The Lutheran Spokesman (October 1995)
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* L u t h e r a n *
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* October 1995 *
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Put soul into your work, and joy and health will be yours.
-- Martin Luther
In this issue
Plead My Cause, O LORD...
A Wonderful Way To Remember The Reformation
After The Death of Luther/Formula of Concord
A Key Word: "Alone"
Adrift on the Sea of Theology
That All May Be One
Church of the Lutheran Confession Foundation
Another Conference School Opened
VBS: Berea of Inver Grove Heights MN, Cross of Phoenix AZ
For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.
"Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; Fight against
those who fight against me . . . Say to my soul, 'I am your salvation'
. . . Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous
cause; And let them say continually, 'Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant'"
(Psalm 35:1, 3, 27)
It's anybody's guess as to when David set down these words -- how many
times wasn't this embattled king surrounded by intrigue and violence?
Was it before his reign, when the rejected Saul aimed to make Jesse's
son a youthful pin-cushion? Or was it later, when David's son, Absalom
-- beautiful, spoiled Absalom -- stole the hearts of the people and
sent David and his court packing?
Whatever the case, David had plenty of occasion to appeal to the Lord
in the face of opposition and personal danger. It had been so from the
time he went out to take bread and cheese to his brothers at war, and
heard Goliath taunting Israel and mocking Israel's God. David found
himself in battle -- a battle he took very personally. Goliath, after
all, was mocking the Lord, the God of his fathers. All David's hopes
were invested in this God -- where else could he turn when his cause
was endangered? Errand boy for the army, or ruler of Israel, it was
all the same to the Psalmist who understood that "his cause" (his
duties in the Lord's service), however humble, was no different than
the Lord's cause:
"Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; Fight against
those who fight against me."
So it was for servants of the Lord also in the days of the
Reformation. The Lutheran Reformation was an effort to lay bare the
shining goblet of Truth, long tarnished by the errors of Rome. Three
simple principles governed the Reformers: they were guided by
Scripture Alone; they taught that man was saved by Grace Alone; saving
grace was received by Faith Alone.
"The LORD Is My Salvation"
These three principles established a Truth among the reformers that
was already taught by David in the prayer: "Say to my soul, 'I am your
salvation.'" This was the driving force of the Reformation: the
Lutherans (as they wre sneeringly called) found their cause in
preaching the true comfort and assurance that "a man is not justified
by the works of the law but by faith (alone) in Jesus Christ" (Gal.
It is well for us to study the history of the Church; especially to
reflect on this period of the Reformation, for it was this simple,
childlike truth around which the Reformers gathered. They did so
against dreadful odds; there were Goliaths (Emperor Charles V), Sauls
(Pope Leo X), and Absaloms (Philip Melanchthon, who drafted the
Augsburg Confession, but in later years altered many of the clear
confessions made earlier). Men like Luther, and later Chemnitz and
Andreae, had come to realize that the jewels of the Reformation --
Scripture alone, Grace alone, Faith alone -- were also the refuge in
which they found safety amidst the political, verbal, or physical
assaults of their adversaries. For if enemies of the truth were
allowed to weaken the Reformer's commitment to the Scriptures' truth,
they themselves would lose the Lord's own gift of assurance. To
relinquish the authority of Scripture is to lose the Lord's means of
saying to the soul "I am your salvation."
Better by far to pray for God to plead one's own cause, and leave the
worries to Him. Better by far to continue on the road of the truth
come what may; to commit one's keeping into the hands of our God. It
was a personal thing with them; the price of bartering truth for error
was just too high.
"Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And
let them say continually, 'Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure
in the prosperity of His servant.'"
The Reformation is a personal thing -- it is a disciple's resistance
to the dethroning of Christ and the erosion of His truth. If we seek
to proclaim the truth of Scripture as we have seen it done in the
past, we will undoubtedly meet with our own Goliaths, Sauls, and
But we will, by God's grace, also hear the joyful shouts of the
saints; we will see the salvation of the Lord. May the true spirit of
the Reformation be a personal thing with us: the confidence that the
Lord is our salvation, and none other.
Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
Curb those who fain by craft and sword
Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son
And set at naught all He hath done.
--Pastor Peter Reim
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth
is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
(1 John 1:8-9).
