When to Call Folks Protestant?


I read one opinion, from a non-Catholic, that a cult (including Lutherans) will teach any of these:

  • Infant baptism
  • Transubstantiation
  • Denial of Eternal Security
  • Anything but KJV


Where are you at that “The majority” of non-Catholics consider Cathicism “a cult”. That was literally the first time I’ve ever heard that, and honestly…I chuckled a bit.


And for a seeker of truth, there in no definitive mechanism to correct this within Christianity except Catholicism.



I haven’t found that to be the case at all, at least here in Pittsburgh.


All I can tell you is my experience. In my small (25,000) population Southern Conservative City our ministerial alliance is made up of about 40 churches from various denominations. Mostly Southern Baptist, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ and a couple of Pentecostal churches. It also includes our single Catholic Church. If those other churches considered the Catholic church to be a cult they would not have been invited to participate in the alliance.

Most people aren’t educated well in history, especially church history. My grandmother believed John the Baptist started the Baptist church. Also, most people want to defend their “church” and admitting that their congregation split off from someone else smacks of being against their church and they don’t like that.

Every educated person I’ve talked to, that studies church history admits that protestant churches came out of the Catholic church and American Evangelical churches came out of the early protestant churches.

And finally, Evangelicals don’t disagree with everything Catholics stand for. We agree on many things. The Christology of evangelicals and Catholics are pretty much identical. We both believe in the Virgin Birth, the Trinity, the New Testament as inspired scripture, the necessity of faith, in sharing the Gospel in order to bring people to faith, in helping the poor and needy, the vast majority of evangelicals are pro-life and pro-traditional family/marriage.


This is probably an independent fundamentalist KJV only Baptist. They are a very small minority of American Evangelicalism.


I think it was a Baptist post. The word cult meaning worship, fell out of use and was revived in the 19th century and could have a pejorative meaning, but the formal meaning is a system of religious beliefs and rituals. Even baptists have rituals of baptism and Lord’s Supper, so could be called a cult.


Protestants are by definition Western Christian, as they split from the Western Catholic Church (as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox Church). They derive derive from the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and all share a basic western Christeology that is expressed differently in the east. It was spread worldwide through European colonization.

Protestants reject Tradition as a source of divine revelation. As the sacraments are derived from traditions practiced continuously since the earliest days, rather than explicit documentation in scripture, only baptism, marriage, and ordinations (laying of hands) are generally practiced. The formulation as divine mysteries used in the East is foriegn to Protestantism, as they are only encouraged to contemplate scripture.


One usually protests something that is “put over”, or “put on”, or make obligatory or lawful on someone else. Much different than disagreement that is on equal footing or that does not affect the other’s freedom, or require change.

Hence the the historic and appropriate,though perhaps derogatory term used by Catholics, “protestant”, denying "lutherans’ the freedom of choice and faith practice by the civil and church authorities way back when, as Itwin first pointed out.


Glad to hear that those are the marks of protestantism.


I encountered this for the first time as a teen in Ohio when attending a Southern Baptist church.

Later it became rampant in the Chick Tracts.


Not necessarly true. Like many protestant differences, some of the protestant denoms you list above could believe Catholics are Christians and at the same time some not. If the ones that do would like the invite the Catholics to the alliance what would the ones who do not do? Which ones would get their way and how is this decided? This would be most like the scene in my small town.



I’m surprised. But I’m happy to hear it.

Sounds as though there is progress being made in ecumenical relationships.

I still find a lot of anti-Catholicism on the internet, but I seek them out. So, that probably skews my perspective.

God bless you,

De Maria


When I moved to the South, there were two types of Christians. Catholic and Protestant. In our circle, if you weren’t Catholic, you were Protestant.


When they aren’t in union with the Church and the pope.


This would certainly cover all the “cafeteria Catholics” who believe they can pick and choose which doctrines of the Church they follow, and which ones they ignore.

But it would also include the Orthodox, who have not made the doctrinal changes that were created by Protestant Reformers, and whose spiritual offspring continue to make.


Exactly right.

We classify in order to understand what our work is to do.


Sounds like you are lumping Orthodox in with Protestants, and there is a very different kind of work, and different kind of unity.


It’s all God’s work. When He presents a person to me I work with what He gave me.

They are all protestors of one form or another. Category names don’t serve much purpose to me.


The original protest was not against the Catholic Church.
This is what protest looks like.

Bishop Lori and LCMS President Harrison protest the HHS Mandate together.

That’s the real meaning of "Protestant ".

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