Who Are Lutherans?
Who are Lutherans?
Lutherans are Christian in the Protestant tradition, in fact, Lutherans were the first Protestants. In 1517, Martin Luther, then an Augustinian monk and scholar, protested against the Roman Catholic Church by posting his disagreements, known as the Ninety-Five Theses, to the door of the Cathedral Church in Wittenberg, Germany. At the core of Luther’s dispute with the Catholic Church was the teaching on the nature of our salvation. Lutherans believe we are justified by faith alone (Romans 5.1): that is, we are saved by God’s grace, which we receive through faith in the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and not through our good works.
Lutherans believe Jesus Christ is the true born son of God and became our Lord. In an act of Love, God became human to take upon the Godself our human condition and our sin to free us from the bondage of sin and death and to restore our relationship with God. In Jesus Christ, we are made known of God’s endless love for humanity and God’s gift of grace to a broken and ever-seeking world. We recognize we are simultaneously sinner and saint, but it is in the crucified and resurrected Christ that we experience grace, mercy, freedom, and newness of life.
The bible is an integral part of our faith journey. However, we do not take the bible literally as we acknowledge the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to the faithful to record so we can experience scripture through the lens of God’s grace. Lutherans study the bible by examining its meaning through biblical criticism. The bible is the story of God’s enduring love for humanity and all creation, and through reading and studying the Bible, we become part of that story. The bible is also the story of relationship: Relationship with the Triune God who gives us comfort, purpose, and hope through the Good News that Jesus Christ bore the cross, died, and rose again for the salvation of the world.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcomes our neighbors, but we recognize this has not always been the case. We understand the harm that has been caused by our white, largely Northern European, heritage and we repent for those transgressions. We know we are not where we want to be but we are working towards becoming a multi-ethnic denomination that reflects the diversity of the Kingdom of God. This may mean we are under construction, but our doors are still open and we invite you in. So, whether you are a person of color, disabled or immigrant, LGBTQ+ or straight, male, female or gender-nonconforming, young or old, churched or unchurched – there is a place for you in the Lutheran Church.
At Peace, our worship on Sunday mornings is liturgical, but not antiquated, and it reflects the diversity of our communities and theology. In weekly worship, we experience God’s grace through the Word – reading the Old and New Testament, and preaching – and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.