Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Post-Lutheran

In a time in which everybody is a post-something-or-other, I think I can affirm that I am a post-Lutheran. I am no longer a Lutheran, but it is same to say there are some vestiges of Lutheranism that will probably be forever with me.

In Wisconsin, most people who grow up going to church were either raised Catholic or Lutheran. Several years ago I noticed that when I was talking to people that had blown off the religion of their youth, the Catholics differed markedly from the Lutherans. A Catholic may not have been to church for 20 years but will be all over you if you rip on Mary or the Pope. A Lutheran that has not been to church will not care at all who you rip on, whether Martin Luther, Augustine (if she even knows who Augustine is), or Jesus Himself.

I noticed the other day that there is something that binds all backslidden Lutherans together, something that has escaped my attention, but I think is quite true. At the popular level Lutherans are not defined by what they are, but by what they are not. If you want to get a Lutheran's goat, start talking about praying to Mary or the infallibility of the Pope. There is one thing a Lutheran is and will always be: NOT CATHOLIC.

1 comment:

Jakestimp said...

That's interesting. I grew up going to a nondenominational church and didn't know much about Lutherans at the time, but that didn't stop me from deciding that what set them apart was that, like you said, they were not Catholic.