July 11, 2003

I Cor. 16:9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

PRAYER ALERT – Pastor Gideon (Denu, Ghana) needs our prayers.  Pastor Stewart, who visited him recently, reports that Gideon’s wife has bone cancer and that the bottom  half of her rib cage is eaten away.  Pray that God would heal her or take her to be  with Him without more pain.  Pray for Gideon and his little son, that if God takes her home that He would strengthn Gideon to carry on with His work in joy of knowing his wife is in the bliss of heaven.

Pastor Muzakuza reports on training of his pastors.  He has set up two training periods for his men.  1. There are 50 lessons for pastors which includes, “Good and Humble Servants”, the rule of life for leaders of the Church (I Tim. 3). It was started in Feb. 2, 2003 and will go until Nov. 2003 (for eleven months).  The length of time in the study is required as they only meet on Sunday between 2:30 to 4:30.  At this time the ones close to Lubumbashi are coming, although Pastor Muzakuza hopes to have classes for those farther away.  A second session, prayerfully for those farther away, will start in Feb. 2004.  This is an area in which the CLC hopes to assist.   2. A second training is for catechists to teach the Christians where there are not the leaders. This training was started on Feb. 15, 2003 to last for four months.  It helps especially those nearer to Lubumbashi.  Pray for the Word to work on the hearts of the leaders and pastors that they teach and preach faithfully the whole counsel of God’s Word.

BELC CATECHISM EXAMS – Pastor Paul reports on four of the five districts that written examinations were held on June 16th for 35 of the preachers, with 32 passing.  On June 30th oral examinations were conducted for 36 of the preachers with all but three passing. The failed students will have re-examinations.  This took place at Nagalapuram. (The fifth district under Pastor Moses at Nellore also has examinations.) Pastor Paul’s evaluation of this last year’s work is that it has several benefits.  The students learned our doctrines fairly and gained a good knowledge of scriptural truths and fundamental principles.  The doctrines are also presented with a view to practicability.  It is also useful for the tutors in that they had to prepare papers deeply  before giving instructions.  All gain better understanding.

HERMENEUTICS – continued
The Bible Uses Various Literary Forms – Principle #3
There are poetical books of the Old Testament.  In these, a type of poetry called Hebrew  parallelism is used.  The same  thing is repeated in the same way or a little differently  or in the exact opposite way.  In Is. 1:18 we find this with “sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;…red like crimson, they shall become as wool.”

In the Old Testament we have many historical sections in which the Lord has narrated for  us what occured at a certain time.  He does not necessarily condone or condemn actions by  interrupting in the narration.   Some have condoned polygamy by misinterpreting Scripture in saying David and Solomon did it, so we may also.  A teaching passage should say to us to do or not to do.  On one man having one wife  I Cor. 7:2 is clear.

There are portions of Scripture such as the epistles which are didactic or teaching sections which tell us God’s will for us.  These we call instuctional or exhortations.

There are also many figurative portions of the Bible.  The Lord’s parables are some examples.  The prophetic books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah have large sections of symbolic or figurative language.

There are other portions of Scripture which we must take literally, as in the Creation account, since the sense there is literal.

We should understand which type of literary form is used to better understand what the message is from God.

We have started to send correspondence courses to a contact in Pakistan, Sardar Masih. He is now included in the mailing of BASIC.  He has inquired about our teachings as  Lutherans and we are glad to begin to correspond with him.  God bless his studies.

Pastor D. Koenig