Notable Differences Between Catholic and Baptist

This is a detailed guide on the notable differences between Catholic and Baptists.

People normally get confused between Catholic and Baptist even though both share a common belief which is faith in Jesus Christ.

Like all other Christians, Catholics and Baptists are also followers of Jesus Christ, and their differences emanate from their additional practices and belief.

However, the differences in both denominations make them unique and also make people want to know more about them.

If you are curious about knowing the notable differences between Catholic and Baptist, then this article on the notable differences between Catholic and Baptist is everything you need.

About Catholic

The Roman Catholic church is the world’s oldest Christian denomination and also the largest church with approximately 3 billion baptized members globally.

The church is not autonomous, the bishopric of Rome, known as the Holy See, is the main governing power of the church.

Catholic comprises 24 particular churches and nearly 3,500 dioceses and eparchies globally and the pope who is the bishop of Rome is the principal pastor.

Interestingly, Catholicism played a significant role in the history and development of western civilization, this can be seen in the numerous schools and hospitals they have established.

Furthermore, the core beliefs of catholic are encapsulated in the Nicene Creed and Catholics traced its founder to Jesus Christ during his great commission.

It is believed that its bishops are the heirs of Christ’s apostles and the pope is the heir to Saint Peter upon whom supremacy was bestowed by Jesus Christ.

Catholic is believed to practice the authentic Christian faith taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ.

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About Baptist

Baptist is a branch of Evangelical Christianity that practices adult baptism and baptism by immersion.

Baptist practices the principles of soul competency, salvation by faith, scripture as the power of faith and practice, and Congregationalist church government.

However, Baptist normally recognizes two ordinances which are baptism and communion.

The earliest baptist church is traced to 1609 in Amsterdam, Dutch Republic. John Smyth who was the foremost pastor rejected infant baptism and established baptism of believing adults after reading the new testament part of the bible.

However, in 1638, Roger Williams launched the first Baptist congregation in North American territories.

However, the church gradually grew big, rapidly spreading its wings both in the South, New England, and every continent that was recommended by Baptist missionaries. Today, the Baptist Church has over 105 million followers worldwide.

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Notable Differences Between Catholic and Baptist

There are numerous notable differences between Catholic and Baptist but these differences do not alter the authentication of both Christian groups or make one superior to the other or less of a Christian group.

However, these differences are what make them unique in their various practices and stand them out in the midst of other Christian groups.

However, the notable differences between Catholic and Baptist are discussed below


Catholics believe that salvation is a process and not something that is achieved instantly.

However, the process of their salvation begins with baptism, doing the good works of God, having faith in God, and partaking in sacraments.

Catholics do not believe that a person is fully righteous by mere receiving christ as their personal savior, you have to follow the due process to attain righteousness.

Meanwhile, Baptists believe that salvation is attained through believing that Jesus Christ died to save humanity from their sins and proclaiming him as our personal Lord and savior.

Baptists do not accept that salvation is a process, they believe that sinners are saved when they realize they are sinners and repent of their sins; believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and confess him as their personal Lord and savior.


This is one of the notable differences between Catholic and Baptist. Catholics believe that when people die with unconfessed sin, they are retained in purgatory for purification before being allowed to enter heaven.

However, purgatory is a place where those destined for heaven but who died with unconfessed sins go for purification before entering heaven.

Meanwhile, Baptists do not believe in purgatory, they believe that all sins are forgiven once a person is saved and continue doing what is right in the sight of God.

They also believe that when a saved man dies, the person’s soul goes to heaven immediately and when a sinner dies, the soul goes straight to hellfire without stopping by purgatory.

Faith And Works

The Catholic church teaches that faith without works is dead and good works make faith perfect.

Meanwhile, Baptists believe that people are saved by faith alone and that good works are the physical expression of the spiritual life.


This is also one of the notable differences between Catholic and Baptists. Sacraments in catholic theology are outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace.

Sacraments are very important in the Catholic church, for Catholics, the sacrament is one of the processes of gaining salvation.

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Catholic has seven sacraments which are the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of confirmation, the sacrament of Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.

Meanwhile, Baptists do not perform sacraments, they have ordinances. They have two ordinances which are baptism, and the Lord’s supper. Ordinances to Baptists symbolize the believer’s fellowship with God.


Catholics have extra seven books (the Apocrypha) that are not in the normal Bibles. The extra books include 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, and Baruch.

The seven extra books are only found in the catholic bible because Marin Luther followed the advice of the Jewish Council of Jamnia in AD 90 to not include those books in their doctrine when he translated the bible into German.

Furthermore,  Catholics do not see the bible as a book that reveals all truth. they believe that the sacred tradition passed down by church leaders over the generations must be given equal authority as the bible.

However, in Roman Catholicism, ordinary believers are not expected to interpret and comprehend the bible alone, scripture is supposed to be interpreted by the bishops in alliance with the pope.

Meanwhile, Baptists believe in the sole authentication of the bible, to them, everything is encapsulated in the Bible and it is the instrument of faith and practice.

Church Leadership

Catholic churches are not autonomous, they have a hierarchy, and the pope is the overall leader of all Catholic churches in the world.

However, next to the pope is the college of cardinals, followed by archbishops who are in charge of regions around the world, next are the local bishops who rule over the parish priests of the churches in each community.

Meanwhile, local Baptist churches are autonomous, they do not have a general overseer although they belong to associations such as the Southern Baptist  Convention.

Baptists practice a congregational form of government, individual parishes make their own rules and follow them, and decisions are made by pastors, deacons, and popular opinion in the local churches.


Catholic priests are not expected to marry or have any sexual intercourse, they are expected to remain unmarried throughout their stay on earth.

However, priests are the pastors of the catholic churches, they teach, preach, and carry out sacraments.

Before a person is ordained a  priest, he must first of all graduate from the seminary and serve as a transitional deacon for almost one year, and after that, he would be ordained as a diocesan priest serving a parish or other local areas.

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Meanwhile, to become a pastor in the Baptist church, you must be a regular member and have a good relationship with God; be involved in the church activities and programs; get a degree in ministry, or seminary training at the master’s level before you are ordained as a pastor by the deacons or pastors.


Catholics believe that you can lose your salvation by deliberately indulging in sin and refusing to confess the said sin or repenting from it.

Meanwhile, Baptists believe that you cannot lose your salvation. when one is truly saved, the person is saved and the only thing people lost is their joy of salvation and not salvation.

Furthermore, Catholics see virgin Mary and other saints as mediators, they pray to them to intercede for them.

Meanwhile, Baptists do not pray to Mary or other saints, they see Jesus Christ as their only mediator and the only one they should pray to.

Furthermore, Catholics wear rosaries and also use them for prayers but Baptists do not.

During the Eucharist in the catholic church, incense is burnt to symbolize the prayers of the people going up to God. However, the Baptist Church does not use incense.


This is another one of the notable differences between Catholics and Baptists.

Catholics practice infant baptism and baptism by sprinkling. In catholic, babies are baptized before they are received into the universal church of God, later, when they grow up they would confirm the vow that was taken by their parents on their behalf during their baptism.

Meanwhile, Baptists do not practice baptism by sprinkling but by complete immersion. They do not also practice infant baptism, they believe that for one to be baptized, the person must be old enough to distinguish between right and wrong and totally have faith in Christ Jesus.

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That’s all on the notable differences between catholic and baptist, I hope it helps you in your research.


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