Question for our Lutheran members

This a reflection of the “Question for our Anglican members”, thread I posted

[LIST=1]
*]Which synod are you apart of?
*]What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s
*]Does your synod ordain married priests and women?
*]Does your synod ordain gay clergy?
*]What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption).
*]Can you pray to Mary and the saints?
*]Do you pray the Hail Mary?
*]Do you pray the rosary?
*]Do you believe in saints?
*]Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell?
*]Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.) similar or different than the Catholic Church’s?
[/LIST]

  1. WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
  2. We accept that Mary is Mother of God, and was a virgin when she gave birth to Christ, everything else is up for discussion. I personally believe in the perpetual virginity but many disagree. We can have views and beliefs that are adiaphora.
  3. Yes to married pastors, no to women.
  4. No.
  5. All the Mary dogmas besides the virgin birth and Mother of God, to us are adiaphora so we can choose to accept or reject all the other ones (assumption, PV, IC) based on our conscience. I have never met a Lutheran that believed the IC, or Assumption. But that’s not to say they cannot.
  6. No.
  7. No.
  8. No.
  9. Yes.
  10. Yes.
  11. I am on the same page as the Catholic Church regarding gay marriage, abortion. But not on birth control. I believe married couples should be free to prayerfully decide formed by their conscience whether or not to use non abortive contraception.

*]Which synod are you apart of?

I was ELCA, and – if I could answer for relatives who are still Lutheran but don’t use Catholic Answers – they moved to Evangelical Lutheran Church - Wisconsin Synod.

*]What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s

Mary was never an important part of my upbringing, and I think, outside of what scant references exist in the liturgy, that Mary isn’t all that more important to my still-Lutheran relatives than other Protestants

*]Does your synod ordain married priests and women?

My family quickly left the ELCA church we attended because of this. Despite being in an overwhelmingly rural, conservative county, our ELCA church – surrounded by cornfields ten minutes from the city – hired a female pastor. I didn’t mind, but my family was deeply upset. They now go to a Wisconsin Synod that is strictly male-only. I’m unsure about the marriage element, but I think their current pastor might be married.

*]Does your synod ordain gay clergy?

I believe our former ELCA congregation was gay-affirming. My family’s current Wisconsin Synod does not.

*]What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption).
*]Can you pray to Mary and the saints?
*]Do you pray the Hail Mary?

All three of these go back to the original Mary question. I cannot remember Mary being mentioned at all – or having any important outside of the occasional Christmas reference – as a child being raised Lutheran. Outside of Christmas, there are no images or statues of Mary in my Lutheran relatives homes. Only images of Jesus, and Protestant crosses.

*]Do you pray the rosary?

I was never taught to. I believe my grandparents have prayer beads.

*]Do you believe in saints?

I was raised to believe anyone could be a saint, as a Saint was someone who had Faith in Christ and lived it to a degree others mostly didn’t. Those who succeeded in living in the world while not belonging to it.

*]Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell?

My Lutheran relatives of both ELCA and Wisconsin-Synod definitely do. I was raised to, but do not.

*]Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.) similar or different than the Catholic Church’s?

My family, when they attended the ELCA and now attending the Wisconsin-Synod, will mostly agree with Catholic moral theology on every count.

With regards to the Mary, Saints, and Praying to Saints question: as a Bahá’í, I do believe we can pray to Mary or any great Female figure in the various religious eras; our Guardian prayed to Bahíyyíh, our Prophet’s Daughter, for intercession on his behalf. We do believe in the power of praying to saint-like figures as manifestations of God’s attributes or embodiments of Faith, and we definitely recognize the difference between Worshiping God and praying to or asking for the intercession from Saints.

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS)

I think it better to let a Roman Catholic explain their view of Mary, but the difference is essentially this: While Mary is Theotokos to both our communions (she is truly the Mother of God!), Lutherans cannot subscribe to much language portraying her as Mediatrix, as it detracts from the saving work of her Son. The later Marian dogmas can similarly detract from/deny/obscure the Gospel when misapplied or misunderstood.

Pastors can marry and married men can be ordained. Only men can become called and ordained servants of the Word. From our Confessions:
[INDENT]

Article XIV: Of Ecclesiastical Order.
Of Ecclesiastical Order [Lutherans] teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called.

[/INDENT]

No; Homosexuals must remain celibate to be ordained.

