The battle between christianity and catholism
Catholicism and Christianity are two different religions which are established on different foundations with proposed different ways of salvation. Catholicism refers to the Catholic faith, doctrines, and theologies, ethical, liturgical, spiritual and behavioral characteristics. Catholicism mainly refers to Roman Catholic Church and the Christian living in communion with Church of Rome. Christianity encompasses various faiths and doctrinal perspectives with Catholicism being one of them. Christianity is just but one true religion that is centered on Jesus teachings; it is solely built on Holy Scripture written as Word of God. The Bible is the perfect Christians rule of faith that gives them sufficient knowledge about Gospel for people’s salvation and holiness. Catholicism demands on submission of intellect and will to doctrines. Catholic Church derives its dogmas from a “sacred deposit” in Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. Catholicism is a spiritual and mental slavery of Vatican.
Catholicism is not the only accepted Christian Church is just a kind of Christian religion with unique practices, beliefs and traditions that is different from other Christian religion. Catholic Church maintains its true tradition of apostolic church with its traditions being a disserting group. Roman Catholic Churches possess fully valid sacraments, and they are true Churches, but Protestant Christians are in communion with the Catholic Church through baptismal account. Catholic Church is Apostolic because its authority and teachings are derived from apostles. Christianity began as a breakaway part of Judaism and Jesus was son of Virgin Mary who was conceived through Holy Spirit. Jesus was bothered by some practice and started preaching different messages on God and religion. Christians have almost similar beliefs as Judaism for they originated at the same time but Christians believes in original sin and Jesus died to save us from that sin and He was fully God and human and son of God. All Christians believes in heaven (Cadoux, 13).
People wonder what differences exist between Christianity and Catholicism. Although there some few similarities between Christianity and Catholicism such as believing in Jesus miracles, one Creator who is both loving and forgiving, they all belief in prayer as a way of communicating with God, their services are conducted at a specific days that is special day in the calendar and there are seven deadly sins. In both religions there are charitable actions, pilgrimages and fasting and they belief that man should love his neighbour as him and do well to others. They belief in moral living but they have different views on the main points of theology and ideology (Cadoux, 15).
Since Christianity and Catholicism have different foundations, even the edifices built upon them are different. Christianity is bound on the Gospel of God’s supreme grace. Catholics emphasize more on good deeds with sacrifice of Mass being foremost on their faith since it is all about Passion and Death of Jesus Christ dying for our sins. Catholicism do listen to both Tradition and Scriptures, they believe in Church being the authority with which Jesus gave keys to St. Peter and quoted “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” According to Catholicism teachings, Jesus guides the faithful through Church authority. Christianity began as a fellowship in Palestine, moved to Greece and became a philosophy (Cadoux, 19).
By far, Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian group with its history being traced from apostle especially that of St. Peter giving the leader of the Church spiritual supremacy and offer means of resolving disputes that cause conflict to the church. Catholicism beliefs don’t dramatically vary from those of other Christian denominations. The main difference of Catholicism from other religions include the special authority of the pope, saints’ ability to intervene on behalf of believers, the idea of purgatory being a place of afterlife purification before entering Heaven and the dogma of transubstantiation, this means the bread used in Eucharist to represent true body of Jesus. The liturgy for Catholicism is uniform and ritualized compared to other religions. Catholicism liturgy follows a prescribed order and Catholics normally celebrate Eucharist frequently than Christianity. Catholics do observe the seven sacraments with its nuns and monks taking vows of chastity, poverty and obedience with dedication to simple life focusing on worshipping God (Cadoux, 20).
Christianity is based on Jesus teachings in which Roman communication networks facilitated quick spread of Christianity throughout Roman Empire and finally to the rest of the world. Christianity broke up into different religions with Roman Catholic being the successor Church. Christians believe in one God with their central figure being Jesus who came to the world through Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary. Through Jesus death, Christian’s belief that Jesus rose and came back to the world. Birth of Christianity can also be traced from the sacred records which were a special participation of Holy Spirit given Apostles on the Pentecostal day. Christianity was influenced by existing religions. Christianity developed from Judaism in the sense that it embodied the Divine revelation which had the creed ((Cadoux, 27).
In the spiritual life of Catholics they undergo a series of events of the seven common sacraments although not all Catholics can partake each sacrament but majority receive only the Holy Eucharist and they are baptized while young or adult after undergoing catechism teaching to know the doctrines of Catholic faith. The seven sacraments are the greatest rites in the passage of Catholic faith. Some sacraments do require knowledge and prior preparation of the faith. The seven sacraments include; Eucharist, Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy orders and Anointing of the Sick. Faith from all religions unites God’s people. People unite through the belief in faith with sacrament of acceptance of faith in God and our faith. There is a lot of diversity existing among God’s people, faith in God and to Christian with Jesus Christ uniting all people. In Catholicism, reconciliation and anointing of the sick requires individual to accept Jesus as the healer (Cadoux, 29).
In every religion there is baptism as a religious practice. Baptism is one of the two most important sacraments in Christianity. Generally, baptism involves immersion in water, blessing and pronouncement of “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.” Most Christian church baptizes both old and young people. Different people view baptism differently, some view it as a way of granting salvation or as a symbol of salvation, it fulfills Jesus command of baptize, it commemorates death of Christ and resurrection, confers grace to people, cleanses away sins and publicly expresses people’s faith. In Judaism baptism existed before its adoption by Christianity. Baptism is represented as a means of obtaining actual effect of the objective with God as their cause but nit just a symbolic act (Cadoux, 32).
