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Comparison of the Baptist and Catholic Religion

Updated on December 22, 2014

Comparison of the Baptist and Catholic Religion

Comparison of the Baptist and Catholic Religion

The term “Baptist” represents to an individual who have faith in the adult “baptism of followers” in Jesus (Underwood¸ 1950). In other terms, Baptists are those who assert an individual believe in Christ alone for deliverance, which also refuse the baptism of babies, supposing that only adult followers in Jesus, (or those at least old enough to really know about believing in Christ), must be baptized (Underwood¸ 1950). They also do not trust that baptism itself secures them from their evils. This essay will compare the the two religions most deeply in the following.

The word “Catholic” denotes “Universal”. It usually represents to the Roman Catholic Church, which for most of these last 2000 years has been the greatest and most organized spiritual faction within Christendom. (Wills, 1990)

In the later part of the Middle Ages, some individuals who were reading the Bible became persuaded that baby baptism, (for example, the sprinkling of infants with water by a priest), was unscriptural (Osborne¸1987). As a consequence, these people started to re-baptize each other. The term Ana-Baptist or Anabaptist means re-baptizer. These men were known re-baptizers by Roman Catholics and Protestants, because most of these Baptists had previously been sprinkled by the Roman Catholic Church when they were infants. There were millions of such Anabaptists and other early Baptists between the end of the Middle Ages and the early Restoration era. (Osborne¸1987)

The Anabaptists or Baptists based their perseverance on the baptism of non-infants who trusted on Jesus Christ alone for deliverance on three initial arguments:

  1. The Bible does not state any infants or small babies being baptized. There is no evidence of children being baptized in the Bible. (Harvey, 2008)
  2. The term for baptize in the inventive Greek means “to immerse” in water. (Harvey, 2008)
  3. The Bible states that those who have faith may be baptized. Since children cannot aware, and thus cannot have faith on Jesus Christ, baptism must then be for adults or at least for those old enough to aware. It must not be for children. Also, Baptists faith that baptism performs no part in rescue itself. (Harvey, 2008)

Throughout this era, the act of child baptism was broadly conducted all over the Europe. In some places, child baptism was practically measured to be a part of the ritual of nationality, (virtually like a birth documentation is nowadays). Thus, those refusing child baptism were often charged of unfaithfulness or revolt against civil administration. (Harrison, 1959)

These Baptists were also frequently hated and pursued by the Roman Catholic Church -- which by this time effectively supported the practice of child baptism (Harrison, 1959). The Roman Catholic Church had initially started the immersion of adults, but afterward in history, the sprinkling of adults and then of children had become its major practice. Thus, a refusal by Baptists of child baptism was often measured to be an assault or revolt against the Roman Catholic Church itself. For this cause, several Popes, and those under them, ordered the persecution of these mutinous Baptists. (Harrison, 1959)

One more cause for the pursuing of Baptists was their perseverance on followers only baptism, which was seen as an assault on the deliverance by works religion broadly taught by the Roman Catholic Church. Throughout this era, lots of Baptists and others had their assets confiscated and several of them were tormented. Lots of Baptists were murdered under direct or indirect effect of the Roman Catholic Church. (Calligan, 2004)

The Restructuring brought 3 major factions of Protestants into being: These were the Calvinists, established by John Calvin in Northern Europe; the Anglicans, or Church of England; and the Lutherans, established in Germany by the ex-monk, Martin Luther (Harrison, 1959). These three, jointly with a few other minor groups, consisted of the Protestants. The Protestants for the most part sustained the Roman Catholic ancient practice of child baptism. Because Baptists refused such child baptism, the Baptists were never actually measured to be Protestants in the common sense. Also, because of this refusal of child baptism, Baptists were often executed by both Protestants and Roman Catholics similarly. (Harrison, 1959)

Several Roman Catholic convictions are distinct from Baptist beliefs. The Roman Catholic Church educates the principle of deliverance by works that one is saved through the employ of the apologies of the Roman Catholic Church, (such as through child baptism, the Mass, Communion, etc.). Catholics think that by taking or contributing in these reparations, deliverance is infused into an individual by these works. Baptists, nevertheless, believe in deliverance by grace alone by belief in Christ, apart from works. (Calligan, 2004)

