Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back from convention...renewed, but need breaks!

I'm back from convention and I had a good time. There was information overload, little time to hang out with others, and I don't want to see a resolution for quite some time.
Yet, it was empowering to see over 300 people committed to the ministry of the Gospel. It was great to hear wonderful preachers and Bible Study leaders. And to see the consistency of sound doctrinal understanding was amazing.
Coming from an ELCA college, I was bombarded with inconsistent theology and confusion to abound. What a breathe of fresh air to be among others who share so many common theological beliefs. We all probably need to remind our congregations of those beliefs, which is why our church is working on a rough draft of current beliefs to use as a foundation for ministry, leadership, and mission. Here is the format:
The fellowship of St. John Lutheran Church, North Prairie, WI believe, teach and confess that
+All mankind is sinful from conception (Ps. 51:5) and unable to reconcile themselves to God by any human efforts (Eph. 2:1; Rom. 3:9-18).
+ All mankind is saved only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ who has atoned for all sins on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9)
+Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the only Savior of the world, as it is written, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
+The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament are the inspired, inerrant, infallible written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice.
+The waters of Holy Baptism work forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation who receive this mark in the name of the Triune God (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38)
+The body and blood is truly present in, with, and under the bread and wine in the Sacrament of the Altar. This Sacrament brings forgiveness, life, and salvation to all who faithfully partake. We also affirm that in order to partake in this Sacrament one must be baptized, able to examine themself, and share in a common confession (Matthew 26:28, Acts 2:42)
+All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (the Lutheran Confessions) are a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.
+There is only one God – the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – “one God in three persons and three persons in one God.”
+ God created the world in six 24-hour days.
+ The stories of creation, the flood, Moses, Jonah, and all figures described in Holy Scripture were real historical events and people.
+ God created the institution of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:2-24; Matthew 19:5-6)
+ Homosexual behavior, sexual acts outside of marriage, and living together outside of marriage is intrinsically sinful and counter the will of God (Romans 1:24–27; I Corinthians 6:9-20; I Timothy 1:10). We lovingly respond to such behavior with the same love and concern as all other sins, calling for repentance and offering forgiveness in the Good News of Jesus Christ when repentance occurs.
+ We uphold the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:4).
+ We believe that Jesus shall return one day visibly and bodily to judge all people. Those who believe in Jesus will live forever, while unbelievers will be condemned to an eternity in damnation (Mk. 13:26; Jn. 5:27-29).

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