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Switch to Forum Live View a question about catholic and other denominations
7 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2008 - 11:33AM #1
zig
Posts: 10
Hi, was very relieved to hear that catholics and methodists have a lot in common. Was wondering if anyone could help...I`ve been wandering in and out of differnt denominations for years. I was raised a methodist. Last year my husband decided that he wanted to become a catholic. I am glad he feels so sorted and it`s helping to develop his faith. I have been attending with him and like the service. I have also been attending the training classes but don`t know whether I want to convert. also feel quite scared because the confirmation seems so huge. I have a question for catholics/methodists or anyone generally. In catholicism, the sacriments are believed to offer special grace from god throught eh spirit. If I do not convert and tdo not ake the eucharist/confession does this mean I will not receieve grce from the spirit? Is the communion in methodist churches a sacriment where grace is thought to be given? Are there any other ways I can receiev grace?

Am I making sense? I`m depressed because at the end of the day we are all christians. I really have a problem with being termed this or that... the main difference I can see between methodists and catholics is the intercession prayers to Mary and Saints, the eucharist which actually becomes the body and blood of Christ and the belief that Mary was free from sin from conception. Are there methodists out there who think it`s ok to pray through Mary? That confessing to a priest is ok?

So sorry about all the waffle but posters here seem to be so helpful.....thanks in advanceXX
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 7:45PM #2
MDW
Posts: 13
The UMC teaches the sacramental view. Communion and baptism do give grace and Christ is spiritual present in them. Grace may also be revieced through prayer and doing good works. Yet, the grace may only be recieved if the person is in right standing with Christ (i.e. saved/born again).

I personally, do pray to Mary and the saints and see nothing wrong with it. In some Methodist churches you will find a statue of Mary. As long as you find spiritual direction from it and God through it the UMC would have nothing wrong with it. About confession to priest, I'm not all that sure. In the Methodist churches I attend, it would be frown at. Since we believe that a person can talk directly to God and needs no one to do it for them. Overall, the UMC leaves it to the individual to decide for themselves. Hope this has helped.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2008 - 8:27AM #3
soulsister
Posts: 5
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper (or Holy Communion) in the United Methodist Church is understood to be a means of God's grace.  It is through the sacrament that we are invited to accept God's gift of new life in Jesus Christ anew (or even for the first time if you have not already done so).  All are welcome at the Lord's table, because Christ died for all of us.

One of the important teachings on "grace" in the United Methodist Church, which began with the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, is that God's grace is extended to us even before we have ever come to believe in God or in God's son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Wesley called it "prevenient grace".  It is the grace that is God's love for us--God's continual pursuit after us--calling us to come and be reconciled (restored) in our relationship with God.  God created us, we are God's creation.  Like a most loving parent, no matter how much wrong we do, God continually reaches out to us (through God's "amazing" grace) and invites us to return to Him and be restored in our relationship with Him.

Have you ever seen the movie, "Places In The Heart" starring Sally Field and Danny Glover?  One of the last scenes in the move depicts just how awesome God's grace is.  The scene shows different kinds of people (different races, different status in the community, different ages, etc.) gathered together in a church sharing in the Lord's Supper.  Throughout the movie, you see how these different people relate to each other.  In the midst of relationships which involved, deception, bigotry, sexism, and other divisive and just plain sinful behavior, as well the struggle of persons who are adversely affected by these kinds of behaviors, you find that people on both sides of the fence are gathered together in the church partaking of the Lord's Supper together.  This scene in the movie symbolizes for me that what we say in the communion service in the United Methodist Church: "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.  That proves God's love toward us.  In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven."  (These words come from the "Service of Word and Table" (communion service) in the United Methodist Hymnal.)  That's a major reason why the United Methodist Church has a open communion table.  That is why I see the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion) as a means of God's grace offered to each of us no matter who we are, what denomination we are, or even if we have not yet made a complete commitment to Christ.  Christ invites everyone to the table as a opportunity to accept him as Lord and receive forgiveness of our sins.  We, then, are also empowered by the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to go forth to live to His glory.

As for the Catholic faith and prayers through the virgin Mary, I must confess I am not knowledgeable about many of the beliefs of the Catholic church.  Therefore, I cannot give much of an opinion or statement (with any degree of accuracy) about what they believe.  However, I have never heard of United Methodists offering prayers through the virgin Mary.  Our United Methodist Book of Discipline gives some very specific information about what we believe, and there is nothing written that suggests this or encourages it.  As well, if you visit the official United Methodist web site (http://www.umc.org) you can go to the page that gives you answers to many of your questions about what United Methodists believe.

What we do teach, to be best of my knowledge, is that Jesus Christ is our mediator and High Priest.  No longer do we have to go through any human being nor any saint or other historical biblical or Christian figure, to have access to God other than Jesus Christ.  We have access to God through Jesus Christ, and that is one of the reasons why we, like many Christians pray, "in the name of Jesus."

One last thing, just because United Methodists do not have all of the same beliefs and practices of Catholics and some other Christian groups (and I really think we do agree on the things that matter most), does not mean that family members cannot share a healthy relationship with each other even if that are not all United Methodists, or all Catholics, etc.  Despite our differences in some areas, we find our common ground in Jesus Christ, so United Methodists believe that we can live in harmony with each other, because we are all a part of the body of Christ.  The only exceptions are when there are such conflicting messages that lead to destructive behavior and spiritual abuse of people's lives and of the Christian message.

