Here is an excerpt “From the office of WELS President Mark Schroeder” regarding the new COP resolution on doctrine and practice:
January 19, 2009 A.D.
The Conference of Presidents (COP) held its quarterly face-to-face meeting last week. Here’s a recap of the most important matters discussed.
- Doctrine and Practice
One of the most important roles of the COP is to oversee doctrine (what we believe and teach) and practice (what we do in applying our beliefs). When it met, the COP had a lengthy discussion about the importance of retaining our unity in both areas.
Some congregations, in a desire to reach as many people as possible with the gospel, have been considering some new and different approaches and methods, especially in the areas of worship and outreach. Cautions and concerns have been voiced about some of these trends. Expressing the commitment to maintain our synod’s faithfulness to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, the COP concluded that “the underpinnings of ‘non-traditional’ type of worship cannot be ignored” and that we need to be careful to “walk the ‘narrow Lutheran road’ between legalism—and ignoring and failing to admonish where practices are contrary to or dangerous to the principles of gospel proclamation and the efficacy of the means of grace.”
As a result of this concern, the COP resolved that “an ad hoc committee be convened in consultation with the [COP] doctrine committee that can . . . address this issue and produce a study document that can be shared with circuits and also congregations for study and careful evaluation of practices in worship, sacraments, outreach, organization, music selection, etc.”
Please continue to remember the members of the Conference of Presidents in your prayers. They are God-given leaders who have been entrusted with weighty responsibilities in helping our synod to carry out its mission and to remain faithful to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions.
Serving in Christ,
Any practice that runs contrary to the principles of gospel proclamation and the efficacy of the means of grace is a grave threat to our spiritual lives. In these difficult times, please pray also for President Schroeder, the entire WELS, and the one holy Christian and apostolic Church. We need God’s help.