Lutheran Missouri Synod


#1

I was wondering if anyone could give me some enlightenment on the Lutheran Missouri Synod. My MIL was raised in this sect of Lutheranism and I would like to attempt to understand her point of view. She is seriously anti-catholic, and I am really getting upset with her comments (She ignores the fact that her son is a convert to Catholicism and only makes these comments when he is not around). When I ask her why she is so anti-catholic she has no answer and just changes the topic. I was hoping that looking into her background could give me some perspective. I am unsure if this is a source of her hatred, but I am trying every aspect.

Please help!


#2

Try their web site. It should tell you everything you want to know and maybe a little more.

lcms.org/


#3

Hi:

I was LCMS for a few years before I entered the Catholic Church. If you want you can email me at:

jschwehm@catholicxjw.com

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com


#4

kp1,
I am a Catholic (always have been) who works for a Lutheran Missouri Synod special education organization. I have been employed there for 8 years, and have never experienced any anti-Catholic sentiments by anyone in the organization. They are caring individuals who value highly their relationship with God and their church, and seem to respect my beliefs and value my professional skills.
One thing has always puzzled me, and this may be why your MIL has such feelings. Their beliefs and doctrines document states that the Pope is the Antichrist. Now, unless I am misunderstanding the document, this is a strong statement to make. If they actually believe that I follow the devil himself, why would they entrust their children to my care?
If this is why she is anti-Catholic, I have to give her some credit for actually knowing what her church teaches!
Or it may not be a “hatred”. Maybe your MIL is hurt because her son has left the church he grew up in- a kind of rejection of the spiritual training she provided. The Lutherans I know are conservative people who are very loyal to the LCMS. She doesn’t understand the Catholic Church. She may need to be gently instructed why you and your husband are Catholic. Perhaps it would be received more easily from her son.


#5

[quote=TheresaL] One thing has always puzzled me, and this may be why your MIL has such feelings. Their beliefs and doctrines document states that the Pope is the Antichrist. Now, unless I am misunderstanding the document, this is a strong statement to make. If they actually believe that I follow the devil himself, why would they entrust their children to my care?
[/quote]

Well this explains why she acussed me of being a devil worshipper when we first met. I blew if off and had focused more on her slam against my father not being able to work because he is a disabled vet.

Jeff, I read your conversion story, pretty moving. Do you have any other thoughts on doctrines or beliefs misconceived by the Lutheran Missouri Synod?

Thanks kp1


#6

Here is that quote from their website:

"Concerning the historical identity of the Antichrist, we affirm the Lutheran Confessions’ identification of the Antichrist with the office of the* papacy … the judgment of the Lutheran confessional writings that the papacy is the Antichrist holds" (The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, www.lcms.org*).

Peace,
Catholicious


#7

[quote=kp1]I was wondering if anyone could give me some enlightenment on the Lutheran Missouri Synod. My MIL was raised in this sect of Lutheranism and I would like to attempt to understand her point of view. She is seriously anti-catholic, and I am really getting upset with her comments (She ignores the fact that her son is a convert to Catholicism and only makes these comments when he is not around). When I ask her why she is so anti-catholic she has no answer and just changes the topic. I was hoping that looking into her background could give me some perspective. I am unsure if this is a source of her hatred, but I am trying every aspect.

Please help!
[/quote]

Just keep in mind that they’re not all cut from the same cloth. The last Protestant church we attended was this denomination, and the minister seemed uncomfortable with the church’s pronouncements against the Catholic Church. When I explained why we were leaving, he was extremely kind and gracious.


#8

[quote=Catholicious]Here is that quote from their website:
[/quote]

For the record, here is the whole quote:

As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3-12; 1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example, that the Antichrist “as God sitteth in the temple of God,” 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ’s sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16); that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation – these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 515, Paragraphs 39-41; p. 401, Paragraph 45; M. pp. 336, 258.) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is “the very Antichrist.” (Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 475, Paragraph 10; M., p. 308.)


#9

[quote=Angainor]For the record, here is the whole quote:
[/quote]

Wow Angainor,

That link is even less ecumenical than the one I found on lcms.org!

Peace,
Catholicious


#10

[quote=Catholicious]Wow Angainor,

That link is even less ecumenical than the one I found on lcms.org!
[/quote]

That link was from lcms.org as well.

:frowning: Personally, I think it would be hard to be less “ecumenical” than Catholicism. When Catholicism claims that only it can perform the Eucharist, that pretty much nipps any chance of religious unity in the bud!


#11

[quote=Angainor]That link was from lcms.org as well.

:frowning: Personally, I think it would be hard to be less “ecumenical” than Catholicism. When Catholicism claims that only it can perform the Eucharist, that pretty much nipps any chance of religious unity in the bud!
[/quote]

Angainor,

Ecumenism is important, and it is important to the Catholic Church, but not when it is at the expense of the truth. I addressed some of this in a previous post:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=767992&postcount=51

The Church has always held that you need a “valid” priesthood in order to consecrate the Holy Eucharist. A member of the priesthood includes the bishop [a successor to the Apostles] or someone appointed by the bishop, meaning a priest.

