The Lutheran Spokesman (July 1997)
Praise The Lord,
all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness
is great toward us, And
the truth of the Lord
Praise the Lord!
In this issue:
Ask God To Bless Your Country
The Transition Of Power
Defending The Gospel
Looking Back in the Lutheran Spokesman
From "A Peek Into My Nigerian Diary"
A View From The Back Row
Go In God's Peace
Our Canadian Connection
For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.
Without a doubt the most famous quote of President John F. Kennedy's
presidency is, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you
can do for your country."
Centuries before JFK uttered these words, Christians the world over
had been putting them into practice. Countless Christians have died
serving their country in past wars. Others have served faithfully for
years in government service. As stewards of the blessings granted to
them by the Lord, believers have faithfully rendered some of these
blessings unto Caesar in the form of taxes, as per Christ's
instruction. As Daniel Webster once said, "Whatever makes men good
Christians makes them good citizens."
In his first letter to Timothy the apostle Paul records something else
that we can do for our country (1 Tim. 2:1f): "I exhort first of all
that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be
made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority . . . ." Our
Lord wants us to pray for those who lead our country as well as for
the country itself.
In daily life many people turn to God in prayer only in times of
trouble. Likewise, many of us probably don't often think to pray for
the country except when things are bad. It would appear many more
prayers rise to our Father in heaven in times of war, severe economic
depression, political turmoil etc. than in prosperous times.
July fourth, Independence Day, is a fitting holiday for us to remind
ourselves to pray for the country, not only in times of trouble but
any time, good or bad, or in times of famine or plenty. In his
explanation to the Second Commandment Martin Luther reminds us that
our Lord wants us to call upon His name in every trouble, to pray,
praise, and give thanks.
What can you do for your country? Pray for it. Pray for the nation.
Pray for the government. Pray for your fellow citizens. And, like in
any other matter, do not only ask God to do things. Praise Him in your
prayers for blessing the United States with so much. Give thanks to
God for our country and the freedoms He has given us here. Above all
we thank Him for the freedom to worship the true God relatively
What can you do for your country? As you gave thanks this fourth of
July for all of the many blessings the Lord has given, did you
remember to ask the Lord to grant unto our nation, and to all the
nations of the world, the continued blessings of the Gospel?
There is no greater thing you can do for your country than to ask your
heavenly Father to bless this nation with the declaration of REAL
independence -- independence from sin and the punishment we all have
so deserved; independence granted freely by the Father through His Son
who shed His own, innocent blood on the cross for our real freedom,
freely given in the forgiveness of sins.
--Pastor Joel Fleischer
This month of July witnesses the incorporation of Hong Kong into the
People's Republic of China. In 1999 Macao will be brought back in. The
mainland continues to cast its eyes at the so-called "break away
province" of Taiwan. What does the future hold for the Chinese? The
alternatives appear to be: the old guard clamping down as at Tiananmen
Square, continued prosperity in certain economic zones, and their
expansion. Or maybe. . . ?
Eighty-five years ago this July 12th Prof. E. L. Arndt was
commissioned as missionary to China by the Evangelical Lutheran
Mission for China. In that far away time of 1912 this society was
formed to do mission work in China. It consisted of members of the
orthodox Synodical Conference.
Prof. Arndt was said to be "bigoted" by the religious unionists of his
day because he held to the truth of God's Word and practiced such.
Regardless of the comments of detractors, God used him in China. That
Prof. Arndt made his first public sermon in Chinese three months after
his arrival is evidence that the Spirit of God worked mightily in him.
There are many interesting stories about this clay vessel who bore the
precious treasure of Christ to the Chinese. His frugality was
well-known. When a representation of the mission had to be sent to the
states, it was decided to send him. "We shall send Rev. Arndt, because
we know he will travel third class." When communist insurgents
threatened the safety of foreigners in Hankow in 1927 many were
evacuated to Shanghai, including all the missionaries except Pastor
Arndt who stayed at his post.
