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any lutherans?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Tell me about it,
my friend is one & I am intrested,
post #2 of 11
I can probably answer a few questions...anything specific? I grew up Lutheran although I currently attend a Nazarene church. There are three main "synods" (groups) - Missouri (middle-of-the-road), ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) (more liberal), and Wisconson (more conservative). Actually, I was Lutheran Church Canada, which is a combo of Missouri and ELCA, so a little more "liberal," if Lutherans can be liberal.

Missouri: www.lcms.org
ELCA: www.elca.org

I was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Lutheran Church, LOL, so ask away. :LOL
post #3 of 11
Hi, I am also Lutheran( pastor's wife), but attend the "conservative" synod !haha!

Anyways, just thought I would post a link to the WELS(Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) website.


There is a really nice Q&A section that you might find interesting on the website. I would also be willing to answer any questions you have....I love to talk!
post #4 of 11
Ithcus! You'll love it here at MDC.

May I ask why you don't think Wisc. is "conservative"? Hmm...that was always my impression, but then I haven't had a whole lot of experience with it - only attended a few times. Like I said, I grew up LCC, so am way more familiar with Augsburg and Concordia things, LOL!

Thanks for posting the link, too.
post #5 of 11
No, I admit to the conservatism....but that's usually more shocking than liberalism at times(which thus explain the shocked espression) KWIM? It was my poor attempt at humor!

You were right about the general description of the 3 main synods of Lutheranism in America. ELCA is liberal, LCMS is middle-of-road, and the WELS are more conservative.

I was LCMS(Missouri) until about age 8, then my parents left the LCMS for the WELS. My dh's extended family is basically ELCA. So that's what I am familiar with.

Thanks for the welcome!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am in PA.
I am confused as to the states and their affilitarion with religion being liberal or conservative.
can anyone explain?
what kind of people attend?
do you sing?
post #7 of 11
Ithcus :LOL Ok, whew, I was wondering what I'd missed, LOL! Yes, I think being on this board and being conservative is a bit unusual. I'm pretty conservative with my religious views, but much different from my church friends as far as discipline, food, environmental issues, etc. I started a thread about "Are you weird at church" awhile back. And you're welcome for the welcome!

snailmama - YES! Do Lutherans ever sing, LOL! I think Ithcus would concur that's one of the things we're best at. (I say "we" b/c of my Lutheranness at heart, although I no longer attend). Mostly hymns (hundreds of years of hymns!) but I think most churches make a stab at doing some more contemporary stuff :LOL. We also have what you call a "liturgy," which are sung resposes in certain parts of the service, i.e., Glory To God, Lamb of God, and a lot of "Aaaaamen"'s. It's a little disconcerting if you're not used to it, but everything's laid out for you in the bulletin (program). Personally I love the liturgy and that's one of the things I miss - everyone singing these responses together.

Ok - I'm going to give a synopsis of why I consider the synods conservative, liberal, etc. But please realize I'm coming from a mainly Missouri background, so I'm describing the others in relation to it...

LCMS - This is the "middle-of-the-road" synod, but still very conservative from a secular viewpoint, i.e., no women pastors, strong pro-life views, "closed" communion (meaning you must be a confirmed member of LCMS to take communion, although this is not always upheld, IME. My dh was not confirmed but was allowed to commune after talking with the pastor), liturgical, non-ecumenical (meaning, LCMS pastors can't preach at a ELCA or WELS church or a different denomination and do not usually join in in "community" services or what not - they would hold their own service). They do allow prayers etc. by pastors from a different denomination, women to hold high positions in the church, etc.

WELS - (Ithcus, correct me if I make a mistake!) More "conservative" from both Lutheran and secular viewpoints. They have much of the same ideas as LCMS, but they require "full agreement" (believe everything in the doctrine) in their services whereas LCMS only requires it in Communion and the preaching, i.e., a vocal soloist or person praying can be from the "outside," :LOL whereas in WELS they would need to be in agreement with WELS doctrine. The other "biggie" is the role of women in WELS - they are not allowed to be in a position of authority over a man, this often translates into not being able to read the scriptures from the lecturn (at front of church) in the service, not being able to be on the church board, not being able to vote on board issues, not being able to serve on certain committees, and even in everyday life not being in a position of authority over a man (i.e., president of a company). BTW - those examples are from the WELS website, b/c I went searching through it last night after Ithcus posted the link.

