The Lutheran Spokesman
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
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"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
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
* 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
--Pastor Paul Naumann
2 Cor. 5:17
Studies in Second Corinthians
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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,
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
P.S. 2 Kings 23:15-18 relates an interesting event which took place at
that grave 100 years later.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
* 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.
** 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
** 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.
* 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:
P.O. Box 72
Latah, WA 99018-0072
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.
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)