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What Does the Bible Say About..Catholics and Baptists?

I want to know what the differences are in Catholic's and Baptist's. My fiancee is a Catholic, not a very good practicing one, but nonetheless, and I am a Baptist, again, not a very good practicing one. He says they are the same and I disagree. Just wish I had some knowledge to back it up with...and scripture would be great!


I am no expert on either Catholic or Baptist doctrine, but I have studied their beliefs to a small extent. There are a number of specific differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Baptist Church. I will only mention the most obvious ones.

The Catholics believe in a hierarchy in the government of the church. That is, they have bishops over several churches, Cardinals over larger numbers of churches, and eventually the Pope as the one leader of the church on earth. Baptists believe that each congregation is independent of all others and that there are no leaders of the church higher than the elders of a local congregation. (That is the official doctrine. In practice, they accept some form of hierarchy in their Conferences.)

Catholics venerate Mary and some Saints, and even pray to or through them. Baptists do not. Catholics believe that priests have the authority to hear confession and grant penance. Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5) In fact, Baptists make no distinction between priests and others, believing that all Christians are a holy priesthood, with none higher than any other.

Catholics believe that everyone has free will to do whatever they want, that one can choose to be saved or not, and that once saved there is the possibility of falling away. Baptist doctrine (for most, but not all Baptist groups) states that God predetermines who is saved and who is not, and that man cannot change that. It says that if God wants to save a man, the man cannot resist the will of God, and that once saved, a man cannot fall from grace.

Catholic doctrine says that one is saved at the point of baptism, although they accept other forms of baptism than immersion. They say one cannot be saved who has not been baptized. Baptists say that baptism is by immersion in water, only. They further say that baptism is a sign that they have been saved, rather than the act at which one becomes saved. Most Baptists teach instead that one is saved by the work of praying to God, although official doctrine says that no work of man in involved in any way with salvation.

Those are the most prominent differences between the two, and they are significant. Rather than being a Catholic and a Baptist, why not both determine to read the Bible to find out what it says, and be just Christians. God does not want Baptist Christians and Catholic Christians. He wants us to follow Christ alone, rather than the doctrines that men have added to what he tells us in the Bible.