Psychology of Religion

The paper discusses the similarities and differences between the Roman Catholic model and the Lutheran model of Christian faith. The strengths and weaknesses approach of both Christianity models are also described. Most individual’s belief in particular religious denominations models. Alternative terms used to describe denominations include fellowship or churches. The divisions between the sects exist due to the difference in doctrine and authority of issues such as papal primacy, eschatology, the power of the apostolic succession, as well as the nature of Jesus. The aspects separate one denomination from another giving rise to the presence of different churches. The various divisions vary in several ways mainly through belief and practice. However, the denominations have notable similarities in issues of historical ties, methods, and ideas. For instance, the Catholics and Lutherans worship the same God but have different principles of faith.

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The Roman Catholic Church is an early religious institution and the most significant Christian ecclesiastical group in the world. The church developed in the apostolic times as the Church at Rome and later advanced to Roman Catholic (Arruñada, 2016). There are some arguments that the church existed when the New Testament Scriptures were being written. Different apostles in the Bible such as Paul, Simon Peter, and Clement who did a letter and ministered in the Church at Rome. There are some believe that Peter and Paul died at the same place and were martyred in Rome for they were prominent apostles. Rome thus became a pilgrimage place for Christians who wanted to worship near and visit their graves. The Church at Rome gained popularity due to the tie to Paul and Peter, and the bishop of Rome became the most prominent of the Western Christian churches. The pope obtained more authority and influence in his jurisdiction while the western Roman Empire continued to crumble and deteriorate. Transformations occurred as the Wester Church filled in the church power emptiness. Popes were succeeded in a continuous form to make more claims to authority and that fermented relations between eastern and western Christians.

Lutheranism is a branch of western Christianity which relates to the teachings of Martin Luther. Luther launched the Protestant Reformation in the efforts to reform the practice and theology of the church. The religion is the third largest protestant church after Pentecostalism and Anglicanism. The protestant reformation originated from the Catholic Church. The religious group promotes the concept of justification and belief that the Bible is the final authority on matters of faith. Luther was a renowned theologist who contributed significantly on religious reformations (Arruñada, 2016). The theologist studied the Bible and came to realize that the church was highly corrupt with the sale of understandings and had lost observation of the fundamental truths of Christianity. He outlines the most crucial doctrine as that of justification by faith through God’s grace. The theologist began to preach salvation as a blessing of God’s grace which was achievable only through faith in Jesus the Messiah. Luther’s teachings provide a comprehensive understanding of all godliness. In 1520 Luther was warned by the Pope on his lessons where he was declared a notorious heretic.

Some of the significant differences between Catholicism and Lutheranism include their understanding of the church, bible, office, the Pope, celibacy, Eucharist, and sacraments. Catholics and Lutherans have a diverse opinion on the nature of the church. The Catholic Church views itself as the only religion in the world with the leadership of the pope. On the other hand, Lutherans consider other churches equal to different religious leaders (Hainsworth, 2015). Catholics do not base their beliefs solely on the Bible for they have other holy scriptures which provide additional bonds to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther teachings provide clear guidelines that the Bible is the only book of God and ha revelations that allow people renter in communion with the Mighty. The Catholics have apostolic succession which is essential in different religion offices. The group believes in the sacraments of holy orders, bishops, priests, and deacons respectively. The leaders receive a lifelong seal from God where they obtain sacramental command over Catholic people with consecration given to only men. Contrary, Lutherans do not consecrate particular individuals into office but instead allow the principle of priesthood that can be delivered even to women.

Lutherans are also not open to all to papal primacy as the leadership contradicts the Bible. Contrary Catholics view the pope as the successor of Peter the apostle and the first head of the church who was appointed by Jesus (Arruñada, 2016). The office of pope is explained in the unbroken chain of consecrations ranging from the early century of existence. In the Roma Catholic Church teachings, there are seven solemn sacraments which include extreme unction, holy orders, penance, matrimony, the Eucharist, confirmation, and baptism. The religion believes that Jesus introduced the solemn rites and they go hand in hand with the grace of God. The Lutherans do not practice all the sacrament but only the Eucharist and baptism. The church believes that they are a symbol through which the gospel of God is delivered. The Eucharist has a different meaning in both denominations wherein the Lutheran it is a ritual that serves as a commemoration of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Catholics view the Eucharist a rite of celebration of Jesus last supper with his disciples before he was crucified. The priest consecrates it in the name of Jesus as the bread and wine to be body and blood of Christ. The Lutherans do not agree on celibacy as the responsibility of priests. In 1520, Martin demanded its abolition. The theologists made several contributions on the issue, and in his time he thought about marriage where he realized the act would please his father, angels, and humiliation the devil. Catholic church views celibacy as obligatory to priests which demonstrate an undivided succession of Jesus.

However, the two denominations express some similarities which range from the issue of the Bible, Jesus, and beliefs. For instance, the Bible is the supreme guide in their religious teachings (Hainsworth, 2015). The Lutherans depend on the bible for their lessons and believe in Jesus teaching and life for their salvation. Despite the additional scriptures in the Roman Catholic Church the Bible provides them with the guidance, and they preach in the way that relates to Christ way of lie. The two denominations express their obedience to God and Jesus as their creator and savior. Both believe in salvation by God’s grace and forgiveness of sins.

In conclusion, religious beliefs play a crucial role in various cultures and societies. The believes impact particular practices and attitudes of religious communities. Christianity has also experienced significant development and visions over time which has given rise to the present churches. for instance, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church provide good examples of the differences and similarities in Christianity.



Arruñada, B. (2016). Protestants and Catholics: Similar Work Ethic, Different Social Ethic. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1397223

Hainsworth, D. (2015). The Vocation of a Christian Scholar: How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind – By Richard T. Hughes. Teaching Theology & Religion, 12(1), 79-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9647.2008.00490.