Why Are You A Lutheran?

Lutheranism101.com is designed to create interest about the upcoming book Lutheranism 101. More detailed information is available by clicking the About button above.

Why I Am a LutheranHowever, Lutheranism101.com also offers a unique service on the Internet as it is an accessible way to find out more about Lutherans and Lutheranism. To that end, I would like to include more content than just excerpted material from the book. Would you like to help provide some of this content?

I would be interested in receiving short articles. In 2004, Dan Preus wrote the book Why I am a Lutheran. That would be a good topic–why are you a Lutheran? What brought you to Lutheranism, or back to Lutheranism? What are the distinctive that attract you, keep you, excite you about being a Lutheran? Pastors, if you have written something for a newsletter, or evangelism tract, or something else that fills the bill, I would be interested in seeing this too.

What Does Lutheranism Mean to Me?I am not suggesting you submit a doctrinal thesis. The articles need to be written in such a way that they are readily understood–what has been called “popular writing.” Don’t be hesitant about using a great theological term or concept, but don’t dare use it without a good explanation of what you mean.

Now, for full disclosure: I don’t promise to use everything I receive, and I will edit as needed for the project. If ten of you write that the proper distinction of Law and Gospel is why you are a Lutheran, I will be only using one (so maybe try a different approach). Each article I use will credit the author. If you would like to give a few words of biography/introduction (including a blog or Web site url), I would be happy to include that as well.

Send your submissions to scot.kinnaman@cph.org


Scot Kinnaman
General Editor, Lutheranism 101


16 Responses to Why Are You A Lutheran?

  1. John Hudson says:

    I am a Lutheran Christian because the idea of God not only extending the hand but being the One who does the grabbing is the only idea that makes sense, and the suffering God on the Cross who does it is the only God Who makes sense. I am a Lutheran because I believe there is a real, present and objective God on Whose promises I can rely, who won’t lie to me and Whom I can trust even when I am at my lowest — or even especially when I’m at my lowest. I am a Lutheran because I know something happens to me when I eat Christ’s Body and when I drink His Blood, I know something happened to me when I was baptized, I know something happens when I hear his Word: I know I am forgiven. I am a Lutheran because I am a confessor: I want to tell what I’ve heard and been promised. I am a Lutheran because a pastor gave me a Book of Concord and said, ‘Read it, read it all, and let’s talk about when you’re done.’ Well, I read it, and it wasn’t long before I said, “Now I know what ‘Gospel’ really means.”

  2. TeeJay says:

    I became Lutheran when my future wife made me go through new member classes in order to be married. But I could have been Episcopal… they also had a bunch of pretty girls in their youth group.

  3. After many years of moving all around the “Christian map” and being disappointed by each denomination’s “pet doctrine” or as I call it “doctrine du jour” I gravitated back to the Lutheran church. Being apprehensive and not content to take only the word of a pastor, I searched my Lutheran roots going back to Martin Luther’s writings. I also met a Lutheran pastor who loved God and had the highest respect for Martin Luther and the conservative Lutheran traditions. As time passed I once again realized the depths and richness of our brother Martin Luther’s contribution to Christians of his day and even to us today. That is why I use the phrase “Christian By God’s Grace… Lutheran By Choice.” Each day I desire to grow in God’s wonderful grace and love. I will do so with the help of God.

  4. Truthfully? I am a Lutheran because my husband said I had to.

    Ok, my reasons for converting to Lutheranism are more complex than that, but the bottom line is that my husband made his reasons for being a Lutheran clear to me (he grew up in the Lutheran church, and had no intention of going to any other type of church). After hearing him out, I began listening to The God Whisperers on Pirate Christian Radio. I discovered that Lutherans really had things all together theologically speaking!

    Keep in mind that I’d gone to 10 years of Christian school, attended youth group regularly, and as an adult had been a part of in depth Bible Study classes for years. Yet there were things that didn’t line up in terms of explaining the nature of God. It was only after beginning to study the scriptures from a Lutheran Law & Gospel perspective that the pieces began to fall together.

