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Ethics and Community

Community Organization

Methodist organization grew out of its history within the Anglican Church. It was organized into societies (which became churches or congregations). Each society was subdivided into classes. Societies in a given region met together in a Conference.


Methodism has a relationship of clergy to laity similar to most Protestant churches, though because of its history the laity has consistently played a prominent role in Methodism.

Principles of Moral Thought and Action

Methodists base moral thought and action on the Bible (as well as reason, tradition, and experience). Unlike some other Protestants, they believe it is possible to live up to the commands in the Bible. There are, however, some significant disagreements regarding what the Bible commands.

Vision for Society

Because Methodists believe their salvation in part requires subsequent good works, they have been very active in efforts to improve society. There has not been unanimity, however, on the vision of what an improved society looks like.

Gender and Sexuality

Methodists have traditionally given more leadership roles to women than other Christian denominations. On the question of homosexuality, Methodists are split.