#1 Why Do Protestants Convert to Catholicism?
With a history of ruthlessly hating one another, the relationship between Protestants and Catholics has, in actuality, come a long way in the last few centuries.
Each denomination is a subsect within the larger faith of Christianity; however, Catholics are seen as more ritualistic and focused on the sacraments than Protestants.
Although it is difficult to speak for any one person, some of the reasons why Protestants convert to Catholicism are because:
- They want to enjoy full-communion, and the embracement of sacraments (particularly communion, which seen as a deeper embodiment of Christ to Catholics).
- They may find more significance in the daily practices rather than the scriptures (being that Catholics do not place as much weight on scriptural sermons)
- They want to embrace papacy (a level of clergy and popehood)
- They are drawn to a more traditional form of Christianity
- They enjoy idolatry and praying through beads, confessionals, and other intermediaries
- They are seeking a conventional relationship with the Lord
Ultimately, one of the most commonly discussed factors in the equation between Protestants and Catholics is the variance on communion (i.e. The Lords Supper).
To clarify – Protestants conduct communion as well, but they see it as a symbolic ceremony, whereas a Catholic legitimately believes that they are consuming the blood and body of Christ.
A Protestant should consider converting to Catholicism if:
- They support a priesthood authority
- They see the importance in the ordinances and sacraments
- They see communion as a non-symbolic experience, but a literal one (consuming the blood and body of Christ)
- They want a more tradition-oriented style of worship
- “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” – Matthew 26:26-28
- From Protestant to Catholic – The Hurdles to Overcome; JPCatholic; June 28th, 2017.
#2 Why Do Protestants Use Grape Juice?
The reasons why Protestants traditionally substitute grape juice for wine are:
- To include children
- To include recovering alcoholics
- To avoid promoting alcohol consumption and substance addiction
- To remain morally chaste
- To keep a cohesive message from the Church regarding substance abuse
Proverbs 20:1 says:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
- “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” – Luke 22:19-20.
- “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” – Ephesians 5:18.
- Grape Juice For Communion; Canon Press; January 31st, 2011.
#3 Why Do Protestants Not Have Confession?
With the Reformation period dividing the Protestant and Catholic Churches, there was substantial controversy and debate regarding the relevancy of traditions such as communion, scripturally-oriented meetings, and confession.
The reasons why Protestants may avoid confession (or may not be able to utilize this Catholic-originated tradition) are:
- One does not need an intermediary to communicate with God, able to speak individually about their sins
- The use of a Priest or clergy authority may be seen as unnecessary
- Scriptural Evidence supports their belief – 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (No mention of a priest or intermediary)
Throughout the new testament, there is a lack of scriptural-basis for the Sacrament of Penance.
Because of this, most Protestants ultimately find confession unwarranted. Most Protestants make their confessions silently in prayer, privately, and directly to God.
· “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16.
- “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13.
- Confession for Protestants – Commons Church; June 25th, 2019.
#4 Why Do Protestants Not Do Lent?
Lent is a period of sacrifice leading up to Easter. Lenten season is not acknowledged or observed by many Evangelical denominations, but certain Protestants do engage in some form of Lenten sacrifice.
Factsandtrends.net found that 75% of Americans do not participate in lent.
If a Protestant does not embrace lent, or you notice a minimal amount of Lent services in Protestant Churches, the reasons are:
- They find it unwarranted and unnecessary
- Protestants are not very committed to rote rituals
- Protestants place more focus on the everyday worship than large gestures or performative demonstrations of their devotion
- To encourage individuality of worship, a pillar in Protestantism that each person may worship God in the way they see fit, allowing some independence of thought
Conclusively, some Protestant Churches do celebrate Lent because they find it as a community-building practice that they can invite others to join in. Baptists are an exception to this as they are rooted in a Calvinistic background, but some Protestant denominations are accepting of Lent.
Protestants do allow some autonomy of faith, so if a person wanted to celebrate Lent, the Church would have no problem with that.
- “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
- “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” – 1 Peter 5:6.
- Three Quarters of Americans Give up Lent for Lent – Factsandtrends.net; LifeWay Christian Resources; February 15th, 2017.
#5 Why Do Protestants Hate Abba?
There is little information on this query except for a mention of the British Netflix show, Derry Girls.
