Lutheran and Church of God Beliefs?

These 2 I know nothing about. Just wondering what’s different from us.

Lutheran belief is summed up in the unaltered Augsburg Confession.

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And there are several different denominations calling themselves 'Church of God" some Holiness and others Pentecostal. I believe the ones headquartered in Anderson Indiana are Holiness, and the ones from Cleveland Tennesee are Pentecostal.

There are many different denominations using that name they are hard to tell apart. But they all are fundamentalists.

Yes, except there are 3 main Lutheran Denominations in the US alone, plus many smaller ones. There are some major differences between the three major ones, take women and communion for example:

Wisconsin Synod (WELS): Women cannot teach or lead men in church. Communion is generally quite closed, often requiring the permission of each pastor to participate.
Missouri Synod (LCMS): Women are not ordained, but can lead or teach otherwise. Communion is more open, but generally limited to LCMS members.
ELCA: Women can be ordained and communion is open to anyone believing the bread or wine contains the real presence of Jesus,

Lutheran worship is often Liturgical, closely resembling a Catholic Mass. Communion beliefs are about as close to the Catholic teaching as Protestants get. Lutherans teach real presence meaning Jesus is present in the bread and wine compared to the Catholic teaching of transubstantiation which says the bread and wine are also Jesus physically.

In my opinion and experience the LCMS reflects the typical US Catholic congregation socially the most. The ELCA can attract a decent numbers of people raised Catholic but didn’t like the Church structure or wanted a church that was more socially/female liberal.

Indeed. But the differences of the LCMS and WELS have nothing to do with how we interpret the confessions. We are on the same page in this regard. The confessions don’t address unit or pulpit fellowship so it’s up to the synods to decide which one they want.

The ELCA is Lutheran in name only although there might be a few folks left interested in fidelity to historical confessional Lutheranism.

Care to identify exactly where the ELCA, as a member of the World Lutheran Federation, is “Lutheran in name only”? Where do the Confessions point out the WELC and LCMS, comprising maybe 5 million Lutherans in north America, as the sole heir’s of the Augsburg Confession?

Maybe you could highlight one of your Wisconsin Lutheran parishes to show us what real Lutherans look like?

Thanks, but I was hoping to avoid bickering about who is more Lutheran than others.


Here’s a bit more info about how similar WELS, LCMS and our little sister the ELS truly are. Frankly, it’s a matter of time before the three Confessional synods rekindle full fellowship.

As for the ELCA, I agree entirely. The difference between Lutherans and those that call themselves Lutherans or quia**quatenus. That is - are the Lutheran Confessions worth following because they are a correct interpretation of Scripture (Sola Scriptura, a practice of the church), or only insofar as they are a correct interpretation of Scripture (Personal Interpretation, and “I” can pick and choose what to believe).

Can we be Christian to each other first before we try to define what a “real” Lutheran is?

True, although north American Lutherans didn’t associate “based on doctrine” but rather, practice. The doctrine of the Lutheran Church is summarized in the Augsburg Confession. An example of ‘practice’ could be the number of times the holy Sacrament is celebrated. The WELC probably does not have a Mass each Sunday and holy day as the Confessions claim of Lutherans. A good number of Wisconsin Synod parishes don’t allow other Lutherans to partake of holy Communion; where is that in the Augsburg Confession?

Since this topic is on the difference between Lutherans and the Church of God, it could be suggested that the Wisconsin Synod worships in a manner more like a typical ‘Protestant’ denomination that Catholic. One certainly couldn’t make that claim for Lutherans who are part of the Lutheran World Federation, approximately 90% of all world Lutherans.

Can we be Christian to each other first before we try to define what a “real” Lutheran is?

My extended family includes many Catholics both conservative and liberal; Evangelical Christians; ELCA, WELS, ELS, and LCMS Lutherans; an ELS pastor; an ELCA pastor, and an Evangelical Pastor. We’ve had our disagreements over the years, but we have found that love and respect for each other and the fact that many of us actively attend church are far more important to the Kingdom of God on earth than anything else.

EvangelCatholic - I do get your annoyance at the “confessional” vs “non-confessional” distinctions some Lutherans try to make. I just didn’t want to contribute to it.

How do you figure? They have a set liturgy and follow the Divine Service just like all Lutherans. Wouldn’t an AoG member be more likely to find any Confessional Lutheran service to be terribly “Catholic”?

