#1 Can Protestants Go to Heaven?
Yes, Protestants believe they can enter Heaven but not until after the resurrection, when God determines who is worthy of paradise and who is being damned to hell.
During this end-time known to Christians as ‘the last judgment,’ God will determine the holy fate of the bodies that have been laid to rest.
In certain Christian religions, it is believed that the soul goes directly to Heaven after death; however, in Protestantism, it is believed the body has to wait for the judgement day for finalization. Theoretically, the body is resurrected, judged, and then given its verdict regarding passage into Heaven.
There is some disagreement about the connectivity of the soul and body, but most Protestants will believe in some kind of resurrection and judgment day. Once the soul enters Heaven, they are able to live there eternally in a world of no evil.
- Matthew 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
- And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” – Hebrews 9:27
- How Do Protestants Go to Heaven? Catholic Answers; September 27th, 2016.
#2 Can Protestants Pray to the Rosary?
Yes, Protestants could use the Rosary if they want to, however, it is highly uncommon because the Rosary is a set of ten beads meant to help Catholics keep track of their Catholic prayers. Being that a Protestant follows the Holy Bible and does not recite Catholic Prayers, they would have little to no use for the Rosary.
A common complaint against the Rosary is that it’s not mentioned in the Bible. This is an under-discussed subject because it is so rare that a Protestant wants to pray to the Rosary. Even if the argument is minuscule, there is still some form of debate on the internet regarding its acceptability.
In the discussion from a rosary publication, Can Protestants Pray to The Rosary? One writes:
“If you study The Visions of the Children (of Medjugorje), where Mary has been appearing for many years, she calls herself the Mother of all, Catholics or non-Catholics. She helps bring us to Jesus. The Rosary is a meditation on the life of Jesus. All parts of the Rosary are in Holy Scripture.”‘ It surprises some Catholics that Protestants do not use the Rosary, while another minority would find it offensive. Most allow each other to worship as they see fit, recommending to their fellow Christian brother or sister that they pray in the way that feels most natural to them.
- “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” – Matthew 6:7.
- The Rosary for Protestants; October 7th, 2019.
#3 Can Protestants Cross Themselves?
Yes, Protestants are included in the group of Christian subsects that cross themselves (in cases such as entering a church, saying a quick prayer, or as part of one’s personal piety).
Crossing oneself simply meant they are showing respect and humility to God’s almighty power in that moment. Regardless of the tradition being predominantly Catholic, there are many non-Catholics that would utilize the gesture to communicate the same message.
To add an additional perspective to the controversial matter, other Protestants would say, “yes, it is lawful, but this does not mean that it’s appropriate,” (viewpoint explained here). It could be seen as a distraction, an attempt for attention, and boisterously disguising a performative gesture as a prayer to God. In this school of thought, it is described that a blessing should be kept private and between only the person and God (not all the people around that could witness you praying or crossing yourself).
- “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
· “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” – Acts 20:35.
- Ask Doug – Protestants Crossing Themselves When They Pray; Canon Press, December 28th, 2012.
#4 Can Protestants Go to Catholic Confession?
Yes, but it is a complicated process that most Protestants do not initiate. The Catholic church restricts non-Catholics from participating in their sacraments (such as Communion or Baptisms, which may only be attended by Catholics).
There is dispute that Confession is a Catholic practice that should not be given to outsiders, while others see it as a more open-ended sacrament. Another portion of the Christian population would explain that Confession can simply be made privately, and directly to God, without the need for a Catholic priest.
For a Protestant to receive Confession, non-Catholics would have to obtain these special circumstances and approvals:
“844:3 Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick to members of the oriental churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they ask on their own for the sacraments are properly disposed. This holds also for members of other churches which, in the judgment of the Apostolic See, are in the same condition as the oriental churches as far as these sacraments are concerned.
“844:4 If the danger of death is present or other grave necessity, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or the national conference of bishops, Catholic ministers may licitly administer these sacraments to other Christians who do not have full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community, and on their own ask for it, provided they manifest Catholic faith in these sacraments and are properly disposed.”
There are also exceptions such as:
- A Protestant converting to Catholicism
- A Protestant that is not highly-dedicated
- A Catholic priest that finds no issue with it
A person must be baptized in the Christian religion to receive Confession, so this would be the first step for any Protestant. Of course, the Catholic Church would prefer one is baptized in the Catholic denomination if receiving their distinct sacraments, such as Confession.
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9.
- “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” – Romans 10:9-11.
- How Can Protestants be Saved – EWTN TheCatholicThing.org; Published May 9th, 2014.
#5 Can Protestants Drink Alcohol?
Yes, about half of all Protestants drink (as of a survey in 2015 conducted by Pew Research). The other half of the population follow the guidelines set by the Protestant Church that states it is dangerous, addictive, and harmful to one’s relationship to God.
Regardless of any morality lectures given by the Protestant leaders, many Christians still drink.
