Christian: Protestant

The Ties that Bind

In the past, if someone asked me why I was a Protestant, I said that it was because I didn’t believe in transubstantiation, purgatory, celibate priests, or any of these other distinctly Catholic doctrines. If someone asked why I was evangelical, I said that evangelicals were the only Christians who take what they’re doing seriously.

When someone asks me these questions today, I have more to say. I still do not believe in transubstantiation, purgatory, or the perpetual virginity of Mary, but this is not why I identify as Protestant. I still believe that evangelicals—in spite of their faults—are much better than most mainline Protestants at comprehending the implications of what they believe. But once again, this is not why I cast my lot with them. I am perfectly capable of respecting that quality from afar.

In truth, I cannot deny the tradition that has made me the person I am. I cannot distance myself from the people who have shaped so much of my life—not even in those cases where I thoroughly disagree with them. I will never understand another Christian tradition the way that I understand them. I have thought all their thoughts, and I have felt all their feelings. I cannot simply walk away from them and discuss them with other people, as if they’ve nothing to do with me. I do not see the Protestant denominations (or even the Catholics) as fragmented camps, each making claims to absolute rectitude. Beyond the basic beliefs that bring us to call ourselves Christian at all, I see them only as groups of people. This is the one that I am a part of.

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One Response to “Christian: Protestant”

  1. Ben Mordecai Says:

    Although I have a Protestant upbringing, I have changed many of my beliefs throughout the years, and I am still decidedly Protestant.

    It really comes down to the 5 solas.
    Why should I glorify something besides God?
    Why should I get my doctrine from something besides scripture?
    Why should I think I am saved by something besides faith?
    What could the basis of my salvation be besides Christ?
    What could possibly merit my salvation besides pure grace?

    Hence I’m proud to be Protestant.

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