What Are Some Of The Observable Differences Between Lutherans?

Over the last three years one of the most frequent questions that I have received from my own parishioners, people online, friends, family, and people in the community is, "What is the difference between the LCMS and ______?"  I have also been asked numerous time, "What are the differences between the LCMS and your previous denomination that you colloquized from?"  

In order to answer these questions, I recently developed a simple table that compares and contrasts eight different Lutheran Denominations on ten different subjects.  


Before you download the PDF, a word of caution though.  

First, this is not a comprehensive document covering all the categorical differences and similarities between these different Lutheran Denominations.  

Second, this document is 'not' based off of official position statements, but rather are generalized observations - a generalized ethos.  With that said though, in order to make sure the generalized observations of each denomination were fairly assessed, I enlisted the help of 5 pastors and 1 laymen for feedback and critique - individuals who have served and are serving in the denominations that are presented in the diagram.  

Finally, since this table generalizes, that means the assessments of each denomination may not be true for every church.  In other words, if you are wondering where your local church stands on the issues presented in the table, it would be best for you to visit with your local pastor for clarity.  Also, if you are wondering about your neighbor's church, it would be best to visit with them in person as well. 

Enjoy the document!

Pr. Richard

Note: The "American Lutheran Denominations: A Comparison Sheet" PDF was updated on January 21, 2016 to include the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  It was also updated to reflect a more accurate picture of the North American Lutheran Church than I had received.  

Suggested readings on this subject:
Christian Koinonia, The Collision of People in Christ
Formation of Lutheran Synods in America

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