Brothers and sisters in Christ,
The prophet Jeremiah testifies: ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.’ (Jeremiah 15:16)
The purpose of this letter and attached documents is to encourage those who are concerned about trends in the church by showing that there is still widespread commitment to the Word of God in the LCA. They have also been prepared in the hope that they will encourage greater faithfulness to and confidence in the Scriptures.
These papers have been prepared in the conviction that God only grants church growth, renewal and strengthening in faith and love where the seed of the Word is planted and watered. (Mark 4:1-20, 26-34; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7)
The first attachment is entitled, ‘A covenant to promote biblical renewal within the Lutheran Church of Australia.’ The second attachment is a summary of the longer one for those who find a shorter document less daunting.
The documents are designed, in part, to help us in our preparations for the forthcoming General Convention of the LCA, when we will reaffirm our faith in the Gospel and the Holy Scriptures, in keeping with Article II of our constitution. Those involved in their preparation remain convinced that unity within our church can only be preserved on the basis of a commitment to the one Gospel and the Holy Scriptures.
These papers also have a broader, longer-term purpose. According to the New Testament, every parish pastor is called to serve as the bishop – the superintendent, the overseer – of God’s church in that place. We are pledged as pastors and laypeople to make the most of opportunities to promote and provide biblical teaching in local parishes and beyond.
We would encourage you to share these documents with your congregations. As an encouragement to us all, you may wish to gather names of people who support this covenant. While we will not keep adding names to the document itself, you may like to advise me of others who endorse it. This will help us build a supportive network.
Dr Greg Lockwood
12 February 2015