Is the word 'Protestant' really relevant today?

If you ask your average Christian what religion he/she is, that person would say “I am a Christian”. Very few would say, “I’m a Protestant”. A Catholic Christian usually says “I’m Catholic”.

Very few Christians today are preoccupied with the Catholic Church enough to consider their own brand of Christianity a protest against it. Yet, all over these boards they are referred to as Protestants.

I think the term is outdated and should be done away with in everyday use. It’s a barrier not a bridge builder.

Amen. If they identify as Christian, it’s also useful to ask “where do you worship?” That gives you some indication of their beliefs.

Anyone that is trying to persuade a Lutheran that their beliefs are wrong can skip the parts about infant baptism and Real Presence, because we “get” that. If someone mentions a Baptist church or a non-denominational church, they would need to start with those, perhaps.

Well, anyone baptized in the Trinitarian rite can call himself Christian. It would be quite useful if people would identify themselves as Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc., etc. It would make it clearer what they believe rather than simply saying, “I’m Christian.” Sadly, since such divisions exist we need to acknowledge the fact instead of using a generic term like Christian.

I agree, especially given the sad fact that many people, both Protestant and, confoundingly, Catholic, use the word “Christian” as a synonym for Protestant. Considering this fact, abandoning the term Protestant would often be tantamount to conceding that Catholics are not Christians. Indeed we can see the language heading that way in this thread’s original post.

I agree! I hear Protestants exclude Catholics from being Christians because “Protestant” is being replaced by “Christian.” My father likes to call it a rebranding for obvious reasons. But here is the thing, let’s call all Christians (people that follow Christ and His teachings,) (insert denomination) Christian. As in, I’m a Catholic Christian. My friend is a Lutheran Christian. And that person over there is an Anglican Christian. The labels of denominations themselves, don’t divide. It’s the set of beliefs that denomination follows that divides. The modifier I think it’s called of Christian would help others identify with people close to their own beliefs. For instance an Anglican Christian and Catholic Christian both believe in saints. So that’s a bridge builder. The fact is, the label of denomination is just pointing out the fact of difference in beliefs, which isn’t that bad, because we are still all “Christian.” Does that makes sense?

It’s helpful when posters list their denominational affiliation in the Religion notation if they have one; Anglican,Lutheran (and synod) etc. That way a Catholic poster can ask questions about their specific beliefs and avoid the term Protestant. It also gives a Catholic a better idea of what that poster embraces as truth

Mary.

I have only recently decided to quit using the term “Protestant,” and to substitute the term “non-Catholic Christian.” If anyone wishes to refer to him/herself as Protestant, that is his/her business. My wife agrees that the term is passé, several centuries ago.

=Country Gal;11859734]If you ask your average Christian what religion he/she is, that person would say “I am a Christian”. Very few would say, “I’m a Protestant”. A Catholic Christian usually says “I’m Catholic”.

Very few Christians today are preoccupied with the Catholic Church enough to consider their own brand of Christianity a protest against it. Yet, all over these boards they are referred to as Protestants.

I think the term is outdated and should be done away with in everyday use. It’s a barrier not a bridge builder.

SORRY to HAVE to disagree with you my friend; BUT the origin of the term Protstant MEANS "to ptotest"

When the term was introduced dirring the “reformation period” [also a protest]; it referenced if not only; at least most significately Catholicism.

TODAY with thousands of differing non-Catholic-christian sets of Faith-beliefs; the PROTEST extends FAR beyond the RCC too other competing non-catholic-christian; churches; so the term is even MORE RELEVANT and accurate today than when it was introduced.:rolleyes:

God Bless you,
Patrick

Sounds a bit relativistic and wishy-washy.

What do you mean?

I will simply reiterate what I placed on another thread

I don’t think it is wise to ignore the past, since things have not really changed just by labelling. The easiest test is to take a dozen or so of a denomination place them in a room and say “Right now about the Catholic Church”. If indeed the term protestant was outdated I would expect to hear either neutral or positive feedback. Instead this sadly does not happen. Hence Protestant.

