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The Basis of the United Lutheran Church in the United States.

Organized Lutheranism in the American colonies dates from the Lutheran ministeriums of Philadelphia and New York formed respectively by Henry Melchior Mühlenberg, 1748, and his son, Frederick Augustus, 1786. Divided in part on account of degrees of doctrinal attachment to the Lutheran Standards and ritual observances, in part on matters of practical import such as membership in lodges and in part on account of national origins, Swedish, Norwegian, etc., groups have within the last twenty years entered into important consolidations and confederations. The consolidations are: 1. The United Lutheran Church in America, 1918, with 971,187 members, composed of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States in America, organized 1820, the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, organized 1867, and the United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South, organized 1886. To the General Synod belonged the Hartwick, Gettysburg, and other theological seminaries, and to the General Council the Mt. Airy and other seminaries. 2. The American Lutheran Church, 1930, with 340,809 members, composed of the independent Joint Ohio, Iowa and Buffalo Synods.22522252An impetus was given to the unionistic spirit by the 400th celebration of the XCV Theses, 1917, and the spirit has shown itself most recently in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the reading of the Augsburg Confession, during the summer of 1930 in Augsburg. The American Lutheran Conference, constituted 1930, is a federation and includes the American Lutheran Church just mentioned, the Swedish Augustana Synod, the Norwegian and United Danish Churches, and the Lutheran Free Church. The Synodical Conference, numbering 873,454 members, 1930, is a federation of the Missouri Lutherans, the Joint Wisconsin Synod, and several small bodies. The Doctrinal Basis of Union of the United Lutheran Church in America is the following:

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1.The United Lutheran Church in America receives and holds the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and as the only infallible rule and standard of faith and practice, according to which all doctrines and teachers are to be judged.

2.The United Lutheran Church in America accepts the three ecumenical creeds— namely, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian—as important testimonies drawn from the Holy Scriptures, and rejects all errors which they condemn.

3.The United Lutheran Church in America receives and holds the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a correct exhibition of the faith and doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, founded upon the Word of God, and acknowledges all churches that sincerely hold and faithfully confess the doctrines of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession to be entitled to the name of Evangelical Lutheran.

4.The United Lutheran Church in America recognizes the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalkald Articles, the Large and Small Catechisms of Luther, and the Formula of Concord as in the harmony of one and the same pure scriptural faith.


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