If you have a choice …
Doing the right thing or deciding on a new Bible edition or the right kind of fuel … Every day people have to make decisions. A look at some recent situations around the world.
Doing the right thing
“Love and help your neighbour,” it says on the website of NACSEA Relief, the relief organisation of the New Apostolic Church in South-East Asia. “We don’t need the media for this. Let us be sensitive to the suffering of our neighbour.” Under the heading “Catastrophes without headlines”, the organisation posted an article drawing attention to a fire that destroyed the home of a family in Maragusan (Compostela Valley). While the family was at work, fire broke out leaving them with nothing.
Neighbours helped as good as they could, but even a month after the fire, things had still not improved for the family. NACSEA Relief, which regularly provides emergency relief when typhoons, landslides, and earthquakes strike, is now helping this family. “Help your neighbour”—a good decision.
The right Bible
Since 1 January 2019 a new Bible translation has been in use in the New Apostolic Church in German-speaking countries: the 2017 Luther translation, a revised edition. 16,000 verses out of a total of 35,598 verses were adapted in the revision. Roughly 40 per cent of its content is actually different from the text of the previous version, the 1984 Luther translation.
Adaptations to doctrinal texts and teaching materials will follow. Since the theological positions are not affected by the revision, the Church refrained from a simultaneous adaptation of the textbooks. All the congregations have been supplied with new Bibles, and many Church members also have a new 2017 Luther translation at home.
The right kind of fuel
Having a church building in which to gather for worship remains an unfulfilled dream for many Christians. Many, on the other hand, are able to enjoy the “luxury” of their own church. But this in no way frees them from taking responsibility and making subsequent decisions—decisions they have to use their heads for.
“Unlike the historic churches of other Christian denominations, which cannot be heated or only partially heated, New Apostolic churches—which are not exclusively sacred buildings, but also function as parish houses with their additional rooms—have a heating system,” explains the New Apostolic Church of Southern Germany. “In winter, churches have always been heated when church events take place.” Many buildings that have been constructed over the last few years are heated by gas-condensing boiler technology or by renewable energy (geothermal, heat pump systems …). Older church buildings are still being heated with oil. One million litres are needed every year. The church buildings in southern Germany are now supplied with climate-neutral heating oil thanks to a new delivery contract. How that works is described on the Church’s website.