Lutherans share a common faith with other Christians. We accept the Bible as the true source of Christian love, guidance and doctrine. We also accept the same ancient creeds. BUT...Lutherans proclaim God's message by emphasizing justification by faith, teaching that a person is not to live according to a formula of do's and don'ts, but in the freedom of Christian love and not confusing law and gospel.
It's part of the Christian church, a means through which the Holy Spirit works to help Christians grow in grace. Lutheranism had its beginnings in 1517 when Martin Luther publically called for the correction of errors in the medieval church. Luther was pastor, professor, author, composer of hymns, and reformer. His ideas still stimulate new thinking in the church. He is Respected but Not Worshiped.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of 2013, it had 3,863,133 baptized members.