WELS is in fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) and is a member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), a worldwide organization of Lutheran church bodies of the same beliefs.
The WELS subscribes to the Lutheran Reformation teaching of Sola scriptura—"Scripture alone." It holds that the Bible is the final authority by which church teachings can be judged.
They discussed various points of doctrine, writing an agreement recognizing the Missouri and Wisconsin synods as orthodox Lutheran church bodies and that they have pulpit and altar fellowship together.
They wrote the constitution to the Synodical Conference, which arranged the synods together as a federation and did not vest any real authority with the Synodical Conference, either at the convention or board level.Many of the early pastors were educated and trained by mission societies in Germany.The early churches in the Wisconsin Synod had a strong German background; services and church business were conducted in German.The 1868 convention witnessed a meaningful discussion on the topic of pulpit and altar fellowship, one of the Four Points in American Lutheranism.Although there were several dissenting opinions, most of the pastors and lay delegates realized that they could not in good conscience exchange pastors with non-Lutherans or invite them to commune at their altar.
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It also holds that the Bible is explained and interpreted by the 16th century Book of Concord because it teaches and faithfully explains the Word of God.As such, pastors and congregations within the WELS agree to teach in accordance with it.Furthermore, we rejoice that even in the Roman Catholic Church, where we believe that the gospel has been distorted, there are many Catholics who hold to a simple faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who will ultimately be saved. Testifying to the errors that still exist in Catholic doctrine is itself an expression of love; remaining silent or glossing over doctrinal differences would express the opposite." The WELS's direct predecessor, known as The German Evangelical Ministerium of Wisconsin was founded in 1850 by several churches in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin.They felt that the position the General Council took on this subject was inadequate.
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They resolved that, unless it changed course, they would withdraw from the General Council.
FEATURED: Solomon seems a bit confused when it comes to work.
In one breath he says it’s pointless; in the next he says it’s something we should find deep meaning in.
In the synod convention of 1867, the synod joined the General Council, a group of Neolutheran synods that left the General Synod because it sought to compromise Lutheran doctrine in order to join with non-Lutheran American Protestantism.
However, some pastors in the Wisconsin Synod agreed with the "open questions" position of the Iowa Synod that some doctrines could be left unresolved and good Lutherans could agree to disagree about them.