Thursday, May 19, 2011

LATTE in Bolivia

What does is mean to be "confessional"? Do I understand what my church teaches? Do I believe the same teachings that other confessional Lutherans profess and proclaim? How can I know when someone is teaching false doctrine? 

These are all questions that people in La Paz, Bolivia  have about their faith. Our focus here is to teach the truth but also to help the people discern false doctrines they have been taught in the past. The LATTE classes have a double focus: teaching the truths of the Scriptures and at the same time helping the people identify where they have gotten off the path onto false teachings. Our prayer is that with the Lord's help the students will believe the clear teachings of the Bible.

For now, most of the work has been focused on the pastor of the congregation. He has a deep desire to be confessional and to teach true biblical doctrines to the people. Missionary Philip has spent many hours talking with Pastor Julio, learning the history of the congregation, sharing doctrinally sound materials, clearing up doubts that Pastor Julio has and teaching him biblically sound teachings.

There have also been other opportunities to share the basic law and gospel message with other groups that are active within the church. Many of the members are still confused about the basic message of salvation and when questioned frequently mention some type of "works" as necessary to be saved.

Philip has had many opportunities to clear up peoples' doubts and when they hear the clear message they realize how the idea of works righteousness had become a part of their beliefs and they are thankful to hear the message of salvation by grace-without works-by faith in Jesus.

The Lord has already blessed the work here as people begin to appreciate all that Jesus has done for them and we ask the Lord's continued blessing as we begin regular classes with the other leaders of the congregation.

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