Well, I think my husband and I are getting closer to figuring out what we believe doctrinally at this time and how our beliefs fit in with Lutheranism.
We really are, I think, somewhere in between Reformed Baptist -- us still holding to Calvinism -- and Lutheran right now. Is that weird? *shifty look*
Some might think, then why not become Presbyterian since they baptise babies and are Calvinist (since Lutherans baptise babies but aren't Calvinist). For one thing, hearing and learning about the Bible from a Lutheran perspective has brought such a healing a balm to our thirsting hearts. We truly appreciate so much about Lutheranism. The way they divide things into the Law and the Gospel is so helpful. And hearing about the comfort that the Gospel brings. . . . I love that. And they talk about how much God loves us! I'm afraid I don't remember hearing all that much about that at the Reformed church. And the concept of audiaphora (sp?) . . . we think that is great. And the focus on the Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper being the means of grace is something I am learning to understand and appreciate. I still have much to learn, though, about that. And the idea of vocations encourages us very much.
Another reason is because dh doesn't agree with covenant theology, and that is an important part of Presbyterian theology. It fits in with why Presbyterians baptise infants -- baptism being a sign and seal of entrace into the convenant (taking the place of circumcision as the sign), if I understand their views on that correctly.
As I see it, though, we do agree Presbyterians some in regards to what baptism does. Baptism (of an infant/child), as a means of grace, *can* be when God's chooses to save/justify one of His own, but we do not believe He is bound to do so. That is where, I think, we disagree with Confessional Lutheranism. They, as I understand it, believe that baptising an infant saves them. They don't believe that the child will of a certainty stay saved, though. If I understand Lutheranism correctly, they believe that a child who has been baptised needs to continue to receive the means of grace. The means of grace, as I understand it, are the means, the conduit, through which the Holy Spirit works and gives us the grace that Jesus bought for us through His death on the cross, the three means of grace being the Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. So for a child who has already been Baptised, but whom does not take communion, the means of grace would be the Word -- I think, if I understand correctly, especially the *preaching* of the Word (or is that a Reformed concept? I'm not sure!).
Does anyone know if I am understanding Lutheranism correctly? If I sound unorthodox or anything, I apologize! I am trying really hard to understand!!!
BTW, in the past we heard from a Reformed Baptist that spanking is a means of grace. That does not at all fit in with what dh and I believe. There is much comfort in the idea of being part of a church that teaches that the means of grace are the Word, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.
Anyway, at this time, dh and I feel that we probably could be conservative Lutherans, but not confessional Lutherans.