Skip to comments.Catholics, Protestants Practice Faith in Different Ways (Rasmussen surveys Christians in America)
Posted on 12/30/2008 4:47:26 PM PST by SeekAndFind
While Catholics and Protestants both fall under the broad umbrella of Christianity, they practice their faith in different ways.
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of regular churchgoers found that 25% of Evangelical Christians read the Bible on a daily basis along with 20% of other Protestants. Just seven percent (7%) of Catholics do the same. At the other extreme, 44% of Catholics rarely or never read the Bible along with only seven percent (7%) of Evangelical Christians and 13% of other Protestants.
Consider the divergence among the faiths in other areas, too. (All the figures that follow are based upon those who attend church at least twice a month.)
Ninety-one percent (91%) of Evangelical Christians consider themselves to be born again. Sixty-three percent (63%) of other Protestants have been born again along with 25% of Catholics.
Forty-four percent (44%) of Evangelical Christians reflect at least daily on the meaning of Scripture in their lives. Thirty-six percent (36%) of other Protestants and 22% of Catholics do the same.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Evangelical Christians have had a meaningful discussion about their faith with a non-Christian during the past month. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of other Protestants and 18% of Catholics also have held such a discussion.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Evangelical Christians attend a regular Bible Study or participate in some other small-group activity. Forty-seven percent (47%) of other Protestants take part in small groups related to their faith, along with 24% of Catholics.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of Evangelical Christians say their Church does an excellent job helping them understand the Bible. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of other Protestants and 52% of Catholics say the same.
Despite these differences, the overwhelming majority of all Christians believe that the God of the Bible is the one true God. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of churchgoing Evangelical Christians hold that view along with 94% of other Protestants and 92% of Catholics.
Forty-four percent (44%) of American adults attend Christian church services at least twice a month, and 92% of these regular churchgoers believe the God of the Bible is the one true God.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of adults also say life in the United States would be better if more Americans lived as Christians.
“Catholics, Protestants Practice Faith in Different Ways”
In other news, night is dark, water is wet, and stupid people will always comission stupid polls. I could have told them this for....1/2 the money.
I don’t know if I can make sense of this but............People born, raised and educated as Catholics, receive most of their religious education at a very early age. Especially if they have gone to Catholic schools. It is part of their daily lives. I don’t believe, although I’m not sure, Protestants don’t have that type of education at an early age. Catholics also studied Biblical History, not just the Bible and what is required of them as Catholics. Without Biblical History, it is difficult to understand what the Bible is saying.....kinda sorta. As an instance....what is the true meaning of the saying....”It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, than it is for a rich man to get to heaven.”?????? Understanding how people talked and understood things in ancient times gives a whole new meaning to the Bible and Religious education.
Oh you have GOT to see this!!!!!
This is a little misleading, implying that Catholics have little or no contact with The Bible.
If you go to Mass every day, you will hear the entire Bible read in two years -- three years if you go just on Sunday -- along with a homily on those readings.
“In other news, night is dark,...” Amen. Anyone who ever went to a Catholic mass or a Protestant service could tell you that.
For us Catholics, the Eucharist is what brings us to church. The readings from the Bible are OK, but we’ve heard the same stories over and over and over. I mean really, you are either going to grasp the meaning of love your neighbor as yourself the first few times you hear it, or you are never going to get it. The music can be entertaining on occasion. And the homilies are for reading the bulletin and daydreaming.
>>This is a little misleading, implying that Catholics have little or no contact with The Bible. <<
Oh and that Rosary thingy we do.
>>I think the issue is “reading” the Bible, not — having or not having contact with it.<<
So what do you think we do during the three readings in our Holy Masses?
>>And the homilies are for reading the bulletin and daydreaming.<<
Not in our parish!
Father Norbert would notice a couple people nodding and BOOM! His voice would echo in your ears with fire and brimstone!
Our bulletins are handed out at the end.
Not surprising. Protestants pretty much just have the Bible.
Catholics believe they have the sacramental life, the Church, Holy Tradition, etc. in addition to scripture.
I’m a protestant convert to the Catholic Church. The very idea of “church” is quite different.
Oh a telephone survey. That has got to be 100% accurate, right?
I should add an important point: the Communion of Saints. This too was left behind in the Protestant revolution.
When you remove this along with the Apostolic Church, the Sacraments.. you’re pretty much left with scripture as the sole remaining piece.
I realize most protestants make a virtue of this and are fine with it. My point is if it’s all that’s left, then it’s no surprise in the disproportion noted in your post.
So let me see if I can understand this.