By receiving Eucharist Catholics accept Jesus to have ability to turn bread and wine into himself for His people. During Baptism they refer Jesus as the anointed and they are anointed with holy oil into Catholic Faith. During confirmation Catholic Christians confirm again and renew their faith and individually commit their vows. Anointing by holy oil, they symbolize truth of Jesus Christ who was the anointed one. Catholic sacrament rites act as a link uniting people together in Catholic faith. Christianity is the only true religion and Roman Catholic Church is the only and sole Church that was established by Jesus Christ and Christianity subsist in the Catholic Church. However, Roman Catholic is the core of other Christian beliefs because by virtues of their sacraments, they are all in communion with the Catholic Church. Rituals in religion follow ideology and its inscription (Cadoux, 33).
Christians are society, Bible inscription and Jesus Christ is their icon. This makes religion a system of belief in a society with ritual being the main part of religion that builds society’s citizens making them able to trust and respect ideology of the society. Catholicism is almost similar to Christianity and the five religions have a common theme of sacrifice. In Christianity people accept that God came on Earth as a Second Person of the Trinity in form of Jesus Christ and Catholicism they still wait for Jesus and none of other religion have Messiah. Islam hate theology and they deny the notion of Messiah and they believe that, any deviation from the teaching of Imam will get you killed. Christianity believes in God who is omniscient, omnipresent, almighty, eternal and infinite. They believe in God who is Holy, righteous and just while at the same time they believe in loving, merciful and forgiving. Christianity and Catholicism both share the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament as their authoritative word of God although Christianity includes New Testament. For the Christians, they teach Jesus as a fulfillment of prophesies of Old Testament and Judaism recognize Jesus as good teacher and a prophet of God (Cadoux, 37).
Christianity is different from other religions in world. Christianity has always been about faith in the existence of almighty Lord. In Christianity, baptism is viewed as an entry to Christianity in which sins are washed making an entry to Church and if possible to heaven. Baptism is a symbolic way of washing away sins. Religions like Muslims don’t believe in the concept of sin that it was inherited from first man Adam, but they believe that this first sin was forgiven by God before Adam and Eve were sent on to the earth. Christians acknowledges that they have sinned, they have the tendency to sin and they are in need of a savior because they are sinners. People do acknowledge the need for them to be cleansed and this cleansing only comes through Jesus death. Christians don’t only identify Christ in his resurrections for the future but for life right now (Cadoux, 38).
Christians believe that Jesus through his death and shedding of blood paid the ultimate price of our sins. Christians believe that both Old and New testaments are perfect Word of God and the Scripture was inspired by God thus being the only source of instruction and truth. In Catholic belief they have several sources of their authority such as The Bible, Tradition and the Creed. Ultimately Christ is the authority of Catholics. Catholicism emphasis more on their Church’s scriptures interpretation but Christianity belief that, scriptures can be interpreted by any individual as long as is led by Holy Spirit. They believe that the Bible has no errors and it’s a complete revelation of God and no one should make an addition. Roman Catholics insist on priests to live a celibate life. This is a dangerous practice as evidenced in young boy molestation. Christianity allows priests to be married may be because of the verse “They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods which God created to be received by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” Catholics believe that during Holy Communion, the bread becomes true body of Jesus Christ and wine His true blood (Cadoux, 47).
Catholics believe in forgiveness of sins after repentance to a priest but Christianity believe forgiveness of sins is received through both confession and repentance directly to Jesus who is the only people’s intercessor; they believe that Jesus is their high priest. Catholic Church believe homosexuality is unchosen thus not sinful but Christianity believe homosexuality as a being a sinful behavior that can only be overcome through prayers and reliance on God’s assistance to enable people resist temptations if one has an indwelling Holy Spirit. Catholics believe Mary’s status were below Jesus but above those of saints. They have to believe that Mary was a sinless person when he conceived. This is greatly declined by Christianity that Mary was sinless but they do honor and respect her as the chosen one to bear Jesus. Catholics believe in prayers to God and also to Mary who will intercede for them. Christians believe that prayer should be addressed only to God and neither Mary nor saints. In catholic religion they more emphasis on saints since the Bible teaches that all born again believers are saints. According to Catholics religion teachings, salvation depends on ones sacraments, faith and work. But according to the Bible, salvation depends only on faith. In Catholicism they believe salvation is lost when the responsible person commits a mortal sin. This can be regained through the sacrament of confession. According to the Bible, once one is saved, there is eternal salvation and the salvation cannot be lost. Catholics do honor and adore statues but Christianity considers this adoration as idolatry (Cadoux, 63).
All Catholics are Christians and Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only son of God and Messiah. Catholics believe that Pope is the leader of the Church through the traditions and doctrines of the Church. Most Christians were Catholics until the time of Martin Luther who brought Reformation. The history of Christian church is trace from the New Testament, and the history of the Catholic Church, is found on pontifical documents which are completely different. Catholics believe in saints but Christians don’t. Catholic Church is characterized by having more rituals but Christian churches are free and changing. In real sense, Catholicism is part of Christianity but it is a religion on its own with different traditions and virtues. They all believe in Jesus Christ and read God’s scriptures.
Cadoux Cecil, Catholicism and Christianity: A Vindication of Progressive Protestantism, Allen & Unwin: University of California, 2001