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Four Points.

C. Porterfield Krauth* in “Fraternal* Address” invited all syns., pastors, and congs. in US and Can. confessing the UAC to meet and form a new gen. body. After the organization of the General* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in (North) America, misgivings led the Ohio Syn. (see also Ohio and Other States, The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of, 5) to ask the Gen. Council at its 1st Regular Convention 1867 to declare its stand on 4 points: chiliasm, mixed communion (altar fellowship), exchange of pulpits with sectarians (pulpit fellowship), and secret or unchurchly societies. The 1867 answer of the Gen. Council did not satisfy the Ohio Syn. The 1868 “Pittsburgh Declaration” of the Gen. Council declared: “I. AS REGARDS 'CHILIASM.' … 2. The General Council has neither had, nor would consent to have, fellowship with any Synod which tolerates the 'Jewish opinions' or 'Chiliastic opinions' condemned in the XVII Article of the Augsburg Confession. … II. AS REGARDS 'SECRET SOCIETIES.' … 2. Any and all societies for moral and religious ends which do not rest on the supreme authority of God's Holy Word, as contained in the Old and New Testaments—which do not recognize our Lord Jesus Christ as the true God and the only Mediator between God and man—which teach doctrines or have usages or forms of worship condemned in God's Word and in the Confessions of His Church—which assume to themselves what God has given to His Church and its Ministers—which require undefined obligations to be assumed by oath, are unChristian, … III. AS REGARDS 'EXCHANGE OF PULPITS.' We hold: 1. That … no man shall be admitted to our pulpits, whether of the Lutheran name or any other, of whom there is just reason to doubt whether he will preach the pure truth of God's Word as taught in the Confessions of our Church. 2. Lutheran Ministers may properly preach wherever there is an opening in the pulpit of other Churches, unless the circumstances imply, or seem to imply, a fellowship with error or schism, or a restriction on the unreserved expression of the whole counsel of God. IV. AS REGARDS THE 'COMMUNION WITH THOSE NOT OF OUR CHURCH.' We hold: 1. That the principle of a discriminating as over against an indiscriminate Communion is to be firmly maintained. Heretics and fundamental errorists are to be excluded from the Lord's Table. The responsibility for an unworthy approach to the Lord's Table does not rest alone upon him who makes that approach, but also upon him who invites it. 2. It is the right and duty of every Pastor to make such examination as is necessary to determine the Scriptural fitness, in doctrine and life, of persons applying for admission to the Communion.”

Because the Declaration of the Gen. Council regarding the “Four Points” was regarded unsatisfactory, the Ohio Syn. refused to join, the Iowa Syn. decided it could not enter into full membership, Wisconsin left 1869, Minnesota and Illinois Syns. left 1871, Michigan left 1888. Texas joined the Iowa Syn. as a dist. 1896. WGP

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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