We are evangelical Christians! In fact, Lutherans may be closest to retaining the doctrine and practice of the early church, which made use of liturgical services and was careful to guard against false doctrine while being committed to evangelizing the world.
How did we get the name Lutheran? In the 16th century, a German monk named Martin Luther spoke out about much-needed reforms in the church. (At that time the Holy Roman Catholic Church was the representative body that spoke for the Christian faith.) Luther encouraged everyone to worship, have children and adults baptized, and learn God's Word, for in the pages of Scripture they would read about the Savior. People who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church were called "protesters" (who became known as Protestants) and "Lutherans" (who follow Luther's Christ-centered teachings).
Today over 80 million people worldwide consider themselves Lutheran Christians. The Lutheran motto, Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, refers to this teaching:
All may be saved by God's grace alone...
Through faith in the Son of God alone--apart from works or the prayers of others...
Our assurance of salvation is based on the testimony of Scripture alone--not traditions, popes or councils.
Luther's rose symbolizes the Christian faith:
The black cross shows Jesus' atonement is at the center of our faith
The red heart is the symbol of God's love toward us, through Christ
The white rose symbolizes the purity of Jesus, and how he makes us pure
The blue field represents the blue sky, for Christ is returning in the sky
The gold ring symbolizes the perfect beauty of heaven, our home
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. The LCMS is a group of 2.4 million believers in more than 6,000 congregations worldwide. We also are in fellowship with many more Lutheran groups who confess and teach as we do. The word Synod means "to walk together," so we can rely upon consistent teaching no matter which LCMS church we attend. The name "Missouri" is included for historic reasons: when the Saxons (from present-day Germany) settled in the United States in the 1830's, they settled in eastern Missouri and founded our denomination in 1847. Missouri Synod Lutherans are found worldwide, all confessing Jesus Christ and our salvation by "Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone"!
The Bible. We believe, teach and confess that the Bible is the Word of God, infallible and inerrant. It is the sole source of our knowledge of God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and the sole source for doctrine and teaching.
The Book of Concord. This collection of writings is an exposition of the teachings of Holy Scripture. It contains the Symbols of the early church (the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds) in addition to the Augsburg Confession and other statements of what the Christian faith teaches and condemns. Click here to access these writings, known as the Lutheran Confessions.
Current Issues. We speak where Scripture speaks on contemporary issues, and we study the Scriptures when issues call for wisdom, discernment, and conservative application of truth. If you have questions about particular teachings and practices, see the Frequently Asked Questions at our Synod's official website that cover the Bible, Doctrine, Worship / Congregational Life, Denominations, and LCMS Views.
Still One God.
Lives Turn Around.