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Presbyterians/Difference between Baptists and Presbyterians


Joseph wrote at 2007-06-18 23:39:17
That was a great answer and would like to add more if I could. I think we also have to take a look at some other additional information on the differences that may go beyong baptism and government. Baptists are not confessional whereas Presbyterians are. The understanding of sacraments is very different... Baptist consider these ( Communion and Baptism) as ordinances, and that Holy Communion is not the Real Presence only a memorial... Presbyterians believe in the Spiritual presence of Christ in the Lords Supper. Some understanding of doctrine is different as understanding of those that are saved".

While some Baptists are Calvinists, structure of worship is not the same. Baptist are wholly non liturgical .. whereas Presbyterians and Reformed are Semi to Liturgical... hope this adds and helps.

knightpraetor wrote at 2007-09-23 04:21:51
I would say that we are not post denominational. Yes there are wheat and tares in every denomination..yet these same people that he/she mentions as not christians..can gain control of denominations and corrupt them..and thus denominations are destroyed..nevertheless the existence of denominations acts as authority and allows for churches to preserve doctrine..better to have a few minor disagreements with presbyterians that I don't even really care about and still have a strong internal doctrine that they are responsible to.

Every nondenominational church I have been to had weak doctrine..the reason being that an individual church has little time to spell out all the doctrinal the end the pastor decides it..and then there are all the undecided nondenominational churches i've found heretics gather.

~~a baptist whose parents spent most of their life teaching in presbyterian churches, and who would argue many denominations don't follow the teachings of their founders these days.

Joseph wrote at 2007-10-02 05:59:14
Hi I am really not in agreement with above post at all. There is quite a lot of difference between the two denominations...not just in polity and baptism!

Presbyterians are a confessional church ...baptist are not. I am talking about the Confessions and Creeds of the church!

Presbyterians acknowledge 2 sacraments,,,Baptist acknowlege ordinances.

Presbyterians believe in the Real Presence of Christ(spiritual) in Communion..Baptist only consider it a memorial.

Prebyterians baptize infants..Baptist do not.

Presbyterians idea of Baptism is different than Baptist in belief.

Baptist believe in being saved

Presbyterians believe you were saved over 2,000 years ago.

There is a tons more to add to this. Yes there are some Baptist that would like to consider themselves Reformed...and hold some Calvinistic beliefs...but they are a far cry from us.

Methodist, Congregationalist, Episcopals and some Lutherans are much  more similar

Rev. Joseph wrote at 2008-10-08 07:38:33
Well although I sort of agree with the above answer..I would differ. I have been a Presbyterian from the mainline church (PCUSA) & the prior United Presbyterian for over 40 years.

There is a huge discrepency from our denomination, beliefs, confessions and understanding of the sacraments with the Baptist. Any by the way for Baptist they believe in adult baptism only and the Lords supper ordinances ot sacraments. They are a fundamentalist and non liturgical non confessional sect.

Worship is not the same, unless you go to a contemporary Presbyterian , where the worship may be non liturgical and that of a baptist or other evangelical church.

For the most part, Presbyterians are  a semi liturgical to liturgical church . It is reformed and holds fast to doctrines set forth by John Calvin, John Knox etc.

On the scheme of things ,in a nutshell the Presbyterians would normally fall in liturgy under a Lutheran and above a Methodist...I hope that helps.

Edward wrote at 2010-05-21 05:59:49


I have been a Presbyterian for years and find no similarity in the least to Baptist. Some Baptist have come over to the denomination as ministers in hopes to save us ! (lol) You cannot even compare the two. Our services and beliefs are not even the same. Similarity between us and Congregationalists, Methodists and Anglicans.

JonX wrote at 2012-12-15 06:01:47
A few things need clarification. Sometimes there is very little difference. Some Presbyterians are simply Baptists who have loose local presbyteries and baptize babies. And contrary to popular understandings, some Baptists have sacramental views as did the earliest English Baptists. Also, some Baptists are more liturgical than many Presbyterians (e.g., Yorkminster Baptist Church versus St. Giles Kingsway Presbyterian Church-both in Toronto). The opposing viewpoint is mostly based on stereotypical 20th century white Baptists churches in the southern US. In my view, the main difference is that Baptists are inherently pragmatic in theology and ministry-focused in approach, whereas, Presbyterians are confessional in theology and more intellectual in approach. However, there are many exceptions to the rules. And, in any case, both traditions are represented variously from region to region both in N America and around the world.  

Joseph wrote at 2014-03-18 06:44:22
Lets comment on  what JonX wrote. I appreciate your words, however I would have to most certainly disagree with you based on History and Doctrine. I am not sure how much you understand about the Presbyterian and Reformed teaching, however based on what you wrote it is limited.  Many Baptist do not consider themselves Protestants and feel their doctrine goes back to Biblical times. The Presbyterian/ Reformed faith is Protestant was a direct break off from the Roman Catholic, just as the Lutherans and Anglicans. For the Presbyterians and Reformed , this is what the wording means, a reforming of the old faith.

Both John Calvin and John Knox( founder of Presbyterianism) were Catholics. The latter Knox having been a Priest. John Calvin's teachings were based heavily on St. Augustine.

So regarding your comment that"And contrary to popular understandings, some Baptists have sacramental views as did the earliest English Baptists. Also, some Baptists are more liturgical than many Presbyterians (e.g., Yorkminster Baptist Church versus St. Giles Kingsway Presbyterian Church-both in Toronto)" is a tad bit wrong.

I know of no Baptists that have sacramental beliefs, in fact if you know anything about their doctrine, they would be very much against that type of belief. YOU mentioned this Baptist church more liturgical than this 1 Presbyterian, ok however did you notice that the other Pastor from Yorkminster came from a Presbyterian, so perhaps there is some overlap there. My sense is this,if there seems to be a heading towards liturgical it will be a matter of time that either there will be a break with the Baptisit's or the pastor will leave for a more liturgical side such as Presbyterians, Methodists or Anglicans, I have seen this time and time again.

Again JonX the differences are many, I highlighted some I though you may be interested in.

Blessings to you!

PS- I would watch on youtube our Mother Churches such as St Giles Cathedral in Scotland, or Brick Church New York City and their telecasts and East Liberty Baptist Church in PA.(USA) this will give you a better feel.



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Don Hurray


Presbyterian minister (PCUSA)with 23 years experience. Have served as military and police chaplain Well versed in reformed theology belonging to professional groups Grew up Roman Catholic Well acquainted with most Christian and Jewish faiths


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