Harkonnen answered fairly well in post #2 above; Lutherans are permitted freedom to accept/reject these dogmas - similar to how Roman Catholics were allowed prior to 1854 and 1950. I would only add this anecdotal (but perhaps useful) useful bit: I have met many Lutherans who subscribe to the Perpetual Virginity, less who subscribe to the Assumption, and only one who believes in an Immaculate Conception of Mary - yet that individual believed technically different from Rome, as he held that Mary was born with original sin, but God simply spared her from its conditions (else why would she need a Savior?). As I mentioned earlier, many Lutherans are averse to the later Marian dogmas. The thinking is (aside from seeing a lack of evidence in Holy Scripture or the early church) that too keen of a focus on Mary will detract from Christ, rather than point us to Him. Given some of the more idolatrous malpractices that existed in the past, this reluctance is not unfounded - though we (well, most of us, anyway) understand that this is not the intent of Rome, as correctly-practiced Mariology should always lead to her Son.

Why bother? They are already praying for us in Heaven. That is more than enough for me. I prefer to ask the saints who I see each day to pray for me.

Not usually. If I do, I pray only the first verse. :wink:

No, although some Lutherans do use our version of Prayer Beads. I don’t simply because I don’t ‘get’ much out of contemplative prayer. My mind and soul are better fed studying documents from the ECFs, reading the Word, and receiving His Grace through the Sacraments offered during the Divine Service.

Certainly; the saints militant and triumphant are bound together in Christ. I confess the communion of saints and the catholic church in the Creeds (Apostles, Nicene, or Athanasian) each Sunday. As for praying to/through them, see above.

Certainly; I confess their existence in the Creeds and Holy Scripture is quite clear.

Entirely the same, for entirely the same reasons, regarding abortion and gay “marriage.” When it comes to birth control, married Lutherans are permitted some latitude, provided no abortificents are used. Many understand this to mean only non-chemical barrier methods are permitted. This is my view as well, although my wife and I choose to practice Natural Family Planning - we find it to be most in-line with the natural order provided by our Creator.

  1. Which synod are you apart of?

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (South Carolina Synod)

  1. What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s

All of our members may decided how they feel about Mary. What is required absolutely is recognition of her being the Theotokos. Beyond that one may decide to believe anything else provided it is for the Glory of Christ. I personally believe in perpetual virginity, assumption, immaculate conception, and her queendom

  1. Does your synod ordain married priests and women?

Yes

  1. Does your synod ordain gay clergy?

I dont think this has quite been put to the test yet in South Carolina but in the ELCA we do ordain gay clergy.

  1. ]What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption).

See explanation for question 2

  1. Can you pray to Mary and the saints?

Yes these are my brothers and sisters in Christ; death does not divide us in Christ and I believe in the Communion of Saints. I talk with them like my other brothers and sisters in Christ on earth

  1. Do you pray the Hail Mary?

Yes

  1. Do you pray the rosary?

Yes

  1. Do you believe in saints?

Yes

  1. Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell?

Depends. Lutherans try to take the best of both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions. The Eastern Orthodox view is that the afterlife is really being with God and its the state of our soul that depends on rather this is a pleasant joyful experience or a painful experience. However, traditionally, Heaven is seen as being with God and Hell is being without God.

  1. Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.) similar or different than the Catholic Church’s?

Different. We allow, but do not promote, abortion and birth control. We also bless same-sex couples and ordain gay clergy. South Carolina is a little more conservative on these issues but ultimately these issues are best decided through prayer and working with your pastor and doing research.

Hope that helps!

=followingtheway;11597085]This a reflection of the “Question for our Anglican members”, thread I posted

Might be redundant now, but…

*]Which synod are you apart of?
LCMS

*]What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s
My view: the issue I have with the Catholic view is the binding of the conscience of believers to dogma that are not connected directly to salvation, or explicit in scripture. I do accept, however, to a greater or lesser extend, most western Mariology. I just don’t think it important to require others to believe it.

*]Does your synod ordain married priests and women?
Yes married, no women

***]Does your synod ordain gay clergy? **
I’m sure there are gay clergy in the LCMS, but we do not ordain openly, practicing gays

*]What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption).
The IC I am not too keen on, more inclined that the miracle of her being grace-filled happened at the visitation. I believe in the PV, and generally the assumption.
As a Lutheran, it is doctrine that we accept the virgin birth and the Theotokos.

*]Can you pray to Mary and the saints?
I guess I could, billions of Christians have, but it isn’t part of my personal practice. I do, however, pray to God that He hear their prayers on our behalf.

*]Do you pray the Hail Mary?
The pre-tridentine form I use occassionally

*]Do you pray the rosary?
Not are a regular practice. When I do, it is a Lutheran model. IOW, I am not opposed to meditative prayer

***]Do you believe in saints? **
The saints and the Saints, of course

]Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell?
Yes
**
]Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.)
similar or different than the Catholic Church’s?
Similar. My opinion on contraceptive is more like that of the Orthodox.

