The LCMS: In Christ, for the Church and the World.
Are you affiliated with a larger church body?
Yes! We are a member of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). If you would like to know more about our church body, the best place to start is the LCMS website, lcms.org. You can also follow the LCMS on facebook to see what we're putting out there.
With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God's Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
What does your church body believe?
Lutheran congregations are confessional. Our congregations believe the Lutheran Confessions are a correct interpretation and presentation of biblical teaching. Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were transcribed and shared broadly by church leaders during the 16th century.
That is to say - you don't have to guess what we believe. It's written down - and you can hold us to it.
Lutherans confess that, "The Word of God is and should remain the sole rule and norm of all doctrine". What the Bible asserts, God asserts. What the Bible commands, God commands. The authority of the Scriptures is complete, certain and final. The Scriptures are accepted by the Lutheran Confessions as the actual inspired and inerrant Word of God. The Lutheran Confessions urge us to believe the Scriptures for "they will not lie to you" and cannot be "false and deceitful". The Bible is God's "pure, infallible, and unalterable Word".
That is to say - we're clear that holy scripture is the word of God. Just like any other book or sermon, our confessions are only valid if they say what scripture says.
The Lutheran Confessions are then a "basis, rule, and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged" only because they are "in conformity with the Word of God". Because the Confessions only repeat the written Word of God in a new age and context, they serve as a touchstone for testing all teachings in our own context to see whether they are in line with the Bible. They do not replace the Scriptures. They point us back to the Scriptures more and more.
That is to say - we can judge new teaching by what is contained in our confessions, only because we agree they lay forth the teaching of holy scripture. In addition to showing how our teaching is founded on the words of Christ and His apostles, they show how these truths have been taught since the church fathers.
Contained within our confessions, Luther's Small Catechism contains essential summaries of our beliefs, while the Augsburg Confession gives more detail about what Lutherans believe. If you're interested, you can view a free online version of the Small Catechism, view a free online version of the Augsburg Confession, or obtain both in a wonderfully translated readers edition.