The term ‘’Catholic’’ is commonly associated with the whole of the church led by the Roman Pontiff, the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization. The Roman Catholic Church traces its history to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Over the course of centuries it developed a highly sophisticated theology and an elaborate organizational structure headed by the Papacy, the oldest continuing absolute monarchy in the world.
The number of Roman Catholics in the world is approximately 1.3 billion. There are more Roman Catholics in the world than all other Christians combined and more Roman Catholics than all Buddhists or Hindus. Although there are more Muslims than Roman Catholics, the number of Roman Catholics is greater than that of the individual traditions of Shia and Sunni Islam.
Over the centuries the Catholic Church has tried to maintain a balance between providing the theological and spiritual leadership for its believers and influencing the non-believing world around it. The Catholic Church is the largest non-political provider of education and medical services around the world. The church’s teachings attempt to mold and shape the moral and ethical beliefs of people and thus influence the laws and regulations that governments pass to enforce those beliefs.
What You Need To Know About Catholic
- The Catholic Church organization hierarchy is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. The church considers its bishops to be the successors of Jesus’s apostles and the church leader, the Bishop of Rome (also referred to as the Pope), to be the sole successor to Saint Peter, who ministered in Rome in the first century AD after his appointment by Jesus as the head of the church.
- Catholic recognizes seven sacraments which they believe are an important means of grace for the Christian life. They include: Ordination, Marriage, anointing of the sick, Reconciliation, confirmation, Eucharist and baptism.
- The chief teachings of the Catholic Church include: First, God’s objective existence; God’s interest in individual human beings, who can enter into relation with him (God) through prayer. Secondly, the immortality of the human soul, whereby upon death every being will be accountable for his or her action with the reward of heaven or hell.
- The church also teaches that the main motive for ethical behavior is the love of God. Nothing that God has created is evil in itself, but evil use may be made of it. The doctrine concerning persons not Catholics is that since God affords each human being light sufficient to attain salvation, all will be saved who persevere in what they believe to be good, regardless of ignorance.
- Roman Catholics believe that death is the separation of the Spirit which is eternal from the physical body. The Catholic funeral service focuses on the entry of the deceased into the afterlife and the compassion of God to provide comfort for the grieving.
- The Catholic Church is the largest non-political provider of educational and medical services around the world.
Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a German monk and professor who has been called the ‘’Father of the Reformation’’. In 1517, he famously protested against the Roman Catholic Church and their sale of indulgences. In his sermons and writings, Luther stressed the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the authority of the scripture.
Lutheranism quickly spread throughout Germany and Scandinavia, and Protestantism in various forms could soon be found throughout Europe. In the 17th century, Lutherans from these countries began to migrate to the United States, bringing their language, culture and Lutheran faith with them.
Today, Lutheranism is one of the largest Protestant Christian denominations. According to the Lutheran World Federation, there were over 75 million Lutherans worldwide in 2017. Of these, 35.9 million live in Europe, 20.8 million in Africa, 4 million in North America, 11 million in Asia and 1 million in Latin America.
What You Need To Know About Lutheran
- Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th century German reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation.
- Lutheran accepts the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life.
- Lutherans believe acceptance of Jesus Christ as the savior of mankind by dying for the world’s sins and repentance will lead to salvation while unbelief and sin leads to eternal damnation.
- Lutheranism advocates for faith based on scripture in the Christian bible alone. Lutherans believe salvation is found through repentance and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as savior.
- The Lutheran church teaches that God created everything free of sin but Adam and Eve corrupted humanity through hubris and not resisting the devil’s temptation. According to Lutheran teaching, all humans are born with the burden of original sin, a consequence of Adam and Eve’s inability to resist temptation and eating of the apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
- Lutherans believe that there are two sacraments (defined by Lutherans as ‘’rites, which have the command of God and to which the promise of grace has been added’’), baptism and communion. On communion (the Lord ’s Supper), Lutherans teach that, ‘’the body and blood of Christ are truly present and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord.’’ On baptism, Lutherans teach that baptism ‘’is necessary to salvation and that through baptism is offered the grace of God and that children are to be peptized who, being offered to God through baptism are received into God’s grace.’’
Difference Between Catholic And Lutheran
|BASIS OF COMPARISON||CATHOLIC||LUTHERAN|
|Country Of Origin||Rome, Italy||Germany|
|Size||Catholic is the largest Christian church with approximately 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide as of 2019.||According to the Lutheran World Federation, there were over 72 million Lutherans worldwide in 2014.|
|Leadership||The pope, who is the Bishop of Rome (and whose titles also include Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of St. Peter), is the chief pastor and leader of the catholic church.||The Lutheran church is led by an Archbishop, who serve in the capacity, as the President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).|
|Choosing Of Leadership||Pope of the Catholic Church is chosen by the College of Cardinals, the Church’s most senior officials who are appointed by the Pope and usually ordained bishops.||The President of the Lutheran World Federation is elected by an Assembly of Lutheran Churches in a congregation.|
|Sacraments||Catholic speaks of seven sacraments, which include: Ordination, Marriage, anointing of the sick, Reconciliation, confirmation, Eucharist and baptism.||Lutherans speak of only two sacraments, that is, communion and baptism.|
|Unique Feature||Among the unique features of the teaching and doctrines of Roman catholic is the belief in the supremacy of the papacy and celebration of the seven sacraments. Catholics believe that on matters faith and practice, the official teachings of the Pope are infallible.||The unique feature of the teaching and doctrine of the Lutheran is that bible is infallible.|
|Marry & Saints||Catholics offers prayers to saints and Mary whom they believe act as a mediator between God and human beings.||Lutherans do not believe it is proper or scriptural to offer prayers to saints or view Mary as in any sense a ‘’mediator’’ between God and human beings.|
|Scripture||Catholics gives authority to determine doctrine to the Pope, the church and certain traditions of the church.||Lutherans believe scripture has authority to determine doctrine.|
|Salvation||Catholics believe that a person is saved through faith in Jesus Christ and good works of love.||Lutherans believe a person is saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ.|
|Traditions||Catholics follow traditions established by the church and divine traditions in the bible.||Lutherans follow fundamental divine traditions in the bible only.|
|Congregations||Local Lutheran congregations are part of a regional or national organization referred to as synod.||Local catholic congregations are part of a regional or national organization referred to as dioceses.|
|Bible||Catholic bible has 73 books||Lutheran bible has 66 books.|
|Source of Divine Truth||According to the Catholic, there are two divine truth which constitute the truths of faith, they include: Holy scripture and Sacred traditions (also referred to as Apostolic tradition or simply tradition).||According to the Lutherans, there is only one divine truth which constitutes the truth of faith, and that is, the Holy scripture (Bible).|
|Unique Teachings||The Catholic church teaches that it is the one true church founded by Jesus.||The Lutheran church teaches that it is the only true church founded on faith and authority of scripture.|