15 Quirky Things Protestant Do That No One Else Understands

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

A large and wildly diverse group without one central authority, it’s difficult to pinpoint Protestant culture exactly.

From Baptists to Methodists to Evangelicals to Lutherans, each individual denomination has its own practices, traditions, and beliefs. A common trait that applies to one rarely (if ever) applies to all.

That being said, there are a few practices that are distinctly Protestant — practices that others find a bit weird or quirky.

Whether your church is guilty of all of these or none of these, you might just get a chuckle at these 13 quirky things Protestants do that no one else understands!

 

1. Saying “Father God” Excessively

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While saying phrases like “Father God” can be sweet and endearing, some Christians use phrases like these almost as filler or punctuation — repeating them multiple times in a single sentence.

For those used to more scripted prayers, this can seem weird, unnatural, and distracting.

This is also try of those who say “um” and “just” repeatedly.

 

2. Turning Sunday Service into a Concert

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For those who come from a more traditional, liturgical or contemplative Church background, attending a non-denominational mega-church service can come as quite the culture shock!

With its huge screens, loud sound system, and gym-like auditorium, Sunday service can look more like a concert or theatrical production, rather than a intimate time with God.

This type of service isn’t immoral, by any means. Plenty of people love them! However, they can seem very strange to outsiders looking for a more quiet, reflective experience.

 

3. Raising Arms, Dancing, or Swaying During the Music

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Similarly, in some churches, it’s common for church-goers to raise their arms, dance enthusiastically, sway quietly to the music, or respond vocally throughout the service.

For some church members, this adds to the experience as everyone participates together. For others, practices like these can seem strange, irreverent, or disrespectful.

Thankfully, this is one good thing about having so many churches. It’s typically pretty easy to find one that suits your preferences, whatever those may be.

 

4. Teaching the Prosperity Gospel

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While most Protestant churches don’t teach the Prosperity Gospel — the belief that if you are a “good” Christian, God will bless you with good health and lots of money — enough do that Protestants have gotten a reputation for it.

While there are verses in the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) that could be taken out of context to show that God does bless His people, there are also plenty of verses that show that there’s no guarantee.

An overflowing bank account is not always a sign of God’s favor (or vice versa), and too many Protestant preachers have taught this belief as a way of filling their own pockets at the expense of their congregations.

 

5. Intentionally Avoiding Christian Art or Statues

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To those used the beautiful art, statues, and iconography on display at the most ornate Christian churches and cathedrals, barely-decorated Protestant churches can feel decidedly underwhelming.

There are several reasons why Protestant churches might be fairly plain. Sometimes the church doesn’t have the budget or resources for decorations. Other times, they would rather use the money they could spend decorating the church for more “noble” causes, such as helping the poor in their community. Sometimes they simply don’t see the importance of a fully decorated church.

However, a small portion of Protestants even go so far as to intentionally reject or avoid any type of art or statue, fearing that these visual forms could lead to blatant idolatry — a belief other Christians find weird or perplexing.

 

6. Crafting Outlanding Stunts to Draw People In

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Did you hear about the Seattle baptism that ended in two arrests after onlookers were served adult drinks at the event? Or hear how Justin Bieber was baptized in pro basketball player Tyson Chandler’s luxury bathtub?

What about the “cowboy pastor” who temporarily turned his church into a bull ring to get more attendees or the hundreds of churches that are incorporating MMA fights into their men’s ministries?

While out-of-the-box thinking can help bring more people to Christ, many people think some Protestant pastors take things way too far with their outlandish stunts.

 

7. Expecting Others to Believe And Behave as They Do

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Alternatively, some Protestant Christians go the opposite direction — refusing to change or update their beliefs with the times and insisting that everyone believe exactly like they do.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, many feel that Protestant Christians cross the line when they start demand, expecting, or even lobbying to pass laws that benefit themselves and their belief systems, rather than allowing others to believe what they want.

 

8. Creating Weird, Unnecessary Rules

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Along these same lines, some Protestant churches are quite vocal about the rules and guidelines they expect their members to follow — rules which outsiders think are strange and unnecessary.

For example, some churches teach that women should not wear pants (only skirts), never work outside the home, and submit to their husband in absolutely everything. Some teach that shopping at certain stores or watching certain types of movies (or any movies) is completely unacceptable. Others teach that voting for or affiliating with an opposing political candidate is a sin against God Himself.

While these rules may originally come from good intentions, it’s easy for them to get out of hand.

 

9. Bringing Food or Drink into the Service

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In some Catholic churches, bringing food or drink into the sanctuary is almost unheard of. It simply isn’t done.

Protestant churches, on the other hand, frequently have coffee shops inside their buildings so church-goers can mingle and grab a snack and caffeine before heading into service. No need to finish the food first, of course. You’re more than welcome to bring it in with you.

