Discussion: Catholics vs. Protestant

Discussion: Catholics vs. Protestant


Ok shanelynch, I'm going to step into your shoes for a little bit. I want to discuss and partially debate a pretty touchy subject. RELIGION - bum bum bum (scary music plays lol). Anyways, I want to know first, if you're Christian, Catholic, or neither. Why do you believe what you do? What do you believe is the difference between Catholicism and Christians? This is something that I (a non-denominational believer) was debating with a Catholic, but i'm open-minded and would like to hear everyone's opinions. Please feel free to speak freely, but friendly, from the heart, intelligently (factual), and of course keep in mind WWJD, that's the only rules. The lines are open, let's hear what everyone has to say...


DJ Huero ((( d(-_-)b )))

Closest explanation to my personal point of view: Quote from hisbookworm that I couldn't have said better myself:

"I am a Christian. I do not know a whole lot about Catholics, but unlike many other people who have commented on your post, I for the most part do not believe that Catholics are Christians, and that Christians are for the most part not Catholics. A "Christian" is someone who believes (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9) that Jesus Christ is God's Son, was sent by God to the earth to 'save the people from their sins'. (Matthew 1:21) They also believe that Christ died on the cross for the sins of the entire world, (Isaiah 53:5) was buried, and rose up from death on the the third day. (1 Cor. 15:3-4) That is to clear some things up about who/what a Christian is. I have nothing personal against certain religions, we're all just people (which I think is important to understand), but in most cases I do not believe that Catholics are Christians."

updated JUL 26, 2010
edited by DJ_Huero
posted by DJ_Huero
yes...done. - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009
Sorry, but you don't come across as open-minded. - Maureen-Early, NOV 25, 2009
Why are we discussing this on Spandict?? - KoolKanine, NOV 26, 2009
Why not kool? - 00494d19, NOV 26, 2009
Sorry, DJ, you got flagged, it is impossible to remove the "punishment", but I removed the flag of course. - 00494d19, NOV 26, 2009
Thanks Heidita lol...you could always vote for me, it'd kind of be like "kissing it and making it all better" jaja. - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
ok, I did that, jeje - 00494d19, NOV 29, 2009
Yeah, this doesn't exactly seem open-minded. - hseminati, JUL 26, 2010

58 Answers


I am a Christian, but I am not a Catholic. I do not know a whole lot about Catholicism so I will not judge whether they are Christians or not. However a "Christian" is someone who believes (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9) that Jesus Christ is God's Son, was sent by God to the earth to "save the people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21) They also believe that Christ died on the cross for the sins of the entire world, (Isaiah 53:5) was buried, and rose up from death on the the third day. (1 Cor. 15:3-4) They believe that you can have a personal relationship with God and talk to him directly ( well, the Holy Spririt interprets for us, Rom. 8:26 ). They also believe a lot more, but I don't think I want to write out an essay on here about it. That is to clear some things up about who/what a Christian is. ( if any clearing up was needed) I think it is important to understand however that we are all just people (who are trying to learn Spanish/English!). smile

