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Question
Dear Tom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholicism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism

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

Answer
This is a difficult question to answer in detail simply because there is so much to cover. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the de facto standard for the doctrine for the church is about 3 inches think just in paperback version which gives you an idea of the amount of doctrine covered.

Some basics:

Church: Yes they go to different churches. Roman Catholics hold to the view that their church is the only true church, whereas the protestant perspective is that the true church is the body of believers individually who come to Christ (1 Cor 12:27 for example).

Authority: This is interlinked with the Roman Catholic view of the church. They believe that the Apostles passed down their authority to the pope and the other ordained authorities within the Roman Catholic church. They believe that the Pope is Christ's representative on earth in His absence. Protestants believe that Jesus has not left according to His promise (Heb 13:5), therefore does not need a representative. Further, Jesus in carrying out His promise said that He was sending the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers (John 16:5-15) to guide us.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Peter was the first pope and that the authority was handed down through the popes today who have the ability to speak infallibly. These articles address these various points from a Biblical perspective:

http://www.religioninfo.org/catholicism/matt16.html
http://www.religioninfo.org/catholicism/paulorpeter.pdf

We could go into a large number of other doctrines, but what is sounds from a Biblical perspective depends upon what you set as your authority.

http://www.religioninfo.org/standardoftruth.pdf

The wrong authority will lead you in the wrong direction. The right one will keep you on the right path.

I hope that this helps. If you have questions about specific doctrines, I would be happy to deal with those separately.

Tom

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Tom Smith

Expertise

I am able to answer a wide range of questions regarding orthodox Christian theology as well as those of many of the more common cults and religious movements (inside and outside of the church). This includes Protestantism, Charismatic movement, New Apostolic Reformation, Strategic Prayer/Spiritual Warfare, Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Calvinism, Reformed Church, Baptist Church, Pentecostalism, and Oneness Pentecostalism. I have been a member of or have attended many of the above. I have studied the beliefs and literature of the remaining through a variety of means, including in most cases interacting with members and/or leaders in these organizations. I also maintain a significant library/resource of information on these movements and organizations.

Experience

I have been a lifelong student of the Bible. In addition, I have been saved through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, and believe in the truth of God's Holy word in the Bible as the inerrant and infallible word of God. I have been a believer for over 43 years. Other qualifications include:

- Former member of the counril of a local church
- Speaker at the "Last Days Bible Conference" and other functions.
- Researcher into religious movements and cults (maintain website with information on some of these movements and cults)
- Member of the Apologetics Coordination Team

I hold to the view that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, and I belief that the Bible is our sole authority on matters of faith and doctrine (Sola Scripture, Sola Fide).

Organizations
Apologetics Coordination Team (http://op.50megs.com/act/) Network of Christian Apologists in Calgary (http://www.whyjesus.ca)

Publications
Website, accessible by means of http://discern.ca or http://www.religioninfo.org; and Audio files of talks at Last Days Bible Conference available at http://ldbc.ca

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.)

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