Why This Site?
A Letter From My Post, A.D. 2022
Helloooo! Is there anybody out there? From one watch stander on the frontier, from one lonely outpost of confessional Lutheranism, to the rest of the LCMS, are you out there? This is a call to find and unite with other confessional LCMS congregations and pastors. If you are like me, your phone does not ring that much with encouragement to keep fighting the good fight, and your congregation is not sought out as the model for church planting in the district. Were it not for my family, the faithful congregation members, and the few brother pastors who meet with me to translate the Sunday Scripture readings and to have lunch, I would be even lonelier out here on my post. I thank God for the shared confession and precious fellowship with them!
Praise God for his promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5), but how comforting also to know that there are many others "out there" - not a few! - who are contending for the faith in the same way! ("Resist [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world" (1 Pet. 5:9).)
It is not good to remain in isolation and to be unaware of other confessional Lutheran congregations. It is also distressing that so many LCMS Lutherans have to settle for heterodox teaching or weak practice when searching for a congregation in a new area. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, "Pastor, we can't find a church" . . . Nothing fancy or grand, just a solid, bold Lutheran confession, certainly nothing novel or frivolous. That's all that many want.
This website is for those who desire a confessional Lutheran congregation. It is not for those who would entertain leaving a faithful congregation for a larger church or for one that practices open communion or for a youth group that takes a ski trip every year. This site is for those who hold fast the good confession, love the pure doctrine, and gladly assemble wherever two or three are gathered for the Word rightly divided and the Sacraments administered according Christ's institution by a called pastor.
For parishioners who are considering a move to a new location, I pray that this site might help to inform your decision to relocate. Finding a church home should be the top priority. The chief need is a ministry of Word and Sacrament that supports and furthers the catechesis taught in your own household.
For pastors who are weary of holding the line on all temptations to compromise with the world, I pray that this site offers hope that there are others out there. You are not alone, and you do not labor in vain.
For the pastors who are trying to move their congregations in a confessional direction through patient and faithful teaching, I pray that this site shows your members that there is a hungering and a thirsting for confessional Lutheranism. Please use this site and the criteria listed for confessional congregations in order to support your teaching and the practices you are trying to institute.
For congregation members who would like to help their pastor move away from unsound practices, worship fads, and heterodox Bible study and catechesis materials, please use this site to show him what you desire and need in your congregation.
I chose criteria for what I think are essential to be a "confessional" Lutheran congregation. While this may be criticized as requiring things in addition to the formal definition of holding the Confessions of the Book of Concord to be a faithful exposition of Holy Scripture, I believe the criteria are a "working out," or evidence, of an unconditional subscription to the Book of Concord. If, though, you disagree with the criteria I have chosen, then please set up your own site on the very wide World Wide Web. However, it is my hope and prayer that we may share this site and come together in agreement on the basics of what Lutherans should expect and find in their beloved congregations.
There are other ways that confessional Lutheran congregations may be identified. One way is by word of mouth. Another is through being listed as a supporter of Lutheran programming on the internet. There is a site that identifies congregations using the historic liturgy. There are groups that congregations can join by means of a voters' assembly resolution. This site is simply intended to offer a written set of standards for what is good, right, and salutary in the parish, and to acknowledge what faithful congregations are already doing.
Please consider whether you would like to apply for a listing. Please include this site as a link on your own church website. My hope is for your congregation to increasingly gain a reputation for being a full-up Lutheran Church with no foolishness (save the cross!). And if all the LCMS congregations in your area are also listed on this site, how much better to be part of a strong enclave of historic Lutheranism!
Let us not twist in the wind on the prairie or languish in isolation even in the city. The Lord unite us and care for us through fellowship with one another as we continue to man our outposts.
"For we are all one bread and one body, even as we are all partakers of this one bread and drink from the one cup. For just as the one cup is filled with wine of many grapes and one bread made from countless grains, so also we, being many, are one body in Christ. Because of Him, we love one another, not only in word, but in deed and truth" (LSB, Corporate Confession and Absolution, p. 291).
- S.D.G. -