Behavior of average Evangelical vs. Catholic


#1

How do you think the average Evangelical behaves compared to the average Catholic in terms of leading a christian lifestyle?


#2

I am a pretty serious Catholic and i have to admit that Evangelicals on average seem to be more serious about their religious life and seem to behave in a more christian manner.

oh well


#3

I’m Catholic, but I was raised among Evangelicals and know more Evangelicals than I know Catholics. I don’t mean to be a spoil sport here, but I don’t think there is any such thing as an “average” Evangelical or and “average” Catholic. Among both, you have the truly devout; the semi-devout; the secular pretenders and the outright jerks. Being mindful of the perils of generalization, I will say, however, that Catholics around here tend to be a bit more thoughtful, reflective and sophisticated about religion and morals, and a bit more polite. Some of that, I am sure, is cultural, as most Evangelicals around here are the descendants of Scots-Irish mountaineers, many of whome were indentured servants or prisoner deportees, whereas most Catholics in this area are the descendants of continental Europeans who came here with at least a modicum of education. Again, being cautious of generalizations, I would say that when Evangelicals are gone bad, they are obviously gone bad. With Catholics, going bad is much more subtle.

I don’t guess I have contributed very much here, but maybe it’s a start.


#4

I agree with what you have said ridge. It is too tough to generalize I’d say on average especially around those who don’t attend services much on either side they are probably about the same and I voted that way.

I would say the Holy Catholics I have read about etc have a big leg up on any holy evangelicals. How can they not when they are nourished by the Eucharist and believe the fullness of truth.


#5

I think Evangelical Christians have a lot of zeal and hostility towards Catholicism; because of this I voted Evangelicals behavior as not Christian or not Christ-like.

There are some who are extremely anti-Catholics and insist on the CC teaches erroneous doctrines.

However, I do not believe all Evangelicals of the held this view. There are Evangelicals who are open minded and have more charity.

Catholics for the most part (mostly converts) do lead by example with good charity and act Christlike. Yet there are some Catholics who are not open minded or understanding, as others.

I admit that I am not open minded about Evangelicals and feel they have Anti-Catholic agenda. I also have a stereotypical view that most Evangelical view the Pope as the Anti-Christ, and that we worship Mary (which none of the claims is true).

I also have stereotypical view that Evangelicals make false Christian history that the Catholic Church was founded by Constantine and had pagan origins, and claim that the true Christians during the rise of Catholicism were in hiding (which is not historical supported); and did not show up until the Reformation during the 1517.

Forgive me, if I my response to this thread seem hostile toward Non-Catholic Christians, but I gather most of my stereotypical views from the Non-Catholic Christians here online and offline. If I offended anyone, forgive me.


#6

Were often as ‘bad’ as each other!!! :wink:


#7

The answer to this question is fairly clear based on recent Gallup polls.

First, which christian groups are most passionate about their faith? According to a recent Gallup poll, those in the United States who answer “my faith is very important to me” as a share of total church members are roughly like this:

70-80% Southern Baptists, Assembly of God
50-70% Methodists, Presbyterians
30-40% Roman Catholics
20-30% Episcopalians

I am leaving out a few other denominations. Not surprisingly, the Southern Baptist and Assembly of God denominations are also the fastest growing denominations in American (including a large share of Ex Catholics). These are also Evangelical denominations (i.e. a high view of scripture and a low church style). However, there are Evangelicals in the other denominations as well, just not in as high proportions.

Second, define “Christ like” behaviour. Those who are most likely to be against abortion, homosexual marriage, pre marital sex and other “moral values” issues are, according to Gallup, those same denominations. There is a very high correlation between, for example, opposition to abortion and importance of faith. I suspect that if you could compare the 30% of Roman Catholics who say that their faith is very important to the 80% of Assemblies of God who say the same, there would be little difference in their moral attitudes.

However, when we compare Roman Catholics with Evangelicals, we are comparing basically all self-defined Roman Catholics, who proportionally are less “practicing” than Evangelicals. Hence, less “Christ like” attitudes statistically for Roman Catholics.

The exception, from a Roman Catholic point of view, would be on the issue of birth control, which RCs still have statistically higher opposition that the general public and, obviously, than every Protestant group.

If any statistics nerds are interested, I should be glad to post some of these Gallup polls. They come from the Premium Service, so I cannot link them. I have also consulted directly with George Gallup, a fine Evangelical Episcopalian man (yes, there are some). He agrees with the above conclusions.

Another interesting fact is that Evangelicals on the whole give more of their personal finances to church and other non profit causes than do Roman Catholics.

So the answer, at least from a US national perspective, is clear: Evangelicals are more Christ like on “family moral issue”, because statistically speaking, they are more passionate or practicing in their faith.

The more interesting question for my Roman church brothers is: Why are Roman Catholics as a whole less passionate about their faith than Evangelicals are?