"A Wonderful Way To Remember The Reformation"
Taking an honest and thorough self-examination is an exceedingly hard
thing to do. This, however, is a huge part of our Christian lives. May
Christ show us how to keep on doing this rightly, and also how
self-examination can be a very wonderful way to remember the
Sin Is Dangerous
The first part of our scripture text says that if we say we have no
sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Confessing our
sins would be so easy for us except for our human pride. Our pride
always wants to tell us that this or that sin we've committed is not
really a sin. "Other people are just as bad if not worse than we are,"
we like to think. Then our hearts become filled up with denials or
excuses which gloss over our sins.
Scripture, though, has an entirely different answer for us, and it
does not gloss over our sins. It says that if we deny our sins we are
deluding ourselves and the truth is not in us. If the truth is not in
us then the only thing left is lies. Anyone who denies his sins is
lying to himself and most of all he is lying to his all-seeing,
all-knowing, and all-loving God. Besides being liars we are also being
cowards because we are running away from the truth. Until you are
willing to face up to cold, hard reality, you will always be running
away from yourself and your sins. The Bible makes it perfectly plain
that both liars and cowards will end up in the lake of fire which
burns with brimstone.
Martin Luther once said that something even as small as a penny can
block our way to heaven if we let it. The smallest sin has that same
possibility for us. If we do not face up to the truth about our sins,
we erect a barrier between ourselves and our God which could become
such that it destroys our faith in Him. The person who does this sets
himself outside of God's grace. From this preserve us, heavenly
God Forgives And Cleanses
Our Scripture verse, however, goes on to give us the other side of
this coin. It says that if we confess our sins God is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. Yes, if we face up to the truth about our sins, God
will act according to His faithfulness and justice. He is indeed
faithful because He holds true to His promises. He has said that
because of Jesus' earthly life, suffering and death and empty tomb, He
remembers our sins no more.
When we repent of our sins we experience His sweet grace which He
gives us in His Word and sacraments. His grace blots out our record of
sins against Him because His grace enables Him to make good His
promise to forgive us. And He is also just to forgive us because
Christ has paid for our sins, and we by faith lay claim to Christ's
payment and His promise of forgiveness. Our sins are indeed covered by
Jesus' blood and righteousness.
But besides forgiving our sins, God also cleanses us from all
unrighteousness. He does this by sending us His Holy Spirit. This
Spirit lives in our hearts and tells us that God has cast our sins out
of His sight. The Spirit also conforms our hearts, minds, and wills so
that they agree with Christ more and more day by day. If we keep on
letting God work in our hearts, then we will see greater and greater
joy, peace, cleansing, and true righteousness happening in us until we
meet God face to face in eternal life. This grant us, dear Father in
How then can this Scripture text help us to remember the Reformation
which proclaimed salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ? It
does so by exhorting us to face up to the reality of our sins, and
thereby to receive the benefits of God's richest, most wonderful
grace. Then let us ask the Holy Spirit to remain in our hearts and
empower us to do all this and serve God with everything we have.
--Submitted by Gregory Kesterson, a member of Berea Lutheran, Sioux
Falls, So. Dak.
How the Formula Of Concord Was Forged
Part One: Luther's Death
When Luther died, Lutheranism collapsed. Military defeat of the
Lutherans worsened the weaknesses of the Wittenberg faculty. This era
is painful to read about and seldom studied, but it is important for
two reasons. First: God used the compounded tragedy to bring about the
Formula of Concord and the Book of Concord. Second: our era is very
close to that following Luther's death -- orthodox doctrine almost
completely forgotten, conservative Lutheran seminary faculty members
promoting Calvinism, conflict and confusion abounding.
Luther died on February 18, 1546. On the fourth of July, the Pope
issued a bull: "From the beginning of our Papacy it has always been
our concern how to root out the weeds of godless doctrines which the
heretics have sowed throughout Germany. . . Now it has come to pass
that, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, our dearest son in Christ,
Charles, the Roman Emperor, has decided to employ the sword against
those enemies of God."
Charles V, the Roman Catholic emperor who heard the Augsburg
Confession read in 1530, attacked the German Lutheran forces and
quickly defeated them. His victory was facilitated by the neutrality
of some Lutheran princes and the secret treachery of Maurice of
Saxony, who was given John Frederick's position. The Elector of
Saxony, John Frederick, was taken captive.
