f I had to choose just one thing, it would be the music. The music and hymnody have been powerfully influenced by the fifth evangelist, J.S. Bach, but there are also others who have made strong contributions--Handel, Schutz, Gerhardt, Grundtvig and others.

The service is almost completely sung. The liturgies are beautiful and scriptural. I agree with the theology, but it's the music that, more than anything else, has made me a Lutheran.

-- prjp

love my tradition and have kept it as my own as I have reached maturity (23 as I write this) because...

1) Grace... Lutheranism lives and preaches complete freedom in God's extravagant grace. We are freed from whatever system of points that seeks to enslave us: works, doctrines, stuff, experiences... none of it matters because God loves us, has baptized us, and taken us as His own. On the cross Jesus compels us to absolute trust in Him, saying that our pretenses to Absolute Truth, our "proper" music and clothing, our "decisions for Christ", our being "basically good", and our cheap grace are nothing. In exchange, we recieve the humbling, magnificent joy of a loving, inclusive community working towards the Kingdom.

2) Sacramental Theology... One of the ways that grace expresses itself is through the Sacraments. Not hollow or self-serving works ("look at me everybody! I'm making a big display of my belief in Jesus!"), but the real tangible presence and promise of Jesus. Seeing Jesus in the water and bread and wine, we go out into the world and see Him in everything and everyone. Fed with His Body and the fortaste of the Kingdom, we serve Him in Creation.

3) Intellectual freedom... Requiring belief in an infallible Bible is itself a point system. We are allowed, sure in God's grace and in our Baptism, to look at the Bible for what it is: a human, but an inspired book. We are free to, with the Jesus as our lens and the Holy Spirit as our guide, see the Bible for what it is rather than what some people say it should be.

...That and it's cool that we're all renegade drunks!^_^

-- sorrowful_mysteries

utherans (at least in the LCMS) know the differences between preferences and principles. Bach, organs, historic liturgy, respectful attention to the church fathers, rest on Sunday: these are preferences (and I love them all) but only that. Jesus Christ, true God and true man, the free pardon of sins, justification by faith alone, the infallible Bible, saving baptism and the Real Presence of Christ in the bread and wine, Christian liberty: these are principles that can never to be traded away.
-- victorianprof

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