The Lutheran Spokesman (October 1995)

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                   *   October   1995    *
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The Reformation

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 Conflict Resolution VBS: Berea of Inver Grove Heights MN, Cross of Phoenix AZ Announcements For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.

"Plead My Cause, O LORD . . ."

"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. 2:16). 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 Absaloms. 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 Reformation. 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 Father. 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 heaven. 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.

After The Death of Luther --

How the Formula Of Concord Was Forged

(Ten Parts) 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 the papacy. 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 Supper. 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

A Key Word: "ALONE"

(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 refuge." --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

"That All May Be One..."

(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 the enemy. 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. John 17:21 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. 2:19). 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 who said: "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

Church of the Lutheran Confession Foundation

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 efforts. 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 Stephen Kurtzahn)

In Our CLC Classrooms --

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 records. 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. Spokane, Washington 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. Lynnwood, Washington 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 steady. Phoenix, Arizona 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 society. 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

Vacation Bible School--

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 Phoenix, Arizona 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)


Installations 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 20, 1995. --Pastor Jay Hartmann By authority of President Fleischer I installed Sarah Lau as teacher in Trinity Lutheran School, Watertown, South Dakota on July 30, 1995. --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 E-Mail Directory 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 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. Nominations 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 Leif Olmanson 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 Now Available 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 sources. 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 Agenda: * New Testament exegesis of Jude 12ff. -- Pastor Wayne Mielke * Old Testament Exegesis of Genesis 32:22-30 -- Pastor Theodore Barthels * 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 -- Karl Olmanson 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 Roehl 7:30 p.m. Communion Service Thursday, Oct. 12 8:45 a.m. Classroom Management of Diagnosed ADD/ADHD Students -- Judith Snell 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 Lau 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.