Pilgrim exists to share the love of Christ in serving, learning, and telling. Jesus is the key to fullness of life now and forever. We enjoy many blessings in life, but experiences would tell all of us that there are no shortage of challenges, difficulties, and problems . A rather blunt way to put it is things are just messed up. Sin—rebellion against God—is the root cause. It has affected us all and all creation bears its mark. The good news is Jesus. For those who look to Jesus in faith there is meaning, direction, fullness of life here and now and a future of joy with Him that will be indescribable in its goodness. God the Son became one of us, Jesus, to rescue us from the tentacles of sin. His work completed, a work that included His life, His death, and His resurrection, He has ascended to the right hand of God the Father. He rules all for the sake of His body (the church—all who look to Him in faith). One day He returns to establish a new heaven and earth.
God the Holy Spirit makes all this known to us in the pages of the Bible, the Holy Scriptures. We hold the Scriptures as God’s inspired, inerrant, even infallible word to us. It is from the Scriptures that we learn God to be God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is also from the Scriptures that we learn of God’s ongoing giving of His grace to us in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Statement of Belief This congregation Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod is part of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS or Synod). The LCMS is a mission-oriented and Bible-based denomination that confesses the historic, orthodox Christian faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a faith built on “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God, who created all that exists; became man to suffer, die, and rise again for the world’s redemption; and brings people to faith and new life through His Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are coequal and coeternal, one God. LCMS congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod, and, although diverse in many ways, all hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture. We believe without reservation that the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments are the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice. In addition, the Synod accepts without reservation the writings contained in the Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Believing in the authority of Holy Scripture and that the Lutheran Confessions are a correct interpretation and presentation of biblical doctrine, our congregations agree to conform all their teaching and practice to the Scriptures and the Confessions.
The Synod “is not an ecclesiastical government, exercising legislative or coercive powers” (LCMS Constitution, Article VII) concerning its member congregations and ministers. However, the voluntary association of member congregations and ministers includes their agreement to respect and honor and uphold (Bylaw 1.7.2, 1.8.1) decisions (resolutions) made by the Synod in its national conventions regarding the understanding of the teachings of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions and practices that are consistent with such teaching. The Synod in convention is the “principle legislative assembly” of the LCMS (Bylaw 3.1.1) and its resolutions and statements are the position of the Synod in matters of doctrine and life. The Constitution and Bylaws of the LCMS provide specific guidance for the implementation and supervision of the teaching and practice of its members (congregations and rostered church workers).
Congregations of the LCMS, while upholding teachings and practices that are consistent with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions and while honoring Synod convention resolutions are self- governed and establish policies based on local circumstance and expediency. An LCMS congregation or ministry operates according to its own constitution and bylaws – which are required by the Synod Bylaws to be reviewed by the District through which the congregation holds membership in the Synod – and therein establishes an orderly way of making decisions and determines which individuals or entities in the congregation (e.g., the pastor, church council, board of elders) will have authority to act on behalf of the congregation in specific circumstances. The Constitution and bylaws of this Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod govern our decision-making and policies. A copy is available upon request.
Statement of Belief on Marriage We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Belief on Marriage (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Pilgrim Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.
Statement of Belief on the Sanctity of Human Life We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps. 139).
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