Similarities Between Pentecostal Churches and Catholicism

Pentecostal and Catholic churches share many core beliefs.
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The beliefs and practices of Catholic and Pentecostal churches may seem divergent, but the two have many commonalities. The churches share important core beliefs about God’s identity, his plan for humankind and the veracity of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Their style of worship differs, but they agree on some of the most central issues of the Christian faith.

1 Foundational Beliefs

Pentecostal and Catholic Christians share belief in an omnipotent, triune God. They teach that God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to Earth to die sacrificially, and that Christ conquered death after three days in the grave. Both believe Jesus will return for his followers as promised in the Bible, which they hold to be the infallible word of God. Pentecostal and Catholic churches assert these foundational beliefs should transform the lives of believers, empowering them to spread God’s hope and love throughout the world.

2 Charismatic Worship

We may associate a liturgical, formal worship style with Catholicism while characterizing Pentecostal churches as charismatic. Charismatic worship is not at odds with Catholicism, however. Catholic churches and para-church organizations exist that not only worship in a charismatic style, but desire to see Christians empowered by the Holy Spirit as described in the book of Acts. Charismatic worship is a hallmark of the Pentecostal church, as is embracing the gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined in the New Testament.

3 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Healing, prophesying and "speaking in tongues" are some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament. Pentecostals and some Catholics believe these gifts exist today and can be utilized by Christian believers. They exist to build up the body of Christ and glorify God, and are not to be used for selfish gain. They believe an appropriate manifestation of these gifts is part of living in the power of the Holy Spirit.

4 Salvation Through Jesus

Catholics and Pentecostals preach salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, although Catholics believe that faith alone is not enough and must be accompanied by good works. Both churches are dedicated to sharing the gospel message that God the Father sent his son to die for the sins of the world, and through faith in his death and resurrection, a person is reconciled to God. The churches agree that the purpose of a Christian's life is glorifying God and sharing his love with others.

Elise Medina writes and cooks in northern Virginia, where she works as a nutrition consultant. She holds a B.A. in political science and Spanish from Virginia Tech, as well as a master’s degree in political science from George Mason University.