#1 Why Lutherans Do Not Pray to Saints?
Lutheranism, a religion that was founded in the 16th century as a response to the Roman Catholic Church, is a Protestant faith that still pertains to many Catholic-values.
Linked by their Christian foundations – Lutheranism and Catholicism are compared as similar (more than any other branch of Protestantism – Anglican, Baptist, Calvinism, and Methodists).
Lutherans and Catholics each have many similarities (such as priest authority, the belief that indulgences are wrong, Eucharist, baptisms, belief regarding original sin, and much more).
However, one of the key differences between Lutherans and Catholics is that Catholics pray to Saints, while Lutherans do not. The distinction here is that Lutherans still honor Saints and believe in their existence, but they do not hold them to the regard that Catholicism does.
Catholics hold devoted prayers specifically to Saints, while Lutherans never pray to Saints, only seeing them as holy supporters of God.
The reasons that Lutherans do not pray to saints are:
- God is omnipotent
- Saints are not as supreme as God
- Confessions reject inciting a Saint’s help
- They do not find it scriptural to pray to Saints
- They do not find it appropriate to pray to saints
- They do not see Saints, angels, or Mary as mediators between God and man
- They believe in a universal priesthood – by which everyone may communicate directly to God
- “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” – Revelation 14:12.
- “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.” – Psalm 30:4
- Why Lutherans Don’t Pray to Saints – Reverend George Borghardt; February 29th, 2016.
#2 Why Do Lutheran Baptize Infants?
Possessing a strong inclination for scriptural-context, Lutherans often depict a highly-literal translation of the Bible, taking it as God’s direct commandments.
Being that scriptures such as state Matthew 28:19:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” –
A Lutheran would find it foolish to ignore this explicit order from God.
The main reasons that Lutherans embrace infant baptisms are because they believe:
- God commands it
- The baptism saves the child’s soul
- The baptism ensures an afterlife in heaven, should the child follow-up with a life of devout faith (both scripture and action being of high-regard in the Lutheranism faith).
Jesus did not state an age limit on this request in Matthew 28:19, and therefore, any age is seen as permittable. In other Protestant faiths, many denominations reject infant baptism and support waiting until the disciple is of mature age.
- “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:3-4.
- Alcto.org – Baptism; September 13th, 2017.
#3 Why Do Lutherans Not Believe in the Rapture?
With a theory that Jesus Christ will return not once but twice and move Christians off the Earth, the Rapture is rejected by Lutherans because:
- They cannot find scriptural evidence for it
- They do not believe Christ will remove all Christians from the Earth before destroying it
- They are unsure if it will be a last day or the seven-year period of ‘tribulation’
- They are divided on the interpretation of these scriptures
Pewresearch.org found that of Protestant Pastor beliefs in the Rapture:
- 36% believed in pre-tribulation
- 25% believe the Rapture is a symbol, not literal
- 18% believe in post-tribulation
- 4% believe in mid-tribulation
- 4% believe in pre-wrath
- 1% believe in Pre-termism
- 8% believe in none of these
Many feel passionately about this subject, such as the Trinity Boulder Lutheran Church that writes on their website ‘The Rapture Exposed – The Destructive Racket of Rapture.”
- “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
- “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
- Why Lutherans Do Not Believe in the Rapture; April 28th, 2013: “The concept of the Rapture, where Christians will be snatched away from the Earth, is less than 200 years old. The promise of Revelation Chapter 21 is that the new Jerusalem comes to Earth where God promises to dwell with us. Revelation rather than an escape plan is book of great hope where the Lamb of God who gave his life for all sits upon the throne calling us to be the Lamb’s followers and to be known by love. Scripture portrays a God who heals the world rather than one who brings violence and war (tribulation).“
#4 Why Was Lutheranism Founded?
Lutheranism was founded in 1517 by the theology of Martin Luther, a Christian man seeking to revolt from the indulgences of the Holy Roman Empire and Roman Catholic Church.
