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Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists are all Christian religions in different doctrines and teachings. Catholics established first based on traditional understanding of Christian teaching at the time. It is apparently, the first Christian church ever established in the world. Lutherans and Calvinists are both Protestants against Catholics, based on new understandings via new meaningful interpretation of the bible. Speaking of new understanding, it does not really mean 'liberalism'.
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Catholic Church is believed to be founded by God, starting just a few months before Jesus Christ was crucified, in the year 33. It claims that the apostle Peter was the very first Pope of the church as it says: "And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church..." Matthew 16:18-19. One could address a question of why the other group of people went to establish another new religious organization out of the main one that was founded by God. The Catholic Church believed that church tradition is equally authoritative with the Bible.
Lutheranism is a religious sect of Catholic Church, founded by Martin Luther, a well-known church reformer in the sixteenth century. As a Catholic bishop, Luther had to fight against his Catholic traditions using his intellectual understanding of the holy bible. Usually, only the bishop can read and understand the bible so the rest of the society expects to obeywhatever he says. However, Martin Luther came with the freedom of religion. He wanted every single person in the society to be able to read, understand interpret the bible by themselves. That went against the selfish traditional way of Catholic regimes. Luther was completely relied on the Bible as the final spiritual authority and the ultimate source of spiritual truth whereas Catholics made the head of the church as the spiritual authority. Luther realized that people receive justice through the grace of God, not through good works: "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Lutheranism began as a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church.. His first writing was "The Sermon on Good Works, in which he argued that good works do not benefit the soul; only faith could do that" (Hooker, 1996). Meanwhile, Catholicism believed that faith and good works were both necessary for salvation.
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Calvinism is another religious sect, founded by the French cleric John Calvin, coming out of Luther's original Protestantism. This doctrine was well known because of what is called 'Predestination', which means that our future in after death has been already decided even before we were born whether or not we would go to heaven or hell when we die. Calvin at one point seems to assert that 'man is evil by nature' but Cattholics say that mankind is inherently good, except the original sin which remains in us from the sin of Adam and Eve. "Justification and salvation come by faith alone, rather than by good works" This is similar to Lutherans, not Catholics. Calvinists reserve supreme authority to the Bible alone, observing that tradition has often lost of memory from the Bible.
As Lutherans and Calvinists were both pulled out from their orginal christian church, there are more similarities as the way they criticized the traditional church were so similar. Both the founders of Lutherans and Calvinists were well educated. They both got married but the real Catholic bishop won't have a wife.
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As a nominal christian like me, and an inactive member of a Methodist Church in New Zealand, I am interesting in Lutheran and Calvinist doctrines simly because there are a lot of similarities semantically. I have heard people of Catholic Church still memorise their latin reading to read them in their religious services, which makes me sick if I were there to follow without questioning what we do. However, Lutheranism seems to be very close to ours here in terms of similarities as we believe that Jesus Christ died for the sin of every single person on earth. For Calvinists, there are a certain number that could go up to heaven and the rest will be in hell forever, which means, Jesus only died for those few number of chosen people.
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