Here are the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 2nd successor to St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was also a disciple and auditor for the Apostle, St. John the Evangelist.

Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. [The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyraeans, 107 A.D.]

St. Ignatius tells us that anything done “as the Church” has to be approved by the local bishop. And that a valid Eucharist only comes from the bishop or a priest appointed by him. And wherever there is Jesus Christ, there is the Catholic Church. That is a powerful statement, early on in Christianity, just a couple of years after the death of the last Apostle. This is the earliest written record I have found that identifies the Church as the “Catholic Church”.

The Catholic Church does not claim “that only it can perform the Eucharist”, it acknowledges that the Eastern Orthodox have a valid priesthood as well. I have even heard by virtue of Orthodox ordination, that there may be some small strains of Anglicanism and Lutheranism that have valid orders. If you are looking strickly at the worldwide numbers, Catholicism and Orthodoxy alone make up over two-thirds of Christianity so this is certainly not being exclusive. It is not ecumenical nor acceptable to discard the truth just to please the smaller minority. My previous post listed above addresses in more depth the reasons why the Catholic Church does not allow all Christians to the receive the Eucharist. I hope this helps.

BTW, Angainor, what is it that you, as a Lutheran (LCMS), believe about the Eucharist? “Consubstantiation” comes to mind … thanks very much, I am sincerely interested!

Peace to you,
Catholicious


#12

[quote=Catholicious]Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. [The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyraeans, 107 A.D.]

St. Ignatius tells us that anything done “as the Church” has to be approved by the local bishop. And that a valid Eucharist only comes from the bishop or a priest appointed by him.
[/quote]

St. Ignatius uses the word “proper” Eucharist. You used the word “valid”. The two are not the same. An “improper” Eucharist would still be a Eucharist, no?

You asked what the LCMS believes about the Lord’s Supper. We believe anyone can administer the sacrament. However, abuse and irreverence for the sacrament are grave offences. Therefore we entrust the responsibility to Pastors. Pastors have no special authority or ability. I would agree with St. Ignatius. It is proper to entrust the responsibility to religious workers, trained to show proper respect and reverence.


#13

I am Catholic, born and raised. My fiance is a convert from Lutheran MS. His mom and dad didn’t say much, but his brother, who hasn’t seen the insides of a church in over 10 years hates Catholics. My fiance went to private Lutheran schooling for most of his education as did his brother. Fiance has (had) no problem with Catholics but his brother just recently(after knowing him for over 5 years) started calling me by my first name instead of “that Catholic woman”. Funny how that works. I had to remind my soon to be BIL that Luther split off because of “local” problems with his bishop and had never really wanted to be a priest anyway. He argued back that Luther had legit reasons for the split and his list of complaints about the Catholic church were things that had been resolved years ago. You know, things like indulgences, the papacy, etc. I was waiting for him to say we worship Mary since Luther did have a great devotion to our heavenly mother, but he didn’t. So I told him you know when Luther died, he asked for Last Rites with a Catholic priest. He really did!!! Things got pretty bad when I was the Catholic woman, and my fiance was trying to get his annulment, his brother decided to use the forms he was sent to make his stand against the Catholic Church. Yikes!!! Thank God his mom talked him out of it! Anyway, Lutheran MS are like Catholic Lite - same liturgical calander, same format as mass but much less guilt!!! The problems that Luther had with CC were dealt with a long time ago. The last part was for the pope to renounce his excommunication from the church and JPII did that a while back.


#14

[quote=Angainor]St. Ignatius uses the word “proper” Eucharist. You used the word “valid”. The two are not the same. An “improper” Eucharist would still be a Eucharist, no?
[/quote]

“a proper [good, correct, appropriate, suitable] Eucharist only comes from the bishop or a priest appointed by him”

Thanks for the correction. You stated: An “improper” Eucharist would still be a Eucharist, no? The answer is NO, because we are not merely referring to its physical appearance of bread, but rather what we really feel it to be, and that is for a Catholic, we believe the Holy Eucharist truly is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Others do not believe this; therefore, our Eucharist and their Eucharist [aka Communion, Lord’s Supper, etc.] are not the same, so we do not believe that an “improper” Eucharist [as you called it] is the Eucharist at all, precisely because we believe different things about it. Just because someone else calls an improper Eucharist a Eucharist, does not make it the same thing.

St. Ignatius tells us to receive a proper Eucharist administered by the bishop or one of his priests, but in doing so, he is acknowledging that there are improper ones out there as well and [by inference] to avoid them.

You asked what the LCMS believes about the Lord’s Supper. We believe anyone can administer the sacrament. However, abuse and irreverence for the sacrament are grave offences. Therefore we entrust the responsibility to Pastors. Pastors have no special authority or ability. I would agree with St. Ignatius. It is proper to entrust the responsibility to religious workers, trained to show proper respect and reverence.

