Difference Between Lutheran and Christian | Lutheran vs Christian

Key Difference – Lutheran vs Christian 


Christianity is one of the most important religions of the world with more than 2 billion followers spread in all parts of the world. It is a religion that is based upon the premise of Jesus Christ being the son of God and his sacrifice for the redemption or salvation of the mankind. While the majority of Christians are members of the Roman Catholic Church, there are many other churches and denominations in Christianity. One such church is the Lutheran Church that has similarities with the Roman Catholic Church but still exists as a separate denomination within the fold of Christianity. There are differences in beliefs and doctrines as well as practices between an ordinary Christian and a Lutheran that will be talked about in this article.

Who is a Lutheran?

A Lutheran is a Christian who believes in the teachings of Martin Luther, a German monk who worked to reform the church from within but was driven out of the Church. In 1521, Martin Luther pinned his 95 Theses to reform the church from within as he felt that many of the practices and dogma such as the practice of indulgence were inconsistent with the Holy Bible. As expected, he was vehemently opposed by the church and the clergy. This forced his followers to set up their own Church later on that came to be known as Lutheran Church. Martin Luther is considered as the father of the reformist movement in Christianity and the first Lutherans are believed to be the oldest of all Protestants.

Difference Between Lutheran and Christian | Lutheran vs Christian


Who is a Christian?

When we talk in terms of Christian alone without any suffixes or prefixes, we mean a person who is a follower of Roman Catholic Church and believes in Papal supremacy or authority. There are more than a billion people who can be termed Christian as per this definition which constitutes a vast majority of people professing Christianity though having different denominations and churches. A Roman catholic does not recognize other denominations and considers only Roman Catholic Church as the true Church of Jesus Christ.

If you are a Roman Catholic, you believe that Roman Catholic Church is the only true church that was founded by Jesus Christ himself and that Pope is the successor of Saint Peter. A Christian in this sense is also a believer of the principle of Trinity with the existence of God the father, God the son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The relation between these three can be understood by looking at The Shield of Trinity.

A catholic Christian differs from all others in the sense that he identifies Pope as the authority to decipher scriptures and a link between God and the faithful. Papal primacy is the distinguishing feature of Christianity in the narrow sense of the term.

Difference Between Lutheran and Christian | Lutheran vs Christian

What is the difference between Lutheran and Christian?

Definitions of Lutheran and Christian:

Lutheran: A Lutheran is a Christian who believes in the teachings of Martin Luther.

Christian: A christian is a person who is a follower of Roman Catholic Church and believes in Papal supremacy or authority.

Characteristics of Lutheran and Christian:


Lutheran: A Lutheran is as much a Christian as a Catholic Christian.

Christian: Catholics consider themselves to be true Christians.


Lutheran: Lutheran is a separate Church or denomination within the fold of Christianity.

Christian: This captures all the branches such as Lutherans.


Image Courtesy:

1. First Lutheran Church in Louisville By Nyttend (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2. “StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass GoodShepherd Portrait” by Stained glass: Alfred Handel, d. 1946[2], photo:Toby Hudson – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Commons

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