Dear friends in Christ,
We continue our survey of Church History from the book of Professor E.A.W. Krauss from our St. Louis seminary of a century ago. This month we come to a new section in our account of F.K.D. Wyneken. Now we meet him no longer as a missionary on the frontiers but as a pastor of a congregation in a large east coast city. We will again see that his insistence on proclaiming the pure doctrine of God alone will get him into trouble from his congregation. Much to his dismay, he finds that the congregation he was called to serve was not a Lutheran congregation but a Union congregation, that is, one which was both Lutheran and Reformed. Although he handles the situation pastorally and firmly, there is still much tumult. Here we again see an example of the fulfillment of Jesus’ words: “I did not come to bring peace but a sword” [Mt.10.34], that is, where Jesus and His word are purely preached there will be contention.
45.1 [part 8] FRIEDRICH KONRAD DIETRICH WYNEKEN
Up to now we have come to know our dear Wyneken mainly as a missionary, but now we want to describe his work as pastor of two city congregations, St. Paul’s in Baltimore and Trinity in St. Louis. Although he was also “Pastor” in the small city of Ft. Wayne and Adams County, his work often took on a different form in those large cities. His mission work was past; now was the work of cleansing, strengthening and stirring up these older congregations to a renewed zeal.
In December 1844 Pastor Haesbaert suddenly resigned his office in Baltimore, left the city, went to New Orleans, LA and then later to Brazil. Very soon after that the congregation decided to call Wyneken from Ft. Wayne. They already knew him from the sermons he had given when he was with them and from his relations with the people which were both sincere and friendly and they had a heartfelt confidence in him. Wyneken was shocked when he received the call. He wrote that he if he were to receive the call he would strictly hold to Lutheran doctrine and practice; he would insist that people announce for communion and that he would make the sign of the cross with his hand when he would give the blessing, etc. He added that they should certainly think about whether they could really use him and would have him.
The congregation replied that they were indeed Lutheran and that they desired only a Lutheran pastor, even stating that they like the fact that he wants to hold strongly to Lutheran doctrine and practice. They definitely thought that he should come.
He decided to accept this call and his congregations consented to his departure because they recognized that it was God’s will that “their dear Wyneken” go east. However he promised that he would remain with them until another pastor had been called and had accepted that call. Upon his recommendation Dr. W. Sihler, then pastor in Pomeroy, Ohio, was called. He declared that he was willing to enter Wyneken’s area of work.
In the first half of February 1845 Wyneken gave his farewell sermon. Only the person who knew the close bond that mutual love had formed between them can understand how painful the departure from his congregations was for him —and how deeply saddened they were. Their only comfort was “our God wants it this way”.
On the back of his faithful horse that had so often carried him, Wyneken began the long trip to Baltimore. His family stayed behind temporarily. He rode first to Zanesville, Ohio. His old bosom friend, G. Bartels, had become pastor there about a year before. He most heartily welcomed Wyneken and they enjoyed several days together reminiscing about their earlier life together. He then went on to Pomeroy, Ohio to visit Dr. Sihler. As he was his God chosen successor in Ft. Wayne, Wyneken had to speak with him. Both men knew each other at that time only by letters and papers that had been published in the Lutherische Kirchenzeitung; they had never seen each other. It was still in the second half of February when they got to know each other personally and began an intimate bond of friendship that continued uninterrupted until Wyneken’s death.
He then rode over the Alleghenies, having sold his horse along the way, and arrived in Baltimore on 07 March on the stagecoach. At first he lived with Mr. Franz Buehler on Market Street, who in the course of time became his very dear, close friend. After his family arrived in May, he moved with them into a small house on Fayette Street, situated in the old town. He later exchanged this house for another on Park Street.
Old Dr. Daniel Kurtz, who had previously been pastor of Zion Church and who was always ready to help out the pastor of St. Paul’s officially installed Wyneken into his office in the Lutheran fashion on 09 March. That same day Wyneken gave his inaugural sermon.
Many pious hearts met him positively, but there were also people in the congregation who were distrustful—several who feared his Christian conviction and others who did not agree with his doctrine. It soon became clear to him that he would have to endure many battles.
The first trouble he had was with the Reformed who until then were accepted members of the “Lutheran” congregation.
