What does that even mean?
A lot of times people will tell me, “I’m a Christian”. But that can mean so many things! Someone who is Christian could be Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, Coptic Christian, Anglican, Catholic… the list goes on and on!
Whenever someone tells me that they are Christian, I always probe further. I ask them what denomination they are, because I’m interested! I’m always curious, because there is such a large variety in Christianity, but people are often unaware of it.
There are implications when someone simply states that they are a “Christian”. Does that mean someone who identifies as Roman Catholic or Lutheran is not Christian? No! These are all different denominations of Christianity. It often gives people the wrong idea, or creates misunderstandings.
Oftentimes, you can hear people saying, “Oh my mom’s Catholic and my dad’s Christian.” These people do not understand that they are saying something similar to “Lucy is an orangutan while Benny is an ape”. In that certain case, both Lucy and Benny are apes. Similarly, Catholicism is just another branch of Christianity!
Although Protestantism and Catholicism have many differences, they are both branches of Christianity. I have heard many people make arguments for why Catholicism isn’t considered a legitimate branch of Christianity, and I find it quite silly. Protestantism began with Martin Luther, who was previously a Roman Catholic priest. He left the Catholic church to create Lutheranism, and it is because of his past involvement with the Catholic church that I cannot comprehend those who claim that Catholicism is not a true religion. If the Catholic church did not exist first, he would have never had anything to disagree with and create his own religion with! Whether you agree with the Catholic church or not, Luther had to get his ideas from disagreeing with someone.
Protestantism evolved from Catholicism. If one is to call Protestants Christians, then it only makes sense to acknowledge Catholics as Christians as well. How could you claim to be something and then deny your predecessor? It would be like ice claiming to not be related to water. It is my opinion that all branches of Christianity are legitimate religions, because most of them share the same common core beliefs. Belief in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, the trinity. Simply put, they are the same element in different forms.
Of course, it is also my personal belief that all religions are true.
Readers, what do you think about the diversity in Christianity? What are your thoughts on religion in general?