Intrepid Lutherans does not exist to improve upon the Holy Scriptures or the Lutheran Confessions. To be sure, we would be glad simply to identify ourselves as “confessional Lutherans,” or more simply as “Christians,” and if there were no devil to trouble the Church of Christ, then perhaps we could leave it at that. But because the enemy of Christ’s Church is constantly seeking to introduce leaven into the Church’s batch of dough and so to corrupt the pure doctrine of Christ with his pleasant-sounding false doctrines, we find it necessary to further define what we mean by “confessional Lutheranism.”
- That the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ remains the chief article of the Christian faith and the doctrine on which the Church stands or falls (SA:II:I).
- That, in Lutheran preaching, the Gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ ("Christ for us") should be emphasized over the Third Use of the Law (as a guide for sanctified Christian living, “Christ in us”) (AC:XXVI:4).
- That the Means of Grace remains that alone through which the Holy Spirit works to create and sustain justifying faith (AC:V).
- That through the Means of Grace the Holy Spirit will gather all of the elect into Christ’s kingdom (FC:SD:XI:15-23).
- That, although the marks of the Church are seen on earth, the believing and elect members of Christ’s Holy Church are known only to God (AP:VII/VIII:5, 2 Tim. 2:19).
- We condemn as harmful to God’s people the substitution of Sanctification for Justification as the primary emphasis in Lutheran preaching.
- We reject as false the notion that any methods of man or “delivery system” for the Means of Grace can either help or hinder the success of the Means of Grace in saving the elect.
- We reject as harmful the promotion of innovation in ministry methods as if the Holy Spirit will be able to bring more souls to faith through such innovations, or as if fewer souls will be saved without them.
- We reject as false the notion that numerical growth in a church organization is an indicator of that church’s spiritual healthiness.
- We reject as false the notion that numerical decline in a church organization is an indicator of a that church’s spiritual unhealthiness.
- That “the ceremonies or church rites which are neither commanded nor forbidden in God's Word, but have been instituted alone for the sake of propriety and good order, are in and of themselves no divine worship, nor even a part of it” (FC:E:X:3).
- That “the congregation of God of every place and every time has the power, according to its circumstances, to change such ceremonies” (FC:E:X:4).
- That “to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. Nor is it necessary that human traditions, that is, rites or ceremonies, instituted by men, should be everywhere alike” (AC:VII).
- That traditional ceremonies "ought to be observed which may be observed without sin, and which are profitable unto tranquility and good order in the Church, as particular holy days, festivals, and the like" (AC:XV).
- That our freedom in matters not directly commanded or forbidden by God is not a license to do whatever one wishes, but rather it is a solemn responsibility from God to make choices that edify the whole Church of God (1 Cor. 14:26, FC:SD:X:9).
- That any use of our Christian freedom to introduce change into the Church must avoid all frivolity and offense (FC:E:X:5).
- That any use of our Christian freedom to introduce change into the Church must take our brothers into consideration and must not disrupt our unity as brothers (Eph. 4:3).
- That the true unity of the Church is injured and the doctrine of the Gospel is perverted by those who abandon the liturgy of the Church catholic in favor of sectarian forms that divide Christians into groups based on age, culture or personal preference (1 Cor. 1:10-13).
- That the true unity of the Church is injured and the doctrine of the Gospel is perverted by those who ape the enthusiastic, man-centered worship practices of the sects (2 Cor. 6:14, Mat. 7:16).
- That confessional Lutherans are the true heirs of the historic, ancient, orthodox Church, and members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and wish to be known as such (Nicene Creed; FC:SD:VIII:61).
- That the reverent celebration of the Communion service on the Lord’s Day belongs to the historic, catholic practice of the Church for the consolation of souls (AC:XXIV)
- We reject the sectarian spirit that seeks to abandon the historic liturgy of the Church in the name of “evangelism”.
- We reject the pietistic spirit that views the Sacrament as an offense or an obstacle to saving souls.
- That it is the duty of all Christians to see to it that those who claim to preach in the name of Christ are preaching the pure truth of Christ (1 Jn. 4:1, Acts 17:11).
- That it is the special duty of those called to be overseers in Christ’s Church to ensure that those who are subject to their oversight are maintaining confessional Lutheran doctrine and practice (Acts 20:28).
- That public sins of public servants in the Church are to be rebuked publicly (1 Tim. 5:20).
- We cannot tolerate the reluctance or refusal on the part of spiritual overseers to discipline those who depart from Scriptural and confessional Lutheran doctrine and practice.
We have with great consent subscribed our names, and attached also our seals
|Mr. Brian G. Heyer - Greenville, WI|
Mr. Douglas L. Lindee, Jr. - River Falls, WI
Rev. Paul A. Rydecki - Las Cruces, NM
Rev. Steven Spencer - Sierra Vista, AZ