    So now I’m a Lutheran – not by the will of my husband, but by the Grace of God!

    • Bob Woodtke says:

      Oh, read this and it hit my heart. I was baptized Catholic, not by my choice, as we know. I too have been around the Christian map. I’ve read the bible and so many things didn’t line up from my teachings. We know what they are. Thank you Father for giving me critical thinking. I have not been baptized Lutheran yet, but, by the Grace of our Father, I will be soon. I’m sure, if not for the confusion, it would have been a fuller life in our Lord.

  5. Gayle Wehrli says:

    I joined the LCMS when my husband and I decided to remove our kids from public education. This was in the late 1970’s, early 80’s. A friend of mine wanted to move her son as well and she was a Lutheran from Racine, Wisconson. After checking out a few “Christian” schools, we settled on a Lutheran school and decided since we had had many difficulties in attending first a United Methodist church, then a Presbyterian church, we would take the adult instruction classes which were then held for 16 weeks. We had differences in what we had grown up believing and what we were now being taught, but we confirmed and our children completed their elementary education, were confirmed and went to Lutheran high school. But after 10 years we suffered the “looking over the fence for greener grass” syndrome and went wandering into the land of evangelicalism. Sad to say this was because of music which was just hitting it stride in Nashville as the new home of contemporary Christian music explosion. After wandering for nearly 20 years and being completely wounded by what we had experience in a Baptist setting then an Evangelical Free Church , we decided to return to our former Lutheran congregation. It was amazing how easily we accepted and embraced the doctrine and faith and liturgy we had grown uneasy with 20 years earlier. If the LCMS falls or fails, I will still be Lutheran as it finally dawned on me one day that I was a Lutheran before I really knew what that meant. How was that possible? I had been a serious Bible student and sometime Bible teacher for a number of years and had been indoctrinated without knowing it by God Himself through His word. Strangely this word lined up perfectly with what Martin Luther discovered and shared with the world. I chafe when people say it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in Jesus. To me it does matter because God says it matters and we are to be discerning about the things of God. I have dabbled in a number of denominations trying to “fit them into my faith” but I didn’t have to do that with the orthodox LCMS. I love the liturgy, so sue me. I love the doctrine, so make fun of me. I love the order and vestments and communion at the rail and Advent and Lent and Easter and Pentecost and Reformation Day and all the other days we celebrate unashamedly in the church year. And I love the grace that follows the law every week. I can’t see myself being anything else at this point because I was Lutheran before Lutheran was cool.

  6. Steve Martin says:

    Good comments.

    I too am a convert to Lutheranism.

    I was raised a Catholic (sort of) and then wandered in and out of many different churches. Then I was nothing for a long time. Then I met my wife and started attending a Lutheran congregation in Southern California. Then I heard the gospel and my lightswitch was turned on. Faith came and my baptism was complete.

    I love being a Lutheran. The freedom of Christ is like nothing else. There’s no going back now.


  7. Lebogang says:

    I am Lutheran because i grew up in a family that is lutheran,and i would like to thank my parents for that because i would not have asked for a better church,theology that is done at Lutheran is so good that it makes you understand christianity and not judge others based on what they believe in,I love the fact that i am lutheran and i know that God is busy blessing our church.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, heh, I’m not Lutheran, however I am gravitating strongly toward it. I am considering switching to Lutheranism, after four years of being Pentecostal with a dash of Baptist. There are two main reasons for that.

    First, I enjoy the “high church” format. It’s steeped in tradition, some of it very ancient – stretching back to the original church itself. This has a practical bent as well. With things like the Lord’s Prayer and Apostles’ Creed being staples of the service, this helps prevent heresy from the pulpit getting very far. This also makes it harder for emotions to take charge of a service, as is apt to happen in a Pentecostal church. (I have no ill will toward Pentecostals, mind you. It’s just increasingly not the thing for me.)

