The Meaning of the Methodist Cross 

The meaning of the Methodist cross is spiritually rich and full of historical and Biblical symbolism. The two main symbols of the United Methodist Church feature the traditional, plain cross coupled with the flame icon, combining the elements of the Roman cross and Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice with the flame or fire of the Holy Spirit. You often see Methodist Cross Necklaces featured in jewelry or the logo displayed prominently in church buildings. But what is the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the elements that make up the Methodist cross?

The Methodist insignia was birthed after the union of two denominations in 1968, namely the Methodist church with the Evangelical United Brethren Church. To represent this ecclesiastical union, the traditional symbol of the cross was tied to a single flame with dual tongues of fire, representing the union of the two denominations. The flame, which is depicted on the left side of the cross, is a Biblical reference to the fire of the Holy Spirit which came down on the apostles and manifested as “tongues of fire” at the first Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection. This is depicted in Acts 2:3: “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”

The emblems of the Methodist cross is also reminiscent of the founder of the Methodist church, revivalist John Wesley, who claimed to have felt his heart “strangely warmed” by God’s presence, as the fire of the Holy Spirit descended upon him at a transformative moment in his life. This led to the founding of the Methodist church in the 18th century, with the help of his brother, Charles Wesley. Both brothers were leaders of the revival movement within the Church of England, but it was only after John Wesley’s death that the new movement became a separate denomination and spread throughout Great Britain, the United States and across the globe, with the church claiming over 80 million adherents and followers worldwide today, with the United Methodist Church claiming approximately 12 million followers or members globally, making them the largest Methodist denomination.

The Methodists were known for the strict methodical way in which they observed their Christian faith as well as for their rigorous and widespread missionary work, while focusing on the transformative and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within the believers life, the new birth, eternal salvation, imputed righteousness and good works in a believer’s life.

The Methodist cross emblem was formally adopted by the General Conference in 1968 and has been adopted as the official cross symbol of the United Methodist church, which is why you will see the cross and flame icon used in jewelry pieces like Apples of Gold’s 14K Gold Methodist Cross Pendant for men and women, which is offered in two different sizes in both 14k as wan ell as 18k Gold Methodist Cross Pendant. The emblem is also, of course, used to denote the Methodist faith and its doctrines and beliefs. It is one of the few crosses that represent a specific modern denomination and Methodists all over the world revere this symbol as their own. 

Apples of Gold Jewelry offers all kinds of Christian jewelry, including gold cross pendants for men and women and fine jewelry, including engagement rings, gemstone jewelry and more.

Category: Christian Jewelry, Jewelry History

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