"Lutherans" Why the name?

I remember I once brought up that I would have immense trouble becoming a Lutheran because I don’t like naming myself after a man. The One True Church with the fullness of Truth I felt likely could not be found in one named specifically after Luther. “Lutheran Church” and the members calling themselves “Lutheran.”

However, it was immediately brought to my attention that Martin Luther did not want anyone to ever call himself “Lutheran” in fact he wrote explicitly against it.

Great response; but a simple Google search of “Lutheran Church” brings multiple websites of Church’s in my area that call themselves Lutheran. Then, almost all of the Lutherans here define themselves as Lutheran. So whether or not Luther taught one thing, you’re certainly not acting it out by naming your Church’s and it’s members such. Why?

Finally, Lutherans confess One Catholic, etc. Why do Lutherans not call themselves simply “Catholic” if they are certain that they have the right interpretation of the Catholic faith. I do recognize that Lutherans do consider themselves Catholic, but why not specifically Catholic? That is to say, when I drive by a Lutheran Church why does the sign not read “St Mark’s Catholic Church.”

Thank you. This has been itching at me for a while.

The term Lutheran was applied to the reformation movement by Johann Eck. You’re right, of course, that the term really is misguided, but it stuck and just ended up sticking. It’s sort of like Roman Catholic, which was first used by the Elizabethan English to differentiate the true Catholics (i.e. Anglicans) from the followers of the Pope. Lutheran is annoying but it’s been in use so long, why bother changing it.

I didn’t know that about the term Roman Catholic. I thought it came into use after the Great Schism.

Martin Luther called himself and followers evangelisch, meaning “of the Gospel.” Other reformers on the continent began calling themselves evangelisch, so that in German the word has become interchangeable with “Protestant.”

Many Lutheran bodies continue to name themselves evangelisch or evangelical, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria.

I believe that Catholics started calling followers of Luther “Lutherans,” following the long established practice of naming heresies after their heresiarchs.

That would lead to mass confusion if we simply put “Catholic” on our buildings. And deliberately misleading people is wrong. The confessions call us “Evangelicals” or “evangelical Catholics”. Even so, nowadays both these names mean different things than “Lutheran”. Also, “Lutheran” was simply a name given by detractors that stuck, and now we generally don’t have a problem with it, much like “Mormon”, etc.

But wouldn’t God be on your side seeing as that you really are a part of the Catholic Church with the proper interpretation?

Shouldn’t this title have been rejected at all costs as long as possible though? Why not call it what it is; The One True Catholic Church?

Huh? I don’t understand the question, can you rephrase it?

No Lutheran believes that Lutherans are the One True Catholic Church. We do believe we are a part of it, or a continuation of it. But not the whole of it.

How do you know Lutherans have the proper interpretation? They have only 66 books in their Bibles…:shrug:


Although Lutherans accept that Catholicism is a good Religion; the Lutherans are more correct. Since the Lutherans are more correct it would stand to reason that they would have no fear calling themselves the “Catholic Church” as Catholicism is a less correct version of Christianity than Lutheran Catholics.

Therefore, Lutherans should have no fear recognizing they are the True Catholic Church and labeling themselves as such without attaching “Lutheran.”

Trying to ask from their perspective.

Well…how can you believe you are a continuation of it?

You threw out the ancient traditions of the 7 sacraments, the authority of bishops…for starters…and started calling a bishop the anti christ…:shrug:

Palope; although I understand that you feel the urge to call them out on the lacking books in the Bible, the Sacraments, etc; that’s not exactly what I’m trying to get at.

Edit- actually I correct myself. It is a valid objection as long as the discussion doesn’t go in a way where the history of who has the correct interpretation comes up.

Hilarious!! So the Anglicans are the true Catholics who broke away from the Church because Henry VIII could not get an annulment.

Hilarious yet again. So Martin Luther who got excommunicated and started a “Faith Alone” religion is the True Catholic Church.

Thank you. My above post (post No. 16) is confirmed.

We are a continuation of it because we confess the creeds. All those extra developed doctrines are not mentioned in the creeds.

Read post No. 9 from a Lutheran confirming that they are not the true church but an extension of it.

How are the Lutherans more correct than the Catholic Church?

We confess the one holy catholic and apostolic church every Sunday. But for clarity we call ourselves Lutheran on the building so you know what your getting. Also, this seems like a darned if you do, darned if you don’t type of thing. If Lutherans started putting “Catholic” on the side of the building, would you be thanking us or cheering us? I somehow doubt we would get manny attaboys from the Catholic apologists.

Lots of Catholics deem themselves " evangelical" but I have never seen the word on the side of the building. That’s because it would be deliberately obfuscating. That would be wrong.

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