The Roman Catholic Church stresses the Mass, which is seen as a performance re-sacrificing the real body and blood of Christ by a priest. Because Baptists belief that Christ is up in Paradise, they thus consider the Mass to be blasphemous. Further, Baptists belief that Christ died only once, and that this one death by Christ was adequate to pay for all of the sins of all mankind during all history (Willsm, 1990). Catholics also have faith in Purgatory, a place where males and females go to be momentarily purged by fire for their evils. Baptists educate that the Bible recognizes nothing of Purgatory. Baptists consider rather that after death, there are only 2 places where individuals go: Paradise and Hell. In other terms, there is not a 3rd place being this place that Roman Catholics call Purgatory. (Wills, 1990)

Catholics have faith in a Universal (Catholic) Church, which they say was set in place by the Apostle Peter, whom they call the first Pope - guardian of the keys to the Gates of Paradise and Hell (Calligan, 2004). Baptists believe in the independence and power of the Local church, that each person Baptist church is autonomous from all other human power and also from all other churches as well. (Calligan, 2004)

Catholics believe in the power of the Roman Catholic Bible in addition to the power of the customs and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Pope (Underwood¸ 1950). Baptists believe in the power of the Bible as well as faith plus nothing - that the Bible alone is enough bases for all doctrine and practice. Catholics believe in the conciliation of Roman Catholic priests. Baptists believe that there is only one arbitrator between God and man, and that one arbitrator is “the man Christ Jesus”. (Underwood¸ 1950)

Catholics believe in the practice of worshipping icons in the Church. Baptists believe that all such spiritual sings are idolatrous, and thus reject their employment, both as decorations and as objects of worship. For this cause, Baptist churches usually lack the statues and paintings of saints generally found in most Roman Catholic churches. Baptist churches tend to be decorated more simply and much less lavishly as a consequence of the views that Baptists hold against icons. (Calligan, 2004)

There are several other variations between Catholics and Baptists. However, regardless of these variations, there are several New Evangelicals, such as Billy Graham, the late Jerry Falwell, and Rick Warren who have supported a spirit of collaboration between Catholics and Baptists (Calligan, 2004). However, during their history, Baptists have always educated the doctrine of Biblical Separation from the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, such Bapticatholics as Billy Graham, Rick Warren and other such New Evangelicals have left from this ancient Baptist principle and are now teaching a new principle related with The Ecumenical Movement.

Works Cited

Calligan, Jeffrey. John Baptist de La Salle: The Spirituality of

Christian Education. London: Paulist Press, 2004.

Osborne, Kenan B. The Christian Sacraments of Initiation:

Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist. London: Paulist Press, 1987.

Harrison, Paul M. Authority and Power in the Free Church

Tradition. London: Princeton University Press, 1959.

Underwood, A. C. A History of the English Baptists.

London: Kingsgate Press, 1950.

Wills, Gregory A. Democratic Religion: Freedom,

Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785–1900. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Harvey, Barry. Can These Bones Live?: A Catholic Baptist

Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory. London: Brazos Press, 2008.


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    • profile image

      Mike Pitre 

      5 years ago

      Many false comments about Catholics. Do a little bit of study before making uneducated comments.

    • profile image

      lea tumulin 

      5 years ago

      we need to respect the beliefs of people in god

    • profile image

      alfred gevara 

      5 years ago

      we need to respect there beliefs in god . and even the roman catholics they use rosary

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Again.. CATHOLICS DONT WORSHIP ICONS, we worship one God alone. The Catholic church is MONOtheistic meaning ONE.

    • profile image

      Matt Mikulin 

      5 years ago

      I wish we all could agree that Jesus, not Mary, not baptism, not anything but by the blood of Christ shed for us. I feel a lot of the problems is that the Pope and Mary are worshiped above Christ. In the beginning the Cath. Church wanted their followers to expand in number to have bigger families to give more support to the church. This is why there is no birth control within the poorest nations whom are Cath. These nations rely on outside resources to support their every day living while the Ford and Chevy sit them in brand new trucks, not so they can give to the church.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Catholics and Baptist are one and the same, both believe in a higher power, do their best to follow the guidance of their pastors, priests and the bible. What it really comes down to is are catholics and baptists able to focus on their connection to God without pressuring others into their beliefs, this is something I battled with as I felt my way is the only way, but it's not, there are truly many ways to God, with the fundamentals all religions speak of being to Love, Service others, speaking Truth and lifes Experiences. Essaymonster, here is a link I think you would like, it is a book that combines science and religion, encompassing both sides along with all religions