Although Arndt was no young man when he left China, the Lord allowed
him to labor for Him for 16 years. Thank God. Mrs. Arndt at the age of
48 did not want to leave her home in the USA. She prayed that
something would happen to keep her from going. Though her friends and
relatives also discouraged the trip, the Lord's will was done. She
served faithfully at her husband's side until the Lord called her
home. Pastor Arndt wanted to die in China and consequently disliked
taking even a furlough lest he should die away from his beloved China.
The Lord granted his wish, giving him eternal rest on April 18, 1929.
What is our wish for China as we witness the transition of power in
Hong Kong? May our prayer be that God raises up by His power more like
Pastor Arndt that there may be a true transition of power--that the
kingdom of darkness may lose more and more of its adherents to the
kingdom of light.
But, you say, "We cannot send in missionaries to China as when Arndt
went!" Another needed prayer item indeed. Who knows what God will do?
Remember back when the Soviet Union seemed to be an evil empire that
just went on and on and on? And now in the republics of the dismantled
empire there are missionaries by the droves.
"The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is
forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that
all should reach repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). May God's wish be our
prayer. He " . . . desires all men to be saved and to come to the
knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).
As we witness the events in Hong Kong this month, pray that the power
of the "old guard" Satan may be broken in China, and that the
"prosperity" of the Gospel of forgiveness of sins in Christ be
expanded mightily among the people.
--Pastor David Koenig
Standing Fast In The Liberty By Which Christ Has Made Us Free (See
DEFENDING THE GOSPEL
As this is being written, the pastors of the CLC are packing their
bulging briefcases, loaded with study materials. Every other June the
congregations send them to the ILC campus for three days of intensive
conferencing. Having had some play time together on the Sleepy Eye
golf course en route to Eau Claire, they are ready for serious work.
Long days of worship, prayer, and study. Carefully prepared
theological papers allow for much discussion and--hopefully--growth in
understanding and zeal for the work of the gospel. The Spirit will be
on hand to recharge batteries that have been drained by the demands of
the busiest seasons of the church year.
The aim of it all is the preservation of "the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). To that end the apostle urges:
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another
in love" (v. 2). Since preachers tend to be impassioned in their
"defense and confirmation of the gospel" (Php. 1:7), this admonition
is most necessary, and usually well received.
The mood and manner of this coming conference may well be uplifting as
well as decisive. One of the essayists recently expressed the hope
that we might "manage to contend for the truth of the gospel WITHOUT
BEING CONTENTIOUS." Isn't that a great line!
Contending Without Being Contentious
Our study portion lets us see what went on at the vital APOSTOLIC
CONVENTION described in Acts 15. The big issue to be dealt with: Can
believers in Christ of Jewish background serve God in harmony with
Gentile believers? False "brothers" had infiltrated the ranks of the
faithful, spying out ways by which they might drag Christians back
into the bondage of the Mosaic Law, requiring them to be circumcised
and eat kosher.
The problem seems far from the arena of present day concerns until we
stop to think that every error the adversary has sprung on the church
will somehow impinge on the gospel of justification by faith without
the works of the law. From wherever the attack might come, we have
reason to say with Paul, we will "not give in to them for a moment, so
that the truth of the gospel might remain."
We should note, however, how Paul met this threat in Jerusalem. How
carefully he moved, lest he bruise the bond of brotherhood in the
How Very Carefully!
1) He assures his readers that it was not his idea to leave Cilicia
and travel to Jerusalem for the conference. "I went in response to a
revelation." From God, we may be sure. Called, not a self-appointed
busybody in other men's matters.
2) He took the right men with him. Joseph, a Jewish Christian from
Cyprus who had a church nick-name: Barnabas ("one who encourages"). He
had a great gift of quieting troubled waters. And also Titus, a
Gentile Christian of renown.
Titus would be a living example to the Jerusalem church of someone who
would be rightfully accepted as a believer WITHOUT submitting to the
Jewish law of circumcision. The leaders in Jerusalem -- James, Peter,
and John -- apparently went along with this after a private conference
Paul had with them.
3) He was determined not to have a power struggle of the sort that
plagues so much contending for the gospel in church organizations. He
recognized that others ("pillars") had leadership responsibility in
the Jerusalem area and did not undermine them. They agreed to go
separate ways. The trio would lead in the work among Jewish believers;
Paul would lead in carrying the gospel to the Gentile world (promising
to continue this practice of gathering funds for the impoverished
church in Judea, a work of bonding love in fellowship).