Knowing that alcohol is a vehicle to larger issues, Protestants may be wary of alcohol and only drink in moderation or for special occasions. There are multiple camps and schools of thought on this issue, leading to Americans having very differentiated outlooks on the subject.
PewResearch.org found that:
- 51% of Protestants drink alcohol
- 15% of Protestants engaged in binge drinking
To break these figures down even more:
- 45% of White Evangelical Protestants drank alcohol
- 66% of White Mainline Protestants drank alcohol
- 48% of Black Protestants drank alcohol
To this point, Catholics had 60% that had consumed alcohol in the last thirty days, surpassing that of the average Protestant intake.
- “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” – Ephesians 5:18.
- Factsandtrends.net – Wine and Spirit? Most Churchgoers Still Avoid Alcohol; November 27th, 2018.
#6 Can Protestants Eat Pork?
Yes, Christians can consume pork. The reference to pork is due to the Scripture, Leviticus 11, in which God describes that animal with hoofs that does not spit out their cud would be considered unclean.
Christians can eat most anything, without any official regulations restricting their dietary practices.
The religions that do not consume pork are:
- Leviticus 11: NIV. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud. And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
- Why Can Christians Eat Pork?; July 21st, 2017.
- Hope Through Prophecy – Unclean Meat: Can Christians Eat Pork; November 27th, 2019.
#7 Can Protestants Divorce?
Yes, Protestants are allowed to divorce but it is strongly discouraged, frowned upon, and viewed as a last resort. The main religion that has forbidden divorce in the past was Catholicism, but the progressivism of the world has significantly impacted the approach of all faiths.
If you were a member of a very legalistic or conservative Protestant Church, divorce could be considered a sin. Most contemporary church members do not see it this way, accepting that sometimes bad romantic pairings are made. Others argue that the only reason a person should be granted a divorce is due to adultery.
We see a historical shift in the view of divorce in the 6th century, and it has only become more acceptable and forgivable since.
Since the Bible writes in Matthew 19:6:“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate,” these interpretations can be taken for law. Particularly in scriptures such as Luke 16:18, where it says, “he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
Lifeway Research surveyed the views on divorce. When asking Protestant Pastors, the findings of when divorce is a sin are:
- 61% the couple no longer loves each other
- 39% one is addicted to pornography
- 32% one commits adultery
- 28% abuse is present
- 27% one abandons the other
- 19% none of these are a sin
- 2% not sure
“About one in seven Americans are saying divorce is a sin in all of these cases, more than a third don’t think any of these would be a sin, and almost half believe some circumstances would be sinful, but not others,” says McConnell.’
- “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” – Luke 16:18.
- Factsandtrends.net The Complicated Story Behind Bible Belt Divorce Rates; February 11th, 2014.
#8 Can Protestants Do Exorcisms?
Yes, Protestants or any official Ordinary can perform an exorcism. Although it is permissible and perhaps even considered honorary by some, most mainline Protestants do not perform exorcisms.
It is recommended to never conduct an exorcism without the power of an ordained minister with permission from the Bishop. The reason that this doesn’t translate to most Protestants is because Protestants have no apostolic succession.
In a Code of Canon Law, it states:
“#1172. No one may lawfully exorcise the possessed without the special and express permission of the local Ordinary. This permission is to be granted by the local Ordinary only to a priest who is endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life.”
If you are unsure if Protestant Exorcists exists – Look no further than Christianity Today’s recent piece, Meet the Protestant Exorcists, they write:
“Scriptural directives to defend against the Devil take on a heavy urgency once you have seen the twisted work of Satan up close, again and again. Junger dedicated his ministry to studying spiritual warfare—specifically, the physiological effects of demonic activities—back in 2007. Ten years later, he became licensed as an exorcist.”
- “Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.” – Matthew 12:22.
- “And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.” – Acts 16:18.
- CNN – Watch a Pastor Perform an Exorcism; CNN, January 25th, 2014.
#9 Can Protestants Receive Catholic Communion?
There has been a long-held rift between the Protestant and Catholic religions regarding communion.
The sacrament of communion is meant for Protestants in Protestant churches, and Catholics in Catholic churches. The two churches do not want members visiting outside churches for this ceremony.
There was news of a mass in a Swiss Cathedral, to which an official stated:
“People of a faith other than Catholic will not be formally invited to the sharing of bread and wine.”
However, in 2020, for the first time in 500-years, there was a Catholic mass held in a Protestant hometown. This does not mean that Protestants received Catholic communion; only that Catholics gathered inside of a Protestant church.
Some of the other exceptions are:
- When a person is in danger
- If it is a life-or-death situation
- If the Catholic priest deems it acceptable (which, 7 Bishops do not find it acceptable)
Outside of these rare exceptions, Protestants and Catholics do not share communion or use each other’s churches for communion.
- “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:26.
- “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” – 1 Corinthians 10:16.
- Why Can’t Protestants Receive Catholic Communion? Published May 20th, 2019.
- Why Can’t Catholics Receive Communion in a Protestants Church? Catholic Answers; October 11th, 2016.