Charles V entered Wittenberg on May 23, 1547 and stood at Luther's
grave. He was urged to have Luther's body dug up and burned at the
stake for heresy. He responded by saying he was warring with the
living, not the dead. His forces controlled most of Germany, and he
used his military might to force the Lutherans back into submission to
Luther feared the loss of sound doctrine. Stephanus Tucher reported
Luther saying, "After my death not one of these (Wittenberg)
theologians will remain steadfast." Luther not only saw the
inconstancy of Melanchthon, Bugenhagen, Cruciger, Eber, and Major, but
also their indifference to false doctrine, especially about the Lord's
Luther's blast against George Major us a perfect antidote to the
current attitude of "spoiling the Egyptians," promoting and defending
the false doctrine of non-Lutherans:
It is by your silence and cloaking that you cast suspicion upon
yourself. If you believe as you declare in my presence, then speak so
also in the church, in public lectures, in sermons, and in private
conversations, and strengthen your brethren, and lead the erring back
to the right path, and contradict the contumacious spirits; otherwise
your confession is sham pure and simple, and worth nothing. Whoever
really regards his doctrine, faith, and confession as true, right, and
certain cannot remain in the same stall with such as teach, or adhere
to, false doctrine; nor can he keep on giving friendly words to Satan
and his minions. A teacher who remains silent when errors are taught,
and nevertheless pretends to be a true teacher, is worse than an open
fanatic and by his hypocrisy does greater damage than a heretic. Nor
can he be trusted. He is a wolf and a fox, a hireling and a servant of
his belly, and ready to despise and to sacrifice doctrine, Word,
faith, Sacrament, churches, and schools. He is either a secret
bedfellow of the enemies, or a skeptic and a weathervane, waiting to
see whether Christ or the devil will prove victorious; or he has no
convictions on his own whatever, and is not worthy to be called a
pupil, let alone a teacher; nor does he want to offend anybody, or say
a word in favor of Christ, or hurt the devil and the world.
After Luther's death, Major taught that good works were necessary for
salvation, a false doctrine refuted by the Formula of Concord.
The Wittenberg faculty abandoned Luther's theology to such an extent
that by 1566 the scriptural truths of the Reformation were taught
publicly in only a few places.
--Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
(This is a portion of an address given as part of the 1994 Area
Reformation Festival Service at Immanuel, Mankato, Minnesota -- Ed.)
...Against (the) assaults of Satan we must pray for the spiritual
strength to continue contending for the faith once delivered to
the saints. For the cause and strength are not ours, but Christ's.
And this contending consists in nothing more nor anything less than
continuing to believe, cherish, preach, teach, profess, and live the
soul-saving and faith-strengthening principles of the Reformation --
grace alone, faith alone, and scripture alone.
If there is one term in these principles which most identify us, truly
separate us from the vast majority of Christendom today, it is the
world ALONE. Many speak of grace, faith, and Scripture, and not only
do they at times mean something different, but rarely would they add
the word "alone."
GRACE ALONE -- undeserved love, we profess, is the basis for God's
favor, that which moved Him to reach out with and through His Son to
fallen mankind. Grace alone -- nothing else, nothing supplemental,
nothing infused, nothing whatsoever in us.
FAITH ALONE -- As the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts from
degenerate to regenerate, faith alone is the gift by which the
blessings of salvation come to us. By faith alone, not by works (as
Ephesians chapter 2 and all Scripture proclaims), nor together with
works ("lest any man should boast") lest the Gospel be annulled and
Christ be robbed of His full glory as our Savior.
The story is told of a converted Indian who was asked to show what he
understood by grace and faith alone. Placing a worm on the ground, he
surrounded it with a circle of dry twigs and then lit the twigs.
Watching the worm squirm and wiggle as it sought an impossible escape,
the man then reached down and lifted the worm out. So sinful man with
all his "squirming and wiggling" cannot escape the hell-fire which
surrounds him. Only the Hand of God reaching down from heaven to pluck
him from these fires can rescue him.
SCRIPTURE ALONE -- is the almighty God's inspired and inerrant
revelation to man and the only authority in all matters of faith. Not
scripture plus supposedly harmless doses of false teaching; not
scripture plus the thoughts and opinions of the proud and humanistic
mind of man; not scripture minus that which conflicts with man's
reason or interferes with his desires or lifestyle. Only scripture
completely and only alone!
"Jesus Loves Me . . . "
I have yet to find a more strikingly simple illustration of the
principles of the Reformation and of the Christian faith than that
simple verse of the children's song all of us learned and loved in our
childhood: "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so."
JESUS LOVES ME -- Isn't that grace alone? He loves me, undeserving
sinner though I am, "having been justified freely by His grace through
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
THIS I KNOW -- Isn't that faith alone, the confidence and certainty of
Christ's love and my salvation in Him?
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO -- Because my God has said so in His Word
and I believe it. Isn't that scripture alone?
