Where Have We Been?
Where Are We Going?
” . . . In order to understand the reason for the formation of such a church body as the CLC and in order to be taking into account the Lord’s leading in the gathering of these confessional Christians, it will be necessary as well as salutary to study the story behind the story of the formal organization of the church body. This was not the culmination of a mass movement with the emotional overtones which often characterize people who join as followers of a cause which they often neither understand nor fully comprehend. It was a coming together of people and congregations that had come to their own individual convictions based on Scripture which moved them by God’s grace to take a stand which ultimately had led to a severance of former affiliations with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. While some say that it was a wrong and separatistic spirit that caused the break; while others say that it was caused by men who had not been able to satisfy their ambitious spirits in their former church fellowship, witness is hereby borne to the fact that deviation from doctrine was the issue–specifically the doctrine of Church Fellowship. Indeed in the midst of the church bodies from which we separated, arguments were raised and official statements were made in defense of carrying on at least a measure of church fellowship with a body which had shown itself to be causing divisions and offenses contrary to God’s Word. It was recognized that such a stand would be in violation of and in disobedience to such passages of God’s Word as Romans 16:17,18. When it was recognized that the error was not just an incidental lapse but the firm stand of the bodies to which they belonged, then people and congregations here and there realized that this was a leaven which would work untold harm as time moved on. To them it was not just a matter of timing or of personal judgment but a matter of obedience to God’s Word to give their final admonition not by staying and being contaminated with the error but by severing fellowship in accordance with such passages as Romans 16:17,18 and II John 10:11.”
–from the 1978 essay ‘A HISTORY OF THE CLC‘ (Prof. C. M. Gullerud)