For me, if the RC church doesn’t change lives, all your fine apologetics is rather useless, ¿no?


#8

another stupid poll, what does it matter what I think that does not make it true. the poll question should be: based on your personal experience, observations and prejudice, who are bigger sinners . … .

the only way to answer the question would be a scientific sampling of actual persons self-identified with those religions and either self-reported sin–not likely since confession for Catholics is confidential, and rightly so–or objective members such as criminal conviction rates etc.

nobody here is likely to do such research, so why even start this fruitless, pointless, useless discussion which will shed absolutely no light on anything worth knowing, and will only lead to cross accusations, bitterness, recrimination, and personal tall tales of offenses by other people who have hurt them. total waste of time.


#9

This is not a poll I could take, nor anyone else for that matter. There is good and bad in both. And no one can really say that there is an “average” for either one of these. This is not a good poll. :nope: Sorry but it’s not.


#10

I’m new on this part of the forums.
I’ve seen your posts.

RC are less on fire because of problems within the last 40 years. These problems are being corrected and the pendulum will swing. And also, just because we don’t rough you up to join us, doesn’t mean we don’t love our faith. This is something that those who are not Catholic don’t understand.

You think the RC church doesn’t change lives. At the same time, I could give you hundreds of ways that it has changed the lives of people around me. You would dismiss them with your own ideas, Fair enough.

But we aren’t talking about “church” to “church” are we? We are talking about people. The average. Your really the stats you put up really don’t prove much other than giving your opinion of what you think we are.

Pope B16 wants a stronger leaner church. I’m all for that idea. For too long, we tried to be you. Protestants do Protestantism so much better than we do. Once we get back to being Catholic and not try to be everything to everyone, we will be better off.
Until then, we are all part of the Body of Christ and we have a bigger enemy than each other.


#11

I didn’t mean to offend anyone here. I have just been to a lot of evangelical churches and they seem to outwardly live more christian lives then catholics. They don’t swear as much, they generally seem to be nicer to eachother, on average they seem to spend more time reading the bible and praying. they also seem more chaste sexually.

I am not throwing flame bait out there just telling you my observations.

sometimes I think that in a lot of Catholic lives there is a huge disconnect with what happens at Mass and what goes on in their lives.

it is hard to be a catholic evangelist when all the catholics people know live un christian lives outside of mass.


#12

I don’t want to start some big, pointless fight here, but I am not too impressed with this Gallup poll stuff. Poll answers depend a lot on who is asked, what they’re asked, the whole context of the group of questions. I have some experience in questioning people in the legal system and, to a very large degree, the answers you get depend on the way you structure not only the questions, but the progression of questions. For one thing, a poll like that is a “snapshot” that would not reflect the flow in and out of evangelical groups, which is very large. So a person who considers himself an evangelical today might not do so tomorrow, whereas most Catholics consider themselves Catholic always, whether they are practicing or not.

This is, of course, anecdotal, but I see a lot of converts to Catholicism from Evangelical churches around here, but virtually no movement the other direction, and the latter are are almost always men, and the change is usually related to divorce and remarriage.

This is also anecdotal, but I have significant contact with the legal system. I almost never see Catholics in the system, and certainly not for criminal offenses. Around here, anyway, virtually all criminal defendants have fundamentalist protestant backgrounds. Virtually all defendants “find Jesus” (again?) prior to sentencing, but seem to lose Him again afterward. That’s so pervasive, it’s a standing joke with law enforcement, but some preacher can claim he brought another soul to Christ every time it happens, and the statistics get warped by it.

I won’t even go into the “taco protestant” Hispanics who go from one church to another, getting what each has to offer materially, then moving on when the grazing gets thin. It’s actually a joke among some of them. But they would be in the statistics too.

Finally, many, many, many protestant denominations kick members out if they don’t “live right”. “Living right” includes making significant donations. You can’t be a member of most Evangelical, or other fundamentalist-oriented church very long without opening your pocketbook pretty wide. You will literally be told to leave if you don’t. Many of these churches work the old folks pretty hard, which is where a whole lot of the big donations come from. I have seen a lot of people disinherited because grandma left everything to some church organization or other. Many of these churches, especially the larger ones, have what amount to “sales reps” who go visit older people for their “estate planning” with a persistence that would shame a used car salesman. Those guys are professionals, and are very good at what they do. Maybe that’s morally right, and maybe it’s not, but that’s what goes on. I have actually had protestant old people who have been hammered, come to me and ask whether I think it would be sinful of them if they did not give everything to some church organization, leaving their children out in the cold, and I’m not a protestant at all. Now, that’s an example of moral confusion on a breathtaking scale; that they would ask me. Perhaps it’s poor stewardship, but Catholic parishes don’t do that, and there’s no way that doesn’t affect the stats very significantly. Add grandma’s $200,000 life savings and “junior’s” $100/month, (“sissy” was thrown out because she wasn’t contributing enough) and the combined statistics per donor overwhelm anything even a generous Catholic parish’s “per capita” rate will be. But it doesn’t mean anything.

