Protestant Beliefs | What's the main of Protestant Beliefs? (2022)

Major Protestant beliefs

When talking about the Protestant Beliefs we should know that The chief characteristics of original Protestantism were the acceptance of the Bible as the only source of infallible revealed truth, the belief in the universal priesthood of all believers, and the doctrine that a Christian is justified in his relationship to God by faith alone, not by good works or dispensations of the church. There was a tendency to minimize liturgy and to stress preaching by the ministry and the reading of the Bible. Although Protestants rejected asceticism, an elevated standard of personal morality was advanced; in some sects, notably Puritanism, a high degree of austerity was reached. Their ecclesiastical polity, principally in such forms as episcopacy (government by bishops), Congregationalism, or Presbyterianism, was looked upon by Protestants as a return to the early Christianity described in the New Testament.

Protestantism saw many theological developments, particularly after the 18th cent. Under the influence of romanticism, which stressed the subjective element in religion rather than the revelation of the Bible, the formal systems of early Protestant theology began to dissolve; this doctrine was best expressed by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who placed religious feeling at the center of the Christian life. Along with this came the assertion that the fatherhood of God and the unity of humanity were the basic themes of Christianity. Later there was a neo-orthodox movement, which, under the leadership of Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr, sought a return to a theology of revelation; a new school of Bible interpretation as expressed in the work of Rudolf Bultmann; and a theology, derived in part from existentialism, developed by Paul Tillich.

Main principles of protestant beliefs:

Various experts on the subject tried to determine what makes a Christian denomination a part of Protestant Beliefs. A common consensus approved by most of them is that if a Christian denomination is to be considered Protestant, it must acknowledge the following three fundamental principles of Protestantism.

Protestant Beliefs | What's the main of Protestant Beliefs? (1)

Scripture alone:

The belief, emphasized by Luther, in the Bible as the highest source of authority for the church. The early churches of the Reformation believed in a critical, yet serious, reading of scripture and holding the Bible as a source of authority higher than that of church tradition. The many cases of abuse that had occurred in the Western Church before the Protestant Reformation led the Reformers to reject much of its tradition. In the early 20th century, a less critical reading of the Bible developed in the United States—leading to a “fundamentalist” reading of Scripture. Christian fundamentalists read the Bible as the “inerrant, infallible” Word of God, as do the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, but interpret it in a literalist fashion without using the historical-critical method. Methodists and Anglicans differ from Lutherans and the Reformed on this doctrine as they teach prima Scriptura, which holds that Scripture is the primary source for Christian doctrine, but that “tradition, experience, and reason” can nurture the Christian religion as long as they are in harmony with the Bible.
“Biblical Christianity” focused on a deep study of the Bible is characteristic of most Protestants as opposed to “Church Christianity”, focused on performing rituals and good works, represented by Catholic and Orthodox traditions. However, Quakers and Pentecostalists emphasize the Holy Spirit and personal closeness to God.

(Video) Explaining Protestant Denominations!

Justification by faith alone:

The belief is that believers are justified, or pardoned for sin, solely on the condition of faith in Christ rather than a combination of faith and good works. For Protestants, good works are a necessary consequence rather than the cause of justification. However, while justification is by faith alone, there is the position that faith is not nude fides.[ John Calvin explained that “it is, therefore, faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone: just as it is the heat alone of the sun which warms the earth, and yet in the sun it is not alone.” Lutheran and Reformed Christians differ from Methodists in their understanding of this doctrine.

The universal priesthood of believers:

The universal priesthood of believers implies the right and duty of the Christian laity not only to read the Bible in the vernacular but also to take part in the government and all the public affairs of the Church. It is opposed to the hierarchical system which puts the essence and authority of the Church in an exclusive priesthood, and which makes ordained priests the necessary mediators between God and the people. It is distinguished from the concept of the priesthood of all believers, which did not grant individuals the right to interpret the Bible apart from the Christian community at large because universal priesthood opened the door to such a possibility. Some scholars cite that this doctrine tends to subsume all distinctions in the church under a single spiritual entity. Calvin referred to the universal priesthood as an expression of the relation between the believer and his God, including the freedom of a Christian to come to God through Christ without human mediation. He also maintained that this principle recognizes Christ as prophet, priest, and king and that his priesthood is shared with his people.