Jon

**Which synod are you apart of? **
I am an evangelical catholic who belongs to the Metro New York Synod of the ELCA

**What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s **I think all the Lutheran responders have pretty thoroughly covered this issue. My personal belief is the same as Martin Luther that blessed Mary is the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, ever Virgin, who was assumed into Heaven where she prays for us.

Does your synod ordain married priests and women?
Yes

Does your synod ordain gay clergy?
Yes, gay priests and bishops.

**What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption). **Yes above

**Can you pray to Mary and the saints? **I do not pray to Mary or the saints but ask that they pray for me.

**Do you pray the Hail Mary? **Yes

**Do you pray the rosary? **
I have a rosary but don’t use it.

Do you believe in saints?
Yes, I believe the Company of Heaven of saints and angels worshiping Christ and praying for the Church.

**Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell? **Yes

**Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.) similar or different than the Catholic Church’s? **
On abortion I follow my Synod’s guidance that if a woman is raped or if the life of the mother and child are in danger of death that an abortion is regrettably necessary. I believe in birth control and gay marriage.

The Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

*]What is the difference between the Catholic view of Mary as opposed to yours or your Church’s

We do not invoke her for intercession. Though we maintain that she does, indeed, pray for the Church, along with the rest of the saints. We do not seek her for merits or graces. We do not believe that pious traditions, such as the assumption or perpetual virginity, are de fide dogma.

*]Does your synod ordain married priests and women?

Married, yes. Women, no.

*]Does your synod ordain gay clergy?

No.

*]What’s the difference between your view on Jesus’ mother Mary, as opposed to the Catholic Church’s? In Catholicism we have several dogmas. We have several distinct beliefs about Mary. She was born without sin (immaculate conception), stayed a virgin all her life (perpetual virginity), ascended bodily into Heaven (the assumption).

She is the Mother of God. We are free to agree or disagree with the others that you mentioned.

*]Can you pray to Mary and the saints?

We have no word from heaven that says they either cannot or can hear our requests for prayer. Therefore, it is not part of our piety. We stick with what from God’s word is sure. Namely, that we pray to the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit. At the same time, we rejoice that the angels and saints pray for the Church.

*]Do you pray the Hail Mary?

No.

*]Do you pray the rosary?

No.

*]Do you believe in saints?

Every baptized Christian.

*]Do you believe in a literal and eternal Heaven and Hell?

Yes.

*]Are you beliefs on moral issues (such as abortion, gay marriage, birth control etc.) similar or different than the Catholic Church’s?
[/LIST]

I would say almost exactly the same. I, personally, oppose contraception. But would not say it is a matter of dogma.

Wow, I always though Protestants as a whole rejected those titles and the dogmas, attached to them. :shrug:

Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to generalize. :sad_yes:

In my experience, that is generally true.

GKC

Lutherans in America need to be reminded of Mary’s high regard in our churches in Europe

Wow. I would never guessed those churches were Lutheran! :nope:

Hey, we’re New Yorkers; we learn something new every day :thumbsup:

Don’t forget too that in the Catholic Church before 1854 a person could legitimately not believe in the Immaculate Conception and still remain a faithful Catholic since it was not dogmatized until then.

What is a little more interesting though I think is the Assumption. Not dogmatized technically until 1950 but at the same time appears to be part of what you guys called Sacred Tradition. It appears to be part of Sacred Tradition in the history of the Liturgy and also in the Icons. So I imagine a faithful Catholic could have a wide variety of opinions regarding the Assumption up until 1950 when it was more precise defined.

Like Anglicans, you will find a wide variety of opinions among Lutherans held about our holy mother Mary. There are those of us who are very close to what the Catholic and Orthodox churches teach about Mary (among the high church side) and those of us who only want to focus on the bare basics of what is absolutely required (the more protestant side of Lutherans so to speak.)

I am not sure if anybody else has mentioned this phrase before but I have coined a phrase that I think best describes the place of the Lutheran Church in Christianity: Too Catholic to be Protestant and Too Protestant to be Catholic.

We are not trying to start our own Church because there is only One Church but believe both Catholics, and Orthodox, have gone just a bit astray and trying to reform some of those issues back to what we understand how things were done to begin with. If there was a pope like Pope Francis back in Luther’s time then I don’t think we would exist as a separate church but would be more like a religious order within the Catholic Church.

We have the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity starting on Saturday so let us all pray that we may be One Church and One Faith, already sharing in One Baptism :slight_smile:

I think so too. I pray the Holy Spirit works in this world to heal these divisions.

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