Contest Without . . .
In 1909 a study of Galatians was drafted by a Professor J. P. Koehler,
one of the theological titans of the "Wauwatosa Seminary." Before he
himself became a victim of some very contentious contending, he
offered this good counsel to the church:
"A sincere person who defends the correct doctrine is indeed firmly
convinced of it and therefore exerts all his energies to make it
prevail. But his sincerity presupposes that he will always remain
truthful in this controversy. Pure doctrine does not find it necessary
to gain an outward victory with sophisticated arguments or with
political means. Therefore the sincere teacher of correct doctrine is
always inwardly free for discussion so that he actually has the same
stand as the other sincere, but tempted Christian: he is ready to be
instructed by God's Word, although he stands by his teaching with a
divine sureness." *
To this we do well to take heed . . . .
--Pastor Rollin A. Reim
From July 1967 --
WHAT IS A THEOLOGIAN? (by sainted Prof. Edmund Reim) --
It may seem presumptuous to claim space in our Spokesman or to use up
the time of our readers for a simple question to which any dictionary
can give a pat answer. Yet this word as well as its companion term,
theology, is used so carelessly, even deceptively, in these times,
that it may be worthwhile to take another good hard look at the word,
and also to the persons to whom it is being applied with such
The occasion for these reflections is an article in TIME magazine (May
19, 1967) on what it calls "New Views of Heaven and Hell." It speaks
of "many theologians" who are now attempting to "re-define" heaven and
hell. It goes on to say, "Most Christian theologians readily agree
that eschatology -- the doctrine of death and the afterlife -- owes
more to superstition than to supernatural wisdom." It quotes an
imposing list of writers, three of whom are Catholic, four who are
identified only as "Protestant," one Lutheran, one Methodist, and one
a Jewish rabbi. It adds two additional Protestants who declare that
they do not know the answer to the problem, who are willing to wait
and see. On the other hand it mentions three Catholics, one
Protestant, one Methodist, one Calvinist, and one Episcopalian, all of
whom think there must be some form of afterlife, but are rather
indefinite in what they say about it. The strange thing is that two of
these have already been quoted for the other side of the question. But
a German Protestant Theologian -- name of Dorothee(!) Soelle -- caps
the climax for vagueness by venturing the opinion that "emphasis on
this world means an intensification of the death experience. The new
theology says that life is definite, not indefinite, that our chances
Taking all these opinions together, they have a wide range, from
downright blasphemy (that the doctrine of eternal perdition "makes a
demon out of God") to pitifully feeble attempts to make the concepts
of heaven and hell acceptable to the modern mind.
We hold no brief, either for or against any of these writers quoted.
The quotations are too short to provide a basis for fair judgment. The
context is not available. But we do feel that the time has come to
speak out against this indiscriminate and superficial use of the terms
applied to these writers. Just what is a "Theologian," or for that
matter, a "Biblical Scholar"? Just what is "Theology"? What is the
true meaning of these words? -- the dictionary does little more than
merely to record the current use of these terms which men have
invested with such ill-defined authority. Nor does the Bible offer any
quick and ready answer. For neither of these terms, theology or
theologian, is to be found in the Bible. They did not come into use
with reference to the Christian religion until quite some time after
the days of the apostles. But the Bible does have something to say
about the afterlife, and when it speaks on this or any other subject,
it speaks with full authority. And though it does not use the term, it
does tell us what goes into the making of a theologian, if he is to be
at all worthy of the name.
