On the road today so just a brief note, mostly for myself. Why are Missouri Synod Lutherans (LCMS) categorized in most contemporary religious traditions schemes as Evangelical Protestants? I was raised and confirmed in the LCMS but left the church in college, first to become a Catholic and then, more recently, an Episcopalian. Based on that list, you might guess that I'm really into ritual. When one imagines an Evangelical worship service, the LCMS-style ritualism isn't likely what comes to mind. For me, the stereotypical Evangelical service looks charismatic, non-demonimational, and contemporary, three words that do not describe the LCMS. It certainly is a conservative religion like most Evangelical congregations, but in terms of liturgy, it has much more in common with Catholicism and Mainline Protestantism. So, should our religious taxonomy (i.e. systematic understanding of belonging) focus more on beliefs or behaviors because they can sometimes be contradictory? More on this later.
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