Lutherans...closest to Catholics?

It occured to me that Lutheran theology seems to be closest to Catholic theology, more so than any other branch of Protestantism. Do you agree or disagree and why?

If you argree, is this because Lutheranism is a “first-generation” split and they retained many elements of Catholic theology?

Perhaps so, with a couple of caveats.

  1. There are some branches of Anglican - TAC comes to mind - that are probably closer.
  2. Depends on which Lutherans one is talking about.

Not just because it is first generation - Zwingli was first generation, as were anabaptists - but also because, as Augsburg says, there was never an intention on the part of Luther, et al, to split with the Church.
And today there has probably been more progress in dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics, than Catholics and any of the others. Someone correctly me if I’m wrong.

Jon

orthodox.

My lutheran husband is closest to this Catholic…I’ll bet that’s not what you meant though:D

He better be, if he knows what’s good for him!! :stuck_out_tongue:

i would say orthodox or anglican.

LOL ( Love it!!!:):), thanks for that, Mary :))

My guess as to why Lutheran teachings are close to Catholic teaching is that Martin Luther was a German Catholic Monk, Theologian, Priest, and a university professor.

So, this would make perfect sense.

Peace,
CJ

yes, except he chose to work against the Catholic Church and started his own church.

Hi Sorrows,

Not arguing your point, was simply offering my " guess " to the OP as to why Lutheran Theology was close to Catholc Theology.

I do appreciate your contribution.:slight_smile:

Peace,
CJ

Close but no Cigar!

Close only counts with horse shoes and hand grenades:D:D:D

I would say it is a two horse race between Anglicans and Lutherans. Someone said something about there being some liberal Lutherans that are not very close to Catholicism. I would argue that there are liberal Catholics who are probably just as far away.

It is tough though considering I have never practice either the Lutheran or Anglican faith. My mother was baptized, raised and confirmed Lutheran though… Does this count? :smiley:

God bless

I pretty much think it is the Episcopalians/Anglicans who are closer theologically and liturgically. Lutheran are full fleged Protestants, even celebrating Reformation Day. While Episcopalians descibe themselves as the “via media” mid way between Catholic and Protestants.

Lutherans have only two sacraments. Anglicans have seven. Tho high-church Lutherans may be closer than Evengelical Anglicans (the Anglican church in Australia).

But generally I think Anglicans are closer over-all.

That is a major problem with non-Catholic churches, they are all over the map, it’s impossible to pin then down exactly.

One more thing, I am talking theology and not politics, conservative-liberal.

Luther and Lutherans do not pray for their dead, or believe the saints prayers help them, deny purgatory, deny the sacraments of Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Penance, Confirmation, and Unction. They believe they are saved by faith alone, that the theological virtues of hope and love are nont necessary to salvation. They deny the authority of the pope as the head of the Church. Believing Luther’s doctrine that scripture alone is the sole rule or authority in matters of faith, they believe the Church has no authority to teach. Luther’s religion is responsible for the chaos and consequences of denominationalism and the thousands of its ensuing divisions and impact on Christian civilization.

So why would you think this group is close to Catholicism? They deny its tenets outright and have cut themselves off from communion with the Catholic Church for that reason.

There is an old saying. You can’t be a little pregnant. You are or you are not. You have unity or you don’t. You are separated from or you are at one with. If you are separated it does not matter how far. If my finger were cut off from my hand it would not matter if it were an inch or a mile apart. It will die unless it gets sewn back on. If the branch is cut off from the vine it is cut off. The Anglican Church thinks or makes believe it is Catholic and it is dying. Being close does not help.

Hi Newbie2,

Since you qualified the question with “more so than any other branch of Protestantism”, I would say that Lutherans and Anglicans are about tied for being closest to Catholicism.

If you had omitted that qualifier and simply asked “Which non-Catholic Christians are closest to Catholicism?” then my answer would be the Eastern Orthodox, followed by the Oriental Orthodox (followed by the Polish National Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Old Catholics – although those 3 are smallish groups that are seldom mentioned).

I used to think so. (After all, Calvinists came along after Lutherans, and Calvinists are further afield from Catholicism.)

Eventually, though, I came to realize that the facts don’t really fit this theory. As JonNC pointed out, the Zwinglians/Anabaptists were “first-generation” Protestants, and they’re pretty far “out there”.

Also, I would add that the Methodists came along much later, and they split off from the Anglicans rather than directly from the Catholic Church, and yet they are closer to Catholicism than the Anabaptists, Baptists, or even Calvinists are.

=grandfather;5075811]Luther and Lutherans do not pray for their dead, or believe the saints prayers help them.

Not true in either case. We do pray for those who die. And while we don’t practice intercessory prayer to them, we believe the saints do pray for the Church Militant to our benefit.

deny purgatory, deny the sacraments of Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Penance, Confirmation, and Unction.

On Purgatory; true. As for the others, we do not deny them. They are important means of grace. We just don’t define them as sacraments.

They believe they are saved by faith alone, that the theological virtues of hope and love are nont necessary to salvation.

