What is in a name?

Written by | August, 2016
Post Tags
Post Categories Uncategorized

What is in a name?‏
From the Field August 22, 2016

When you hear the name ‘Lutheran’ what do you think of? In the USA when that name is used likely people who read the news think of the large Lutheran church (ELCA) and how they tolerate homosexuality among other things. When I tell people I am a Lutheran, I try to add ‘conservative’ or ‘confessional’ to indicate I am not with the large liberal Lutheran church. Recently, I travelled with David Weiss(seminary student) for two weeks in Germany visiting contacts. There in Germany where the Lutheran church began, it is also known among the people that the large Lutheran church or state church is liberal. It seems that the more northern state churches are the more liberal, while the more conservative ones are to the south. But even there false teaching is tolerated. Women’s ordination is allowed. The six day creation is denied.

As we travelled through many cities, we were looking for people who were interested in our Bible teachings which are no different than what Luther taught 500 years ago, and what our Lord and His apostles taught 2000 years ago. Some men we had heard about had left the state church and were separate. We wanted to get information from them and possible contacts. We visited some who were struggling with being in the state church and knowing the wrong that was going on. Many were separate and we wanted to explain about our church to them. Fellowship is good and it is to be sought. Those who agree on God’s Word should join together and encourage one another in the faith-life.

There were seven who we had on our list but could not be reached or were gone when we were there. There were another six who were willing to visit with us, but we could not during those two weeks due to our visiting schedule. Weiss, God-willing, will visit them later. Pray that these and others will hear and the Spirit will work on their heart. And there were eight visits we made discussing our beliefs and whether we agreed or disagreed on the Word. We had a list of 19 names we had accumulated of those we should try to visit with two more added when we were there. With several of the contacts we were interested in learning how they are reaching out. One man, who is a lay preacher, has many Asians in his little congregation. We audited a Lutheran service in an independent Lutheran congregation whose pastor had moved from previous affiliations due to their holding to false doctrine. We could find nothing wrong with what this man taught and invited him to investigate our synod.

Our route for three weeks was as follows: Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Kiel, Flintbek, Hannover, Giessen, Frankfurt, Hannover, Berlin, Jueterbog, Leipzig, Dresden, Chemnitz, Dresden, Frankfurt.

In all we showed our eagerness to discuss the Word and our Lord’s will. When visiting one of our contacts he had invited seven Iranian Christian refugees to supper so we could discuss many things. These men were converts and if forced to return to Iran might face arrest and imprisonment or persecution of their families. Interestingly, they did not know or believe in evolution, but that God created the earth and everything in six days. In Germany evolution is accepted as fact and not theory. I am sending those seven men material on creation/evolution. We had a renewed discussion on the Word the following day. How wonderful to see such interest in the Word of God. These men came from the ancient land which had been called Persia where the Gospel had come long ago, but now is ruled by the tyranny of Islam. Pray for them that they may find a home in Germany or elsewhere where they may practice the Christian faith in freedom.