Temptations always start by guestioning what the Word of God says, and then go on to make you wonder, “if God said it, did he really mean it?” The old nature never wants to think that what it wants can be be sin. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted just like Adam and Eve were and He uses the Word of God as a shield and an answer.
People in churches in emerging nations are understanding the fact that they may not have a lot of bread or the stuff that we think is necessary for life but they have the Word of God and they believe in it’s authority. They are not willing to give up that authority for the political and social notions of the day.
The International Lutheran Council was formed to bring Lutherans who still confessed the authority of the Word of God and the importance of adhering to the Lutheran Confessions into a group that could provide mutual consolation and aid in those confessions. It was formed by churches that no longer wanted to be a part of the Lutheran World Federation because of their more liberal views on many issues.
Last week in Ghana the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, some 7 million strong, broke ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the issue of the authority of God’s Word. Hans-Jörg Voigt, Bishop of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) / ILC Chairman, wrote them this letter in part.
We, the members of the International Lutheran Council and the attendees of the African Lutheran Theological Conference held in Accra, Ghana, on 12 – 15 February 2013, heard the report of the EECMY to sever fellowship with both the Church of Sweden and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) over the issue of same-sex marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals into the pastoral ministry. We want to commend and thank you for taking a stand on the Word of God. In fact, we praise the Lord that he has brought this good work to fruition in the life of your church. Your conscience bound view that the Scripture Alone is the only source of authority in deciding this matter is the view shared by the members of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). We pray that the courage you displayed in standing upon the Word of God will spread to other churches in Africa as they struggle on how to approach historic partners who have departed from the Word of God.
These people didn’t break with the temptation to go along to get along and not loose support from folks around the world. They stood up against that temptation because they took a “stand on the Word of God”. The Word of God is Jesus. He did what they cannot do and what we cannot do. He underwent the temptations of the “old evil foe” and defeated him for us and our salvation. Now we stand on that Word and on the Word in which He feeds us, leads us and guides us and “brings good works to fruition in the life” of His Church.