How are Mormons, Muslims and non-Catholic Protestant Christians really that different?

[FONT=Arial]How are today’s Mormons (LDS), Muslims (Islamists) and non-Catholic Protestant Christians (all 36,000 different non-Christian denominations) really that different? After all, they all reject various aspects of Catholicism. They all share the same God of Abraham and they wrote their own “Bibles”, the KJV, the Koran and the Book of Mormon… taking much of what they wrote from the original Catholic Bible. Is there really just two groups of believers, those who are Catholic and those who came after Catholicism, who in my opinion tried to re-invent their religions using the Catholic Model? Or, basically copying the Catholic Church… but on their terms now…

[/FONT]Your thoughts?

No and the implication in the thread title that Protestants are non-Christian is not one I would support.

Mormans and Muslims have a lot of diffrences from Catholic Christianity. Protestant Christians, some are close to Catholic views, some are not. By and large though, I would call them Christian Denominations (if for no other reason than to not be judgemental). For me the biggest diffrence is in the nature of who God is; one God, yes, but one loving God, verses 3 in 1 God, verses God who is master of all.
I think a better general statement was made by the Anglican C.S. Lewis, who stated that (in his view) there are only 2 major world faith today, Hindu and Jewish. That all the rest are off shoots or heresies of these 2 faiths

That is not implied in the title.

Most Protestants are Christian, however “Protestant” is not synonymous with Christian.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

We say this every Sunday. They do not.

Obviously there is a huge difference between the groups you mentioned.

For one, Mormons are not a monotheistic religion while Muslims and non-Catholic protestants are.

Second, Mormons loosely follow Christ while non-Catholic protestants follow Christ devoutly and have a much closer to Catholic understanding of Christ. Muslims believe Christ was a prophet but not divine and so are not disciples of Christ at all while Mormons and protestants could be classified as Christians because they are attempting to follow the teachings of Christ, albeit in very different ways (with varying differences in accuracy).

Third, to say that protestants wrote their own book, the KJ Bible, is a very crude interpretation of what happened. They removed some books from the Catholic Bible and the books that remain are, for the most part, accurate. This means that the KJ Bible is written by the same authors as the Catholic Bible even though they are different translations. I know several highly recognized and orthodox Catholic apologists who reference the KJV simply because it is closer to a literal translation in some parts. This means that their Bible is every bit as inspired as ours though incomplete.

Compare that to the uninspired Koran and Book of Mormon. If your purpose was to insult protestants, I am sure you have succeeded. It is an insult to the Bible in general to equate these books.

Finally, we all agree (or should) that all three groups you listed are in fact schisms from the Catholic Church and so have varying degrees of Catholic remnants remaining. To lump them together as essentially equivalent is an insult to each of them though. They have only this single factor in common which truthfully makes them all incomplete visions of the Truth and each has varying degrees of distortion. Protestants are clearly closer to a full understanding of Truth than say Muslims who are closer than Mormons.

If that was your point, that these groups all were based on Catholicism and have some aspects remaining, then you can’t limit the argument to these groups because many modern governments are based on Christian models that all have some aspect of Catholicism in them as well. You can move to businesses and schools too. This is because Christ’s model for organization is worth imitating.

On a side note, you ignore Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, etc. who were not based on Catholicism so no, there are not just two groups of believers.

I will agree that there is much happening now that is really an attempt to re-invent what Catholicism already has a handle on, but I am not sure your argument is a sound justification of that reality. I think that any group seeking truth is going to end up with some aspect of the Catholic faith ingrained in it, even if it does not have Catholic origins because any truth that is discovered is related to the one True God who is revealed in His fullness through the Catholic Church. So I think you will see that any group seeking truth will appear to be reinventing the wheel that the Catholic Church has been using for centuries.

God Bless

It depends on your reference point. If your reference is Catholicism, as in your case, you might make the argument that there are two groups of believers: Catholics and non-Catholics, that is, those who followed Catholicism and, at least in the instance of Protestantism, “re-invented” it. However, it is important to realize that each of the groups you mention is quite different from the others. Further, as you point out, Protestants are subdivided into a multitude of denominations, some of which significantly differ from one another. It is also worth noting that Protestants are Christians, even though they are not Catholics; therefore they share (for the most part) the most basic dogma of faith in a Triune G-d. On this basis alone, one can make the argument that a classification of Christian and non-Christian is an equally valid distinction. Mormons regard themselves as Christian as well; however, their concept of the Trinity is, to my knowledge, somewhat different from that of mainstream Christianity. Islam does not believe in the Trinity, so they would not be Christians and in fact do not consider themselves as such. Going back to reference point, using your criteria for categorization, from the Jewish perspective, one can also say there are two groups: Jewish and non-Jewish. From the Islamic perspective, the same division might apply: Muslim and non-Muslim; and so on for each religion. Moreover, Judaism, Hinduism, and other religions predate Catholicism, and thereby do not fit your classification.

While it is true that Mormons are polytheists, they are also Protestants just as there are other non-Trinitarian Protestants.

“Mohammedanism was a heresy: that is the essential point to grasp before going any further. It began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It was not a pagan contrast with the church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine. Its vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was—not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing. It differed from most (not from all) heresies in this, that it did not arise within the bounds of the Christian Church. That which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified.”

  • Hilaire Belloc
    “Catholic doctrine, oversimplified.” that’s like Protestantism: an aversion to or outright rejection of clergy, “me and God alone”, an aversion to philosophy, sole reliance on writings etc… Islam is a proto-Protestantism.

Thank you for your post.

