Uniquely Protestant Beliefs or Practices in the Early Church

Are there any beliefs or practices in the early Church that could be described as uniquely protestant.(meaning beliefs or practices that are not shared in common with Catholics)

It is an interesting question. Of course, part of the problem will be the different perceptions of what the early Church taught.


That’s true, especially as related to biblical interpretations. I was thinking more of the early Church fathers.

My guess is that all the practices that are accepted by protestants are also accepted by Catholics.

I may be wrong, however.

Yes, historians have shown that the early church used grape juice and little plastic cups in their communion services. :stuck_out_tongue:


You’ve got to give them Millennialism.

Good find. That came up in another thread on this subject once.

  1. Millennialism


The early church also passed out little scrolls with cartoons and gospel messages. The Apostles had altar calls and asked people to “pray Jesus into their heart.”

As opposed to silver chalices and preformed, manufactured wafers, like you and I do.

The early church also passed out little scrolls with cartoons and gospel messages. The Apostles had altar calls and asked people to “pray Jesus into their heart.”

I’ve never seen either done.

Originally Posted by Luke65
You’ve got to give them Millennialism.

We missed that one, too, as Lutherans aren’t millennialists.

That’s the beef against us Lutherans. We’re too Catholic. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think Reformed Christians may share a similar eschatology with the Catholic Church. Does anybody know? Reformed Christians reject pre-mill dispensationalism common in many contemporary Protestant churches. The Left Behind books are fiction.

I’m not very familiar with either view, but I suspect that you are right.

Here’s a summary of the Catholic teaching:


1 Coronthians 12 and14

Spiritual gifts?

Full immersion Baptism. It’s no longer general practice for Catholics or Orthodox, whereas early on, it was. Only certain Protestant denominations (mainly Baptists, as they consider immersion the only valid method) practice it regularly.

Could you be more specific? I assume know that the Catholic Church contains tens of millions of Charismatics.

I’m not sure what your point is.

Actually, most of the early pieces of Christian art on Baptism I’ve seen seem to be showing only semi-immersion.

From my viewpoint and understanding of John 3, sprinkle, dip or dunk apart from the work of the Spirit only gets us wet without changing our nature. I’m not sure why Baptists insist of full immersion as the only valid method, since Baptists believe that baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. But you are right, Baptist are very staunch on their mode of baptism.

I thought “Whose Kingdom shall have no end” was against Millennialism.

Or was it a ‘wafer’ which you can’t touch with your own hands, oh wait a minute, now you can handle it?

I don’t think a solid case can be made that full immersion was a requirment, not that there is anything wrong with it.

The Didache

After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days (Didache 7:1 [ca. A.D. 70]).

From scripturecatholic.com:

Acts 2:41 - at Peter’s first sermon, 3,000 were baptized. There is archeological proof that immersion would have been impossible in this area. Instead, these 3,000 people had to be sprinkled in water baptism.

Acts 9:18; 22:16 - Paul is baptized while standing up in the house of Judas. There is no hot tub or swimming pool for immersion. This demonstrates that Paul was sprinkled.

Acts 10:47-48 - Peter baptized in the house of Cornelius, even though hot tubs and swimming pools were not part of homes. Those in the house had to be sprinkled.

Acts 16:33 - the baptism of the jailer and his household appears to be in the house, so immersion is not possible.

Acts 2:17,18,33 - the pouring of water is like the “pouring” out of the Holy Spirit. Pouring is also called “infusion” (of grace).

Titus 3:6 – the “washing of regeneration” (baptism) is “poured out” upon us. This “pouring out” generally refers to the pouring of baptismal waters over the head of the newly baptized.

Heb. 6:2 – on the doctrine of baptisms (the word used is “baptismos”) which generally referred to pouring and not immersion.

Heb. 10:22 – the author writes, “with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience.” This “sprinkling” of baptism refers to aspersion, not immersion. The text also parallels 1 Peter 3:21, which expressly mentions baptism and its ability to, like Heb. 10:22, purify the conscience (the interior disposition of a person).

Isaiah 44:3 - the Lord “pours” water on the thirsty land and “pours” His Spirit upon our descendants. The Lord is “pouring,” not “immersing.”

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