Hug A Lutheran Age

Over at his blog, Messiah College historian, John Fea links to one of his students who has created a Facebook page for “Hug A Lutheran Day.” We here at oldlife do not need a day to hug Lutherans. But we can appreciate their humor. The Messiah student (with props to says you know you’re a Lutheran if:

…when someone mentions red and green (in terms of Christmas), you immediately think of a battle over hymnals.

…the pastor skips the last hymn to make sure church lasts exactly 60 minutes.

…in response to someone jumping up and shouting “Praise the Lord!”, you politely remind him or her that we don’t do that around here.

…you think a meeting isn’t legitimate unless it’s at least three hours long.

…you have more than five flavors of Jell-O in your pantry.

…when you were little, you actually thought the Reverend’s first name was “Pastor.”

…when you’re watching “Star Wars” in the theatre and when they say, “May the force be with you,” you reply, “and also with you.”

…you tap a church visitor on the shoulder and say, “excuse me, but you’re in my seat.”

…Bach is your favorite composer just because he was Lutheran, too. …your house is a mess because you’re “saved by Grace,” not by works.

…your mother reminds you often that she wishes you’d studied the organ.

…you sing “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” while sitting down. …you feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

The only one I would add, on a more serious note, is you know you’re a Lutheran if you believe in justification by faith alone. (Major props to Martin Luther.)


7 thoughts on “Hug A Lutheran Age

  1. I’m partial to Keillor:

    …It’s 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service.

    …You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you can.

    …Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee.

    …The communion cabinet is open to all, but the coffee cabinet is locked up tight.

    …All your relatives graduated from a school named Concordia.

    …It takes ten minutes to say good-bye.

    …The low point of your year is summer vacation.

    …You actually understand those folks from Lake Wobegon, MN where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, all the children are above average, and even the Catholics are Lutheran.

    From Life among the Lutherans


  2. Dr. Hart,

    In honor of “Hug a Lutheran Day” would you please tell us why you are not a Lutheran? What is the difference, in your understanding, between Lutheran and Presbyterian?

    Thank you.


  3. I don’t know many Lutherans who would want to be hugged in public; that’s an embarrassing display of emotion more suitable for those called in Sunday morning Bible class “eeee-vangelicals” or “TV preachers.” Maybe a nice bow like the pastor gives us after saying “The Lord be with you” or a friendly-but-not-too-personal post-service greeting-line handshake would be more appropriate. Even outside Minnesota, it’s important to be a nice Lutheran but not necessarily a touchy-feely one. How could you enjoy your Jello salad if someone’s horning in on your personal space?


  4. ah, I am not a Lutheran because they drink too much.

    Seriously, I’m planning to post on this soon. I follow Benjamin Warfield on the differences between Reformed and Lutheran. To tip my hand, union isn’t part of the equation.

    Adam, how can you possibly drink beer with a jello-salad?


  5. The Jello salad, which I expect to appear at the baptismal celebration after the service this Sunday, is a treat (or staple, in Minnesota) for all occasions, similar to coffee; you may wonder how coffee, Jello, and a love for “bars” with heavy cream cheese on top can all be eaten together. But the Lord has not revealed to us how or why Lutherans consume such things at one time.

    Beer, or “Lutheran beverages” as they’re called at St. Louis and Ft. Wayne, is more for Table Talk-like occasions where colorful language and polemics against those less robust in upholding justification by faith alone through grace alone in Christ alone are more welcome than at the post-service luncheon with Grandma Schmidt present: e.g. Dr. Nestingen’s lecture on the bondage of the will here: A quote from that gathering, “Or we’ll go until the beer runs out.” Grandma Schmidt never says that at the baptismal luncheon.


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