Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.svg
Classification Lutheran
Orientation Confessional Lutheran
Theology Old Lutheran[1] repristination of Lutheran Orthodoxy with Evangelical Catholic, High Church, Pietist, charismatic, evangelical, and conservative to moderate and mainline influences
Polity Congregationalist
Organizational structure national synod, 35 middle level districts, and local congregations
Leader Synod President Matthew C. Harrison
Associations Member of the International Lutheran Council;
In altar and pulpit fellowship with the American Association of Lutheran Churches;
Former member of Synodical Conference and Lutheran Council—USA.
Geographical areas United States, especially in the Upper Midwest.
Founder C. F. W. Walther
Origin April 26, 1847
Chicago, Illinois
Separated from German Landeskirchen
Merge of the following:
  • Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Illinois and Other States in 1879,
  • Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Synod of Pennsylvania and Other States in 1888,
  • English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States in 1911,
  • Synodical Conference Negro Mission in 1961,
  • National Evangelical Lutheran Church (Finnish) in 1964,
  • Slovak Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1971.
Separations Orthodox Lutheran Conference,
Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches
Lutheran Churches of the Reformation
Congregations 6,158
Members 2,278,586 baptized
1,764,024 confirmed[2]

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a traditional, confessional Lutheran denomination in the United States. With 2.3 million members, it is both the eighth largest Protestant denomination and the second-largest Lutheran body in the U.S. after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Synod[3] was founded at Chicago, Illinois, in 1847 by German-American immigrants. The LCMS is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

Approximately half of the LCMS members are located in the Upper Midwest, although it is represented in all 50 U.S. states, and is affiliated with other Lutheran sister churches worldwide. It also has several congregations in Ontario and one in Quebec that remained with the LCMS after most of the Synod's Canadian congregations formed the autonomous Lutheran Church–Canada in 1988. The LCMS is divided into 35 districts—33 geographic and two (the English District and SELC) non-geographic districts. The current president is the Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, who took office on September 1, 2010.

Contents

History

Origins

The Missouri Synod emerged from several communities of German Lutheran immigrants during the 1830s and 1840s. In Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, isolated Germans in the dense forests of the American frontier were brought together and ministered to by missionary F. C. D. Wyneken. A movement of Confessional Lutherans under Martin Stephan created a community in Perry County, Missouri, and St. Louis, Missouri. In Michigan and Ohio, missionaries sent by Wilhelm Löhe ministered to scattered congregations and founded German Lutheran communities in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and the Saginaw Valley of Michigan.

The Saxon immigration

In the 19th-century German Kingdom of Saxony, Lutheran pastor Martin Stephan and many of his followers found themselves increasingly at odds with the rationalism and unionism of established Lutheranism. In the neighbouring Kingdom of Prussia, the Prussian Union of 1817 put in place what they considered non-Lutheran communion and baptismal service. In order to freely practice their Christian faith in accordance with the Lutheran confessions outlined in the Book of Concord, Stephan and nearly 1,100 other Saxon Lutherans left for the United States in November 1838.

Their ships arrived January 5, 1839 in New Orleans with one ship lost at sea. After spending some time waiting for that last ship, most of the remaining 750 immigrants settled in Perry County, Missouri, and in and around St. Louis. Stephan was initially the bishop of the new settlement, but he soon became embroiled in charges of corruption and sexual misconduct with members of the congregation and was expelled from the settlement, leaving C. F. W. Walther as the leader of the colony.

During this period, there was considerable debate within the settlement over the proper status of the church in the New World: whether it was a new church or whether it remained within the Lutheran hierarchy in Germany. Walther's view that they could consider themselves a new church prevailed.

Founding

St. Paul's in Chicago, where the first meeting of the Missouri Synod was held.[4]
Old Lutheran free church leader Friedrich August Brünn sent about 235 men to serve as pastors in the Missouri Synod.[5]

On April 26, 1847, twelve pastors representing 15 German Lutheran congregations met in Chicago, Illinois, and founded a new church body, the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States. Walther became the fledgling denomination's first president.

