Note: The ILC Executive Committee drafted a policy statement regarding how the ILC will approach international relations with church bodies, and other groups such as mission societies. The ILC Executive Committee approved the release of the draft policy statement for review and comment.

International Lutheran Council Policy Statement Regarding International Relationships

Approved for release and review by ILC Executive Committee on 21 January 2016


 The International Lutheran Council (ILC) is a worldwide association of established confessional Lutheran church bodies which proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of an unconditional commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the inspired and infallible Word of God and to the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the Word of God.  The ILC exists for the purpose of encouraging, strengthening, and promoting confessional Lutheran theology and practice centering in Jesus Christ, both among member churches and throughout the world.

Policy Points

  1. The ILC respects the autonomy both of member and non-member church bodies.
  2. The ILC permits dual membership with other organizations (such as with the ILC and LWF), provided that such membership does not violate the ILC’s confessional commitment.
  3. The ILC seeks to facilitate fellowship but does not regard itself as a communion, even if certain of its member church bodies are in communion with each other.
  4. The ILC invites response and comment to its official publications and statements.
  5. The ILC does not regard dissent from its own viewpoints or critique of the viewpoints of others as disrespectful per se, but as a healthy part of honest ecumenical dialogue and interaction.
  6. The ILC encourages the true unity of the Church based upon the doctrine and practice found in the Holy Scriptures and interpreted by the Lutheran Confessions.
  7. The ILC seeks to engage in conversation with other Christian church bodies (both Lutheran and non-Lutheran) who seek to confess common truths of Scripture, and to acknowledge honest differences with mutual respect.
  8. As a result, the ILC welcomes the opportunity to share its perspective with those outside the ILC by attending their events and by inviting them to ILC events.
  9. The ILC engages church bodies outside itself with a genuine ecumenical spirit.
  10. The ILC seeks to foster theological study and discussion, produce publications that promote such study, and which provide comment and critique upon other view points.