Trinity in Protestant Beliefs:

Protestants who adhere to the Nicene Creed believe in three persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) as one God.
Movements emerging around the time of the Protestant Reformation, but not a part of Protestantism, e.g. Unitarianism also rejects the Trinity. This often serves as a reason for exclusion of the Unitarian Universalism, Oneness Pentecostalism, and other movements from Protestantism by various observers. Unitarianism continues to have a presence mainly in Transylvania, England, and the United States, as well as elsewhere.

Five Solae:

In Protestant Beliefs, The Five Solae are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the reformers’ basic differences in theological beliefs in opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone”, “only”, or “single”.
The use of the phrases as summaries of teaching emerged overtime during the Reformation, based on the overarching Lutheran and Reformed principle of sola scriptura (by scripture alone). This idea contains the four main doctrines on the Bible: that its teaching is needed for salvation (necessity); that all the doctrine necessary for salvation comes from the Bible alone (sufficiency); that everything taught in the Bible is correct (inerrancy); and that, by the Holy Spirit overcoming sin, believers may read and understand truth from the Bible itself, though understanding is difficult, so the means used to guide individual believers to the true teaching is often mutual discussion within the church (clarity).
The necessity and inerrancy were well-established ideas, garnering little criticism, though they later came under debate from outside during the Enlightenment. The most contentious idea at the time though was the notion that anyone could simply pick up the Bible and learn enough to gain salvation. Though the reformers were concerned with ecclesiology (the doctrine of how the church as a body works), they had a different understanding of the process in which truths in scripture were applied to the life of believers, compared to the Catholics’ idea that certain people within the church, or ideas that were old enough, had a special status in giving an understanding of the text.

The second main principle, sola fide (by faith alone), states that faith in Christ is sufficient alone for eternal salvation and justification. Though argued from scripture, and hence logically consequent to sola scriptura, this is the guiding principle of the work of Luther and the later reformers. Because sola scriptura placed the Bible as the only source of teaching, sola fide epitomizes the main thrust of the teaching the reformers wanted to get back to, namely the direct, close, personal connection between Christ and the believer, hence the reformers’ contention that their work was Christocentric.
The other solas, as statements, emerged later, but the thinking they represent was also part of the early Reformation.

(Video) Basic Protestant Christian Beliefs

Solus Christus: Christ alone

The Protestants characterize the dogma concerning the Pope as Christ’s representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of works made meritorious by Christ, and the Catholic idea of a treasury of the merits of Christ and his saints, as a denial that Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Catholics, on the other hand, maintained the traditional understanding of Judaism on these questions and appealed to the universal consensus of Christian tradition.

Sola Gratia: Grace alone

Protestants perceived Catholic salvation to be dependent upon the grace of God and the merits of one’s works. The reformers posited that salvation is a gift of God (i.e., God’s act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit owing to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone. Consequently, they argued that a sinner is not accepted by God on account of the change wrought in the believer by God’s grace and that the believer is accepted without regard for the merit of his works, for no one deserves salvation.

Soli Deo Gloria: Glory to God alone

All glory is due to God alone since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. The reformers believed that human beings—even saints canonized by the Catholic Church, the popes, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy—are not worthy of the glory.

Protestant Beliefs | Christ’s presence in the Eucharist:

The Protestant movement began to diverge into several distinct branches in the mid-to-late 16th century. One of the central points of divergence was controversy over the Eucharist. Early Protestants rejected the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, which teaches that the bread and wine used in the sacrificial rite of the Mass lose their natural substance by being transformed into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. They disagreed with one another concerning the presence of Christ and his body and blood in Holy Communion.
• Lutherans hold that within the Lord’s Supper the consecrated elements of bread and wine are the true body and blood of Christ “in, with, and under the form” of bread and wine for all those who eat and drink it, a doctrine that the Formula of Concord calls the Sacramental union. God earnestly offers to all who receive the sacrament, forgiveness of sins, and eternal salvation.
• The Reformed churches emphasize the real spiritual presence, or sacramental presence, of Christ, saying that the sacrament is a sanctifying grace through which the elect believer does not actually partake of Christ, but merely with the bread and wine rather than in the elements. Calvinists deny the Lutheran assertion that all communicants, both believers, and unbelievers, orally receive Christ’s body and blood in the elements of the sacrament but instead affirm that Christ is united to the believer through faith—toward which the supper is an outward and visible aid. This is often referred to as dynamic presence.
• Anglicans and Methodists refuse to define the Presence, preferring to leave it a mystery. The Prayer Books describe the bread and wine as outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace which is the Body and Blood of Christ. However, the words of their liturgies suggest that one can hold to a belief in the Real Presence and Spiritual and Sacramental Present at the same time. For example, “… and you have fed us with the spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood;” “…the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, and for assuring us in these holy mysteries…” American Book of Common Prayer, 1977, pp. 365–366.
• Anabaptists hold a popular simplification of the Zwinglian view, without concern for theological intricacies as hinted at above, may see the Lord’s Supper merely as a symbol of the shared faith of the participants, a commemoration of the facts of the crucifixion, and a reminder of their standing together as the body of Christ (a view referred to as memorial).

World Religions

(Video) Bible Study Series: Basic Protestant Beliefs

Sources: 1, 2

Read also:

Catholic And Protestant | What’s The main differences between them?

Paganism Religion | Common questions on Paganism Part 2

(Video) Catholic VS Protestant ll Differences Between Catholics and protestants

Gnosticism today | Is Gnosticism Still Alive?

Simonians | Founder, Beliefs, Doctrine and More

Related

Was this article helpful?

YesNo

(Video) The Difference between Catholics and Protestant Christians

FAQs

What are the main Protestant beliefs? ›

The chief characteristics of original Protestantism were the acceptance of the Bible as the only source of infallible revealed truth, the belief in the universal priesthood of all believers, and the doctrine that a Christian is justified in his relationship to God by faith alone, not by good works or dispensations of ...

What were the main beliefs of the Protestant Reformation? ›

The reformers rejected the authority of the pope as well as many of the principles and practices of Catholicism of that time. The essential tenets of the Reformation are that the Bible is the sole authority for all matters of faith and conduct and that salvation is by God's grace and by faith in Jesus Christ.

What are the 3 major types of Protestants? ›

Evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran, Calvinist, and United (Lutheran and Reformed) Protestant traditions in Europe, and those with strong ties to them.

What is the importance of Protestant? ›

The Protestant Reformation was a religious reform movement that swept through Europe in the 1500s. It resulted in the creation of a branch of Christianity called Protestantism, a name used collectively to refer to the many religious groups that separated from the Roman Catholic Church due to differences in doctrine.

What does Protestant mean in religion? ›

A Protestant is a Christian who belongs to the branch of the Christian church that separated from the Catholic church in the sixteenth century. adjective. Protestant means relating to Protestants or their churches. Most Protestant churches now have some women ministers.

What is another name for Protestant? ›

Synonyms
  • Pentecostalist.
  • chapelgoer.
  • Anglican.
  • Christian.
  • Mormon.
  • Episcopalian.
  • Protestant Church.
  • Pentecostal.

Do Protestants believe in original sin? ›

Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin equated original sin with concupiscence (or "hurtful desire"), affirming that it persisted even after baptism and completely destroyed freedom to do good, proposing that original sin involved a loss of free will except to sin.

What is known as the Protestant movement? ›

The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority, arising from what were perceived to be errors, ...

What are the main differences between Catholic and Protestant beliefs? ›

Generally speaking, Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers in the 16th century espoused the belief that salvation is attained only through faith in Jesus and his atoning sacrifice on the cross (sola fide), while Catholicism taught that salvation comes through a combination of faith plus good works (e.g., living a ...

Who do Protestants pray? ›

This veneration is also categorically by the Protestant Church as unbiblical. According to Reformation views, every person may and should pray directly to God.

Where did Protestants come from? ›

Protestantism, Christian religious movement that began in northern Europe in the early 16th century as a reaction to medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices. Along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism became one of three major forces in Christianity.