In its early days, the synod was conservative on a number of issues. Following Walther's lead, it strongly opposed humanism[6] and religious syncretism.[7] He also advocated practicing church fellowship only with those Lutheran congregations whose synods were in complete doctrinal agreement with the Synod.[citation needed]

Under the leadership of its second president, F. C. D. Wyneken, the Missouri Synod poured much effort into caring for German immigrants, helping them find a home among other Germans, building churches and parochial schools and providing pastors and teachers to serve in them. As a result, the new synod grew quickly during the 19th century, reaching 685,000 members by 1897.

In 1872, it joined the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Norwegian Synod, the two other large conservative Lutheran bodies, in forming the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America.

English transition and mergers

As one scholar has explained, "The overwhelming evidence from internal documents of these [Missouri Synod] churches, and particularly their schools... indicates that the German-American school was a bilingual one much (perhaps a whole generation or more) earlier than 1917, and that the majority of the pupils may have been English-dominant bilinguals from the early 1880s on".[8]

Until the United States' involvement in the First World War, the older members of the synod remained overwhelmingly German in their language, but younger members had long switched to English. The anti-German sentiment during the war enabled the younger generation to "Americanize" the church's image and switch the remaining German services to English. As a result, over the next half-century the synod's membership doubled.

Franz Pieper, June 27, 1852 - June 3, 1931

In 1947, the church body shortened its name from "Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States" to the present one, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. On January 1, 1964, the National Evangelical Lutheran Church, an historically Finnish-American Lutheran church, merged with the LCMS. In 1971, the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, an historically Slovak-American church, also merged with the LCMS.

Beginning in the 1950s, the LCMS became somewhat friendlier to the more liberal Lutheran bodies, much to the chagrin of the other Synodical Conference members. This culminated in the Synodical Conference breaking up in 1963. Six years later, the LCMS formed the Lutheran Council in the United States with several other moderate-to-liberal Lutheran bodies. However, the election of Jacob Preus as LCMS president began a turn in a more conservative direction. Finally, in 1976, the more liberal congregations broke away to form the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, now part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The LCMS pulled out of the Lutheran Council shortly afterward, and remains conservative to this day.

Beliefs

Doctrinal sources

One of the signature teachings of the Lutheran Reformation is the teaching named Sola scriptura—"Scripture alone." The Missouri Synod believes that the Bible is the only standard by which church teachings can be judged. It also holds that scripture is explained and interpreted by the Book of Concord—a series of confessions of faith composed by Lutherans in the 16th century. Missouri Synod pastors and congregations agree to teach in harmony with the Book of Concord because it teaches and faithfully explains the word of God. The Missouri Synod also teaches biblical inerrancy,[9] the teaching that Bible is inspired by God and is without error. For this reason, they reject much—if not all—of modern liberal scholarship. Franz August Otto Pieper's Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod provides a summary of the major beliefs of the LCMS.

Lutherans of the United States
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Salvation

The Missouri Synod believes that justification comes from God "by divine grace alone, through faith alone, for Christ's sake alone." It teaches that Jesus is the focus of the entire Bible and that faith in him alone is the way to eternal salvation. The synod rejects any attempt to attribute salvation to anything other than Christ's death and resurrection.

The means of grace

The Synod teaches that the Word of God, both written and preached, and the Sacraments are means of grace through which the Holy Spirit gives the gift of God's grace, creates faith in hearts of individuals, forgives sins for the sake of Christ's death on the cross, and grants eternal life and salvation. For Missouri Synod Lutherans, sacraments are actions instituted by Jesus and combine a promise in God's Word with a physical element. All agree that baptism and communion are sacraments.[10] Confession and absolution is called a sacrament in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession and so is also considered by many Lutherans to be a sacrament, because it was instituted by Christ and has his promise of grace, even though it is not tied to a physical element.

Unlike Calvinists, Lutherans agree that the means of grace are resistible; this belief is based on numerous biblical references as discussed in the Book of Concord.