The Holy Supper was to be celebrated right away that first Sunday after his installation. The sexton had prepared the altar. Wyneken was horrified when at the confession he approached the Communion table and immediately recognized that the Sacrament had never been administered from it in a Lutheran manner! There the wine stood in a large earthen pitcher and hosts and bread were next to each other on the plate. What was he then to do?
He immediately called the elders into the sacristy and explained that the congregation was not at all Lutheran; that he had been deceived in the call; that he could not distribute the sacrament. The good people were perplexed. They said they did not know anything other than that they were good Lutherans—he could act as a Lutheran pastor according to his best conscience. They then pleaded with him to administer the Holy Supper only this one time according to the usual manner. Otherwise they were afraid that the displeasure among the assembled communicants would be too great.
Under these circumstances, Wyneken also thought that this was best and acted accordingly. After the sermon, though, he requested that the congregation remain after the close of the divine service. He then explained the following: he did not find them to be a Lutheran congregation but a union congregation and, as a result, that it would be best if they would immediately release him; if he would remain, too much strife and trouble would certainly come upon such a mixed house.
The congregation, though, wanted to hear nothing about his leaving; they definitely wanted him to stay. “Now then,” Wyneken explained, “starting next Sunday I will bring into the pulpit the Lutheran and the Heidelberg Catechism and read and explain both. Then each person can be convinced on which side the full truth of God’s Word is found!”
Wyneken did just that. He explained from both catechisms the difference between the Lutheran and the Reformed doctrine; he rebuked the practice of the distributing the Holy Supper as it had been done up until then; and he showed from Scripture that the Reformed and Lutherans could not possibly be members of one congregation which, if it wanted to act honestly and in a Christian way, could make only one confession.
There was a mighty storm in the congregation. The Reformed thought that they had been betrayed; and most of them did not have the patience to listen quietly to Wyneken’ explanations. Then, among the Lutherans, they found erring friends who found fault with the new pastor’s methods and wanted things to continue the way they had been. Not only in the congregational assemblies but also in the streets and in the houses there were spirited, often bitter, quarrels. Some Reformed had married Lutherans so that daughters opposed their mothers and husbands opposed their wives. It was a time of visitation, but the truth conquered. The Reformed left the congregation (on one Sunday it was announced from the pulpit that over 80 of them had left) and built a German Reformed church on Calvert Street. Of course they considered Wyneken their enemy and it was still a long time before the commotion died down.
Wyneken had to fight another battle against the false Lutherans in his congregation, in the city, in the General Synod.
So far Professor Krauss
A DEVOTIONAL FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON FROM ST. AMBROSE
The Lord Himself, whom the angels serve, was begotten by the Holy Spirit coming upon the Virgin, as, according to Matthew, the angel said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” [Matthew 1.20]. And according to Luke, he said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you” [Luke 1.35].
The birth from the Virgin was, then, the work of the Spirit. The fruit of the womb is the work of the Spirit, according to that which is written: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” [Luke 1.42]! The flower from the root is the work of the Spirit; that flower, I say, of which it was well prophesied: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit” [Isaiah 11.1]. The root of Jesse the patriarch is the family of the Jews. Mary is the rod. The flower of Mary is Christ, who, about to spread the good fragrance of faith throughout the whole world, budded forth from a virgin womb, as He Himself said, “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys” [Song of Solomon 2.1]
The flower, when cut, keeps its fragrance, and when bruised, increases it, and if torn off, it does not lose it. So the Lord Jesus too, on the gallows of the cross, neither failed when bruised, nor fainted when torn; and when He was cut by that piercing spear, He became more beautiful by the color of the outpoured blood. He, as it were, grew attractive again, not able in Himself to die, and breathing forth upon the dead the gift of eternal life. On this flower of the royal rod the Holy Spirit rested [Isaiah 11.2]
[From: A Year with the Church Fathers, CPH, pg.379-380]
LET 2018 BE A YEAR OF RENEWED ZEAL FOR THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR: PREPARING FOR THE LORD’S SUPPER
To understand St. Paul’s instruction “Let a person examine himself, then, and o eat of the bread and drink of the cup” [1 Cor. 11.28] requires some background. St. Paul was not encouraging the mistaken idea that faith and religion are strictly private matters. He was calling the members to compare their own beliefs with the doctrine and practice he, as the Lord’s apostle, had taught them. Here are other places 1 Corinthians St. Paul refers to teaching the congregation:
- “I fed you with milk” [3.2]
- “Do you not know…?” [3.16; 6.9, 15-16; 9.13]
- “I sent you Timothy…to remind you of my ways in Christ” [4.17]
- “I commend you because you…maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.” [11.2]
- “What I also delivered to you” [11.23]
- “I would remind you, brothers, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received” [15.1]
- “I delivered to you…what I also received” [15.3].
