Monday, March 10, 2008

Similar but Not?

I have been asked to do a post on "how Catholics are the same as Protestants". While I agree there are similarities when you take the generic meaning of protestant into account, my premise is that the differences between the true child of God and Catholicism are so large as to mitigate any attempts at unity or cohesion.

Anyways here are some of the similarities I see between Protestants and Catholics.

- Both groups rely heavily on extra Biblical authority and interpretation.
- Both groups have persecuted opposers.
- Both groups have created un-Biblical levels of hierarchy and authority.
- Both groups have made heads of state the leaders of their institutions.
- Both groups deny the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for sins on the cross.

Ok, those are just a few. What are your thoughts? Now don't be shy, but please remember to be civil.


Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

A Roman Catholic priest was once told by a Protestant that the Roman church was the Whore of Babylon.

He replied "ah, but who are her daughters?"

Jim said...

Matthew, I doubt many evangelicals would care to hear that comment. ~:)

Thanks for stopping by!

jazzycat said...

This is an impossible task. Protestants are many and varied with an extremely wide range of doctrinal positions. You could compare Catholics with a specific protestant denomination such as the United Methodists or the USA Presbyterians.

Jim said...

Hey Jazzcat, it's been awhile.

You are right of course, but I am using generalizations. However, if we trace the root of protestantism back we will find these characteristics all present.

That being said, I do not think it proper for evangelicals to be labeled protestant either. Our position does not come from protesting an unjust one but rather from our stand on and for the truth.

Whether you prefer "christian", "believer", "disciple", or "follow of Christ", all these terms emphasis an association with the Lord Jesus Christ rather than a disassociation with an institution.

bobby grow said...

Thanks Jim!

What do you mean by your last point? And if you aren't a Protestant, but just a Christian, then maybe that is the greatest similarity between Catholics and Protestants that one could cite. I mean don't you think Catholics would equally say that they are simply "Christians", when it comes right down to it?

It also seems, by some of your points, that you assume that it is possible to go back to a "golden age" of pure Christianity. Is this your assumption?

Jim said...

Bobby, yester year always seems more attractive than today. However, I don't believe there was ever a "golden age" of pure christianity. The Church will always battle mixture until the Lord returns to truly purge away the dross.

My point is that our basis for oneness and unity can only be found in the person of Christ Jesus, not our association to any "church" or larger organization. I actually believe these things can be hindrances to the simplicity of a life in Christ.

While I acknowledge the protestant roots of the modern evangelical, my allegiance is not to a name given to define a relationship to Rome, but rather I choose to define myself by my relationship to Christ and His shed blood.

While Catholics may refer to themselves as Christians, they are nevertheless distinctly "Catholic" in their worldview and doctrine. This itself negates the use of the word "Christian" and makes it of little substantial meaning in defining our faith.

Freder1ck said...

A Greek Orthodox would say that Catholics and Protestants (including non-denominational ones) share a mania for making fine theological distinctions and of turning Christianity into an idea.

Jim said...


I am not quite sure what you mean by that statement.

Are you saying the only differences are minor ones?