Do Lutherans believe in saints?

For the most part, I have been under the assumption that Protestants deny saints in Heaven. However, my girl friend, who is Lutheran, attends service at a building called “St.Paul Lutheran”. This has confused. Is it just for the name of identifying the correct Paul? Then why would they acknowledge his sainthood? Thanks in advance.

The Lutheran Church has a lot of Roman Catholic elements in it. They acknowledge Saints, but don’t have devotionals to Saints. Protestants see devotion as a form of worship.

I was baptised as an infant at St. Paul Luthern Church in Flint, MI.:smiley:

Since the word is used in Scripture; yes they believe in saints. Lutherans also affirm the Apostle’s Creed:

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints…

This is from the Augsburg Confession:

Article VII: Of the Church.

1] Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

2] And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3] the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike. 4] As Paul says: One faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, etc. Eph. 4:5-6.

I will let someone else go into more detail of the differences between the Lutheran belief and the Catholic belief.

God bless

Lutheran Church flyers usually include a footnote to explain the use of the word “Catholic” in the Apostles Creed doesn’t mean the RCC.:smiley:

That’s funny because Catholics don’t think it means the RCC either. :wink:

Yet another thing Catholics and Lutherans agree on.

I know what you are trying to say. Keep in mind though that the Catholic Church is not confined solely to the Latin Rite of the Church.

God bless

Thanks for the great answers! I am trying to understand her faith and not generalize it, which is hard sometimes.

Generalizing is easy to do. There is a large variety though of Protestant beliefs and denominations. I recommend that you talk to her about her faith. My wife and I came from different religious backgrounds prior to her conversion to Catholicism. She was an evangelical Christian and I was your typical male college student. Our discussions about what we believed and why were tremendously beneficial in not only our faith walk but also our relationship.

God bless you.

Good idea. I think I did ask her at one point, but the answer wasn’t sufficient for me. I will definitely pray about what you have said.

And Anglicans too.

The small ‘c’ used in The Creeds is the give away.

Sorry for the lengthy cut and paste, but I think this quote from Melancthon’s Apology of the Augsburg Confession answers pretty much sums up the key points. I’ve highlighted some relevant points:

"4] Our Confession approves honors to the saints. For here a threefold honor is to be approved. The first is thanksgiving. For we ought to give thanks to God because He has shown examples of mercy; because He has shown that He wishes to save men; because He has given teachers or other gifts to the Church. And these gifts, as they are the greatest, should be amplified, and the saints themselves should be praised, who have faithfully used these gifts, just as Christ praises faithful businessmen, 5] Matt. 25, 21. 23.*** The second service is the strengthening of our faith***; when we see the denial forgiven Peter, we also are encouraged to believe the more that grace6]truly superabounds over sin, Rom. 5, 20. The third honor is the imitation, first, of faith, then of the other virtues, which every one should imitate according to his calling. 7] These true honors the adversaries do not require. They dispute only concerning invocation, which, even though it would have no danger, nevertheless is not necessary.

8] ***Besides, we also grant that the angels pray for us. ***For there is a testimony in Zech. 1, 12, where an angel prays: O Lord of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on 9]Jerusalem? Although concerning the saints we concede that, just as, when alive, they pray for the Church universal in general, so in heaven they pray for the Church in general, albeit no testimony concerning the praying of the dead is extant in the Scriptures, except the dream taken from the Second Book of Maccabees, 15, 14.

