The Lutheran Spokesman

(May 1996)

    Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led
    captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

In this issue:

Our Friend In High Places The Holy Spirit At The Helm This Grace Of Giving Osiander's Attack On Justification Joseph Is Remembered ARREST THAT MAN! Methods Of Pietism MDF -- Mission Development Fund Announcements For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.


"When he ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men" (Ephesians 4:8).

Our Friend In High Places

In an election year such as this the subject of campaign financing can make a cynic out of anyone. In an effort to curry future favors from elected officials, many individuals and corporations contribute heavily to political campaigns -- sometimes even to opposing candidates -- in order to be certain that their special interests will be given attention. Money talks, as they say. Those who have big money to give can purchase influence, often leaving the rest of us feeling left out of the picture. That's just the way it is in politics; there's a price you have to pay if you want to have a friend in high places. Many Blessings Believers in Christ, however, are never disenfranchised, for our truest and most loyal Friend has now ascended to the highest office of all. After taking on the burden of our sins, Jesus humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross. Now our risen Lord has taken His place of glory at the right hand of the Father, to rule eternally over all things. We didn't elect Him to this office -- the Father did. He chose His Son to be our Savior and King in eternity, and brought about our salvation according to His set place and in His set time. Christ was victorious over sin and death, and to the Victor belongs the spoils. From His place of glory at the right hand of His father, our powerful Friend showers many favors upon us: * He is personally present with us at all times, at the same time that He is at the right hand of the Father (Mt. 28:20). * He sympathizes with our weaknesses, since He shares our humanity (Heb. 4:15). * He makes intercession with the Father for His saints (Rom. 8:34). * He hears and acts on our prayers (Jn. 14:13). * He makes all things work for our good (Rom. 8:28). * He sends the Holy Spirit to comfort and instruct (Jn. 16:7). * He nourishes and cherishes His Church (Eph. 5:29). * He prepares an eternal dwelling for us in heaven (Jn. 14:2). * He gives us faithful servants, pastors and teachers, to build us up in faith and to equip us for His service (Eph. 4:11). All these promises are displayed for us in God's Word like precious jewels, showing that our Lord is nothing short of lavish toward us with His blessings. Obviously it is the good pleasure of our King to give His attention to our every need and concern -- but at what cost? In many cases the attention of the powerful comes only in exchange for hefty contributions that have helped to get a man where he is. Each of us needed to ask: "What have I contributed to help raise Jesus to this pinnacle of glory and power?" In all honesty we must admit, "Not only have I not helped, but my sin-nature has opposed Him at every step. My self-righteousness and pride would rather place me on a throne in my heart, instead of the Lord Jesus." Favors Of Divine Grace Because we have nothing of ourselves to offer Him, our Lord is under no obligation at all to favor us with any blessing, much less a place in glory with Him for the life to come. But this is where the contrast is shown between self-serving human loyalty and divine grace. Knowing that we could never begin to afford His favor, our Lord Himself provided the necessary payment for the grace He bestows. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). Jesus' friendship cannot be bought -- it can only be received as a gift, by faith. Talk about connections -- through faith that God Himself has given, you now have tremendous influence with the One who leaves all other power and authority in the dust! Therefore, remember to honor Him with your life, boast of Him to others, and appeal to Him with every need and request. There is no good thing which He is His wisdom will withhold from you. Political candidates, causes, and campaign issues come and go. Of course, a responsible Christian citizen will seek to do his civic duty and serve his neighbor in this area of life. But when it comes to influence-peddling, let the world go on currying the favor of its own people in power. God has already instituted automatic term limits for every political office. Even for a man who is a "dictator for life," a definite end to power is clearly in view. Death, the great equalizer, brings all earthly power to ashes. Our Savior, however, has no such limitations, for death could not hold God's Son. His power and reign are unlimited, for He has ascended to a throne which will endure forever. United with Hm by faith here in time, we are certain that through His cleansing blood we too shall ascend in glory to share in His reign for eternity. Yes, Jesus is our Friend in high places!glory at the right hand of His --Pastor Bruce Naumann


