Hating those other Lutherans

Posted On August 4, 2008

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For many Lutherans, just being Lutheran is not enough. What is unknown to non-Lutherans is that Lutheranism is divided into a number of sects, or synods. While not on the level of Sunnis and Shi’ites, Lutherans are known to frown upon Lutherans who belong to a different synod.

Although there are a number of synods in the United States, the two main ones (and arch rivals) are the Evangelical Church in America and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Pretty much what the rivalry comes down to is disagreement over minute details. The ELCA is more liberal, as they allow women in the clergy and believe abortion is allowable in some circumstances. The ELCA also has full communion with a number of Protestant denominations. LCMS is more conservative. They do not have women in the clergy, and feel their communion is only open to those who are LCMS members.

Those in the ELCA camp see LCMS members as backwards. Those in the LCMS see those in the ELCA as having bastardized Lutheran theology. You most likely will not see one worshiping in the church of another. Look at any Lutheran church in America, the sign outside will state the synod the church is a part of. This is done to keep out the riff-raff of the other Lutherans, who would get and leave anyways as soon as they found out they were at the wrong Lutheran church.

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