The year 2017 will mark a pivotal moment in Lutheran history. The world over, Lutherans are preparing for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in which German priest and theologian Martin Luther challenged the teachings of the Catholic church. Reformation 2017 will affirm the LWF's unrelenting position that people, creation and salvation are gifts from God and not to be exploited.
For churches in Asia, the celebration will be a time to assert their continued commitment to the gospel and to the LWF communion. The opportunity to develop an Asian church identity and sense of self-understanding will be Asia's contribution to the global communion for 2017.
As with churches in other regions, Asian churches were set up according to the traditions of their founding churches. Identity was inextricably linked to that of the mother church. Today, churches in Asia are formulating their own responses to social challenges. Churches in some Asian countries face the particular challenge of being minority churches that face harassment. Yet churches in this region remain strong and committed to fulfilling their Christian mission.
The Lutheran Identity
The Lutheran identity is rooted in the Bible and its history. The environment within which member churches operate shapes the faith, theology and understanding of God’s mission.
We proclaim the “good news” of Christ’s life, his death on the cross, and his resurrection. Together we witness that, despite our sins, we are accepted unconditionally: forgiven, saved and justified by God’s grace for Christ’s sake through faith alone.
We live our life together in the communion of the Church. We center our worship of the Triune God in the proclamation of the Word of God, both law and gospel, and in the sacraments.
We are freed by Christ in faith to love and serve our neighbor. Our service in the world and our care for creation are integral to our Lutheran identity.
The LWF confesses the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only source and norm of its doctrine, life and service. It sees in the Ecumenical Creeds and in the Lutheran Confessions a pure exposition of the Word of God.
The LWF confesses the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church and is resolved to serve and actively promote Christian unity throughout the world and to further united witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We work for unity among Christians through theological education and exploration, dialogue and collaborative action, as our participation in the ecumenical movement.