Thrivent members vote to open membership to all Christians

A record number of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans members have voted to extend Thrivent’s common bond, allowing the 111-year-old fraternal benefit society to serve all Christians — not just Lutherans.

thrivent

The number of members who voted — almost 425,000 — is more than twice the number who usually participate in membership votes, according to Thrivent. Of the votes cast during the March 1-April 30 timeframe, 72 percent were in favor of revising the organization’s articles of incorporation to change the common bond.

“Thank you to the many members who participated in this process, demonstrated their role as member-owners and had a voice in the decision,” said Brad Hewitt, president and CEO of Thrivent. “This vote will allow us to strengthen our mission of helping more Christians be wise with money and live generously. Working together, we’ll be able to serve more people, meet more needs and strengthen more Christian communities.”

Acknowledging that “our benefit members are our owners so they get to make these important decisions,” Hewitt said the organization is “looking at this from a long-term perspective and changes will be gradual.

“Over the short and the long term, one thing remains the same though: our commitment to serving Lutherans and strengthening the Lutheran community remains as strong as ever,” he said. “We value our Lutheran members and our heritage and that will never change — even as we move forward in a new chapter for the organization.”

For more information about Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, visit its website at thrivent.com.

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5 Responses to Thrivent members vote to open membership to all Christians

  1. Michael June 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Thrivent stopped being a Lutheran organization a long, long time ago. Ever since it became “Thrivent” it has become indistinguishable from any other secular oriented insurance company. After 30 years of being associated with Thrivent, I dropped them.

  2. Lori Moses June 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Thrivent’s definition of Christian is anyone who confesses the Apostles Creed. I am curious to hear the LCMS definition of Christian and how it compares. There are several large religious groups in the USA that confess the Apostles Creed, but do not believe that their salvation comes through Christ alone if at all. Also it has not been explained how they will continue to support Lutheran ministries, the support of which has already been scaled back in recent years, and expand to other ministries at the same time. No matter how I look at it I do not see this as a positive thing for Lutherans. I predict that the name “Lutheran” will be dropped entirely in the very near future.

  3. Ronald and Kathleen Kabitzke June 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    When the new name and logo appeared with ‘Thrivent Financial’ large and bold, and ‘for Lutherans’ being light face and much smaller we knew that the ‘Lutheran’ part would not last a decade. Our church even asked the AAL/LB members to vote against the name change, knowing what was going to happen in the future.
    Here in Washington County, North, Wisconsin, ELCA pretty much controls the chapter. The first item that was funded was a non-denominational missionary in Chicago. His sister was married to the chapter President. If it’s a Lutheran cause, it’s was hard to get funding. The excuse is that this is “community money” and that the churches get their own funds.
    I’ve got three of five policies switched to another company with lower premiums and higher coverage. The last two will be done this week.
    Lutherans built Thrivent. It’s das to see that an LCMS member, Brad Hewitt, helped tear it down.
    We now call it Thrivent Financial for Heathens.

    • Robert Eckelman June 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      I could have predicted the way the vote went on approving all who confess themselves to be Christian to be allowed to become Thrivent members. I talked to a representative of Thrivent on the phone a month ago, before the vote was taken and asked what sort of verification there would be to determine that the person desiring to join Thrivent is a Christian. The stock phrase; that they must confess the Apostles Creed. Like that works.
      Jesus Himself said; “Not everyone who says unto Me,Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” This whole move was to enlarge the membership in Thrivent and raise the financial base of the Insurance Company.
      I took my investments out of Thrivent when it switched, to the new emphasis and also no longer provided representation to the membership of our congregation. I think the whole Thrivent program has gone down since its inception. Our local chapt. provides little support or cooperation. There isn’t near the fellowship and closeness that was there when it was the AAL.
      There is no way that you will be serving Christians in this new venture just because they say they confess their faith in the Apostles Creed,.

  4. Marla June 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    I am very disappointed in this vote.
    Just because “the World” takes up a cause, or pushes for some kind of “acceptance” or a “diversity” does not mean that these things are right in the eyes of God.
    In fact, this solidifies the fact that Lutheranism is going the way of just about every other mainline denomination – and that is so very sad.
    Will be looking for another home for my retirement funds.

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