The landscape of American Lutheranism changed drastically in the 20th century. It was an age where confessional and historical differences gave way to merger and new spiritual alliances. However, the merger mania that seized so many had the tragic consequence of eroding both the historical and confessional consciousness of the church bodies involved. This is the story of how two small church bodies, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, both desperate to stay true to the Scriptures, navigated their way clear of what they saw as "false ecumenicism" toward a true confessional bond with each other. It is the story of loss of old friends, but out of the ashes finding new friends who confessed the triple truth of the Lutheran Reformation: Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide (grace alone, Scripture alone, faith alone). This bond became the foundation for a uniting of other confessional Lutheran churches throughout the world. This story is not a rosy reminiscence, but one full of thorns and thistles of ecclesiastic chicaneries and foolish words and actions. Yet through it, a steely bond of sisterhood was formed that remains intact to this day.
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