An Odd Thing among Today’s Lutherans

I grew up in a conservative Lutheran tradition and even consider attending an LCMS seminary. I was very grateful for my church but ultimate studied my way into the Reformed tradition and attending a seminary which led to me becoming a Presbyterian minister.

When I was just starting out at seminary, I attended a couple times the local Lutheran church. There I was surprised once to hear the minister tell that if he weren’t Lutheran, he’d be Catholic. I chalked that up to an odd personal view of a single individual. But lately, especially on a Lutheran forum I read on Reddit, I have seen other Lutheran say something similar.

For example, on a recent Reddit post one person said there were no conservative Lutheran churches nearby and the liberal ones are not acceptable and therefore they are “almost willing to attend a catholic church over most protestant churches.”

My best guess as to what is going on is that some Lutherans are so keen on the physical presence of Christ in communion that they’d rather go Roman Catholic (which retains a view of physical presence) than go to a Protestant church that holds to another view of the sacrament. The surprising part of all of this is the lack of putting the Gospel first. Rome has a terrible view of salvation that no right-thinking Lutheran (or any other Protestant) could accept. But a Lutheran (like any other protestant) should also be repulsed by Rome’s view of communion.

Now maybe there are a lot of liberal protestant churches that are horrendous in theology and a lot of non-denominational churches that are more like fun-factories, but I’d recommend to the Lutheran (and anyone else) “if you can’t find a church that fits your view of communion, at least go to a Gospel-preaching church.”