The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc

A Lutheran Church in Apostolic Succession

Regarding Full Communion

Agreements

The Lutheran Orthodox Church has in place a number of Full Communion Agreements with other mainstream ecclesiastical bodies, synods and independent churches which share practices and beliefs. We dearly value our fellowship with these churches and communions.

We will continue to accept requests from other church bodies which seek full communion with The Lutheran Orthodox Church as we recognize that a Full Communion agreement can be very beneficial to smaller church bodies.

However, our official position with regard to formal Full Communion agreements can be summed up as follows, as written in our LOC Clergy Guide:

From The LOC Clergy and Welcome Guide, 2013 Edition

copyright 2013 The Lutheran Orthodox Church, inc

LOC Perspective on Church Fellowship and Communion:

True Christian fellowship is found among all the Baptized faithful by

virtue of the Holy Spirit's regeneration of the believer (born from

above by Water and Spirit, as Christ said in the Gospel of John,) and

as such is a work of God, rather than a work or declaration of men.

This unity is expressed in the life of Christians in community

together at the local congregation, regional diocese, and throughout

the world (which is the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism that St. Paul

indicates, and which we confess in the Creed as the One, Holy,

Catholic, and Apostolic Church). This one Church exists in unity,

though many varieties of legitimate Rites and Orders may coexist side

by side.

All those who hear the word of the Lord and keep it by faith (Jesus'

definition of a disciple, and echoed by the Augsburg Confession's

emphasis that all which is needed for Christian unity is agreement in

the Gospel and the Sacraments) are the truly united Body of Christ,

joined together by the One Christ as branches to His Vine. Since

Christian unity is a work of the Holy Spirit rather than men and the

bureaucracies of men in denominational church structures, we assume

and confess a Baptismal unity with all Christians. For those

individuals, congregations, dioceses, synods or church bodies which

have expressed public, scandalous, and unrepentant apostasy or sin,

which has justly put them under the ban of excommunication from the

One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, we shall consider them out

of fellowship until repentance and faith are restored.

Therefore, the Lutheran Orthodox Church, recognizing the work of the

Holy Spirit in the regeneration of every Christian by Water and the

Word; His keeping of each Christian in the Faith which hears the Word

of the Lord (Holy Scripture) and keeps it; and the One Christ into

whom He grafts all the Baptized faithful who live by grace through

faith in His Word and Sacraments; therefore declares full fellowship

with all faithful Christians who live according to Holy Scripture.

Unless specified by a declaration of the House of Bishops, or local

declaration of a diocesan bishop in his diocese, we assume full

communion with all faithful Christians who affirm the truth of Holy

Scripture (our only true Canon and Rule of Faith). Those church

bodies with whom we must declare impaired or broken fellowship due to

pervasive apostasy from Christ's Word or public, scandalous sin, are

listed where appropriate.

Unless specified by a declaration of the House of Bishops, or local

declaration of a diocesan bishop in his diocese, we assume full

communion with all faithful Christians who affirm the truth of Holy

Scripture (our only true Canon and Rule of Faith). Those church

bodies with whom we must declare impaired or broken fellowship due to

pervasive apostasy from Christ's Word or public, scandalous sin, are

listed where appropriate.

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