updated NOV 30, 2009
edited by hlsbookworm
posted by hlsbookworm
What makes you think Catholics are not Christians? I am a Catholic, and I believe all of the things you said in this post that a Christian believes. Also, you might want to look up the statistics on how many Catholics and Protestants there are. - Maureen-Early, NOV 26, 2009
I do not know a lot about Catholics, as i said, i was trying to clear up (in case there was clearing up needed) of who a Chistian was, so, maybe, it just the idea that i've always had in my head that Catholics aren't Christians - hlsbookworm, NOV 26, 2009
that is just my opinion, it may be faulty, but, i will have to look up info about the Catholic religion to actually base my ideas on facts that i have seen.... - hlsbookworm, NOV 26, 2009
as i said, i do not mean to "condemn" (for lack of a better word) any certain religion, we all have have the choice to choose whatever religion we feel is correct - hlsbookworm, NOV 26, 2009
OK--if you do look up info about Catholicism, I think you'll find it fits your definition of a Christian. :) - Maureen-Early, NOV 26, 2009
there are differences between the 2 religions though, i know that for sure, i may not know specifically what they are at the moment, but i do know there are differences, so, how could they be the same?.....just something that i thought of. - hlsbookworm, NOV 26, 2009
otherwise, why wouldn't we just call both of them the same thing, why are there 2 different names?? - hlsbookworm, NOV 26, 2009
Thank you hisbookworm, that's pretty straight-forward. Not trying to condemn any one though. - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
by the way, my username is h"L"sbookworm, not h"i "sbookworm, but, that's ok, everyone on here tends to mess it up, haha - hlsbookworm, NOV 27, 2009
What 2 religions are you talking about? Catholicism and Protestantism, right, because Catholicism does fit your stated definition of Christianity. - Maureen-Early, NOV 27, 2009
I mean, Baptists and Methodists are different religions while both are Christians, right? - Maureen-Early, NOV 27, 2009
true.... - hlsbookworm, NOV 27, 2009
So you acknowledge that if Catholics believe the things that you think are key to being a Christian, that you would consider Catholics to be Christians? Correct? - Maureen-Early, NOV 27, 2009
(I'm not trying to be right--I just know that I'm a Catholic and, as such, a Christian!) - Maureen-Early, NOV 27, 2009
I can believe that you are a catholic and that you are christian. i didn't say that all catholics aren't christians, so, therefore, some could be. it's just not my opinion that all are. - hlsbookworm, NOV 28, 2009
I'm confused then. If someone is a true, believing Catholic, they believe all the things a Christian believes. So are you just counting out Catholics who aren't sincere in their Catholic faith as not being Christian? Just for clarification. - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009


Let me write this very slowly so that you will understand it the first time. Roman Catholics ARE Christians.

A Catholic is a Christian. Not all Christians are Catholics.

There is no essential difference between catholicity and christianity since to be a catholic is to be a christian.

How could anyone discuss the difference between catholics and christians when to be the one is to be the other. It would be like identifying differences between black and black when both blacks are from the same paint can.

updated NOV 29, 2009
edited by Moe
posted by Moe
I think you should take a look at hisbookworm's post, you see my response to this. - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009

Well, one thing is for sure...God's not going to ask us which church we went to. It does matter to Him, however, if we believe Him and if we follow what he says. He is quite clear in His instructions. We have free will, so we certainly can "get by" with disobeying Him while we live in the flesh, but ultimately, we won't get away with it. We don't close the books; God closes the books. Are Catholics Christian? Are Protestants Christian? Are half of the people who call themselves Christian really Christian? Looking at it from a human perspective, we give the term "Christian" a broad definition. I'm quite certain that God does not. In fact, I'm staking my eternity on it.

updated NOV 29, 2009
posted by mountaingirl123
I agree, and you're exactly right, if we follow what he said, not the Pope, or any priest for that matter. They are supposed to act as guidance, but only a real relationship with Christ will do the trick (sort of speak). =) - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009

DJ, this is like trying to debate the difference between Cars and Cadillacs.

updated DIC 9, 2009
posted by Goyo
ok, adressed that. =) - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009

You ask the question why do I believe in what I believe in? I believe in Jesus Christ because I want to be saved by Him. When I say being saved by Him I really mean that I don't want to go to hell when I die. My Final destination is being in Heaven with Jesus Christ. And In order for one to go to heaven one must be a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. This doesn't mean that I am not going to make any mistakes, it means that a person must not give up on having his or her faith in Jesus if he or she would like to go to heaven one day. John 3:16 for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting Life. This scripture means that one must believe in Jesus in order for one to have heaven as his or her everlasting home.

updated DIC 9, 2009
posted by ronljr1985
awesome, and thanks for the detail. I agree - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009
I couldn't agree with you more, that is an awesome explaination - sirrocky12, DIC 9, 2009

First of all, I'm not Roman Catholic and have never been so. And I am not like some here who I believe are over-simplifying the definition of "Christian."

But "Christianity" has a definition that goes beyond acknowledging the historical person of Jesus and perhaps calling yourself a follower of him and his teachings.

