Rev. Dr. Jobst Schone, bishop emeritus of the SELK, speaks on Lutheran Koinonia today.

In a world filled with “secularism, relativism, liberalism, different religions and their claims, with atheism and sometimes its aggressive hostility, Christians worldwide feel more and more that they need each other,” said the Rev. Dr. Jobst Schone, bishop emeritus of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) of Germany.

Schone, the headlining speaker for the second day of the International Conference on Confessional Lutheranism, held in Peachtree City, Ga., spoke to a room of 120 confessional leaders representing more than 20 million Lutherans around the world.

Outlining a worldwide need for Life Together (koinonia) among Lutherans, Schone noted that there is also a danger in “losing our identity and making compromises in good intention but being misled by our feelings.”

“It’s not a man-made koininia that we should try to find,” he warned. “Koininia is and remains a divine gift.”

True koininia comes from Christ. It is “always Christ Himself by whom they are placed into this koininia,” Schone reminded the assembly.  “There is no koininia, no fellowship without Him or apart from Him.”

Rev. Bernie Seter, member of the LCMS Board for International Mission, speaks with Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin of the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

This koininia “overcomes borders of all kinds: ethnic, cultural, social, race, gender or other kind,” Schoene explained, “making Christians altogether ‘one in Christ’ (Gal. 3:28).”

“Confessing Christ Incarnate places the Lutherans into one line with entire Christendom,” said Schone, “while confessing His real presence in the means of grace, the real presence of His body and blood in the Eucharist, along with the doctrine of justification has never been expressed as precisely and distinctly as in the Lutheran Confessions.”

“There is hardly any other church, any other denomination as clear and straight on these issues [Word and Sacrament] as the Lutheran Church is.”