B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #33
July 14, 2004
BARON JUSTINIAN ERNST VON WELTZ
The foremost of Lutheran voices in the 17th century for reaching out was certainly Baron Justinian Ernst von Weltz who published five treatises on missions. He put forward searing questions, “Is it right that we, evangelical Christians, hold the gospel for ourselves alone, and do not seek to spread it? Is it right that in all places we have so many students of theology, and do not induce them to labor elsewhere in the spiritual vineyard of Jesus Christ? Is it right that we spend so much on all sorts of dress, delicacies in eating and drinking, etc., but have hitherto thought of no means for the spread of the Gospel?”
He put forward the following reasons that the church should busy herself in the task of missions as summarized below.
1) The will of God to help all men and to bring them to the knowledge of the truth. I Tim. 2:4 This can be brought to pass only by means of regular missionary preaching of the Gospel. Rom. 10:18. This will of God binds us to obedience, — compare the missionary commandment, –and love to man must even of itself make us willing to obey.
2) The example of godly men, who in every century, from the times of the apostles onward, without letting themselves be terried by pain, peril, or persecution, have extended the kingdom of Christ among non-Christians.
3) The petitions in the liturgy that God may lead the erring to the knowledge of the truth and enlarge His kingdom. If these petitions are not to remain mere forms of words, we must send out able men to disseminate evangelical truth.
4) The example of the papists, who founded the society de propaganda fide, must rouse us to emulation that we may extend the true doctrine among the heathen.” “It is a commentary upon the religious condition of the time that one of the leading and best men among the clery met Von Welz’ appeal with a bitter rebuke, denouncing him as a dreamer, fanatic, hypocrite, and heretic, and arguing that it was absurd, even wicked, to cast pearls of the gospel before the heathen.”
When his appeals fell on deaf ears, he showed himself the calibre of the disciple he was by renouncing his title, taking 36,000 marks and sailing for Dutch Guiana (Sutinam) to preach the Word of Life. It was said he was torn apart by wild animals in a most inhospitable climate. He died as he had lived, a witness to the Lord Jesus Christ and His great love for lost mankind.
In Togo, Pastor Kossi is preparing children and adults for a baptism service in November. There will be about 8 adults and 12 children baptized. Baptism is that wonderful washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
Resignation – We regret to inform our brethren that Pastor Gurath has resigned as the CLC’s second foreign missionary. He found that his health was not up to the duties. The CLC is now extending the call again. It is now with Pastor Wayne Eichstadt. We pray that God will grant a second worker to assist you, our overseas brethren.
Pastor David Koenig