Saints in Methodism
Methodism has historically followed the Protestant tradition of referring to sanctified members of the universal church as saints. However the term is usually used to refer to biblical people, Christian leaders, and martyrs of the faith.
|“||The Romish doctrine concerning...worshiping, and adoration, as well of images as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.||”|
Explicitly, Methodism denies Purgatory, veneration of saints, relics, and prayer to saints—considering them to be distractions from the Christ-focused life and unfounded in Scripture.
While most Methodist churches have continued to place little emphasis on saints, they often admire, honor, and remember the saints of Christendom. The Virgin Mary is honored as the Mother of Christ in the United Methodist Church, and by Methodists of the High Church tradition. Some Methodists, including John Wesley, believe that the Virgin Mary was a perpetual virgin.
The title 'Saint' in Methodist churches is normally bestowed only to those who had direct relations with Jesus Christ, or who are mentioned in the Bible. While Methodists as a whole do not practice the patronage or veneration of saints, they do honor and admire them. Some Methodist churches are named for historic heroes and heroines of the faith such as the Twelve Apostles (excluding Judas Iscariot), Timothy, Paul, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Virgin Mary, and Joseph; such as the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew (New York City).
- "The Twenty-Five Articles of Religion (Methodist)". CRI / Voice, Institute. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- "Do Methodists Believe in Saints As Catholics Do?" http://archives.umc.org/frames.asp?url=http%3A//www.upperroom.org/askjulian/default.asp%3Fact%3Danswer%26itemid=88993
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