Lutheranism

Form of Protestantism commonly associated with the teachings of Martin Luther
Lutherans believe that whoever has faith in Jesus alone will receive salvation from the grace of God and will enter eternity in heaven instead of eternity in hell after death or at the second coming of Jesus.

[Christ] submitted to the law for us, bore our sin, and in going to his Father performed complete and perfect obedience for us poor sinners, from his holy birth to his death. Thereby he covered all our disobedience, which is embedded in our nature and in its thoughts, words, and deeds, so that this disobedience is not reckoned to us as condemnation but is pardoned and forgiven by sheer grace, because of Christ alone.

[T]he Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably enjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.

Today the Lutheran World Federation operates Lutheran World Relief, a relief and development agency active in more than 50 countries.

During their 19th-century persecution, "Old Lutheran" (scholastic, orthodox) believers were left in a conundrum. Resistance to authority was traditionally considered disobedience, but, under the circumstances, upholding orthodox doctrine and historical practice was considered by the government disobedience. However, the doctrine of the lesser magistrate allowed clergy to legitimately resist the state and even leave. Illegal free churches were set up in Germany and mass emigration occurred. For decades the new churches were mostly dependent on the free churches to send them new ministerial candidates for ordination. These new church bodies also employed synodical governance, but tended to exclude Hegelianism in their constitutions, due to its incompatibility with the doctrine of the lesser magistrates. In contrast to Hegelianism where authority flows in from all levels, Kantianism presents authority proceeding only from the top down, hence the need for a lesser magistrate to become the new top magistrate.

View of the altar and the pulpit in the Church of the Ascension in Jerusalem

This map shows where members of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC) are located in 2013: