Reforming Lutheran

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genevabound

Puritan Board Freshman
Good morning! I am currently a Lutheran and member at an ELCA church. However, after that denomination continues it's lurch left and away from Biblical values I have decided that it is time to leave. Given that decision I have looked at different options available to me and started really looking at Reformed theology for the first time. My brother invited me to his church which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We really enjoyed it and are going to keep going there, we are not 100% sure that we are going to become members, but we are leaning in that direction, but it is too early to make that decision.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
Welcome friend! This is a great place for Christian fellowship and to learn more about the Reformed tradition. My wife grew up in the LCMS. She loved her Lutheran upbringing and has found the Reformed tradition to be a natural maturing of many of the good things which were present in her background. As she told me when she was first studying Reformed theology: "It's like the Reformed church takes Lutheran theology to its logical and biblical conclusions!" Hopefully that will be your experience as well.

(By the way, you might revisit the signature requirements so we can see where you are from and how best to address you.) :) Welcome again!
 

genevabound

Puritan Board Freshman
Welcome friend! This is a great place for Christian fellowship and to learn more about the Reformed tradition. My wife grew up in the LCMS. She loved her Lutheran upbringing and has found the Reformed tradition to be a natural maturing of many of the good things which were present in her background. As she told me when she was first studying Reformed theology: "It's like the Reformed church takes Lutheran theology to its logical and biblical conclusions!" Hopefully that will be your experience as well.
So far, yes. I was comfortable for a long time in the Lutheran church, but the more I study the more I feel that many of the traditions and beliefs seem to be stuck in an era that was still too influenced by Rome, that the Lutherans of the time were not quite ready to shake off the theology enough.
(By the way, you might revisit the signature requirements so we can see where you are from and how best to address you.) :) Welcome again!
Thanks, I just adjusted it. :)
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
The EPC is like the PCA in that it is a 'big tent' denomination with a fair amount of diversity among the congregations. Some of them are excellent churches, some require a bit more discernment. Even though it is not a NAPARC denomination, I consider them brothers and sisters in Christ.

The membership vows of the EPC (below) are similar to those of the PC (the wording of 4 is significantly different). No subscription to the Confessional documents is required.

  • Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God and without hope for your salvation except in His sovereign mercy?

  • Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Him alone for your salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?

  • Do you now promise and resolve, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?

  • Do you promise to serve Christ in His church by supporting and participating with this congregation in its service of God and its ministry to others to the best of your ability?

  • Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and to the spiritual oversight of this church session, and do you promise to promote the unity, purity, and peace of the Church?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
but the more I study the more I feel that many of the traditions and beliefs seem to be stuck in an era that was still too influenced by Rome
I've visited a couple of Missouri churches with friends. One seemed fine, the other struck me as more Papist than a Roman Catholic mass that I attended that was conducted by the Bishop of Dallas.
 

genevabound

Puritan Board Freshman
The EPC is like the PCA in that it is a 'big tent' denomination with a fair amount of diversity among the congregations. Some of them are excellent churches, some require a bit more discernment. Even though it is not a NAPARC denomination, I consider them brothers and sisters in Christ.

The membership vows of the EPC (below) are similar to those of the PC (the wording of 4 is significantly different). No subscription to the Confessional documents is required.

  • Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God and without hope for your salvation except in His sovereign mercy?

  • Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Him alone for your salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?

  • Do you now promise and resolve, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?

  • Do you promise to serve Christ in His church by supporting and participating with this congregation in its service of God and its ministry to others to the best of your ability?

  • Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and to the spiritual oversight of this church session, and do you promise to promote the unity, purity, and peace of the Church?
Thank you for the information, the church is actually newly part of the EPC, they were independent Reformed for quite some time before that.
I've visited a couple of Missouri churches with friends. One seemed fine, the other struck me as more Papist than a Roman Catholic mass that I attended that was conducted by the Bishop of Dallas.
I have attended LCMS churches, but the ELCA church I was a member at was a better fit community wise. But as I said, the continued march to liberalism and disregard to the scriptures in the denomination had become too much for me to continue with the ELCA. This led me to continue searching, and moving away from Lutheran positions.
 

