Lutheran and Catholic

Lutheran—that's just like Catholic, right?

Answer: 

There are many things that the Lutheran and Catholic churches share: the Bible, the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, the Lord's Supper, Baptism, and much of the liturgy used in worship. After Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, those who followed him retained the things from the Catholic Church which were good and true. They rejected only the beliefs and practices that were not scriptural. A significant percentage of the members of our church are former Catholics, so we certainly have no bad feelings toward Catholic people. But we do not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church that are not based on the Bible.
Significant differences between the Catholic Church and ours include: the papacy, the nature and role of Mary, invocation of the saints, the doctrine of purgatory, transubstantiation, use of the Apocrypha and tradition as sources of doctrine, and justification through a combination of faith in Christ and good works.

As Lutherans, we love to speak about the forgiveness of sin that we have in Christ. If people realize that they have complete forgiveness through Christ, they will see why there can be no purgatory for Christians. If they understand that we are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, they will understand why we do not need to pray through saints as mediators.

All of our congregations provide obligation-free information classes that explain what we believe and why. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about the various differences between the Lutheran and Catholic Church bodies, read Catholicism Today, a Bible study available through Northwestern Publishing House.


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