    Second, the doctrines, although they differ greatly from the ones I’ve been taught over the last five years I’ve been a Christian, seem to be closer to the truth that Jesus and the early church laid out. Two that stand out to me are the presence of Jesus in communion and the necessity of baptism. The topic of baptism in particular has been difficult for me to accept, having been taught it’s just symbolic and nothing more. I have this strong desire to know the truth. Not things made up by wayward theologians and thinkers. The stuff Jesus and the apostles meant. I feel that of the Protestant denominations, Lutheranism – LCMS specifically, although any conservative, confessional Lutheran branch is probably acceptable – is closest to the truth.

  9. Leslie Baker says:

    I became Lutheran on account of money.

    My wife and l moved to Milwaukee several weeks after our third son’s birth from Florida. My wife and l were adverse to public education for our children so as a life long Catholic l suggested my wife contact the local Catholic church and enroll our oldest in preschool. (At the time my wife was a stay at home mom.)

    When l came home Jeann told me she had contacted a little Lutheran church just a block down the street from our home. I was indignant! Though a nonpractising catholic l still had certain religious standards and no child of mine was going to be indoctrinated with protestant propaganda.

    Jeann calmly but firmly informed me that she was the one who would be taking the kids to school in the winter with ice and snow on the roads. (A somewhat foreign concept to one who lived most of his life in the Floridian sunshine!) I still was not convinced until she added that tuition was free for members.

    The only requirement for membership was attendance at a Bible class of several weeks duration, sign a card to become a member, put a few dollars in the collection plate, and this qualified us to have free private education.

    We missed the first week of Bible study. I had little interest in anything more than free private education. There was little interest in God and zero interest in Lutherans. That is until halfway through the Bible information class the Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me and never let me go.

    That was 18 years ago. My oldest son is about to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a church organist for several local and out of town congregations. And myself? The Holy Spirit has yet to release his grip on my heart and soul. And l pray he never will.

  10. Danielle says:

    I was born and raised Lutheran, my grandparents and great grandparents were Lutheran Germans. But what it really means to me and why I continue my faith (though now my siblings have converted to Catholicism) is because my dad was an orphan abandoned at birth. The Lutheran church in Meadville,Pa found him a home with a wonderful German lady who was his foster mother for years. When she passed he then was raised in a Lutheran Children’s home. It’s not just my faith but it’s part of my history of what makes up who I am!

  11. Joel Kingston says:

    That is Absolutely true my brother.. Even I’m a Lutheran Christian!

  12. Andrew Gooding says:

    I became a Lutheran after years as a Catholic because I wanted to get back to the basics. After years of going through the motions of accumulated rites, liturgies and innovations, I felt a simple return to the Word and Sacraments ( of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) was the best and most appropriate choice. I find that I also produce more ” fruit” as a Lutheran Christian than I do as any other sort. I first converted at a small mission L.C.M.S. church in Jacksonville, FL and I was constantly volunteering to help out with the programs and functions of the church. That was a lot more than I was doing as a pew- sitter in my former church! I love the educated sermons, the ancient liturgy and the right division of the Law and Gospel as expressed in the Augsburg Confession. I also love gathering with my brothers and sisters in Christ to celebrate our common confession. God bless C.F.W. Walther!

  13. Cheri Hoke says:

    I, being raised as a Baptist never felt comfortable in a Baptist church but was forced by my parents. In my early adult years, I attended mass at a local Catholic Church with a lady I used to work with. I can’t begin to explain the calmness and peace I felt during mass! Long story short, I wanted to convert but I was told by my mother that if I did, I would have to move out of her house. I married…divorced…remarried and decided to attend church with my husband’s grandmother who is Lutheran. I felt that same calmness and peace that I felt years ago from attending mass. Needless to say, I converted, my daughter was Baptised as a Lutheran, and my husband is now back in the church he grew up in. One thing I appreciate most about being Lutheran, is that our church pays homage to the Catholic Church in the Apostle’s Creed. I absolutely love my church and church family! I am proud to be Lutheran!

    • Kathleen Ball says:

      I love all the comments about why folks turn to the Lutheran church or return for some. I would like to point out in light of the above comment that the words “holy catholic church” in the Creed do not refer to the Roman Catholic church but the church universal.

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