I know this is supposed to be a brief reply, but, as you can probably tell, I'm a bit long winded.

Blessings!
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2008 - 4:21PM #4
TemplarS
Posts: 6,777

soulsister wrote:



As for the Catholic faith and prayers through the virgin Mary, I must confess I am not knowledgeable about many of the beliefs of the Catholic church.



Hi, SoulSister-

As I Catholic I might explain this a bit. When Catholics pray to Mary (or saints), it is really asking them to add their prayers to ours before God. This is very similar to, for example, asking a group of friends or fellow-parishioners to pray for the health of someone, which I assume is common practice in both our Churches.

Why do we do this? It has to do with our interpretation of the "Communion of Saints", which Catholics (and Methodists for that matter) mention in the Creeds of our faith. Catholics take this to mean that those who have died in God's good grace are in this Communion with those of us still here on earth. Furthermore, the process of declaring someone a saint in the Catholic Church means that there has been judged to be enough evidence that the person is indeed in the presence of God in heaven; so is in a perfect position to add their prayers to ours. Mary, by her special relationship with Jesus, is believed to also have this very special relationship with Him in heaven.

There has of course been some misuse of this throughout history by Catholics (and others); various superstitions about relics of saints and so on. But this is just what happens when you have a Church composed of human beings.

Hope this helps, and I'll try to answer any other questions you might have.

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7 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2008 - 10:33AM #5
ProfitOfGod
Posts: 1,020
Methodists don't over-teach anything.

That's why I came out so cool. :)
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 6:50AM #6
soulsister
Posts: 5
[QUOTE=TemplarS;292951]Hi, SoulSister-

As I Catholic I might explain this a bit. When Catholics pray to Mary (or saints), it is really asking them to add their prayers to ours before God. This is very similar to, for example, asking a group of friends or fellow-parishioners to pray for the health of someone, which I assume is common practice in both our Churches.

Why do we do this? It has to do with our interpretation of the "Communion of Saints", which Catholics (and Methodists for that matter) mention in the Creeds of our faith. Catholics take this to mean that those who have died in God's good grace are in this Communion with those of us still here on earth. Furthermore, the process of declaring someone a saint in the Catholic Church means that there has been judged to be enough evidence that the person is indeed in the presence of God in heaven; so is in a perfect position to add their prayers to ours. Mary, by her special relationship with Jesus, is believed to also have this very special relationship with Him in heaven.

There has of course been some misuse of this throughout history by Catholics (and others); various superstitions about relics of saints and so on. But this is just what happens when you have a Church composed of human beings.

Hope this helps, and I'll try to answer any other questions you might have.[/QUOTE]
Thanks for the explanation.

Far too often I've heard others say that Catholics have placed the Virgin Mary as being equal to God, to Jesus Christ; thus worshiping her.

As I understand your explanation, this positioning of Mary is inaccurate.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 4:12PM #7
oldflrn
Posts: 1
Seems the Bible says to not worship Idols and Catholics sure have a lot of Statues they pray to NOT trough, Also it says repetitive prays fall on deaf ears and do you not repeat the same prayers over and and over and over when u say the Rosary, and do you not ask a MAN to forgive you and the only one whom YOU can ask this of IS JESUS CHRIST...through him to GOD. NOW please tell me how christian is this? The POPE is another subject and HE is NOT GOD incarnate as many Catholics believe.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 8:52PM #8
TemplarS
Posts: 6,777
Oldflrn-

I'm not going to debate Catholic beliefs with you, this is not the right forum- however, I would invite you to visit the "Discuss Catholicism" board where you and I can have a more detailed discussion in the proper atmosphere.

However, SoulSister asked some good questions about what Catholics believe, and in the spirit of trying to promote some Christian understanding of each other I attempted (as a Catholic) to explain- so at least some Methodists on this board might understand what Catholics really believe, not what some people think we believe.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 7:36AM #9
anglomethodist
Posts: 2
I once heard a Baptist preacher state that once we are dead and in heaven we no longer can see what's going on in our former lives anymore because God now shields us from the struggles that are prevalent on the Earth. While there is no proof of that, it kinda makes sense to me.

However, maybe we ARE being watched by everybody (scary thought) and maybe Catholics DO have their prayers added with other saints. I for one am not so sure about that. But how do I know? LIke Catholics, I'm going to pray the way I believe I am being heard. I am not prepared to say that Catholics are wrong because there is a quote in the Bible about denying the Holy Spirit. So I would be careful on who I am questioning.
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6 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 9:34AM #10
malanga
Posts: 626
[QUOTE=anglomethodist;324334]I once heard a Baptist preacher state that once we are dead and in heaven we no longer can see what's going on in our former lives anymore because God now shields us from the struggles that are prevalent on the Earth. While there is no proof of that, it kinda makes sense to me.

However, maybe we ARE being watched by everybody (scary thought) and maybe Catholics DO have their prayers added with other saints. I for one am not so sure about that. But how do I know? LIke Catholics, I'm going to pray the way I believe I am being heard. I am not prepared to say that Catholics are wrong because there is a quote in the Bible about denying the Holy Spirit. So I would be careful on who I am questioning.[/QUOTE]

Another point I would like to add is that Catholics are not REQUIRED to venerate Mary or the Saints.  This is purely optional and I know Catholics who never pray to either.   There is nothing wrong with this from the Church's view.  As you stated, we pray the way we believe we are being heard.
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