No, that’s not the implication.

Although, there are now and have been a number of “Protestant” or “non-Catholic Christian” denominations who consider or considered themselves to be Christian and by definition or behavior, were/are not.

For example, many “devout followers” considered the Peoples Temple, Heaven’s Gate and the Branch Dividian’s to be the “one true Christian denomination”. I don’t believe that they were.

I know that there does exist many Protestant denominations that are similar to Catholicism, in one way or another. Some closer than others. And, some who believe that they’re close in belief, when in fact they are miles apart.

I believe that any shared belief that any of these denominations have regarding Christianity are good, true and correct. Obviously, they would be, because they originated as Catholic beliefs and/or came from the Catholic Bible.

I also believe that these denominations have deliberately chosen what Catholic, or early Christian beliefs they were going to adhere to and which ones that they were going to reject. However, there main beliefs originated , or came from the Catholic Church who preceded them.

All of these denominations share a belief in the same God, The God of Abraham, [the God] of Isaac, and [the God] of Jacob (Acts 3:13). Another thing that they all have in common, is that they all site NT verses from a book approved by the Catholic Church and Catholic Popes… the Bible.

The main difference that these groups have with each other, is that some, by way of a valid baptism can call themselves Christian but that doesn’t mean that they belong to the one true Church. It means that they have accepted a belief that originated in Catholicism. If not for the Catholic Church and the Catholic bible, none of these religions or denominations would exist today. Then again, if not for the early Jew’s and their exodus from Egypt, would there be Catholicism today. That’s why Catholicism is considered a Judeo-Christian religion. Am, I wrong?.

How are these religions different?

How are they the same?

Your thoughts?

With all due respect to Mormons, as protestants are Christian, non-Trinitarian protestant is an oxymoron. And not all Protestants have an aversion to or outright rejection of a ministerial clergy.


Protestants are Protestants. Some are no longer Christian.

Clergy - meaning the three fold ministry. Most Protestants reject it outright.

Then define Protestant.


Hi Jon,

All true but if you ask a Mormon (LDS), they will tell you that they are Christian. The full name of the Mormon Church, is after all - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormons - created their own “bible”, the Book of Mormon.
Muslims - created their own “bible”, the Koran.
Protestants - created their own “bible”, The King James Version (KJV) bible
Protestants - created the Book of Common Prayer .

None of these religions or denominations use a Catholic Bible in their religious services.

The Mormons (LDS), the Muslims and Protestants all have men, who have “founded” there religions and denominations.

The persons that these religions originate -

Mormons - The Prophet Joseph Smith
Muslims - The Prophet Mohammad
Protestants - Martin Luther, James Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli
John Calvin and so on and so forth … several thousands of times over.

Catholicism was founded by Christ. The first Christian Bible was collected, passed down, translated, put into a specific order, numbered and created and approved by the Catholic Church.
Muslims, LDS and Protestants came hundreds of years after the fact, after Catholicism.
Isn’t the world really just two religions, Catholics and non-Catholics? As stated in an earlier post, Judaism, Protestantism, Islam, and most others, believe in the same God of Abraham.
What gives any particular Protestant denomination, or non-Catholic religion the authority to claim that the Muslims, or the Mormons or any other denomination or religion is wrong in their beliefs, when they (Protestants, non-Catholic Christians) originally broke for the first Christian Church, the Catholic Church?
Additionally, why do they (non-Catholic Christians) use a Catholic book, albeit, an edited version of the Bible, to make many of these claims, including claims against Catholic doctrine?
I guess the main question is - If you are a Christian, then why aren’t you a Catholic? And, If you do belong to a denomination the broke from Catholicism, where does your denomination derive it’s authority to question these other religions or denominations? I can’t see it…
Your thoughts?
Thanks for your post Jon.

Protestantism is whatever each individual Protestant wants it to be at any given time.

That’s funny…true but funny :smiley:

That’s a cute polemic, but it doesn’t answer the question. That fact is that, first and foremost, Protestants are Christians. Christians, by definition, believe in the Trinity. Many confess the three creeds, and others that don’t would not deny what most of the statements in the creeds. Since, therefore, protestants are Christians (even the CCC says so), and Christians confess the Trinity, non-Trinitarian Chrstian is an oxymoron.


Hi Jimmy,
I will respond to your final paragraph here when more time permits, even though I think you know me, and what my answer will be. But on the permise of your OP, I will make this statement: when Mormons and Muslims confess the three ancient creeds, and the Triune God of which they speak, then I will agree with you that they are like me in terms of their faith.


What gives most Protestant denominations, with the exception of those such as Oneness Pentecostals, the right to claim these other religions are wrong–not that most Protestants necessarily do so–is that none of these other religions believe in that most basic dogmatic principle of Christianity, which is the Triune G-d. I’m not exactly sure what Mormons believe with respect to the divinity of Jesus, nor all Quakers; but I do know that neither Muslims, Jews, Unitarians, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, or Pagans believe in the divinity of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. From my perspective, this is the key element that separates Christianity from other religions, and, by this definition, most Protestants are Christians. In a similar manner, your question can be applied to Jews. Since Conservative Jews and Reform Jews are regarded as heretics according to some in the Orthodox Jewish community, what gives them the right to separate themselves from Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists? The answer is the same: because Conservative Jews and Reform Jews are still Jews and, for all the differences between them and Orthodox Jews, they nonetheless believe in the most basic Jewish articles of faith.

It’s hardly a cute polemic. It’s the underlying truth about Protestantism.

The Church defines who is a Christian, not who is Protestant.

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