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I wouldn’t be surprised if our family went back to Martin Luther himself when he broke with Rome about 1517 when this disaffected Catholic priest nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church.My grandparents and great-grandparents on my father’s side were devout Lutherans.Thousands of fellow-Germans rallied to his cause and called themselves Lutherans. In the Lutheran Church, the members didn’t bring their Bibles, though they generally did carry the Sunday School Quarterly.At first, Luther didn’t want to break with the mother Church, the Roman Catholic Church, but eventually Luther’s movement broke away from Rome and became a separate denomination. A portion of the Gospels and Epistles were read in the Sunday morning service.
I was born into a devout Lutheran family, was baptized as a child in the Lutheran Church, was faithful in attending the Lutheran Sunday School and church services every week, and was confirmed in the Lutheran Church.My relationship with the Lutheran Church was part of a thorough Lutheran background.Some years ago, a cousin did a careful search of the family ancestry on my father’s side that reached as far back to Germany of the 1500s.Many of these are merely nominal members who are part of the Lutheran state churches in Europe, while others are devoted and devout, committed to the standards, traditions, doctrines, and policies of this historic denomination.
Let me tell my story—the account of a young, sincere, and searching boy who was raised in the Lutheran Church by a deeply religious Lutheran family.In this atmosphere of Lutheranism, something amazing and life-changing happened when I was fifteen years of age. I also came to see that the Bible taught against many forms of false teaching and error.