Protestant means part of the churches that split from the Catholic Church and formed churches after the Reformation of the 1500's. Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Calvary Chapel, etc. are all "protestant" churches.
The Reformation was begun by Martin Luther in Germany in the early 1500's when he nailed 90 points of basically opposition to the Catholic Church on the door of a German Cathedral.
It included needing a priest to confess your sins, interpretation of scripture by non-clergy, prayer to others than the Trinity, etc.
Read about the Reformation or Martin Luther if you are included. It is very interesting and will add greatly to your knowledge in many ways.
Just a great question. I was brought up Catholic too.
Lutheran and protestants are break offs of a Catholic Church gone glutton in the middle ages. Preists were indulging and they decided to break off on their own.
Some left so they could research and do science, some for freedom, some were Jews and some were Muslims.
Study your witch trials and stuff, burning heretics at the stake and the inquisition are quite horrible things. So Christians and catholics cannot say they are any better than Muslim fundamentalists that cut your hand off for stealing. These people when they believe they are more holy than some other is when great and horrible things come out. All will be revealed for who they truly are. Great persons will rise up and total ugliness together at once. Headed this way towards WW III, now as you will see if you study and church and prewar history. I am a theology and history buff majoring in Missions, religion and nursing so I can tell you history repeats itself cause 90% of the world is insane: meaning repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Who wins a war? Ask the dead, or the starving.
After war= those who live through it rise to the top, but forget their humble beginnings and the cycle begins again.
As for religion break offs, when you see this happening it will cause great tribulation, as is happening again, and did when Jesus came to Earth.
Anyone following the basics of both Lutheran and most any of the other Protestant "religions" will have the opportunity to hear The Salvation Message. And may come to find their way to God in The Way He proscribes.
Those who only know the RC dogma will never find their way to God in The Way He proscribes... unless they do it outside the cont role of the cult. All who only follow the cont role of RC man invented religion will be lost and eternally separated from God.
Those of The True Church are not of any man invented "religion" though they may participate in one of the "Christian denominations" Which the RC cult is not a part of.
Lutherans, ARE Protestants. Protestants came out of the Catholic church. Martin Luther protested the convert by force/death that the Roman Catholics were practicing through the Spanish Inquisitions, and the Crusades. That's what Protestant means--those that protested.
The first Protestant church, was the Lutherans, named after Martin Luther. So what we now had were Catholics and Protestants and that's how we are all still called Christians. But it gets even more complicated, because some Protestants wanted to keep some of the teachings of the Catholic church, and some wanted to discard them all. So the Protestants were divided even further. Still all are Christians.
There are many sects of Protestant Christians. Morman, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Pentacostal, Baptist, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc...We don't all hail Mary, believe in saints, or believe in the trinity explanation of the nature of God.
In order for Luther to split from the Catholic faith he made up "faith alone" apart from charity and good works.
The protestants copied the Nicean Creed without questioning the creed's description of the trinity. So you have protestants and catholics alike saying "three personalities" or "three persons" and some even saying "three Gods" instead of one God the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember this saying from the one come many and from the many comes one. God never gave mankind a religion to follow. All religions were created by man. That should be enough said to answer the question about the confusion about all the different religions. God said to follow him And not some man made religion that suppose to represent God.. The next time you read the 10 commandment I want you to really read them and maybe you will see that No Church gave them to you. God did. Another thing no church can save you only God can do that. So to be honest the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, the Lutheran, are not in a position's to do anything for you other then to get rich off of you. Jesus the Christ made it very clear when he said the only way to the father is Thur me. Not a church but Thur me, think about it . Have a nice day.
The Catholic Church has been accused of depending on works to get to heaven, however, scores of headlines several months ago where Pope John Paul II said the only way is through Jesus and His precious shed Blood, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Now, to do away with all suspicion about the Catholic Church Believing in works, the Pope signed an agreement with the Lutheran federation of the world admitting that Luther was Right.
It is justification by faith alone. Romans 1:17. Not by works. But then the Pope added, I want to just say I don't believe we are saved by works, but I believe that when we are saved, the works will manifest. That is what we teach. We are saved by grace in Ephesians 2:8. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do the good works. Faith without works is dead James 2:20.
Are Catholics Christians? The fact is this, Pope John Paul ll signed this 1 year before his death. They have spent a lot of time away from Lutheran teachings, according to the Pope himself.
The common basis for us all is faith in Jesus Christ. That Jesus is the Son of God, he died for our sins, rose on the third day and if we trust in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins, we will go to heaven. In the gospel of John, Jesus told Nicodemus what a person had to do to be able to go Heaven......Please read the gospel of John chapter 3 verses 1 - 21..
