Back to Basics – The conditions of congregational membership in the LCMS

From the original constitution of the LCMS.

II. Conditions under which a congregation may join Synod and remain a member.

1. Acceptance of Holy Scripture, both the Old and the New Testament, as the written word of God and as the only rule and norm of faith and life.

2. Acceptance of all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (these are the, three Ecumenical Symbols, the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Large and the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord) as the pure and unadulterated explanation and presentation of the Word of God.

3. Separation from all commixture of Church or faith, as, for example, serving of mixed congregations by a servant of the Church; taking part in the service and Sacraments of heretical or mixed congregations; taking part in any heretical tract distribution and mission projects, etc.

4. The exclusive use of doctrinally pure church books and schoolbooks. (Agenda, hymnals, readers, etc.) If it is impossible in some congregations to replace immediately the unorthodox hymnals and the like with orthodox ones, then the pastor of such a congregation can become a member of Synod only if he promises to use the unorthodox hymnal only under open protest and to strive in all seriousness for the introduction of an orthodox hymnal.

5. Proper (not temporary) calling of the pastors and orderly election of congregational delegates by the congregation. The life of both minister and delegate must be beyond reproof.

6. Provision of a Christian education for the children of the congregations.

7. Exclusive use of the German language in the synodical conventions. Only guests may use a different language if they cannot speak German.

8. Strangers cannot become members of Synod unless they can prove themselves to be thoroughly, orthodox in respect to doctrine and, life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.