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 of 1517. Drawn from Scripture, the historic Lutheran creeds—especially the Augsburg Confession—make it clear that salvation is a gift of God’s grace for the sake of Jesus Christ, who paid the price—His life—for that gift. It is also clear that the Holy Spirit works repentance and kindles the faith through which one receives the blessings of salvation.
The foundation for such saving faith is the Bible, which is the Scripture that cannot be broken (John 10:35). Since “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) it is completely reliable. It is the only basis for faith and sanctified living. We believe that there is much to be learned from church history–the failures as well as the triumphs. One glaring failure has been the trend to displace the authority of Scripture through use of reason and the sciences. If people are to know and believe in the Savior, they must learn of Him from the one place where Jesus Christ is revealed. Hence our emphasis is on the teaching of the Word of God, the Bible. By the power of the Spirit of God, who works through the word of the Gospel, people are brought under the gracious rule of God, that is, into His kingdom.
Our teachings and practices are as narrow and as broad as the Scripture itself. The Bible does give freedom in form, encouraging that such freedom be exercised carefully, with love and concern for the brethren. The Bible requires, however, that we are to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). To this great commission our Savior added, significantly: “teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.” No more, no less. There is no liberty to tamper with His teachings!
Today there is common approval of alliances in pursuit of union, even at the expense of true Christian witness. Toleration is asked for outright denial even of such basic Biblical truths as the inerrancy of Scripture, the divine creation of the world, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the natural sinfulness of man, and the redemption through Christ alone.
Against this inclination we maintain that we are not at liberty to change a single teaching of Scripture. We further maintain that agreement in doctrine is necessary for God-pleasing organizational unity (1 Corinthians 1:10). We recognize that the Word of God given to the Apostles requires an avoidance of errorists (Romans 16:17). This command is given out of divine love for us, lest we should be led away from the Truth (v. 18). Yet we are anxious always to extend the hand of fellowship to individuals and groups under conditions of unity in the doctrines of Scripture.
A number of pastors and congregations could not in good conscience remain in fellowships in which there was doctrinal indifference and liberalism (defined in the church as modernism, disobedience to the Word, and plain unbelief). They felt constrained by the Word of God to make a confession to the world, and also to the world of Lutherans. Taking the name Church of the Lutheran Confession, they united in 1959 to maintain among themselves and for others the historic doctrine and confession of the Lutheran Reformation.
It is our earnest desire, by the grace of God, to be faithful to the Word, as well as to be found faithful in service as ready instruments of God’s ministering grace in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We recognize that many temptations and snares confront the way of orthodoxy—legalism, arrogance, formalism, exclusivism—to name a few. We plead with the Spirit of God to defend us against anything and everything that would destroy our witness to the manifold grace of God. We also beg that He empower us to be faithful stewards of His Word, proclaiming the Gospel with boldness to all people as we are given opportunity.