Skip to comments.METHODIST CHURCH DISPLAYS VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
Posted on 12/12/2004 3:26:17 PM PST by NYer
The Chicago Tribune reports that when some members of Amor de Dios United Methodist Church in an area called Little Village elected to move a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe into the sanctuary last year, "the icon spawned an exodus."
Turned off by the introduction of a Roman Catholic tradition to a Protestant congregation, most of the church's 15 founding parishioners drifted away. To them, venerating the Virgin Mary and reciting the rosary did not belong in a Methodist church.
But this is part of a trend nationwide: mainline Protestant churches and even some evangelical ones (in places like California, with a strong Mexican populace) are accepting the veneration of statues, which for decades has been misinterpreted as idolatry. Pastors of other Hispanic Methodist congregations objected too. Meanwhile, and curiously,
Roman Catholics in the neighborhood fret that the church might be selling itself as something it was not.
"Rev. Jose Landaverde allowed the statue to stay," reports the newspaper. "He says he sees no harm in embracing a tradition--the Virgin is an unofficial national symbol of Mexico--that might bring people closer to God. 'It's coming from the people, which is the real presence of the Holy Spirit,' said Landaverde, 31, a student pastor from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. 'You cannot bring theological debates to the people when they need spiritual assistance.'"
The Tribune reports that this month, parishioners celebrated their first novena in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe by parading the two-foot-high statue around the neighborhood, singing songs and reciting the rosary. "About two dozen parishioners weathered the chill each night to deliver the statue to a different living room, where it was surrounded by garland, twinkling lights, roses and poinsettias. On Sunday, parishioners will commence the traditional Feast Day for the Virgin of Guadalupe and, through prayers, mariachi music, drama and dancing, pay homage. 'The Virgin understands our suffering and she accompanies us everywhere we go,' said church member Oscar Hernandez, who grew up Roman Catholic in El Salvador but now considers himself a Methodist. 'We don't want to take away the faith that this community has, but we want to nourish it.'"
The parish council discerned that something was missing--the Virgin of Guadalupe.
"Since I was little, it's always been right to have the Virgin Mary in the church," said Olivia Serrato, 40, one of the original parishioners who decided to stay after the Virgin was introduced. "It's now a great honor to bring the Virgin Mary to my Methodist church. Before I didn't feel complete."
That's what I have heard from pretty respectable sources.
Fine, if you have that sort of thing in your charter, The UMC only recognizes Mary for what she is,the Mother of Jesus, and not a Holy icon to worship. The Methodists do not worship Icons.(which is why I do not belong to the Catholic Church)
The Mexicans will eventually find that their church will no longer be called UMC, (perhaps another offshoot of which there are many independent offshoot churches) but this matter will take some time to be solved. They are very slow to do these sorts of things and the organization is very decentralized.
I don't mean to make light of your post, but the fact is, that this violates the few things that separate the UMC from the Catholic Church and I do not blame the members for bugging out.
I would as well. I don't worship Icons either. Don't plan to start for any reason.
The Catholic Church does not operate under a 'charter'. It was commissioned by Christ, Himself.
Mary is not an icon. She is the mother of God ... would you disagree with this?
All devotions to Mary and the saints ultimately glorify their Creator, who made them what they are. Could we possibly praise the Mona Lisa without praising Leonardo DaVinci? That masterpiece certainly did not paint itself! Even so, Mary is God's great masterpiece, and all praise given to her is praise of Her Maker.
When Elizabeth praises Mary, saying "Blessed art thou amongst women", Mary immediately replies "My soul doth magnify the Lord..." (Luke 1:42; 46). All the devotion which we offer her redounds to God's praise and glory.
An inscription at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, dating back to 200 A.D., says "Hail Mary!". This is very early evidence of prayer to Mary.
The Sub Tuum Praesidium is another early prayer to her:
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God.The Hail Mary also originated early on, since most of it comes from the Bible. This later became one of the prayers of the Rosary, along with the Our Father, Glory be and Apostle's Creed, all of Biblical or early Christian origin.
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
But deliver us from all dangers,
O ever-glorious and Blessed Virgin! (circa 300 A.D.)
