Like Lutheranism in general, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is experiencing a divergence in teaching and practice. Many
find that they want classical Lutheran Church teaching and practice but aren't sure where to find it. You can find it
at Gloria Christi. It may not be exactly as you knew it at your home church growing up, but we are seeking to keep continuity
with the Church of the Augsburg Confession and the historic liturgy of the Lutheran Church as it has been known in the better
times of Lutheran history. On this page you'll find some resources for thinking through the issues in Lutheranism and the
2 Timothy 1:13-14
"...because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers." 2 Tim. 4:3
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Gloria Christi is a traditional Lutheran church. We stand
out from many other Lutheran churches in that we still follow the historic Lutheran liturgy with reverence and joy in God's
presence. We hold the Bible to be the inspired, errorless, Word of God, that is also powerful its it proclamation to
others. We hold to the Catechism and the other Lutheran Confessions as faithful summaries and applications of God's Word
and that they are therefore normative for our teaching and practice. We recognize that the Church is in the world, but
not of the world, yet while each of us serves God faithfully in our various daily callings (stations) in life (not only in
"church work"). We seek to address the modern, cutting-edge, issues of the day, with the unchanging truth of God's Word
and the historic creeds and confessions of the Church.
We certainly acknowledge that
there will be no outwardly perfect church body or synod on this side of heaven. We do not believe the Book of Concordmerely represents "what we as Lutherans believe" nor what Lutherans at one time believed. We believe them to be a faithful
articulation and confession of belief and practice which is both entirely evangelical and catholic in the best and original
senses of both terms. In the sound confession of Christ the Holy
Spirit, calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps her with Jesus Christ in the
one true faith. No additions of man can improve upon the Word of God or make it more effective.
Concern for sound doctrine is
not merely a matter of being “conservative” or “liberal” (as if doctrine is on a sliding scale) or
about the purity of a political ideology. It is about truth versus falsehood, orthodoxy vs. heterodoxy, what creates and nurtures
faith versus what destroys faith and grounds it in a false object. It is about nutritional food for the soul vs. no nutrition
or even poison. Jesus warned about the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees? How little leaven (yeast) can radically
change a lump of dough? Even the Great Commission instructs us to teach “all things” Jesus has commanded. Therefore
we cannot pit doctrine and missions (or evangelism) against one another. Evangelism, then, is something deeper and more profound
than "recruitment" or "attracting visitors."
Even though the Church is scattered throughout the whole world, it
is One in Christ Jesus. It exists where the Word of God is taught in truth and purity and where the Sacraments are administered
according to Christ's institution. Confessional Lutheranism understands itself as historic Christian faith and
life, nothing less, nothing more. As the centuries of church history have moved along, various questions have arisen. The
Lutheran Confessions are a set of documents that set forth Biblical answers to those questions. This is why we seek to
hold course rather go the route of generic protestantism as many have unfortunately gone. There are many others, too,
who seek to hold to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Many of them are listed here.)
2. Worship Practices - Whether faithful Lutherans adopt the worship practices of Baptists, Assemblies
of God, or other protestants without harm, danger or watering-down of teaching. Whether all "Christian music" or even
secular music suitable for the context of the church's liturgy
Gloria Christi holds that we may not import the ceremonies, songs, and practices of non-Lutheran church bodies where
they would undermine sound doctrine and practice and give the impression our confession does not differ much from other church
bodies or confessions. We believe that music for the Divine Services of the church should remain distinct from the music
of the world and avoid secular or emotionalistic connotations and that the words should not only teach the truth, but also
that they are Christ-centered rightly applying law and gospel. We believe that the Scriptures do not leave reverence
as an optional thing in liturgy.
3. The service of women in certain church tasks (elder, lector, communion distribution assistant,
president/chair, adult Bible class leader).
In accordance with the teaching of Scripture and our Lutheran Confessions on the order of creation and vocation,
Gloria Christi holds that women may serve in various capacities in the church except those that directly and public assist
the office of pastor by the Word and Sacraments, that are responsible for oversight of doctrine, or such that would comprise
teaching or authority in the church assemblies over adult men.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2; I Corinthians 14:32-38; 1 Timothy 4:13;
4. Whether a layman take up the duties of the pastoral office without
call and ordination.
We believe in accordance with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions that no one should publicly preach or administer
the sacraments without being rightly called to the office of the holy ministry.
5. Whether the Word of God is powerful and effective to grow the Church and keep her one, holy, and
apostolic, or whether man-made additions in the realm of marketing, entertainment, and such things are necessary to be "successful."
We believe in accordance with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions that the Word of God is sufficient to bring
growth to the church and keep her one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Turning the Divine Service into entertainment,
a concert, and making the church function like a business franchise is contrary to sound Scriptural teaching regarding the
Gospel and the Church. It is contrary to the New Testament to pit missionary zeal against concern for sound teaching
and reverence. Disciples are made by baptizing and teaching all things that the Lord has given. We recall
that the Lord fished with a net and not a hook and bait. Witnessing chiefly happens when each member of the congregation
lives faithfully in word and deed in their various vocations in life. If we would not speak God's Word to our
neighbor in our daily life, why would we expect them to come to church with us?
There are other issues at stake that all impinge upon the Gospel of Christ. But this are the larger issues at the
forefront of the LCMS. In the ELCA there are even more basic issues at stake. We cannot imagine that we are immune
from the temptations of the devil, the world, and our own flesh, even as we have seen terrible things happen in other church
bodies. We cannot afford to trust in personalities, nostalgia, "Lutheran culture," or just avoiding the critical
issues and hard study of God's Word and our Lutheran Confessions. Otherwise we would be left as a body without an immune
system. A body with no fight is without an immune system.
And so we contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints for the sake of the Gospel (Jude 3).
Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word!
Want to learn real Lutheran doctrine and practice?
Click here to order the Book of Concord - the Lutheran Confessions of 1580!
1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy,
we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking
in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s
conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead
at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season
and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have
itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their
ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful
in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can
understand it?” 61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained
about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62What then if
you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who
gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were
who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore
I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the
living God.” John 6:60-69
Helpful Presentations for Lutherans who see Lutheran congregations
becoming generic protestant or charismatic