May the lyrics of this children's Reformation song live in our hearts.
For each Reformation offers us yet another opportunity to reaffirm our
commitment, to write our own Formula of Concord.
The principles of the Reformation are not simply worth maintaining --
there are no other options or alternatives. They must be maintained.
They must be reaffirmed by each generation anew, by each of our
churches anew, by each of our families anew, by each of our hearts
anew. They must be renewed by faithful use of Word and sacrament,
Luther's source of strength and no less ours.
It is our privileged and honored calling to be Christ's witnesses, His
messengers, His reformers for our day. May we go forward in His name
and to His glory with courage, confidence, and commitment. "The Lord
of hosts is (still) with us; the God of Jacob is (still) our
--Pastor David Schierenbeck
It makes for a captivating, albeit often tragic, story or TV drama. A
seaworthy vessel with supposedly capable seamen at the helm loses its
power or moorings while at sea and soon finds itself adrift -- at the
mercy of the currents, the elements, the wind and waves. Compounding
the problem are a scarcity of food and water, no idea or control over
where one is headed, where dry land is, where help may be found.
Such a tragic scenario and warning is depicted by the apostle Paul in
Ephesians 4. There he describes those without the spiritual anchor or
mooring of God's Word as being "tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine" (v. 14). In other words, they are adrift
on the sea of theology at the mercy of every satanic wind and
dangerous current that happens to be blowing.
"Social Gospel" Issues
Adrift on the sea of theology -- such words aptly describe happenings
at the recent Minneapolis convention of the 5.2 million member
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is the result
of a 1988 merger of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the
Lutheran Church in America (LCA), and is the largest and most liberal
branch of Lutheranism in the United States. Key issues before this
year's convention were the election of a new bishop or leader, world
hunger, social justice, and the celebration of the 25th anniversary of
the ordination of women pastors. Resolutions were passed concerning a
host of "social gospel" items. Very little interest in, or discussion
of, spiritual or doctrinal matters was evident at this convention.
Newly elected ELCA presiding Bishop H. G. Anderson spoke of the ELCA
approach as "theology by consensus." "Our theology," he said, "is
simply the way we decide to apply the gospel in our world. God will
lead us." In an organization of such widely divergent cultures and
theological backgrounds and stances, he saw "theology by consensus" as
the only "workable solution" in the quest for true unity in the
church. Only when a "consensus" (general, majority agreement) is
reached does it become part of the ELCA confession or beliefs. Thus,
for example, since a consensus could not be reached on the
controversial "Human Sexuality Study" (endorsing homosexuality and
"loving" extra-marital relationships), it was simply tabled for two
years with the consequence that the ELCA is basically without a
position on many sixth commandment issues.
An Eye-Opening Textbook
To those familiar with happenings within Lutheranism and with the
ELCA, this comes as no surprise. One of our CLC pastors has prepared
an eye-opening review of the "Christian Dogmatics (Doctrine)" textbook
used in the seminary training of ELCA pastors. Claiming the "gospel"
rather than the Bible is the "canon" (measuring stick for divine
authority or truth), this textbook proceeds to methodically
challenge and undermine such key Christian doctrines as the
inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the Trinity, Creation, Sin,
the Virgin Birth, Salvation through Christ alone, the Vicarious
Atonement, and the Resurrection. With those gone, what is left? In the
name of Christianity they have virtually "gutted" the Christian faith
and with it all comfort and hope for lost sinners.
Once the anchor, rudder, and engine of God's Word no longer operates
or controls the organizational "ship," the prospect for aimless
drifting on the sea of life spells imminent disaster. Once the ELCA
denied the verbal inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, there was
nothing left to hold the ship on course. Our hearts go out to those
passengers aboard the ELCA ship who are "adrift" and yet are being
told that all is well.
For us as well this story is both a warning and cause for
thanksgiving. God has graciously anchored our hearts, our confession,
and our fellowship to Him and His Word. Yet no special natural
immunity is ours from the fate which has befallen much of
Lutheranism. We are sailing on the same sea with the same storms and
deadly currents around us. Only by clinging in faith to our Lord and
His Word will we remain "on course," confident He will lead us "to
that bright shore where we weep no more."
--Pastor David Schierenbeck
(Adapted from the February 1995 Newsletter of Grace Lutheran Church,
Sleepy Eye, Minnesota)
The pastor of the ELCA church in our city recently took his turn
writing an article for the church page of the our local paper. In
connection with something called "The Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity" he called for all denominations to "remove the fences between
us" so that we can "stand together in a common bond as we fight our
common foe." In describing this foe he adds: "We should never consider
another congregation in the community as our competition. The world
and all its attractions is our competition."
