Lutheran Church split follows years of infighting

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fierce fighting among some Lutherans culminated in Friday's formation of the North American Lutheran Church, the nation's newest church body. The church has strong ties to a little-known ministry in the Twin Cities and a new seminary in Brookings.

The battles have included scorching accusations of blasphemy, "devilish" behavior and the leader of a reform group declaring that last year's vote on gay clergy amounted to the biblical sign of the beast: 666.

It's not the sort of thing typically seen among Lutherans, the low-key Christians that Garrison Keillor jokes about on his radio show. They prefer to sit in back pews and project an image of grace and peace.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Posted August 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. TomRightmyer wrote:

I’d be grateful for a note about the number and size of the Lutheran churches in the US and their relationship to the Lutheran World Federation. I am aware of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The NALC seems to come from the Word Alone group which I think was strongest among the former American Lutheran Church folks. We don’t have very many such in North Carolina.

August 29, 10:09 pm | [comment link]
2. A Senior Priest wrote:

Most excellent development. I congratulate them. May the new Lutheran jurisdiction prosper and a flourish in every way, and may all heresy be cast down into the depths.

August 29, 11:03 pm | [comment link]
3. Lutheran Visitor wrote:

Lots of Lutheran bodies in the USA.  ELCA is biggest with 4.5 million members on the books at present.  LCMS is next with 2.3 million members.  WELS is third with roughly 400K members.  There are several additional bodies with a few hundred congregations each, of which LCMC is the largest.  Others include AFLC (free Lutherans), TAALC, and the Lutheran Brethren.  Those of us involved in founding the NALC certainly expect it to be of this scale, if not more.  Beyond that there are quite a few micro-synods.

With regard to NALC origin and such, it actually has been organized by Lutheran CORE, which is a coalition of which WordAlone is a member,  Lutheran CORE was formed to link WordAlone to traditionalists from other segments of the ELCA.  Consistent with that, it is actually the case that congregations joining the NALC come from both the old ALC and old LCA fairly evenly…perhaps even slightly more from the old LCA.  And it does appear that North Carolina will be one of the centers of density for the NALC.

Ryan Schwarz
NALC Executive Council

August 30, 4:31 pm | [comment link]
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