#1 Do Protestants Celebrate Lent?
Billions of Christians celebrate Lent annually, sacrificing something precious to them in the name of Christ; however, not all Protestants do.
The Christian subsects that do celebrate Lent generally are:
The Christian subsects that do not celebrate Lent generally are:
- Latter-Day Saints
Many protestants do still honor and acknowledge Easter and Ash Wednesday. Participation in any of these holidays or festivities is left up to the personal jurisdiction of each individual.
- “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18.
- News Observer – Protestant Churches Find Easter Renewal in Older Rituals; April 4th, 2015.
#2 Do Protestants Believe in Jesus?
Yes, Protestants hold Jesus Christ as a central pillar and deity in their worship practice.
The two major subsects are Evangelical and Mainline Protestants. The differences between these two in respect to their views on Jesus include:
|Evangelical Protestants||Mainline Protestants|
|Jesus is the only means to salvationMore-concerned with personal conversionMore-concerned with proselytizing||Jesus is means to salvation, but there are others as well. Less-concerned with personal conversionLess-concerned with proselytizing|
John 1:14 says:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Protestants hold true that Jesus died for their sins, sacrificing his life for their overall humanity. Because of this, prayers are said ‘in Jesus’ name, amen,’ while honoring the Father as the omnipotent and all-powerful God.
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.
- Lumen Learning – Protestantism; September 10th, 2017. “Limited atonement” asserts that Jesus’s substitutionary atonement was definite and certain in its purpose and in what it accomplished. This implies that only the sins of the elect were atoned for by Jesus’s death. Calvinists do not believe, however, that the atonement is limited in its value or power, but rather that the atonement is limited in the sense that it is intended for some and not all. All Calvinists would affirm that the blood of Christ was sufficient to pay for every single human being IF it were God’s intention to save every single human being.”
#3 Do Protestants Have Saints?
No, Protestants do not have their own distinguished Saints.
The feelings and sentiments surrounding Sainthood within Protestantism include:
- Belief in intermediaries was a justification for splitting with the Roman Catholic Church in the 15th century.
- Saints are real
- Saints are holy
- But Saints should not be worshipped as Gods
- They support God but cannot act as intermediaries
- Protestants believe they have a direct line of communication to God; therefore, they do not need intermediaries or messengers (such as Saints, Priests, Rosaries, etc.)
While Catholics utilize patron Saints and hold them to a divine-esteem, this was one of the original and most-divisive controversies between Catholicism and Protestantism.
- Tamedcynic.org – Can Protestants Pray to Saints? – “That’s what we mean when we say in the Creed ‘I believe in the communion of saints…’ We’re saying: ‘I believe in the fellowship of the living and the dead in Christ.’ So it seems to me we can pray and ask the saints to pray for us.
Not in the sense of praying to them.
Not in the sense of giving them our worship and devotion.”
- Orthodoxcheyenne.org – Orthodoxy and Evangelical Protestants Orthodoxy and Protestantism; June 26th, 2013.
#4 Do Protestants Observe Lent?
Lent is a period of self-denial celebrated by Catholics and some Protestants, but generally, most Protestants do not celebrate Lent. Nonetheless, the celebration or observance (as well as the style by which it is executed)is left up to the individual’s personal choice.
Similarly, the Christian subsects that do not celebrate Lent generally are:
- Latter-Day Saints
A Protestant Minister writes through Waterfromrock.org – Why I as a Protestant Observe Lent:
“Countless Christians through the centuries have experienced the blessings of training for godly living through the disciplined practices of Lent. The reason I celebrate Lent and encourage others to consider it, is because it a focused time for training, for stretching ourselves to go the long distance with Jesus.”
- “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” – Matthew 6:1-34.
- Where is Lent in the Bible? – Ascension Presents; January 22nd, 2020.
#5 Do Protestants Celebrate Easter?
Yes, Protestants do place a great importance on Easter, seeing the day as Jesus’ time of resurrection on the first day of the week (Sunday, known as a spiritual day in Christianity).
Easter is considered the oldest holiday for Christianity, possessing a moveable date that must fall on a Sunday.