We have no argument with the fact that the fallen, unbelieving world
around us is a common enemy of the churches. We do, however, take
exception to the suggestion that all Christian churches regardless of
their doctrinal differences can and should be standing side-by-side
and arm-in-arm in the battle being waged. From our vantage point much
of the Christian Church, including the ELCA, has embraced a "new
thinking" over against the Bible which makes them, in fact, cohorts of
Having said that, we were not surprised at the "biblical arguments"
advanced by this ELCA pastor in his support. There was the usual
appeal to Christian love. If the "awesome love of Jesus Christ" is
there, it was suggested, "all our (doctrinal) differences are
trifles...." One wonders whether we are reading the same Bible. Where
in Holy Scripture do Jesus Christ or any of His prophets or apostles
call departing from the Word of the Lord a trifle? Where in the Bible
are doctrinal differences minimized in the name of Christian love? To
the contrary. We could list copious passages which speak against
trifling with the Word of God, and any jot or tittle of it.
Unless one takes great care and lets the Bible interpret itself, it is
possible to make the Bible say just about anything one wants it to
say. The first passage the ELCA pastor refers to (which supposedly
adds weight to his plea for unity across denominational lines) is the
word of the Savior in His High Priestly prayer: "that all may be
one...that the world may believe" (John 17:21). We note first of all
that this is only a portion of what Jesus prayed. Here is the complete
thought: "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I
in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe
that You sent Me..."
There the Savior prays that all believers might be one even as He, the
Son of God, is one in essence with God the Father. The oneness or
unity Jesus is praying for is nothing forced, make-shift, or
superficial. No, it is a unity that is as real and essential as is the
Son's own relation with the Father. Such a deep and wonderful unity
is present among Christian believers within the invisible church -- the
Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints (see Eph. 4:4-6).
Believers share a common faith and purpose in Christ -- and they do so
across denominational lines. "The Lord knows those who are His" (2 Tim.
Jesus does not contradict Himself, here or elsewhere. He is hardly
praying that His disciples ignore false and anti-Christian doctrines.
He says in another place: "If you abide in My word, you are My
disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free" (Jn. 8:31). And again: "Beware of false prophets, who
come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous
wolves" (Mt. 7:15). Read the Savior's indictment of any and all
superficiality in connection with his denunciation of the Pharisees
in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew.
No "Union Without Unity"
The pastor we are quoting granted that "we do not agree with each
other in all things." And he adds: "that's why there are different
denominations." Yet his suggestion to unite regardless is the idea
we have heard, and for conscience' sake rejected, many times before.
It is the old argument which says "agree to disagree agreeably" for
the sake of an outward peace and unity.
Against such "union without unity" of Bible doctrine, we as an
orthodox and confessional Lutheran church, continue to take our stand
upon the clear words of Holy Scripture and with our Lutheran forebears
"From this our explanation, friends and enemies, and therefore every
one, may clearly infer that we have no intention of yielding aught of
the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace,
tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do).
Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth
and for its suppression, have an permanency. Still less are we
inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and
manifest, condemned errors. But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and
love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to
advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory
remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy
Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor
sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith,
confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved
alone through the sole merit of Christ." (The Formula of Concord,
Thor. Decl. Art. XI, p. 1095)
COMPROMISE IS NOT THE ANSWER:
A certain theologian tells a story that illustrates the absurdness of
compromising biblical absolutes:
Imagine two schools of mathematics, one run by a wise man, the other
by a fool. In the first, children are taught that 2 + 2 = 4; in the
second that 2 + 2 = 3. Then along comes a teacher who says that after
all, love is the most important thing. Why should there be differences
between teachers of mathematics? Let them each agree to make a small
concession so that both can teach the same way. Then the children can
be taught that 2 + 2 = 3 1/2. Whoever refuses to accept such a loving
solution is a fanatic, a bigot, and is no longer worthy to be a
teacher of mathematics.
Such is the thinking in today's churches! However, to concede one
point of Holy Scripture is an act of disobedience to the Lord. Today,
God's people are asked repeatedly to compromise the Word of God, but
we must be faithful and never give in to their demands.
Editor's note: This excerpt is adapted from an article we saw in
The Vine and the Branches, a publication of ELCA conservatives.
A follow-up to the above:
In May of this year the pope issued an encyclical on Christian unity.
