First off, my roommate, who is not in the clergy or really attached to it at all, has access to her church's annual budget report. All of it. Complete transparency. It's mind-blowing.
Second, we tallied up the total they spent on charity in the past year. 6.5% of the budget went directly to charity, plus other smaller charity donations we didn't bother quantifying. Compare this to the 2.3 billion LDS corp has given over the past 35 years which amounts to less than 2.3% (I didn't do the math since it requires a bunch of compounding interest and stuff I didn't want to deal with).
The entire discussion was just mind blowing all around.
The Lutheran Church (LCMS, at least) always likes to insist that they welcome and encourage questioning. However, I never felt like questions I asked or dissenting opinions I expressed were truly welcome. It has taken me a long time to reason out why, but these are a few sentences I came up with today, which I think express it pretty well.
When you're a part of a group based on shared dogmatic belief — a group that truly believes they have "the truth" — expressing a dissenting opinion or asking a question is not saying "here's another way to look at this." It's saying "There's something wrong with me because my thoughts are veering from your truth." And so, you never get anywhere by disagreeing with these people. You're trying to have a logical argument, but they're just trying to fix you.
Coming to this realization seems important to me and has helped me push past the confusion of being told it's okay to question, while simultaneously feeling like it was not okay to question. I'm just wondering if this resonates with anyone else here, or what other ex-Lutherans may have to say about this topic.
Does the Lutheran collective read the Bible from the perspective of Biblical Literalism, or does it say that some texts may not be purely historical, but allegorical? Take for a minor example, the consistent use for 40 days to express a long period of time. Or in an extreme case, the Book of Job, being written as a theodicy, instead of a historical narrative to help the Jewish people wrestle with the problem of evil.
Context: I'm a non-Lutheran exploring your theology and thought. I feel the Lutherans have the strongest theology out of the Protestant denominations, and I'm trying to pin down a few things I'm not clear on. Thanks in advance!
What Lutheran denomination are you a member of?
I wanted to start a discussion on the thoughts on Anglicanism vs. Lutheranism and what everyone's thoughts are on a merger.
LCMS/LCC and ACNA are in very close ecumenical relations
ELCA and ACC (Two more Anglican/Lutheran Churches in Canada) are in full communion (which is quite rare).
High Church Anglican (or Anglo-Catholic) and High Church Lutheran are quite similar
Really the three "classes" of liturgy all have a counterpart in the other denomination.
I think I might attend a local LCC since it's close to me I would still identify as an Anglo-Lutheran.
While liturgies are different and that would be a reason to remain separate . What are your thoughts on the relations? Speak up Lutheran lurkers, I know you're here!
I am strongly considering becoming an LCMS Lutheran. One of the few things holding me back is the Sacrament of Confession. I believe we should be absolved of our sins before we receive the Eucharist, preferably through private Confession. I understand this isn't a part of Lutheranism, as it is in The RCC and Orthodoxy. Does the Lutheran church permit people to reveive the Eucharist with sins on their conscience? How are sins forgiven? What about the office of the keys institued by Christ?
I'm really sorry for all the Questions lately. You guys have been most gracious in informing me of Church doctrine, and though I haven't made my decision yet, I feel drawn to the LCMS.
During COVID, I haven't been able to visit the older members of my congregation since last March, and many of them have been isolated from any contact from their family and friends. . A few months ago I started to send handwritten notes. Nothing too long, just a hello,let them know I've been thinking and praying for them, and some words of hope for life returning to normal.
The response was AMAZING, and I've been writing a dozen letters a week to people. And recently, people have asked me to send letters to their friends and family who live far away who I've never met - this last year has been hard, and people can always use a nice reminder that someone's thinking about them.
I am located in the USA, and have a box filled with old and cool stamps from the 1940s through 1970s. Sometimes 1/2 of the envelope is taken up with stamps (takes a lot of 3 cents stamps to make 55 cents!). Let me know if there is a particular theme or hobby, I can see if I have something that fits. I also have been using a fountain pen and have practiced writing in an older style cursive.
I am not looking to evangelize, this offer is for all people, regardless of who they are and what they believe. My only goal is to share a bit of hope for someone who could use it with a note from a Pastor. If you have a family member, friend, or yourself, and you'd like a note let me know. FWIW, I'm Lutheran, which is a generic Christian church you'd typically find in places where they grow corn and the winters are long.
