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March 31, 2023 By dwayman

One of the expressions of our Free Methodist “via media” is to bring together both Infant Baptism and Infant Dedication giving the parent(s) the opportunity to choose for their own child(ren).  To do this the Study Commission on Doctrine created this educational document expressing the support of each theological position.


Study Commission on Doctrine

   In the Free Methodist Church, both divine grace and personal decisions are considered integral to the Christian life. The practice of two seemingly contradictory rituals in the church is a witness to this reality. While infant baptism highlights divine grace infant dedication emphasizes personal decision.

The two rituals share much in common. In both, families present their children to the Lord in the presence of the community of faith. Prayers are offered for these children, especially as concerns their spiritual development and personal salvation. The families and the church acknowledge their responsibilities and make commitments as regards the bringing up of these children ‘in the Lord’s discipline and instruction’ Prayers are offered for the families as regards their special role in this process.

Both rituals reflect a prayerful expectation of the children’s role in personally experiencing and affirming God’s grace in their lives “at an early age.” God’s help and blessing are invoked.

The Scriptures do not state explicitly whether infants should be dedicated or baptized, or whether baptism should be reserved until one is able to respond personally in faith to God’s grace (as a mature child,


March 11, 2023 By dwayman

By David S. Wisener

Rev. Wisener is a Free Methodist pastor planting a church in north central Florida

RESPONSE by Howard Snyder

Dr. Snyder is a retired Free Methodist professor from Asbury Theological Seminary


I come from a long line of mainline Methodists through my mother’s family, so from an early age, I was taught the unique emphases John Wesley put on the Christian faith. As many have noted before, Wesley’s evangelism was instrumental in contributing to the Great Awakening and reshaping Christianity over the last 300 years.
I began to develop a love for philosophy in my late teens and early 20s, particularly a field known as epistemology, which is the study of knowledge or, more specifically, what it means to know things. I was interested in exploring the ways in which Christians justify our beliefs as a genuine form of knowledge and, as a good Wesleyan, that led to my first introduction to the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is, as described in the Pastors and Church Leaders Manual, “an effort to describe a Methodist methodology for theological formulation.” In other words, it’s meant to be a way for Methodists to determine spiritual truth.

Theologian Albert Outler coined the phrase in the 1960s as his way of explaining how Wesley came to his theological decisions. It lists four sources of truth: Scripture, tradition,