Catholic and Non-denominational churches differ significantly. In the never-ending non-denominational churches vs. Catholic debate, Christians and researchers try to determine the significant differences and similarities between these two religious groups. So, what are the major differences and similarities between non-denominational churches vs. Catholic?
Catholicism and Non-denominationalism differ in many ways. One of the significant differences between the two movements is their thought about the Pope; Catholics believe that the Pope is their general leader. Also, he is considered the final authority on all Church issues. He is viewed as the Vicar of Christ-he represents Jesus Christ here on earth. On the other hand, Non-denominational churches do not recognize the authority of the Pope. Also, they do not acknowledge the belief that any human being can act as the Vicar of Christ.
What is the difference between Catholic and Non-denominational churches? What are the similarities between Catholic and Non-denominational churches? What is the theological comparison between Catholic and Non-denominational churches? Which came first between Catholic and Non-denominational churches? Can Non-denominational churches attend Catholic churches? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the difference between Catholic and Non-denominational churches?
Catholic and Non-denominational movements differ in several ways. The table below shows these differences.
|Beliefs, values, and practices||Catholic Church||Non-denominational Movement|
|Name||The name Catholic comes from the Latin term Catholicus and the Greek term Katholikos which means universal. The term was first used by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, an early father of the Catholic Church, in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans.||Non-denominational is a term used by churches not formally associated with historical denominations such as Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestantism.|
|Origin||The Roman Catholic was established in the 1st century AD. It continues the early Christian Church, started by Jesus and his disciples. It is from the Roman Catholic Church that all the other churches emerged-Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and other denominations.||Non-denomination Christianity emerged in the 18th century through the Stone-Campbell Movement and consists mostly of churches detached from the already-established sects of Christianity, such as Catholicism and Protestantism. Also, it includes churches that individual pastors found.|
|View of the Pope||Catholics believe that the Pope is their leader and the final authority on all Church issues. He is viewed as the Vicar of Christ-he represents Jesus Christ on earth. Also, he is the Chief Pastor of the Church.||Non-denominational churches do not recognize the authority of the Pope. Also, they do not acknowledge the belief that any human being can act as the Vicar of Christ.|
|Theology||Catholic churches have a distinctive theology that identifies them with the Roman Catholic Movement.||Non-denominational churches do not have a distinctive theology that identifies them with any denomination.|
|Governance||Catholic Churches have a distinctive governance model that identifies them with the Roman Catholic Movement.||Non-denominational churches do not have any distinctive theology that identifies them with any Christian denomination.|
|Bible||Catholicism teaches that church traditions and the Holy Scriptures have equal authority.||Most Non-denominational churches are Evangelicals; therefore, they conform to the belief that the Bible is the final authority on all church issues.|
|Salvation||Catholic adherents believe that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ and good deeds.||Most Non-denominations churches teach that salvation/justification is through faith alone in Jesus Christ.|
|Sacraments||Catholics have seven sacraments; Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, the Eucharist, Penance, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. These sacraments are classified into three categories; sacraments of Initiation, sacraments of healing, and sacraments at the service of communion.||Most Non-denominational churches have two sacraments like their Protestant counterparts-Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.|
|Baptism||Catholic Churches baptize infants as young as 100 days old. According to the Catholic Church, this is crucial because it regenerates the Holy Spirit in infants. However, these children must be confirmed before participating in the Holy Communion as teenagers.||Non-denomination churches do not affirm the baptism of infants. They believe that children should only be baptized when they are old enough to understand the benefits of the rite.|
|View about the Nature of the Holy Communion||Catholics believe that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are truly present in the elements (bread and wine) used during the Eucharist.||Non-denominational Church members believe that the Lord’s Supper is just a continuation of a tradition started by Jesus in the early Church.|
