Aug 15, 2008

What is a Lutheran?

This is a very good question.   Lutherans are one of many Protestant Christian denominations.   In the late 15th Century, the Roman Catholic church was in need of a reformation.   There were people within the heirarchy of the church who were putting other things before God.   The printing press had been invented and knowledge was being distributed in an entirely new way.   It was out of this that many people began to question the traditional ways of Rome and asked for change.   Martin Luther was one such reformer.

 

Luther did not want to break away from Rome.   In fact, his 95 Theses were meant to promote scholarly debate about many of the issues infecting the church.   However, through a  series of debates,  it became clear that Rome would not embrace Luther's concerns and intead they threw him out.

 

These displaced Christians were known as Lutherans because they followed the writings and theology of Luther.   In a way, Lutherans are the original protestants.   This group later encompassed Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, some Baptists, Reformed and other church bodies.

 

During this time period, several men decided to use scripture to provide a theological textbook for Christians.   These writings were put together in a book called, "The Book of Concord".   It is a very concise, clear, doctrinal treatise on the theology contained in scripture.

 

Must one become a Lutheran to be saved?   Absolutely not.   We believe that  the Church of  Christ exists outside of the Lutheran Church.   However, we do believe, stand by, and  teach the theological concepts outlined in the Book of Concord.