"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). In the early part of this century, the island nation of Samoa saw one of the greatest shipping disasters ever to strike the South Pacific. A powerful typhoon swept down on the country's busiest harbor, dashing to pieces the many vessels that had fled there for safety. With ships foundering on every hand, the captain of the British man-of-war Caliope made a bold decision: he quickly weighed anchor and steamed out of the harbor straight into the teeth of the storm. As it turned out, this was the saving of her. While the ships in port were destroyed, the Caliope survived the typhoon undamaged, riding out the storm on the open ocean. There have been many similar moments in the history of the Church -- moments when a "wait and see" attitude would have spelled disaster, moments when only bold and decisive action would answer the crisis. Recall 16th century Germany when Martin Luther and likeminded believers left the institutional safety of a corrupt Roman church and steamed into the uncharted waters of the Reformation. Remember 1839 when a handful of Saxons set sail from a spiritually bankrupt homeland for a faraway place called Perry County, Missouri. Witness, finally, a time only thirty-six years ago when the founders of the CLC -- lay people and pastors -- forsook their secure berths in other church bodies, preferring faithfulness to God's Word over comfort, complacency, and compromise. "You Shall Receive Power . . ." Such courage is to be envied, and it is at this time every year that the festival of Pentecost reminds us where it may be obtained. For on the day of Pentecost it was the Holy Spirit who commanded the disciples to leave the harbor of obscurity and insignificance, and launched them -- and the Christian Church -- on a journey that would change the eternal destiny of sinful mankind. To all of us common Christians who in moments of reflection have asked ourselves, "Will I have courage when my faith is tested? Can I be bold for the Lord? . . . " Our Savior answers: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). It is comforting to recall the class of men chosen by the Holy Spirit to pilot the fledgling Church. Humble, uneducated workers, they astounded the scholars of their day by proclaiming the Gospel in fluent foreign languages. Fired by the Spirit of God, the same men who had recently hidden cowering behind locked doors now boldly risked life and limb to bring the Good News of a Savior to a world lost in sin. Imprisoned, Paul and Silas sang hymns. Hauled before the authorities and beaten, Peter and John bravely confessed their Savior: " . . . For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). In a world sadly bereft of heroes, we Christians may rejoice that we have such heroic figures to look up to. But much more than that, we hold the key to that heroism ourselves whenever we read God's Word or hear it preached. Through His unchanging Word, God has promised to embue us with the Holy Spirit, to increase our faith, and to embolden us -- yes, even humble sinners such as you and me! -- with the courage to do great things for His kingdom. Let us not be afraid, then, when we are called upon by God to leave the harbor behind and risk the open ocean. For at such times, we may be confident, it will be the Holy Spirit who is standing at the helm! --Pastor Paul Naumann

"New Creatures In Christ"

2 Cor. 5:17

Studies in Second Corinthians

Chapter 9 THIS GRACE OF GIVING: II Most of us have heard some fairly ridiculous but amusing -- by accident or design -- sermon themes. There is the preacher who, in fact, missed the whole point of this ninth chapter after choosing this rhythmic theme for his Sunday morning harangue: "Give! Give! Give! 'Till It Hurts! Hurts! Hurts!" However, we do not seek merely to repeat amusing stories. For this harangue is now typical of the way in which even so-called "conservative" Lutheran congregations and their church bodies have for some years now gone about collecting funds. High Powered Hype The collection agency. Let your fingers stop walking the yellow pages of your phone book under the heading "Fund Raising Organizations And Counselors." Our local book lists three. The metropolitan books list many more. Fund raising is big business. Profession fund raisers promise a poor church (or church body -- the WELS, for example) to change the members' giving habits dramatically, in some cases doubling or better its income virtually overnight. Of course, one sooner or later finds out that they skim off the top 7 to 10 percent as their "service fee" whether the projected goal is reached or not. And they use high powered hype to get inflated pledges out of people who never dreamed of giving one fraction of even the lowest amounts being suggested. This tactic includes using every available member to contact the others. Then they themselves undergo many a brainwashing session on what they should pledge in order to set the example. (Never take the first offer. Say, "You obviously have been giving this matter some careful thought, but we were hoping you would be one of those who would give ___," -- always a higher figure.) In short, v. 7 is used as a club of the Law: "God loves a cheerful giver . . ." and you're not cheerfully giving nearly enough! A large urban congregation in which this writer vicared had moved to hire just such an agency in order to pay for a new school. One of the few farmers left in the congregation, short on formal education but very long on Scriptural understanding, may have been well within bounds quoting the Song of Solomon 2:15 (If not, second Corinthians 9 covers his intent): "Catch the foxes; the little foxes spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." He quietly announced: "We are inviting the little foxes to come in and steal the tenderest grapes from our spoiled vines." The motion failed. The fund drive was nevertheless oversubscribed. The school stands. Joyous Giving The whole of joyous giving is summed up in v. 5: "That it may be a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation." The sainted Dean Norman Madsen loved to quote Luther on the "grudging" matter: "God does not need your dirty little Pfennig (penny)." And Paul was the last one to be talking work-righteousness when he answers the unspoken question: "Do you want God to love you? OK: God loves a cheerful giver." What's the cause of our cheerfulness? Paul says, in effect in v. 8, that God gives us everything we ever had in the first place, spiritual and material. And in the second place He has never asked anything of us that He has not first given. Seed to the sower. Bread to the eater. And recall, as you reassess your own giving, all the positive words in this chapter breathing Gospel motivated reasons: "willingness - zeal - generous - bountiful - cheerful - abound - abundance - liberality - thanksgiving - glorify God - liberal sharing - exceeding grace - thanks be to God!" So let's get going again with a cheerful smile and a fat envelope. Over half of our new ILC building is paid for. Let's praise God and pay it off soon. Wherever the Gospel is being taught and preached in its truth and purity, let's support it cheerfully and liberally, avoiding the gimmicks, but rather mindful in spirit of all the positive words of Second Corinthians 8 and 9. In giving, God's Word changes conservatives into liberals. --Pastor Bertram Naumann

