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What Is the Difference Between Catholics and Protestants?

Catholics and Protestants: there are many and very important differences between Catholics and Protestants. While there have been some attempts over many recent years to find common ground between the two groups. The fact remains that the differences remain and they are just as important today as they were at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

Here is a brief summary of some of the most important differences.

One of the first and greatest differences between Catholicism and Protestantism is the fact of the sufficiency and authority of Scripture. Protestants believe that the Bible alone is the sole source of God’s special revelation to mankind and as such teaches us what is necessary for our salvation from sin.

Protestants see the Bible as the standard by which all Christian behavior should be measured. This belief is commonly known as “Sola Scriptura” and is one of the “Five Solas” (sola comes from the Latin for “only”) that emerged from the Protestant Reformation as a summary of some of the important differences between Catholics and Protestants.

Establish its authority and sufficiency

While there are many verses in the Bible that establish its authority and sufficiency for all matters of faith and practice. One of the clearest is 2 Timothy 3:16 where we see that “All Scripture is inspired by God and useful to teach to reprove to correct. To instruct in justice so that the man of God may be perfect, fully equipped for every good work.”

Catholics on the other hand reject the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” and do not believe that the Bible alone is sufficient. They believe that both the Bible and the tradition of Holy Roman Catholicism are equally important to the Christian.

Many Roman Catholic doctrines such as purgatory praying to the saints worshiping or venerating Mary etc. Have little or no basis in Scripture and are based solely on Roman Catholic traditions.

Essentially the Roman Catholic Church, denies “Sola Scriptura” and its insistence that both the Bible and its “Sacred Tradition” are equal in authority underestimates the sufficiency authority and unity of the Bible. The view of Scripture is at the root of many if not all differences between Catholics and Protestants.

Difference between Catholicism and Protestantism

Another big but closely related difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is about the office and authority of the Pope. According to Catholicism the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ” (a vicar is a substitute), and takes the place of Jesus Christ as the visible head of the Church. * As such, he has the ability to speak “ex cathedra” (authoritatively on matters of faith and practice), and when he does his teachings are considered infallible and binding on all Christians.

On the other hand, Protestants believe that no human being is infallible, and that only Christ is the head of the church. Catholics rely on apostolic succession as a way of trying to establish the authority of the Pope.

Spiritual power and authority do not rest in the hands of common men but in the very Word of God recorded in Scripture. While Catholicism teaches that only the Catholic Church can correctly and properly interpret the Bible. Protestants believe that the Bible teaches that God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within all born again believers, enabling all believers to understand the message of the Bible.

This is clearly seen in passages such as John “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter to be with you forever: The Spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive because he does not see him, nor does he know him; but you know him because he dwells with you and will be in you.”

While Catholicism teaches

That only the Roman Catholic Church has the authority and power to interpret the Bible Protestantism recognizes the biblical doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and that individual Christians can rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance in reading and interpreting the Bible for themselves.

A third major difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is how one is saved. Another of the “Five Solas” of the reform was the “Sola Fide” (faith alone) with which they affirm that the biblical doctrine of justification is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

However according to Roman Catholicism, man cannot be saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. They teach that the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation is the Seven Sacraments, which are; Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Communion (the Eucharist), Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Marriage.

Protestants believe that on the basis of faith in Christ alone believers are justified by God because all their sins were paid for by Christ on the cross and His righteousness is imputed to them. The believer must “complement” the justice that Christ imparted to him with meritorious works.

Catholics and Protestants

Also differ on what it means to be justified before God. They believe that faith in Christ is only the beginning of salvation, and that the individual must build on it good works because “man must merit the grace of God’s justification and eternal salvation.” Of course, this view of justification contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture in such passages as Romans 4:1-12; Titus 3:3-7, as well as many others.

While Protestants recognize that works are important, they believe that they are the result or fruit of salvation, but never the result of it. reason of her.

A fourth and major difference between Catholics and Protestants has to do with what happens after the man dies. While both believe that unbelievers will spend eternity in hell. There are some significant and important differences about what happens to believers. From their ecclesiastical traditions and their reliance on non-canonical books Catholics have developed the doctrine of Purgatory.

Purgatory, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia is a “place or condition of temporal punishment for those who leaving this life in the grace of God, are not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” Protestants, on the other hand, believe that because we are justified by faith in Christ alone.

Catholic doctrine of Purgatory

Even more puzzling about the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory it is the fact that they believe that man must or even can pay or make satisfaction for his own sins. This coupled with their misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches about how man is justified before God. It results in them having a poor appreciation of the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ’s atonement on the cross.

Simple but the Roman Catholic view of salvation implies that Christ’s atonement on the cross was not sufficient payment for the sins of those who believe in Him, and that even a believer must atone or pay for his own sins. sins, either through acts of penance, or time in Purgatory. Yet the Bible teaches over and over again that it is only the death of Christ that can satisfy or appease God’s wrath against sinners.

While there are numerous other differences between what Catholics and Protestants believe these four are adequate to establish that there are serious differences between the two.

The Catholics, by doing the works necessary for one to be justified by God, ended up with a completely different gospel. The differences between Catholicism and Evangelical Protestantism are important and significant.

Ahsan Khan
Ahsan Khan
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