Children sometimes ask us “Aren’t Lutheran people Christian?”
In The Little Lutheran Barbara Jurgensen answers:
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream? My favorites are butter pecan and pralines and cream. There are lots of other great flavors: chocolate, almond crunch, vanilla, peach, strawberry, cherry nut, chocolate chunk, raspberry — to name just a few. And all are delicious.
It is the same with churches. There are Presbyterian, Methodist, Roman Catholic, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal, Pentecostal, Reformed, Quakers, Church of the Brethren, Lutheran and many others.
They are all part of our Lord’s church here on earth. Any church that wants to follow Jesus as their Lord and do what he wants them to do is a Christian church. It’s the same with people: any person who looks to Jesus as their Lord and Savior and wants to follow him is a Christian.
You might enjoy visiting a church that is different from your own. We can learn things from other churches because we are all brothers and sisters in our Lord’s big family.
One of the reasons we have so many different denominations in the U.S. is that many of them began in other countries where they spoke a different language.
When people came over from Germany they built churches where they could worship in German. People fromPoland needed to worship in Polish, and people from Mexico, the Caribbean and some South American countries in Spanish. But we are all one in our Lord. The church is Jesus’ church, and we need to make everyone welcome.
There also can be other reasons why the various denominations formed. For instance, some people wanted to place more emphasis on God the Father, some on Jesus and some on the Spirit. Some wanted their worship geared more toward the intellect, and others more toward the heart.