After The Death of Luther -- How the Formula Of Concord Was Forged

(Ten Parts)

Part Six Osiander's Attack On Justification

The Reformation began with Luther's clear teaching about justification by faith, apart from works. Luther ignited a continuing firestorm of controversy by rejecting false doctrine. His opponents spent most of their energy attacking him personally, but he appreciated their ability to sharpen his teaching and his weapons against false doctrine. When Luther died in 1546 justification was attacked from every corner within Lutheranism. In the name of adiaphora (matters of indifference) papal doctrines were re-introduced during the Interims by Luther's co-workers! In addition, George Major made good works necessary for salvation, and Strigel taught synergism, the human will cooperating in justification. Andrew Osiander's attack upon justification and the two natures of Christ did great damage to Lutheranism for a time, but it also helped prepare Martin Chemnitz in his God-given role of saving the Reformation through the power of the Word. Martin Chemnitz said, "I frequently shudder, because Luther -- I do not know by what kind of presentiment -- in his commentaries on the Letter to the Galatians and on the First book of Moses so often repeats the statement: 'This doctrine of justification will be obscured again after my death.'" Osiander held his views as early as 1522, but remained quiet until Luther's death. Then he said, "Now that the lion is dead, I shall easily dispose of the foxes and hares." He was a brilliant man, apparently a loyal member of the Lutheran clergy, but proud and overbearing. In 1549 Count Albrecht of Prussia gave him a pastorate and a theology position with a double salary at the U. of Koenigsberg. Trouble erupted. Theology professors carried fire arms to class! Osiander's vanity and special position made it easier for him to return to the Roman view of justification. People take the Gospel for granted today, but the Reformers were raised on salvation by works and the inherent goodness of man. The Old Adam in us does not like to hear that our righteousness is "alien," entirely from Christ, received from the Word and Sacraments. Lutherans today who are bewitched by false teachers never tire of boasting of their good works and questioning the effectiveness of Luther. The spirit of Osiander is not far from us. Osiander received the protection of Duke Albrecht but increased the number of his opponents, adding Melanchthon. Then he died in 1552. Joachim Moerlin devoted his life to defeating Osiandrism and was banished by Albrecht for his trouble. Young Chemnitz, a colleague of Moerlin, librarian to Albrecht, also attacked Osiander's false doctrine of justification. Chemnitz left Prussia, when Moerlin was exiled, and returned to Wittenberg. Osiander also tried to divide the two natures of Christ, calling Him Mediator according to His divinity alone, while Stancarus opposed him with the contrary false doctrine, that Christ is Mediator according to His humanity alone. Problems with the two natures of Christ led Chemnitz to write his brilliant book, translated by LC-MS President Jack Preus, The Two Natures of Christ. The Formula of Concord (Article III, Of the Righteousness of Faith before God) rejected both Osiander and Stancarus, stating: "Against both the errors just recounted, we unanimously believe, teach, and confess that Christ is our Righteouness neither according to the divine nature alone nor according to the human nature alone, but that it is the entire Christ according to both natures." (Concordia Triglotta, p. l793). -- Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


