Letters From The “Becoming Lutheran Research Participants” To Lutheran Pastors And Journeying Evangelicals

untitled-1416933-mAs many of you know, I have been working on a Major Applied Research Project over the last two years examining the journey of American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheran thought. After examining over 700 surveys, I decided to construct two letters from all the research participants’ suggestions/recommendations.  The first letter is to Lutheran Pastors who are presently receiving these former Evangelicals.  The second letter is to individuals currently traveling from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheran thought.  In constructing the letters from the research participants I used actual phrases from the surveys; therefore, think of these letters as a collective voice. Enjoy these pleas!

Rev. Richard


Dear Confessional Lutheran Pastor,

As you receive former Evangelicals like us, we humbly ask that you be patient with us. While it may not look like it, we have been through a lot to get to your church. To you it may look like we are high maintenance, which is absolutely true. We will be high maintenance at first, but once we are catechized we are certain that we will be your biggest advocate for the Lutheran theology you preach and teach. Therefore, please don’t assume that our questions are meant to challenge you. Don’t assume that we know the basics, we often don’t. Please hear our questions and then explain everything; please teach us. You can be theological with us. Not only do we need your patience, but we need you to remain steadfast to your church’s confession. Please don’t water Lutheranism down. You can preach the Law strongly to us and the Gospel more strongly still. Be Lutheran and don’t be ashamed of this! We don’t want Evangelicalism. Teach the liturgy; teach the Small Catechism. Point us to Christ crucified for that is what we all need. Thank you in advance for being our shepherd.

In Christ,

The Becoming Lutheran Research Participants

 Dear Journeying Evangelical Friend:

As you journey into Confessional Lutheran thought we want to tell you that you are not alone. We have gone through this journey and want to tell you that it is worth it. Indeed, it is difficult and it takes time. If you haven’t already, be prepared to feel ignorant as you struggle to unlearn what you were taught in American Evangelicalism and as you are catechized into Confessional Lutheranism. Hang in there and be patient. If you haven’t found a Confessional Lutheran church and a Lutheran pastor, do this as soon as possible. Don’t try to do it all on your own, there are many Lutherans out there that are ready and able to help you. Study the Word, study the Lutheran Confessions. Read, read, read, and listen. Ask questions. Be bold in your learning. Cling to the Word of God, your solace is there. This journey can seem scary but the Word of God is unchanging, even if your comprehension of it is changing. It’s worth it; the Gospel in its clarity and Jesus taught in simplicity is worth it! Remain steadfast.

In Christ,

The Becoming Lutheran Research Participants


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