If I have someone proclaiming the Word of God and I am following along in a missal, that is not the same as “reading the Word of God”?
But do you study what this really means? You can hear the scripture but you do need to spend time reflecting on it personally for it to mean anything to you.
I think yours is likely a common protestant understanding of the term.
It’s quite different from the one in the long history of the Church, as she listed in the creeds.
This difference is at the root of much of our differences in theology, as it developed in protestantism after the reformation, as well.
I have no need to worship “The Word of God”. Wearing a Bible like an accessory as I see many of my Protestant family members do .
I can however reflect on the Passion of Christ every single day in the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. So, please if you feel that immersing yourself in English words translated by some King is good enough, more power to you.
>>Hopefully, in his next survey, Rasmussen will take things like Rosaries and Sorrowful Mysteries into account ( in which case, Protestants and Evangelicals will get close to 0% ).<<
Actually, if you understand WHAT a Rosary is, you will find that that Protestants and Evangelicals are reflecting on just what the Catholics are. Only the Catholics don’t need the written words in front of them to see the Passion.
That’s the silly thing about this. We do the same things yet the MSM seeks to divide us.
“If you go to Mass every day, you will hear the entire Bible read in two years — three years if you go just on Sunday — along with a homily on those readings.”
Or you could (I know this might be a stretch) sit down and read and study the Bible at home as well as going to church. Invite some friends, someone bake something. Serve a little coffee and next thing you know, you have a nice Bible study group going on.
“For us Catholics, the Eucharist is what brings us to church. The readings from the Bible are OK, but weve heard the same stories over and over and over.”
Well I don’t pretend to speaking for all Protestants but what brings me to church is the fellowship with other believers and with Christ. These things that you call “readings from the Bible” are what we call sermons. Yes, we all know what the Bible says but it is nice to hear the Pastor read from a passage and then maybe explain how it might affect our lives in a personal way. Our Pastor has even been known to take questions from time to time DURING a sermon. On top of that, at my church we have a mens Bible Study Group, and a Womens Bible Study Group on alternating Teusdays and of course the usual Wednesday evening Prayer meeting.
How many times can you hear the same message about loving your neighbor as yourself? I guess until the world listens.
Starting with those of us that CLAIM (self included) to follow Jesus Christ.
>>Or you could (I know this might be a stretch) sit down and read and study the Bible at home as well as going to church. Invite some friends, someone bake something. Serve a little coffee and next thing you know, you have a nice Bible study group going on.<<
I’d much rather go to Holy Mass and receive Jesus himself.
Or even Adoration. Which would you prefer? To be with your Father or to read a letter from your Father. I’d rather be with Jesus than just read His Words.
I didn’t explain properly. What was left behind was not the term “Communion of Saints” nor a definition of it. But in that new definition, well over two-thirds of the Saints were ‘left behind’.
>>These things that you call readings from the Bible are what we call sermons.<<
Nooooo, those things you call “Sermons” we call Homilies.
Readings from the Bible are just that, readings from the Bible.
We get one Old Testament, one New Testament and a Gospel reading at each Holy Mass then the Priest talks. We even use the Psalms as responses to prayers!
Amazing isn’t it?
Id much rather go to Holy Mass and receive Jesus himself.”
Well this is where one of the differences lies between Catholics and other Christians. You seem to believe that you have to receive Christ into your life more than once.
Or do I misunderstand?
Sounds very different in some ways and in others...not so different at all.
“Or you could (I know this might be a stretch) sit down and read and study the Bible at home as well as going to church.”
True. Protestants - generally - spend more time studying the Bible. I don’t assume that means they know it better than all Catholics, or that they learn it in depth, but many Protestants, of all ages and walks of life, are more than willing to show up on Wednesday night for scripture study.
I’m Catholic, have studied the Bible, and own far TOO MANY lexicons, Bible handbooks, etc. I can’t get enough. I just bought three more such books two days ago and am trying to get ahold of a used book dealer about another book (a book of scripture passages about salvation set up for study and meditation). I wish more of my fellow Catholics in my area were as interested. I do, however, have the chance every Sunday to drive to the next town over and do Lectio Divina every Sunday with some great, Bible-loving Catholics.
(I also can’t wait until the Ignatius Study Bible-New Testament comes out in 2009! More than ten years in the making!)
>>You mean to say that the Old Testament, Psalms, The Acts and the Epistles have the Rosary in them ? I didn’t know that. <<
Nope, just the opposite.
