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6 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2008 - 11:28PM #1
DoxieLovin07
Posts: 3
Ok I am in some need of guidance here and I'm hoping that with prayer and some help I can figure this out.
I was raised in the LCMS church for my whole life. My boyfriend was brought to an ELCA church at age 11 by his grandfather and has since been off and on in the ELCA church. We have been together for 6 years and now the religion question has posed itself to be a problem. I unfortunately am not well versed in the ELCA church to know what they teach. He only found out when we first started dating that there was even a difference, whereas I know I have been taught in the LCMS church. I don't know where to turn to help me figure out the differences so him and I can discuss them and have a clear understanding. Can anyone help give me insight? Please?
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 6:39AM #2
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
The LCMS is the more "conservatve" of the two with its strict Lutheran confessionalism and its belief in biblical inerrancy. The roots of the LCMS came to the USA seeking religious freedom to be strict Lutheans rather than being absorbed into the newly united Prussian church, a fusion of Reformed as well as Lutheran elements. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 8:26AM #3
Eoconnorntep
Posts: 85
As far as differences that a person in the pew would notice without research, the biggest one is probably  that the ELCA ordains and calls female as well as male pastors.  The ELCA also has open communion, inviting all baptized Christians to commune;  the LCMS officially practices closed communion, though the degree of enforcement varies from congregation to congregation.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 9:23AM #4
DoxieLovin07
Posts: 3
I appreciate both responses. My question i guess is how to explain to my boyfriend about it. We want to get married and being LCMS i know what the church feels about LCMS and ELCA. I have a problem getting married in an ELCA chruch due to my upbringing. He says LCMS is too strict, but I hate to say it, he really has no religious backing because he's not attending the ELCA church. Does anyone have any guidance on how I can show him that LCMS is not bad like he thinks. It also probably does not help that my father is ultra-conservative LCMS. Please help!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 6:38PM #5
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Put things in the hands of God. Both groups are Lutheran. My own family is a mix of ELCA, LCMS, and Episcopal. Take care. Prayers. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 6:38PM #6
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Put things in the hands of God. Both groups are Lutheran. My own family is a mix of ELCA, LCMS, and Episcopal. Take care. Prayers. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2008 - 11:36PM #7
ericksdahl
Posts: 161
Where do you find grace trumping over law?  That can happen in either LCMS or ELCA depending on the congregation... but if you have a law will finally have to trump grace outlook... then you need to look around to find someplace where grace trumps law...

Grace & Peace!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 10:21AM #8
PAanAT
Posts: 3
The LCMS website has many sections on how they differ from other Christian groups.  This might be worth reading.  I don't believe that the ELCA website does this as overtly.  But their website has been recently updated extensively, so I'm not as familiar with it.  But it does have sections about the core beliefs, etc.

I agree with ericksdahl:  where is God's grace shown most clearly?  Which group seems to look at the whole Bible for their doctrine, rather than picking and choosing a few verses to justify their rational?  Another way to put this is:  is it harder to join the church than it is to get into heaven? 

Then to specific churches:  Does the pastor say his way or the highway?  Does the pastor say he has to be present to have a Bible study?  Is the form of the worship service, ie the liturgy or something like it, "required" for the service to be considered "true worship?"  Or is it recognized that these things, however beloved, are man-made? 

I've read quite a number of ELCA and LCMS blogs.  I don't know how well these blogs reflect these groups as a whole.  I've been dismayed at how much time the LCMS writers spend putting down the ELCA.  I don't know if this reflects self-righteousness or insecurity or whatever.  I personally think that Christians need to build each other up and learn to stand together against the world.
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 8:44PM #9
DoxieLovin07
Posts: 3
You know I never looked at it that way. Ericksdahl, you know you make a great point. Paanat, you also make reason to the same point. Yes I know that the LCMS writers do spend a lot of time showing that they are "right". I have been brought up in a very doctrine family and the ELCA church seems not to follow doctrine. But the more I look in to it and talk to people, isn't more that we believe that God will be in our lives and will take care of us as a couple. That seems more important than the title of the church. I am so thankful to have found the site and be able to talk to such wonderful people as yourselves. Any guidance and prayers would be much appreciated!
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6 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2008 - 10:35PM #10
ericksdahl
Posts: 161
You can get caught up in doctrine in either of those expressions of Lutheran theology so I am not slamming one against the other... be careful though when making broad strokes about one vs the other.  Sometimes one can be right without love and that is wrong regardless! 

I had an excellant LCMS pastor in college while we had a doctrinally pure pastor in my church but he did not have the ability to express love... and neither did we!  So look closely at each church (not just national expression). 

Of course there are a lot of different issues to look at as well...
if the ability to ordain a woman is important to you one way or another (don't decide until you have listened to both sides) that will influence you... how is the bible to be viewed is also something that will influence your decision... Is it a science book or a book revealing God's love... 

Are you allowed to ask questions... to doubt... or do you basically get asked to check your brain at the door when you walk into church? 

Those are just a few of my random thoughts that may help you think through things.

Grace & Peace!
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