Compare And Contrast The Roman Catholic Church With The Baptist Church

1265 words - 6 pages

Baptists, Protestant Christians who accept the basic doctrine of the 16th-century Reformation but have added other beliefs and practices, including baptism of believers by immersion only, the separation of Church and state, and the autonomy of the local church. The Baptists are important for their emphasis on these and other beliefs and for their numbers.The history of the Baptist Church is traced to the early days of the Protestant Reformation-specifically, the division of the Reformation. John Smyth and Thomas Helwys founded the first Baptist church on Dutch soil at Amsterdam in 1609. Smyth returned to England and there in 1611 or 1612, he led a small group of Christians in establishing ...view middle of the document...

The structures of both the Baptist Church and the Roman Catholic Church are quite dissimilar. Generally Baptists only recognize two Scriptural offices, those of pastor-teacher and deacon. The office of elder, is typically the same as that of pastor. The office of overseer or bishop is always believed to be the same as that of pastor or presbyter. Some Southern Baptist and other Baptistic churches may ordain bishops over small regional groups of churches. The primary role of the pastor is to distribute the weekly sermon. In smaller churches, the pastor will often visit homes and hopsitals to call on ill member, as well as homes of potential members. The pastor will also carry out weddings and funerals for members, and at business meetings serve as the moderator. Larger churches will usually have one or more "associate" pastors, each with a specific area of responsibility, whereby the overall pastor is considered the "senior" pastor. Often, the pastor will be married with children. The main role of the deacon is to assist the pastor with members' needs. Deacons also help during communion. However, in many more modern Baptist churches, deacons have become administrators or governing body of the church. In many churches, the pastor takes on the role of spiritual leadership, while a deacon serves as moderator of board meetings. A common practice is for each family to be assigned a specific deacon, to be the primary point of contact whenever a need arises. In contrast, the Pope is the Head of the Catholic Church; he is elected by the cardinals and remains Pope for life. After the Pope are the Cardinals, when a Pope passes away one of them is elected as the new pope. Archbishops are in charge of an archdiocese (a large area). They ensure that the bishops follow the Catholic Churches' rules. The bishop is accountable for a diocese (smaller area). The diocese is the main unit of the church. The Bishop manages all the activities of his church, visits religious institutions and is accountable for teaching the Christian faith in his diocese. Bishops also have a responsibility of organizing charity work and speaking up for the poor in their diocese.Like the Catholic Church, the common view among Baptists is that the offices, those of pastor-teacher and deacon are limited to men only. However, Baptist pastors can be married and have children, this is very common. Women have served faithfully in Baptist life. They have nurtured, sustained, encouraged, and preserved the Baptist churches. Women have attended Baptist churches, prayed at their ministries, given sacrificially to their causes, taught at their Sunday Schools, influenced the content and tone of our worship services, sung in their choirs, and opened their homes for the visiting preachers.Even though Baptist churches have been repeatedly split and separated over the centuries, there are a number of extensive...

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