In this corner, I describe in detail my
spiritual journey within the Lutheran Church and some background on
the denomination. I thank the Lord for all the experiences and growth
that I have had in each church group. I attended the Lutheran Church
for the first 18 years of my life, and occasionally visited afterwards with
Martin Luther was a modest German scholar and monk who dared
to criticize the excesses and abuses he observed within his beloved church.
Because of his influence and ideas, the Protestant Reformation erupted in
Germany in 1517. Luther had nailed ninety-five "theses," or articles
of complaint, expressing his desire for reform within the Church, with no
intention of rebellion against it. However, the Reformation gained unforeseen
momentum and soon spread to other countries, dividing Western Christianity.
Among other things, Luther brought an emphasis on the Biblical truth that
people are justified before God by faith in
Christ's sacrificial death and not as a result of any good works.
Luther was a musician and believed music to be second only
to the Gospel itself. He was convinced that "music's only purpose
should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit."
One of Luther's many issues concerned music within the Catholic
Church. He believed that the songs sung in church should be understood by
all, not just those who knew Latin. Luther believed that people should
be able to participate in, rather than merely observe, their worship service;
he therefore criticized the exclusive use of Latin, a language that only
a few well-educated people understood. Instead of having chants by a
choir of monks or priests who sang while the lay people listened, Luther
wanted the congregation to join in the singing. He introduced a new kind of hymn,
a congregational song, called the Lutheran chorale
. Probably the
most popular of all of Luther's hymns is A Mighty Fortress is Our God.
I remember singing this song when I attended the Lutheran church. I also
heard it when I watched the kids show
Davey and Goliath
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD - by Martin Luther (1529), Translated by
Frederick H. Hedge (1853).
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
I grew up attending Our Saviour Lutheran
Church in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
The church is a part of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church
of America (ELCA). I mostly attended Sunday School and enjoyed
playing with the kids, though I did not always like getting dressed
up. After moving to Coral Springs, FL, I attended Lutheran Ministry
in Christ, pastored by Jerry Strazheim. When I was in 8th and
9th grade, I went through 2 years of confirmation classes that helped
establish within me an intellectual foundation for Biblical principles
and Christianity. At the end of the first year, I personally
received Christ as Savior by faith at the age of 13 and thus entered
into a personal relationship with God on June 3, 1980.
With God's help I excelled in my academic pursuits in High School.