That’s not to say there are not many, many devout Evangelicals, because there are. I am not trying to put protestants down here, and I think my first post shows that clearly. But polls can lead you down a primrose path of misunderstanding very easily.


#13

Simply statically not true. There are more practicing roman catholics in the world than all the other christian denominations put together. There are far more Roman Parish Mass services with larger congregations on average than any other Christian denomination, not only because Mass is held every single day. There are simply more practising catholics than any other christian denomination put together.

Roman Catholic are not less passionate about their faith than other denominations, they are simply more interested in correct doctrine and fact, than on faith based upon the bible alone. They have faith in god because they know he exists now and existed 2000 years ago and bestowed leadership on Peter. Actually knowing god exists because of tradition, evidence, doctrine and fact does not make faith less important and does not make one have less faith, no, instead it turns faith into evidential believable fact. Just ask the apostle Thomas.

If the question was more along the line of “Are the facts, oral tradition and evidence of the existence of god and Jesus Christ more important than simply basing your faith on the bible as a sole source?”, you would, in my humble opinion, find catholics would be in the 1 position.


#14

More than Catholics that you know.
I know plenty of Catholics that live very Christian lives. http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i85/Alegre-Fe/Emoticons/Angelblinking.gif :heart: But we’re not perfect so our halos can sometimes fall off. http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i85/Alegre-Fe/Emoticons/Angelhaloappears.gif <-Cute http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i85/Alegre-Fe/Emoticons/Giggle.gif

But that would be the case for everyone, even the most Christian-like Evangelicals out there. No one is perfect although we ought to be as Scripture tells us to be.


#15

i know, i was just speaking generally. We are supposed to be collectively the light of the world. But The reputation of catholics is not nearly a good as fundamentalists and mormons in terms of being chaste and moral.


#16

I get what you mean but I have my hopes for us Catholics. I see some improvements and I’m very hopeful. We have to pray. Don’t be sobby about it, pray, pray, pray. :gopray2: Please pray. Do you pray the Rosary? Please pray it for our Catholic brothers and sisters that need improvement and God’s grace for perfection. :gopray2:


#17

Hi,
I couldnt vote either because it really can only be based on what we have experienced in our own life. I live in a highly populated catholic area. More catholics then evangelicals. From my point of view(this is only on what I observe from the catholics I know vs. the evangelicals I know) the evangelicals win hands down. Unfortunately, many of the catholics I know say bad things about the CC:( . Or they do not agree with the many moral issues of the CC that I totally agree with(gay marriage, pre-marital sex, etc. you get my point.) When I tell the catholics I know that I am working very hard on raising my children to be abstinent till marriage or dont allow them to watch MTV or that I want my daughter to marry a Godly man and be a stay at home mom(she will still be going to college:thumbsup: ), you should see the looks I get:eek: They are not on the same page.:frowning: Just goes to show how easy it is to get caught up in worldly beliefs.:frowning: Does the CC teach you not to get caught up in what the world has to offer and then define what that stuff is? My minister talks about it almost every week.

Again this is subjective on my part. Im sure that is not the case everywhere.

Peace


#18

I thought this poll was about the behavior of the Catholics and Non-Catholic Christians? Not about poll which group is rising.

I have noticed that Catholicism is on the rise due to the zeal of the lay Catholics who’s zeal is just as great as the Evangelicals.


#19

Once again I most strongly protest. The primary trouble I see is what defines a Catholic. If the “poll” were to look at Catholics who truly believe in the real presence of the Eucharist which is probably a core measure for true faith in Catholicism it would be way different. That and abortion opinions is where you can tell believing Catholics from Culture Catholics.

[SIGN]i know, i was just speaking generally. We are supposed to be collectively the light of the world. But The reputation of catholics is not nearly a good as fundamentalists and mormons in terms of being chaste and moral.[/SIGN]


#20

I think that the problem with the question is that the op does not define which behavior he considers to be indicative of Christian behavior.

Some protestants don’t curse or drink alcohol. For them this is the epitome of good Christian behavior and anyone else who does differently is a bad Christian.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with moderate drinking or an accidental swear word. I don’t curse because it makes the speaker seem idiotic and of low education, not because I think that an occasional swear word is a sin.

According to some, I would be a bad Christian just based on my light alcohol consumption.

Personally, I think that Christian behavior involves treating other humans with respect and trying to help your fellow man. At the present time, I can’t work in a food bank, but I do give what I can to local charities and I try and help those in need.

Before the Op can get an answer to his question he has to create a list describing which behaviors are Christian and which are not.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.