"That We Might Have Hope" (Rom. 15:4) Genesis Chapter Forty-One

JOSEPH IS REMEMBERED How many times in your life have you said, "I forgot"? Forgetfulness is a frustrating human frailty. We forget birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, homework assignments, and sometimes even the names of our children. We also often forget to fulfill our promises to others. So it was with the chief butler who forgot to repay the kindness of Joseph. As you remember, Joseph had interpreted the butler's dreams while he feared for his life in prison. Once he was restored to his position with Pharaoh, the butler totally forgot about Joseph's request to speak on his behalf to Pharaoh. But according to God's plan, something jolted the butler's memory -- Pharaoh needed his dreams interpreted. Joseph was remembered. Pharaoh called for Joseph from prison to interpret his peculiar dreams, which were unable to be interpreted by any of Pharaoh's "wise men." Joseph explained how Pharaoh's two dreams really had the same meaning. Egypt would experience seven years of bountiful harvests followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint officers to collect the excess produce during the seven plentiful years so that food would be available during the seven years of famine. Pharoh was impressed with Joseph's advice and chose him to be in charge of the project. He was given Pharaoh's signet ring, and was clothed and lived like royalty. He was given a wife, Asenath, who bore him two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. It is interesting to note that Manasseh means "making forgetful." God had made Joseph forget all the toil of his earlier life. Pharaoh's dreams were fulfilled as Joseph had predicted, and Egypt was spared the effects of a devastating famine that affected the world. Was Joseph Ever Forgotten? Was Joseph ever forgotten? Yes, for a time, by the chief butler. But had God ever forgotten Joseph? Few people have had to endure the difficulties of Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers who hated him. He was falsely accused and sentenced to prison for doing the right thing. Joseph must have felt at times like God had forgotten him. Yet God had not. God in His wisdom -- which surpasses our understanding -- had a plan for Joseph's life. Through Joseph He was going to preserve the lives of His chosen people. Joseph grew to understand this, for he said to his brothers after his father Jacob's death: "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." Through it all, Joseph was remembered by his God. We Are Remembered It is not uncommon for believers to have moments of doubt, wondering whether God has forgotten them. We often struggle to understand why God allows pain, suffering, and death to befall His faithful. In times of weakness we need to remember that, just as with Joseph, God has a plan for our lives. Through the good and bad times, the years of plenty and the years of famine, He is watching over us, and only allowing things "for our good" to come to us. Unlike human friends, who don't always remember promises made, God fulfills His promises to us. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age" (Mt. 28:20). Let us not forget that we are remembered. "And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed" (Deut. 31:8). --Teacher Joseph Lau


