What We Believe
Some people who are not familiar with Lutherans ask how Lutherans differ from other Christians. Lutherans are simply a subset within the Christian family who got their name 500 years ago when a German monk and Bible professor, Martin Luther, tried to reform the Roman Catholic Church of that day, and was rejected. But he couldn’t back down from what the Bible teaches, especially that God saves people (from alienation to one another and our creator, from sin and evil, and from eternal separation from God and the life that God gives) by grace through faith rather than people’s behavior being able to make things right. His opponents derisively called his followers “a bunch of Lutherans” and the name stuck. However, we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) are leaders in the movement to work together with Christians of many other expressions.
Our faith tradition is based on a life-transforming story. It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world and who brings justice for the oppressed. It’s a story of Jesus Christ changing people’s lives. It’s a story that brings comfort and strength to people who live in modern, often unsettling times. We’d like you to become part of our story.
Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation – the earth and the seas and all of the world’s inhabitants. We believe that God’s Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God’s Spirit – the Holy Spirit – is active in the world. We are part of God’s unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere. When we study the Bible or hear God’s word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.
The convictions shared by Christians from many different traditions are expressed in statements of belief called creeds. Please click here to see these historic creeds or to view our ELCA’s Confession of Faith.