ELCA - the most "liberal." They have never made an official stand against abortion or homosexual pastors, so they are generally viewed as more supportive of these things. They are ecumenical, meaning they will participate at functions held be other churches (i.e., I went to a Lenten (before Easter) service that had Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, and ELCA Lutherans), and women can be pastors. They are still liturgical and have choirs, organ etc. They have "open-communion," meaning that if you are Christian of any denomination (or no denomination, for that matter) you can commune with them. I also think (NOT positive) that they don't not believe in the infallability of scripture (i.e., look at the Bible as more of a guideline for living rather than everything is exactly right, which is what WELS and LCMS believe).

OK - YIKES! I hope I didn't just confuse the issue. snailmama, if you found out what synod your friend is, that would probably help us out (not in order to talk you out of it, by any means, but just to know a little more where she's coming from, since you can see there are many forms of "Lutheranism.")

All in all, there are a lot of denominations out there and I don't think any one denomination has a particular hold on the "right" way, LOL. We believe things according to our interpretation of scripture. Sure, my parents would love that I was attending a LCMS church, but they understand my reasons for not and choose to attend worship with us when they're in town.

post #8 of 11
Very well put, very good synopsis. I will just add that ELCA is currently doing a 5 year study on homosexuality. Started in 2000, results should be out in 2005.

Currently men and women can be pastor's if they are homosexual, but they must be celibate according to ELCA's current guidlines.
post #9 of 11
Originally posted by canadiyank

I also think (NOT positive) that they don't not believe in the infallability of scripture (i.e., look at the Bible as more of a guideline for living rather than everything is exactly right,
I do not quite get this?

I was raised Lutheran. I am not sure what synod it fell into. I still have the Apostle's Creed burnt into my brain, and all those musical "Lo-o-ord have mer-er-ercy's."

My pastor was from the Midwest, altho we were on LI, NY. He was very fire and brimstone. It scared the living crap out of me, to be honest. My Mom assured me he was from the "Bible Belt" and not to let it bother me. Easier said than done. JME.

Went to my Grandmother's church last October for her funeral. Plus all the services at the funeral home, with many Lutherans. They were crossing themselves! I asked my Aunt if some of these women were Catholic friends and she told me, no, some Lutherans cross themselves now. I was very surprised. Do you other Lutherans do this now too?
post #10 of 11
Originally posted by DaryLLL
I do not quite get this?
Hmmm, I can see how what I put was a little confusing. Some denominations (e.g., WELS and LCMS Lutherans) believe in the infallacy of the scriptures, i.e., the were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are 100% correct (thus infallable) and as a unit (i.e., modern *Protestant* Bible).

Others, the United Methodists for instance (attended this denomination for three years), look at it as more of a "guideline," i.e., still Holy Spirit inspired, but more spoke to the crowd of the day when they were written (and so doesn't necessarily apply to modern culture), and that many of the stories were just that, "stories," not literal truth. What I was saying is I *think* the ELCAs lean more toward the second stance (not sure of their "official" stance, but in practice this is how many members feel), which would obviously be a lot more "liberal" than the other synods.

Originally posted by DaryLLL He was very fire and brimstone. It scared the living crap out of me, to be honest. [/B]
Yikes! You know, LOL, the only time I've experienced a fire and brimstone sermon was in (secular) college when I was studying American Lit. and read some 1700s and 1800s sermons. Maybe most people figured out it wasn't working for them?

Originally posted by DaryLLL They were crossing themselves! Do you other Lutherans do this now too? [/B]
Not to my knowledge...but when I am in a Catholic mass I cross myself out of respect for others around me. I think it is a wonderful ritual but not something that is personally meaningful to me. I've never been in a Lutheran service where they cross themselves, although they do share many other elements with Catholicism.
post #11 of 11
I personally have never seen anyone in a Lutheran service cross themselves. I do cross myself after communion when I get back to the pew before praying. Historically crossing oneself is in rememberence of a person's baptism(and that is why I do it on occasion).

Martin Luther did cross himself(ie before prayer), and for him it was also in remembrence to his baptism. So, if you see a Lutheran do it, that may be why.
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