What is a Lutheran?
Lutherans are heirs of the 16th Century Reformation, a movement spearheaded by Martin Luther to refocus the Church on God’s free grace given in Jesus.
Three phrases encapsulate what Lutherans are all about:
- Biblical—We hold the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God
- Sacramental—We celebrate Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as God-given “means of grace”
- Christ-centered—We focus on the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins
Lutherans are both firmly rooted in ancient Christian faith and practice, and vitally growing in God’s grace today. (One author has gone so far as to describe us as “Evangelical Catholics.”)
Do Lutherans worship Martin Luther?
Absolutely not. Correcting this misunderstanding, Lutheran Theologian Herman Sasse makes it clear that being “Lutheran” is about Jesus, not Martin Luther:
We are faithful to this church, not because it is the church of our Fathers, but because it is the church of the Gospel; not because it is the church of Luther, but because it is the church of Jesus Christ. If it became something else, if its teaching were something other than a correct exposition of the plain Word of God, it would no longer be our church. (Here We Stand)
If you would like to dig deeper into what Lutherans believe, check out the Small Catechism or the Augsburg Confession—essential statements of faith for our tradition. And if you have any questions, feel free to contact Pastor Tinetti.
The Lord be with you!