King Jeroboam said it this way: "Lay hold on him" (1 Kgs. 13). A man of God had interrupted a worship service in Bethel at the very moment the king "stood by the altar to burn incense." The outsider had shouted: "O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord . . . 'Behold the altar shall be rent (torn asunder) and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.'" No wonder Jeroboam wanted that man arrested. The king had erected that altar at Bethel and another one farther north in Dan as convenient places of worship for his people. Convenient? Yes. Pleasing to God? No! He had warned the Hebrew nation: "Take heed to thyself that thou offer not burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: but in the place which the Lord shall choose" (Deut. 12) Later God chose Solomon's magnificent temple in Jerusalem as His special place for worship. He wanted all twelve tribes to sacrifice only at that location. Jeroboam's altars at Bethel and Dan defied God's will. Still worse, the man replaced the true worship of the Lord with two golden calves and began a religious festival of his own choosing in which he personally approached the altar to do sacrifice. He said to the people: "It is too much (troublesome) for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (1 Kgs. 12). The same chapter reveals the actual reason for the king's wicked actions. "Jeroboam said in his heart, 'Now shall the kingdom (his ten tribes) return to the house of David if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem. Then shall the heart of this people turn again unto . . . their king of Judah and they shall kill me.'" Therefore it provoked king Jeroboam when the man of God disrupted the worship service at Bethel. The king "put forth (extended) his hand from the altar saying 'Lay hold on him.'" But no one made that arrest because suddenly Jeroboam's outstretched hand dried up "so that he could not pull it to him again." Simultaneously the altar split open and its sacrifice ashes poured out on the ground. The Lord intended those sledgehammer blows as warnings that the king and all earthly authorities must answer to almighty God for their actios.n With his extended hand (and no doubt his arm) paralyzed in that position, Jeroboam pleaded: "Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God and pray for me that my hand may be restored me again." The man of God prayed and the Lord restored the king's hand. Yet even after experiencing such severe warnings and undeserved kindness, "Jeroboam returned not from his evil way and this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam to cut it off and to destroy it." The stubborn man destroyed himself, his relatives, and eventually the ten northern tribes of Israel. Scripture frequently refers to him as "Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin" (1 Kgs. 15:34, 16:19 & 26, 22:52). Follow The Lord's Word The man of God also committed a blunder for which the Lord punished him. The Lord had given three clear-cut orders to the man: 1) go to Bethel and pronounce destruction of its altar; 2) do not eat bread or drink water while there (avoid their hospitality); 3) do not return home the same way you came (lest he be recognized and offered hospitality). When King Jeroboam offered him gifts and hospitality, the man of God answered: "If thou wilt give me half of thine house (possessions), I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place." Then he "went another way and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel." So far so good! But then an old prophet from Bethel hurried after the man of God and told him this lie: "An angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying 'Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" The man of God probably reasoned that the old prophet could be trusted and that the Lord had made an exception to His clear orders. But the Lord had made no exception. While the man from Judah broke bread with the old prophet, this true message came from God: "Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord and . . . camest back and hast eaten bread and drunk water in this place . . . thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulcher of thy fathers." He would be buried among strangers. The Lord requires His children to obey His commands exactly even when important or seemingly trustworthy people urge them to do otherwise. A lion killed the man of God as he was traveling back to Judah. The old prophet buried him in his own tomb and mourned, saying: "Alas, my brother." He also told his sons, "When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulcher wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones." The old prophet considered it an honor to be buried next to a man who had bravely faced arrest in order to testify against the altar at Bethel. P.S. 2 Kings 23:15-18 relates an interesting event which took place at that grave 100 years later. --Robert Mackensen

PIETISM AND PROMISE KEEPERS (a four-part series)

Part II. Methods of Pietism

We must observe and avoid the Promise Keepers (Romans 16:17) because their doctrine and methods are derived from the errors of Pietism. They clearly do not trust in the efficacy of the Word or the Means of Grace. At the same time, they want to submerge all doctrinal differences by treating every denomination as the same. The singular trait of Pietism is the lay led prayer or Bible study group, with many names today: affinity group, koinonia group, share or care group, cell group. The founder of Pietism, Philip Spener, was influenced by the Reformed in no longer trusting the external Word, the Gospel proclaimed and taught in church, to accomplish God's work. Spener set up the conventicles (collegia pietatis) which plague the Church today. Although they deny it, Pietists consider the congregation a convenient central location for the Real Church, their cell groups. Pietists consider the cell group members the genuine believers while those who only to go church on Sunday are thought to be unsaved or at a lower level of Christianity. Some Baptists, for instance, brag about never entering their own sanctuary while serving as Bible class leaders for decades. The lay led cell group often sets itself against the congregation and pastor, calling their critics "possessed by Satan." The cell group is always open to all denominations, so Pentecostals, Adventists, and other sects step in and lead the gullible to a higher, deeper, better Christianity which pretends to be free of doctrine. In fact, cell groups have a few doctrines which they protect by excommunicating dissenters: 1) Infant baptism is from Satan; 2) Each person must have a specific and colorful born-again experience; 3) Worship and holy communion are not important; 4) One must submit to the cell group's authority; 5) All denominations are equal, except for the bad ones which emphasize sound doctrine. In many cases, women teach men and are in authority over them (1 Timothy 2:12). Reversing its former trend against doctrinal laxity, the Wisconsin Synod has lately begun endorsing cell groups, following the example of Rev. Hybel's Willow Creek Community Church and Rev. Paul Y. Cho's Full Gospel (Pentecostal) Church in Korea. WELS pastors were paid to attend training in Madison, Wisconsin. Introduction to Small Groups. Purpose of This Segment. 1. To introduce the concept of small group ministry. 2. To present the rationale (benefits and need for) small groups. 3. To impart a vision for small groups as a strategy for accomplishing our disciple-making mission.(1) One of the leaders of the conference, a WELS pastor being trained in Church Growth at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, sold copies of a book by Cho, whose doctrines include teaching that the spirit world will give people what they demand in their prayers, as long as their list is specific. The WELS cell group conference was not a fluke. Soon after, a WELS Seminary professor admitted that he was trained by a non-Lutheran, Lyman Coleman, in Serendipity cell group methods and endorsed them as good for WELS. The point being made here is that the reason for having home Bible study in small groups seems to have shifted from the Pietists' or parachurch groups' goal of creating cells of people who will reform the church to having small groups as an integral part of a congregation's work.(2) Unionism causes doctrinal indifference; doctrinal indifference causes unionism. Promise Keepers cell groups will make Lutherans despise the Means of Grace. "Making disciples" is another method of Pietism, leading to a pharisaic attitude toward others. If my faith is grounded in my own personal experience of salvation and not in the objective Gospel promises of God in the Scriptures, then how can I be certain of salvation? If baptism is symbolic, how do I know that the Holy Spirit dwells in me? The Reformed "monster of uncertainty" is the energy which fuels cell groups and "making disciples." --Pastor Gregory L. Jackson (1) WELS Campus Pastors, Small Group Training Conference, Jan. 7-9, 1991, Madison. p. 2 (2) Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1994. p. 127.