In the first of his pastoral letters the Apostle Paul addresses young
Timothy in a most solemn manner as a "man of God" (I Tim. 6:11). This
expression is used to the Thessalonians. "But as touching brotherly
love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught
of God to love one another" (I Thess. 4:9). Here the Greek original
compresses the entire idea of being taught by God into one single,
compact, and vigorous word, "God-taught." This is what is needed above
all for the making of a true theologian, that he be God-taught. And
conversely, every one who is God-taught is by that very fact a
theologian, a true man of God. For this, and this alone, is true
Let this be the test we apply to the "theologians" who figure so
prominently in the public press, and note how in spite of their public
prestige they will fall from their false and shoddy pedestals. For the
great majority of those quoted in the article referred to above base
their opinions not on Scripture but on reason. They find it
unthinkable that there should be such a thing as an eternal
punishment, so they call it superstition. They think that the plain
words of Scripture must be the language of mythology, so they proceed
to de-mythologize the Word according to their own thought and reason
-- a most treacherous basis, indeed. And instead of letting themselves
be God-taught, they undertake to teach God what He should have said in
the first place, and how He should have said it. This is the arrogance
of the new theology!
As for those who read their pronouncements, awed by their professional
status and prestige, taking each successive opinion as it is delivered
as the last word, whether it be on the afterlife or on religious
matters in general, let them remember that the privilege of speaking
the last word belongs to God. And let us be assured that He has
already spoken it and given it to men in His prophetic and apostolic
revelation. For the true test is still the same as when Isaiah the
prophet referred his people to the Word of God, saying, "To the law
and the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is
because there is no light in them" (Is. 8:20).
Let the test be made. And if it be but a child that ventures to
challenge the opinion of some internationally known "Biblical
Scholar," if what was said against the rationalizing of that scholar
was the simple truth of the Word of God, then it will be the child
that is the true Man of God, rather than the other.
Note: All emphases in the original -- Ed.
* COMMANDMENTS FOR TODAY (from a recent Sunday bulletin of Grace
Lutheran Church, Sleepy Eye, Pastor P. Fleischer)
In a sermon a few weeks ago your pastor made reference to how lightly
the ten commandments -- and sin in general -- are taken by many in our
day. Here is what was said: The writer of a book called 'The 2nd Ten
Commandments' parodied the 'bossy language' of the original
commandments like this: "Thou shalt not steal, but creative work on
your tax return is OK. Thou shalt not kill except during any of the
trimesters or if the Pentagon says you must. Thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor's goods, except in the sense that our whole economic system
depends on the power of envy and wanting more. Thou shalt not commit
adultery, except if thou art unhappy or if personal fulfillment points
thee toward the new secretary in thine office. . . ."
Lately we came upon another person's not-so-lighthearted view of
'commandments for today.' A writer in Christianity Today magazine
tells how the rector of an Episcopal church in Ohio has proposed a new
set of Ten Commandments based on his observations of our culture: 1.
Have a good day. 2. Shop. 3. Eliminate pain. 4. Be up-to-date. 5.
Relax. 6. Express yourself. 7. Have a happy family. 8. Be
entertaining. 9. Be entertained. 10. Buy entertainment. The writer
then adds: "He forgot 11. Get in touch with your feelings."
All of this would be humorous, if it weren't so serious a matter as
talking about how the will of the almighty and holy God is offended
and trivialized by many today. But that very fact suggests that making
light of the original ("Thou shalt . . . Thou shalt not") Ten
Commandments stems from an even sorrier situation -- the failure to
know God, who He is, and with that, failure to take Him and His Word
seriously. Likewise it is all but a reflection of mankind's failure to
recognize his ultimate accountability to the God who created,
redeemed, and would sanctify him now and forever.
In a culture which willy-nilly trivializes and profanes that which is
holy and sacred to Bible believers, it is incumbent on Christians
(parents!) to pass along to the next generation an holy awe and fear
(respect) for the Lord God. As Luther begins his explanation of each
of the original ten: "We should fear and love God . . . ." Such fear
and love can and will rule in the heart only to the extent that the
Word of God (His holy Law and saving Gospel) is the basis for godly
discipline, training, and instruction.
"I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will
delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word" (Ps.
119:15f). All of Psalm 119 would be well read in this connection.
* THIRTY YEARS LATER
Checking our past issues from thirty years ago, we found the article
"What Is A Theologian?" by Prof. E. Reim (see p. 6ff). We had decided
to reprint it even before the following episode which shows how timely
the sainted professor's words are.