Hi everyone, here's a question that's got me confused:
I recently heard a pastor from ELDONA say that if a person falls away from the faith, then we can say that they were never part of the elect. This confused me for two reasons: firstly because LCMS does state that people with genuine faith, being saved through faith by grace, can fall away by their own unrepentant sin. Then, I've always defined "the elect" as those who are saved through faith by grace. Therefore, wouldn't we conclude that people who are elect can "shipwreck" their faith, to borrow Paul's phrase? And of course the ultimate reason is a mystery of God (the "Crux Theologorum"）？
Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.
I'm an Anglican but have recently just started reading the Book of Concord. I adore the book so far and find it very useful for my spirituality. I believe I am becoming more Lutheran in theology, though I adore my Anglican heritage and its worship style. My question for everyone is, what book recommendations do you have for someone new to Lutheran theology? What practices that I might not be aware of do you recommend?
Thank you and have a safe Lent
Before I was a lutheran I was a premillenial dispensational baptist, but by studying scripture, I began more and more agree with lutheran doctorines such as infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, Christ's true presence on the sacrament etc. But when it comes to amillenialism or dispensationalism, I still find the latter one more scriptural and reasonable.
Regarding the James 2:24 question, the dispensational answer to if James 2:24 contradicts sola fide or not is no, because dispensationalists believe that the epistle of James is written to jews and tribulation saints at the tribulation period (in which faith AND works are needed to be saved).
I still think this answer is more reasonable than the common lutheran answer to that, which goes something like "We are saved by faith alone, but true faith will produce good works". This answer can be dangerous because the believer, after sinning, might think their faith is not "true" for not producing good works and the believer starts to put their trust in their own works in order to it being "true" faith. That of course contradicts faith alone and rejects the gospel, as stated in Galatians 5:4, "You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."
Could you help me to better understand your position on this subject?
I thought the people here might appreciate this little segment in a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Lawrence Krauss.
There's a lot of stuff I just agree with so much here. The "pouring knowledge into a vessel" or "laying out a string of hints" analogies are really helpful and the coercivness of persuasive speakers are something I really resonate with. I feel like a lot of what he says is pretty applicable to my experience, and probably also applicable to the experience of a lot of people here.
I didn't go through the private school nightmare that some people here had to, but there is a lot of religious education you get from going to Sunday school, confirmation class, and teen, adult, and college Bible studies. In the process of just trying to figure out religion in college and when reflecting on my education experience in the Lutheran church, I often felt really betrayed and stifled by the whole education system. The WELS was definitely had "pour stuff into a vessel" view of education. No surprise there. The whole thing is about getting people to believe the "right" thing through very coercive methods, not exploration, encouraging people to think for themselves, or questioning the established system except in the most superficial way. Christians who are really into Christian education have a lot of legitimate complaints to make about public school systems being overly focused on job skills or overemphasizing obedience to the government, business, etc., but they're replacing a prison sentence with death row, where your creativity and exploratory spirit goes to die.
So Lutherans agree with the Reformed that since adults must believe before baptism, baptism only seals and confirms the grace of God in adults, but when it comes to infants, they believe that baptism indiscriminately works regeneration and creates faith in them.
I wonder if you guys know some resources that interact with this Lutheran doctrine from a Reformed point of view.
Hello, I'm looking for some good Reformed critique of Lutheran sacramentology, I've already read Turretin on the subject and Patrick Ramsey's critique of Luther on baptism.
Thanks in advance.
It’s weird, all these “Jesus loves y’a” folks who complain about the decline of the west or the decline of traditional architecture seem to love gaudy contemporary architecture mega churches or churches with atypical styling. They don’t seem to care about the closure of historic churches (due to low attendance)
Martin Luther, Doctor and Confessor - February 18
Martin Luther, born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany, initially began studies leading toward a degree in law. However, after a close encounter with death, he switched to the study of theology, entered an Augustinian monastery, was ordained a priest in 1505, and received a doctorate in theology in 1512. As a professor at the newly-established University of Wittenberg, his scriptural studies led him to question many of the church's teachings and practices, especially the selling of indulgences. His refusal to back down from his convictions resulted in his excommunication in 1521. Following a period of seclusion at the Wartburg castle, Luther returned to Wittenberg, where he spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching, translating the Scriptures, and writing hymns and numerous theological treatises. He is remembered and honored for his lifelong emphasis on the biblical truth that for Christ's sake God declares us righteous by grace through faith alone. He died on February 18, 1546, while visiting the town of his birth. (Treasury of Daily Prayer)
O God, our refuge and our strength: You raised up your servant Martin Luther to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word. Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
My journey to atheism was like most. Asking hard questions, finding hypocrisys, being angry. My college professors would say things like "asking questions is good, is with strengthen your faith" etc.
