Had a few conversations lately where non-denominational Christians have politely suggested that Catholics aren’t Christian. I don’t find this offensive or off-putting as a Catholic but curious why some people think that.

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There are certain Catholic doctrines that are not consistent with Scripture. For example, praying to saints. Because of this, many protestant Christians, myself included, don't consider the Catholic Church to be representative of orthodox Christianity (note the lowercase "o"). However, it is important to note that one's salvation is not dependent on the church one attends, but on one's personal, saving relationship with God through Jesus. I believe many Catholics are saved, but not because they are Catholic. In fact, I would say in spite of the fact that they are Catholic.


I should also add that the same holds true for other churches. One can attend a Baptist church (or Lutheran, Methodist, non denominational, etc.) and still not be saved. It's all about a personal, saving relationship with God through Jesus.


(Context grew up as a catholic and became a non denominational Christian)

First, I personally would never tell someone who is Catholic that I do not consider them Christian. I don’t see how holding that perspective is helpful. I support all communities that are devoted to God, especially during a time when church attendance and the number of people identifying as Christian has been declining.

However, I do think that Catholicism has practices and beliefs that are not biblical (belief in saints and worship of Mary). Overall my impression is that all the rules, rituals, saints, and layers of priests keep Christ from being at the center of our worship.


Not here to pick fights or argue, but here are some of the things I’ve heard over the years:

1. They don’t like/understand the hierarchy element in Catholicism
2. They believe that you can go directly to God for anything and everything and all they need is the Bible; no need for others, such as a priest, to help guide them
3. They don’t understand the history of Christianity
4. They think the idea of saints and the idea of praying to saints is polytheistic and/or idol-worshipping
5. The priest scandals that have rocked the church over the last couple decades
6. The Catholic church has been continued to remain very socially conservative (abortion, birth control etc)

I don’t think any catholic worships saints or Mary. Saying that we pray to saints is also a stretch. We absolutely place Mary and saints in high regard and place more emphasis on them than evangelicals.

Sadly it’s centuries of Protestant brainwashing and ingrained prejudice (especially in the US where WASPs were in control for most of the country’s history and even mostly today). It starts early, so many Protestants don’t question the myths they’ve been taught about the Catholic Church since they were children.

Protestants like to believe the schism is mainly about theology (and there certainly are theological differences), but in reality the Catholic/Protestant schism has always been mainly about political and worldly power. Just as the innumerable divisions within the Protestant world are also about human power and control.

The Protestant identity is in many ways based on being anti-Catholic, so it is the foundation of many of their teachings and a core topic of instruction. The preachers feel the need to continually perpetuate this anti-Catholic ideology, and have shaped Protestant teaching and theology in order to justify the many schisms they have created within the universal church.

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