Denomination Differences

Methodist vs. Seventh-Day Adventist Beliefs

Methodists and Seventh-Day Adventists are both Protestant denominations that believe in justification through faith alone. They have quite different histories, but ultimately end up with similar core beliefs.

The Methodist movement was begun by John Wesley back in 1700s as an attempt to reform and revive the Church of England, while the Seventh-Day Adventist Church grew out of the remnants of the American Millerite church in the mid-1800s when their prediction of Christ's return proved false. Both of them are very evangelistic sola fide churches, and they both drew converts from many different Protestant denominations in their foundings. This made both denominations very diverse in their theology and practices. While Seventh-Day Adventists have largely coalesced into a single doctrine, Methodists have retained a large variety among their churches, and have arguably become more divided in recent years as they have been unable to agree on many modern social issues.

Both are typically governed in an episcopal manner. Methodists do often retain their high-church roots while embracing more modernist positions than Seventh-Day Adventists. Arguably the biggest differences however are Seventh-Day Adventists' largely unique beliefs of Saturday worship, soul sleep, and adherence to most of the Mosaic Law.

Belief Table

MethodistSeventh-Day Adventist
a.k.a.
  • Wesleyan
  • Nazarene
Number of Members80,000,000[1][2]22,000,000[3]
How does one get saved?Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.Sola fide: Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection alone to save you.[4]
Who gets saved?Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.Anyone who chooses by his own free will to believe and accept God's gift of grace will be saved.
Can one lose his salvation?Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.Yes, a Christian can lose his salvation by apostasy.[4]
Who gets baptized and why?Saved people and their infant children get baptized by as the first sacrament of Christian initiation, cleansing them of all sins.Saved people get baptized as a public demonstration of their new lives.[5]
How should baptism be done?Baptism should be by sprinkling water on the head.Baptism should be by immersion.[5]
When does one receive the Holy Spirit?The Holy Spirit is received at the moment of salvation.The Holy Spirit is received at baptism.[6]
What is the trinity?The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.The Trinity is God existing as one god in three equal, eternal, cosubstantial persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
What is the human nature?Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.Total depravity: Human nature is corrupt, naturally inclined to evil, and incapable of choosing God on his own.
Are we guilty of Adam's original sin?No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.No, we are not guilty of Adam's sin, but we did inherit the consequences and a corrupt human nature from him, causing us all to sin.
Are Christians required to keep the Old Testament ceremonial laws?No, the ceremonial laws of Judaism were fulfilled and done away with by Jesus.Yes, all Old Testament laws are binding on Christians except for animal sacrifices.
Can Christians become sinless in this earthly life?Yes, Christians can become evangelically perfect through sanctification.Most believe no, although Christians can and should sin less, they can never become sinless in this life.[7]
Do the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ?No, the elements do not become the body and blood of Christ, but Christ is present in an unknown way.No, the elements merely symbolically represent the body and blood of Christ.
Can one be baptized of behalf of someone who has died?No, the dead cannot be baptized.No, the dead cannot be baptized.
What happens if a saved person dies without being perfect?Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[8]Once Christians leave their sinful bodies, nothing else is needed to receive glorified, sinless bodies.[9]
Did Mary ever sin?Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.Yes, Mary sinned like all other humans except Jesus.
What spiritual gifts are available today?Continuationism: All spiritual gifts are still available to believers.[10]
What framework has God used in dealing with man?Covenant theology: God acts either within the covenant of works or the covenant of grace.
What are the requirements for clergy?Varies widely
How many church ordinances/​sacraments are there?The church has two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.[11]The church has three ordinances: Baptism, Holy Communion, and Footwashing.[12]
To whom do Christians need to confess their sins?Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins. A general confession of sinfulness is usually done as a group during a service.Confession should be made directly to God, but confession to another believer is beneficial for some sins.
How should a church be structured?Connectionalism: Churches are governed by conferences of representatives. How respresentatives and pastors are chosen varies widely.Church congregations should be governed by a local conference which its congregation elects a representative to, and conferences elect representatives to higher conferences governing them.
What day of the week should Christians worship?Christians worship on Sunday.Christians should worship on Saturday.
How does God's revelation come to us today?Prima scriptura: There are many sources of God's revelation, although none can contradict the Bible.Sola scriptura: The Bible is the only infallible source of God's revelation, sufficient for all faith and practice.[13]
How was the Bible written?Dynamic inspiration: God inspired the thoughts of the human authors, but the words were chosen by the authors.[14]
How many books are in the Bible?There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.There are 66 canonical books of the Bible: 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books.
Is the Bible inerrant?No, the Bible is not inerrant in any respect.[15]The Bible is infallible, but not every word is without error.[16][17]
How was the earth created?Creationism: The earth was spoken into existence by God.
What is marriage?Varies widely[18][19][20][21]Marriage is a covenant before God between one man and one woman.[22]
Is sex permissible outside marriage?Varies widely[18][19][20][21]No, sex outside of marriage is not permissible.[23]
When is divorce permissible?Varies widely[24][25]Divorce is permissible for adultery or desertion.[22][26]
May a Christian remarry while his former spouse is still alive?Varies widely[24][25]The innocent party to the adultery may remarry.[26]
When does a fetus become human?No established doctrine[27][28]Humanity begins at conception.[29]
Is contraception permissible?Yes, contraceptives are permissible.Yes, contraceptives are permissible.[30]
Are blood transfusions permissible?Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.Yes, blood transfusions are permissible.[31]
Should women cover their heads?No, head coverings are no longer required due to cultural changes.[32]
Should Christians drink alcohol?Most believe that yes, drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk.[33][34]No, alcohol should be totally avoided.[35][36][37]
Should Christians fight in wars?Most believe that no, Christians should never fight.[38][39]Varies widely
Whom does the Holy Spirit come from?The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[40]The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.[41]
Where does a Christian's soul go after death?No established doctrine[42]Souls are unconscious after death until God raises them from "sleep".[43][44][45]