We believe that the Bible is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine and teaching. We believe that scripture (the Bible) is properly read and interpreted in the context of a believing community. This community is guided by the Holy Spirit working first and foremost through the Bible itself, but also through the tradition of the church, the divine gift of human reason, and the interaction of the scriptures with the experiences that have shaped us (both individual and communal).

Our denomination, the United Methodist Church, has an excellent summary of what United Methodists believe about the Bible on it’s website:

We join United Methodists around the world in our belief that God’s grace for all and in all. For all because God loves, and Christ died for everyone. In all because grace is God’s love at work in the life of every single human being on the face of the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit. We want to be as clear as we can be that in both of these affirmations all means all. No matter who you are or what you have done, you are not an exception.

With Christians around the world and throughout the ages we affirm the Apostles’ Creed as a summary of what we believe. This creed is used in the baptismal covenant that initiates new members into the body of Christ (the catholic or universal church), the United Methodist Church as a denomination and Abilene First United Methodist Church in particular. The version of the creed we use at First is as follows:

I commit myself to God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I set my heart upon Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I place my trust in the Holy Spirit,
the holy church universal,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting. Amen.

*The Apostles’ Creed can be found in The United Methodist Hymnal as #882. We’ve substituted “I commit myself to,” “I set my heart upon,” and “I place my trust in” for “I believe in” and “holy church universal” for “holy catholic church” to better capture the original sense of the creed.

Our denominational website has a page with resources to learn more about Christian, Wesleyan, and United Methodist Beliefs.