Is it correct to call Protestants "Christians"?


#1

Greetings, and peace unto you all.

It’s my understanding that the term Christians means; one who believes in Christ and follows his teachings. Also it’s my understanding, that when you read the scriptures there is only one way to follow Christ.

So if the Catholic Church is the church established by Christ through Peter, then the way to follow Christ would be through the teachings of the Catholic Church, which were establised by Christ. Therefore, anyone who believes in Christ and follows these teachings would be a, Christian.

So technically speaking, anyone outside of this can not really be called Christians.

So I’m wondering if the reason its commonly accepted to call other faiths outside of the Catholic Church christians, is because this would probably be a hinderance for people to even to sit and talk about the Catholic faith with an open mind.

Would anyone like to begin a discussion on this?

God Bless You All,

Nelson


#2

Why Not? I work with a bunch of Protestants and they continually say they are christian and I am Catholic! Well needless to say I correct them and say I am a Christian also.

LG


#3

Technically, Protestants aren’t Christians because they don’t worship God and follow God the way He wants them to (in His Church) - confess to a priest, honor His Mother, receive Him in the Eucharist, etc. I just call them Christians to be nice.

Isn’t it annoying when Protestants call us Catholics and deny that we are Christians, when they got everything they know about God from us? (the Bible)

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#4

According to the glossary in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the name ‘Christian’ “refers to all those who have been anointed through the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism.” Paragraph 838 and paragraph 1241 of the Catechism say pretty much the same thing.

Thus the Church recognizes as Christians all who have been properly baptized. So, Protestants who have been properly baptized are considered Christians by the Catholic Church but whether they are considered orthodox Christians or heterodox Christians is another matter.:smiley:


#5

TODD

*According to the glossary in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the name ‘Christian’ “refers to all those who have been anointed through the gift of the Holy Spirit in Baptism.” *

That’s only if he stays a Christian. If he renounces his faith, he can no longer be called a Christian. This is one of the problems with statistics that attempt to nail down how many Christians there are in this country. Many are counted as Christians through baptism who no longer practice the faith they were born in. For example, the statistics of prisoners are skewered to reflect more Christians in jail than non-Christians just because prisoners will identify the faith they were born in as their religious preference when they haven’t been to a church or talked to God in twenty years.

That prisoner is not a Christian though he may think it useful and to his advantage for him to put it on his record while he’s behind bars.

The same might be true for unscrupulous businessmen, physicians, lawyers, Boy Scout leaders, you name it … anyone who wears a halo but carries a dagger behind his back.


#6

[quote=DaMaMaXiMuS]Greetings, and peace unto you all.

It’s my understanding that the term Christians means; one who believes in Christ and follows his teachings. Also it’s my understanding, that when you read the scriptures there is only one way to follow Christ.

So if the Catholic Church is the church established by Christ through Peter, then the way to follow Christ would be through the teachings of the Catholic Church, which were establised by Christ. Therefore, anyone who believes in Christ and follows these teachings would be a, Christian.

So technically speaking, anyone outside of this can not really be called Christians.

So I’m wondering if the reason its commonly accepted to call other faiths outside of the Catholic Church christians, is because this would probably be a hinderance for people to even to sit and talk about the Catholic faith with an open mind.

Would anyone like to begin a discussion on this?

God Bless You All,

Nelson
[/quote]

There are many Christian beliefs - but one Christian Faith. All Christians, Catholic or not, share in this faith: which is one reason why one cannot speak of Protestant faiths, but of Protestant beliefs or doctrines. To talk of Christian Faiths", would imply that their beliefs, however Christian, had nothing to do with that of Catholics. Since there is only one Christ, & one Baptism, & one God and Father of us all, & one Spirit in whom all are baptised and in Whom all have access through the one Christ to the one Father - to speak of “Christian Faiths”, in the plural, is impossible.

The real bond of Christians is Christ; Christ and His work - that is where the emphasis must lie; when it doesn’t, we will find ourselves defining Christianity by what we do - when it should be defined by what He is and does and has done. Otherwise, Christian believing and living becomes “our project”, something we make up as we see fit - it ceases to be something we receive from God in Christ, something traditional. If we over-emphasise the importance of man’s part in the setting-up of the Church, we may forget that the initative is with God, Who does not need the gifts He gives to us, Who is always greater than His gifts. The Church is for our benefit - not His. He comes to men as He wishes - within or without His Church. Historical facts don’t give grace - God does.

Our first encounter is with Christ - not with the Church, in any form. The Church is a consequence of our encounter with Christ - it is secondary, not primary. The initiative by which God is gracious to us is never with the Church - it is always with God; for it is God, not the Church, Who is the Lord of all Creation and the Unique Saviour. Men are his agents, not his replacements.