What is the most popular Protestant religion? ›

Baptists are the largest Protestant grouping in the United States accounting for one-third of all American Protestants.

Who is the head of Protestant church? ›

Martin Luther, often called the father of Protestantism, fundamentally changed the Christian world through his force of will and new ideas.

How many Protestants are there in the world? ›

There are between 800 million and 1 billion Protestants worldwide, among approximately 2.5 billion Christians.

Who are Protestants 7? ›

Those who followed the teachings of Martin Luther. Those who protested against Martin Luther's cause.

How do you use Protestant in a sentence? ›

making a protest.
  1. The Protestant denominations include the Methodists, the Presbyterians and the Baptists.
  2. The family was staunchly Protestant.
  3. Is he a Catholic or a Protestant?
  4. The students of Umtata High School were mostly Protestant.
  5. Most Protestant churches now have women ministers.
24 Jul 2020

Where does the Protestant work ethic come from? ›

The phrase was initially coined in 1904–1905 by Max Weber in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber asserted that Protestant ethics and values along with the Calvinist doctrine of asceticism and predestination enabled the rise and spread of capitalism.

Who were the Protestants by what other names was Protestantism known? ›

Final Answer The protestants were the people who initially led the reformation movement. They were Christians who believed that the clergy was corrupt and indulged in some malpractices. Protestantism is known as different names in distinct countries like Calvinism, Presbyterianism, and puritanism.

What is the opposite of Protestant? ›

Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is the original and first Christian Church. Protestants follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as transmitted through the Old & New Testament. Protestants believe that the Catholic Church stemmed from the original Christian Church, but became corrupt.

What's the difference between a Protestant and a Baptist? ›

Baptist, member of a group of Protestant Christians who share the basic beliefs of most Protestants but who insist that only believers should be baptized and that it should be done by immersion rather than by the sprinkling or pouring of water.

Which religions believe in the Trinity? ›

The doctrine of the Trinity is considered to be one of the central Christian affirmations about God.

What's the first sin in the Bible? ›

Traditionally, the origin has been ascribed to the sin of the first man, Adam, who disobeyed God in eating the forbidden fruit (of knowledge of good and evil) and, in consequence, transmitted his sin and guilt by heredity to his descendants. The doctrine has its basis in the Bible.

Do Protestants believe in Adam and Eve? ›

The story of Adam and Eve was of fundamental importance to sixteenth-century Protestant reformers who sought to ground Christian belief and salvation in the free grace of God.

What makes you a child of God? ›

You are a child of God if you have believed… a belief that causes you to surrender your life to Jesus as your LORD (Creator and Owner). A belief that keeps on believing and keeps on surrendering to your LORD. In other words, God's child! If we are God's child we will love our heavenly Father.

Who was the first Protestant? ›

Martin Luther was a German monk, theologian, university professor, priest, father of Protestantism, and church reformer whose ideas started the Protestant Reformation. Luther taught that salvation is a free gift of God and received only through true faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin.

What were the effects of the Protestant Reformation? ›

The effects of the Protestant Reformation were profound on every level. Literacy rates improved dramatically as Protestants were encouraged to read the Bible for themselves, and education became a higher priority. The concept of propaganda was established and used to advance personal or group agendas.

When did the Protestant Reformation start and end? ›

Historians usually date the start of the Protestant Reformation to the 1517 publication of Martin Luther's “95 Theses.” Its ending can be placed anywhere from the 1555 Peace of Augsburg, which allowed for the coexistence of Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany, to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty ...

What is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bible? ›

The Differences

In short, Catholics have 46 books, while Protestants have 39. Thus, Catholics have seven more books and also some additions within shared books: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach / Ben Sira, 1–2 Maccabees, Baruch, and the additions to Daniel and Esther.

What are the beliefs of Catholic religion? ›

The main tenets of the Catholic religion are that 1) God is universal and loves everyone; 2) Jesus Christ came to save all the people; 3) not formally belonging to the Catholic church is objectively sinful, and 4) no one who is sinful makes it into heaven.

