Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 49 - How does one holy Christian church fit with so many denominations? (Video)

No. 49. >> I don't quite understand all of this. On the one hand we have the one or ecumenical church and then we have all of our denominations, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Roman Catholics, to mention a few. How does all this fit together, one, and yet so many churches? >>DR. KLAUS DETLEV SCHULZ: Well, Josh, you're addressing here the ecclesial reality in this world as it exists today and will exist as long as this world exists. I believe that we cannot be too idealistic about this. That namely, we have to accept the reality. That there will be churches in this world that will not profess the Gospel as we will. For this reason we will start as a particular church. We will continue in it. And we'll do so as long as denominations exist who claim to believe differently as we do. And I want to clarify this by saying, however, that we do not deny Christians in those churches the right and access to salvation. They are, also, as long as the Gospel is being preached and the sacraments administered, exposed to the true Word of God, to Jesus Christ, and will find salvation therein. But that does not deny us our right of existence. Let me give you two examples. Wilhelm Loehe in a book -- in the book that he wrote which was called: The Three Books About the Church, writes therein, an example to explain what I'm just trying to tell you. He speaks of a person who goes to the desert. And he finds there in the desert in the sand lying a cistern with brackish water, probably water that had been in there already for months. It doesn't taste very good. The person goes on his journey and comes to an oasis. And there he finds pure, pristine water. Clear, beautiful to drink. Now the question that I ask you is: From which water should this traveler drink? We can offer him that brackish water in the cistern that has lain in the ground already for a number of months perhaps. Or this clear, pristine water in the oasis. The logic here is, according to Loehe, that you would advise the traveler to go to the oasis. So we as Christians in this world, if somebody comes to you, you will refer him to the church, according to Augsburg Confession VII, where we know the Word is purely preached and rightly administered. And I think we have a right to point them to a congregation in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Because therein I see an attempt to live up to that expectation as the statements in Augsburg Confession VII speak. Another example here that I can give you is my own personal one when I was a missionary in Botswana in a village called Serowe. There we were asking ourselves whether it was even legitimate to enter into a village of about 30,000 villagers, people living there. Because already we had churches that were Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterians that had established a presence in this village. And as we looked at it demographically we asked ourself: Is there any reason for us to move in? After a long discussion and talk and examining again why we as Lutherans even exist, we actually came to the conclusion that it is worth while to enter that village and establish a congregation there. And now looking back for about ten years and see my successor there at work, as well, I can see that it was a good choice that we weren't there. Now Christians gather around the altar and they hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Purely preached. And the sacraments administered with the true presence of Jesus Christ. And thereby, are given this pure water that is found in the oasis. Rather than the brackish water that can be found elsewhere.