Anselm - My father was a member of the Apostleship of Judah
Anselm Schoenfeld

Introduction

Through my cooperation I would like to contribute to the fact that quite a lot of people meet the living Jesus Christ. My father was an active member of the Apostleship of Judah, a split from the New Apostolic Church, for many years.

In July 1947 I saw the light of day in Leer, East Frisia. While my Dutch mother had less of an antenna for faith, my father was a very religious person. It was thanks to him that I was exposed to the gospel at a fairly early age. Listening to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion was, in fact, a well-cultivated tradition in our house every year on Good Friday.

Before the Second World War my father was for many years an active member of the ‘Apostleship of Judah’, an offshoot of the New Apostolic Church, still active today in the Berlin area. After the war my father joined the Protestant Church, and so I was baptized by the infant baptism customary there. I put the word “Christian” in quotation marks on purpose because I know from the Bible today that no one can become a Christian through a baptism that is performed on one unknowingly. One becomes a Christian through faith in Christ alone, which is followed by baptism.

I took out my Bible

Through my father, who took me to church services from time to time, I got to know the Protestant Church better. I, like most boys, was sent to confirmation classes to eventually be “confirmed.” For me, confirmation was more of a farewell to the church than the beginning of a new relationship with it. This was probably because confirmation classes seemed very boring to me. Boys at this age just don’t like to learn old songs by heart in bunches. So the next few years of my life passed in such a way that the word ‘God’ was hardly in it.

It was only after my professional training that I was confronted with God again. This time by a colleague who was a member of the New Apostolic Church. He kindly invited me to the services of his faith community. During this time I met a nice New Apostolic girl who I fell head over heels in love with. She took me to see her parents, who were touchingly concerned about my ‘faith emergency’. Through these first encounters with people from the New Apostolic Church I was challenged for the first time in my life to deal seriously with the Bible, and especially to deal more intensively with the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church, which I already knew through my father.

So I took out my already dusty Bible again and compared the statements of the New Testament apostles with the teachings of the NAC. I always approached this teaching with one question in mind: Where is this in the Bible? The more I read in the New Testament, the more skeptical I became about the New Apostolic doctrinal views. Finally, through intensive study of the Holy Scriptures, it became increasingly clear to me that the teachings of the NAC were at least not to be found in the Bible as the doctrinal writings of this church claimed.

Arbitrary constructions of New Apostolic desires

These doctrines were much more arbitrary constructions of New Apostolic desires projected into Scripture. I took my distance from this church and its writings, for a fear unknown to me until then assailed me. Was it the fear of slipping into something I felt was not good for me? Fear, they say, is a bad advisor. But fear can also be a protective function. For example, who among us wouldn’t be afraid to touch a power line? Today I see that this fear was a grace from God, because it was meant to save me from an unbiblical doctrine of faith.

A few years later, through meeting genuine Christians, I came to know Jesus Christ Himself through His living Word and gave Him the leadership in my life. Jesus gave me the deep assurance that through HIM I have forgiveness of my sins and the Eternal Life that HE purchased for me through HIS sacrificial death on the Cross. Faith in the Jesus who is alive today, which I feel is the greatest gift of my life, produced in me a great joy, in contrast to the fear I felt at the time. Today I know that the certainty of eternal salvation can only be experienced through faith in the risen Jesus and not through people who claim to be God’s chosen bringers of salvation.

On this website I would like to tell more about this searching love that Jesus Christ still has for all people today, and through my contributions I would like to help so that many people encounter the living Jesus Christ.

Anselm Schoenfeld


Bibliography:
We recommend the translation of the Bible by Franz Eugen Schlachter in the 2000 version