Pastor Steve King
"When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob." (Genesis 25:27-28)
In the Scriptures, Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, sons of the same mother and father. But the two boys had very different personalities and interests. These differences were even reflected in the favor they individually had in the eyes of their parents: Jacob and Rebekah.
Those who know the story of these brothers from Genesis know that there was no small rivalry between them throughout their lives. At times they experienced jealousy, disagreements, and times of separation. But by the grace of God, the two brothers also experienced reconciliation. Their faith in God bound them together in a relationship that was more than merely one of blood.
Just as children of the same parents may have different in personality and interests, so do individual Christian believers, congregations, and even denominational bodies. What unites us is not our outward "sameness," but a shared faith in one Lord Jesus Christ, created by the Spirit of God at work in his Word.
LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) and NALC (North American Lutheran Church) are two Lutheran Church bodies that share a common faith in Christ as Savior and Lord, a respect for the authority of Scripture, and a desire to serve the mission of God. While they share a common faith and mission, the two church bodies do, however, have different "personalities."
In areas of Church structure and worship, they vary in practice and organization. Some individual members and congregations may identify with, or prefer, one denominational "personality" more than the other. But our freedom in faith is to recognize that when the true Gospel is shared in accordance with God's Word, human practices are allowed to differ.
As the Augsburg Confession says:"It is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached in conformity with a pure understanding of it and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word. It is not necessary for the true unity of the Christian church that ceremonies, instituted by men, should be observed uniformly in all places."