what's the protestants' view on the word "protestant"?


#1

why, when asked about his/her religion, a protestant is more likely to reply “christian” rather than “protestant” or the denomination of his church?

do they think the word “protestant” is offensive?


#2

No, but it’s semantics.

Your asking what *religion *they are, and that’s Christian (as opposed to Jewish, Buddist etc.). Next time, just ask them what church they go to (or what denomiation they are), and they’ll tell you “Chuch of Christ” or “Baptist” or “Assemblies of God” etc. :smiley:


#3

I don’t find it offensive, I just don’t like the term. For one, I’m no longer protesting the Church! Plus, I no longer go to my parents church (Church of Christ), so I can’t respond with that.
I’ll just say “Christian” until I can officially call myself a Catholic (and boy, will that feel good).


#4

I think some people just don’t know. I didn’t. I just knew I was a Christian. Saying you are a Christian is just more user-friendly too, some people may wonder what “Protestant” is but it is hard to not know what a Christian is.


#5

I’ve conversed with many Protestants who have an antipathy to labels. They no longer go to a church because of its beliefs; it just happens to be where they feel the Lord wants them to go. So they don’t want to be labeled with some church’s baggage because, in fact, they have no allegiance to that baggage. They believe that all such baggage needs to be forgotten and we should all just be “Christians.” And that can even go so far as the distinction between Protestant and Catholic.

My own opinion is that such fogginess goes in the wrong direction, although it might feel good at first.


#6

I always considered myself just Christian all my life. Then I was talking to a Catholic friend of mine and he used the term protestant and I had no idea what it meant. So, I asked him what it meant and he said it was what they called people who protested the Church. I now use that term and I don’t have a probelm with it, but then agian, I am planing to become Catholic. Some people might have a probelm with it.


#7

Some of them do take extreme offense at the term. A girl I once worked with told me vehemetly that she was not a Protestant. I asked her if she believed everything the Church teaches. She said no. I informed her that by definition, that made her a Protestant, because she protested Church teachings. And 'round we went again. Eventually (and not much later) we agreed to disagreed about appellations, and moved on to doctrine, with no better results.

But then I do have friends that readily identify themselfs as Protestants in conversation. Mostly, they’re non-denom, and understand the three main Christian groupings of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.

God Bless,
Ford


#8

When I was one, the term didn’t bother me in the slightest. I knew that I wasn’t protesting against anything; it was just a word to describe Christians who weren’t Catholic or Orthodox. Similar shifts in meaning have happened to many other words; f’rinstance, “antisemitic” is applied only to the Jews, not to other semitic nationalities, which means that some Semites (the Arabs) can be antisemitic because they want to kill Israeli Jews. Just one example.

DaveBj


#9

The word “protestant” is not offensive to me. It has never been. When asked what religion I am I usually say “Christian.” If pressed further, I’ll answer Protestant. If pressed further for denomination, well, I don’t really have one.

I don’t see the problem with it. At the beginning it was used to denote those who protested. Whether anyone is still protesting or not, I’m not going to get into, but now it just seems a convenient way to say “not catholic and not orthodox.” Big woo. There’s much more important things to get worked up about.


#10

I don’t mind the term, I prefer Mennonite but when asked go by christian. I belong to the catholic church (universal church, those who believe in christ crucified and risen again) but most get that mixed up with the folks in rome :stuck_out_tongue:

In all honesty I relate the most to my Mennonite roots. I am a pasifist and find that most other denominations don’t support pacifism. I even saw a thread here about a pope starting crusades again, to me that is the most un-christian thing I could think of. I realize that i supplied a long answer to a short question but a big part of how I define myself is tied to my faith, just as I’m sure most Roman Catholics are. My fore-fathers did not fight but laid down their lives to teach peace and non-violance, I only pray that if given the oprotunity I could do the same. That is the reason I prefer to go by Mennonite.


#11

I don’t mind it, myself. As long as people remember that we Methodists aren’t:nope: protesting anything…Never were. (Of course, that may be why I don’t mind it!)


#12

Honestly, I never have come across the term very much until I began to come in contact with Catholics who used it. Especially in the U.S., people tend to just say “Christian” or use a denominational label. I don’t find it offensive, it seems largely to be a historical term rather than something derogatory. Then again, I’m moving towards the Catholic Church.:smiley:


#13

[quote=Sgt Sweaters]I don’t find it offensive, I just don’t like the term. For one, I’m no longer protesting the Church! Plus, I no longer go to my parents church (Church of Christ), so I can’t respond with that.
I’ll just say “Christian” until I can officially call myself a Catholic (and boy, will that feel good).
[/quote]

Sgt you misunderstand the meaning of the word and your misunderstanding comes from a general american misuse of the verb to protest. the verb in fact means to show - so if we want to disagree with something we “protest against” it rather than merely “protest” it as is the modern and wrong american usage… Originally protestant meant to show belief in Christ without acceptance of the magisterium.

