I work with someone who just joined the Methodist Church. She grew up a minimal Catholic and really doesn’t know what the Catholic Church teaches. Anyway…the other day she said she feels she is being called to evangalize so I was wondering what they believe about judgement, purgatory, communion, baptism, Mary and the Saints.
Methodists believe Mary was a holy woman, but that’s about it. They don’t stress Marian beliefs like our church. They practice baptism as we do. They do not hold to the real presence of Christ being in the Eucharist at all. They only believe in heaven and hell and reject purgatory as a Catholic fable… They do not pray to the saints in heaven. But they do pray with the saints in their church.
What about judgement after death? She asked if we beliveved we were judged right after death.
I grew up as a United Methodist. I am now a Catholic. Part of the reason your co-worker may feel comfortable in a United Methodist church is that their service is very similar to a Catholic Mass in its structure. There is an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, and a Gospel reading. Some also have a responsorial Psalm. Usually communion is once a month, and the prayers and responses use the same words as a Catholic Mass. There is a range of belief about communion-- some Methodists believe it is only symbolic, some believe that Christ is spiritually present. They also practice infant baptism. They do not believe that baptism washes away original sin, but they do believe that baptism incorporates one into the body of Christ. They do not believe in purgatory. They do not give any special honor to Mary, and do not believe in the intercession of the saints. Officially Methodists believe much as we do about the judgment-- we are judged immediately after we die, and will go either to Heaven or Hell. When Jesus returns all will know the outcome of judgment for everyone else, just like the book of Revelation outlines. Many United Methodists are affected by liberal theology, and there is a large variation of belief among members. The biggest contention, I believe, for a Methodist looking at the Catholic Church is the availability of communion. They are very committed to having an open communion table to which all are invited. There is an anouncement to this effect before every communion service. Many have a difficult time understanding why the Catholic Church has regulations about who may recieve communion. I would not be surprised if when your co-worker speaks about evangelization she means simply sharing Christ, not getting people to join her church. The United Methodists are not as emphatic about people joining their denomination; they make no claim to be the true or only church. If someone is a Christian that is good enough for them. There has been a big movement in the recent past toward complete openness and welcoming all.
I hope this helps!
Also, during the communion service they recite the apostle’s creed. You might ask your co-worker what she means when she says “I believe in the communion of saints”. She will probably say something about the Body of Christ (believers) being one. You can take the oppurtunity to say “Yes, precisely!” and share about the Catholic belief that the Church Triumphant (those in heaven) can pray for the Church Militant (us here on earth). I was amazed when I converted to find that I was saying that I believed in the communion of saints all along, but never had an accurate understanding of what it was-- at least as believed by the people who wrote the creed! (She may not be ready to hear about the Church Suffering, yet, but still, the communion of saints is an incredible thing to think about!)
Thanks for the replies. I really like my co-worker. She is a sweet person but I’m sad she left the Catholic Church. I don’t think she had a very good understanding of the Catholic Church and a priest made her mad one time so that was it for her.
Do they ever say the Nicene Creed?
It was in the Hymnal (the fromt of the Hymnals had guides for differnet types of services), but I never recall saying it.
[quote=Tinkerbell]I work with someone who just joined the Methodist Church. She grew up a minimal Catholic and really doesn’t know what the Catholic Church teaches. Anyway…the other day she said she feels she is being called to evangalize so I was wondering what they believe about judgement, purgatory, communion, baptism, Mary and the Saints.
The Catholic Church is the largest Evangelical Christian Church on earth. All Catholics are called to evangelize. Perhaps you could show her your Faith and bring her home to the Church Christ established in 33 A.D., His Catholic Church, His body.