alcohol and so preached against its consumption.

The UMC is also non-dogmatic, so one does not have to abide by all of the stated positions of the church to be considered observant.
#37
Old 02-27-2015, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Haunted Pasta View Post
The Methodist thing about being anti-alcohol goes back to John Wesley, founder of Methodism. His world was that of 18th-century England, where life was really crappy for lots of people, and, as happens in such places, alcoholism and excessive indulgence were common. He saw lots of lives ruined by alcohol and so preached against its consumption.
By our standards, he was a fundie by practice, if not by literalism. "Methodist" was originally a pejorative about their strict methodical ways, much like how outsiders call the LDS "Mormons" or the United Society of Believers in Christís Second Appearing "Shakers," but like the Mormons and more so, they adopted the name for their own.
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:37 PM
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Speaking of Wesley --- and I have a slightly benevolent attitude towards him since his mother was jacobite, in opposition to his damned father --- once read in an old magazine his receipt for consumption: in the early morning you dig up a square foot of turf, then kneel on all fours and breathe in and out of the hole.


Probably worked as well as anything else back then.
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#39
Old 02-27-2015, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
By our standards, he was a fundie by practice, if not by literalism. "Methodist" was originally a pejorative about their strict methodical ways, much like how outsiders call the LDS "Mormons" or the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing "Shakers," but like the Mormons and more so, they adopted the name for their own.
Apparently, so was Presbyterian. King George III allegedly called the American Revolution, The Presbyterian Rebellion.

We were taught in communicants class that he called it that because of the large number of Presbyterians signing the Declaration of Indepednece.

Not really true, however.

He used the term prejoratively to mean "ill mannered, anti-monarchical fanatics."

Last edited by Dr. Conrad Shadowdale; 02-27-2015 at 05:43 PM.
#40
Old 02-27-2015, 09:37 PM
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Methodists never have sex while standing, might be mistaken for dancing
That's hardshell Baptists.

The quick answer is that there isn't much difference. The ELCA (Lutheran, PC-USA (Presbys), UCC (United Church of Christ), EC-USA (Whiskeypalians to Mumpers), UMC (Methodists) and others are in what we protestants call "Full Communion". We can call/hire each others Pastors for the most part and in general try to work and play well together.

But remember there are different "flavors" in each denomination. For example, the above is for ELCA and NOT those who follow the "Dark Side of the Force" -- Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod or Lutheran Church - Wisconsin Synod. Last I checked there were 96 different Lutheran churches world-wide and few of themn get along let alone get along with anyone not Lutheran.

It's like the one other really old joke:
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: "Stop. Don't do it."

"Why shouldn't I?" he asked.

"Well, there's so much to live for!"

"Like what?"

"Are you religious?"

He said, "Yes."

I said, "Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?"

"Christian."

"Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

"Protestant."

"Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"

"Baptist."

"Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

"Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

"Reformed Baptist Church of God."

"Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"

He said: "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915."

I said: "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off.
#41
Old 02-27-2015, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Haunted Pasta View Post
The Methodist thing about being anti-alcohol goes back to John Wesley, founder of Methodism. His world was that of 18th-century England, where life was really crappy for lots of people, and, as happens in such places, alcoholism and excessive indulgence were common. He saw lots of lives ruined by alcohol and so preached against its consumption.
In my small town Pennsylvania Methodist experience, it was both booze AND dancing that were taboo. I remember a neighbor who would close all the blinds before daring a sip of beer. As far as fear of dancing, the Baptists were just copycats in my town.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
From the above posts we can conclude (well - postulate anyway) that both denominations have a sense of humour.
My former brother-in-law was the son of a Presbyterian minister. He called Presbyterians "God's frozen people."
#43
Old 02-28-2015, 10:41 AM
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Presbyterians:

Whenever four or more are gathered together in His name, a chicken will die.