This is untrue. Please, a Lutheran reference.
vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html

37.We confess together that good works - a Christian life lived in faith, hope and love - follow justification and are its fruits. When the justified live in Christ and act in the grace they receive, they bring forth, in biblical terms, good fruit. Since Christians struggle against sin their entire lives, this consequence of justification is also for them an obligation they must fulfill. Thus both Jesus and the apostolic Scriptures admonish Christians to bring forth the works of love.

They deny the authority of the pope as the head of the Church.

Every other non-Catholic Church mentioned is this thread, including PNCC and Orthodox
do, as well.

Believing Luther’s doctrine that scripture alone is the sole rule or authority in matters of faith, they believe the Church has no authority to teach.

Not true. This is not how Lutherans define sola scritpura, and we uphold the authority of the Church to teach rightly.

Augsburg Confession

Article VII: Of the Church.
1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

Martin Chemnitz

This is also certain, that no one should rely on his own wisdom in the interpretation of the Scripture, not even in the clear passages… We also gratefully and reverently use the labors of the fathers who by their commentaries have profitably clarified many passages of the Scripture. And we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church in the true and sound understanding of the Scripture. Nor do we approve of it if someone invents for himself a meaning which conflicts with all antiquity, and for which there are clearly no testimonies of the church.

Luther’s religion is responsible for the chaos and consequences of denominationalism and the thousands of its ensuing divisions and impact on Christian civilization.

Luther is responsible for Luther. Calvin, Zwingli, anabaptists, Anglicans, etc. are responsible for themselves, as their break from Rome is completely unrelated to Luther.

There is an old saying. You can’t be a little pregnant. You are or you are not. You have unity or you don’t. You are separated from or you are at one with. If you are separated it does not matter how far. If my finger were cut off from my hand it would not matter if it were an inch or a mile apart. It will die unless it gets sewn back on. If the branch is cut off from the vine it is cut off. The Anglican Church thinks or makes believe it is Catholic and it is dying. Being close does not help.

Separation goes both ways. You are separated from us as well.

usccb.org/seia/koinonia.shtml#9

  1. To say that each church understands itself and the other to exercise the apostolic ministry is not to say that either church escapes the damage done to our ministries by the ongoing scandal of our division. To the extent that the ordained ministry of one church is not in communion with the ordained ministry of other churches, it is unable to carry out its witness to the unity of the church as it should. Such a ministry inevitably bears a wound or defect. Ministry carries this wound whenever the koinonia among eucharistic communities and different realizations of the church are broken. Because our relationships are broken, our ministry is wounded and in need of healing by God’s grace.
  1. This need affects both of our churches. The Roman Catholic Church acknowledges that it is wounded by a lack of communion. As the Decree on Ecumenism stated, “The divisions among Christians prevent the church from realizing in practice the fullness of catholicity proper to her…”(158) The 1992 letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Some Aspects of the Church as Communion,” after noting the wound that lack of communion inflicts on the Orthodox and Reformation churches, concluded that this division:

…in turn also wounds (vulnus iniungitur) the Catholic Church, called by the Lord to become for all “one flock” with “one shepherd,” in that it hinders the complete fulfillment of her universality in history.(159)

The entire Catholic priesthood, including the bishop of Rome, is wounded in an important dimension of its ministry insofar as unity and communion are lacking with other churches and their ministries.

It seems to me that the first step in returning to unity is to listen to and understand what the other believes. Only then can we work together to find our way back together.
Jon

exactly, my lutheran friend, son of a lutheran minister, is also very anti-catholic. that doesn’t sound close to me. :frowning:

Right. I would say that generally since the 19th century Anglicans are more Catholic than Lutherans. In the sixteenth century this was definitely not the case. Even in the early 17th century relatively high-church Anglicans were describing themselves as being in between Lutheranism and Calvinism, not between Protestantism and Catholicism. But in the course of the 17th century many Anglicans moved in a more Catholic direction, and the 19th-century Anglo-Catholic movement went much further in this direction. Anglo-Catholicism never took over all of Anglicanism, but it did have a huge effect.

Not just because it is first generation - Zwingli was first generation, as were anabaptists - but also because, as Augsburg says, there was never an intention on the part of Luther, et al, to split with the Church.

I never understand where people get this from. Just who do you imagine did intend to “split with the Church”? Both Lutherans and Reformed defined “the Church” in a way that was not dependent on the Pope and the episcopal hierarchy. Both Lutherans and Reformed understood themselves to be in continuation with the historic Catholic Church, including the medieval Church. If anything, it seems to me that the Reformed put more energy into demonstrating continuity than the early Lutherans did (by the time of Chemnitz this had changed, it seems to me).

And remember that Calvin signed on to the “variata” version of the Augsburg Confession (which was primarily altered with regard to Eucharistic theology). It more or less speaks for all early Protestants, not just Lutherans.

Edwin

A hasty conclusion. Quarrels among close relatives are often the worst of all.

Edwin

Assuming by"anti-Catholic" you mean he uses hateful language about Catholics (not simply disagrees with Catholicism), you can tell your friend for me to read Luther’s commentary on the eighth commandment in his Small Catechism:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

Jon

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