Protestants may not observe the sacrificial or fasting-related month of Lent; however, they will place a more considerable significance on:
- Good Friday
- Ash Wednesday
- Easter Sunday
Most Protestants will celebrate Easter with:
- A communal service
- Congregational prayer
- Catholic customs are common
- Good Friday may host a Lords’ Supper/Communion
- Easter eggs and festivities for children
- Feast with family or Protestant friends
Most Christians find it important to focus on Jesus and his sacrifice instead of placing the focus on frivolities and festivities. It will depend on the person, and celebrations are often used to encourage engagement from children. Still, all-in-all – Easter is a very reflective and spiritual occasion for Protestants and Catholics alike.
- “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8.
- Catholics and Protestants Celebrate Easter; March 26th, 2016.
#6 Do Protestants Believe in Purgatory?
No, generally, Protestantism rejects the doctrine of purgatory.
The reasons why Protestants reject the doctrine of purgatory are:
- It is seen as a Catholic-notion
- Protestants don’t believe in an intermediary state
- Protestants focus on sola scriptura (focus on scripture alone)
- There is no mention of purgatory in the Bible
- The case lacks scriptural evidence
Protestants believe through faith and living a Christian life; they may gain salvation and passage into the gates of Heaven. This security is seen as a direct journey to Heaven, without intermediary stops or alternative realms in-between.
Protestants also want to believe in a God of love that would not torment people with predestined and pre-meditated intent.
- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10.
- “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” – Hebrews 9:27.
- What is Purgatory and Is It in the Bible? Crosswalk Videos; April 16th, 2018.
#7 Do Protestants Take Communion?
Yes, Protestants take Communion and promote the belief that Christ is present at the sacrament (especially in Lutheranism, where Christ is said to be literally present instead of merely symbolically or spiritually).
Catholics and Protestants take similar approaches to Communion, with the major discrepancy pertaining to transubstantiation.
Transubstantiation is defined as:
“1. Conversion of one substance into another.
2. Christianity, in Roman Catholic dogma The doctrine holding that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus.”
The major difference is that:
- Catholics see the bread and wine as literally changing into the blood and body of Christ
- Protestants see the brad and wine as a spiritual symbol of the blood and body of Christ
A Protestant is not allowed to take Catholic Communion and vice versa.
The pop has released a public statement, determining that a Protestant may only partake in Catholic Communion in a ‘life-or-death situation.’
- “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.
- How Do Protestants and Catholics Differ on Communion? Christianity.com; February 6th, 2018.
#8 Do Protestants Believe in Original Sin?
Yes, most Christians do believe in the original sin of Adam and Eve; However, Protestants often divide in how they teach that orientation of original sin, often diverging in the main five branches of Protestantism:
Lutheranism is another main branch, often being compared to the traditionalism of Catholicism pre-Reformation.
If a Protestant is taught by the Calvinistic view – they may see original sin as an irreparable and unchangeable circumstance of the human condition, leading to a zero-chance of reconciliation.
If a Protestant is taught by the Baptist view – they may see original sin as a historical occurrence but not believe that a loving God would condemn anyone for a sin that was not their own.
Nonetheless, Protestants tend to agree that original sin affects all and can remain even after baptism.
The fall of man (predominantly mentioned in the Book of Genesis) does not mention a hereditary transmission of sin to all of future mankind. Because of this, many Protestants diverge and form their own opinions based on individual interpretation.
Regardless, many depict scripture such as Romans 5:12 as being this ‘hereditary transmission’.
Not all Protestants agree.
- “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” – Genesis 3:22.
- “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the Father, nor the Father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” – Ezekiel 18:20.
- Catholic Church versus Protestant Reformers on Original Sin; EWTN; January 8th, 2012.
“The fall of Adam and Eve brought the “four wounds” to human nature. These are enumerated by St Bede and others, especially St Thomas Aquinas (STh I-II q. 85, a. 3):
- Original sin (lack of sanctifying grace and original justice)
- Concupiscence (the eleven passions are no longer ordered perfectly to the soul’s intellect)
- Physical frailty and death
- Darkened intellect and ignorance
Incidentally, Luther and Calvin identified concupiscence with original sin. They use them interchangeably and it is a major difference between the true Faith and the false teachings of the Protestants. This is what led to their overly harsh doctrine of original sin – what Calvinists call “total depravity.”
