Statement of Faith Biblical Foundation and Beliefs
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, confess the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.1
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.2
Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation;
The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ; and
The Holy Scriptures are the norm for the faith and life of the Church. The Holy Scriptures are the divinely inspired record of God's redemptive act in Christ, for which the Old Testament prepared the way and which the New Testament proclaims. In the continuation of this proclamation in the Church, God still speaks through the Holy Scriptures and realizes His redemptive purposes generation after generation. (Christ Hamilton constitution)
The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world. (ELCA Constitution)3
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life. 4
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, accept the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of our congregation.5
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, accept the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Book of Concord and its confessional writings, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord (documents of the Reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century) as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.6 We confess the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scripture and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
We, the people of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, believe it is vitally important to maintain a complete and balanced view of Scripture, freely allowing God to speak to us through both the Old and New Testaments as they each reveal law and grace and recognize that only together they are the complete, revealed Word of God.7
Matthew 5:17-18 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
We recognize that many of the views held by society today are at variance with the Bible and historic Christianity, its traditions and beliefs. We struggle with the all too willing society in which we live to accept the latest study or psychology that fits the times rather than God’s eternal Word. 8 Given our human frailties, we are instructed and cautioned by the Word of God:
Mark 7: 7 – 8 "They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Romans 1:25 "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen."
As human beings, we are tempted to change the biblical message to accommodate our own ideas, wants and needs. Some people have the idea that biblical writers would have changed their message based on current positions or studies. This belief denies God's power; He is perfectly able to direct those through whom He proclaimed His Word to write eternal truths that apply to all ages (See2 Timothy 3:16-17, Isaiah 40:8 above). Another modern day tendency is to first decide what one wants to believe and then attempt to make Scripture support such a position. The admonition of Scripture, as stated in Proverbs, is a powerful reminder of the consequences of turning the process around.9
Proverbs 30:5-6 "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and. prove you a liar."
A major promise of Christian life is that all people must allow God to form them into His image in order for them to glorify Him. Scripture tells us that we need to be conformed to His image rather than us attempting to conform Him to ours, which is idolatry.10
Isaiah 29:16 "You turn things upside down as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing'"?
Isaiah 64:8 "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."
Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Christians further believe and understand that all sins are equal in God’s eyes and we know that all of us are sinners and deserve to be judged guilty by Gods righteous standards.11
Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Mark 7:20-23 "He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
Just as Jesus made no distinction between the various, sinful acts listed above, we find no basis in Scripture for minimizing or exempting anything God has called sin.12
After prayer, careful study, discussion and deliberation, we affirm that the basis for evaluating all contemporary societal issues is our Biblical Foundation and Beliefs. It is upon that foundation that we affirm our beliefs in the context of contemporary societal issues.
We as a congregation hold to the view that the model of creation is male and female and marriage is between one man and one woman. We also wish to recognize and welcome individuals who hold differing views. Our desire is to remain accepting of all God’s children and to remain faithful to our Savior Jesus Christ.
It is important for the unity of our congregation that we do not allow differing viewpoints to physically and emotionally separate us from God or from each other. Therefore, we unify around the two most important commandments given to us by our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ. We will love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. We will also love our neighbors as we love ourselves. All who seek to honor God are welcome in His house!
1.. Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 2.. Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 3.. Constitution of Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church and Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 4.. Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 5.. Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 6.. Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 7.. http://www.churchmoraldebate.com/congfd/ualc.htm 8.. http://www.ualc.org 9.. http://www.ualc.org 10.. http://www.ualc.org 11.. http://www.ualc.org 12.. http://www.ualc.org