Lutheran vs Baptist
Lutherans and Baptists are both Christians who are also Protestants. They share many beliefs and have more similarities than differences. Both happen to be reformists within the fold of Christianity. However, there are many different branches of Baptists with differences between them too. This article attempts to highlight the general differences between Lutherans and Baptists.
Lutherans are the followers of Luther who is said to be the father of the reform movement in Christianity. He was a German monk who was disturbed by the ills and corrupt practices that had pervaded the Roman Catholic Church. He introduced The 95 Theses in an attempt to reform the Church from within, but he was driven out by the Church. This led to a schism, and his followers formed a new denomination referred to as the Church of Lutheran.
All Christians who believe that baptism is not for infants, and a ceremony that should be performed only for those who are believers are labeled as Baptists. This means that it is an umbrella term that includes Christians from many different denominations and subscription to the doctrine of baptism is what binds Baptists together. However, there are many more beliefs and doctrines that are common to Baptists such as salvation of mankind through faith in Christ and supremacy of the scriptures (and not that of Pope).
Baptists are considered Protestants though Baptists themselves do not subscribe to this view. There are more than a hundred million Baptists worldwide at present. There are people who trace the origins of Baptists back to the separatist movement in the 17th century while there are also people who say that Baptists are offshoot of Anabaptist movement. There are even some who say that Baptists have been there since the time of the Christ.
What is the difference between Lutheran and Baptist?
• In Lutheran, baptism is seen as a work of God and so even infants are baptized. On the other hand, baptism is only for believers among Baptists, and this is the reason why infants are not baptized in Baptists.
• The mode of baptism is not important though the ritual is very significant among Lutherans. It may be by sprinkling or pouring. On the other hand, baptism through immersion is essential among Baptists as it signifies washing away of all sins and a kind of rebirth for the believer.
• Lutheran rejected only a few practices in the Roman Catholic Church, whereas Anabaptists reject the authority of the Church altogether. Baptists are offshoot of these Anabaptists.
• Lutheran Church is much more structured than Baptist Church.
• There are more than double Lutherans than Baptists around the world.
• Bread and wine in The Last Supper are considered as the body and blood of Jesus himself whereas bread and wine in The last Supper are taken to be symbolic representations of the body and blood of Jesus by the Lutherans.