Challenge for Protestants and Catholics

I’d like to challenge Protestants to take a moment and name something you admire about Catholics and/or Catholicism, and I’d like to make the same challenge to Catholics about Protestants. If you are going to engage in this, I sincerely request that you do so in a respectful and genuine way.

There are plenty of occasions to defend, compare, contrast, debate and explain matters of faith and I don’t want to minimize those meaningful interactions and encounters. Those are legitimate ways to learn and grow in the faith and to “…give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you…”. – I Peter 3:15.

I just wanted to take a moment and go a different route to see if Protestants and Catholics on CAF are fair-minded enough to see positive traits in each other instead or just focus on the perceived weaknesses and faults.

I was mainly aiming this toward Catholics and Protestants, but it would be fine if someone wants to do likewise for other religions, too. I just don’t have much personal experience with members of other faiths besides Catholicism and Protestant traditions.

For example, I admire the deep spirituality and self-discipline that I observed in some Catholics I know during Lent. They made sacrifices that I found about after Easter about giving up foods or activities that they love, and added activities that drew them closer to God, including fasting, but they didn’t draw attention to themselves or wallow in self-pity while they were doing it.

I plan to try to emulate that next Easter season because we don’t have that custom in my faith tradition that I am aware of.

I admire the RCC for their stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce and birth control. It is hard to remain steadfast during a time when so much immortality is being slung around. :thumbsup:

When I have visited a Protestant church I have felt very welcome. Perhaps because the congregations are smaller, the stranger stands out and people reach out to say hello and introduce themselves.

I guess I’ve seen one too many threads around here that are on the order of “ewwww…do I really have to shake hands during the Sign of Peace” that I’m left feeling like Catholics can be really cold fish sometimes.

Tommy999 #1
I just wanted to take a moment and go a different route to see if Protestants and Catholics on CAF are fair-minded enough to see positive traits in each other instead or just focus on the perceived weaknesses and faults.

We should always be ready to “see positive traits” in others, as Ecumenical Council Vatican II taught:
“15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.” [My emphasis].
Dogmatic Constitution On The Church (Lumen Gentium)
vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

What needs to be emphasised here is, not personal faults or the lack, but the reality of Christ’s foundation of His Church and no other – the Catholic Church – so that all may have the fullness of truth.

I can’t. I tried this before, and I found that I was merely generalizing.

What I can say, personally, is that there are many good Protestants as Christians and so too are Catholics.

Are Protestants really good at Scriptures? Yes, many are but many are not. And we can say that for Catholics too. It is true even as recent as fifty years ago, I don’t know, Catholics have very bad habit of not knowing their Bible but that is changing now. Not me, for sure. I read my Bible everyday, meditate and pray it. I am saying this because I have been shot down by a fellow Catholic who said we do not study our Bible. It is easy to generalize.

That is just an example but it can also apply to other areas of Christian practice and life as well.

God bless.

Reuben

p.s. Maybe I can say Protestant churches are more personal, there are greeters, and so forth. But sometimes, this is like comparing apple to orange. While in Protestant churches they have services, major activities in Catholic churches are the mass. I have been involved in the church long enough that when we hold services, like prayer meetings, healing services or seminars, we do employ greeters and mixed with the congregation, not much different than what Protestants do.

In any case, some Catholic churches are improving on this to make parishioners, especially newcomers, to feel welcome.

Where is your something nice to say about Protestantism?

The depth of faith and mysticism of Roman Catholics I know. As well the focus on holiness in one’s personal life.

I agree, ChurchSoldier. I found out about what my Catholic friends and acquaintances did during Lent only because I am interested in Catholicism now and inquired about it. I was impressed by their self-discipline and the fact they were low key about the sacrifices they were making and were very mature and private about it.

I found out they have been doing this every Lent and I didn’t realize it before because I wasn’t paying enough attention to even notice it until now. I was impressed the most by the fact they were so humble about it.

The mythicism.
And the long history of serious deep study.

Agreed, Dustin. Good point.

Catholics demand excellent music. But they want it for free. Protestants know you get what you pay for. Church musicians have families too. Seems our protestant brothers and sister know this and respect them. Catholic musicians are expected to volunteer their “gifts” to the point of starvation. And then they sit in the pews and complain. Loudly. :frowning:
Protestant congregations understand that quality musicians have spent a fortune learning their craft and buying their instruments. I really appreciate that.

I go to a Church of Christ with my husband. The people there are very friendly and genuinely care about one another. They are generous with both their time and money. They seem to live out their faith very well and are an excellent example of John 13:35

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I love the passion they have for Christ and the sermons are very thought provoking. The a Capella singing is awesome!!

Interesting, Clare. I wasn’t aware of that difference before.

Thanks for the reply, 10gr8kids.
My sister-in-law and brother’s family attend Church of Christ and they sing a Capella because they don’t believe in musical instruments in church.

Their voices produce a pretty sound, which is why I don’t sing too loudly when I visit because I sing a bit off key and don’t want to ruin it. :blush:

Protestants know how much to tithe and how to get a congregation involved in service activities, no matter how small!

I want to chime in as an agnostic who attends a catholic church every saturday and a protestant church every sunday:
Protestants make me feel very welcome when i am in their church. I have noticed that (at least the one I attend) is very family oriented and family integrated. I also admire how easy it is to speak to protestants about their faith, catholics kind of intimidate me in this regard

Catholics on the other hand have a BEAUTIFUL mass! I love my church (shout out to St. Francis de Sales of Tucson :wave: ) I love the traditional and ancient roots of the catholic faith, and that all of the churches are on the same page as far as what the church teaches or her views on certain issues.

I appreciate about protestants, and specifically the evangelical tradition I am from, that they do fellowship and community really well. They have great Adult fellowship groups, and sunday school for my kids, and other ministries that help engage people practically in their lives.

Fortunately I have a Catholic “Stewardship and Hospitality” parish that rivals my evangelical church’s of the past in terms of ministries and fellowship, but I know this is more of a rarity in Catholicism and if I wasn’t where I was, I would really miss all of that.

As Reuben J mentioned, it is hard to say without over-generalizing, but I’ll try anyway. :slight_smile:

I find that a lot of the Protestants in the churches I attended while I was away from the Catholic Church (mostly Evangelical, so that is mostly all I know) were a lot more comfortable talking about God when talking about everyday things. I mean, I would probably think, “Wow, that was a real blessing that [whatever] happened,” but I’d be uncomfortable saying it out loud. A lot of the people I knew from the Protestant churches I attended weren’t uncomfortable with it at all, and being in conversation with them, out at lunch or something, made me much more comfortable talking about it, too. Since I enjoy talking about how loving God is, it was a great pleasure for me.

–Jen

I agree, SyroMalankara. Our pastor has communicated to us that we should all use our God-given talents to help the local church in some way and encourages people to be more than just spectators. I volunteered to be an usher – well, recruited, more accurately, but I said yes willingly. I guess it is my niche of service there.

Ironically, when I visited my first Catholic Mass in my city last summer, my old boss (now retired) is the head usher at his parish and I met him when I arrived. Boy, was he surprised. He gave me one of those “What’s wrong with this picture?” smile when he saw me walk through the door but later recovered and chatted with me a bit after Mass and was very welcoming.

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