Questions have arisen regarding how we, at Mighty Fortress, regard various “hotbed” moral and social issues we are experiencing in our society today. Many churches are wrestling with the answers; however we believe that the Bible gives clear and unmistakable guidance. The following answers are excerpts from our official “Statement of Faith,” and are given here according to category for the sake of convenience. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions or comments.
ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, WAR, AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
We confess that Scripture upholds the sanctity of human life. We recognize that God has given the State the right to administer capital punishment and wage just wars, but we believe that any taking of human life beyond that which is authorized by God is to be abhorred. We believe that all human life has intrinsic value, regardless of its perceived “quality,” and that God calls on us to preserve His gift of life. Because abortion results in the death of an unborn human being, we believe that it is never justified except in those rare and tragic circumstances when the continuation of the pregnancy would clearly threaten the life of the mother. Abortion for any other reason is a great sin in the eyes of God. Because God is the giver and taker of life, we condemn any deliberate efforts to shorten one’s own life or the life of another, for example: suicide, euthanasia (mercy killing), and the withholding or withdrawing of appropriate care from the critically ill person. See Rom. 13:4 and 9, Ps. 139:13-16, Ps. 51:5, Luke 1:41, Jer. 1:5, Ps. 31:15, Phil. 1:21-26, Lev. 19:16.
HOMOSEXUALITY, SEXUALITY, AND MARRIAGE
We confess that Scripture condemns homosexuality and extra-marital relations (fornication and adultery) as sin. Nevertheless, when an individual caught up in such sins truly repents, the forgiveness of the Gospel is to be fully applied. We confess that the divine institution of marriage is to be heterosexual, in which, according to God’s design, a man and a woman may enjoy a life-long companionship in mutual love. We teach on the basis of Holy Scripture that marriage is the only proper context for the expression of sexual intimacy and for the procreation of children. See Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9, 18 and 7:2-9, John 4:17-18, 1 John 1:9, Gen. 1:27-28 and 2:18-24, Matt. 19:4-6.
THE HOLY BIBLE
NOTE: It has become the practice of many church bodies to adopt statements regarding Scripture where the words “inerrant,” “without error,” “verbally inspired,” or words to that effect are carefully avoided and replaced by strategicly crafted statements that are intentionally ambiguous. In the following paragraphs, you will read our statement about Scripture. Another statement will follow it from a “different” Lutheran body. Compare the two, and see what is missing in the second statement!
It should also be noted that the Mighty Fortress articles of faith are the fundamental foundation of the congregation’s constitution (article II), and not part of the by-laws. This section of the constitution is “unalterable and unrepealable,” which means that it cannot be replaced, changed, eliminated, or otherwise weakened in content for as long as the congregation exists. In comparison, the by-laws of the congregation serve as the functional structure of the congregation, which can be easily changed or altered as the congregation desires and as the need dictates. The doctrinal standard of a congregation cannot be an item subject to change according to popular opinion and vote.
The Mighty Fortress Statement : We confess that the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, in their original form as written by the prophets, apostles, and evangelists, were given by inspiration of God. The Holy Scriptures are without error in everything they teach, including matters of geography, science, and history, and they are the only infallible rule and norm of Christian doctrine and practice. The Scriptures not only contain the Word of God (as if to say, some of their teachings are the authoritative Word of God and others are not), but they are the very Word of God in their entirety.
We reject the so-called “historical-critical” or “higher-critical” method of Biblical interpretation as an unwarranted and arbitrary manner of dealing with Holy Scripture. The Scriptures are true and reliable in all that they report, including their accounts of Old Testament and New Testament miracles. We therefore regard the denial of these miracles as blasphemous and as setting up man’s reason as a judge over God’s Word. Since the term “inspired” is often used in a loose sense, we frequently use the expressions “verbally inspired” and “inerrant” in describing the authority and reliability of these sacred documents which God caused His servants to write. See John 10:35, 1 Cor. 2:13, 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20-21, 2 Pet. 3:15-17, 1 Thes. 1:5, 2:13.
Another Lutheran Body’s Statement: The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world. We believe, teach, and accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the sole authoritative source and norm of our proclamation, faith, and life.