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What is a Lutheran?

Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the door of Wittenberg University, titled "95 Theses" (to debate 95 theological issues). His hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible.

What started as an academic debate escalated into a distinct separation between the Roman Catholic church of the time and those who accepted Luther's suggested reforms. "Lutheran" became the name of the group that agreed with Luther's convictions.

 

What do Lutherans believe?

Nearly five centuries later, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of Luther's theological teachings: Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism:
• We are saved by the grace of God alone – not by anything we do
• Our salvation is through faith alone – a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life and salvation
• The Bible is the basis for faith and life – the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged

 

What is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the largest Lutheran group in North America, founded in 1988 when three North American Lutheran church bodies united. The ELCA is comprised of more than 4.5 million members and over 10,000 congregations throughout the United States.

The ELCA is a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. Our faith is built around a strong belief in God as made known to us in Jesus Christ. Through worship, service, and education, we practice our faith, grow our relationship with God and experience God's grace in our lives.

We also work hard to put our faith into action. In today's complex world, we strive to make a difference in practical, realistic ways. Our signature phrase is: God's work. Our hands.

 

What are the chief purposes of the ELCA?

1. To proclaim God's saving Gospel
2. To carry out Christ's Great Commission
3. To serve in response to God's love to meet human needs
4. To worship God
5. To nurture members in the Word of God
6. To manifest the unity given to the people of God

 

The Mission of the ELCA

Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.

 
     
 
 
 
   
       
 
ST. MATTHEW'S LUTHERAN CHURCH
201 N. PIEDMONT AVE.
KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC 28086
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