Catholicism vs. Protestantism can be traced back to Christianity developments in
Europe in the 1500’s. The term Protestant refers to the churches that developed
from the protests or objections of Martin Luther to Catholic practices. Martin
Luther was a German Monk who witnessed the corruptions of the Roman Church in the
16th century. As appointed chaplain, he raised awareness of the abuses that he had
seen. Instead of preaching the faithful to earn forgiveness through good works and
prayer, the church was selling indulgences or forgiveness of spiritual guilt due
The Birth of Catholicism vs. Protestantism
In was in 1517 that Martin Luther took a major stand against the Church for one of
its selling campaigns. The proceeds went to pay off debts of a few churchman rather
than for any purposes directly related to the church. Martin Luther posted his famous
Ninety-five theses on the church door denouncing the corrupted church practices and
the papal who ran it. The Protestant principle is the belief that the Bible or Scripture
is the sole authority on Christian wisdom not the creeds and doctrines of the Catholic
Catholicism vs. Protestantism: Where They Agree
Both Catholics and Protestants agree that Faith is necessary for salvation. The
faith is believing in the blood of Christ and his dying for our sins. However,
this is where the agreement between the two different churches end.
Catholicism vs. Protestantism: Where They Disagree
The Catholic Church believed that men and women must demonstrate their Christian
faith by doing good work and leading good lives. By doing so earns them consideration
for a future in heaven.
Martin Luther believed that faith alone was the way that Christians would reach bliss
in the after life. Faith was given by God but it was not earned by naturally sinful
man. This belief as outlined in the doctrine of Justification by Faith clearly separates
Protestants from Catholics.
In additions to faith, Catholics also believed that good works are necessary for
salvation. The good works are considered works of love or from the heart.
Protestants believed that forgiveness is external or legal. Catholics teaches that
forgiveness changes our souls and provides a share of the divine nature.
Protestant believed the importance of Jesus as man's connection to God and rejected
any roles of Saints and Mary as preached by the Catholic church.
Doctrine of Justification
By 1520, Martin Luther became famous for his Doctrine of Justification by faith.
So much so that he was excommunicated by the Pope in the following year. But it
did not stop Martin Luther from spreading his message. By the mid 1520's, Lutheran
congregations rejecting the papal authority and condemning the evil Rome were set
up all over Germany and spread into Scandinavia. The division within Western Christianity
has now been permanently engraved in Christian history.
Although there are more Catholics than Protestants in the world, it is the reverse
in China. There are more Protestants than Catholics here.