Articles of Religion

The doctrinal standard of the United Methodist Church of America. In 1784 John Wesley prepared a revised and shortened version of the Thirty-Nine Articles* for use in American Methodism.* Fifteen were eliminated altogether, three were rewritten, and the remainder subjected to minor verbal alterations and omissions. Apart from abbreviation, Wesley's objective was to remove from the Anglican formulary whatever inclined toward either ritualism or Calvinism. It is significant that no additions were made to cover distinctive Methodist emphases, but Wesley offered the Twenty-Four Articles to complement his sermons and Notes on the New Testament which were already accepted in England as indicating the theological standpoint of Methodism. The American Methodists added an article of their own affirming their loyalty to the American government, following the war of independence. The Twenty-Five Articles were adopted by the Baltimore Conference of 1784.