Historically, Christians have believed the following:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic (universal) church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

Catholics certainly believe all these things, and are certainly within the bounds of Christianity.

The statement that Catholics wrote their own Bible is absolutely untrue. Catholic Bibles include some additional material, but it is material that was written before the birth of Christ and has been in circulation within the Christian church since the beginning.

Catholics do hold that church tradition is of equal authority with scripture, a position that I believe is error. And it is that error that leads the the other errors- prayers to the saints, etc.But error doesn't disqualify them from being Christians, for if it does then we are all disqualified. smile

The fact is, Catholics hold to the core of the essence of Christianity, and are Christian just as much as the various protestant and evangelical denominations.

updated DIC 22, 2011
posted by Goyo
If I can comment on my own post- Catholics wrote the creed I quoted above whichs defines Christianity. Shouldn't that answer the question? - Goyo, NOV 28, 2009

This is a great question, but at the same time this can be a very controversal subject. And I hope I don't offend anyone by responding to this question in this way: True Christians and True Catholics are in the same boat because True Christians and True Catholics both are firm believers and followers of Jesus Christ. There is no big difference between a true Christian and a true Catholic because they both share the most important thing in common and that is that they both have Jesus in their lives.grin

updated NOV 26, 2009
posted by ronljr1985

I don't consider catholics christians, and many people I've grown up around and associate believe the same. That's the reasoning bhind the first title. Catholics kind of do the own thing and write there own Bible from what I've observed and looked into.

Just because you don't consider them Christian doesn't make it so. By definition, Christian means Christlike. There are many devout people of every denomination that are trying to live that lifestyle. And yes we all do stumble. As far as their bible goes, they have books they consider cannon that protestants don't.

updated JUN 30, 2013
posted by Seitheach
Yes but the "catholic faith" doesn't directly follow the Bible (Christ's word), if anything they only study it. But if you call that Christlike, then you have Muslims qualifying too, and they certainly aren't. lol - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009
And by study I mean read it like just another book. - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009
What do you mean when you say Catholics don't "follow" the Bible? Do you have anything specific in mind when you say that? - Maureen-Early, NOV 26, 2009
Well, first, they pray/worship Mary, when last time I recalled Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross for your sins, not her. He said to worship him, and none other. - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
Yes, you are completly right DJ Huero. Mary is not God. - sirrocky12, DIC 9, 2009

Muslims consider Jesus another in the line of prophets, but not the Savior or Son of God. I am by no means an expert in this area, but I took a college course about Islam about the time of the revolution in Iran. The teacher was from Iran. She said Muslims considered the words of Jesus in their teachings.

I think religions by and large are the product of the thoughts of mankind.All of us embellish and distort the kernels of truth bestowed on us by enlightened beings/prophets or whatever word we may apply. Then we argue and fight wars over these man made embellishments and misinterpretations.As I recall Martin Luther may have been trying to strip some of these embellishments of man from the dominant faith in Europe at the time.

I try to see what a basic good or truth might be. And I am just human too. I do my best to be the best human being I can and hope things work out after my end.

One more point I forgot to make. The teacher in the course on Islam says Allah/God gave Mohommad the Quran because humankind was just too ignorant to understand and implement the more mystical message of Jesus' teachings.The Quran spells out explicit guidelines for behavior since it was too complicated for folks to think through the right way to be, behave, and treat each other.

updated NOV 28, 2009
edited by nizhoni1
posted by nizhoni1

Simply stated a christian is one who believes in and follows the teachings of Christ Jesus. Catholics as well as Protestants (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) are considered christians. Some non christian religions are Judaism, Islam, Buddhism.

updated JUN 30, 2013
posted by QueIncreible

I think you mean the difference between protestants and Catholics.

There is only one real difference, protestants pretty much think we are all in touch with God while Catholics believe the pope is the closest person to god, followed by the priests.

The Catholics also believe that instead of praying directly to God you can pray to other people, saints or the mother of Jesus, and have them use their sway with God to convince him to do what you please. Sort of like in the odyssey when Achilles asks his mother to convince Zues to help him punish Agamemnom and restore his own honor and treasure.

