There is no Protestant!


#1

I see it time and time again on these forums. People refer to Catholic belief versus Protestant belief, as if there is a single and defining set of beliefs that seperate the two. There isn’t. Look around, there are so many different “protestant” churches that there is no central canon, no central set of beliefs. The webster dictionary states that Protestant is a church that isn’t part of the Roman Catholic Church.

So to say, “Protestants believe…” is plain wrong. I am a mamber of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is completely distinct on basic doctrine from all of the other “protestant” church bodies. I just think that if one is referring to a certain belief, they should take the time to find out which churches believe that and state it that way. Too often have my points and questions been watered down by people assuming they know what my church’s doctrine is because it is a “protestant” church. Little do they know, LCMS doctrine is totally different and much closer to catholicsm than they might want.


#2

Several Catholic apologists on these forums never tire of pointing out the truth of your assertion, and repeatedly correct those who mistate or misapply the historical term “Protestant”, thank you for the reminder.


#3

While I agree that there is no “Protestant” belief, I think we need to be realistic in our expectations. First, with over 25,000 Protestant denominations, generalization is absolutely necessary to bring about a broad-based discussion. Even within your own Lutheran tradition, it’s much easier to discuss “Lutheran” beliefs than to have a separate discussion involving LCMS and ELCA positions. If we know that a belief is not espoused by all Protestants we should make an effort to narrow the generalization (Reformed, Anabaptist, etc.), but some things like sola Scriptura are, while exhibiting variations, broadly conceived “Protestant” beliefs. Fundamentalism and the Wesleyan Quadrilateral set forth different understandings of how this functions, but the general boundaries of the argument are the Catholic and Orthodox arguing for an authoritative tradition while “Protestants” argue for a tradition with, at best, a consultative vote.

In short, while I recognize the many distinctions among Protestant bodies, I still contend that discussion can often be better facilitated through recourse to the term “Protestant.”


#4

[quote=Bryan]I see it time and time again on these forums. People refer to Catholic belief versus Protestant belief, as if there is a single and defining set of beliefs that seperate the two. There isn’t. Look around, there are so many different “protestant” churches that there is no central canon, no central set of beliefs. The webster dictionary states that Protestant is a church that isn’t part of the Roman Catholic Church.

So to say, “Protestants believe…” is plain wrong. I am a mamber of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is completely distinct on basic doctrine from all of the other “protestant” church bodies. I just think that if one is referring to a certain belief, they should take the time to find out which churches believe that and state it that way. Too often have my points and questions been watered down by people assuming they know what my church’s doctrine is because it is a “protestant” church. Little do they know, LCMS doctrine is totally different and much closer to catholicsm than they might want.
[/quote]

Any entity that doesn’t have a valid apostolic sucession and born after 16 century we call Protestant.

You fit the description, thus you are a Protestant.


#5

Bryan,

Thank you for the reminder. I am a devout Catholic, and yet, I recognize that there are many non-Catholics who are deeply in love with Jesus Christ, and they are my brethren. While I cannot agree with teachings that are not in line with the Catholic Church’s teaching, I can still call you my brother, and embrace what we share in common.

Peace be with you, Bryan. May our Lord’s blessings be upon you, as we pray for unity among all Christians, in obedience to Christ.


#6

You are incorrect. What is the simple definition of a Protestant? It simply means one who PROTESTS against the the church Christ established through Peter and the Apostles. And that church was and IS the Roman Catholic Church. So if you are a Lutheran and your belief system is not in agreement with the Catholic church then you are a Protestant, plain and simple. Because you do NOT agree and so you protest.

                                           Ron from Ohio

#7

[quote=Bryan]I see it time and time again on these forums. People refer to Catholic belief versus Protestant belief, as if there is a single and defining set of beliefs that seperate the two. There isn’t. Look around, there are so many different “protestant” churches that there is no central canon, no central set of beliefs. The webster dictionary states that Protestant is a church that isn’t part of the Roman Catholic Church.

So to say, “Protestants believe…” is plain wrong. I am a mamber of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is completely distinct on basic doctrine from all of the other “protestant” church bodies. I just think that if one is referring to a certain belief, they should take the time to find out which churches believe that and state it that way. Too often have my points and questions been watered down by people assuming they know what my church’s doctrine is because it is a “protestant” church. Little do they know, LCMS doctrine is totally different and much closer to catholicsm than they might want.
[/quote]

Hi Bryan,

I agree that there is no monolithic “Protestant” doctrine. Yet, I am continually told by Protestants that they all agree on the “essentials” (i.e. “In the Essentials unity in all else liberty.”) Do you agree with this, if so what would you say those essentials are?

PAX CHRISTI

Bill


#8

[quote=rarndt01]You are incorrect. What is the simple definition of a Protestant? It simply means one who PROTESTS against the the church Christ established through Peter and the Apostles. And that church was and IS the Roman Catholic Church. So if you are a Lutheran and your belief system is not in agreement with the Catholic church then you are a Protestant, plain and simple. Because you do NOT agree and so you protest.
[/quote]

Ron, I think you missed the point of Bryan’s post. He did not deny being Protestant. He simply asked us not to generalize the doctrines of Protestants. As has been noted, there are thousands of Protestant denominations. They do not all believe all the same things. If they did, there would be one Protestant denomination. For example, we shouldn’t say that Protestants believe that we are predestined to heaven, or hell. Some Protestants believe that. Some do not.


#9

Bryan your assertion is quite correct however this done just as often by protestanst in fact they will say their postion is the Christian postion as opposed to the catholic postion. Say what?
On our defense it is quite frustrating to define every beleif within protestantism in order to bring up a theological distinction I myself try to clear up a particular beleif as being Baptist, Lutheran Evangelical but some thigs cover most of portestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide thus the term protestant would be the best perjorative used however each denomination have thier own take on what these terms mean. That makes it hard for the catholic as we would have to right about the 12 distinctions and defintions of sola scriptura and sola fide it makes one head spin. Its far earier to generalize yes its lazy but I don’t this board would move if we had to clearify every stance. We should do a better job and I will try to do so in the future but it would be impossible to do so in every instance.


#10

[quote=Bryan]I see it time and time again on these forums. People refer to Catholic belief versus Protestant belief, as if there is a single and defining set of beliefs that seperate the two. There isn’t. Look around, there are so many different “protestant” churches that there is no central canon, no central set of beliefs. The webster dictionary states that Protestant is a church that isn’t part of the Roman Catholic Church.

So to say, “Protestants believe…” is plain wrong. I am a mamber of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which is completely distinct on basic doctrine from all of the other “protestant” church bodies. I just think that if one is referring to a certain belief, they should take the time to find out which churches believe that and state it that way. Too often have my points and questions been watered down by people assuming they know what my church’s doctrine is because it is a “protestant” church. Little do they know, LCMS doctrine is totally different and much closer to catholicsm than they might want.
[/quote]

Oh, I assure you, the closer you are the the Catholic Church, the better in my opinion.


closed #11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.