Which are probably some of the reasons that the CC regards Protestants as Christians

What complicates things is that being “in the Church” is a far more complex, far richer reality, than being a purely nominal Catholic. There are many ways of being in the Church, and of being related to it, and they don’t all require explicit visible membership (which is probably what most of us think of as “being in the Church”). There are many ways of being in union with Christ - they don’t all require explicit visible membership: a Catholic in mortal sin is “in the Church” - but not as fruitfully as a Baptist whose sole desire is to do the Will of God. Even to desire this, is itself a grace - for God’s grace is not confined to Catholics: not many things are. “Being in the Church” is useless if it is not “being in Christ” - take away being “in Christ”, and membership in the Church is no different from being a member of a club; it becomes a purely earthly thing.

Being in Christ & being in the Church - His Church; not ours - aren’t two successive stages of a process: it’s more that the Church is in Christ, and that we can come to it, and bear fruit in it, only by union with Him. So Protestants who know Him are far from being heathens. Being in the Church in some sense, fills in the detail of knowing Christ - it can’t give that knowledge; only He can.


#7

I was told that Jehovah Witnesses are not considered Protestant, as well as Mormoms I believe. I think, although I can say for certain, that both these groups call themselves Christians. If I’m correct, which I may not be, is it true or correct to call them or recognize them as Christians?


#8

This is the teaching of the Catechism:

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272 819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276


#9

[quote=DaMaMaXiMuS]So if the Catholic Church is the church established by Christ through Peter, then the way to follow Christ would be through the teachings of the Catholic Church, which were establised by Christ. Therefore, anyone who believes in Christ and follows these teachings would be a Christian. So technically speaking, anyone outside of this can not really be called Christians.

So I’m wondering if the reason its commonly accepted to call other faiths outside of the Catholic Church christians, is because this would probably be a hindrance for people to even to sit and talk about the Catholic faith with an open mind.
[/quote]

Paul, on schismatics:I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Kephas,” or "I belong to Christ."
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-3)
The church was not established through Peter alone. The heirs of the early Church include more than just the followers of Peter. Further, the contemporary Roman Catholic Church is one of the descendants of the early Church, not the one descendant.

cf. define “Christian”


#10

[quote=DaMaMaXiMuS]I was told that Jehovah Witnesses are not considered Protestant, as well as Mormoms I believe. I think, although I can say for certain, that both these groups call themselves Christians. If I’m correct, which I may not be, is it true or correct to call them or recognize them as Christians?
[/quote]

Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a cult. Their leaders twist the Bible to fit their really weird doctrines; if I remember correctly, one of them is that Jesus isn’t God.

Mormons aren’t Christians. I researched them a while back to try to convert a Mormon friend of mine. Polygamy isn’t Christian, and the belief that you will be married to your spouse in heaven isn’t Christian. The church they attack the most is the Catholic Church so I think I can reasonably come to the conclusion that it’s a satanic church. It seems to be pagan.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#11

Mystophilus

The church was not established through Peter alone. The heirs of the early Church include more than just the followers of Peter.

Quite so, but only Peter was given the keys of the kingdom. It’s in the Bible and the early Church followed this tradition of deference to the Bishop of Rome who was the heir of Peter. Apostolic authority therefore passes down through the Catholic Church, or as the protestants like to say, the Roman Catholic Church.

I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.

Apparently here Paul is advocating a universal united Church. Does that sound like Protestantism in all its myriad incarnations?


#12

[quote=Gilbert Keith]The church was not established through Peter alone. The heirs of the early Church include more than just the followers of Peter.

Quite so, but only Peter was given the keys of the kingdom. It’s in the Bible and the early Church followed this tradition of deference to the Bishop of Rome who was the heir of Peter. Apostolic authority therefore passes down through the Catholic Church, or as the protestants like to say, the Roman Catholic Church.
[/quote]

First, I just want to say that I am using ‘Roman Catholic’ here to refer to the largest of all Christian denominations rather than the universal Church, which includes all Christians in every denomination, and that I do not regard, nor mean, the term in any derogatory manner.

Peter was given the keys, yes, and the early Church regarded Peter as the first among the apostles, yes. Other christian churches are also heirs to that early Church, and, therefore, heirs to the apostles.

Is American English ‘less correct’ than British English because English began in Britain? Are Americans not heirs to Chaucer and Shakespeare and Milton and Swift? What about Keats, Byron, or the Brownings?

I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.

Apparently here Paul is advocating a universal united Church. Does that sound like Protestantism in all its myriad incarnations?

It certainly does not. The point is, however, that it is clearly a direct injunction against the schismatic accusation frequently levelled by one believer against another, in saying that the other is not a Christian or that one Christian is better than another because of the leader whom that Christian follows.


#13

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