Philip Hartman

Catholics and Protestants

Catholics and Protestants

I got this question in an email from one of my new friends in China who says she is not a Christian but has been attending church and feels at peace there. "I really got puzzled when I faced the two things "Anglo-Catholic"&"Catholic "&"Christian".Would you do me a favor to differentiate them ,or give me some advice about how to distinguish them?" Only about one week earlier, I had a young Chinese woman ask me "Do you think Catholics worship the same God?" I deduced from these two questions that there are a lot of questions about the various churches and denominations in the minds of the Chinese who are just now taking a look at the Christian faith. Here is my feeble attempt to explain: Christian - All those who believe Jesus is God's Son and that Jesus paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross for us. There are two major types of Christians; Catholics and Protestants. Catholics are Christians organized as the Roman Catholic Church. These Christians generally accept the authority of the Pope in Rome. I believe this is an issue for Chinese Catholics. The Chinese Government is uncomfortable with Chinese Catholics taking direction from the Pope in Rome and instead wants them to be autonomous. (No foreign intervention.) Protestants are generally Christians who are not Catholic. Protestants broke away from the Catholic church in the middle ages. Protestants have organized themselves into many different denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. I suppose you could consider the Three Self Patriotic Movement in China a Protestant denomination. I am not sure what Anglo-Catholic means but I think it would be Catholics of European decent. In other words white-faced Catholics and not those Catholics from Africa, the Orient, and or Latin America. One thing I am not sure about would be Orthodox Christians such as the Greek Orthodox church or the Russian Orthodox church. They are definitely not Catholic but may not consider themselves Protestant. Perhaps I should say Christians are of three main types (Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox). I hope that helps.

Duration: 2 min

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