We have had to take Lutheran out of our name because people were so confused. If we tell people we are Lutheran they tell us they are Christian as if that is something different. Every church including non-denominationals follow some theological predecessor. You tell me what a church says about salvation and I can tell you who said it first. Calvary Chapel is usually Armenian/Calvinists. I say usually because denomination means organized, so you never know. Rancho is reformed Calvinists. They follow a modified version of John Calvin. Baptists follow Ulrich Zwingli and have modified by conventions. I guess “Murrieta Zwinglian Church” wouldn’t attract many people. We are the ONLY faith to keep the name of our founder as a part of our title and it has been a source of confusion for many years. Not even Martin Luther wanted us to use his name. He was all about changing those things that were wrong about the Catholic church. That’s why we were the first “Protestants”, which means protesters. Make no mistake we are Christians! Martin Luther was a monk who did not agree completely with the Catholic faith. He wanted to debate 95 statements. They tried to kill him. The Pope even pardoned anyone who would kill him. Luther hid away under German rule and wrote approximately 17 pages a day as he studied the scripture. If you read his work some things are a work in progress which is why some uneducated people such as the heretic John Hagee, say Luther was anti-Semitic. NOT TRUE! Luther’s writings are not only scriptural interpretation, but also his own musings and feelings about those who would hinder and market grace. Luther once said in regard to indulgences, “since the Catholic Church is so rich, why don’t they pay one indulgence and save the world?” Luther had several “ONLY” (soli) in his teachings. Only Jesus! Only Grace! Only scripture! Soli Deo Gloria, etc! He was first perplexed by his own inability to rid himself of sin. He would whip himself, until one day he fell unconscious on the floor. His monsignor sent him to study. In his studies the Lord revealed to him the amazing insights found in Romans of grace, love and freedom. Luther went on to get his Doctorate and solidify his beliefs as he debated from afar. Melanchthon served in the debates because Luther was under sentence of death by the Pope. What came out of those debates are written in our Doctrinal book called the Book of Concord. The Catholic faith responded with a document called the Confutation. 2017 marked our 500th anniversary of Luther presenting the 95 Thesis. We have had thousands of the greatest scholars in the world, who have written volumes on the various theologies and debates among Christendom. Lutherans have always been known for our excellence in education. We follow the rule that scripture interprets scripture. We cannot ignore some parts of scripture, as some do, nor can we explain the unexplainable. As Luther said, “If you can not prove to me, by the word of God and not councils or Popes that what I have written is in error, then my conscience is bound by the word of God. Hear I stand I can do no other!” Lutheran’s believe simply: Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.