Yes, the term “Protestant” is still relevant today.

I think most folks do love Christ and want to think of themselves as Christian - followers of Christ.

But there are teachings of Christ that they, or at least the founders of their particular church, protest. Not wanting to see themselves as protesters, they soften their category by saying they are Christian.

We are called to the fullness of Christ. Many chose to select just the parts that seem important to them. Christ Lite if you will rather than Christ Like.

Key issues that are protested are the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Sacrament of Reconciliation. Authority given by Christ, and cannot just assumed by well meaning people who want Christ their way.

To be Politically Correct, they are Christians and we are Catholics. To be honest, at the root of their faith is a protest against Catholic Church, the best keeper of the true teachings of Christ.

It certainly is, “Protestantism” is something that all Catholics and our Orthodox Brothers and Sisters need to be wary of! Although there is the saying “scratch a Catholic and you will find a Protestant” we need to make sure that we are instructed in the faith and instruct ourselves against Protestant errors, which are just as serious today as they were when Luther was alive- even he would probably be shocked at what some Protestants get up to and preach!

Catholics are Christians also (in fact the first Christians) so claiming the term for Protestants is disingenuous.

I too started to do this until someone pointed out that the phrase “non-Catholic Christian” would include the Eastern Orthodox. Trying then to come up with a term - other than protestant - to fit the “western, post reformation, Christian communities” just seemed a bit much.
So I decided the best thing to do was to go back to the old stand-by, “Protestant”. Even if it is somewhat antiquated…it remains the most succinct way to express who one is referring to.

Of course all of that said, using the term “protestant” doesn’t really tell us much…There are so many flavors and mixtures.

Peace
James

PJM said the origin of the word Protestant means ‘to protest’.

Exactly. And it still holds true. I know only two non-Catholic people, personally, who can ‘sit still’ long enough to listen to a good argument in favor of Catholicism, and then share ideas. All the rest, of the ones I know, politely ‘protest’ it on almost every point.

But, I can see the value of identification by Catholic Christian, Baptist Christian, Lutheran Christian, etc. I suppose it would be more charitable.

You are correct, of course. How about “non-Catholic Western Christian?”

I also have two people that can listen to me about Catholicism! One is nearly a convert and the other is just fun to debate. In fact I was debating the Real Presence with her yesterday in the midst of a few people and someone interrupted me when I was talking about the Catholic viewpoint and said “they think it’s just symbolic.” It’s harder to ignore comments like that in person than on the internet.
I am a strong advocate of having an open mind towards everything I do, but some of the people I’ve run into (Catholic and Protestant) have really closed minds. To the point where they are almost holding their hands over their ears and screaming “La-La-La.” Don’t get me wrong I’m only speaking of the two I know of right now. But I have known a ton of open-minded people throughout my life.

If you can come up with another term that is equally descriptive and easy to use…I’ll be happy to use it.
As I mention in my post above…I tried this for a while and it really didn’t work out too well.

I agree that most “protestants” don’t consider themselves to be protesting anything, the vast majority of “protestants” (including “former Catholics”) I dare say don’t know what the Catholic Church teaches - so how could they be “protesting” it??

The Catechism even makes the case that we cannot charge those born into “protestant” communities with the sins of those who originally broke with Holy Mother Church. So again - what are they protesting? :shrug:

Yet - as I said, the term remains the one that is the simplest and most commonly understood and so we continue to use it.

All that said, I would love to see the term retired…When all the Christians come home to the original - the Bride of Christ - Holy Mother Church.

Peace
James

If we do an org chart, the header would be “Christians,” with the big three branches: Catholic (including the sui juris Churches), Protestant (divided between Liturgical and non Liturgical), and Eastern Orthodox.

Perhaps someone else can help me visualize this differently…?

Non-Catholic Christians who don’t recognize the word Protestant in relation to their faith tradition don’t seem to have a grasp on the historical context of their roots.

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