Why don’t you tell me what you think “Praying the Rosary” entails and we can go from there.
many protestant friends of mine harp on the importance of reading the bible daily, as the catholic church recommends, but with one admonition...
studying the bible alone or in groups, without the guidance of the church as the keeper of the whole deposit of the faith, you tend to have a lot of personal interpretaton that leads down the wrong road....and you could end up with many different churches all claiming the their interpretations are correct.....
oh wait.....if im not mistaken, something like that happened a few centuries back.....hmmmm
“Protestants - generally - spend more time studying the Bible. I dont assume that means they know it better than all Catholics”
Agreed on both counts.
“Im Catholic, have studied the Bible, and own far TOO MANY lexicons, Bible handbooks, etc. I cant get enough. I just bought three more such books two days ago and am trying to get ahold of a used book dealer about another book (a book of scripture passages about salvation set up for study and meditation).”
You would be a real treasure at ANY Bible Study, Catholic OR Protestant. I admire your thirst for the Word.
That statement makes me sad. I teach an adult Sunday School and am very strong on meat over milk. I love it when someone suddenly realizes the significance of a passage she never noticed before, or never understood before. There is so much in there, a life time of study cannot grasp it all.
“Or do I misunderstand?”
Yep. You misunderstand. We believe Christ offers Himself to us through the Eucharist so that we commune with Him in as intimate a way as is possible on this earth. It isn’t that we must “receive Christ into your life more than once.” It is simply that He comes to us to strengthen us with His grace. Salvation is not a one shot dosage of grace. Once Saved, Always Saved is a 16th century Protestant belief. It has no Biblical basis nor is it historical.
>>You seem to believe that you have to receive Christ into your life more than once.
Or do I misunderstand?<<
Yes, you do.
We have the privilege of receiving Him anew every time He comes into us and His grace that goes along with it.
It’s amazing and I love it!
Don’t some Protestants get a big kick out of the Holy Spirit coming upon them over and over again? Isn’t once enough?
>>MATTHEW 18:20 : “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there I am together with them.”<<
Well, I can tell you from going to a few Protestant Prayer Groups, where women were catty as the day is long or BSF where they slammed Catholics like no tomorrow (I wasn’t with THEM long) IF The Father was there, he was shaking His head.
I’d rather spend my time with Jesus Himself, thanks.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said to "eat this bread" and "drink this cup" in memory of Him. Did He mean only once?
As a formerly active yet malnourished Catholic, I can say that it is true, that if you attend Catholic services you will hear bible excerpts. But, even if you attend Catholic services every day you will not get more than about 10 percent of the entire Bible over the course of 3 years. You will however get as much as the Catholic leadership has decided is necessary. It will not include much from Romans, Galatians and other epistles, mainly just from the Gospels, Acts, Genesis and Exodus.
Even in evangelical services where the Bible is literally taught line apon line through every chapter and verse it typically takes at least three years and nice long in depth teaching before a pastor can say, like Paul, “I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God.”
>>I guess there really isn’t a big difference between their Bible Study and Praying the Rosary. <<
You’ve got it!!!!
Scripture IS the basis of the Rosary.
“Once Saved, Always Saved is a 16th century Protestant belief. It has no Biblical basis nor is it historical.”
So how often must you be saved? Once a week? A day? A month? How do you know when it’s enough? I somethimes think the Protestant movement was started by people too lazy to follow all the rules you folks seem to have. By the way, is there Biblical basis for needing to be saved over and over?
I understand what you are saying, but I don't think that protestants study the Bible more because they have to in order to catch up with Catholics understanding. Protestants tend do a pretty good job of education, be it in Biblical History, Church History, etc; from a young age just like the Catholics. I think you would be surprised at how much Church history many of us know, I have a several dozen books on the subject and spend a lot of time discussing it with my friends (many of which are Catholic, and I feel I can at least hold my own).
We historically have put more emphasis on the need for personal study of the Bible (though you all are catching up). One of the first laws governing the Anglican church (and still in effect) is that a Bible in the vernacular had to be available at all times at all places of worship to anyone who wanted access. At time time the Catholic hierarchy wasn't particularly thrilled about these translations... the reformation actually brought about some positive changes in the RCC as well.
I certainly don't mean to attack Catholics here, the purpose of my post is entirely to defend us protestants. There are some clear and important doctrinal issues between protestants and Catholics; but I don't think these stem from a lack of education on either side.
As for you other point; you are absolutely correct. It is very important to have a historical background for any study of the Bible. I actually attend a very good study that touches on that at the local Catholic church. (I'm a very active member of my local Episcopal church, but try to do my own part towards ecumenicalism).