What do Protestants believe about sacraments? ›

Many Protestant denominations, such as those within the Reformed tradition, identify two sacraments instituted by Christ, the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) and Baptism. The Lutheran sacraments include these two, often adding Confession (and Absolution) as a third sacrament.

What are the main differences between Catholic and Protestant beliefs? ›

Generally speaking, Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers in the 16th century espoused the belief that salvation is attained only through faith in Jesus and his atoning sacrifice on the cross (sola fide), while Catholicism taught that salvation comes through a combination of faith plus good works (e.g., living a ...

Who do Protestants pray? ›

This veneration is also categorically by the Protestant Church as unbiblical. According to Reformation views, every person may and should pray directly to God.

What is the difference between Protestant and Baptist? ›

Baptist, member of a group of Protestant Christians who share the basic beliefs of most Protestants but who insist that only believers should be baptized and that it should be done by immersion rather than by the sprinkling or pouring of water. (This view, however, is shared by others who are not Baptists.)

Who are Protestants 7? ›

Those who followed the teachings of Martin Luther. Those who protested against Martin Luther's cause.

Do Protestants believe in original sin? ›

Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin equated original sin with concupiscence (or "hurtful desire"), affirming that it persisted even after baptism and completely destroyed freedom to do good, proposing that original sin involved a loss of free will except to sin.

What is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bible? ›

The Differences

In short, Catholics have 46 books, while Protestants have 39. Thus, Catholics have seven more books and also some additions within shared books: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach / Ben Sira, 1–2 Maccabees, Baruch, and the additions to Daniel and Esther.

What are the beliefs of Catholic religion? ›

The main tenets of the Catholic religion are that 1) God is universal and loves everyone; 2) Jesus Christ came to save all the people; 3) not formally belonging to the Catholic church is objectively sinful, and 4) no one who is sinful makes it into heaven.

Do Protestants pray to God? ›

Protestants' Prayer of Thanks

Almighty and eternal God, we desire to praise thy holy name, for so graciously raising us up, in soundness of body and mind, to see the light of this day.

How many Protestants are there in the world? ›

There are between 800 million and 1 billion Protestants worldwide, among approximately 2.5 billion Christians.

Why do Protestants not pray to Mary? ›

John Calvin

Calvin stated that Mary cannot be the advocate of the faithful, since she needs God's grace as much as any other human being. If the Catholic Church praises her as Queen of Heaven, it is blasphemous and contradicts her own intention, because she is praised and not God.

Are Methodist and Protestant the same? ›

Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John Wesley.

Can Baptists drink alcohol? ›

In 2006, Baptist approaches to drinking alcoholic beverages range from teetotalism (complete abstinence) to temperance (moderation) to alcoholism (addiction). These three patterns also exist in the Bible and in Baptist history. Clearly, the Bible contains evidence of the acceptability of alcohol.

What is a purgatory state? ›

purgatory, the condition, process, or place of purification or temporary punishment in which, according to medieval Christian and Roman Catholic belief, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for heaven.

Who is the head of Protestant church? ›

Martin Luther, often called the father of Protestantism, fundamentally changed the Christian world through his force of will and new ideas.

Do Catholics pray to Mary? ›

Catholics do not pray to Mary as if she were God. Prayer to Mary is memory of the great mysteries of our faith (Incarnation, Redemption through Christ in the rosary), praise to God for the wonderful things he has done in and through one of his creatures (Hail Mary) and intercession (second half of the Hail Mary).

What are Protestants for kids? ›

Protestants were Christians who accepted the basic early Christian creeds (statements of belief), accepted the Bible as the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice, believed in salvation by faith alone, and accepted two sacraments instead of the seven insisted on by Roman Catholics.

Videos

1. 10 Differences Between CATHOLIC and PROTESTANT Christians
(FTD Facts)
2. Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Crash Course World History #218
(CrashCourse)
3. Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?
(Ascension Presents)
4. History 101: The Protestant Reformation | National Geographic
(National Geographic)
5. Why Protestant Doctrine Is Unbiblical
(Catholic Answers)
6. Mainline RESURRECTS? and The Weird Way We Categorize Protestant Denominations
(Ready to Harvest)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 11/29/2022

Views: 5869

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.