Thanks, but what I really was asking is what do believe the Eucharist to be? I thought Lutherans believe that Jesus is somehow present with the Eucharist [Consubstantiation] but He does not become it as Catholics believe [Transubstantiation].

Peace,
Catholicious


#15

[quote=BlestOne]Anyway, Lutheran MS are like Catholic Lite - same liturgical calander, same format as mass but much less guilt!!!
[/quote]

No way!!! Is that a motto of the LCMS … we are Catholic Lite, our service is just like the mass, but much less guilt??? I know a Catholic who is dating a LCMS and they have told me the EXACT same thing! They must preach that in some way or another. :slight_smile:

Peace,
Catholicious


#16

oh and I thought I was an original…hehehehe. Truly I wasn’t trying to offend, I was just making light of a somewhat emotional topic. Sorry if you were offended!!


#17

[quote=BlestOne]oh and I thought I was an original…hehehehe. Truly I wasn’t trying to offend, I was just making light of a somewhat emotional topic. Sorry if you were offended!!
[/quote]

NO NO NO, I was not offended at all. I was highly amused!

Catholic Lite
The Mass but without the Guilt

These are the two things they used to describe the LCMS … so you were just being original? You did not hear this from a LCMS? I heard the exact same thing from one ~ St. Louis, MO. Thanks.

Peace,
Catholicious


#18

We maintain that the bread and the wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ.

I have heard of Consubstantiation, but I’m not sure what it means. The LCMS doesn’t use the word. Perhaps it is a word someone else used to describe thier understanding of Lutheran beliefs.


#19

[quote=Angainor]We maintain that the bread and the wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ.

I have heard of Consubstantiation, but I’m not sure what it means. The LCMS doesn’t use the word. Perhaps it is a word someone else used to describe thier understanding of Lutheran beliefs.
[/quote]

Angainor,

EUCHARIST
It sounds like we have some common ground here, as far as our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

“Consubstantiation” may be just a way to describe what Lutherans believe even though they do not use it themselves.

Here are a few words ascribed to Luther in regards to the Eucharist:

If Christ is truly present in the Bread, why should He not be treated with the utmost respect and even be adored?" Joachim, a friend, added: "We saw how Luther bowed low at the Elevation with great devotion and reverently worshiped Christ. [Mathesius, Table Talk, Leipzig, 1903, 341]

PRIESTHOOD
The only difference I see in this equation is the priesthood. As I understand, the Lutheran Church does not have a priesthood. And in order to consecrate the Eucharist [as I understand] one has to be a validly ordained priest [there has to be the right intent during ordination, more in that later] who speaks the words of consecration. Now I think your Lutheran service looks the same as the Catholic Mass, but there is no priest. I think that is the whole difference here. Our priesthood is historically traced back through unbroken Apostolic Succession of Bishops to the original Twelve Apostles. I need to check the Catechism, if I read something different I will be sure to let you know.

ANGLICANISM
I know the ordaination intent had something to do with why it is believed that the Anglican priesthood is no longer valid. I think they changed the wording and intent for a time in Anglican ordination and by the time they repaired the error they no longer had validly ordained bishops to ordain new priests [a priest can only be ordained by a validly ordained bishop].

SACRAMENTS
How many sacraments do the LCMS have and what are they? It looks like the Eucharist [Sacrament of the Altar] is a sacrament to you as well. Catholics have seven - Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony and Holy Orders.

CATHOLIC LITE
As I mentioned to BlestOne, I have heard from her and a Lutheran friend that they describe themselves as “Catholic Lite”. Do you use that terminology and if so, where did you get it from? Thanks!

Peace,
Catholicious


#20

[quote=Catholicious]PRIESTHOOD
The only difference I see in this equation is the priesthood. As I understand, the Lutheran Church does not have a priesthood. And in order to consecrate the Eucharist [as I understand] one has to be a validly ordained priest [there has to be the right intent during ordination, more in that later] who speaks the words of consecration.
[/quote]

Close enough. We use different terminology, and I added a phrase. According to Lutherans, anyone can consecrate the sacrament, but only Pastors are allowed to.

[quote=Catholicious]SACRAMENTS
How many sacraments do the LCMS have and what are they?
[/quote]

Two: The Sacrament of the Altar and Baptism. We have Confirmation and of course Matrimony, but those are not sacramental.

[quote=Catholicious]CATHOLIC LITE
As I mentioned to BlestOne, I have heard from her and a Lutheran friend that they describe themselves as “Catholic Lite”. Do you use that terminology and if so, where did you get it from? Thanks!

[/quote]

I have heard of “Catholic Lite”. I don’t use it. I suppose from a distance Lutherans look like Catholics with a bunch of what might be called “extras” cut away. In reality I don’t think it is particularly descriptive.


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