Differences between Catholics and Evangelicals?

Can anyone recommend a good website (including the pages here), that gives out a well written account on the differences of salvation from a Catholic vs Protestant Evangelical point of view?

Isaiah58.com .has a comparison

You can start with these. God Bless






This site features a number of Catholic v. Evangelical topics. Perhaps try the “Once Saved Always Saved?” page.



It is not a website, but Jimmy Akin wrote a book a few years back called “The Salvation Controversy” and as I recall it addresses exactly what you are talking about.



Perhaps I can help a bit with my blog articles.
How Is A Catholic Saved?
Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?
My Catholic Tract
My Testimony

Biblical literalism and differing views on salvation (they see being “saved” as an event; for Catholics, it’s a process).

Just two things among many. It’s not a unified denomination like Catholicism, so it’s hard to make blanket statements.

Hi Church Militant,
I read your blog article about 'How is a Catholic saved?" in which you state it is through “Repentance and baptism and then following Christ”.

I have no problem with any of it. In fact, I find it pretty similar to what the evangelical evangelist Billy Graham preached at his crusades. At one such crusade, the Holy Spirit allowed me to see who I was (a sinner in need of a Savior). I committed my life to Christ at that time and repented of my sins and was baptized a short time later.

I have been following Christ ever since all these decades later. I continue to repent of my sins after I commit them and do my best (with God’s help) to not repeat them and follow Christ in my daily life and in my dealings with others.

I believe that salvation is the goal that I am pressing on towards. I believe I am in the process of being saved and that I will only know for sure when I die and am judged whether or not I am truly saved, although I believe that I John 5:12-13 offers hope for Christ-followers:

12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

I do not believe in the OSAS belief that many Baptists (and some others) hold to, which I think is dangerous. It is dangerous because it implies that a person can commit his life to Christ and be guaranteed of heaven and then go out and do anything he wants – even if afterwards he engages in a life of lying, cheating, murder, and debauchery. To do that would be mocking God, in my view, and we all know that God is not mocked.

Of course, those who believe in OSAS would probably counter that such a person was never saved in the first place because “you will know them by their fruits” arguemnt, I am guessing.

Follow up question:
Since Catholics (and Methodists for that matter, which I am) believe in infant baptism, how can that baby repent? To me, only people who are aware of their sin can repent, so that is why I tend to favor a believer’s baptism over infant baptism. To me, infant baptism may be a grace for the baby, but it is mainly something the parents do as a promise to raise the child in the Christian faith. It’s kind of like putting a claim on that baby for Christ. I don’t know what Catholics believe about baptism except that I think they believe it cleanses the baby from original sin. Please correct me if I am wrong on that.

Unfortunately, I know some people who were baptized as infants who haven’t darkened the door of a church in ages and are as atheist in their beliefs now as Madeline Murray O’Hare ever was. If I understand Catholic doctrine correctly, is that baptized person saved? I assume not, because they are not repenting. Please correct me if I missed something on this whole subject.

Since Catholics (and Methodists for that matter, which I am) believe in infant baptism, how can that baby repent?

Baptism is the New Covenant counterpart of circumcision, which was also performed on babies (although baptism directly brings into the Covenant girls as well as boys).

I believe that in the case of infant baptism, the parents are able to make the decision *for *the child because they have authority over the child. The baby cannot yet commit sin, but baptism removes the burden of original sin – though not concupiscence, obviously. In a Catholic baptism, the parents also make promises to bring the child up and educate him/her in the faith.

I find infant baptism beautiful. (Not implying that you don’t!) When we have a baptism during Mass, the whole congregation renews our baptismal promises along with the parents/godparents. The Catechism says, “For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow *after *baptism” (1254). Baptism is not an end, but is intended to be a starting point. This fits very well with the practice of baptizing infants.

Re: the infant-baptized you know who have fallen away: that’s sad. Out of curiosity, how old are they? Most of my sibling group are in our thirties, and it seems to become more important around this time of life. But – however long my siblings or I have gone without “darkening the door,” we have not (to my knowledge) ever totally turned away from our belief in God. And believe me, this is not because of how we were raised in the faith! Catholics believe that the sacraments have real effects, and I have seriously been wondering lately how much of this is due to the gift of faith conferred upon us at our baptisms.

I know it wasn’t addressed to me but I see nobody has responded yet.