Sacramental Union and the Eucharist

Regarding the Eucharist, the LCMS rejects the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the Reformed teaching that the true body and blood of Christ are not consumed with the consecrated bread and wine in the Eucharist. Rather, it believes in the doctrine of the sacramental union, Real Presence, that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present "in, with, and under" the elements of bread and wine. Or, as the Smalcald Articles express this mystery: "Of the Sacrament of the Altar, we hold that the bread and wine in the Supper are Christ's true body and blood."[11] It is occasionally reported that the LCMS and other Lutherans teach the doctrine of consubstantiation. Consubstantiation is generally rejected by Lutherans and is explicitly rejected by the LCMS as an attempt to define the holy mystery of Christ's presence.[12]

Eschatology

The Missouri Synod flatly rejects millennialism[13] and considers itself amillennialist.[14] This means that they believe there will be no literal 1000-year visible earthly kingdom of Jesus — a view termed as “realized millennialism”, where the “thousand years” of Rev 20:1–10 is taken figuratively as a reference to the time of Christ’s reign as king from the day of his ascension. Hence, the millennium is a present reality (Christ’s heavenly reign), not a future hope for a rule of Christ on earth after his return (the parousia)[15] (cf. Mt 13:41-42; Mt 28:18; Eph 2:6; Col 3:1–3).

Law and Gospel

The LCMS, along with certain other Lutheran church bodies, also teaches the doctrine of the distinction between God's "Law" and God's "Gospel". The Missouri Synod believes that the holy scriptures contain only two teachings—the Law and the Gospel. The Law is all those parts of the Bible that provide commands and instructions, which the LCMS believes are impossible to completely obey. Therefore, the Law through this stated relationship with God, implies an inevitable consequence of God's wrath, judgment and damnation. The Gospel, on the other hand, is the portions of Scripture that promise free salvation from God, even to sinners. The law condemns; the Gospel saves. Both the Law and the Gospel are gifts from God; both are necessary. The function of the law is to show a person their sinful nature and drive (draw) them to the Gospel, where the forgiveness of sin is promised for the sake of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The LCMS insists that both the Old and the New Testament teach both Law and Gospel. The Old Testament, therefore, is valuable to Christians. Its teachings point forward in time to the Cross of Christ in the same way that the New Testament points backward in time to the Cross. This Lutheran doctrine was summarized by C. F. W. Walther in The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel.

Other doctrine

The Papacy as Antichrist

In 1932 the LCMS adopted A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod. Statement 43, Of the Antichrist, as found on the synod website, is as follows:

As to the Antichrist we teach that the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2:3–12; 1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his dominion. All the features of the Antichrist as drawn in these prophecies, including the most abominable and horrible ones, for example, that the Antichrist "as God sitteth in the temple of God," 2 Thess. 2:4; that he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ, that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for Christ's sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness in man (Rom. 3:20-28; Gal. 2:16); that he recognizes only those as members of the Christian Church who bow to his authority; and that, like a deluge, he had inundated the whole Church with his antichristian doctrines till God revealed him through the Reformation – these very features are the outstanding characteristics of the Papacy. (Cf. Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 515, Paragraphs 39-41; p. 401, Paragraph 45; M. pp. 336, 258.) Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is "the very Antichrist."(Smalcald Articles, Triglot, p. 475, Paragraph 10; M., p. 308.)[16]

A frequently asked question page on the LCMS website further explains:

The LCMS does not teach, nor has it ever taught, that any individual Pope as a person, is to be identified with the Antichrist. The historic view of LCMS on the Antichrist is summarized as follows by the Synod's Theological Commission:

The New Testament predicts that the church throughout its history will witness many antichrists (Matt. 24:5,23-24; Mark 13:6,21-22; Luke 21:8; 1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John 7). All false teachers who teach contrary to Christ's Word are opponents of Christ and, insofar as they do so, are anti-Christ.

However, the Scriptures also teach that there is one climactic "Anti-Christ" (Dan. 7:8,11,20-21,24-25; 11:36-45; 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 John 2:18; 4:3; Revelation 17-18)... Concerning the historical identity of the Antichrist, we affirm the Lutheran Confessions' identification of the Antichrist with the office of the papacy whose official claims continue to correspond to the Scriptural marks listed above. It is important, however, that we observe the distinction which the Lutheran Confessors made between the office of the pope (papacy) and the individual men who fill that office. The latter could be Christians themselves. We do not presume to judge any person's heart. Also, we acknowledge the possibility that the historical form of the Antichrist could change. Of course, in that case another identified by these marks would rise. To the extent that the papacy continues to claim as official dogma the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent which expressly anathematizes, for instance, the doctrine "that justifying faith is nothing else than trust in divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that trust alone by which we are justified," the judgment of the Lutheran confessional writings that the papacy is the Antichrist holds.[17]

Creationism

The LCMS is officially creationist.[18] According to the recent 2004 LCMS synodical resolution 2-08A "To commend preaching and teaching Creation," all LCMS churches and educational institutions—including preschool through 12th grade, universities, and seminaries—are "to teach creation from the Biblical perspective."