    • profile image

      larry Lynch 

      6 years ago

      Until very recntly, Baptists did not accept Catholic as CHristians. They thought we were all idolators, that we had priests who dressed in cassocks to hide their Satanic bodies and that Nuns had horns so they wore veils. They teach is is a sin to dance, to have abeer or wine, and that to use a swimming pool with females and males simultaneously is a

      temptation to avoid. They think that Catholics worship Mary, which wse do not, but accept her as our Spiritual Mother, as given to us from the cross by Jesus, thru John. Protestants have images of their kids on walls and in albums but we have statuary, for the same reason, to represent who we admire and trust as mentors for our lives, we kneel and ask them to join us in interceding with Jesus for favors for the same reason a child goes to his mother to ask his dad for ssomething

    • lstCitizen profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Your hub is filled with many false statements about what Catholics believe. For example, we don't worship idols and we don't re-sacrifice Jesus in the Mass. Writers usually make this mistake when they rely on non-Catholic or anti-Catholic sources. When writing an article about what Catholics believe, always get your facts straight by referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Anyone can do a quick internet search or go straight to the source here: Since the facts are so readily available, your misinformation leaves your readers with the impression that you might be disingenuous.

      As for infant baptism, the Baptists base their opposition to the practice on the absence of an explicit directive in the New Testament. Yet there is nothing in scripture that explicitly reserves baptism for adults only.

      The Catholic Church has always baptized infants and the practice is scriptural. We understand from Jesus’ words in Lk 18: 15-16 to “…let the children come to me…” when some disciples prevented people from bringing “even infants” to Jesus. In Acts 2:38-39 Peter called for baptism for “…every one of you…” for the promise of the Holy Spirit is “to you and to your children”. And of course there are several biblical accounts of “entire households” being baptized (Acts 16:33, 1 Cor 1:16). So it is reasonable to expect that infants and children might have been included in these baptisms.

      Baptists aren’t satisfied with this on the grounds that only believers can be baptized and since children haven’t reached the age of reason, they can’t declare themselves as believers.

      To settle the dispute, Christians must consider that what we now refer to as the Bible, wasn’t even established until around the year 400AD. Surely, in the first 4 centuries of Christianity, the Church existed without a Bible, and had policies and practices regarding infant baptism. Jesus taught His first apostles directly and their successors received that same teaching indirectly. Jesus taught many things that were not put in writing, and St. John even states this in the last verse of his Gospel. (Jn 21: 25) So a question then is: Is infant baptism apostolic? So any dispute on this can be resolved according to what the Church practiced in the years before the Canon of the Bible was declared.

      And so it is that upon a review of the writings of the early Church Fathers, we find that infant baptism was very much the accepted practice. An article about that can be found here: Perhaps the most highly regarded early church father was Augustine of Hippo. With regard to baptism as a Sacrament, St. Augustine wrote “Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the Sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond.” (Source: “The Faith of the Early Fathers” vol. 3 W.A. Jurgens)

      Finally, the Church does not ignore the issue of infants’ inability to declare their faith. The Church regards Baptism as one of three Sacraments of initiation. The others are Communion and Confirmation. Confirmation, is distinct from Baptism, and is the “laying on of hands…” to which St. Paul refers in Heb 6: 1-2. Confirmation “perfects” our Baptism and (in the West) is customarily reserved for those who’ve been baptized and have reached the “age of reason”.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Catholics do NOT worship icons. The crucifix and statues are in the church as representations / reminders of Jesus and the saints. They help to keep focus. Catholics are not that stupid to believe that a ceramic staute has mystical powers, no matter what lies your Baptist preacher is telling you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Both of these religions are too non progressive for me. The Catholic Church has made too many rules that have to do with its profit structure and not enough expectations of their clergy to follow the ten commandments. The Baptist Church in general is the next step out of the dark ages from the Mormon,Amish,Mennonite religions. That is my feeling. Each person however should decide what they believe and no one else should do anything but help them live that life. If you live in Montgomery County Pa here are two links listing locations of Catholic and Baptist Churches in your area and


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