To understate, your numbers are grossly inflated. We’ve been over this before. :banghead: Heck, even the Wiki page notes the inflation. I hope you will consider revising your positions.

Sometimes I get so weary of the synod vs synod warfare I am ready to swim the Tiber. Or the Bosphorus.

Then I listen to my friends and co-workers complain about “THAT parish is SOOOO liberal” or “THAT priest is way too (fill in the blank)” and I realize that sin happens, and it is no stranger in the midst of any congregation of faithful. Divide and conquer, Satan’s gameplan, is well-fed on the breaking of the 8th commandment.

Sometimes I wonder if we miss the Holy Spirit’s call to unity because we are too busy shoring up our own egos.

Any WELS or LCMS parish would suffice. I would say once the ELCA started accepting to the ministry folks actively, and proudly practicing “pornea” they ceased to be Lutheran.

Just curious, when you were a “real” Catholic and then became a “real” Lutheran, did you exert as much energy figuring out who are not “real” Lutherans? :rolleyes:

I don’t need to exert any energy at all. God says that those actively practicing “pornea” are not worthy to be ministers of the gospel. Your denomination disagrees and celebrates that particular sin. I will simply go with what God says, no effort on my part necessary.

Indeed the WELS and the LCMS are in active talks, and I pray they are fruitful. We are on the same page in terms of how we view the confessions and that’s a huge step towards unity. I admit my communion can be a bit insular and clannish, this is to our shame. But I have high hopes for our reunion.

As for the ELCA and the LWF you know there is a major problem when they have “unsinned” homosexual activity,

Well, as Catholics, we know and confess that all the Baptized (in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) are Catholic - fellow citizens with us in the Kingdom established by God and his Christ. It is our rebirth as new creatures, as his People.

Some find the teachings of the Church too difficult, find subordination to a Lord or his Vicar too constraining, and want to form the Kingdom by self-determination rather than by the received order. So they protest and separate. They carry off the Scriptures with them and in their supposed superior reasoning rip out seven books that offend their reasoning powers. Because they all have individual reasoning powers which they believe are superior, they split apart from each other, also.

But, like it or not, they are Catholic, and need to return home to unity of the People. With the People is the fullness of Grace, rather than a shell of doctrinal positioning. With the People Justification means being made Just, being made Good so that “not guilty” is the truth, rather than simply a judicial ruling of “not guilty” over a person who actually is guilty.
With the People Grace is a substantial change within the soul worked by God, rather than just an emotion of favor within the eyes of God. That is what they need to return to, so that salvation is a substantial reality with them rather than an intellectual pursuit.

John Martin

I quickly tired of all the intra-Lutheran squabbling. (Let the REAL Lutheran stand up).

So I did some research on the Church of God to see if they and the Lutherans were somehow related. They are only connected tangentally in that the COG came from pietism.

Just wondered why the OP connected the two?

I kind of see the Lutherans who proudly call them selves ‘confessional’ as being some how related to the political ‘tea party’. Please hear me out. The political tea party is very, very conservative, so are the ‘confessional’ Lutherans to at least some degree. The PTP has great animus for homosexauals, so do many confessional Lutherans. The PTP sees women to be kept in their place, so do many confessional Lutherans and that place is not in a pulpit or at an Altar.

I could be completely wrong in all of this, as I am not Lutheran and not in on all the debates. When I was checking out Lutherans there was no ELCA, only LCMS, the ALC, and the LCA. If WELS existed at the time I was not aware of them, they did not exist in my city.

First I went to the ALC and then the LCMS. The LCMS was already caught up in the church growth movement and eschwed Liturgical worship. So that ended my relationship with LCMS.

I think it is safe to say that there is no real comparisons between Lutherans and the Church of God, per Wikipedia

But agree that the cultural differences between extremely conservative Lutherans like the Wisconsin Synod and Pentecostals is worth examining. The WELC, like the LCMS, are primarily Midwest churches, thus the states of Missouri and Wisconsin. Both of these Lutheran synods resist change and tend to view the world cautiously. For example, the WELC has no ecumenical ties with the Catholic Church, even though they are distant cousins, so to speak. Not only are women expected to assume a submissive role but if a family member happens to be gay, these Lutherans would shame the individual and force them out of the Church. I guess that calling themselves 'Confessional" is a way to be separate from the Lutheran Communion, in general.

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