Practices

Worship

The Missouri Synod's original Constitution indicates that one of its purposes is to strive toward uniformity in practice, while also encouraging responsible and doctrinally-sound diversity. The synod requires that hymns, songs, liturgies, and practices be in harmony with the Bible and Book of Concord. Historically, worship in Missouri Synod congregations is orthodox and liturgical, utilizing a printed order of service and hymnal, accompanied by a pipe organ or other classical instrumentation. In recent years, some congregations have adopted a variety of less-formal worship styles, employing contemporary Christian music, in a folk mass or rock band setting. This has caused a great deal of contention in the church body since it has a decidedly liturgical heritage. The recent publication of Lutheran Service Book and its widespread reception shows the strength of liturgical life in the parishes of the Synod. More traditional LCMS Lutherans point to the Lutheran Confessions in their defense of liturgical worship.[19]

Eucharist

The LCMS endorses the doctrine of close or closed communion[20] — the policy of sharing the Eucharist ordinarily only with those who are baptized and confirmed members of one of the congregations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod or of a congregation of one of her sister churches with whom she has formally declared altar and pulpit fellowship (i.e., agreement in all articles of doctrine). Missouri Synod congregations implement closed communion in various ways, requiring conformity to official doctrine in various degrees. Usually, visitors are asked to speak with the pastor before coming to that congregation's altar for the first time. Some congregations, however, do not implement Synod's policy, celebrating open communion and welcoming all to their altars. The existence of such divergent practice of doctrine challenges the monolithic unity of the LCMS.[21]

Ordination

Ordination is seen as a public ceremony of recognition that a man has received and accepted a divine call, and hence is considered to be in the office of the ministry. The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope agrees that "ordination was nothing else than such a ratification" of local elections by the people.[22] The LCMS does not believe ordination is divinely instituted[23] or an extension of an episcopal form of apostolic succession but sees the office grounded in the word and sacrament ministry of the Gospel, arguing that Scripture makes no distinction between a presbyter (priest) and a bishop (see Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, paragraphs 63,64, citing St. Jerome). The Augsburg Confession (Article XIV) holds that no one is to preach, teach, or administer the sacraments without a regular call.

LCMS pastors are generally required to have a four-year bachelor's degree (in any discipline), as well as a four-year Master of Divinity degree which is usually obtained from one of these institutions: Concordia Seminary in St. Louis or the Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana or at the two seminaries run by the Lutheran Church—Canada. Candidates may earn their Master of Divinity degree at other seminaries, but may then be required to take colloquy classes at either St. Louis or Ft. Wayne. Seminary training includes classwork in historical theology, Biblical languages (Biblical Greek and Hebrew), practical application (education, preaching, and mission), and doctrine (the basic teachings and beliefs of the synod).

The Missouri Synod teaches that the ordination of women as clergy is contrary to scripture. The issue of women's roles in the church body has continued to be a subject of great debate within the Synod. Congregations were permitted to enact female suffrage within Missouri Synod congregations in 1969, and it was affirmed at the Synod's 2004 convention that women may also "serve in humanly established offices" as long as those offices do not include any of the "distinctive functions of the pastoral office." Thus in many congregations of the LCMS, women now serve as congregation president or chairperson, etc. This is the cause of contention within the LCMS, with some congregations utilizing women in public worship to read lessons and assist in the distribution of holy communion. Other traditional Lutherans reject such practices as unbiblical, with a minority of congregations continuing the historic practice of male suffrage, similar to the Wisconsin Synod.

LCMS National Youth Gathering

The National Youth Gathering is held every 3 years. The next gathering will take place in 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. The 2010 gathering in New Orleans was based on the theme "We Believe". In both 2007 and 2004, The LCMS National Youth Gatherings were held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The gathering's theme in 2007 was "Chosen." The gathering in 2007 was originally planned to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, but due to Hurricane Katrina, the location was changed to Orlando, Florida. Around 35,000 youth attend each gathering. Many Christian bands and artists perform at gatherings.

