The Methodist and Catholic Churches have shared beliefs, values, and practices. However, the two denominations also differ in some areas. This has prompted a hot debate on the Methodist vs. Catholic question in an attempt to understand whether the two are the same.
Methodists and Catholic Churches differ in many areas. For instance, in the Methodist Church, followers view the Holy Bible, Hebrew Bible, as the sole source of authority. Conversely, in Catholicism, the Holy Bible, Greek Bible, and church traditions have equal authority. One of the similarities between the two churches is that they both affirm that God exists in three forms-the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What is the difference between the Methodist and Catholic Church? What are the similarities between Methodists and Catholics? Is Methodist a catholic church? Which one came first between the catholic and Methodist Church? What is the relationship between Methodists and Catholics? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the difference between Methodist and Catholic Church?
Though they are both sects of Christianity, Methodist and Catholic Churches differ in several areas. The table below shows the key differences between these two churches.
|Beliefs, values, and Practices||Methodist||Catholic|
|Name||The name Methodist was given to the founders of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield, by friends. At the same time, at Oxford University, because of the strict discipline practiced. They used a methodical way to carry out their Christian faith.||The name Catholic comes from the Latin term catholicus, which means universal. The Roman Catholic Church was the first Christian Church. It was from the Roman Catholic Church that Christian denominations such as Protestants and Eastern Orthodox were born.|
|Origin||The Methodist movement owes its existence to the practice and doctrine borrowed from the teachings and life of John Wesley.||The Roman Catholic owes its existence to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, was the 1st Bishop of the Church in Rome.|
|Early influencers||Early influencers in the Methodist movement include John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield.||Early influencers include Peter and Irenaeus and Ignatius of Antioch, who were early fathers in the Church.|
|Tradition||The Methodist movement does not put much weight on church traditions.||In Catholicism, church traditions are given equal authority as the Scriptures.|
|Bible||The Methodist movement uses the Hebrew Bible. They believe the Bible is the sole source of divine inspiration or authority.||Catholics use the Greek Bible. They believe that church traditions have equal authority as the Bible.|
|Authority||The Methodist Church followers view the Bible as the only source of unquestionable authority.||In Catholicism, the Pope is viewed as the Vicar of Christ; therefore, his authority is final. Also, the Bible and traditions are said to have the same authority.|
|Head of the Church||The Methodist movement does not have a worldwide leader equal to the Catholic Pope. The Church acknowledges Jesus Christ as its leader.||The head of the Catholic Churches worldwide is the Bishop of Rome, called the Pope-the Vicar of Christ.|
|Sacraments||The Methodist movement has only two sacraments; the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) and Baptism. These sacraments are not considered pathways of God’s grace.||Catholic has seven sacraments; marriage, ordination, anointing, penance, Holy Communion (Eucharist), confirmation, and Baptism (infant and adult). These sacraments are viewed as channels of God’s grace.|
|Holy Communion||Methodist Churches teach that Christ is present in the bread and the wine, but these elements do not change in his body and blood.||Catholic teaches its followers that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is called transubstantiation.|
|Saints||Like other Protestant churches, Methodist teaches that any Christian can qualify as a Saint. It is not a name reserved for a chosen few.||In Catholicism, a Saint has lived a life worthy of being emulated here on earth that the Church decides to canonize.|
|Veneration of Mary the Mother of Jesus and Saints||Methodists do not believe in the veneration of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Saints.||Catholic Churches pray through Mary and the Saints. They act as mediators between God and Catholic believers.|
|Celibate Priesthood||In the Methodist Church, celibacy is not mandatory to qualify to work as a priest.||In Catholicism, celibacy is mandatory for those wishing to work as priests, bishops, or the Pope.|
|Divorce||The Methodist Church allows divorce.||The Catholic Church does not allow divorce.|
|Contraception||The Methodist Church affirms contraception.||Catholic does not allow contraception/birth control.|
|Abortion||Allows abortion.||Does not allow abortion.|
|Ordination of women||Allows ordination of women into priesthood.||Does not allow the ordination of women into priesthood.|
|Free Will||The Methodist Church teaches that all human beings have free will.||The Catholic Church’s followers believe in the doctrine of predestination. This is the belief that your fate is already decided.|
|Infallibility of the Pope||The Methodist movement does not affirm the infallibility of the Pope. They deem this doctrine unbiblical.||The Catholic Church believes that the Pope is infallible. They believe he cannot make mistakes when he asserts his authority in norms, morals, values, and faith to the Church. However, this does not mean he does not sin, as most people interpret.|
|Membership||The Methodist Church has approximately 70 million followers worldwide.||The Catholic Church boasts about 1.3 billion followers across the globe.|
|Purgatory||The Methodist Church does not acknowledge the existence of purgatory.||The Catholic Church acknowledges the existence of purgatory. It is here that believers will be cleansed before entering heaven.|
|Hierarchy||There is no hierarchy. All Methodist Church followers have an equal say.||There is hierarchy. The structure starts with the followers, church leaders (chairman, treasurer), deacons, priests, bishops, the Magisterium, and the Pope.|
|Salvation||Methodists believe that all one requires to be saved is faith in Christ.||According to Catholicism, faith in Christ and good deeds are required for one to be saved.|
What are the similarities between Methodists and Catholics?
There are a few similarities between the Methodist Movement and Catholicism. The table below shows these similarities.
|Beliefs, values, and Practices||Methodist||Catholic|
|Infant baptism||The Methodist Church baptizes infants from an early age. This rite is not required for salvation. It only signifies inclusion into the covenant community.||The Catholic Church baptizes infants from an early age. Baptism is seen as a way of cleansing someone of their original sin inherited from Adam and Eve.|
|Days of Worship||Services are held on Sundays||Masses are held on Sundays|
|Nature of God||He exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.||He exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.|
|Jesus Christ||He is the Son of God-the, the savior of humankind.||He is the Son of God-the savior of the humankind.|
|Other texts used in Church||The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are used during church services||The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are used during Holy Masses|
|Heaven||The Methodist Church teaches that those who live a worthy life on earth will go to paradise/heaven after judgment day.||The Catholic Church teaches that all believers will go to heaven.|
|Hell||Methodist Church teaches that hell exists and that it is where non-believers and other sinners will spend their eternity after judgment day.||The Catholic Church teaches that hell exists and that it is where non-believers and other sinners will spend their eternity after judgment day.|
|Judgment day||Methodist Church affirms that there will be a judgment day.||The Catholic Church acknowledges that there will be a judgment day.|
Is Methodist a catholic church?
The Methodist Church considers itself a part of the Global Catholic Church. It was established after the Protestant reformation, which makes it a Protestant Church but still a member of the Universal Catholic Church movement.
Which one came first between the catholic and Methodist Church?
Catholic came before the Methodist Church. The Catholic Church was established during the 1st century. It is the oldest Christian denomination. It is from the Catholic Church that all other churches were born.
Conversely, the Methodist Church was established in the early 1700s. Therefore, the Catholic Church is older than the Methodist Church.
What is the relation between Methodists and Catholics?
The Methodist Church was born after the Protestant Reformation. Some churches deemed themselves independent of the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation. Specifically, the Methodist Church was born out of the Anglican Church (Church of England). John Wesley was a member of the Anglican Church. The Church of England (Anglican) was one of the churches that broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation. Therefore, the Methodist Church owes its existence to the Catholic and Anglican Churches.
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