Also seizing on John 17:21, he titled it Ut Unum Sint ("That They may
Be One"). In it he calls on Protestants "to engage with me in a patient
and fraternal dialogue" on major doctrinal points. According to
Christianity Today, while some, such as Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic
priest and former Lutheran, call the pope's statement "historic" and
"unprecedented," many Protestants see it as an appeal to compromise for
the sake of external unity.
As far as our position on the pope is concerned, we stand on the
confession of Article 43 of the Brief Statement: " . . . We teach that
the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures concerning the Antichrist, 2 Thess.
2:3-12; 1 John 2:18, have been fulfilled in the Pope of Rome and his
dominion . . . he anathematizes the very heart of the Gospel of Christ,
that is, the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins by grace alone, for
Christ's sake alone, through faith alone, without any merit or worthiness
in man . . ."
It is not surprising that the liberal Lutherans are moving toward
reconciliation with Rome. Both twist Christ's words in John 17:21,
making that passage a cloak for compromise. However, no true heirs
of Martin Luther and the orthodox Lutheran Reformation will ever sit
in "patient and fraternal dialogue" with the Antichrist.
--Pastor Paul Fleischer
Why Do We Have A Foundation?
The need for the Foundation became apparent when the Board of Trustees
began having trouble administering some of the gifts that were being
given to the CLC. There were simply too many categories of which to
keep track. The Trustees called on the synod to establish a Foundation
through which these gifts could be channeled in order to more
efficiently administer them. The main concern was with bequests and
special gifts that didn't fit into the funds structure of the CLC.
What Is The Foundation?
The 1992 Convention of the CLC established the CLC foundation as a
"means for the CLC to administer special gifts given for the work of
the Kingdom." The Foundation Board drew up guidelines for the
Foundation and presented them to the 1994 CLC Convention for approval.
This past year the Foundation Board has been busy doing what those
guidelines require of its members to prepare for the publicity of the
Foundation. This is the first such publicity springing from those
How Does The Foundation Function?
When a prospective donor wishes to give to the Foundation, he must
first procure a brochure in which he will find a brief explanation
of the Foundation and a "Planned Giving Form." These brochures are
available from your pastor or in the tract rack at your church. By
filling out the form you are simply letting the Foundation Board
know that you intend to give to the Foundation.
This helps the Board in several ways. First of all, it gives them the
opportunity to assist you in figuring out to which fund of the CLC
your gift should go in order to accomplish the purpose you have in
mind. It also helps them determine whether or not the gift can be
accepted in the form in which the donor intends to give it. This is of
particular importance when the gift is in some form other than cash.
Once the Board has received the "Planned Giving Form," the donor will
be notified of any additional information needed by the Board and of
any additional planning he might need to do before donating to the
Foundation. The Board does not give financial advice or counseling,
however. This should be done with a competent financial consultant.
The Board members will be happy to assist you in filling out the form
if you need help. (As per its guidelines, it is not the intent of the
Board to solicit funds for the Foundation.) After the form has been
accepted, a copy will be returned to you. Your gift will be received
by the Foundation at the time specified by you. You are never under
any obligation, however.
If you think that this is a way in which you would like to give to the
work of the church, you can ask your pastor for a brochure. The Board
looks forward to assisting you.
--The CLC Foundation Board (Neal Wietgrefe, Chm., Paul Meyer, Pastor
Another Conference School Opened
Following the lead of three sister churche sof the Pacific Coast
Conference, St. Stephen of Mountain View, Calif. is undertaking its
own day school, with grades K-3 opening this fall.
Early in July Miss Sara Pfeiffer, a 1995 graduate of the Education
Department at ILC, was installed as principal/teacher. She will be
assisted by the pastor and several volunteers, including an
administrator who will be responsible for business affairs and
By happy accident (or rather, divine design), the church facility is
able to provide two handsomely furnished classrooms (one with
fold-door division), an office, and a gated play-yard. After beginning
with K-3, an additional grade is planned for each year following.
Gethsemane of Spokane was the first of the CLC mission churches of the
Pacific Coast to become self-supporting and start a school. Twenty
years ago this fall. Mr. Matthew Thurow, an ILC graduate, will be
installed after he completes some supplementary certification in
December. Meanwhile Pastor Robert List is acting principal. The
teaching staff includes Nona Schaller, Susan Panther, Marlys Gerth,
and Donna McCoul.