M D F -- Mission Development Fund

In this world of acronyms (letters) we often hear of many of them and many times struggle trying to remember what they really stand for. In our government one that we are more familiar with is the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or the FHA (Federal Housing Authority). We could go on and on. It seems that in our own CLC (Church of the Lutheran Confession) we also have many that are used. Like the CC (Coordinating Council), the CEF (Church Extension Fund), ILC (Immanuel Lutheran College), the MBM (Ministry by Mail), and the VTM (Video Tape Ministry). Here too, I guess, the list could go on and on. But in this article I would like to familiarize you with the MDF (Mission Development Fund). Although all of the programs, committees etc. are very much needed, the present need in the MDF is currently very great (as of 3/20/96 we are approximately $7,000 in the red). Some years back the CLC Convention voted to set up a fund called the MDF for special mission purposes. Many times needs and opportunities come up when funds from the general Mission Budget are not available. The purpose of the fund would then be for these needs to be taken from the MDF. For the most part the fund has been used primarily for our foreign missions in Nigeria, India, and most recently in Thailand. The use of these funds has been almost endless. They have been used for many, many things: autos for our missionaries in Nigeria, travel and travel expenses for missionaries and their families, repairs and maintenance on the home and classrooms in Nigeria, water wells, electrical wiring, etc. Once again the list could go on and on. Most recently a van for the missionary and the Bible trainig school in Nigeria was purchased at a cost of $12,000. Our biggest expenditure by far has been the two-year exploratory which Pastor Bohde and his wife and family have been carrying out in Thailand. In the 1994 Convention it was voted unanimously to do this exploratory. This was done after a visit by Missionary Bohde and President Fleischer. The Mission Board strongly recommended this exploration, but due to the budget constraints had no way of funding this venture. The Convention voted that we fund this project from the MDF. The two-year estimated cost was to be approximately $50,000. For many unforeseen reasons, the expense and costs have far exceeded the early projections. With four months remaining in this first two-year period, the costs have run nearly $70,000, and we expect the expenses including travel etc. will run approximately an additional $18,000 to Convention time. Any way you look at it, it is a lot of money. There is also lots of opportunity to spread God's saving Word to many, many people who have never heard of their Savior. Many have never heard the word JESUS. Pastor Bohde has nearly completed his initial language study. During his very busy schedule he has been holding weekly church services and Bible classes. I believe at the present time the average attendance has been around 15. A few have been Americans, but mostly Thai people. He is presently exploring three areas, most all in remote areas where he will plan to preach and teach when he returns (the Lord willing) after the Convention in June. It is in these areas where he will be ministering to souls who have never heard the name of Jesus. I think you can see the quandary that the Mission Board has faced, and continues to struggle with -- a lack of funds in the MDF. What can we do? Begin by praying that God will give us the needed funds to continue. Pray also for our foreign missionaries and their famlies. Both Pastor Bohde in Thailand and Pastor Paul Gurgel in Nigeria. Along with your prayers, open up your pocketbooks and give to the MDF as the Lord has prospered you. It shouldn't be necessary to go into all the wonderful gifts and blessings that the Lord has bestowed on each of us. Our gifts to the MDF should not take away from our giving to our local congregations, or our other mission and special fund gifts. The gift of love to the MDF should be our gift to those who have never heard His name. Pray also for our CLC Convention this coming June. We will certainly have struggles as we try to learn what God will have us in the CLC do as we set our course for the years ahead. Regardless of the letters MDF, CLC, ILC, CEF or the many others, we know and can be assured that God will bless each of them. -- Don Ohlmann CLC Board of Missions

