|Church of the Lutheran Confession Introduction
THE CHURCH OF THE LUTHERAN CONFESSION
The Church of the Lutheran Confession aims to be what its name implies
-- a church that continues to uphold the scriptural teachings and Christian
values which God restored through the Lutheran Reformation some 450 years
The historic Lutheran creeds, especially the Augsburg Confession, make
it clear that salvation is a gift of God's grace, that Jesus Christ paid
the full price - His life - for that gift, and that the Holy Spirit works
repentance and kindles the faith through which one receives the blessing
The foundation for such saving faith is the Bible, which is the Scripture
that cannot be broken. Since "all Scripture is given by inspiration
of God," it is completely reliable. It is the only safe basis for faith
and true guide for living.
We believe that there is much to be learned from church history; the failures
as well as the triumphs. One glaring failure is the growing tendency to
put reason and its sciences into the proper place of the Scriptures. Philosophy,
psychology, and sociology have their place in analyzing the problems of
men. They do show the crying need for God's healing Word with its Savior
from sin. But they do not offer that solution. If people are to accept
this Savior, they must learn about Him. Hence our general emphasis on the
teaching of the Word of God, the Bible.
We believe that the Kingdom of God is essentially the gracious rule of
God in heart and life. Men grow by the light which the Holy Spirit
gives through the Word.
Our teachings and practices are as narrow and as broad as the Scriptures
themselves. The Bible does not require a certain form of church service,
nor a particular type of music, nor any specific kind of church building.
The Bible does specify what we are to teach "all nations." To His great
commission our Savior added, significantly: "Teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you." There is no liberty to tamper
with His teachings.
There is common approval of alliances
being fashioned today in pursuit of unity; even when such are made at the
expense of the Christian witness. Toleration is asked even for outright
denial of such basic Biblical teaching as the deity of Christ, the virgin
birth, the natural sinfulness of man, and redemption through Christ alone.
In opposition to this trend we maintain that unity of doctrine is necessary
for a God-pleasing organizational unity and fellowship, since the Apostolic
Word requires an avoidance of errorists. Yet we are anxious always
to extend the hand of fellowship to individuals and groups under conditions
of harmony in the doctrine of Scripture.
A number of pastors and congregations that
could not in good conscience take part in the trend toward laxity and liberalism
(defined in the church as modernism, disobedience to the Word, and plain
unbelief) felt that they must make this confession to the world, and also
to the world of Lutherans. Taking the name Church of the Lutheran
Confession, they banded together in 1959 to maintain the historic doctrine
and confession of the Lutheran Reformation.
Many are the pitfalls in the way of orthodoxy. Legalism, rigorism,
formalism, exclusivism and arrogance are only some of the temptations which
beset especially those who are concerned about true teaching of the Gospel.
Against them we implore the life of the Spirit, desiring to be faithful
in service as ready instruments of God's ministering grace in Christ Jesus
our Lord, even as we stand fast in the faithful Word as we have been taught