Eleven years ago Redemption of Lynnwood opened its school. This fall
Quinn Sprengeler came from Immanuel High in Mankato to take over the
school, which currently offers grades K-5. Participation continues
After only three years Holy Cross School is enjoying the kind of
steady growth in enrollment that impels building expansion plans. Mark
Kranz is principal. Roberta Beckelman is part-time staff.
--Rollin A. Reim
I recently heard a national leader of public education being
interviewed. The interviewer asked about what is being done to combat
all the violence in public schools. The NEA leader said that many
schools now include "conflict resolution" classes in their
curriculums. The purpose of these classes is to teach children of
various ethinic groups and "value systems" how to get along in the
classroom setting. Isn't it a shame that valuable class time, once
used to teach "the basics," is now being used to teach children not to
use violence to solve problems? This is just one of many examples in
which public schools are looked on to solve the problems of our sinful
The purpose of this article is not, however, to provide answers to
problems faced by many public schools (for which I currently have
none), but rather to express what a privilege it is to teach in a
school where "conflict resolution" has a whole different meaning.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the greatest
conflict in human history has taken place between sinful man and a
holy God. Our holy God hates sin, and "the carnal mind is enmity
agianst God" (Rom. 8:7). A resolution was necessary to prevent the
violent death of all people in hell. A resolution came in the form of
the God-man, Jesus Christ, whose perfect life and innocent death
atoned for the sins of all people. "The blood of Jesus Christ, His
Son, cleanses us from all sin" (1 Jn. 1:7). By faith in this perfect
sacrifice we are no longer enemies with God. Jesus' "conflict
resolution" has enabled us to love one another and to resolve our
conflicts with each other as well.
In our Christian day schools of the CLC we are blessed by the Holy
Spirit with a common "value system." Right and wrong are determined by
what Scripture says. Our conflict resolution class takes place
throughout the school day whenever the law and the Gospel are properly
used. Children are taught to love their neighbor as themselves, and to
place their love for God above everything else. They learn how to
repent of their sins and to grant others forgiveness. May we always
treasure what we have been taught and what we are able to teach.
Thou art our holy Lord,
O all-subduing Word,
Healer of strife.
Thou didst Thyself abase
That from sin's deep disgrace
Thou mightest save our race
And give us life. (TLH 628:2)
--Teacher Joseph Lau
Berea Lutheran Church
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Over the past few years Berea has experimented with both evening and
morning vacation Bible School. Last year many of our parents and
children benefited from an evening VBS seminar on "The Christian
Family." This summer, with 42 children enrolled, our daytime VBS
focused on the CLC series "A Day In The Courts Of The Lord." We were
blessed with a sizeable and enthusiastic staff. The Lord granted young
and old alike a wonderful week of Christian learning and fellowship.
(Pastor D. Schierenbeck)
Holy Cross Ev. Lutheran Church
Even 121 degree temperatures could not wilt the enthusiasm of the
students and teachers who participated in this summer's Vacation Bible
School program at Holy Cross in Phoenix. Forty-six children, many of
whom were visitors from the neighborhood, played the role of God's
special agents as they searched for clues in Scripture pointing to
Jesus as the Savior of the world.
The week concluded with a pizza party at a nearby restaurant, and the
following Sunday the children shared with the congregation some of the
songs they had learned. As always our VBS was a joyful, busy,
faith-building highlight of the summer.
(Pastor M. Eichstadt)
As authorized by President Daniel Fleischer, I installed the Rev.
Terrel L. Kesterson as pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church,
Hendersonville, NC on May 7, 1995.
--Glenn A. Oster
With the knowledge of President Fleischer, I ordained and installed,
on June 25, Robert McDonald as pastor of St. Peter's Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Stambaugh, Michigan, with Pastors James Sandeen,
David Schmidt, and Theodore Barthels assisting.
--Pastor Paul Tiefel
By authority of President Fleischer I installed James Shrader as
pastor of Berea Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota on August
--Pastor Jay Hartmann
By authority of President Fleischer I installed Sarah Lau as teacher
in Trinity Lutheran School, Watertown, South Dakota on July 30,
--Pastor Jay Hartmann
As authorized by President Fleischer, I installed Thomas P. Skinner as
teacher and principal of St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran School, Austin, Minn.
on August 13, 1995.
--Pastor Stephen C. F. Kurtzahn
As authorized by President Fleischer, I installed Carolyn Gerbitz as
teachers of grades 1 & 2 of Immanuel Lutheran Grade School; Craig
Owings as teacher of Immanuel High School and Grade School; and
Douglas Libby as teacher of Immanuel High School and Grade School on
August 27, 1995.
