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FAQs

  • A Particular History
    Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a monk in Germany who wanted reform. He didn’t want to leave the Roman Catholic Church. He insisted that reforming people be called “Christians”—their opponents called them “Lutherans” as an insult. Luther and other reformers wanted to maintain (1) unity with Rome and (2) faithfulness to the Gospel. The Augsburg Confession was written in 1530 to try to agree on the essentials with Rome. They thought the first 21 Articles were not controversial, but they were wrong. Article 4, “Justification,” proved to be too much. Article 4 is the key to what Lutheran Christians believe: We are saved by Jesus’s death and resurrection, not by good works.
  • A Particular Theology
    ‘Theology’ is the language we use to talk about God. For example: God is all-powerful. Jesus died for our sins. These are theological statements. They express our faith in words. Fallible, limited human language will never fully be able to express the truth of the perfect and infinite God. How we communicate always changes. So, we have to change our language to communicate timeless truths about God. The Gospel For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” (Rom 1:17) Faith in Christ is everything! No good deeds, social status, job title, training, intellect, trip or self-denial will make us right with God! Jesus died on the cross for your sins and was raised so you will have a new life. That’s enough. In fact, that’s everything. All you can do is say, “I trust Jesus!” Lutheran Christians emphasize the Gospel. We call ourselves “Evangelical” (from the Greek for “good news”).
  • A Particular Way of Worship
    For Lutheran Christians, the primary reason we gather is to hear God’s Word for us. The second, and lesser purpose is to praise God, thank God, ask God for what we need, provide for the needy and the work of the church, and be with other Christians in fellowship God’s work is Sacramental God does not come to us directly, but uses means received by faith—water in baptism, wine and bread in holy communion, words in the Bible, people in Christian community. In the Bible, we read God’s promises about Baptism and Holy Communion, and we trust God’s promises! Good Order Helps Worship Happen Lutheran Christians prefer orderly worship that includes pre-written words and prayers, movement and gestures. It may not feel as spontaneous and emotional as other Christians, but does express our trust in God’s promises. For Lutheran Christians, good order in worship is about FOCUS: helping people focus on Christ in ways that help them trust and follow Jesus and minimize distractions. The WHOLE CHURCH: helping people experience God’s church that is bigger than the congregation. An expression of the KINGDOM OF GOD: helping people experience heaven on earth.
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