During the 16th century, branches started segregating from the Roman Catholic Church – leading to Protestantism. The five major branches of Protestantism are:
Each of these Protestant branches are linked by shared values but distinct in their own rights. Lutherans take a highly-Catholic-influenced approach and appear similar in their exterior appearances (similar church styles, architecture, priest attire, confession booth, sacrament practice, etc.)
Lutheranism was founded to combine the aspects from Catholicism that Lutherans appreciated while diverging in the areas that they saw room for improvement. Some of the major differences between these two Christian denominations are:
|Priesthood||Everyone may communicate directly to God||Hierarchical Priesthood|
|Sacraments||2 (Eucharist and Baptisms)||7|
|Focus on||Preaching/Evangelicalism||Authority and Tradition|
|Scriptural-centricity||More so||Less so|
- “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” – Malachi 2:7.
- Is Lutheranism the True Catholic Church? November 12th, 2019.
#5 Why Are Lutheran Doors Red?
The reason that Lutheran building and Church doors are red is to remind the one entering of the presence of God, as well as the blood that was shed through Christ’s sacrifice.
Another theory regards the founder of Lutheranism, Martin Luther, and his publication of ’95 Theses,’ which was noted for being nailed into red Church doors.
The red door is meant to signify:
- Christ’s sacrifice and death
- A sanctuary
- A spiritual refuge from evil spirits
- An homage to Martin Luther’s proclamations
In early American tradition, a red door meant ‘welcome’ and safe protection. Trinity Episcopal of Gatlinburg writes of The History of the Red Door:
“The tradition of red doors originated in England during the Middle Ages when it was a sign of sanctuary. If you were being pursued by someone, you would be safe if you could reach the church door. No one would dare commit violence on holy ground; furthermore, the Church didn’t have to abide by civil law.”
- “O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.” – Psalm 26:8.
- “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” – Exodus 25:8.
- Time.com – Did Martin Luther Nail His 95 Theses to the Church Door?; October 31st, 2017.
#6 Why Are Lutherans Clustered in the Upper-Midwest?
The highest populations for Lutherans are predominantly in the American states of:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The reasons that Lutherans are clustered in the upper-Midwest are due to the following:
- Lutherans first settled in New York, Virginia, and North/South Carolina. These are on the Eastern coast, for natural settlement from Europe.
- After arriving, Lutherans continued West to colonize and expand.
- From 1850-1870, Lutherans settled in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
- Before WWI – Lutherans bean to move West.
- 1926 to 1950 – The Lutheran population was heavily concentrated in the big cluster of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan (Upper Midwest).
- Post-WWI contributed to the expansion of denominationalism and conventionalism, growing Lutheranism as a rippling effect.
By 2010, the cluster is only slightly larger, now with deeper coloration in Alaska and Texas.
- Brittannica writes: “Several important mergers of various American Lutheran churches took place in the 20th century. The first two occurred in 1917, when three Norwegian synods formed the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA), and in 1918, when three German-language synods formed the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA). In 1930 the Joint Synod of Ohio, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa, and the Buffalo Synod formed the American Lutheran Church (German). In 1960 the American Lutheran Church (German) merged with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Norwegian) to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC). The Lutheran Free Church (Norwegian), which had initially dropped out of merger negotiations, joined the ALC in 1963. Two years after the formation of the ALC, in a parallel development, the ULCA joined with the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (Swedish), the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish) to establish the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). The Missouri and Wisconsin synods chose not to engage in merger negotiations because of the more liberal stance of the other Lutheran bodies.”
- Metrolutheran.org – Lutherans Heavily Concentrated in Mid-West: The 2010 Report is a 726-page book filled with maps and tables that detail the number of congregations of a particular church body by state and county. For instance, according to the study, Minnesota has congregations representing many Lutheran bodies: Apostolic Lutheran (12), Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (85), Church of the Lutheran Confessions (14), Church of the Lutheran Brethren (26), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1,090), Evangelical Lutheran Synod (30), American Association of Lutheran Churches (8), Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (97), Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (443), North American Lutheran Church (12), and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (146).