Here is only a portion of what Pastor Michael Roehl, St. Paul's,
Bismarck, ND posted as information on the "CLC Slinger" (E-mail):
Pastors from time to time receive ads in the mail for 'preaching
aids.' These 'aids' routinely claim to be "scriptural' and
"exegetical." I'm really beginning to wonder just how many 'Bible
scholars' know what these terms mean. I usually toss this stuff
without opening it, but this week I got a copy of the Biblical
Preaching Journal, and the text caught my eye: John 3:1-17. . . . I
was curious as to how well they treated the beautiful, crystal clear
Gospel message of John 3:16. The fact is the sermon never mentioned
it. Not once. . . . The comments speak for themselves. It is religious
mush, philosophical dung concocted by the mind of man and formulated
so as not to offend.
Pastor Roehl proceeds to quote some longer excerpts (we'll spare you
the "mush"!) from the "Biblical Preaching Journal" -- excerpts which,
to our mind, support his harsh indictment of the offered material. And
yes, the author is doubtless considered a theologian by many, for he
is described as a Professor of Homiletics at The School of Theology,
University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.
As Prof. Reim suggests in the conclusion to what he wrote thirty years
ago, our readers know many a Christian child who is more a "Man of
God" than this Tennessee "Biblical Scholar."
by Mrs. Celeste Reim
(reviewed in our May 1997 issue) --
Dec. 22, 1946
An urgent message came this afternoon from Archibong of Ibiono. He
wrote, "I have fallen in my fight for the Lutheran Church. . . ." He
wanted Nubby to come and take his will. The note sounded almost
hysterical, so Nubby and I left immediately. After the 15 mile drive
to his home, we found everything locked up. We were told, "Archibong
has gone to the home of a relative in the next village."
One man could speak 'small, small' English. He said it's not far to
the next village, but there is no bridge across the creek. We should
take the car as far as the creek and from there we would have only a
short distance to walk. When we saw the path he pointed out, Nubby
said, "We can't take the motor in there!" "Yes, yes," he insisted,
"the path is good." So we crawled along, but at every turn, were sure
we could go no farther. The road was rough and rutted beyond
description, and at one place so narrow that the car could just slip
between the trees with the fender scraping on both sides.
When we wanted to get out and walk the remainder of the way the people
kept urging, "no, no, keep going, the road is better from here."
Instead of getting better, it got worse. But we had no choice, there
was no place wide enough between the trees for the car to turn around.
Finally we came to a big bump in the path. It looked as though there
was a fallen tree under the ground. Nubby said, "This is enough, we'll
break the motor if we go over that." But just a short distance on the
other side was a clearing large enough to turn the car around. There
didn't seem to be a choice. So, -- the car got stuck in the middle --
but there were enough men around to lift the back wheels over.
We left the car in this clearing and started walking the 'small half
mile' to the next village. Down the hill to the creek, crossing it on
a log, and up the hill again. As we walked and walked, our escorts
kept encouraging us, "only a small way -- we are almost there."
After another ten minutes of walking, we asked again, "How far now?"
-- "Only small, small." So we walked and walked some more. A boy with
a bicycle offered to give me a ride on his carrier, but the path was
so sandy and rough now that he just couldn't make it. I decided that
either our dying friend was pretty strong, or he was dead by now.
When we arrived at the compound and were led through a gate, we found
ourselves in he inner court of a quadrangle. At each door around the
square a woman sat with her children. The wives and children of the
polygamous compound owner each have one room. At the door to which we
were led sat a large group of solemn faced men. It reminded me of
going into a funeral parlor. When that door was unlocked we walked
into a pitch dark room. Then the man leading us rapped at the door
leading into another room. This was the sick room. Two small windows
were open, letting in just enough light so we could see dimly, but did
not let in much air.
Archibong was sitting on a bed, looking quite well and strong, but
sure he was going to die. When Nubby asked him what was wrong he said
he had no pulse, and his heart had stopped beating. Nubby felt of his
pulse and said it was fine. Little by little we heard his story. He
had been in the hospital at Ikot Ekpene with an attack of fever and
jaundice. The nurses told him his pulse was bad. It seems he became
quite discouraged and was sure there was no hope for him, so he went
home to die.