Last edited by Dr. Conrad Shadowdale; 02-28-2015 at 10:42 AM.
#44
Old 02-28-2015, 11:10 AM
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She returned to the Presbyterian fold shortly thereafter and is, undoubtedly, in heaven to this day, having smoked, drank and danced until the end of her days, as a happy Scot-Irish Presbyterian.
There can be considerable variation within Presbyterianism. My Scottish Presbyterian grandmother was tee-totaller and did not smoke, for all her life.
#45
Old 02-28-2015, 03:23 PM
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My former brother-in-law was the son of a Presbyterian minister. He called Presbyterians "God's frozen people."
"For many are cold, but few are frozen!"
#46
Old 02-28-2015, 04:04 PM
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So far, the only real theological difference that surfaced was that of predestination, and even that was said to have faded over the centuries.

What about the degree of literal belief in scripture or the issue of grace vs. works regarding salvation? The belief of symbolic vs. actual blood in communion? Those are the kinds of things I'm looking for.

From my admittedly limited discussions on the matter, even pastors (let alone ordinary church members) seem to have difficulty articulating specific differences among protestant denominations.
#47
Old 02-28-2015, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
A Presbyterian was rescued after being on a desert island for a decade. The rescuers asked him what his three huts were for.

"That one's my house, and that one's my church."

"So what's the third hut?" he was then asked.

"Oh, that's were I used to go to church."
That's a joke referencing a particular bit of church history. To wit:

In the 1700's, the Scottish church started to split into what eventually became mostly the state-sponsored "Church of Scotland" and the independent "United Free Church of Scotland". The split was over the selection of ministers, and, if a congregation really didn't like a minister (drunk, and no interest in relegion), or a minister really didn't like answering to a civil authority, the whole congregation would move down the road to a new building, leaving the unused building to the "Church of Scotland" and the civil authority. It's possible of course because in the Presbyterian tradition, the "meeting house" was pretty much just a barn with windows and a good floor.

So all over Scotland you wound up with a bunch of empty church buildings where "we used to go to church".

As it happens, these building were often in good condition (the civil authority was engaged in a building program), and they weren't immedeately sold or destroyed: they remained a part of the landscape and were supported by taxation.
#48
Old 02-28-2015, 05:17 PM
born to be shunned
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southwestern PA
Posts: 11,691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Conrad Shadowdale View Post
Presbyterians:

Whenever four or more are gathered together in His name, a chicken will die.
Wait -- I thought that was Santaria?

At least we (ELCA) can still claim lutefisk -- the piece of cod (play on peace of God) that passes all understanding. (I have that on good authority -- a t-shirt)
#49
Old 02-28-2015, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 3,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
That's a joke referencing a particular bit of church history. To wit:

In the 1700's, the Scottish church started to split into what eventually became mostly the state-sponsored "Church of Scotland" and the independent "United Free Church of Scotland". The split was over the selection of ministers, and, if a congregation really didn't like a minister (drunk, and no interest in relegion), or a minister really didn't like answering to a civil authority, the whole congregation would move down the road to a new building, leaving the unused building to the "Church of Scotland" and the civil authority. It's possible of course because in the Presbyterian tradition, the "meeting house" was pretty much just a barn with windows and a good floor.

So all over Scotland you wound up with a bunch of empty church buildings where "we used to go to church".

As it happens, these building were often in good condition (the civil authority was engaged in a building program), and they weren't immedeately sold or destroyed: they remained a part of the landscape and were supported by taxation.
Well, maybe. I've heard that joke applied to Evangelicals, Baptists and Jews: "Oh, that? That's the church/synagogue I wouldn't be caught dead in." I think it's more about certain universals of human nature.

I once read a joke from the nineteenth century that everybody in the South was actually Baptist. Methodists were just Baptists that were scared of water, Presbyterians were Baptists who belonged to the Chamber of Commerce, Episcopalians were Baptists who had been to college, and Unitarians were Baptists who couldn't count.
#50
Old 02-28-2015, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle View Post
Well, maybe. I've heard that joke applied to Evangelicals, Baptists and Jews: "Oh, that? That's the church/synagogue I wouldn't be caught dead in." I think it's more about certain universals of human nature.
Yes, it's part of the human condition. The discarded church buildings though were specific to Scotish Presbyterianism. The joke doesn't require any knowledge of church buildings -- like most jokes, it's less funny when it's explained.
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