24.8.09

The Message of the Reformation in Changing Times

In the...Spring of 1940 I received two letters in the one week from the Far East. The first one came from Hanhan, from 'The Church of the Righteousness by Faith', as the Lutheran Church in China is called. The Chinese Christians, who have been forced to fight a war against an invading Japanese army for several years now, have nevertheless maintained their church through great sacrifices. They asked whether more could not be done from Germany to provide them with good Lutheran literature in which the faith is taught.
The other letter came from Japan, from a Lutheran conrgegation in Tokyo and it contained a similar request. The Evangelical Lutheran Japanese, who for the most part come from the upper classes of their nation, want both Luther's writings and works about the Reformation in the Japanese language. To this purpose they seek advice and help from the homeland of the Lutheran Faith. The man who wrote this letter had once been fully immersed in the practise of Buddhism, but then became an Evangelical pastor. He explained to me why people in Japan need the Lutheran Faith: because it proclaims Jesus Christ as the Saviour of sinners and not just as another religious teacher. They have always had teachers of religion and morality in the East, but they need a Saviour.
Thus in the Far East, on both sides of the Yellow Sea, on both sides of a difficult war which has engaged these nations for years now, people are seeking the Lutheran Faith because they are seeking Jesus Christ.

From 'The Message of the Reformation in Changing Times', a talk given in Erlangen, Germany on 10th November, 1942.

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