With this being said let me say that I believe someday when we get to heaven there will be some Catholics there, Lutherans there and Protestants there... However, there will also be some of each of these groups that will end up in Hell.... Jesus told Nicodemus that "you must be born again"....... Jesus told us that for us to be able to enter the kingdom of heaven that "ye must be born again"... Any person of the Catholic faith that will someday will be in heaven will have met this criteria that Jesus said that everyone had to pass.... which again was being "born again".... Whats important is that this is Jesus' own words to us so we should listen..... Please read the entire book of John to seek your answer as to if you personally are born again.... This leads me to more specifically answer your question.
Some orthodox Catholics believe that only Catholics will be in heaven someday and that "Catholic church membership" ensures that one will go to heaven.... Some very conservative protestant groups believe that since Catholics place a high emphasis on Mary and on Priests and on doing good works that no Catholics will go to heaven.... Not all Catholics are so rigid in their thinking as to say "no protestants" (including no Lutherans) will go to heaven... Also, not all protestants are so rigid in their thinking saying "no Catholics " will be in heaven... The answer is very simple... Who goes to heaven is not a decision made by the Catholic Church, By Protestant or Lutheran Belief but by one and only person who is Jesus Christ..... Jesus said "ye must be born again"...There are many Protestants and Lutherans and Catholics that are not yet "born again".......I believe the process of confirmation can lead many people to have a "saving faith" that allows one to become "born again" and thus be on their way to heaven.... But unless a person truly loves Jesus and has a "heart felt change of repentance and realizes they are a sinner and that trusting in Jesus as their savior as the only way to go to heaven", then they are not "born again.... So just because one completes the "confirmation process" is not a guarantee that they are going to heaven... Just because I am a member of a protestant or Lutheran Church or a member of the Catholic Church does it mean that I am "born again"...
Think of your own personal experiences and I am sure this will make sense to you.... As a Catholic and growing up you probably have met many Catholics with many personalities....I feel sure you know many Catholics who are "born again". Some one who is "born again" will try to reflect the love of Christ to others.. What I mean by that is these people have a kind and loving heart....They show others respect and love... They are "long suffering" which means they are patient with others....The bible says that as Christians will show the "fruit of the spirit" which is "love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...." You have probably met some Catholics who consistently do not show these qualities..... The same is true for Lutherans and Protestants... I know of many examples of people who call themselves Christians by names and go to Protestant Churches because it is good for business contacts..... If that's the main reason they are going then one must ask if they are "born again"? Sadly, they probably are not....
Martin Luther was a Catholic Priest... But due to some controversial things going on in the Catholic Church, he left... One of the main controversies was that the Catholic Church at that time to raise money sold "indulgences"..This was sold to very rich members who once they had bought the "indulgence" could then go and do various "immoral" acts and be granted forgiveness by the priest... It was a fund raiser...I am sure that there were many Catholics that saw the wrong in this.
Martin Luther began the Protestant reformation because he believed that we are saved by "faith" not "works".. Good works are important and good works follow as a result of one being "born again"... But "good works " are not what it takes to get to heaven.... For instance, we should go to church to worship God because of the Love and Gratitude toward Jesus knowing that he died for our sins. In our love and gratitude toward Jesus paying our debt on the Cross gives us a desire to serve Jesus by doing good works... I dated a Catholic once and I remember once We went to a Catholic wedding on a Saturday that included a mass and she was happy because that relieved her obligating to go to church either Saturday night/ Sunday Morning.... Another example, a business man going to a protestant church on Sunday to have his truck seen with his business phone number advertised should not be the main reason to go to church...
Catholics believe that in communion, the bread and the juice after taking it actually becomes the blood of Christ and the body of Christ.... Protestants believe the communion is a Sacriment that we do "in remembrance of Jesus" sacrifice, but not that it actually becomes Christ Blood and Body..
Protestants and Lutherans believe that we can pray for forgiveness directly to Jesus...... Where as Catholics confess their sins through their Priests.. Protestants believe when we pray the Lords Prayer, in specific, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us"..... That this prayer in effect as a believer in Christ is asking Jesus and God for forgiveness.....
I hope some of this helps....Sorry for being so long winded... the main thing that all Catholics and Protestants and Lutherans must ask them selves is the same question Jesus talked to Nicodemas about, "are we born again".. So each of us must find out the answer to that question since Jesus himself talked about it as the only way to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven...Its a question each of us must ask ourselves individually.. In another words just because my mom and dad are "born again" does not mean that I am "born again" or just because I am "born again" does not mean that my mom and dad are "born again". In summary Church Membership does not guarantee being "born again". Jesus is the one who determines who goes to heaven...He will not ask anyone if they were confirmed as a Catholic, or if they were a member of the Lutheran Church, etc...
When true believers will be in heaven...I believe that the classification of Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Penticostal, Protestant, etc. will lose its importance that we placed on it on earth... I believe there will be some protestants and Catholics in Heaven... I believe there will be some that called themselves protestants and catholics here on are earth that will find themselves in hell.... Everyone that became "born again" willl be with Jesus in Heaven for eternity.... That much I am sure of because Jesus said it...... God Bless you as you seek the answers....