Statement of Faith
Since Global Lutheran Outreach serves Lutherans around the world who belong to different church bodies, the following statement of faith establishes a common doctrinal basis for the collaborations among the global Lutheran missionaries and the churches and ministries who send and support them.
Global Lutheran Outreach's Statement of Faith
1. We believe that there is only one God, the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18-19; Isaiah 40:13; John 10:30)
2. We believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all people, and that Jesus Christ alone is the only means of salvation. By God’s grace alone, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven is freely given to all who have faith in Him. By the same token, all who die without faith in Christ are destined for an eternity in Hell. (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).
3. We believe that all the words of the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired and inerrant Word of God (plenary inspiration), and the sole authoritative source and norm for our faith, life, and practice. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
4. We believe that all people are born in sin (original sin), and therefore are in need of Christ’s forgiveness for their salvation. Further, we admit our own sinfulness before God (sins of commission and of omission), and stand in daily need of repentance and forgiveness, which God freely offers to all who believe in Jesus Christ. (Rom. 3:23; I John 1:8-10).
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, was born of the virgin Mary, suffered and died on a cross, rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven, and will come again as the “first born of all believers” to raise up to eternal life all those who believe in Him.
6. We believe that God has given to His Church the blessing of baptism, in which through the water and the Word the Holy Spirit imparts forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ to those who are baptized. Therefore, we affirm that God operates effectively in baptism (immersion, pouring or sprinkling) of infants, children, youth, and adults.
7. We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ, and that the diversity of gifts given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit are to be used for building up the Body of Christ. (I Peter 4:10)
8. We believe that God instituted for the Church the sacrament of Holy Communion, in which the real, physical body and blood of Jesus Christ is given together in, with, and under the bread and the wine, imparting the spiritual blessings of forgiveness, strengthening, and renewal to those who receive it in faith.
9. We believe that God’s mission is to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The Church, as the Body of Christ, is God’s instrument for accomplishing His mission (Mt. 28:18-20).We believe that all Christians are witnesses of Jesus Christ to the whole world. (Acts 1:8)
10. We believe in the power of prayer. (Ephesians 6:18)
11. As Lutherans, we believe the collection of Lutheran confessional writings contained in the Book of Concord to be a true and accurate expression of the teachings of the Bible, normative for our teaching and practice.
In addition, GLO has adopted the following position statements regarding some prominent issues confronting churches today, in order to guide cooperation with Lutherans churches and members around the world.
Statement on the Ordination of Women to the Office of Public Ministry (Pastoral Office)
We recognize that there is much diversity in the manifestations of Lutheran conviction and expression as found in Lutheran church bodies, congregations, and individuals around the world. Unfortunately, not all Lutherans are in agreement with all matters of faith and practice. As an independent Lutheran organization, our position is that Scripture speaks against the ordination of women into the Office of Public Ministry (pastoral office). At the same time, we recognize that many in the worldwide Lutheran fellowship have a different understanding of Scripture on this point, and we anticipate working with Lutheran church bodies who differ with us on this issue. Global Lutheran Outreach will not facilitate the missionary service of ordained women who will be exercising or who intend to exercise the distinctive functions of the pastoral office (preaching the Word in regular public worship or administration of the Sacraments) during their missionary service.
Statement on Homosexuality
We recognize that there is much diversity in the manifestations of Lutheran conviction and expression as found in Lutheran church bodies, congregations, and individuals around the world. Unfortunately, not all Lutherans are in agreement with all matters of faith and practice. As an independent Lutheran organization, our position is that Scripture regards homosexual practice as sinful in clear and unambiguous terms. At the same time, we recognize that homosexual activity is one sin, neither above nor below other sins such as dishonesty, adultery, selfishness, greed, anger, hate, injustice, and many others that could be listed (I Cor. 6:9-11). We recognize that many in the worldwide Lutheran fellowship have a different understanding of Scripture on this point. We believe that any Christian who is living a lifestyle of open and unrepentant sin (whatever that sin may be) is not qualified for missionary service. We consider one who is practicing a homosexual lifestyle (i.e., engaging in homosexual activity) to be living in open and unrepentant sin, and therefore is not a candidate for missionary service through our organization.