Yesterday in class we discussed sect-to-church transitions, including sect break-off formation. Though we discussed why this cycle is not a natural evolution for all religious groups, we also discussed how some religious groups do follow such a trajectory.
Well, some big news broke yesterday: a coalition of Lutherans upset with the direction the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) has taken has decided to break-off and form their own religious group. Here is the write-up from the Washington Times. They are breaking off for similar reasons why a similar split is occurring in the Episcopal Church: disagreement over interpretation of scripture and Church policy. As we discussed in class, those unhappy with the direction of the Church break off to form a new group that better matches what they consider to be the more original and true teachings.
Such splits happen periodically but not everyday events, so we are witnessing American religious history in the making.