Is there any right way for us at Our Saviour Lutheran Church to claim that we know God’s teachings? In today’s world, many question whether it is even possible to talk about the truth, let alone God’s teachings. The culture in which we live for the most part believes that truth is something that is personal, that is connected to the thoughts of an individual. In other words, there cannot be an absolute truth, since each person must weigh in on what is true for him or her. Yet this idea is truly self-defeating. How can it be absolutely true that there is no absolute truth? There must be truth out there, and it must not be connected to the thoughts of any individual. But how can Our Saviour Lutheran Church claim that there is only one God, the Christian God, and that God teaches the truth, and how can it claim that it teaches what God teaches?
Here there must and always will be something in addition to reasoning with the facts, because here is where the outside world meets with our internal thinking. We perceive and think within the world between our ears. And yet we must connect that world to what is out there beyond us, the real world. This connection is by belief. When we believe something to be true, that thing, which is outside us, becomes attached to an idea inside our thoughts. In our lives, we begin forming beliefs based on our senses together with what someone teaches us about the meaning of those sensory experience. Then we form beliefs by our own experience based on the beliefs that we observed, were taught or learned from others. At Our Saviour we are the beneficiaries of a heritage that stretches back to the beginning of the world. We have been taught the teachings of the Bible, and we have found them to be true, just as those did who went before us. How can we make claims about the truth?
Some might like to appeal to the sense that we all get when observing the vastness and orderliness of the universe around us; there must be a higher power. Some might like to make the argument that our consciences bear witness to the existence of a higher moral authority. Some have concluded that there must be a greatest authority and have called that god. But all of these approaches leave us wondering just who this higher power really is.
We don’t make such bold claims based on what we can observe or on the basis of what seems reasonable or right, for then we would ever be plagued by uncertainty. Rather we make our bold claims on what the Bible says. Why? Because we believe what the Bible says about itself, that it is God’s Word. We claim that there is only one God, because the Bible makes that assertion. Furthermore, we claim that God is not like human beings, because the Bible asserts that God is three Persons in one Being, that He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We claim that God speaks the truth, because the Bible makes that assertion about God’s personality, and because the Bible points out historical events that are meant by God to make this clear. We claim that we teach what God teaches, not because we have perfect knowledge, but because we consistently endeavor to conform our teachings to what the Bible says. When someone points out an error in what we are teaching by pointing out to us that some teaching of ours is not exactly what the Bible says, then we change our tune. We count ourselves as nothing in this process, God’s Word is everything to us.
We hope that you will engage with us in this most important thought process. We pray that you will give the Bible a hearing, because we trust that through it, God will inform your thinking as He has promised in the Bible; He will give you belief in the truth. Then take a look at what we believe and where those ideas come from in the Bible. See for yourself and you find that Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church is faithful to God’s Word, that its teachings are the teachings of the Bible and that you belong with us, learning and living from God.