belarus lutheran missionary fellowship
The BLMF Declaration
Declaration of the representatives of Belarus EL parishes at a meeting after the holy service at Christmas Day, December 25, 2005.
Belarus, Vitebsk, Kyibishev av. 59A
Dear brothers and sisters,
On this holy Christmas day, December, 25th, 2005 Evangelical-Lutheran parish of John The Baptist, Mazolovo village, EL parish "Christmas" Vitebsk, EL parish "Renewal" Orsha, EL parish of "St Peter and Paul" Polotsk, EL parish "Prozrenue" Minsk, EL parish in the town Zhodino, Minsk district and a number of individual believers of Evangelical-Lutheran confession in the Republic of Belarus, by the grace and mercy of God have the honour to announce the creation of "Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship" (BLMF) an inner missionary spiritual fellowship of Belarus EL parishes.
The reasons which have caused the creation of our fellowship, we believe, are known to many of you. The split of BELC created a number of isolated groups of EL parishes or independent EL parishes, also isolated faithful to the Word of God believers, who do not receive an appropriate Biblical teaching and who, due to certain circumstances, do not have any opportunity and prospects of spiritual growth.
Many EL parishes have found themselves in spiritual isolation and are silently dying. They do not have spiritual leadership (pastor) some of them haven't participated in the Holy communion for years, let alone confirmation classes and the fulfillment of the Great commission of our Lord to preach the Gospel to the nations. Numerous EL parishes exist only on paper and their names are used by the people who claim to be the leaders of ELC of Belarus for the unclean purposes.
The reputation of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belarus is extremely low. For more than 10 years of its existence ELC in Belarus, was not able to build a good image, neither in a secular Belarus society nor in the Christian world worldwide, though the Evangelical Lutheran Church, unlike many other confessions in Belarus, had been recognized by the state as a historical church and therefore had many privileges and advantages.
In such an extremely dangerous situation we consider it necessary with God's help and by his grace to create "Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship", an inner missionary spiritual fellowship of Belarus EL parishes, based on the infallible Holy Word of God, the Prophetic and Apostolic books of the Old and New Testaments, summarized in the three cardinal Creeds: the Apostolic, the Nicene and the Athanasian, and in the Confession of Augsburg, and the Book of Concord.
BLMF will assist the unity, spiritual cleanliness, renewal and growth of local EL parishes on the basis of the Holy Scriptures. Will seek to provide assistance in Gospel preaching, spiritual leaders training, assistance in organizing of theological seminars and conferences, help in creation and work of Sunday schools, Christian youth and female associations for the glory of God.
The examples of common activity for the benefit of the kingdom of God, true confessional unity and common work are found in the Word of God. In Acts 15 we read about the mutual work of the churches in Antioch and Jerusalem in the areas of doctrine. In 2 Cor. 8:18-9:15 it is spoken about the mutual preaching, joint efforts on rendering assistance, prayers of one church for another. This is all a true evidence of a common confession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (9:13). This is a holy work for the benefit of all the Church as a body of Christ.
The ground for the creation of "Belarus Lutheran Missionary Fellowship" also follows from the Great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ which remains true for the Republic of Belarus today. BLMF will serve in obedience to the Mission command of Jesus, and contribute to the mission to lead people in our country to believe in him and be able to worship him in Spirit and truth.
May God help us in this great task!
EL parish of John The Baptist, Mazolovo village, Vitebsk district
EL parish "Christmas" Vitebsk
EL parish "Renewal" Orsha
EL parish of "St Peter and Paul" Polotsk
EL parish "Prozrenue" Minsk
EL parish in the town Zhodino, Minsk district
a number of individual believers of Evangelical-Lutheran confession in the Republic of Belarus