What Is Lutheranism?
Lutheran is a term used to describe Christian believers who follow the teachings of Martin Luther.
Lutheran is a term used to describe Christian believers who follow the teachings of Martin Luther. There are many Lutheran denominations. Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutherans and Missouri Synod Lutherans are a few of the various types of church bodies. Each varies slightly on its interpretation of Martin Luther’s teachings, but all believe the Christian principles of theology taught by Luther; humankind is saved by the grace of God alone -- not by deed; the Bible is the only true standard by which religious teachings are to be judged; and salvation is through faith alone. Lutherans teach that Jesus Christ is both God and man and that He humbled Himself by becoming a man and dying on the cross. He did this to redeem all people from the judgment for sin, the fear of death, and the power of the devil.
In 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, declared a challenge to the church on 95 theological issues. Luther hoped that the church would reform its teachings of the Word of God. He started an academic reformation debate after which he and his followers separated from the church.
Luther's Small Catechism is used to introduce people to the Lutheran faith and contains teachings on the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, the Apostles' Creed, Confession and Absolution, Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayers. Baptism and instruction in the Christian faith is all that is required to become a Lutheran.