What is a Lutheran?

Just a VERY brief overview of Lutherans if you’ve never heard of us before.

First and foremost, Lutherans are Christians.  We believe that Jesus was fully human and fully divine, died on the cross and rose again.  We believe in the Holy Trinity:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Luther's Seal

Luther’s Seal

We follow many of the teachings of Martin Luther, a 15th century monk and priest who was ultimately branded a heretic by the Roman Catholic Church.  He argued against “buying” forgiveness (indulgences), and taught that a person is saved apart from good works (we can’t earn heaven).  We may call ourselves Lutherans, but we don’t worship Luther or follow everything he wrote.   He was a sinful human being, just like the rest of us.

Lutherans celebrate TWO sacraments:  Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.

Unfortunately, Lutherans are good at disagreeing.  There are several different kinds of Lutherans, ranging from what some might consider “liberal,” to “extremely conservative.”  The Lutheran group to which I belong is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest, and what would be considered the most liberal.

To learn more about Lutherans, and specifically the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, you can visit our website:

http://elca.org/

and the New Jersey Synod of which I am a part:

http://www.njsynod.org/

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