Church structure

Corporate seal of the LCMS

The LCMS has a form of congregational polity. This is different than some other Lutheran bodies which have maintained episcopal polity; however, this is not considered to be a point of doctrine, as the Synod is in fellowship with some Lutheran church bodies in Europe that have an episcopal structure.

The corporate LCMS is formally constituted of two types of members: autonomous local congregations that qualify for membership by mutual agreement to adhere to stated principles, and clergymen who qualify by similar means. Congregations hold legal title to their church buildings and other property, and call (hire) and dismiss their own clergy. Much of the practical work of the LCMS structure is as a free employment brokerage to bring the two together; it also allows the congregations to work together on projects far too large for even a local consortium of congregations to accomplish, such as foreign mission work.

Synod

The LCMS as a whole is led by an ordained Synodical President and CEO, currently Matthew C. Harrison. The President is chosen at a Synodical convention, a gathering of the two membership groups (professional clergymen, and lay representatives from the member congregations). The convention is held every three years; discussions of doctrine and policy take place at these events, and elections are held to fill various Synodical positions. The next Synodical convention will be in 2013. Local conventions within each circuit and district are held in the intervening years.

Districts


The entire synod is divided into districts, usually corresponding to a specific geographic area, as well as two non-geographical districts, the English and the SELC, which were formed when the formerly separate English Missouri Synod and the Slovak Synod, respectively, merged with the formerly German-speaking Missouri Synod. Each district is led by an elected district president, who must be an ordained clergyman. Most district presidencies are full-time positions, but there are a few exceptions in which the district president also serves as a parish pastor. The districts are subdivided into circuits, each of which is led by a circuit counselor, who is an ordained pastor from one of the member congregations.

Congregations

St. John's Lutheran Church (LCMS) near Rosemount, Minnesota

Congregations are served by full-time professional clergy. The LCMS is congregationalist with regard to polity.

Organizations

In addition to its two seminaries, the LCMS operates ten universities known as the Concordia University System. Among the LCMS's other auxiliary organizations are the Lutheran Laymen's League (now known as Lutheran Hour Ministries), which conducts outreach ministries including The Lutheran Hour radio program; and the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. The synod also operates Concordia Publishing House, through which it publishes the official periodical of the LCMS, The Lutheran Witness.

Relationship with other Lutheran bodies

Maintaining its position as a confessional church body emphasizing the importance of full agreement in the teachings of the Bible, the LCMS is not associated with ecumenical organizations such as the National Council of Churches, the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Council of Churches or the Lutheran World Federation. It is, however, a member of the International Lutheran Council, made up of over 30 Lutheran Churches worldwide that support the confessional doctrines of the Bible and the Book of Concord. At the 2007 convention, the delegates voted to establish altar and pulpit fellowship with the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC).

Although its strongly conservative views on theology and ethics might seem to make the LCMS politically compatible with Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists in the U.S., the LCMS largely eschews political activity, partly out of concerns to keep the denomination untainted with potential heresies and also because of its strict understanding of the Lutheran distinction between the Two Kingdoms (see above), which repudiates the primarily Calvinist presuppositions about the totalizing rule of God that informs much, if not most, of U.S. evangelical understanding of politics and Christianity. However, both LCMS and Evangelicals share the common belief that life begins and should be protected by law since conception.[24]

The LCMS is distinguished from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) by three main theological beliefs:

  1. The biblical understanding of fellowship: the LCMS believes in a distinction between the altar, pulpit fellowship, and other manifestations of Christian fellowship (i.e., a prayer fellowship). The WELS does not.
  2. The doctrine of the ministry: the LCMS believes that the Pastoral office is divinely established, but all other offices are human institutions and hence are not divinely established. The WELS believes that other offices, such as teachers, are also divinely established.
  3. The role of women in the church: Although both the LCMS and WELS agree that Scripture reserves the pastoral office for men, the WELS also believes that Scripture forbids women's suffrage in the congregation.

