B.A.S.I.C. Newsletter – December 2002

Dec. 13, 2002

Dear Brothers,
I know that there has been email correspondence between some of you as for instance between the LCEA, ECLC, and ELCC in preparation for your November meeting, and between India and Denis in Kinshasa exchanging information on the work.  And I receive email from you of course, and am glad to receive it as we share His work. I think it is excellent that there has been an exchange in email between you.  Those churches that are in fellowship with the CLC-USA are also in fellowship with one another.  I encourage you to continue to use email, which is a gift of God to us to communicate on His Word and Work.  What a great blessing to be able to encourage one another in this manner and all the more as we see the day approaching.  I will continue to communicate to each of you with personal letters.  But at this time I will begin sending a monthly newsletter which will go to each of you.

December 2002 What joy as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our wonderful Savior yet again.  As we prepare to look with eyes of faith into the manger, let us remember that His kingdom is not of this world.  He came from heaven and returned to heaven, and heaven is our home, where He has prepared a place for us.

In connection with this, let us look at the idea of a ‘church’ building.  Scripture does not use the term ‘church’ to describe a building.  It is the term for the people gathered around God’s Word.  When you look into Scripture, the believers worshipped God in houses.  Philemon 2 “…and the church in your house.”  I Cor. 16:19  “The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.”  Col. 4:15  “Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea and to Nympha and the church in her house.”  After debating in the synagogue in Ephesus, Paul moved over into the hall of Tyrannus.  This may have been a large hall for a school.  Paul worked out of that building daily teaching for two years.  Act. 19:9  The church is people gathered about the Word in worship of our Lord.  Sometimes among us though, we become pushed by the world to have a building earlier than it might otherwise be built, as a place of worship.  If someone is hungering and thirsting after righteousness, it does not matter what a building is like in which that is satisfied.  It is fine if a congregation decides to erect a ‘church’ building in
which His name is hallowed.  But let us never forget that it is what is preached that is the important thing and not the building in which it is preached.  The CLC is busy assisting you, our brethren, to get the Word to people who do not believe and to train pastors to carry the message of life in Jesus to any and all.  The Mission Board’s policy is not to build ‘church’ buildings.  The local congregation is the one to decide when and what to build according to what they can afford.

17 Leaflets and Pamphlets
We have available 17 leaflets and pamphlets in English that explain who we are as Evangelical Lutherans and how we are different from other churches.  Over the last several years each of you have received copies of most of these.  Right now several of you are working on translating them into your local languages: Denis in Kinshasa,Congo into French and Lingala, Jyothi in Nidubrolu, India into Telegu, Paul at Nagalapuram, India into Tamil, Ufot at Efa, Nigeria into Efik, Pastor Angowi and his men in Tanzania into Swahili.  There may be others who could help in this.  If so, then contact me.  We also want to translate Mueller’s “My Church and Others” into your local languages.  Jyothi Benjami in India will be working on this, as well as Pastor Angowi’s men in Tanzania, over time.

I want you each to have a blessed Christmas celebration with your family and your people.

Pastor David Koenig