What Do Lutherans Believe In?

Lutherans are Christians who believe that God the Father created the world and that Jesus Christ, the true Son of God and true man, is the Savior of the world from sin, death and the power of the evil one. The ordination of a bishop by a priest was not necessarily considered an invalid ordination in the Middle Ages, so any supposed break in the line of succession in other Nordic churches would have been considered a violation of canon law. There are also independent Lutheran churches, where the clergy may be members of a larger denomination. Some Lutheran church bodies demand that promises be unconditional as they believe confessions correctly express what the Bible teaches.

The merger between Lutheran, United and Reformed state churches is maintained under the name Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). In terms of politics, during the 17th and 18th centuries, ecclesiastical orders of the Reformation era gave way to joint cooperation between state control and a mix of synodic council government and Reformation-style Presbyterian government. In Latin America, missions began to serve European immigrants of Lutheran origin, both those who spoke German and those who no longer spoke German. As part of denazification, the Reich Church was formally abolished in 1945 and some clerics were removed from office.

In 1817, Frederick William III of Prussia ordered Lutheran and Reformed churches in his territory to unite, forming the Prussian Union of Churches. For decades, new churches depended mainly on free churches to send them new ministerial candidates for ordination. During the 20th and 21st centuries, some Lutheran organizations adopted a more congregationalist approach, such as the Protestant Conference and the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). The International Lutheran Council is similar in structure, leaving issues of communion to individual denominations.

Churches aligned with the Lutheran World Federation do not believe that a church is singularly true in its teachings. In the 18th century, there was some ecumenical interest between the Church of Sweden and the Church of England. Synodic government had already been practiced in the Reformed Netherlands before its adoption by Lutherans. Unlike Calvinism, Lutheranism conserves many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the Western Church before the Reformation, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist or Lord's Supper.

When monarchy and sovereign government of church ended in 1918, synods took over governance of state churches.