The “Bold Witnesses” District Standing Committee in North Dakota is planning a conference for pastors and laity called “Confessing the Faith in the 21st Century” on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 9am-5pm at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo. One of the main speakers is Adriane Dorr, managing editor of the Lutheran Witness. Dorr will speak on “Confessing the Faith through the Lutheran Witness” and “Women’s Role in the Church.” The other speaker is Rev. Jonathan Fisk, speaking on “Confessing the Faith through the Internet” and “Why the Small Catechism Totally Rocks.” For more information, contact Rev. Mark Chepulis in Cavalier or Rev. Adam Moline in Hankinson.
This is an interesting topic in the environment that we find ourselves in today. America can really no longer be considered a Christian country and we have entered that strange area that Germany is in now. Small groups of confessing Christians trying to work their way in the world and remain true to Jesus Christ. Here in America the church has, in my opinion been relegated to the back burner of life. We are one thing on a menu of things that people can do with their time. One of my fears is that we are really only talking to ourselves. Witnessing the faith for many, at least it is my observation, is protecting and reproving mistakes in dogmatic formulations; arguing about the position of the baptismal font, the pulpit and the lectern; rehashing a prayer that was spoken in Yankee Stadium over a decade ago; timing the signing of the cross in the liturgy; and keeping people away that we should be inviting in. We spend too much time with those who are like us rather than trying to figure out how to reach those that do not know Jesus Christ.
Maybe my problem is in the word “confessing”. The primary task of the church is to confess, witness to Jesus Christ and Him crucifed. Of course part of confession is rightly ordered doctrine, but it is also winsome discussion with the world around us about who Christ is and what he has done. It is as Peter says, being willing to give an account of the hope that we have and do it with respect and patience. I am hoping that our Bold Witness standing committee will address this issue at this conference – looking forward to it – by the way early bird registrations end September 1. After that it is full price. Go to http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1122584