Monday, June 4, 2012


You may have noticed the "About Meredith" section on the right hand side of your screen. You may have also noticed that I mention that I'm a Lutheran. Over the course of the time that I've had this blog, I've had lots of people email me questions about that little statement--things like:

Are Lutherans Christians?
Hey, why do Lutherans baptize infants?
Aren't Lutherans super traditional and conservative?
Do you think that everyone who isn't Lutheran is going to hell?
Why are you Lutheran instead of something else?

I'm always happy to answer these questions for two reasons--first, it's been a long time since I went through confirmation class, and it's always good for me to dig in and refresh myself on what the church body that I identify as being a member of believes on any given topic. Second, and probably most importantly, it promotes open discussion and dialogue, which in turn facilitates unity in Christ.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. -Ephesians 4:3-5

For me, that's the key. We're called to unity in Christ, period. I think it's okay for us to have differences in practice and denomination, but that it's also important to remember that baptism, communion, and whether or not it's considered okay to sing the 'sloppy wet kiss' version of How He Loves at your church are not the big issues.What really matters is that everyone who claims that label of being Christian for themselves has one common belief:

If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.- Romans 10:9

And beyond that, I think it's okay and healthy to respectfully talk about differences in practice, belief, and interpretation because it helps dispel myths and misunderstanding, which again facilitates unity. But it's crucial to do so in the proper frame of reference, which is that we all share the same core value of our faith!

So, in that vein, I thought I'd also open things up to all of you--do you have any questions about what it means to be Lutheran? Do you have any questions (including any of the ones I mentioned above) about our beliefs and practices? What we believe and what we don't? I'm happy to take a stab at anything you (respectfully) throw my way!


  1. This makes me so happy to hear that I'm not the only one that has been asked if Lutheran's are Christians.
    The year after finishing college, I spent a year doing Global Mission with the ELCA. My placement was in England in a community with mostly non-denominational churches. I was asked all the time if I was a Christian. I tried my best to take it light-heartedly, but it was frustrating at times. Especially when parents didn't want their kids doing youth group with me, because I didn't have a singular moment where I identify my salvation with Christ.

    (Sorry for the rambling mini-vent session!)

  2. Just felt like throwing up a high five for a fellow Lutheran. Religion isn't a huge part of my life (though I would like to make it a bigger part), but I 100% agree with everything you've stated. I can't say I've ever been asked if Lutheran's are Christians, but have often heard the remark that Lutheran's are just wannabe Catholics.

  3. My only question would be, have you ever attended/become a member of a different denomination? (Methodist, Nazarene, Non-Denominational, etc)

    Just curious if you've ALWAYS been a Luthern, and why, if so.

  4. I was baptized Lutheran but raised Episcopalian and I love both denominations! I completely agree with you about respecting other people's beliefs and denominations. I feel like there needs to be more of that within Christianity.

  5. Love these posts!!

    I've always been under the impression that Lutheranism was extremely similar to Catholicism. In the words of my husband (a former Catholic), "they are like Catholics, they just don't do the Mary thing." I dated a guy who was Lutheran for a few years and based on my experiences at his church and my experiences at the Catholic church Chad attended as a kid, I totally get where the two are tied together so often.

    However, I feel like you've TOTALLY blown the lid off my stereotype of Lutherans.

    I'm going to be really candid here and hope I don't offend...

    I feel like Catholics (generally speaking) miss the mark on Jesus and in many ways, put Mary over Him. The focus seems to be more on rituals than on the relationship. And while I know Mary isn't part of the Lutheran faith, I just kind of assumed that ritualistic side was still pretty prevalent. But I don't see that come through AT ALL with you. Jesus and your relationship with Him shines through bright, and I love that.

    Also, I do associate Lutheranism with being very traditional, so I was surprised the first time we had a conversation about God always being good and bad things not being a way He forces a lesson on us or forces us to lean on Him. I feel like my line of thinking is very much non-traditional, not something I would typically associate with a Lutheran.

    And I've said all that, and haven't even posted a question!

    So my question would be...what are your stances on some of the big doctrinal issues? Things like...can you lose your salvation? does hell exist and if it does, is it an actual place of torture or is it a separation from God? does God punish His children or do we simply step out of His protection and experience the punishment of the world? did Jesus have brothers and sisters? And any others you care to talk about. :)

    For the record, I really don't think the answers to any of these questions matter. The one and only question that we should care about is "are you a follower of Christ?" The rest is just details. But they are still fun to talk about. :)

  6. This was a very interesting post! I agree w/ you - to be a Christian, declaring the Jesus Christ is Lord is the key thing - all the other stuff is not worth arguing about.

    I have mainly always gone to a Baptist church, but for a few years in college, my college pastor invited the Lutheran kids that he worked with (he was a counselor at a Lutheran college) to join us. We had the most interesting Bible discussions! I must say everyone was really nice (obviously!) and it was very interesting to see different points of view on things that I just assumed all Christians believed like I did.


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