The General Lutheran Church was organized on March 9, 2014, when descendants of the former Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America and ministers from seven other Lutheran denominations* met to discuss the issues of grace, women's ordination, liturgy, and the Lutheran Confessions as expressed in their respective churches.
The outcome of these deliberations resulted in establishing a small successor to the General Synod Lutheran denomination of autonomous congregations that expanded Martin Luther's statement regarding the possibility of universal reconciliation into the adoption of a belief in the final harmony of all souls with God. We also base this belief on a number of New Testament scriptures, particularly,
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself. - - John 12:32; Everyone will see the salvation of God. - - Luke 3:6; and, Our hope is set on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially those who believe. - - 1 Timothy 4:10.
The deliberations also resulted in an endorsement of women's ordination and a compromise regarding liturgy: Each congregation will determine whether to conduct either a "low church" or "high church" worship service.
The Church traces its roots to the former Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America founded by Samuel Simon Schmucker and values the Lutheran Confessions as expressed in the Book of Concord, other works by Martin Luther, and the writings of Samuel Simon Schmucker as theological guides.
We therefore unapologetically confess our belief in the existence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; in Jesus Christ as our Lord who is the Savior of all; in the Bible as a sufficient guide for faith and practice; in the two Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion; in the final harmony of all souls with God; in the just retribution for sin; and, that there is a wideness in God's mercy, all of which are expressed in The Heidelberg Profession of Faith.
Each congregation and minister of the General Lutheran Church is free to interpret and apply the principles of the Lutheran Confessions as each feels led by the power of the Holy Spirit. Regarding the Book of Concord, we hold to the Quatenus rather than the Quia position but allow liberty of conscience on this issue. We also support the right and duty of private judgment in the interpretation of the Scriptures.
*Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches, Fellowship of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, Independent Lutheran Diocese, Lutheran Evangelical Ministries, Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Churches, Lutheran Orthodox Church, and Missionary Lutheran Church
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