So Marian devotions clearly trace back to the early Church.
"The UMC only recognizes Mary for what she is,the Mother of Jesus, and not a Holy icon to worship. The Methodists do not worship Icons.(which is why I do not belong to the Catholic Church)"
Where in heaven's name did you get the idea that Romans "worship" icons? The 7th Ecumenical Council, held at Nicea in 787 held as follows:
"We define that the holy icons, whether in color, mosaic, or some other material, should be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on the sacred vessels and liturgical vestments, on the walls, furnishings, and in houses and along the roads, namely the icons of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, that of our Lady the Theotokos, those of the venerable angels and those of all saintly people. Whenever these representations are contemplated, they will cause those who look at them to commemorate and love their prototype. We define also that they should be kissed and that they are an object of veneration and honor (timitiki proskynisis), but not of real worship (latreia), which is reserved for Him Who is the subject of our faith and is proper for the divine nature."
787; a bit before the Methodist Church showed up. As a matter of fact, Iconoclasm, which is to say the rejection and destruction of icons is a grave heresy.
Dear Cold Heat,
"I don't worship Icons either."
That's great! As a Catholic, neither do I.
But I do venerate the saints, even when depicted in icons, and ask them to pray for me.
Worship, however, is reserved to God alone.
"Could we possibly praise the Mona Lisa without praising Leonardo DaVinci?"
That is a truly beautiful analogy.
It truly captures the meaning of the veneration of the saints, especially of the Theotokos.
wor·ship ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wûrshp)
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
Dear Cold Heat,
"The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object."
Yes, and we give that reverent love and devotion due to God alone to God alone.
We revere the saints, and ask them to pray for us.
indeed. if words like "latria" "dulia" and "hyperdulia" were part of our common vocabulary, there wouldn't be so much confusion about Catholics "worshipping" Mary, statues, or anything but the Triune God.
Neither do Catholics.
Many of the Methodist churches have abandoned even that. My grandfather-in-law was a Methodist minister, and a very holy and good man too . . . but his church didn't even use the liturgy in the back of the Methodist hymnal. It was a pretty standard Protestant service, with the sermon rather than the Eucharist being the center of the worship service.
I'll not debate that.
What I will say is that Methodist's pray directly to Jesus who is God's only son and is both human and God.
We do not ask anyone else to do that praying.(we have a direct line)
And that is that. If that is not enough, then there are other religions, all of whom have differences. I make no public judgments of which one is the right or wrong. I only do what is right for me and proselytize for none.
The Methodists formed their first conference in 1744, but it did not have governing power until after the death of John Wesley in 1791.
I learned a lot about the Methodist church in self-defense. I was born and raised Episcopalian, and the sweet little old ladies in my grandfather-in-law's congregation kept asking me when I was going to convert. So I used to respond (very politely) that John and Charles Wesley lived and died Episcopalians, so I hoped I could too.
Didn't work out that way. My husband and I are now Catholic, after the ECUSA apparently went stark raving mad.
But this of course is long after the Reverend went to his heavenly reward.
And omoosios and nous and proskynisis too! :)
Now there is something that Catholics (who know their stuff) and Eastern Orthodox can agree.
Methodists aren't "marginally" but mainline Protestant, along with the Presbyterians. The Baptists of course are further along the continuum, but they always have been.
That is a common canard raised against Catholics, but it is completely and totally untrue. The Catechism and the Canons of the Church are very straightforward about this - worship belongs to God alone. We give the saints honor, and to Mary as the Mother of God special honor is due . . . but never worship.
If so, you are doing the same thing we Catholics do when we ask a saint to pray for us.
For further info, see the Book of Revelation, or Maccabees.
The one we use here is the Eucharist.
My father in law is a retired Methodist minister as well.
Yes, I married a preachers kid.
I have no objections to the rituals. I am very uncomfortable in most of the protestant churches except for the UMC. I have never sensed any anti-catholic mentality, but I do know that idolatry is not acceptable within the UMC family, as I stated. But I have never witnessed anyone publicly saying anything against a catholic. Not ever.
Well, maybe a joke or two.:-)