What is WELS' position on the importance of believing the entire truth of the Bible? I'm in a WELS congregation where all members believe the basic truths, but many members believe falsely in areas like fellowship, end times, or replacement theology. My experience in WELS churches is that the pastors concentrate on basic law and gospel, but rarely or never address "secondary" areas of doctrine like those above. Since other churches and TV evangelists hit those areas hard, their false teachings propagate widely, including into WELS churches. Is that something that WELS pastors should be more concerned about, and spend more time countering? Thank you for your consideration of my question.
Other areas of this Web site do explain our synod’s position on Scripture. For example, the following paragraph is from “What the Bible and Lutherans Teach About the Bible:”
“The Bible and Lutherans teach that the Bible is the true word of God. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This means that God breathed into the writers the exact thoughts and words they were to write. As a result every statement in the Bible is the truth. One part of the Bible explains another part. It is the only guideline for the faith and life of Christians. We are to read and study it diligently. It clearly teaches all we need to know in order to obtain our eternal salvation.2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15; Luke 11:28; John 5:39.”
The “God and his Revelation” section of This We Believe has a longer treatment on our position toward Scripture.
Scripture is not partly true and partly false. Scripture is a unit and all of it is truth. (John 10:35; 17:17) Christian faith acknowledges that.
The apostle Paul reminded Timothy: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 3:16-4:5).
Because the message of the Bible is timeless, those instructions still hold true for pastors today. Pastors will be able to “correct, rebuke and encourage” and expound on the “whole will of God” (Acts 20:27) because sermon texts, especially those connected to cycles of Scripture readings such as those found in Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal, provide great variety in content and cover numerous biblical doctrines. As pastors apply God’s word to contemporary settings, they will have opportunity to address current false doctrines and practices. If you feel, in your setting, that there could be greater emphasis on addressing contemporary false doctrines, do speak to your pastor. And certainly pray for your pastor. Pray that he faithfully proclaims the Word of God—saying no more and no less than what Scripture states.