Additionally, some LCMS congregations are somewhat more tolerant of the charismatic movement than the WELS; some of the more prominent charismatic Lutheran congregations are members of the LCMS.[citation needed]

Respondents to the Pew Research Center's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of 2008 included members of LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)[25] These results do not follow the official doctrinal statements of the respective church bodies.[citation needed]

Pew Survey Results by Denomination LCMS ELCA
Number of adults surveyed out of total of 35,556: 588 869
Percent of adults in the United States: 1.4% 2.0%
Percent of adult Protestants in the United States: 2.7% 3.8%
Do you believe in God or a universal spirit? Absolutely Certain: 84% 77%
Fairly Certain: 12% 19%
Do not believe in God: 1% 0%
Don't Know/Refused/Other: 1% 1%
The Bible Word of God to be taken literally word for word: 42% 23%
Word of God, but not literally true word for word/Unsure if literally true: 39% 48%
Book written by men, not the word of God: 15% 20%
Don't Know/Refused/Other: 4% 9%
Abortion Abortion should be legal in all cases: 16% 18%
Abortion should be legal in most cases: 35% 42%
Abortion should be illegal in most cases: 32% 26%
Abortion should be illegal in all cases: 13% 6%
Don't know/Refused: 5% 7%
Interpretation of Religious Teachings There is only ONE true way to interpret the teachings of my religion: 28% 15%
There is MORE than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion: 68% 82%
Neither/Both Equally: 1% 1%
Don't Know/Refused: 3% 2%
Homosexuality Homosexuality should be accepted: 44% 56%
Homosexuality should be discouraged: 47% 33%
Neither/Both Equally: 4% 3%
Don't Know/Refused: 5% 3%

Membership and demographics

Membership growth was substantial in the first half of the twentieth century. According to the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches,[26] the LCMS had 628,695 members in 1925. By 1950 the number of members had grown to over 1.6 million. Membership peaked in 1970 at just under 2.8 million. In 2011 the LCMS reported 2,278,586 members and 6,158 churches, with 5,999 active clergy.[27] LCMS membership continues to be concentrated in the Upper Midwest. The five states with the highest rates of adherence are Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.[28]

Results from the Pew Research Center U.S. Religious Landscape Survey of 2008:[29]

Demographic Results for 2008 ELCA LCMS Total Population
Age 18-29 8% 11% 20%
30-49 36% 32% 39%
50-64 29% 31% 25%
65+ 27% 26% 16%
Marital Status Never Married 11% 11% 19%
Married 63% 60% 54%
Living with Partner 3% 5% 6%
Divorced/Separated 10% 11% 12%
Widowed 13% 13% 8%
Children at home under 18 No Children 70% 72% 65%
One Child 11% 11% 13%
Two Children 13% 10% 13%
Three Children 5% 5% 6%
Four or more Children 1% 2% 3%
Race White (non-Hispanic) 97% 95% 71%
Black (non-Hispanic) 1% 2% 11%
Asian (non-Hispanic) 1% 1% 3%
Other/Mixed (non-Hispanic) 1% 1% 3%
Hispanic 1% 1% 12%
Region Northeast 19% 7% 19%
Midwest 51% 64% 23%
South 16% 16% 36%
West 14% 13% 22%
Gender Male 44% 47% 48%
Female 56% 53% 52%
Level of Education Less than High School 6% 9% 14%
Graduated High School 38% 38% 36%
Some College 26% 25% 23%
Graduated College 19% 18% 16%
Post-graduate 11% 9% 11%
Family Income Less than $30,000 24% 24% 31%
$30,000-$49,999 24% 20% 22%
$50,000-$74,999 21% 20% 17%
$75,000-$99,999 15% 18% 13%
$100,000 or more 17% 17% 18%