I do not mean to be pedantic Sgt but this point is crucial to understanding the term


#14

For me, it has become a regular, acceptable Christian term, but few of my friends know the three main groupings of Christianity…

My friend and I, her being Pentecostal and I being Catholic, embrace the differences, and even though we may disagree, in the end, we will all meet Jesus in heaven anyways in God’s righteous judgement ^_^. We are actually quite proud that there are so many varieties of Christianity for the person to choose from, to see what truths (or partial truths) each of them have.

Vivu la kristana religio! :smiley:
(Someday to be replaced by Latin)


#15

We aren’t protesting the RCC anymore. In fact, most churches don’t really care or know what goes on in a Catholic church. The church is not a concern to them at all.

I’ve NEVER heard a person call themselves “Protestant” in my (non catholic) church. We call ourselves Christian.

I would reverse the question a bit.

Why do Catholics primarily call themselves Catholics and not Christians?
I know many do, but when asked what religion, generally, Cats will say the term Catholic before Christian.


#16

[quote=ruzz] Cats will say the term Catholic before Christian.
[/quote]

I didn’t realize felines had a religious affiliation. :hmmm:


#17

Why do Catholics primarily call themselves Catholic and not Christian?

ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?Pgnu=1&Pg=Forum4&recnu=24&number=432027

catholic /christian
Question from mandy on 3/17/2005:
ewtn.com/images/printer.gif[left]I was wondering why when speaking with catholics that they do not refer to themselves as christians but call them selves catholics instead, aren’t both one in the same?
[/left]
Answer by Catholic Answers on 3/26/2005:

Dear Mandy, Catholics were the first Christians. For Catholics “Christian” has come to include all those who have been baptized, including many who do not accept all of the deposit of the faith. For us, to be a Catholic is to accept all of the teachings of the early Church. Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


#18

[quote=marinebiogurl04]I always considered myself just Christian all my life. Then I was talking to a Catholic friend of mine and he used the term protestant and I had no idea what it meant. So, I asked him what it meant and he said it was what they called people who protested the Church. I now use that term and I don’t have a probelm with it, but then agian, I am planing to become Catholic. Some people might have a probelm with it.
[/quote]

He was wrong. to protest comes to english fvia the old french protester which itself is from the latin protestari - to witness. the etymology being from testis a witness.

The use of the word in Reformation times dates from the original “Protestatio” or statement of witness issued by 5 reforming princes and 14 cities of the Holy Roman Empire in 1529 at the Diet of Speyer. A declaration of faith in essence. The word protestant dating from then and applied to Lutheranism had a much more positive sense than the modern anti roman sense we are now familiar with and ,as I pointed out on another thread, this negativity is underlined by the modern misuse of the verb in American english where it has lost any positive meaning and is divorced from its etymological roots.

The word is much more commonly used of non catholic ecclesial communities and their members in Europe than in the U.S.


#19

[quote=ruzz]We aren’t protesting the RCC anymore. In fact, most churches don’t really care or know what goes on in a Catholic church. The church is not a concern to them at all.

I’ve NEVER heard a person call themselves “Protestant” in my (non catholic) church. We call ourselves Christian.

I would reverse the question a bit.

Why do Catholics primarily call themselves Catholics and not Christians?
I know many do, but when asked what religion, generally, Cats will say the term Catholic before Christian.
[/quote]

I call myself Catholic to distinguish myself from those who do not follow the Church according to the Pope and what I consider true Christianity.


#20

Even if one were to use the affirmative definition of “protest” as “to witness” to describe “Protestants” in the 16th century, the same idea is that the Protestants were “protesting against” or “witnessing against” the Church. Their name derives from the “against” aspect. That is to say, the name is conditional upon the existence of the “Other” (the Catholic Church). Concluding that the name was derived because "originally protestant meant to show belief in Christ without acceptance of (i.e. “protest against”) the magisterium" still maintains the “against”. Their belief in Christ exists “against” the Magisterium.

I believe this definition accurately reflects the meaning that you were trying to convey in your original post:

  1. To affirm in a public or formal manner; to bear witness; to declare solemnly; to avow.

However, this still doesn’t support your assertion. The name derives from the fact that Protestants affirmed in a public manner, bore witness to and declared solemnly their opposition to the Church vs. a derivation in which Protestants affirmed in a public manner, bore witness to and declared solemnly their belief in Christ.

Syn: To affirm; asseverate; assert; aver; attest; testify; declare; profess. See Affirm.

There would have been no “Protestants” without the existence of the Catholic Church so the name clearly is not representing merely a “testimony” to a belief in Christ.

Every history that I can find on the emergence of the word “Protestant” supports the “against the Church” vs. “for Christ” definition. Here is a typical example:

The term Protestant originally applied to the group of princes and imperial cities who** protested** the decision by the 1529 Diet of Speyer to reverse course and enforce the 1521 Edict of Worms. The 1521 edict forbade Lutheran teachings within the Holy Roman Empire. The 1526 session of the Diet had agreed to toleration of Lutheran teachings (on the basis of Cuius regio, eius religio) until a General Council could be held to settle the question, but by 1529 the Catholic forces felt they had gathered enough power to end the toleration without waiting for a Council.
arthistoryclub.com/art_history/Protestant


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