May Announcements

Great Lakes Delegate Conference

When: Begins at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 3rd (CDT); closes at 12:00 on Tuesday, June 4th. Where: Faith Lutheran of Markesan, Wisc. Agenda: * Study of 1996 Prospectus * The Glory of the LORD - Pastor David Reim Announce: Please announce to the host pastor. The congregation requests your cooperation in announcing early enough for their preparations. For their meal and housing preparations please indicate your tentative time of arrival. --Pastor John Ude, Secretary

West Central Delegate Conference

Dates: June 7-9, 1996 beginning at 10:00 a.m. (CDT) on Friday through 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Place: Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Watertown, S.Dak. Agenda: ** Devotional Study of Romans 8:31-39 -- Mr. Michael McEnroe ** Devotional Study of John 15:1-9 -- Teacher Seth Schaller ** The Work of the Elder (carry-over) -- Mr. Bob Ruegge ** Our Practice in Extending the Divine Call -- Pastor Steven Sippert ** Birth Control: the Arguments For or Against Considered in the Light of Scripture -- Pastor Paul Larsen ** Discussion of the Prospectus and other business Conference Chaplain: Pastor Jay Hartmann Conference Speaker: Pastor Paul Krause --Pastor Steven Sippert, Secretary

Minnesota Delegate Conference

Date: Sunday, June 9, 1996 Time: 3:00 p.m. Place: Faith Lutheran Church, New Ulm, Minn. Agenda: * Prospectus to the CLC Convention * "The Role of the Congregational Chairman" -- Mr. Steve Ludvigson * Business Meeting --Pastor Rick R. Grams, Secretary

Change Of Address

St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church and School 2100 16th St. SW Austin, MN 55912

Christian Singles Retreat

The sixth annual Christian Singles Retreat is scheduled for July 28 through August 1, 1996 at Silver Mountain in Kellogg, Idaho. For a registration packet and information ask your pastor or contact: Linda Brincken P.O. Box 72 Latah, WA 99018-0072 (509) 286-3932

Women's Luncheon

Women of the CLC are invited to attend a luncheon to be held at Messiah Lutheran Church of Eau Claire on Wednesday, June 19, 1996 during the CLC Convention. Those attending may bring displays or crafts by 10:00 a.m. on the day of the luncheon. Please send responses, together with $4.50 to cover expenses, to Susan Lau, 507 Ingram Drive West, Eau Claire, WI 54701 by May 31.

Attention Homeschoolers!

There will be a meeting of Homeschoolers during the CLC convention this summer. It will be held Wednesday evening after the communion service. This meeting will include the sale and trade of homeschool books, sharing ideas and support, and a discussion, led by Pastor Gregory Jackson, on the Reformed influences in most Christian curriculums. This should be a big help to all who are homeschooling, or who are considering it. --Pastor David Reim

Special Service Of Dedication

St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church and School of Austin, Minn. invites members and friends of the CLC to a special service dedicating its new church and school building to the glory of God. The service will be conducted on Sunday afternoon, June 9, 1996 at 4:00 p.m. Rev. L. W. Schierenbeck will be the guest preacher. Dinner will immediately follow the service. For more information please contact Rev. Stephen C. F. Kurtzahn, 2200 16th St. SW, Austin, MN 55912, phone (507) 433-1957.