The Protes'tant Conference
is a loose association of Lutheran churches and churchworkers in the United States
Religion in the United States is characterized by both a wide diversity in religious beliefs and practices, and by a high adherence level. According to recent surveys, 83 percent of Americans claim to belong to a religious denomination, 40 percent claim to attend services nearly every week or...
. It was organized in 1927 by suspended former members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod is a North American Confessional Lutheran denomination of Christianity. Characterized as theologically conservative, it was founded in 1850 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As of 2008, it had a baptized membership of over 389,364 in more than 1,290 congregations,...
(WELS) following an intrasynodical controversy. It currently consists of six churches and their churchworkers in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....
, and California
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It is a conservative
Conservative Christianity is a term applied to a number of groups or movements seen as giving priority to traditional Christian beliefs and practices...
, confessional Lutheran
Confessional Lutheran is a name used by certain Lutheran Christians to designate themselves as those who accept the doctrines taught in the Book of Concord of 1580 in their entirety, because they believe them to be completely faithful to the teachings of the Bible...
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...
group with German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
immigrant roots. It publishes the periodical Faith-Life
as a conference, and operates the Prostes'tant Conference website. It does not consider itself as a denomination or a church body, but a loose association of churchworkers and independent congregations.
The Protes'tant Conference arose out of a controversy over a document known as the Beitz Paper
(written by then WELS pastor W.F. Beitz) inside the WELS in 1926-1927. In his paper, Pastor Beitz discussed the current doctrinal philosophy then prevalent in the synod. Debate arose over the theological nature of the document and about 40 supporters of Pastor Beitz were subsequently suspended from the WELS as a result. These pastors, teachers, and some congregations organized into the non-centralized Protes'tant Conference.
It has undergone three schisms, in 1930, 1952, and 1964.
Internally, the Protes'tant Conference
sometimes refers to itself as The Protes'tant Conference of the Wisconsin Synod.
The name "Protest'ant" was adopted in 1929, on the 400 year anniversary of the Second Diet of Speyer
The Diet of Speyer or the Diet of Spires was a diet of the Holy Roman Empire in 1529 in the Imperial City of Speyer . The diet condemned the results of the Diet of Speyer of 1526 and prohibited future reformation...
. (The Second Diet of Speyer resulted in the adoption of the name "Protestant" against this Holy Roman Imperial decision to outlaw the Lutherans.) The name "Protes'tant" was chosen to signify their protest against "synodicalism" on the part of both the Wisconsin and Missouri Synods. While the Missouri Synod did not expel the Protes'tants, it synodically ratified the expulsions in 1927.
The Protes'tant Conference teaches that the Bible is the only authoritative and error-free source for doctrine. It subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions (the Book of Concord
The Book of Concord or Concordia is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century...
) not in-so-far-as but because it is an accurate presentation of what Scripture teaches. It teaches that Jesus is the center of Scripture and the only way to eternal salvation, and that the Holy Spirit uses the gospel alone in Word and Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion) to bring people to faith in Jesus as Savior and keep them in that faith, strengthening them in their daily life of sanctification.
The organization's name includes a single typewriter quotation mark after the second syllable of the word “Protestant,” indicating an accent thereon.