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LCMS evangelical?

Discussion in 'LCMS / WELS / ELS / LCC' started by Brigid63, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Brigid63

    Brigid63 LCMS/AngloCatholic

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    I recently read that the confessional Lutheran churches are Evangelical. Are they thought of that way by most?
     
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  2. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Most Lutherans, or most people?

    Most Lutherans - depends on their own congregation. Could be yes or no.

    Most people - no (I think most people on earth go along with the 'other side' and they don't even think that when we are Lutherans we are even Christian.
     
  3. Brigid63

    Brigid63 LCMS/AngloCatholic

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    Most people or most LCMS? How could they think that Lutherans aren't Christian?
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Most what--most people or most Lutherans? I don't think we have any way of knowing what "most" (people) think about it. However, the term fits.

    Evangelical means Gospel-centered. The Confessional Lutheran churches are certainly more Gospel-centered, Scripture-centered, than the Christian denominations that are more oriented towards liberal theology, the so-called "Social Gospel," political activism, and etc.

    But if anyone thinks of Bible churches, non-denominational congregations, or Pentecostal Christians when the word Evangelical comes up, then that usage wouldn't seem appropriate for Confessional Lutherans.

    That usage was popularized in the past generation by the media as something of a catch-all term, but the word Evangelical in the first sense goes back to Luther himself.
     
  5. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Pew Forum, in their surveys of religion, lists LCMS and WELS as Evangelical.

    Confessional Presbyterians I know tend to think of confessional Lutherans as "brothers."

    Don't know what Evangelical Baptists think.
     
  6. Brigid63

    Brigid63 LCMS/AngloCatholic

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    I think I must think of the media (recently) terminology.
     
  7. Nova Scotian Boy

    Nova Scotian Boy Grand Sasquatch

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    No, Lutherans are evangelical in the historic sense, but not the American sense.We are not part of American Evangelicalism. Which we reject.
     
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  8. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Are you from the LCMS?

    Like I said, Pew Forum, which is kind of an authority in these matters, lists LCMS and WELS as Evangelical (in contrast to ELCA, which is classed as Mainline).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  9. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lutheran Staff Member Purple Team - Moderator Supporter

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    This would be pretty accurate, but you both are basically saying the same thing. In the USA the LCMS, WELS, and ELS are more "evangelical" as other more outreach/charismatic churches might be. The ELCA is "evangelical" in the historic sense (as are the WELS, ELS, and LCMS) but not really in the sense that most Americans think, they are also Mainline as are the churches they are in communion with (Episcopal church, United Methodist, etc.).
     
  10. YeshuaFan

    YeshuaFan Well-Known Member

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    I am Calvinist Baptist, who is also Evangelical, and we Baptists have always had a hard time deciding on the Lutherans, as while not seen by us as being Catholic, still tied into Sacramentalism to a degree more that what we are used to!
     
  11. Brigid63

    Brigid63 LCMS/AngloCatholic

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    All these posts are so interesting. I (from an Episcopal then RCC background) have never thought of any part of Lutheranism as evangelical.jI would love to hear more as I'm somewhat confused.
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Well, what does Evangelical mean (other than as a catch-word for the media)?

    It means to be Gospel-oriented, Bible-centered, and mission-minded. The Confessional Lutheran churches (WELS, LCMS) are excellent examples of that orientation.

    These also show us that it is not necessary to abandon liturgical worship and the sacraments while doing so.
     
  13. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    I've seen it said in other places that you could consider us Lutherans as Evangelical Catholics. Not sure I 100% buy it, but it sort of makes sense.
     
  14. James Murphy

    James Murphy LCMS Lutheran

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    I believe European Lutherans call themselves that.....
     
  15. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Many Lutherans seem to like saying that of their church, but IMHO it doesnt really hold up as true. After all, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, and Sola Gratia go straight at the heart of Catholic theology, even if Lutherans retained more of traditional belief -- and especially practice -- than most other Protestant churches did.
     
  16. Brigid63

    Brigid63 LCMS/AngloCatholic

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    What about "Reformed Catholic". That's how I think of the LCMS.
     
  17. James Murphy

    James Murphy LCMS Lutheran

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    I've hear that's what European Calvinists like to style themselves......
     
  18. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Well, among Evangelical churches, LCMS etc. would probably be on the extreme liturgical end of the spectrum, with Baptists on the extreme non-liturgical end, and conservative Presbyterians in the middle somewhere.
     
  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    It would amount to about the same thing, I would think, except that the word "Reformed" usually is used to refer to specifically Calvinist denominations such as the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church of N.A. or to the Presbyterian churches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  20. Nova Scotian Boy

    Nova Scotian Boy Grand Sasquatch

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    Yes, I am LCMS. Currently a seminarian. The Pew Forum is wrong. Like most people, they get very confused by Lutherans.

    From the Reformation until the late 1700s, early 1800s the terms Evangelical was a synonym for Lutheran. To call someone a Lutheran was to call them an evangelical, to call someone an evangelical was to call them a Lutheran. A Presbyterian, Baptist would have been scandalized by being called an evangelical because that means your Lutheran.

    All this changed with the 1st Great Awakening. The revivalistic movement which came from the Awakening called themselves Evangelicals. A movement that confessional Lutherans have always denounced as false and in error, and in stark contrast to Lutheranism.

    However over time, this second definition of evangelical became dominate. To the point, the first is barely remembered. In Germany Evangelical is still synonymous with Lutheran. Most of the state churches don't even have Lutheran in their name they are just referred to as the Evangelical Church. When revival style Evangelicalism came to Germany they actually created a new word for them to differentiate them from Lutheranism.

    This is why many Lutheran churches in North America still have the word Evangelical in their name. It refers not to the Evangelicals we think of today but the original evangelicals.
     
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