"One in the Spirit: United in Christ and with Each Other"
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“The mission of this congregation is to give honor and glory to the Triune God, to carry out His will, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, to nurture the faith of its members, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, to foster Christian fellowship and love, to extend a helping hand to human need, and to achieve its objectives by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the sacraments, and by the religious instruction of all its members according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.”
As the premier Church in the Massillon area, St John Lutheran Church LCMS has been committed to transforming the way people shape their religious identity. Since 1909, we have ensured that the ideals of our faith are deeply ingrained in our services, and take pride in our ability to create a welcoming place for worshipers in the community.
Our congregation is fueled by a firm belief in the teachings of our Lord, and when we are together under the Holy Spirit of God — we become one. We welcome you to join our community and discover the power of God in your life.
The Holy Scriptures teach that God, in creating the world, gave marriage to be the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24), a gift to be held in honor and kept pure (Heb. 13:4; 1Thess. 4:2-5). As a man and woman freely commit themselves to one another, God himself joins them as one. Marriage is far more than a social contract or a mere interpersonal bond. It is an act of God the Creator. So our Lord Jesus says in Matt. 19:4-6: “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife and the two shall become one flesh’?”
Marriage cannot be rightly understood apart from another gift: the gift of children. As he creates man and woman, God says, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). As the two become one flesh, the highest possible result of this marriage union, when it is God’s will, is the conception and birth of a child. The child is in every sense the one flesh of the mother and father and the living sign of their union. The optimal setting for the care of children is the loving marital unity of a man and woman. In such marriage children are nurtured within the distinctive uniqueness and created differences of male and female serving together in the family.
This biblical understanding of the marriage union of man and woman is both purposeful and beautiful. Its purposes include the procreation and nurture of children, the mutual joy and the support and encouragement given to one another by husband and wife, and the restraint of selfishness and sin as each seeks to serve the other’s needs. Such purposes reveal a beauty so great that Eph. 5:21-33 connects marriage to the holy union of Christ and His bride, the church. The apostle Paul writes that even as Christ, the bridegroom, pours forth sacrificial love for his church, the bride, and she trustingly commits her life to him, so also husbands are called to sacrificial love toward their wives and wives to a willing respect for their husbands.
This, in brief, is the Bible’s teaching on marriage – and so it is also the doctrine of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Every congregation and called worker of the LCMS accepts the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice. Congregations and church workers also gladly declare their unswerving conviction that the confessions of the Lutheran church, as found in The Book of Concord (1580), are in full agreement with the Scriptures. LCMS congregations, pastors, and other called servants thus agree to abide by the doctrine of the Synod. To believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman is not a political opinion or a cultural bias, it is the clear teaching of Holy Scripture, something that the members of the Synod believe, teach, and confess as the very truth of God.
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps. 139).
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of St. John Lutheran Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the St. John Lutheran Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by St. John Lutheran Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of St. John Lutheran Church.