Q: I like a guy, but he’s Methodist and I’m Baptist. We haven’t really talked about religion much, except that we are both Christians. Do denomations make a difference? And what are the real differences between Methodists and Baptists?

You’re not the only person confused by all the different denominations that make up the Christian faith. I’m no church historian, and even I get confused by the differences sometimes!

A person’s denomination isn’t as important as what that person personally believes. Why? Because a lot of people belong to certain denominations simply because that’s the church where they grew up and feel most comfortable. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know what their particular denomination believes on important issues. They’re more concerned with the music style and whether the church has a big youth group.

Baptists and Methodists are more similar than they are different, and those differences probably aren’t anything to be concerned about. That said, even people who attend a particular denomination sometimes believe different things, so I’d find out what he personally believes on important faith issues like who Jesus is and how we are saved before you consider a relationship with him.

Most churches these days have a website where you can find their “Statement of Faith” (sometimes labeled “What We Believe”). That would give you a good idea of what your friend’s church believes. If you find things in their Statement of Faith that confuse you, take a copy to your pastor or youth pastor and ask for help.

While we’re on the topic, do you know what your own church believes? Take some time to read your church’s Statement of Faith (if you haven’t already) and make sure it lines up with what the Bible says is true!

What concerns me more than what denomination your crush belongs to, though, is that you haven’t “talked about religion much” together. Remember, if you were to date him, the whole purpose of your relationship should be to bring God glory (i.e., make Him look good). You can only do that if you talk about Him, and the best time to start is right from the beginning!

Love,