Part 2–Our Polity

Polity–this means how we are organized and why we have chosen to do things in this manner. I believe it’s safe to say that no other Lutheran Denomination in this country is organized in the same way the AFLC has chosen. The AFLC is not a synod in the traditional understanding of that word. We are an association of congregations who have agreed to work together to accomplish certain things which few, if any, congregations could do on their own; such as having a seminary and bible school, sending out missionaries on the field, or planting new churches in the American mission field.

When we look at the New Testament churches, we find no evidence of any human authority over the local congregations planted by Paul and Barnabas and Peter and so many other apostles. Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, as well as the book of Acts, all show that pastors and teachers and deacons were not imposed upon a local congregation but were raised up from within that congregation for the most part. It is why we believe, teach and confess that, “according to the Word of God, there is no authority above the local congregation except the Spirit and the Word of God.”

Notice that, while we are a free congregation, we are not free to do anything we might feel like doing–but only those things that comport with the movement of the Holy Spirit among us as we find it in the Word of God. We are free from ecclesiastical supervision, but we are nt free from the Way of Christ revealed in the Scriptures. That means we must be constantly alert to the possibility that we might be acting contrary to God’s will. There is no one who can come in and tell us to straighten up and fly right, as my dad used to say. So if we are to be a free congregation we all, every one of us, has the responsibility of knowing and clinging to God’s Holy Word as our touchstone and direction. If we fail to do this, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Stay tuned for part 3 — Our Piety

For more about the AFLC see:

Praying for the AFLC

AFLC 2019 Bible Study for Women

What is Pietism?

1 thought on “Part 2–Our Polity

  1. Pingback: Part 4–Our Theology | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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