The thing which seemed to be troubling him the most was his will. (We
were surprised to see how much he is worth.) He had his will and
important papers and documents all ready in a big envelope for Nubby
to take. He wanted the Lutheran Church to be the Administrator. He
even had the keys to his house in the envelope. He asked Nubby to go
to his house as soon as he dies and sell the furniture.
It must be done immediately after he dies before the thieves break in.
He spoke of his death as calmly as if it were an every day occurrence.
When Nubby tried to encourage him and said there seemed to be good
hope that he would get well again, he said, "But if I have seen all
the signs of death, and the nurse told me I was hopeless?" He admitted
the doctor had not said anything to that effect.
Although he did not say it, I have a feeling he is afraid someone has
used 'juju' against him. He has been working hard to establish a
Lutheran Church in his village, but has run into a lot of opposition.
If these people think they have any enemies they always fear juju. He
is a good Christian fellow and has faith in Jesus as his Savior, but
sometimes in a time of weakness the old heathen beliefs come out
After Nubby talked to him about the love and power of God and prayed
with him, he said he would pray that if it is God's will, He would
make him well again.
We left the house at quarter to seven, just as it was getting dark.
It's lovely in the bush at that time. After a few boys brought us some
coconuts and we drank the milk, we were refreshed for the trip home.
We were surprised to see Archibong like this. He had always been so
full of ambition. He has a pretty good education and job. His biggest
ambition is to study to be a lawyer or minister, and would like very
much to study in America.
(Written later: He did recover. Thank the Lord!!!)
A View From The Back Row
I had gotten used to being in the front row at graduations at our
Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire. Privilege. Responsibility.
That has changed, and I think I'll like the view from the back row
just as well.
Across the field of waving heads I noted on stage the decorative
potted saplings just coming out of dormancy with leaves and buds
barely noticeable. They didn't look like they belonged there. They
will need to be taken outdoors right after the ceremonies, I thought,
and planted where they can flourish. Anyone appreciative of the
organic needs of such flora could move them out into God's sunshine,
where they belong.
Psalm 1:3 swam into focus and I saw its symbolism before my eyes, as
across the stage came our annual Spring young stock, ready for its new
growth, about to be transplanted somewhere in God's greening kingdom
where they may flourish and bring forth their fruit in due season.
After a hands-on final touch from their admiring professors, a new
leaf (diploma) was added to their sparse foliage, and off they went
with the prayers and tears of all who love them -- to Colorado and
Michigan and wherever.
Immanuel Lutheran College presented one seminary graduate, James J.
Naumann, ready for the field at Lamar, Colo. The next branches of the
Vine were four men of sturdy stock, completing their four years in the
B.A. program, then two flowerettes ready for the teaching ministry,
followed by four AA grads completing their first two years of college
growth in the ILC nursery. Finally, row after row of tender stock that
were nourished during their high school years by His streams, now
moving out to others parts of God's garden. We are trying here to
soften the transplant-stock, I thought, for these twenty-five
Each attentively received a final dressing in the nourishing address
by President John Lau: "The purpose of life is to glorify God," noting
that Jesus Christ glorified His Father and finished the work He had
been sent to do--for sinners all. Our aim in life is to glorify Him
who so loved us, to bear fruit for Him in places He Himself wishes to
go among people He desires to save.
In-coming College President John Pfeiffer was firmly planted into his
field of new responsibilities by Chairman Fossum. Then President Lau
was officially relieved of his thirty-two year tenure at ILC with
hearty thanks for his teaching work and administrative labors. So . .
. another perennial is gently relocated into God's arbor vitae
shelter-belt, I thought.
My view from the back row was fine. It's a discovery shared by the
rest of you who have learned that moving form your old pew to a
different spot (whether in church or in life) can refresh your
perspective and enliven your service to Him, our Lord.
--Paul R. Koch
'GO IN GOD'S PEACE'
In his remarks in connection with the graduation service on Sunday,
June 8, High School Principal Kevin Hulke referred to the fact that
just completed was the 131st (!) year of Christian Education at
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Mankato. Truly, what great things God has
done and is doing for this congregation, with its committed resolve to
provide the very best education it can for each succeeding generation.