|Celibate Priesthood||Celibacy is a requirement for those wishing to become Priests in the Catholic Church.||Celibacy is not a requirement for those wishing to become priests in Non-denominational churches.|
|Canonization of Believers||The Catholic Church canonizes believers who are seen as Role Models in the Church. This privilege is given to those who commit their entire lives to the services of others in society. Mother Teresa committed her whole life to mission work and charity; in 2016, Pope Francis canonized her.||Non-denominational churches do not canonize late believers who devoted their lives to mission and charity. However, they believe it is good to learn from them.|
|Veneration of Mary and Saints||Catholics pray through Mary and the Saints because they believe they act as mediators between God and Human beings.||Non-denominational churches do not affirm the practice of praying through any human being. They believe that Jesus Christ is the only person worthy of praying through because he was pure and the Son of God.|
|Sacraments as Channels of God’s Grace||Catholics believe that the seven sacraments are channels of receiving God’s grace.||Non-denomination churches view sacraments as continuation rites and not as channels of receiving the grace of God.|
|Membership||The Catholic movement has approximately 1.3 billion baptized members worldwide. It is the largest Christian denomination across the globe.||The number of Non-denomination church members is unknown, but they are in the millions.|
|Hierarchy||Catholic churches are hierarchical. They have a vertical structure, with the followers being the lowest on the structure and the Papacy being the highest office in the Church.||Non-denominational churches have a horizontal structure. They are community-based, and members of the community called elders lead them.|
|Bible used||Catholics used the Bible with 73 books-Greek Bible.||Non-denomination churches use the Bible with 66 books-the Hebrew Bible.|
What are the similarities between Catholic and Non-denominational churches?
Catholic and No-denominational churches differ in a number of ways. The table below shows these similarities.
|Beliefs, values, and practices||Catholic Church||Non-denominational Movement|
|Nature of God||Catholics believe in God’s Triune nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.||Non-denominational churches also believe that God exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.|
|View of the Bible||Catholics believe that the Bible is inspired.||Non-denomination church followers believe that the Bible is inspired.|
|Heaven||Catholics believe that Heaven exists and is where all believers will go after judgment day.||Followers of non-denominational churches also believe Heaven is reserved for righteous people after judgment day.|
|Hell||Catholics believe that hell exists and that all non-believers shall be punished for eternity.||Methodists affirm that hell exists and that all sinners and non-believers will be thrown there to burn for eternity.|
|The second coming of the Messiah||Catholics believe in the 2nd coming of Christ during the end of times.||Non-denominational churches also acknowledge the 2nd coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead.|
What is the theological comparison between Catholic and Non-denominational churches?
Catholic theology includes the individual dogmas and doctrinal system established and defended by the Catholic Church. The theological system is founded on two axioms, the Christ-Church interconnection and the nature-grace interdependence. It is from these axioms that different Catholic beliefs flow. Conversely, Non-denominational churches do not have any distinctive theology. They follow the theological teachings of all other denominations combined.
Which came first between Catholic and Non-denominational churches?
Catholicism came before Non-denominationalism. Catholicism has been around since the 1st century AD. It is a continuation of the early Church founded by Jesus and his disciples. It is from Catholicism, and all Christian denominations were born. Conversely, Non-denominationalism was founded in the 18th century. Therefore, the movements are 18 centuries apart.
Can Non-denominational churches attend Catholic churches?
Non-denominational church followers can attend Catholic churches. The Catholic Church has an open-door policy; it allows any willing person to attend their masses on Sundays. However, visitors from other denominations are not allowed to participate in the Holy Communion until they are baptized and converted into Catholic followers.
church.org. (2022). What is a non-denominational church? Retrieved December 21, 2022
churchmyway.org. (2022, June 13). A non-denominational church (facts for 2022 ). Retrieved December 21, 2022
slife.org (2022). Catholic theology. Retrieved December 21, 2022
thegospelcoalition.org. (n.d.). Roman Catholic theology. Retrieved December 21, 2022
wikipedia.org. (2022, December 18). Catholic Church. Retrieved December 21, 2022
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