The Catholic Faith holds that the baptized no longer have any original sin. Gone. Washed away. However, concupiscence remains after baptism. Most Protestants (even Anglicans) hold that original sin remains after baptism, since for them original sin and concupiscence are indistinguishable and experience shows that the baptized still struggle with inordinate desires and inward temptations of the flesh.”
#9 Do Protestants Believe in Predestination?
Calvinists believe firmly in Predestination, and while Calvinism is a branch of Protestantism – not all Protestants agree regarding the subject.
A pivotal reason that Protestantism came to be was due to a rejection of tradition and the period of Reformation restructuring Christianity. During this time, Protestantism was separate from Catholicism because it embraced autonomy and individual interpretation.
Due to this, Protestantism branches off into many directions with numerous subsects, allowing each Christian to find the subsect that best suits their interpretation of matters such as Predestination.
Many Protestants take a literal translation of the Bible, citing scriptures like Ephesians 1:4-5:
“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
Ephesians 1:5 reads:
“He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
Because of this, it will depend how one interprets the scriptural evidence (or if a person deems it as evidence at all).
- “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29.
- “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” – John 15:16.
- What is Predestination? Study.com; September 17th, 2013.
#10 Do Protestants Believe in The Pope?
No, Protestants do not hold roles for church authorities such as popes or papal primacy.
Through their reformed and evangelical view, Protestants do not have a papal-equivalent. Often there is a community leader, pastor, or speakers from the congregation – but a pope is not required.
In the same way that Saints, prayer beads, and other intermediaries are not necessary to speak to God, a pope is seen as unnecessary within Protestantism.
When a study was conducted on Protestant Pastors asking the impact of Pope Francis and how it alters one’s opinion of the Church, Protestants responded:
- 37% positive impact
- 43% no impact
- 14% negative impact
- 7% not sure
Protestants are known for dogmatic schisms or separations due to discord. Because of this, they find autonomous and individualistic ways to communicate directly with God. Likely, a Protestant would view the pope as ‘merely a man;’ while a Catholic sees him as a holy and divine intermediary.
As stated in 1 Timothy 2:5, Protestants would support the scripturally-held belief:
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
- “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” – 1 Peter 5:1-3.
- “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,” – Ephesians 2:20.
- Factsandtrends.net – When the Pope Talks, Protestants Listen. Or Do They?; September 25th, 2015. “Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church, LifeWay Research finds. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.”
#11 Do Protestants Believe in Angels?
Yes, Protestants believe in the existence of Angels – but do not believe they are intermediaries or vessels for communication between humans and Gods.
Because they do not view Angels as intermediaries (only as supporters of God’s work), Protestants do not worship angels. Protestants do not see them as innately omnipotent entities, seeing them as associates for God and a larger kingdom in Heaven.
Essentially, Protestants revere and respect angels but do not pray to or through them.
In a study done through The University of Notre Dame, the beliefs are:
- 82.43% of Evangelical Protestants‘ Absolutely’ believe in angels
- 52.52% of Mainline Protestants‘ Absolutely’ believe in angels
- 59.95% of Catholics‘ Absolutely’ believe in angels
Therefore, Evangelical Protestants believe in the existence of angels even more than Catholics.
- “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91:11.
- “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:2.
- What are the Differences Between Catholics and Protestants; Got Questions Ministries; January 19th, 2018.
#12 Do Protestants Believe in The Rapture?
Some Protestants believe in the Rapture; others reject the notion (regardless, many dispute the timing).
With a theory that Jesus Christ will return not once but twice and move Christians off the Earth, the Rapture is rejected by some Protestants because:
- They cannot find scriptural evidence for it
- They do not believe Christ will remove all Christians from the Earth before destroying it
- They are unsure if it will be a last day or the seven-year period of ‘tribulation’
- They are divided on the interpretation of these scriptures
Pewresearch.org found that of Protestant Pastor beliefs in the Rapture:
- 36% believed in pre-tribulation
- 25% believe the Rapture is a symbol, not literal
- 18% believe in post-tribulation
- 4% believe in mid-tribulation
- 4% believe in pre-wrath
- 1% believe in Pre-termism
- 8% believe in none of these
Many feel passionate about this subject, such as the Trinity Boulder Lutheran Church that writes on their website ‘The Rapture Exposed – The Destructive Racket of Rapture.”
- “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
- Factsandtrends.net – What Do Pastors Believe About the End Times? Lifeway Christian Resources; April 26th, 2016.