- International Lutheran Council
- The International Lutheran Council (ILC) is a fellowship of church bodies that seeks to maintain the original Lutheran doctrines and practices unmixed with either Reformed Church influences or liberal modernist trends.Through the 19th and 20th centuries, a variety of Lutheran bodies had distanced themselves from the larger Lutheran community, which, they claimed, had become watered down doctrinally and infused with modern secular philosophies. They demanded strict allegiance to the Lutheran confessional documents, especially the Augsburg Confession of Faith. This "confessional movement" opposed the blending of Lutheran and Reformed theologies such as they saw in Germany, where states were creating united "Evangelical" churches in areas where both Lutheran and Reformed churches existed in strength. In the united States, the bedrock of the confessional movement was the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; in Europe, the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church in Denmark and the Confessional Lutheran Church of Finland played important roles.Early meetings of confessional Lutheran churches from different countries took place in Uelzen, Germany (1952), Oakland, California (1959), and Cambridge, England (1963). After more than two decades of dialogue and fellowship, in the early 1990s a constitution (including a statement of faith) for a formal ecumenical organization was agreed upon.Delegates gathered in 1993 in Antigua, Guatemala, to found the International Lutheran Council. Many of the autonomous churches that arose from the missionary work of the Missouri Synod joined the council. Doctrinally, ILC member churches affirm Scripture as the inspired and infallible Word of God, and the Lutheran confessions as contained in the Book of Concord as the true and faithful exposition of the Word of God.The ILC serves its member churches primarily in areas of communication, fellowship, mutual encouragement, and mutual assistance. Its headquarters is located in St. Louis, Missouri.See also Ecumenical movement.Further reading:■ International Lutheran Council. Available online. URL: http://www.ilc-online.org. Accessed on October 1, 2001.
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.