Protestantism and Evangelicalism are sects of Christianity. Evangelicalism is considered a branch of the Protestant movement. In the Evangelical vs. Protestant debate, people attempt to establish whether they have different beliefs.
Protestantism and Evangelicalism differ in many ways. One of the major differences between other Protestant churches and the Evangelical Church is their view of the Holy Communion. Protestants believe that the Lord’s Supper is a continuation of a tradition started by Christ. On the other side, Evangelical churches have varied views about the Holy Communion; some believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, while others believe that the Holy Communion is a continuation of a tradition started by Jesus Christ.
What is the difference between Protestants and Evangelical? What are the similarities between Protestant and Evangelical? Which came first between Protestant and Evangelical? What do Evangelicals think of Protestants? Are Evangelicals and Protestants both Christians? Can Evangelicals attend Protestant churches? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the difference between Protestants and Evangelical?
Protestantism and Evangelicalism differ in several ways. The table below shows these differences.
|Beliefs, values, and practices||Protestantism||Evangelicalism|
|Name||The name Protestant comes from the Latin word Protestatio which means declaration. Protestantism includes all Christian churches that emerged during the 16th-century protestant Reformation.||The name Evangelical is derived from the Greek term euangelion, which means good news.|
|Origin||Protestantism originates from the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. The Reformation started in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses at the front door of the Castle Roman Catholic Church.||The Evangelicalism movement can be traced back to 1738. Pietism and Radical Pietism, Presbyterianism, Puritanism, Moravianism, and Quakerism are some theological streams that gave birth to this movement.|
|Early Influencers||Early contributors to the Protestant movement include Martin Luther (ignited the entire Protestant movement and later founded Lutheranism), Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin (Calvinism).||Early contributors to the Evangelicalism movement include John Wesley, Nicolaus Zinzendorf (Bishop of the Moravianism movement), and many more.|
|Membership||About thirty-seven percent of all Christians across the globe are protestants. This translates to between nine hundred million to one billion members.||The Evangelical movement has approximately six hundred and nineteen members across the globe, a majority being in the United States.|
|View of the Holy Communion||Protestants believe that the Lord’s Supper is a continuation of a tradition started by Christ.||Evangelical churches have varied views about the Holy Communion; some believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, while others believe that the Holy Communion is a continuation of a tradition started by Jesus Christ.|
What are the similarities between Protestant and Evangelical?
There are similarities between Protestant and Evangelical churches. The table below shows the similarities that exist between the two movements.
|Beliefs, values, and practices||Protestantism||Evangelicalism|
|Nature of God||Protestants believe that God is Sovereign and exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.||Evangelicals also believe that God is a Supreme Being and exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-the Holy Trinity.|
|Source of Authority||Protestants believe that the Holy Scriptures are the sole source of authority in the Church.||Evangelicals also believe that the Holy Scriptures are the sole sources of authority in the Church.|
|Bible||Protestants use the Hebrew Bible (66 books). During the Reformation, Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant movement, decided that the Protestants should use Hebrew rather than the Greek Bible.||Evangelical churches being part of the Protestant movement, use the Hebrew Bible.|
|Celibate Priesthood||Celibacy is not a requirement for Protestants wishing to become priests in their churches.||Celibacy is not a requirement for Evangelicals wishing to become priests in their churches.|
|Salvation||Protestants believe that salvation or justification is by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ.||Evangelicals believe that salvation or justification is by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ.|
|View about Christ||Protestants believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He was born of a Virgin, died and was crucified for the atonement of the sins of humankind, rose on the 3rd day, and ascended to Heaven.||Evangelicals believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He was born of a Virgin, died and was crucified for the atonement of sins of humankind, rose on the 3rd day, and ascended to Heaven.|
|Day of Worship||Protestants have chosen Sunday as their day of worship. This is in line with the majority of the Christian denominations.||Church services in Evangelical churches are held on Sundays.|
|Nature of Humans||Protestants believe all human beings are naturally sinful.||All Evangelical Church followers believe that all human beings are naturally sinful.|
|Heaven||Protestants acknowledge the presence of Heaven or paradise, which is the place where righteous people will go.||Evangelicals acknowledge that Heaven exists and that it is the place all saved people will go after judgment day.|
|Hell||Protestants believe that there is hell, which is the place where all sinners and non-believers will go after judgment day.||Evangelicals believe that hell exists and is where all sinners and non-believers will go after judgment day.|
|View about Baptism||Protestants believe that the Baptism rite identifies a believer with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Also, they believe Baptism signifies becoming a full member of the Protestant faith.||Members of Evangelical churches believe Baptism identifies a believer with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. They also believe that the rite makes someone a full member of the Evangelical Church.|
Which came first between Protestant and Evangelical?
Protestants came before Evangelicals. Protestantism emerged from the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. The Reformation started in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses at the front door of the Castle Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther’s intention was not to bring division to the Roman Catholic Church. Still, after his reformed doctrines spread across Europe, many influential persons in the Church thought he was right and started their churches (based on the reformed Catholic beliefs, values, and practices). Currently, the Protestant movement boasts between nine hundred and one billion followers across the globe.
The Evangelicalism movement can be traced back to 1738. Pietism and Radical Pietism, Presbyterianism, Puritanism, Moravianism, and Quakerism are some theological streams that gave birth to this movement. The Evangelicalism movement gained momentum during the Great Awakenings of the 19th century in the United States and Great Britain. As of 2016, there were about six hundred and nineteen million Evangelical movement followers across the globe.
What do Evangelicals think of Protestants?
Evangelicals think of Protestants as a family but disagree with several of their beliefs, values, and practices. This is so because Churches in the Evangelical movement view themselves as a better version of the Original Protestant movement. For instance, during the 16th century, Martin Luther used the term Evangelical to distinguish Lutheran believers from other churches in the Protestant movement.
Are Evangelicals and Protestants both Christians?
Evangelicals and Protestants are both Christians. All Protestant churches were part of the Roman Catholic Church before the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. This resulted in the division of the Catholic Church into the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. The Roman Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian Church, started by Jesus and his followers. Therefore, all the movements and churches that broke from the Roman Catholic Church are sects of Christianity because their teachings and practices are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Can Evangelicals attend Protestant churches?
Evangelicals are free to attend Protestant churches. Protestant churches have an open-door policy for any wishing to attend or join their services. As shown above, the Evangelicals and other Protestant churches share much in common; therefore, when Evangelicals attend Sunday service at another Protestant Church of their choice, they will still feel at home. The only thing that they cannot do is participate in the Holy Communion because some Protestant churches practice closed communion, and even for those that practice open communion, one has to be confirmed before they are allowed to participate in taking the Lord’s Supper at the altar of the host Church.
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