Presidents

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Nelson, E. Clifford. The Lutherans in North America. Revised ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1980. p. 509
  2. ^ Synod stats: membership drops, giving increases
  3. ^ The word "synod" means "walking together".
  4. ^ Mezger, George. Denkstein zum fünfundsiebzigjährigen Jubiläum der Missourisynode, 1847-1922. Concordia. St. Louis: 1922.
  5. ^ Christian Cyclopedia article on Brünn
  6. ^ C. Dreyer. "Infidelity in the Church." Lutheran Witness 1 No. 6:52; G. Johannes, "The Danger of Atheistic Writings," Lutheran Witness 1 No. 13:100; "Universalism as defined by a Universalist," Lutheran Witness July 21, 1888.
  7. ^ J.C. Oehlschlaeger. "Idolatry," Lutheran Witness 1 No. 6:43.
  8. ^ Schiffman, Harold (1987). "Language loyalty in the German-American Church: the Case of an Over-confident Minority". http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/540/handouts/gachurch/biggac.html. 
  9. ^ Of the Holy Scriptures, Missouri Synod
  10. ^ Of the means of grace, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
  11. ^ Smalcald Articles, Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005), 305.
  12. ^ Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis:Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 3:326-27 and John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934), 519-20, 528.
  13. ^ Of the Millennium, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ "Of the Antichrist". Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. 1932. http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=579. 
  17. ^ http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=12503
  18. ^ Of creation, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
  19. ^ "Since, therefore, the Mass among us is supported by the example of the church as seen from the Scriptures and the Fathers, we are confident that it cannot be disapproved, especially since the customary public ceremonies are for the most part retained." (Augsburg Confession XXIV:40) Also, "We on our part also retain many ceremonies and traditions (such as the liturgy of the Mass and various canticles, festivals, and the like) which serve to preserve order in the church." (Augburg Confession Article XXVI:40)And, "We gladly keep the old traditions set up in the church because they are useful and promote tranquility...Our enemies falsely accuse us of abolishing good ordinances and church discipline...the public liturgy is more decent than in theirs." (Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Article XV:38-39) And, "...we do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it." (Apology to the Augsburg Confession Article XXIV:1)And, "We on our part also retain many ceremonies and traditions (such as the liturgy of the Mass and various canticles, festivals, and the like) which serve to preserve order in the church." (Augburg Confession, Article XXVI:40)
  20. ^ Christian Cyclopedia s.v. "Close Communion." (St. Louis:Concordia Publishing House; Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 2000, 2006).
  21. ^ Fellowship in the Lord's Supper, LCMS
  22. ^ Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, par. 70
  23. ^ Adopted at Synod Convention, 1849 1, 97 Ordination, though an accepted, praiseworthy ceremony, has no command of God. Official Missouri Synod Doctrinal Statements
  24. ^ See http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/wa_abortion.pdf
  25. ^ U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Diverse and Politically Relevant. Washington D.C.: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. June 2008. Accessed online on September 27, 2009 at http://religions.pewforum.org/pdf/report2-religious-landscape-study-full.pdf.
  26. ^ "Historic Archive CD and Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches". The National Council of Churches. http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_887.asp. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  27. ^ Synod stats: membership drops, giving increases
  28. ^ "2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study". Glenmary Research Center. http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_887_d.asp. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  29. ^ U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Diverse and Politically Relevant: Detailed Data Tables. Washington D.C.: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. June 2008. Accessed online on November 21, 2009 at http://religions.pewforum.org/reports/detailed_tables.

Further reading

Historical documents and accounts

The Seminex controversy

  • Adams, James E. Preus of Missouri and the Great Lutheran Civil War. New York: Harper and Row, 1977.
  • Board of Control, Concordia Seminary. Exodus From Concordia: A Report on the 1974 Walkout. St. Louis: Concordia Seminary, 1977.
  • Danker, Frederick W. No Room in the Brotherhood: The Preus-Otten Purge of Missouri. St. Louis: Clayton Publishing House, 1977. ISBN 0-915644-10-X
  • Marquart, Kurt E. Anatomy of an Explosion: Missouri in Lutheran Perspective. Fort Wayne, IN: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1977.
  • Tietjen, John. Memoirs in Exile: Confessional Hope and Institutional Conflict. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1990.
  • Zimmerman, Paul. A Seminary in Crisis. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006. ISBN 0-7586-1102-1

Missions

Lutheran Witness

Theological Monthly/Quarterly

General

  • Cimino, Richard. Lutherans Today: American Lutheran Identity in the Twenty-First Century. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2003. ISBN 0-8028-1365-8
  • Nelson, E. Clifford et al. The Lutherans in North America. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975. ISBN 0-8006-0409-1
  • Strommen, Merton P., Milo L. Brekke, Ralph C. Underwager, and Arthur L. Johnson. A Study of Generations: Report of a Two-Year Study of 5,000 Lutherans Between the Ages of 15-65: Their Beliefs, Values, Attitudes, Behavior. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972. ISBN 0-8066-1207-X

External links

Official LCMS websites

Additional resource websites


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