What spiritually should I expect in a Lutheran church?


Clarify Share Report Asked October 09 2020 Img  %28108%29 Judith ayitu

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I can only address the question from my personal experience with the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod)(LCMS), which has always been a very theologically conservative branch of Lutheranism -- to the point of refraining from engaging in "altar and pulpit fellowships" even with other Lutheran bodies (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) based on teachings or Biblical interpretations that the LCMS regards as unscriptural. (This reflected divisions between "fundamentalists" and "modernists" that also appeared in other Protestant denominations starting in the 1970's.)

To me, the central issues distinguishing the LCMS date back to the initial separation of Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism that occurred at the time of the Protestant Reformation started by Martin Luther himself in 1517. Specifically, these would be the views that salvation (the granting of eternal life in God's presence) is attained solely on the basis of faith in Christ; that the Bible alone is the sole authority for Christian doctrine, with no other human being, human writing, or human teaching having the same level of authority; and that salvation is made possible entirely by God's grace (that is, His undeserved favor and mercy toward humanity), with human works or conduct playing no role in the process. (These views are often summed up in the Latin motto, "Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura" (that is, "By Faith alone, by Grace alone, by Scripture alone").

The LCMS recognizes only two sacraments -- baptism (including the baptism of infants) and the Eucharist (also known as the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion), which is commonly included in worship services twice a month). It employs instrumental music and the singing of hymns in its worship services. (Luther himself composed thirty hymns, with perhaps the best-known being "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".)

The LCMS emphasizes the direct access to God granted to each believer through prayer, without the necessity for the involvement, mediation, or intercession of any other being (such as Mary, saints, angels, or even a priest). It also does not regard Martin Luther himself as an object of any type of veneration, or as having any type of "special" status.

Luther's Small Catechism (which can be accessed online at https://catechism.cph.org) still provides a basis for doctrine and beliefs. 

Further information on the LCMS can be accessed at https://www.lcms.org

October 09 2020 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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