Updated: Jul 27, 2019
Change is scary. Changing churches even scarier. Changing denominations and theological views scarier still. This past week was the one year anniversary of my husband, Bobby, and I becoming members of the LCMS here in little old Mountain Home, ID. A dear friend took pictures that day but I was scared to post them because so many of my other friends were reformed. However, it soon leaked out that we had converted to Lutheranism. It has been quite the journey from growing up Pentecostal through the charismatic world in various forms to Dutch reformed and now Lutheran. My friends were questioning how their "reformed gal" could now be Lutheran. Granted, over the past decade as reformed believers we were assured that Lutherans were our brethren and so we did not think it much of a change. We have been pleased that many of our friends have asked why we went from Heidelberg to Wittenberg* (Nancy’s upcoming book is titled The Accidental Lutheran: The Journey from Heidelberg to Wittenberg published by Wipf & Stock release date March 2019) and this is a condensed answer.
God Moves in Mysterious Ways
That is actually a line from one of my favorite hymns by Cowper and it proves true all the time. Our conversion from Dutch Reformed to Lutheranism was not intentional. Rather, we simply needed to find a church closer to us. You see Winter 2016-17 was pretty rough and from Thanksgiving weekend with the first snow clear through into the first week of May we either had snow storms or deep freezes. The roads became icy and with only one plow in town our little cul de sac just did not get touched for months. Since moving here in '14 we had attended a reformed church in Boise which meant a 100+ mile round trip each week. The highway was not forgiving that winter and God providentially kept us home.
However, after several weeks of missing church we were hungry for God's Word and fellowship. Bobby did find Worship for Shut-Ins (now Worship Anew) on TV and we began watching. It filled in what we were missing in the preached Word but we both were longing to join together with those of like faith for worship. By March I was asking him if we could just find a local church to attend and he set me out to find a faithful congregation. Thankfully the folks at Worship Anew connected us with one such church here in town. That is when everything changed.
Two Key Points
There are two areas, primarily, where Lutherans differ from the Reformed be it Presbyterian or Continental. They are: Baptism and The Lord's Supper
1. Baptism Now Saves
For over a decade we held to the Heidelberg that the Sacraments are "signs and seals" (Lord's Day 25 Q. 66) which meant that baptism and the Lord's Supper only "direct our faith to Christ" but do not actually confer faith upon the recipient. In baptism the catechism taught us that "just as water washes dirt away the "promise" is that Christ by His Spirit washes us by His