The congregation graduated 20 from its eighth grade, and 12 seniors
from its high school department. Liturgist for the graduation service
was Pastor Paul D. Nolting, with Teacher Douglas Libby preaching the
Teacher Libby's remarks revolved around the encouraging words of the
apostle in Philippians 4:4-8. Expanding on the theme "Go In God's
Peace," the speaker referred to the many evidences of "imbalance" --
consequences of sin -- the graduates can expect to find as they
venture out into the fallen world. And where can they go to reclaim
the "balance" God intends for His children? Go to God's Gospel of the
Savior, finding there the peace which passes all understanding -- a
peace and joy such as ruled in the pre-Fall world and such as
believers can look forward to in heaven. Truly, this peace of God
"will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Who would dispute the fact that formal Christian education plays an
integral part in helping the young keep their "balance" in a sin-sick
--Pastor Paul Fleischer
The peach trees were poised to blossom and lend their citrus fragrance
everywhere along the hundred kilometer system of lakes known as the
Okanagan in British Columbia. And in the city of Vernon on the first
Sunday in May the brand new CLC congregation of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran
Church gathered in the rented Halina Centre to install their first
resident pastor, the Rev. David J. Reim.
There were over 50 people in attendance, including about a dozen
guests from "the States" who came up both to encourage the new group
and to share a day of fellowship. The Rev. Terrel Kesterson of
Spokane, Wash. based his address on Hebrews 13:17, and spoke on the
theme: "The Blessing Of The Holy Ministry." The undersigned performed
the rite of installation, assisted in the laying on of hands by Pastor
Kesterson, by a representative from the mother church in Seattle, Mr.
Fritz Peterson, and by the member whom the Lord moved to make the
original contacts which led up to this day of praise and thanks, Mr.
The whole soul-inspiring story of how the Lord Jesus has, step by
step, given every possible blessing to the establishment of this
island of truth amidst a spiritual wasteland is still available to
anyone who has not already read it. And it is, of course, our own
fault when we are surprised at how quickly and easily our God makes
the impossible possible.
It did indeed appear for over a year that the whole movement in Vernon
was just a one man effort. Luther is credited with the statement that
" . . . one man and his Bible are a majority." Now we know that others
were watching and very much aware that their former fellowship was
adopting unscriptural positions on woman suffrage and engaging in the
gross religious unionism which is a necessary part of the so-called
"church growth" movement.
And the Spirit in His own time has been gathering in His elect and
bringing them together, supplying above all the precious Word, and
also adding every other material blessing in a miraculous manner, just
as He has promised.
Our fellow-redeemed in Vernon are truly thankful that you are helping
to support their local effort to begin with. They have asked me to
express their thanks to you by this means, and to pledge to you that
they will do all in their power to quickly reduce their need for
In the meantime, Vernon is also one of Canada's leading vacation
spots. St. Paul congregation invites you to come and see what God has
--Pastor Bertram Naumann
(Editor's note: Pastor Naumann serves our CLC congregation in Seattle,
Redemption Lutheran. Redemption and its pastor were the instruments
used by the Lord to make clear that a door was being opened in
Upon the resignation of Rev. Walter Schaller upon the acceptance of a
call, Rev. Michael Roehl has been appointed Conference Visitor for the
West Central Conference.
-- Daniel Fleischer, President
Rev. Steven Sippert has been appointed as associate editor of the
Ministry By Mail.
--Daniel Fleischer, President
CLC Ministry By Mail Editor and Business Manager: Pastor Paul Naumann,
P.O. Box 239 712 DuPont Ave. DuPont, WA 98327 Phone (206) 964-7849
Area code changes: The area code for Pastor Bertram Naumann and
Teacher Quinn Sprengeler has been changed from 206 to 425. The area
code for Pastor Paul Naumann has been changed from 206 to 253.
In last month's issue, page 6, first column, 4 lines up, one word was
omitted while copying the article: "Every Christian kitchen ought to
have. . ." The editor regrets the error.
Our Savior's Christian Day School in Jamestown, North Dakota is
celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 31, 1997. We are inviting
alumni and former pastors and teachers to join us for this special
observance. We would appreciate an RSVP by August 15th to: Lee Murch,
1001 5th Ave. SW, Jamestown, ND 58401; Phone (701) 251-2455.