The word "liturgy" simply means "order," and in that sense, every worship service has a "liturgy." Provided it avoids any of the pitfalls explored elsewhere in this resource, no single liturgy is inherently problematic or harmful. Even when those liturgies are strung together with song, story and Sacraments - forming religious traditions - it can be a powerful and sacred display of religiosity.

It is when a liturgy or tradition draws predominantly from the vocabulary of only one ethnic or cultural expression over another that it becomes problematic. For, at that point, people who are not from that cultural expression may experience the elements of liturgy as exclusive or injurious. This is why "Lutheran(ism)" is listed among the "isms" in this resource.

For a multitude of reasons, and centuries of missional history which will not be explored in depth here, Lutheranism as it is expressed in the United States is guilty of over-emphasizing the ethnic and cultural expression of one group of Lutherans more than others. In Church architecture, liturgical language, hymnals and even children's resources, northern European Lutheranism is far too often the primary palate from which these expressions are drawn.

Popular movements like "Decolonize Lutheranism" take on this issue directly, as does Lenny Duncan in his book Dear Church. What follows below is a working list of examples of this nuanced "ism," as well as alternatives to correct for it.