Belfasttelegraph.co.uk wrote a 2019 piece titled “Protestants Don’t Like Abba!’ – The One-Liners are Back as First Episode of Derry Girls is a Smash on Social Media.” This was a highly popularized quote from the family-comedy, noted for its witty quips and hilarious one-liners.
#6 Why Do Protestants Worship on Sunday?
Historically, Sunday is seen as the first day of the week; therefore, best-suited for commencing the week on a sacred note.
Protestants, like most Christians, worship on Sunday because it starts their weekly responsibilities in the context of a holy atmosphere, instilling a tone of worship that is meant to remain with them for the rest of the week.
There are a few exceptions to this, including Seventh-Day Adventists who worship on Saturday, considering this the day of Sabbath (meaning, ‘to rest).’
The Bible says in Exodus 20:8-11 :
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- “And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27.
- Cgi.org – Who Changed Sabbath to Sunday?; CGI Digital Network; January 31st, 2001.
#7 Why Do Protestants Believe in Sola Scripture?
Not all Protestants believe in the premise of Sola Scriptura (a theological doctrine which is held by many Protestant Christian subsects, stating that biblical scriptures are infallible and should not be argued against), but most do.
The reasons why most Protestants support sola scriptura is because:
- It is the word of God
- God is an omnipotent deity
- Scripture declares it as so; 2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
- They see room for interpretation and open-abstraction as being pointless, opting for a literal translation of the Bible which does not allow open interpretations
- God describes through other scriptures that obedience of his word is the only method to obtain salvation in the afterlife (i.e. entrance to heaven instead of damnation to hell)
Factsandtrends.net found that:
“Only 46 percent of American Protestants believe faith in God alone is needed for entry into heaven (how Pew defined sola fide). More than half (52 percent) say an individual needs both faith and good deeds.
Only 27 percent of U.S. Protestants say only the Protestant branch of Christianity teaches salvation comes through faith alone. Close to half (44 percent) think both Protestants and Catholics teach it, 19 percent say neither, and 8 percent say only Catholics.
White evangelicals are the Protestant group most likely to hold to belief in faith alone. More than 2 in 3 (67 percent) agree that only faith is required for access to heaven, with 33 percent saying faith and works are both needed.
Meanwhile, white mainline Protestants (37 percent), black Protestants (29 percent), and other minority Protestants (34 percent) are far less likely to agree with sola fide. At least 6 in 10 among each group say good deeds and faith are necessary to get into heaven.
The numbers look similar for belief in the Bible alone as all the religious guidance Christians need (how Pew defined sola scriptura). Forty-six percent of Protestants agree, while 52 percent say Christians need guidance from church teachings and traditions, in addition to Scripture.”
Therefore, less than half of Protestant believers support sola scriptura.
- “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:15.
- Why is Sola Scriptura Unreasonable – Catholic Answers; October 10th, 2017.
#8 Why Do Protestants Not Have Jesus on the Cross?
For non-Christians, it may be challenging to understand the significance of Jesus’s sacrifice for humanity. For devout Christians and Protestants, Jesus’ death on the cross is a painful part of their history and a moment by which to revere him for.
The reasons why Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a few other Christian denominations abject to crucifixes or placing Jesus on the cross within their art, texts, or Churches – are due to the following reasons:
- It is a painful remembrance
- They do not enjoy glorifying Jesus’s death
- They prefer to see Jesus as being at peace, no longer suffering
- They do not want to create parallels with the Catholic Church, an establishment from which they divided from during the period of Reformation
- Some say ‘whatever the Catholics did, Protestants reject’
- No early Protestant churches utilized this symbol, seeing it as unnecessary or gruesome
- One does not want to participate in idolatry or worshipping through items (Jesus on the cross being a particularly troublesome idol to carry)
A final justification is that many Protestants believe that Jesus will have a second coming, and is, therefore, not on the cross. Seeing this idol as a memory of his sacrifice, it is not the state that most Protestants choose to appreciate Jesus in, choosing instead to see him in a state of strength and life.
Some Protestants replace the symbol of the crucifix with plain crosses, symbolizing Jesus’ return due to the empty cross.
- “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
- “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” – John 11:25.
- WhyCatholic.com – Why This Protestant Says Not to Make the Sign of the Cross; Answer: “it is lawful, but it is not appropriate.” Published by Canon Press on February 13th, 2020.