Christopher Robin

Puritan Board Freshman
That is so awesome! I too am (probably) making a change, but for more or less theological reasons rather than, as in your case, because the church has left her Lord behind and abandoned her faith in His word. That's so incredibly sad.

Welcome aboard, and enjoy!
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Welcome to the Presbyterian world! With its great musical roots and liturgy the Lutheran church offers a chance that people may still hear the gospel. From the pulpit? Not so much.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Welcome to the Presbyterian world! With its great musical roots and liturgy the Lutheran church offers a chance that people may still hear the gospel. From the pulpit? Not so much.
Maybe not ELCA, but I think many continuing Lutheran churches are strong on the gospel even if we have other disagreements with them. I attended a Lutheran church once and the sermon could have been given without modification in an OPC church and have been quite agreeable. Granted he didn't touch on any areas of disagreement in this particular sermon as it was on justification.
 

genevabound

Puritan Board Freshman
Welcome to the Presbyterian world! With its great musical roots and liturgy the Lutheran church offers a chance that people may still hear the gospel. From the pulpit? Not so much.
Thank you for the welcome. I think the second part might be a bit unfair to general Lutheran pastors. The Lutheran churches in the USA vary from very conservative to very liberal depending on the Synod/Denomination. ELCA are very liberal, and getting more so. WELS and ELS are very conservative, LCMS is middle leaning conservative. But it likely depends even more so on the actual pastor and church, even in the ELCA one will find conservative congregations.

The sermons vary, but any "good" Lutheran sermon will lean on the Gospel and the Law; it really just depends.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you for the welcome. I think the second part might be a bit unfair to general Lutheran pastors. The Lutheran churches in the USA vary from very conservative to very liberal depending on the Synod/Denomination. ELCA are very liberal, and getting more so. WELS and ELS are very conservative, LCMS is middle leaning conservative. But it likely depends even more so on the actual pastor and church, even in the ELCA one will find conservative congregations.

The sermons vary, but any "good" Lutheran sermon will lean on the Gospel and the Law; it really just depends.
@Jake I meant the ELCA and should have clarified. I've attended Missouri Synod when a reformed church wasn't available. When going back to my parents' ELCA for their memorial services in Peachtree City, I was reminded yet again of the amazing musical heritage the Lutherans share.
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Good morning! I am currently a Lutheran and member at an ELCA church. However, after that denomination continues it's lurch left and away from Biblical values I have decided that it is time to leave. Given that decision I have looked at different options available to me and started really looking at Reformed theology for the first time. My brother invited me to his church which is part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We really enjoyed it and are going to keep going there, we are not 100% sure that we are going to become members, but we are leaning in that direction, but it is too early to make that decision.
Greetings, Stephen! My friend also was raised ELCA and noted it's drift from Biblical teaching (Huh. His name is Stephen too, and in Florida--what about that?!). I am glad to hear you are now attending a Bible-based church and hope you will find much blessing from the Lord therein. My own background is Catholic --> atheist then recent convert to the Reformed faith (via historical research). Looking forward to learning with you and talking with you here on the board!
 

genevabound

Puritan Board Freshman
Greetings, Stephen! My friend also was raised ELCA and noted it's drift from Biblical teaching (Huh. His name is Stephen too, and in Florida--what about that?!). I am glad to hear you are now attending a Bible-based church and hope you will find much blessing from the Lord therein. My own background is Catholic --> atheist then recent convert to the Reformed faith (via historical research). Looking forward to learning with you and talking with you here on the board!
Thanks for the warm welcome :)

I have been around the circle...Baptist/Non-Denom -- Methodist -- Catholic -- Lutheran -- Here Now. I was only nominally Baptist as it was when I was in K-8th grade at a school of that denomination, my family was really non-denominational. Methodist was when I was in high school and college as they had a great program for those age groups where I live. The Catholic sojourn was when I was married, but things took a dive spiritually for me when we divorced due to her repeated infidelity.
 
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