Some questions that atheists and skeptics are commonly asked are “Why do you only criticize certain religions?” or “What do you have against Christianity specifically?” For me, the answer is that Christianity is by far the most popular religion in the United States, and I see it everywhere, whether it is at home, at school, or out in public. Specifically, my family are members and leaders in different congregations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, or LCMS.
The LCMS is the second largest branch of the Lutheran Church, and it has almost 2.1 million baptized members (including me). I’ve grown up with the ultra-conservative LCMS teachings since I was a baby, but until about last week, I dared not read into the details of its doctrine. After reading for a while on Wikipedia, I came across A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, a concise but clear summary of LCMS teachings written by Franz August Otto Pieper in 1932. I want to highlight some sections of the Statement that thoroughly dumbfounded me and truly left me at a loss for words, especially knowing that my own family and many of our close friends actually believe these ideas. Read more