Bible Studies/Catholicism and Protestantism.
QUESTION: Dear Dean
What are the Similarities and Differences in Catholicism and Protestantism ?
Are there different churches for both ?. i.e. Catholics go for worship and praying the all mighty to a different church and Protestants go to a different church ?.
Awaiting your reply,
Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
Sorry for the delay. I've been having problems with my computer locking up before I finish my answer.
As to "Differences": There are many and great differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants. The "protest" in the name "Protestant" was against the Roman Catholic Church's teaching of the Bible and also their church government and its traditions. The main doctrinal difference which led to the historical Reformation in the 15th and 16th Centuries was whether the Christian Church was still under the Old Covenant (The Law contained in the books of Moses) or whether the people of the Church were under the New Covenant of Grace which Jesus, the Son of God, brought into the world by His taking the punishment for the sins of the world on Himself and dying for them in our place on His cross.
The Christian Reformation taught that we are saved from punishment for our sins only by being in Christ Jesus and though He desires us to follow His Law and love our neighbor it is only by the sacrifice of Christ that we are saved.. A few passages from God's Word teaching this are as follows.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'" 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. NKJV
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. NKJV
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. NKJV
But today many Protestant churches have reverted back to believing and teaching that a person can save themselves by trying to follow the Ten Commandments which were given through Moses and many Roman Catholic Christian have come to rely on God's grace in Jesus alone for their salvation and walking with God while still here on earth.
In partial answer to your questions: Yes, each group (or denomination) does attend their own church buildings to worship in their own way and to teach according to their own understanding of the Bible.
Because of this it is impossible to point out all the distinct differences between Roman Catholics and those who call themselves "Protestant".
If you have any specific differences in doctrine you want to know about, please write again.
May you be blessed by God's love for you in His Son, Jesus the Christ.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Dean
Christianity Religion is broadly divided into two Divisions or Communities viz Catholics and Protestants.
This are my views mentioned below.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God has founded the religion Christianity. Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord. Both are Great. The Holy Churches are open to all whether Catholics or Protestants and not only Catholics or Protestants but to all other religions.
I personally born Hindu religion by birth visit Different churches
St Lewis Church, Mount Mary Church, St Michael Church. The Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters of those churches allow me to enter the church, pray and worship before the All Mighty. I get mental peace. They do not stop me to enter the church just because i am from a different religion.
I personally feel Catholics should be allowed to visit the Protestants Churches and Protestants should be allowed to enter the Catholics Churches and they should do this.
I also personally feel there should be a common church for both the communities and not different churches for the Catholics and Protestants communities.
Note : Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord itself. Both are Great. God is Great.
Statistically if we take a count of Total Number of Catholics and Total Number of Protestants in all countries, which will be more in number ?.
This can be calculated by the simple mathematical formula of summation.
Just As a example,
1. Country : USA Total Number of Catholics : 2000000. Total Number of Protestants : 1500000.
2. Country : United Kingdom Total Number of Catholics : 1500000. Total Number of Protestants : 2000000.
Total Number of Catholics in the world = Sum of Catholics in every country.
Total Number of Protestants in the world = Sum of Protestants in every country.
As we know, Every Christian baby born in a family will be either a Catholic or a Protestant.
Note : The above example does not show any real figures, the numbers shown are taken just for computation.
Awaiting your reply for the above two questions,
Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
I didn't see a question in your "1." section but I take it that you are wondering about the freedom of Christians with different beliefs being allowed into the church buildings of other denominations.
My answer is that most churches have open doors to all those who wish to enter and worship there. There are so many different denominations and so many people in the USA who travel and move so often that I have not even heard of anyone being turned away because they are not of the same denomination. Many churches even advertise with welcomes to the people who might be reading the local newspaper or listening to a radio/TV broadcast. Besides worship services there are also weddings, baptisms and social functions held in churches during the week when even the unchurched know that they are welcome.
God has clearly told us that we are to get the word out to all who will listen that He is a God Who is love and that He sent His Son to take away all our sin so that we can be under the protection of His love in this life and throughout eternity.
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: (Psalm 52:7)
"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!" NKJV
As to your second question about the number of Protestants and Catholics: I have no access to the statistics other than the ones which may be listed on-line and these are only empty estimates.
Only God knows the truth of how many have become or are seeking to be His children. Many people throughout the world associate themselves with organized religions but God has taught me that to Him it is what is in their hearts towards Him that is important and not the organizations they belong to that are important.
God is indeed great. And we have the good news that God loves us even though each of us is far from perfect. He proved that by sending His only Son, the One Whom He loved, into to world to take all punishment and shame that should be against us, on Himself.
2 Cor 5:17-21
Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. RSV
May God's peace be with you each day of your life and forever.
Please write again if I can be of any help to you.