Belief in God or nature; seeking God through devotion; a system of worship, and faith all together is termed as “religion”. Every religion has its views and traditions. Across the world, several religions are practised, and one of them is Christianity. There are five divisions of Christianity:
- Roman Catholicism
- Eastern Orthodoxy
- Oriental Orthodoxy
- The Church of the east
These five divisions are further divided into small groups of their distinctive features. During the 16th century reformation, there originated a form of Christianity- Protestantism due to a movement caused by followers stating that there are errors in the Catholic Church. Protestantism has eight major branches. Among them are Baptists and Pentecostals.
Baptist vs Pentecostal
The difference between Baptist and Pentecostal is that they are two branches of the same division; they have different approaches towards divinity and God, even their values differ in some or the other way. The two churches follow a common Holy book, i.e. the Bible. Their practices of praying and singing are different too.
The Baptist Church leans towards the Holy Spirit. They teach the supremacy of the King James Bible and believe in the doctrine of Cessationism. The Baptists believe that an individual once saved is forever safe.
The Pentecostals lean towards the Spirit while the other leans towards the Holy Spirit. They believe in Continuation. The Pentecostals contradict the Baptist belief and state that an individual should have faith or would lose salvation.
Comparison Table Between Baptist and Pentecostal
|Parameters of Comparison||Baptist||Pentecostal|
|The Trinity||They believe in the Trinity.||They believe in the Trinity, but there is a significant division over the nature of the Trinity- Oneness Pentecostals.|
|Prayers||They sing hymns and their prayers have a soft tone.||They pray loudly and sing hymns.|
|End-time Theology||Believes in end-time theology, which includes amillennialism, dispensationalism, and premillennialism.||Believes in end-time theology, which says the last generation before Christ’s return would receive special power of Prophecy, healing, etc.|
|Women||Restricted to become pastors.||Allowed to become pastors.|
|Views on homosexuality||They prefer traditional marriages but believes that problems related to homosexuality can be solved by love and compassion.||They are conservative and have a strict moral code; they consider homosexuality an issue.|
What is Baptist?
Baptist Church is a Christian group. It belongs to Protestantism. They practice Baptism too, but they believe in the immersion of a person and not pouring or sprinkling water. This distinguishes Baptists from other churches. The first Church labelled to be Baptists goes back to 1609 in Amsterdam.
They believe in “once saved; forever saved”, meaning faith is saved forever once someone receives Jesus as their saviour. They don’t believe in the tongue (spiritual language). Baptists believe and preach Cessation, which is a doctrine that says the offering of Prophecy that ended during the time of Apostles.
Baptists believe in the godliness of the Bible. They also believe that an individual can attain salvation by having faith in Jesus Christ. They advocate the independence of the Church from the Government, i.e., there should be no authority over the Church.
An individual can adjudicate his/her relationship with God is what Baptists believe, and this message was liked by many people after the Protestant movement, which led to the formation of Baptist groups.
What is Pentecostal?
The term Pentecostal is borrowed from ‘Pentecost’, which is an event that celebrates the perpetuation of the Holy Spirit on Jesus Christ’s followers. This Church also belongs to the Protestantism group. They believe their movement reflects spiritual powers and teachings of the Apostolic age of the Church. Their movement is also described as Full Gospel.
They believe that an individual may lose salvation if he/she doesn’t have faith. Unlike the Baptists, they believe in mystical, spiritual language. They also stick by the inerrant nature of the Bible.
Pentecostal movements consist of denominations that are all continuations, i.e., they believe that the gift of prophecy, healing, and speaking in a spiritual language is a part of the Church since the resurrection of the Christ. Rather than believing in theologies, they believe in practical experiences of life.
Pentecostal Church believes and emphasizes more on individual holiness, which includes abnegation of gambling, drugs, alcohol, indecent dressing, and homosexuality.
Main Differences Between Baptist and Pentecostal
- Baptists believe in One God in three persons, i.e. the Trinity, while amongst the pentecostal Church, there are disputes about the nature of the God in three persons, which includes assemblies of God.
- The Pentecostals sing and pray loudly. On the other hand, Baptists practice praying quietly and singing hymns.
- End-time theology says that Jesus will return as a peacemaker; both the Baptists and the Pentecostals believe in end-time theology. The only difference is that the Pentecostals believe that the last generation, before the return of Christ, will receive special wonders of Prophecy, healing powers, etc.
- Pentecostals allow women to become pastors; on the contrary, the Baptist church does not allow women to become pastors.
- When it comes to homosexuality, Pentecostals are reserved and conservative having a strict moral code; they consider homosexuality as an issue. The Baptists prefer traditional marriages over homosexual ones but also believe that problems related to homosexuality can be solved through love and compassion.
The Baptists and the Pentecostals being two branches of the same division of Protestantism, like their period of establishments, their values, and beliefs to differ. Both churches teach an individual to be a good human, but their approaches towards God differ in various aspects.
There is a great difference between their moral and ethics; the baptist endorses strict regulations which include modest dressing of women and thinks that pop culture and contemporary music is wrong. The Pentecostal women are strictly told to wear long dresses, no ornaments, and no make-up. Pentecostal churches tell their followers to not practice gambling, drugs, alcohol, etc., while Baptist Church does not.
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