If you live in the U.S.: Protestantism has also been the preferred religion of the dominant group in the U.S. since its creation. They have mostly looked down on Catholics and Jews because they were afraid that one of these two religions would take over because when immigrants from one country come in mass numbers they often take their religion with them, this is one reason why the second wave of Irish had so much difficulty assimilating. The feared allegiance to the pope only makes things worse. How can you be an American when you listen to the Pope?

There really isn't that big of a difference.

updated NOV 28, 2009
posted by Fredbong
I highly respect this, and this really has to be my favorite so far. I wouldn't call it being afraid, and I definently don't look down on anyone, but there's been tension. Jews are Christs people though, he was the "king of the jews". - DJ_Huero, NOV 25, 2009
Catholics don't believe that the Pope is "closer" to God than anyone else. Everyone is a child of God (whether they want to be or not, but that's a different thing altogether...). The pope acts as a representative of Jesus (established in Mt 16: 18). - Maureen-Early, NOV 25, 2009
Also, I'm personally offended at your misconception of praying to saints as a way to "sway" God. Praying to saints is a form of communication that Catholics commonly believe in, but it is no substitute for praying to God. - Maureen-Early, NOV 25, 2009
(Also, Peter as the first Pope is confirmed in John 21 by Jesus after the Resurrection.) - Maureen-Early, NOV 25, 2009
John 21:20-22 - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers[g] that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?" These verses are straight from the Bible. (New Living Translation) - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009
What are you talking about Maureen? Obviously the believe the Pope and the priests are closer to God than anyone else or the wouldn't have to special pick the pope and they wouldn't have to go to confessionals, they could just confess their sins straight - Fredbong, NOV 27, 2009
to God. Furthermore what do you think they are doing when they pray to people like Mary? Mary has no special powers on her own, they are asking her to ask Jesus or God to help them. - Fredbong, NOV 27, 2009
The Pope and the priests are *representatives* of God on earth to help guide the rest of the people. And that is exactly right about prayer to the saints, just asking them to pray for us, that's all. Just like asking your friends/family to pray for you. - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
OK--that's not the part of John 21 I was talking about. :) I was referring to the part where Jesus commands Peter to tend His flock, etc. - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
Also, part of the reason sins are confessed to a priest is because sins affect the whole Church community. Also, the priest can give advice about it. Catholics are not required to confess every sin they commit, just the ones considered the most serious, - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
like murder and adultery. There is a time during the Mass when you're supposed to ask God silently to forgive you for your specific sins, and this is believed to be just as good as going to Reconciliation for the sins that aren't very, very serious. - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
(Confessing to a priest is no big deal--you even have the option of going behind a screen so you're not identified easily by him. They hear so many, they probably won't even remember yours. Also, when you do it, you're really reconociling with God so... - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
...you just keep that in mind the whole time, and that's all it's really about. And for most sins, you're not *required* to go or anything. I like to go because it's refreshing--you feel very clean afterwards because of God's vast forgiveness, and I... - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009
...don't know about you, but I might forget to ask God forgiveness for some of my sins if I didn't take the time out to reflect on that sort of thing, which is another thing Reconciliation does for me.) - Maureen-Early, NOV 28, 2009

I have been in taxis all over South America. I can state for a fact (from my own experience) that the more religious artifacts a taxi-driver has in his cab, ie statues, crucifixes etc., the more likely it is that he will cheat you with the fare. My survey may be unscientific, but my knowledge comes from many years of being "ripped-off".

updated NOV 27, 2009
posted by 00f2b5a1
jajaja, thanks for breaking the ice. - DJ_Huero, NOV 27, 2009

They have been known to re-write God's word (I guess to suit there beliefs) and call it the Bible. - DJ_Huero

DJ Huero: ¿Alguna vez has leído algún pasaje de una Biblia "Católica" y compararla contra una Biblia "Protestante" para ver las diferencias? Asumo que ambas están a la venta en las librerías.

  • Aún y cuando provengo de una familia católica, no voy a defender a ultranza las acciones del Papado. La Iglesia Católica, como cualquier otra institución creada y manejada por seres humanos, ha estado sujeta a las pasiones de sus dirigentes a través de la historia.

