Christianity holds the maximum percentage of population in the world, though not the oldest religion as compared to others. This religion is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ along with his birth, death and resurrection.
Around 26% of the world’s population are Christians, In the course of time, Christianity was divided into many groups called denominations. Catholicism formed around 1054 AD which was the first denomination under the religion. In the 16th Century, Martin Luther perceived few mistakes in the practices of Catholic Church and formed Protestantism.
Catholic vs Lutheran
The difference between Lutherans from Catholics is that Lutherans believe Grace and Faith alone can save an individual whereas Catholics believe in faith which is formed by love and work can save.
The difference between them is the belief of the Catholics strongly lies on doing good work with faith towards God brings salvation. Lutherans believe in showing love and faith to Jesus Christ brings them salvation.
Comparison Table Between Catholic and Lutheran (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Catholic||Lutheran|
|Head of Church||Pope. Catholics strongly believe that Pope is the successor of St. Peter. Pope is considered to have the supreme authority.||Elected Councils are the head of church.|
|Importance of the Bible||Bible and Church Tradition is the source of truth||Bible alone is the only source of truth|
|Salvation||It is achieved through faith and good works||It is achieved through faith|
|Sacraments||Catholics believe in 7 Sacraments||Lutherans believe in 2 Sacraments|
|Traditions||Followed based on Church’s orders||Followed based on the Bible|
What is Catholic?
They are considered to be the foremost Christians. Believed and formed by Jesus Christ: The Son of God, formed a Christian community with twelve disciples, otherwise called as Apostles.
The advancement of the Christian community which was formed by the Twelve Apostles is the Catholic Church. The Church’s leader is the successor of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, otherwise called s Pope.
Jesus Christ appointed St. Peter to be the head of the Church initially in the first century AD. So, the appointed Pope is the sole successor of St. Peter.
Catholics have a very strong belief in Baptism. The belief of every human born in the world is born with sin and only baptism can remove it.
The church is the one true church for the Catholics. The distinctive way of looking at the Pope as the only Vicar of Christ on earth is Catholics’ belief.
Bible is deeply worshipped as the inspired word of God. The Catholic Church in Rome has protected the original scriptures of Bible for so many years.
Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ is worshipped as the first among all the saints. Mother Mary is also considered to be the mother of Church.
Catholics do not pray to any statues; they pray to God. Catholics believe in resurrection and not reincarnation.
What is Lutheran?
A strong effort to reform Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s gave raise to Protestantism. Martin Luther, who was the Professor of Bible at University of Wittenberg then, started this movement.
The political and academic climate then existed in Europe, gave impetus to the reformation. In the year 1521, there was a split in Christianity, Catholics and Lutherans.
Martin Luther never liked the name Lutheran, rather supported the name Evangelical meaning ‘Good news’. The term Lutheran was kept by a German Theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck.
The faith of Lutherans is based out of doctrines laid out by Martin Luther. In the year 1625, the first Lutheran Church was set up.
Lutherans strongly condemned the authority of Pope. Their belief lied only on Bible.
Heaven and Hell are literal places for the Lutherans. Hell is considered to be the place of punishments whereas the heaven is the place of God.
Lutherans reject a lot of practices by Catholics. They strongly condemn the fact that salvation can happen only through grace of faith in God and not by any other means.
Lutherans practice Baptism, however, do not believe in the fact of sin cleansing practice. They believe that the humans can be saved only by grace through faith on God along with the bible.
Main Differences Between Catholic and Lutheran
Christianity never had any differences until the Church’s authorities’ indulgence towards money grew. When Martin Luther questioned the same along with the like-minded followers, a new movement formed.
Lutherans set their own doctrines in lines of Christianity and followed the same. Though the serene of the religion is never damaged, there were a few prime differences between the Catholics and the Lutherans.
- The main Catholic belief of faith formed by love and work along can save a person from sins is totally contradicted by the Lutherans. They believe in the concept of faith and Christ alone can save a person.
- Lutheran believe traditions are to be followed as per scriptures, but the Catholics follow the Church orders also.
- Catholics view Mother Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Infact, praying God through her is a tradition followed by them too, whereas Lutherans emphasize on direct access to God and give less prominence to Mother Mary.
- Catholics have a true authority in Pope whereas the Lutheran churches function independently without any clear ONE authority for all the churches.
- Catholic Bible has 73 books whereas Lutheran Bible has 66.
The Lutheran and Catholics agree upon many Christian essentials. However, it cannot be denied that they have issues in many of their beliefs and practices.
The Christian teachings are similar for both of them. In fact they are considered to be writings of Church Fathers.
A religion is formed to unite people for a cause. The groups have formed to enhance their belief system to reach their purpose soon.
Be it a Catholic or a Lutheran, human belief system works wonders to what is being focused strongly.
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