--Pastor L. D. Redlin
Anyone interested in having their internet E-mail address included in
an E-Mail Directory of CLC members, please E-mail the information to
Glenn Oster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also indicate if you
would like to be placed on an E-mailing list to receive news and
information from other CLC members.
Gold Canyon, Arizona
Holy Cross, Phoenix, is conducting Sunday evening (6:30) services in
Gold Canyon (east of Apache Junction). Contact Pastor Mike Eichstadt
(602-866-2341) for location and details.
The Board of Regents for Immanuel Lutheran College announces thd
following nominations to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of
Prof. Robert Rehm:
Daniel Gurgel Ross Roehl
Joseph Lau Alvin Sieg
David Lundin Robert Snell
Karl Olmanson Theodore Thurow
All comments from the voting members of CLC congregations regarding
these nominees should be in the hands of the undersigned by Saturday,
October 14, 1995.
Pastor Mike Sydow, Sec.
Board of Regents for ILC
Rt. 2, Box 664
Markesan, WI 53946
The CLC Board of Education has prepared the following materials for
our CLC workers and members:
THE CLC CHURCH RESOURCE DIRECTORY -- contains listings of a wide
variety of printed and video materials available from other CLC
THE CLC MAP DIRECTORY -- contains a map of every CLC congregation plus
pertinent worship information. A handy tool for CLC members traveling
or considering relocation.
Copies of both these Directories are available from either your pastor
or the CLC Book House.
Minnesota Pastoral Conference
Date: 10/31 - 11/1, 1995, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Host: Bethel Lutheran Church, Morris, Minnesota
Chaplain: Pastor Daniel Fleischer
* New Testament exegesis of Jude 12ff. -- Pastor Wayne Mielke
* Old Testament Exegesis of Genesis 32:22-30 -- Pastor Theodore
* Homiletical Study of Romans 1:16-17 -- Pastor L. Dale Redlin
* What Dangers Confront Our People with the Use of Reformed
Publications and Radio Programs? -- Pastor Stephen Kurtzahn
* A YMCA Update -- Pastor Paul Fleischer
--Rick R. Grams, Secretary
Request For Nominations
The Board of Regents for ILC Invites the voting members of CLC
congregations to nominate an individual or individuals to fill the
vacancy created by the resignation of Professor Dean Carstensen. The
man nominated should be an experienced teacher. He should be qualified
to teach education classes and elementary education methods at the
college level with an emphasis on mathematics and science. He would
also have the secondary responsibility of teaching high school and
college physical education, and computer classses. The ability to
teach music classes is also desirable but not required.
Those placing nominations are encouraged to include information
regarding their nominee's educational background and teaching
experience. They should also indicate how their nominee(s) might help
our school supervising extra-curricular activities (band, strings,
other music, theater, sports coaching, etc.).
Letters of nomination should be postmarked no later than November 3,
1995 and sent to:
Pastor Mike Sydow, Sec.
ILC Board of Regents
Rt. 2, Box 664
Markesan, WI 53946
1995 CLC TEACHERS' CONFERENCE
Messiah Lutheran School
2015 N. Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54703
October 11-13, 1995
The following agenda is incomplete:
Wednesday, Oct. 11
10:00 a.m. Opening Devotion and Roll Call
10:30 a.m. Integrating Spelling in the Curriculum -- Wendy Greve
1:45 p.m. Teaching Children to be Responsible for their Homework --
2:45 p.m. Book Review (Cooperative Discipline) -- Karla Olmanson
3:45 p.m. Developing a Sense of Pride in Work Well Done -- Prof. Ronald
7:30 p.m. Communion Service
Thursday, Oct. 12
8:45 a.m. Classroom Management of Diagnosed ADD/ADHD Students --
10:45 a.m. Tips and/or Ideas on Maintaining Discipline in a Full Classroom
-- David Bernthal
4:00 p.m. Textbook Review (Saxon vs. Abeka Math) -- Ross Roehl
5:00 p.m. Title Fours -- Seth Schaller, Karen Strike, Barry Hay, Joseph
7:00 p.m. Prayer -- Pastor Paul Tiefel, Jr.
Friday, Oct. 13
8:45 a.m. Teaching Music - A Planned Course -- Marion Dommer
11:00 a.m. Idea Exchange
1:15 p.m. Unfinished business; closing devotion
ON THE COVER: Current cover artist Matt Schaser gives us a sampling of
the fine Reformation covers done by his predecessor, Waldemar
Bernthal, in years past.