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Liberal Lutheranism or Conservative Lutheranism, why did you choose one over the other?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by David Neos, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    As someone who was interested in Lutheranism before, why did you choose one over the other?
     
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  2. Silverback

    Silverback Well-Known Member

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    I am LCMS, so I would say we are right of center on most issues. Essentially, I was in the US Navy, stationed in Hawaii with the Marines, and our Battalion Chaplain was from the LCMS. We spent a lot of time talking when we were on deployment to South Korea, and when we returned to Hawaii, I read the Lutheran Confessions and took the plunge.

    That was it.
     
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  3. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The LCMS was never really an option for me in the first place. For the sake of trying to honor the spirit of the season of Lent, I really don't care to go into all the things I would criticize about the LCMS.

    I like the ELCA, it reminds me of my Methodist church as a kid in many ways, in the emphasis on love and respect for individuals, but there is even more an acute sense of respecting individual conscience, than what I encountered in Methodism. I also find the ELCA less theologically liberal, without being fundamentalist. I sat through enough sermons as a kid telling me about how maybe the big miracles of the Bible didn't really happen, but I've not really encountered that sort of thing to the same degree in the ELCA. And at the very least, people who take traditionally Christology seriously have a real home here, even if few will be checking your orthodoxy card up close.

    I also like that we typically have weekly communion and we have a calendar of saints and festivals, as well as an emphasis on liturgy. It was less of a step from Orthodoxy to be that kind of a Lutheran. We sang hymns about St. Lucy and St. Nicholas this winter that reminded me alot of Orthodox troparia to an uncanny degree (and all the festivity was quite fun too).
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  4. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Oh this should be good. The Irish twins can help with introductions David.

     
  5. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beatify Charles Darwin and Karl Marx? Srsly, no. We don't beatify anybody, we commemorate them, and Marx and Darwin are not on our calendar, because they were not Christians. Nothing personal of course, but we are still Christians and not Unitarian Universalists.
     
  6. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    What's something LCMS disagrees with WELS?
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Women in church government seems to be the main issue. Also, WELS view of the pastoral ministry in some ways is more like the ELCA's, whereas the LCMS's sounds more Catholic. WELS believes that pastors are specially called laymen and it is a humanly ordained office. LCMS believes it is a divinely ordained office.
     
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  8. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    I would point out just because on the national level the ELCA is known as a theologically liberal denomination there are orthodox parishes within the ELCA so I would be careful not to paint with such a broad brush. That said, I came to Lutheranism from Traditional catholicism after a soft landing in Anglicanism. After leaving my local Anglican church I visited my local LCMS parish. It was the Happy Clappy type which I loathe. After speaking with my neighbor she told me she drives a few minutes further up the road where the LCMS parish is liturgical. I visited and met with the pastor. He suggested that I attend his adult instruction class as well as read the Augsburg confession. I recognized a lot of carry over from the Anglican church in the liturgy and hymns so that was pretty much that.

    As far as the conservative/liberal divide that was never an issue for me. I have read a fair amount of liberal theologians over the years and reject their arguments (My theological library is eclectic to say the least). I have always believed the bible was the inerrant word of God from the time I read my Grandfathers KJV bible cover to cover in the sixth grade. I never considered a church that did not believe the same. In my estimation if one believes the bible is not inerrant then who gets to decide which parts are true and which are not? Does that not lead to the authority argument we hear so much from Rome? Second, as a Lutheran I believe the Book of Concord is the correct expression of biblical doctrine and is binding in its teaching. I don't know what the ELCA teaches on the subject so you will have to ask @FireDragon76 . Lastly, the idea the drew me the most to Lutheranism is the distinction between Law and Gospel. It is perhaps where the biggest dividing line exists between conservative and liberal Lutheran bodies. Scripture gets to define what is sinful and what is not. As such all sin is to be condemned by the preaching of the Law as well as the forgiveness of sins by the preaching of the Gospel. If nothing is a sin, then where's the forgiveness of sins? How does the Gospel make any sense? A church body that doesn't teach the above was never in consideration for me.
     
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  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our approach to the confessions is, generally speaking, a generous and moderate orthodoxy. We believe the confessions are a true exposition of our faith, but we do not necessarily believe they are the last word on theology, and must be understood in their historical context.

    Rome's approach to the Christian faith is misguided on the question of authority (and many others). It really doesn't bother me all that much if the guy next to me believes that Jonah was really swallowed by a fish, and the lady next to me believes its simply a morality tale. That's a matter of their conscience. What matters is that I believe we are all united through hearing God's Word and receiving the sacraments.
     
  10. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Kind of a strange dichotomy.

    I'm Lutheran. I didn't choose "liberal" Lutheranism or "conservative" Lutheranism; and in a way I didn't choose Lutheranism at all--I basically tripped over my own two feet across the Rhine. When I began questioning what I believed at the end of my teen years and into my early twenties becoming Lutheran was probably the furthest thing from my mind. It happened almost by sheer accident.

    I'm ELCA, but I don't identify as a "liberal Lutheran", I simply identify as a Lutheran.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  11. Julian of Norwich

    Julian of Norwich AngloCatholic

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    I also came from Episcopal then RCC just turned around from Athanasius' background. I appreciated a church that would, in this PC climate of our contemporary culture, call a sin a sin and not cover it up with the tolerance of it that our culture wants (due partially I imagine from some powerful pressure politically-I live in a very liberal region so my expectations of the ELCA are colored by that, I'm sure), while being forgiving. I also appreciated that it's pro-life and pro- Gospel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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