Our Practice with Overseas Contacts and Churches May 5, 2014

Written by | May, 2014
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FROM THE FIELD May 5, 2014 Our Practice with Overseas Contacts and Churches

More contacts in India and Myanmar. New contacts in Haiti and Mexico and who knows what other opportunities God will give the CLC. Below you have what we have been doing to handle these great challenges over the years. We have varied our approach according to circumstances. In this area God gives us freedom to best use our wisdom and common sense according to what we know and see.

Phase I Correspondence – We correspond with contacts.

This was done with Prof. Erpenstein of San Francisco to the Nigerian college students when they returned to their home country and with their pastors. This we did with Pastors Benjamin and Bas in India and in each case in about one year following we had a formal doctrinal visit/discussion. This level of course can be done by any in the CLC, what with our universal priesthood. We at St. Luke’s – Lemmon, SD congregation corresponded with many overseas.

In this initial phase the statement of faith and purpose and other doctrinal treatises are sent as well as papers on what we would consider to be our likely differences.

Phase II Literature – We start sending larger amounts of literature over, while still not in doctrinal fellowship, but with the indications that it will likely be. This involves SS material, Bibles, catechisms, and other doctrinal material that can be disseminated to the people of the group, and not just to the leader(s).

Initial correspondence with the Ombasa group in Kenya began with the CLC Pres. and continued with me and then we sent money for 100 Bible and catechisms.

Initial correspondence with Pastor Muzakuza in Congo began with Pastor Naumann, at the time Chairman of the Mission Board, and continued with me. We have sent over: French catechisms, French language doctrinal materials, Swahili Bibles. And we carried in Swahili catechisms printed in the USA.

Phase III Initial Visit – In Nigeria and India we did not do this, but went for a full doctrinal meeting. In Kenya we have done this with my wife Mary and me visiting the Ombasa group. This just seems wise. Before, we did not have any overseas missionaries as we do now. This is more cost effective also, in that it might be found out that more time is needed before a full doctrinal meeting should take place toward establishing fellowship. This phase could be short circuited if warranted.

Phase IV Full Doctrinal Meeting – It is wise that everything be confirmed by the mouths of two or three witnesses. In India it was D. Schierenbeck, Rohrbach, Koenig, and then Reim, Koenig with Benjamin and Bas respectively. In Kenya and most times I think it should be three. … If one of the three is one of the missionaries then two from the US should come for when they report back you have the two of the three in the states. In India with Pastor Hans we utilized three of our BELC pastors for the visitation.

Phase V Serving, Training, Discipling – Since we have two foreign missionaries, after doctrinal agreement is reached, we should seek to, 1) Train the key preachers or pastors, 2) Have the missionaries make periodic visits to do as we are now doing in India, Nigeria and elsewhere. We have learned our lesson that a sporadic visitation is unwise to say the least. A yearly visit with teaching and counseling is vital to maintain our orthodox union.

This is just a brief overview of what we have been doing and developing.