Agreed on OSAS…what a horrible and anti biblical doctrine that is. :mad:

You are correct on the Catholic understanding of baptism. It cleanses of all contractual (original) and personal sin.

No, that person would go to hell if he dies in mortal sin, unfortunately.

I have also seen or heard of many who were baptized in the church then fell away for 20 years or whatever, lived like hell but then inexplicably felt a strong urge to return back to where it all started. I am of the belief that it was thanks to these initial graces that they answered the call to come back home. You can see authentic revert stories on programs such as the Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. Anyway, no matter Catholic or protestant I have seen the backslidden return back to their roots much later in life, and praise God for all these souls returning to the fold.

Thanks for the nice reply, MrsAngelala. I agree that infant baptisms are beautiful.

To answer the part I bolded in red, the main guy I know who is an avowed atheist is now in his late 40’s. When he was younger and had just become an atheist, Pope John Paul visited the United States. This guy’s parents (devout Catholics) had seats to see him at a venue in the Detroit area, where they live. As you might guess, there was limited seating due to the demand. Even though my friend was an atheist, he asked his parents if he could join them to see the pope as a “fun and historic thing to do”.

He told me that his parents told him, “No. You are an atheist. We are giving the extra ticket to a friend at our parish who wants to come with us”.

My friend (the atheist) said that event made him even more resolute in his atheism. I j found it sad how someone from such a devout family could be an atheist. I wonder if it would’ve softened his heart had he seen the Pope instead of being left out of going for being an atheist.

This guy respects religious people, but he is sour on fellow Catholics and remains a committed atheist to this day. His name is Kevin if you want to pray for him.

Thanks for he clarifications, LA. I also believe in graces that may manifest themselves later on in life that come from baptism, even if the baptism was done as an infant. That’s why I continue to pray for my friend the atheist as well as a few more that I don’t know as well as Kevin.

Not a website, but a really good book by David Currie (former Evangelical) that talks about this from the evangelical point of view. Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic.

I do have another article that may help you with Infant baptism. The Case For Infant Baptism

I hope that helps.

As for those who do not maintain their faith. Matthew 13:24-30 teaches us that there will always be tares among the wheat. To believe otherwise is unscripturally naive.

Oh and by the way, on topic, I can also suggest another excellent book from right here on CA.
The Protestant’s Dilemma by Devin Rose

As somebody else said, Evangelicals aren’t a monolith and it can be hard to generalize about them too much. But one area where I think they differ quite dramatically from the Catholic faith is in their beliefs about baptism. Again as others have said, Catholics believe that baptism does something objective to the soul. Evangelicals do not believe this. My mother is an Evangelical so this subject comes up from time to time, and so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the difference between the two groups regarding baptism. Here is my theory about it.

It is that Evangelicals view baptism in a similar way to how Catholics view confirmation.

Among other things, Catholics view confirmation as the rite when the person publicly shows that he accepts Christ and chooses to live as a Christian. Well, this is essentially what Evangelicals believe about baptism. This explains why they always emphasize how the person needs to be old enough to choose baptism… since it is true that we all need to choose to live as a Christian, and Catholics do this in confirmation. It also explains why they will rebaptize people, since they don’t see it as a sacrament but simply a public act where the person is showing his choice to follow Christ.

I attached an image of a chart I made that explains what I see, and my description of Catholic confirmation is incomplete. I mainly wanted to highlight the parts that are similar to what Evangelicals believe. I hope to make it easier for them to see that Catholics actually do understand that people need to choose to live as a Christian… they just have a different rite for it.

I agree with this view, cominghome 1966.

It is similar to a comment I made recently in post #236 in the following thread:

but I think you made the point clearer and more succinctly.

The key point is whether the person who is seeking confirmation (or baptism, in the evangelical sense) is choosing to do so of their own free will or are they being pressured by family or by some sort of societal norm.

Thank you. Yes, I read your comment and we understand each other.

I do suspect there is pressure to get confirmed, and I wish it were not so.

Even so, the sacrament is still valid.

I am not a catechist, and am a convert so don’t have much experience in the actual conversion process for others. But, the broader point about making a free choice to enter into the Christian life is a very good one. I am not persuaded it gets enough emphasis in the Catholic catechetical process, but I might be wrong about that. I say this only because I know a few people who have the sacrament of confirmation and I don’t think they understand what they’ve agreed to.

Why are you interested in the latter?

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