One day in religion class, I proposed this question to my class and my professor.
Me: If God is omnipotent, then he knows if we will go to Heaven or Hell right?
Professor: Yes. God knows all things
Me: And God creates each and everyone of us, right?
Professor: In his image, yes.
Me: So God makes people knowing they will go to Hell to be tortured for eternity, but creates them anyway?
And that's when I knew God was horrible deity, or it's all made up bullshit.
Bullshit just makes more sense.
Anything to do with absolutes can be proved wrong extremely easily. All one has to do is find a single discrepancy within the all or never or always argument and you disprove the theory. I'm not the one that makes up these rules for people's deities, I just know how to ask the right questions to dismantle their own arguments.
Is there a biblical mandate for this?
Looking at all of the sad happenings in Texas, and wondering if we as a group could collectively and individually prepare for modern happenings on Earth.
Fun Facts: After Ted Turner, Mormons are the singular largest land owner in the US. Lutherans have the highest rates of home ownership among any religion in the US.
I’m a lifelong LCMS Lutheran. I’m a registered Independent but often vote Republican. I voted against Trump in each election. I’m not a fan. I’m not a wild-eyed irrational one-dimensional liberal devil. Please don’t attack me. I’m not here to impart social justice, change your mind on politics or have mine changed. I'd just like some opinions or maybe advice.
Thesis: The linked Facebook post from the LCRL is not authored by a neutral observer. It advocates for Trump, his supporters and the target demographic is Republican Lutherans – not me. The post’s comments support that. I’m concerned the LCRL isn’t necessarily advocating for me in this.
> “People wish to blame this president for the situation, but the vile language and rhetoric has been growing for years.
1. No buts; people do wish to blame this president for the situation. Washington is debating his culpability as we speak.
2. The conditional “but” attempts to justify the previous true statement with a condition: the language and rhetoric has been growing for years e.g., “but everybody was doing it.”
3. That’s how children justify their actions; not adults. The adult/parent is supposed to say, “Well if all the kids were jumping off a bridge does that mean you have to?” The LCRL post doesn’t do that.
4. The LCRL post says, “People want to blame Donny for jumping off the bridge, but all the kids were jumping off the bridge.” The LCRL sounds more like Donny’s friend trying to justify Donny’s actions to the adult in the room. The LCRL is supposed to be the adult in the room.
> (I do not deny that our president has contributed in part to the problem, and even bears some responsibility for what happened yesterday). Language is one thing, violence is another.”
5. The parenthetical attempts to have side conversation to assuage potential fallout from the previous statement. I immediately imagined President Truman spinning in his grave. The sign on his desk didn’t say, “The buck stops in-part here. I only bear some responsibility.”
6. The terms “in-part and “some” want to pass Truman’s buck, rather than stop it.
7. Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know Trump is infamous for his abusive language and provoking rhetoric and it has been escalating for years. We know an American President’s words have enormous authority, influence and impact around the globe. As such they also have enormous consequences.
8. It is true lang... keep reading on reddit ➡
Hi everyone. I’ve learned recently that Catholics claim Jesus is only present in the Eucharist in Catholic Churches because (I don’t remember the exact term to describe it, but) theirs is the only church with apostolic succession that can be linked directly to Jesus Himself. They assert that while others take communion, or even believe in transubstantiation like the LCMS, Jesus isn’t actually present in the bread and wine. Is this true? Is this false? What does the Bible say about this? Is this just posturing by the Catholic Church in an attempt to appear as the one, true church? Any info would be appreciated!
Recently I have been doing a deep dive into my religious upbringing, and discovered that I was not rasied "regular Lutheran" as I have believed for most of my life (I stopped going to church with my parents as a teenager and explored many other churches and denominations after that, became a Mormon for 8 years and am now a happy athiest) but was actually raised "Conservative Lutheran Association". This was started by Ruben Redal of Central Lutheran Church in Tacoma, WA in the last 60's/early 70's I believe as a breakoff from the ELCA, as they were too "liberal". Pastor Redal then founded Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary (which has changed names over the years) and as far as I know the only other CLA church is Trinity Lutheran Church in Anaheim California.
I am just wondering if anyone out there has any experiences with these churches or the CLA, as I've never really resonated with other Lutherans that I've met. My childhood was very conservative, sheltered and small, and I believe that is in part to being associated with the CLA for the majority of my life. I went to both Trinity Christian School as well as Central Lutheran School so my education is very....skewed.
Anyway. I'm struggling to find a lot of info other than those two churches and some random wikipedia info and could use some perspective.