a bold confession

Some Lutherans love mission work. Others eye it with hesitancy. As Pastor Harrison wrote:

On the witness side of the fault, the primary, laudable, and biblical goal is reaching the lost—now, in today’s world, in a way people today can actually hear it. “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Meanwhile, those who are convinced that the fundamental aspect of the Church’s life in this world is confession—that is, holding forth for the truth of the Gospel and all its articles—rightly and intensely identify with New Testament texts that bid us to stand fast against world, culture, and prevailing trends. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23). “That faith, however, that does not present itself in confession is not firm” (Ap IV 385).

{Read his entire article here.}

Today, Missionary Orientation began at the International Center. During the next two weeks, pastors and staff will teach future missionaries about the faith with a robust confession Lutherans of both varieties should be able to get behind. It’s a thing to behold. These are the Lord’s people, baptized for this moment, afraid and eager all at the same time. They are families from the Midwest, pastors from the inner city. They’re single. They’re married. They’re seasoned. They’re brand new.

For the next two weeks, pastors and lay people, theological educators and the children of missionary candidates will spend time together, in this time and in this space, to learn about what it means to be Lutheran, to discover more about the region of the world to which they’ll be sent, to begin to develop a network of other Lutherans who are experiencing the same fears. Together, they’ll process through leaving their families and congregations, living in a new culture, and bearing witness to Christ in societies they may not yet understand.

And through it all, they’ll hear again and again of Christ crucified, of the One who knows all languages and tongues, whose death gives life to each person on each continent.

They’re learning from Lutheran theologians how to speak and think and articulate the faith like Lutherans. They’re hearing God’s Word preached each day in chapel. They’re sitting in on classes like “Confess Christ Alone” from First Vice-President Herbert Mueller, “Being Lutheran,” from Pastor Matthew Harrison, “Mission from the Cross,” by Dr. Detlev Schultz from CTS, “The Mission of the Church” by Pastor Randy Golter and a Bible study on Matthew 28 by Dr. Albert Collver. They’re being thoroughly entrenched in what it means to confess the faith, to care about the Church overseas as much as the Church here in Chicago or Fort Wayne or Houston, to be bold about Christ and His gifts.

Mission and confession. Confession and mission.

Yeah. We Lutherans can do that.

Truly, we are baptized for this moment.

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