• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

ELCA vs. UMC

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by KagomeShuko, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. KagomeShuko

    KagomeShuko Wretched Sinner/Belovèd Child of God/Church Nerd

    +152
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    I've asked in both the Lutheran and Methodist forums about the differences between the Theology of the ELCA and Methodists.

    I understand that the movements of the churches come from different roots.

    I find one major difference is that the Methodist preach of becoming perfect on earth. The ELCA does not preach that. However, that is not a major point between the two denominations. It's something the Methodists believe CAN happen and the ELCA doesn't say anything about it.

    People keep telling me that there are more, but I'm not really finding them.

    They both have two sacraments - baptism and holy communion.

    Methodists say that we are both broken and holy at the same time while Lutherans say we are both saints and sinners at the same time, so that's the same thing, really . . .

    We both believe that God offers Grace to everybody . . .

    We preach of love and acceptance and welcoming - not of fire and brimstone.

    Am I missing something major? I sure have not been able to find anything on the UMC site or here or anywhere on the Internet.

    Sure, there are different PRACTICES and there are different STYLES of worship, but that doesn't have anything to do with the theology.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +23,843
    Anglican
    Married
    You have the basic picture, it seems. What we might want to know is why, knowing the similarities, you are still unsettled. Is there something else you are looking for?
     
  3. KagomeShuko

    KagomeShuko Wretched Sinner/Belovèd Child of God/Church Nerd

    +152
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    I'm not unsettled about the Methodist denomination. I'm unsettled because people keep telling me there's more and I like to learn and I can't find more.
     
  4. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    +5,642
    Presbyterian
    Single
    It's worth noting that the UMC and ELCA are in full communion. See Full Communion Partners for what that means.
     
  5. KagomeShuko

    KagomeShuko Wretched Sinner/Belovèd Child of God/Church Nerd

    +152
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    Yes, I know they are. I'm a ELCA member and an associate member of a local UMC.
     
  6. Tigger45

    Tigger45 St. Francis of Assisi Supporter

    +8,732
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Constitution
    I think the distinct differences lay between confessional Lutherans and Methodism but not as much noticeable between the ELCA and UMC.
     
  7. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +17,043
    United States
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    .
     
  8. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +17,043
    United States
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    Well, for example, as Lutherans we don't believe it is possible to attain any kind of perfection in this life. We also believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist really, truly, literally is the flesh and blood of Jesus. We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith on Christ's account alone, and therefore He chose us we did not choose Him. The Law, being the Law, can not make me more holy, it can only condemn and kill me; the only righteousness and holiness we have before God is Christ's own imputed righteousness. Thus, it is impossible to be righteous or holy by the Law.

    I'd say all of these things are fundamentally essential to our Lutheran faith and confession.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  9. KagomeShuko

    KagomeShuko Wretched Sinner/Belovèd Child of God/Church Nerd

    +152
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    1) The perfection in this life is not a big deal to me at all. It's God works however God works.
    2) You can believe that the bread and wine are literally the flesh and blood of Jesus. I do not and it is not what I was taught, either. I believe in the Real Presence. (Years ago, I interviewed at an ELCA church that let the communion classes and confirmands say that the bread and wine were only symbolic!)
    3) The bread and wine being literally Christ is also not the official position of the ELCA.
    https://download.elca.org/ELCA Reso...40.2011657183.1581532220-252380472.1581532220
    Fromo Agenda, Page 23

     
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +17,043
    United States
    Lutheran
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar?

    Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink. And as we have said of Baptism that it is not simple water, so here also we say the Sacrament is bread and wine, but not mere bread and wine, such as are ordinarily served at the table, but bread and wine comprehended in, and connected with, the Word of God.
    " - The Large Catechism, Section V, 8-9

    "Of the Supper of the Lord [we] teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord; and [we] reject those that teach otherwise." - The Augsburg Confession, Article X

    "Of the Sacrament of the Altar we hold that bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians." - Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VI, 1

    "1. We believe, teach, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present, and are truly distributed and received with the bread and wine.

    2. We believe, teach, and confess that the words of the testament of Christ are not to be understood otherwise than as they read, according to the letter, so that the bread does not signify the absent body and the wine the absent blood of Christ, but that, on account of the sacramental union, they [the bread and wine] are truly the body and blood of Christ.
    " - The Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article VII, 6-7

    If there are those in the ELCA--which is the church I belong to--who not only do not believe that here is the true flesh and blood of Christ in and under the bread and the wine, but also have a position teaching false doctrine and are mangling the faith of those to whom they have been given charge then they really shouldn't be in any position to be teaching anyone anything.

    I must admit, this is the first time I've come across such things; and if true seriously makes me question whether I should remain in the ELCA if such basic Lutheran teaching is not being confessed.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  11. KagomeShuko

    KagomeShuko Wretched Sinner/Belovèd Child of God/Church Nerd

    +152
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    It had to be around 2005 or 2006 when I was interviewing all over the country for Youth Ministry positions with the ELCA as my situation was much different then. My parents were still alive. My sister was still healthy. I had gotten my first bachelors degree in 2004 . . .

    One of the churches where I interviewed was in Okalahoma City, OK. It had posters up by the first communions classes, the youth, and the confirmands. There were posters that said that that the bread and wine/juice were PURELY symbolic. I questioned this as if I got the job there as a youth minister, I'd want to teach Lutheran theology. The pastor and the leaders didn't think anything of it. I can also say for certain that the church made me extremely uncomfortable, even though the people were nice.

    I'm also sorry. I didn't mean to say that the elements were not Christ. There are probably people with a wide variety of views in the ELCA. I don't believe ina corporial presence where the bread is flesh and the wine is blood.

    I believe that Christ is truly there, but it is a mystery that we do not understand. At the first "Lord's supper" Jesus was obviously not giving his disciples flesh cut from His body and blood pouring out from His side.

    But he said that they were His body and blood, that He was truly there. I believe that He is still somehow truly there. I don't believe that the elements are truly flesh and blood. God could make any scientist or doctor see tissue of flesh, though, because Christ is somehow there.
     
  12. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    +5,642
    Presbyterian
    Single
    You have to be very careful what people mean. When someone says that bread and wine are symbols they could be distinguishing this from the Catholic position, in which bread and wine stop being bread and wine and become Christ's body and blood. Because in the Lutheran tradition they remain bread and wine but Christ's body and blood are also present there's a sense in which the physical bread and wine are symbols. They point to Christ's body and blood which are present "in and under" them, as you say.

    Note that the document pointed to doesn't say that it is stating the full Lutheran position. It says it is stating things that both Lutherans and Methodists share. Apparently the ELCA considers that commonality sufficient to allow full communion, but that doesn't necessarily mean there is no difference.

    I don't see anything in the document pointed to that denies the Lutheran position. The key statement is "we confess that Christ is really present, shared, and received in the forms of bread and wine in the Eucharist."

    While that statement is consistent with the Lutheran position, it doesn't quite mandate it. It would also be consistent, in my view, with the Presbyterian view of communion, in which Christ's body and blood are truly present to the participants because of the activity of the Holy Spirit. This is not a shock, because the ELCA is in full communion with the PCUSA. The Methodist document referred to does not give a specific philosophical explanation of Christ's presence but uses terms similar to the one quoted.

    (I have to say, however, that in my opinion many Presbyterians are closer to the Methodist understanding than Calvin's. I think we believe in Christ's real presence, but I don't think we currently emphasize the concept that his body and blood remain only in heaven.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
Loading...