Characterized as theologically conservative, it was founded in in MilwaukeeWisconsin. As ofit had a baptized membership ofin 1, congregationswith churches in 47 US states and 4 provinces of Canada. It also holds that the Bible is explained and interpreted by the 16th century Book of Concord because it teaches and faithfully explains the Bible.
As such, pastors and congregations within the WELS agree to teach in accordance with it. For this reason, Wisconsin evangelical lutheran synod homosexual rights reject much of modern liberal scholarship.
He also stated that "While WELS continues to see the characteristics of the Antichrist in the Roman Catholic papacy, it is wrong and dishonest to portray this belief as stemming from anti-Catholic bigotry. We do have strong convictions, and we identify what we believe are teachings that depart from the Word of God.
But we Wisconsin evangelical lutheran synod homosexual rights no animosity toward Christians who hold the Roman Catholic faith, and we respect the right of people to hold beliefs different from ours even as we point out the error. Furthermore, we rejoice that even in the Roman Catholic Church, where we believe that the gospel has been distorted, there are many Catholics who hold to a simple faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who will ultimately be saved.
Testifying to the errors that still exist in Catholic doctrine is itself an expression of love; remaining silent or glossing over doctrinal differences would express the opposite. Many of the early pastors were educated and trained by mission societies in Germany. The early churches in the Wisconsin Synod had a strong German background; services and church business were conducted in German.
Many of the pastors and congregations brought with them a tolerance towards forming joint congregations with the Reformedsimilar to the Union Churches they left behind in Germany. In the s, the Wisconsin Synod became increasingly conservative along the Lutheran viewpoint and against the Reformed.
In the synod convention ofthe synod joined the General Councila group of Neolutheran synods that left the General Synod because it sought to compromise Lutheran doctrine in order to join with non-Lutheran American Protestantism.
However, some pastors in the Wisconsin Synod agreed with the " open questions " position of the Iowa Synod that some doctrines could be left unresolved and good Lutherans could agree to disagree about them. The convention witnessed a meaningful discussion on the topic of pulpit and altar fellowship, one of the Four Points in American Lutheranism.
Although there were several dissenting opinions, most of the pastors and lay delegates that they could not in good conscience exchange pastors with non-Lutherans or invite them to commune at their altar.
They felt that the position the General Council took on this subject was inadequate.
They resolved that, unless it changed course, they would withdraw from the General Council. Following the convention, representatives of the Wisconsin and Missouri Synods held a meeting in Milwaukee during October 21—22, The agreement noted that in the event a doctrinal error arose in one of the two synods, they would not question each other's orthodoxy as long as they both used all Christian means at their disposal to resolve the problem.
This agreement was later adopted by each of the synods in convention. There the synods drew up a document of association for the synods to vote on at their next convention.
They also invited the entire membership, both teachers and pastors, of all the synods to attend a general convention the next year. They wrote the constitution to the Synodical Conference, which arranged the synods together as a federation and did not vest any real authority with the Synodical Conference, either at the convention or board level.
The first convention of the Synodical Conference also endeavored to reduce the severe competition between synods. The delegates planned to reorganize all Synodical Conference Lutherans into separate state synods, although allowing for separate organization along the lines of the three languages—German, Norwegian, and English. The Minnesota Synod favored the approach of organizing state synods, but only if they would be independent of the larger Ohio and Missouri Synods.
The Wisconsin Synod also did not think that it could derive any benefit out of a centrally run seminary. In response to this strained relation between the Wisconsin Synod and the other synods, the Synodical Conference elected a committee made up of Wisconsin Synod delegates and other synods' representatives to repair relations with the Wisconsin Synod in time for the next convention in Wisconsin evangelical lutheran synod homosexual rightsthe Wisconsin Synod withdrew its demand that the state synods had to be independent of the Missouri or Ohio Synods.
Although there was considerable plans to build a "Wisconsin evangelical lutheran synod homosexual rights" joint Synodical Conference seminary outside of Chicago, of the hesitance of the Wisconsin Synod on this subject and the inability of any of the other members besides Missouri to contribute financially to the new project, it was tabled, and ultimately never happened.