I have not seen this "majority" you speak of. Unless you're talking about Christians who tend to be Christians in name only, which is the other extreme of Protestantism- they're the ones who couldn't give a care about Jesus, until X issue comes along and then all of a sudden they're like, "I'm a Christian, I go to church and I agree with this issue!". Yeah, serious Protestants reject those people. The wishy-washy-ness in Protestanism results from the constantly new creations of denominations, from people who hold true what they believe so much so that they are willing to split off and build another denomination.
What you've written here is essentially what Protestantism is
, not some sort of subset of Protestantism while the rest of Protestantism is incredibly serious about its doctrinal positions with well-developed theology and all that. While in the days of the reformation and shortly afterward people really were
that serious, since the infiltration of the mainline denominations by the spirit of revivalism, there is in reality very little to separate or distinguish, say, a Presbyterian from an Episcopalian (at least in the USA; I know that certain Protestant denominations in Africa and other places are still quite serious about doctrine, like the African Anglicans who broke communion with the West when gays and women started being ordained). Most Protestantism in the USA except for classical Anglicanism (to the extent that it even still exists) is basically pietism on steroids. You know, doctrine just divides people, it's all about your personal relationship with Jesus, we're all members of the "invisible church" (even if we have completely different ideas about what it means to be a Christian), etc.
Which makes Protestantism divided, not "wishy-washy".
I can see the distinction you're drawing, and I respectfully disagree. Or, rather, the things they are fairly consistent on are generally things they don't really understand or have any sort of agreed upon theology behind (e.g., Protestant sects that baptize infants but somehow also believe that baptism doesn't actually do anything), which I would still call "wishy-washy" because you can't get a straight answer out of anyone as to why they do what they do. Practices and the theology behind them change as often as the church changes pastors. Maybe that's not the correct use of the term "wishy-washy", but if you can think of the antonym consistent, pastristically-informed, and serious faith , then feel free to substitute that in for "wishy-washy". (Actually, I already know the antonym for that, it is "Protestant", but it doesn't make sense to say "Protestantism is very Protestant".)
As for Islam not being "wishy-washy"..... as I recall, they are also divided. Islam is not made up of a single denomination. And I have met some Muslims who did not hold to what they really believed, including one who was willing to disobey his religion by marrying me (I didn't marry him, btw). So, no, they're not 'more serious' than Protestants are.
As relates to the positions held by both religions, I do generally find Muslims to be more serious than Protestants (I think "consistency" goes out the window with Islam, though, as the religion is inherently very inconsistent). I have never, ever seen a Muslim apologize for the offensive wars that foisted Islam upon the world outside Arabia, yet I know many, many Protestants (and Catholics, for that matter) who practically apologize preemptively to other religions for things that really don't even make sense to apologize for. I posted this just the other day in another thread, but I'll post it here again, as it's a perfect example of what I'm talking about (though it involves the RC and not Protestants, having been both I really do see them as two sides of the same coin, and I have heard Protestants make similar apologies to Jews, Muslims and others for not always being so willing sit in rocking chairs and sip lemonade with them in the past): The Vatican is wrong - Coptic Church
The point that HH Pope Shenouda III makes about how things must not be done for surface reasons is something that I would say to Protestant and Catholic alike. In the Catholic case, I think they run into problems in trying to be all things to all people (thereby diluting the gospel); in the Protestant case, it is basically impossible to do things seriously, for deep reasons
, within the theological (ecclesiological, hermeneutical, etc.) framework of Protestantism, as divorced from Christian tradition (or even the concept of it, in most cases) as it is. Just as every Orthodox person here would agree that it is not possible to be Orthodox outside of the church (even if you hold very 'orthodox' positions personally), I would say that it is not possible to be a serious, committed Christian as such a descriptor would have been understood for the majority of the history of the faith
while being Protestant (even if you are very serious and committed personally). The inherent incongruity of trying live either way within the faith system in which you live makes it essentially impossible. It is like when Muslims claim that they are better 'christians' than actual Christians due to the supposed honor given to Jesus Christ in their religion. It is not even remotely possible for that to be the case unless you radically reinvent what being "Christian" means.
In that way, I guess they are
a lot like Protestants.
Hmmm. That's odd. Maybe my first post is quite off. Or it's bedtime. Probably both. Where's the "my head hurts" smiley?