What is a Lutheran?
The modern Lutheran church is based upon the work of
Martin Luther, also known as the Father of Protestantism.
After originally studying to
be a lawyer, Luther became an Augustinian monk in 1505 and an ordained priest
two years later. As he studied, he felt that there were significant
differences between the theology and practices of the church and his readings
of Scripture. On October 31, 1517, he posted his 95 Theses on the door of
the church in Wittenberg, Germany. This document challenged the church to
be more consistent with
Biblical teachings in its preaching and practices.
As a the result of fierce passions on both sides of the
issue, the debate escalated to the extent that the reforms Luther sought
resulted in a split from the Roman Catholic church. Most of Northern Europe
the reformed or Protestant faction. Rather against Luther's wishes, Lutheran
became a name that described this new movement. In recent years, major
agreements between Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and other denominations, have
emphasized the common Christian beliefs we all share. (To learn more about
the ecumenical movement, click
Nevertheless, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation each
October 31st, and follow the same principles of theology and practice
Luther advocated, including
- Sola Gratia (Grace Alone): We are saved by the grace of
God alone, not by anything we do.
- Sola Fide (Faith Alone): Our salvation is through faith alone.
We need only to believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake,
who died to redeem us.
- Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone): The Bible is our most important
guide, the only true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
To become a Lutheran, one need only be baptized and receive instruction in
the Christian faith. First Lutheran offers membership classes several times
a year. If you are interested, please contact the church office.
(More information about
(More information about the
Luther rose, shown above.)