Moreover, even supposing that the saints pray for the Church ever so much, 10] yet it does not follow that they are to be invoked; although our Confession affirms only this, that Scripture does not teach the invocation of the saints, or that we are to ask the saints for aid. But since neither a command, nor a promise, nor an example can be produced from the Scriptures concerning the invocation of saints, it follows that conscience can have nothing concerning this invocation that is certain. And since prayer ought to be made from faith, how do we know that God approves this invocation? Whence do we know without the testimony of Scripture that the saints perceive the prayers of each one? 11] Some plainly ascribe divinity to the saints, namely, that they discern the silent thoughts of the minds in us. They dispute concerning morning and evening knowledge, perhaps because they doubt whether they hear us in the morning or the evening. They invent these things, not in order to treat the saints with honor, but to defend lucrative services. 12] Nothing can be produced by the adversaries against this reasoning, that, since invocation does not have a testimony from God’s Word, it cannot be affirmed that the saints understand our invocation, or, even if they understand it, that God approves it. Therefore 13] the adversaries ought not to force us to an uncertain matter, because a prayer without faith is not prayer. For when they cite the example of the Church, it is evident that this is a new custom in the Church; for although the old prayers make mention of the saints, yet they do not invoke the saints. Although also this new invocation in the Church is dissimilar to the invocation of individuals.

14] Again, the adversaries not only require invocation in the worship of the saints, but also apply the merits of the saints to others, and make of the saints not only intercessors, but also propitiators. This is in no way to be endured. For here the honor belonging only to Christ is altogether transferred to the saints. For they make them mediators and propitiators, and although they make a distinction between mediators of intercession and mediators [the Mediator] of redemption, yet they plainly make of the saints mediators of redemption. 15] But even that they are mediators of intercession they declare without the testimony of Scripture, which, be it said ever so reverently, nevertheless obscures Christ’s office, and transfers the confidence of mercy due Christ to the saints. For men imagine that Christ is more severe and the saints more easily appeased, and they trust rather to the mercy of the saints than to the mercy of Christ, and fleeing from Christ [as from a tyrant], they seek the saints. Thus they actually make of them mediators of redemption."


"This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 8.)

Emphasis added.

Depends on which BCP you use. In the US 1928 BCP, it’s a capital “C”. One reason, among several, why this is the book of choice for Anglo-Catholics.


Do Lutherans believe in saints?

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” - Ephesians 1:1-2 (KJV)

“Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.” - Acts 9:32 (NASB)

Given that Lutherans are Christians, I think it’s safe to say that the believe in saints. Wouldn’t you?

All born again believers in Christ are saints.
The word saint comes from the Greek word “hagios” which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." It is almost always used in the plural. Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the Biblical description and calling of the saints.
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: Acts 9:13.
And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda. Acts 9:32.
Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. Acts 26:10.
Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. Philippians 4:21.
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Romans 16:2.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:12.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Ephesians 5:3.
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: 1 Corinthians 1:2.

There is a liberal branch of Lutheranism. Tiller the Killer was excommunicated from the Lutheran Church as an unrepentant sinner, and simply went to a pro-abort liberal lutheran sect.

Luther isn’t really emphasised much in Lutheranism, but they use his catechism.

They even have Noah in the calendar. I wish we did :o (I forget which Lutherans these are…)

Come to think of it, GoG, do we have any Old Testament saints in our calendar. If not, that seems pretty strange doesn’t it?


Is calling a church after a Saint, Like “St. Paul Lutheran Church” isn’t it more of a devotional to the saint than an ackowleddgment of that saint?

The reason why I ask is that many of the Protestants faith, have said when they see a Catholic Church with the name of St. Micheal’s, or St. Rita’s and Yes even St. Pauls Catholic Church, they automatically say we have a devotion to that particular Saint, and not an ackowledgment.

But then again Catholic Church is always Judged the hardest/presecuted.


I think it’s done more out of respect than devotion. I’ve never heard any Lutheran pastor tell the people to pray to God through Saints, or wear charms depicting them.

I’ve been accused of persecuting the church simply by stating pro-aborts, and all people who willfully rebell against the RCC, should be publically excommunicated from Catholicism. If the people within the Church aren’t compelled to respect the authority and teachings, how do you minister to those on the outside?.

It is my understanding given what the Holy Father Benedict XVI, and most all the Bishops of America have said over the last year in if you take a position outside of the teaching of the Church you have Excommunicated yourself and are not to present yourself to receive the Eucharist until you have made a confession and a public recant of your stance. So that there would be not confusion On if you and the Church are in agreement.

So so sum up basically any of are public officials that have come out in support of Abortion ned to make a public confession stating they were wrong.