  • Debemos recordar que la Reforma Protestante fué un proceso que tuvo lugar durante la primera mitad del siglo XVI, cuando la Iglesia Católica ya llevaba 1500 años de existencia, por lo que, junto con la Iglesia Anglicana y la Iglesia Ortodoxa, comparten una gran base común de creencias y valores.

  • La humanidad se podría haber ahorrado tantas guerras y masacres innecesarias si cada quien aprendiera a ponerse en los zapatos del vecino y tolerar las diferencias de opinión. Aún estamos a tiempo.

updated NOV 26, 2009
posted by Mokay
Well said Mokay, (As a beginner espagnol estudiante, I was pleased to be able to understand most of what you wrote) Anyways, your answer seems to me to be the most "Christian" --Gary - GaryT, NOV 25, 2009
Concuerdo contigo. Jesus es verbo y no sustantivo. ;) - EdiOswaldo, NOV 25, 2009

"I am a Christian. I do not know a whole lot about Catholics ..."

That seems to be an understatement. Apparently, the author of this statement knows nothing about Catholics. Whether or not you believe that Catholicism represents the "true" transmission of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (especially with reference to the "upon this rock I will found a church [or words to that effect]), the suggestion that Catholics are not Christians flies in the face of 2000 years of tradition.

One (a protestant of whatever flavor) may, of course choose to say something along the lines of "The Catholics have perverted the "true" Christian message and are, therefore, not really Christians." The major danger of adopting such a position/dogma is that your Protestant sect (whatever that might be) is open to the same accusation (which you may be encouraging by your intolerance of divergent interpretations) and, given the number (and their acrimonious disputes) of Protestant sects, such accusations are very probable.

updated DIC 10, 2009
posted by samdie
well samdie, I'm only 13, and I do know **some** things about Catholics, just not a **lot**. - hlsbookworm, NOV 30, 2009

DJ, We are all well aware that the Catholic Church believes in Christ and teaches that He is the means of salvation. The Catholic Church identifies itself as a Christian religion. You knew that before you asked your question. The question, then, becomes rhetorical. You use it as a vehicle to advance your position that anyone who does not believe in your interpretation of the Bible is not a Christian. You deny that you're attacking, yet that is exactly what you are doing.

I have known and talked to a number of evangelicals who all present the same argument. "If you don't believe XXX then you're not really a Christian." Perhaps there are some evangelicals out there who are not so bigoted, but I haven't met any.

Personally, I'm not a Catholic. I find some of the teachings and doctrines of the Catholicism to be outside of, or even antithetical to the teachings of the Bible, but I do recognize it as a Christian church.

As I read the New Testament (I just completed reading it again, this time orally in Spanish) I find that whenever anyone (let's say Person X) approached the Savior about someone else's (Person Y's) behavior, or belief, Jesus turned the table on Person X and asked about his behavior. Just a couple of examples would be Mary and Martha or the woman taken in adultery.

Unless your relation with Jesus is perfect in every way, I don't think He would approve of challenging or questioning someone else's relation with Him.

As I said in my previous post, we all have room for improvement. We need to work on that and not attack others. I would be glad to discuss my beliefs with you, but I don't think this is the correct forum to do so. If you would like to IM me, I'll be glad to respond.

updated DIC 10, 2009
posted by CalvoViejo
Well calvo, i'm sorry you feel i'm "stabbing" Catholics, but my statement stands the same, I'm not, and your beliefs are you beliefs, and you have every right to believe them. It's your God given right. Now as for us argueing in IM... - DJ_Huero, NOV 30, 2009
I don't think that would do either one of us any good. You sound like you're set in your ways, and I don't believe in forcing my beliefs on anyone. I simply hearing other's thoughts, yet you persist to fight that you're right. - DJ_Huero, NOV 30, 2009
So, just for you Mr. Calvo, i've changed the title to DISCUSSION...not debate or arguement, because i'm not here to riot or aggrivate, and I hope you aren't either. Best wishes amigo, DJ Huero =) - DJ_Huero, NOV 30, 2009
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