 

10. Carrying Their Bibles Everywhere They Go

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Quick! How far away is your nearest Bible? For some Protestant teens, it’s a common practice for them to carry their Bibles with them everywhere they go. Not only does this provide a constant reminder of their faith, but it also provides an opportunity for them to easily share their faith with others, sometimes without saying a word.

For those whose churches aren’t so Bible-focused, this practice can seem weird and unnecessary.

 

11. Crossing the Line from Faith to Presumption

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While virtually all churches teach their congregants to have faith, “have faith” can mean very different things to different Christians.

Some Protestant churches teach that if their members will only “have faith,” God is sure to heal their physical conditions or illnesses. Some teach that if Christians simply have enough faith, they can know for absolute certainty that God will let them into Heaven.

Catholic Christians, however, refer to this as the sin of presumption.

 

12. Teaching “Once Saved Always Saved”

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Along these same lines, some Protestants believe that once you become a Christian, you can never lose your salvation no matter what you do. They leave that if you walk away from God, you were never a real Christian in the first place.

Yet, to the many former Christians who have walked away from the faith, this belief doesn’t make sense. Their faith was just as genuine as everyone else’s before they walked away.

Others raise their eyebrows at me circular logic or point out the multiple verses throughout the Bible that seemingly contradict the teaching that faith alone is enough.

 

13. Sending Their Kids Out of Sunday Service

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In many Protestant churches, particularly those with lots of families, it is common and expected for a church to offer some type of kids’ programming during the service. Many Protestant churches offer Sunday School for young children, a fully staffed nursery for babies, and youth groups for teens.

For those who grew up in a church where the children were expected to sit through the service with adults through the Sunday service, this practice of sending the kids away with a relative stranger can seem a bit weird, particularly if the children are going to a different building.

 

14. Getting Baptized Multiple Times

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Getting baptized once is common. Getting baptized twice isn’t unheard of. But getting baptized multiple times it’s weird, according to some people members of other Christian denominations.

While some pastors refuse to baptize people a second (or third… or fourth…) time, stating that it isn’t necessary, others may want people to be baptized into their own congregation.

 

15. Dunking Their Communion Bread in the Cup of Grape Juice

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It is not uncommon for various denominations to have their own traditions and practices revolving around communion. However, sometimes these traditions can’t seem strange to people of other denominations who are used to taking communion in a different way.

For some, the act of dunking communion bread into the grape juice is weird and off-putting, though this annoyance isn’t as common.

 

13 Quirky Things Devout Catholics Do No One Else Understands

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Protestant Christians aren’t the only ones with some interesting quirks. Catholic Christians also have just as many (if not more) weird cultural traditions they follow as well!

Not a Catholic? Some of these unique quirks may not make sense to you, and that’s okay! Many Catholics have no problem being misunderstood by the majority of society.

But if you’re Catholic yourself or you’ve spent years around others who are (like I have!), you might just get a chuckle at this 13 quirky things devout Catholics do that no one else understands!

13 Quirky Things Devout Catholics Do No One Else Understands

 

From Pulpit to Platform: Meet 10 Massive Megachurches that Inspire Millions

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to worship inside one of the country’s largest megachurches?

Whether you’re looking for sermons to convict and inspire, worship music to usher you into God’s presence, opportunities to make a difference in your local community or programs for the whole family to get connected in the community, these churches have it all.

With charismatic preachers, talented worship teams, and friendly staff, it’s not difficult to see how these churches grew to the impressive size they are today.

From Pulpit to Platform: Meet 10 Massive Megachurches that Inspire Millions

 

15 Important Issues Catholics and Protestants Can’t Seem to Agree On

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Have you ever wondered what Catholics or Protestants really believe?

In many ways, Catholics and Protestants really aren’t that different.

And, interestingly enough, some of the biggest differences between Catholic and Protestant Churches aren’t limited only to differences in belief. There are some pretty big cultural differences as well.

So, at the risk of oversimplifying (obviously, every individual church is different), here are 15 Important Issues Catholics and Protestants Can’t Seem to Agree On.

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Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author and founder of Equipping Godly Women and Monetize My Ministry. She’s also a Christian speaker, podcaster, and conference host. Her work has been featured on numerous TV, radio, and online ministries, including CBN, MSN, Christianity Today, Evangelical Alliance, Patheos, Crosswalk, and more.

Brittany Ann Equipping Godly Women

About the author

Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author of “Fall in Love with God’s Word” and “Follow God’s Will” and the founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping busy Christian moms find practical ways to go "all in" in faith and family. Her work has been featured on CBN, The Christian Post, Crosswalk, and more.

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