Thursday, February 14, 2008

Count Lewis von Zinzendorf

The Brethren in Colonia America were very much engaged in the issues of there time, thereby having considerable influence among the people.

In the autumn of 1741, Count Lewis von Zinzendorf came to America for the purpose of uniting all German Christians into what he called the Congregation of God in the Spirit. This was only eighteen years after the Brethren beginnings in America and a number of Brethren attended the meetings he called. Zinzendorf's first synod of representatives from various churches was held January 1, 1742 and another was held in February of that year.

Brethren delegates, including Andrew Frey and George Adam Martin, were present at these synods. Three trustees of the Congregation of God in the Spirit were chosen, of which one was Andrew Frey. However, George Adam Martin and other Brethren were alarmed at some of the doctrines being taught, such as baptism without immersion, decision by drawing lots rather than by discussion, and the general mixing together of all points of view. Gradually the Brethren dropped out of participation in the synods.

Zinzendorf was naturally disappointed when the Brethren ended their participation and wrote the Brethren: The conferences (synods) were arranged for your benefit and not ours. The Lord, who is the Lord of my heart, had commanded me that I should heal Babel, and that I should seek salve for her wounds, as long as I can. This is so that Jesus might retain souls therein and not let them perish. Each sect should retain its good salt, lest it loses its savor. You are dealing with a person who will do this faithfully as long as it is possible.

Source: A Self-Instruction Guide Through Brethren History, Donald E. Miller