Q. I consider myself a Christian but you seem to refer to non Catholics as Protestants. Why?
A. Well, because Christian refers to followers of Jesus Christ. There are three major groups of Christians:
- Catholic Christians-Founded by Jesus Christ
- Eastern Orthodox Christians-Break away the result of schism 1000’s
- Protestant Christians-Break away the result of the Luther’s Reformation 1500’s
All Christians have the majority of their beliefs in common with each other. But, of course, there are differences. The differences between Catholics and Orthodox are very few. The primary difference would be that the Orthodox Churches reject the Primacy of the authority of the Pope.
All the various denominations of churches resulting from protests against the Catholic Church in the 1500’s are called Protestants. At first there were Lutherans, then Presbyterians and Baptists. These have continued to split and multiply, until today there are over 40,000 different denominations born of the Protestant Reformation. Although Catholics and Protestant share many of their beliefs in common they have many more differences between them than between Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Most Protestant denominations have carried forward the traditions begun by Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII in opposition to Catholic doctrine. For this reason, it is easier, when addressing these differences to speak about Protestant beliefs rather than Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Calvary Chapel, etc. beliefs.