From these passages, we see that St. Paul had taught the Corinthians about right and wrong, Jesus’ person and work [the Gospel], and the proper understanding and practice of the Lord’s Supper. He had likewise administered Baptism and led them in prayer and worship. The term delivered implies a formal process of instruction and reception of the truths and practices, known as catechesis.
- When you examine yourself before Communion, refresh yourself with the thorough teaching you received in the Lord’s Word. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I confessed and repented of my sins?
- Do I believe that in the blessed Sacrament I am receiving the actual body and blood of Christ, under bread and wine, into my mouth, for the forgiveness of my sins?
- Do I share the confession and unity of this congregation?
- Will I, with the Lord’s help, amend my sinful life?
The Holy Spirit will assist you and pray for you in this faithful discipline.
[From: The Lutheran Study Bible, CPH, pg. 1965]
THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: We find dignity in human life—all human life from the unborn child, to the handicapped, to the suffering, to the elderly—in the words of the Creed: “I believe in God the Father.” Luther comments: “‘That you should be children, and I, your Father. I wish not merely to create and sustain you, but I also want you to be My children and heirs, not to be turned out of the house like other creatures, oxen, cattle, sheep, etc., who either die or are devoured. But besides being My creatures, you shall also remain My children forever and live forever.’ …. As He is Father and lives eternally, as children we also are to live eternally and not die. Thus we are a higher and more beautiful creation than all other creatures; not only are we God’s creatures and workmanship, but we also are to live eternally with our Father.” [AE, LVII, 247]
Ecce homo; Behold the Man! [St. John 19.5]
From these words, too, Holy Church, our Mother, has deemed that the Sacred Host should be elevated and shown to all, as if to speak to us, and say: “Ecce homo!” “Behold the Man;” in order to stir us up, the good Mother that she is, to bear ever in mind the Incarnation, Nativity, Passion, Death and Resurrection, and, in a word, all the love and all the benefits shown and conferred upon us by Christ; for the Holy Thing, that is the Mass, has been instituted in remembrance of God’s love, and of the works which for our sakes He has accomplished. For the same reason it has been decreed, that there should be placed in all the churches the mirror of truth, that is, the image of the Holy Cross of Christ Jesus; so that as often as he crosses the threshold of the temple, a person may contemplate the figure of his Maker hanging upon the Cross; and that straightaway there may come into his mind that wonderful love, which his God then declared to him; and that he may so exercise and occupy himself in it, as to forget all strange and outward images, and may imagine that his crucified Lord is addressing him in these words” “Ecce homo:” “Behold the man.”
[Johannes Tauler, The Works of Johannes Tauler: Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Chapter 28, Christ is shown to the people by the Governor, with the words: “Behold the Man!” 2271. Martin Luther thought very highly of Tauler writing of him: “I have found in him more solid and sincere theology than is found in all the scholastic teachers of all the universities or than can be found in their propositions.” [AE, XXI, p.129]]
ANOTHER REASON WHY "I LOVE NEW YORK"
“In 1649, Lutherans built their first church in America at Albany, New York, which is the oldest continually serving Lutheran congregation in North America.” [Ferguson, Jack D. “The Church’s Celebration Of The Reformation At 100 Year Intervals,” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Vol XC, No. 3, pg.20]
While on the topic of American history…“When the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, less than twenty per cent of Colonial Americans were members of a Christian church…. By 1850, the number of Christian congregations and pastors in the U.S. was also growing. Thirty-five per cent of the American population in that year claimed membership in local religious fellowships…” [Ferguson, Jack D. “The Church’s Celebration Of The Reformation At 100 Year Intervals,” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, Vol XC, No. 3, pg.24, 28]
FROM OUR SYNOD: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Stewardship Department
It’s a new year. It’s a time when we take stock of the year past in order to improve the year to come. It’s a time when we sit down to plan and implement what we want to accomplish and even change. Part of that is planning our stewardship for the coming year.
Often we find this difficult and daunting and even joyless. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it is really quite simple and full of joy. So here are some tips to make that planning less stressful. You begin by answering these three questions: Who are you? To whom do I give? And how much?
So, who are you? The Table of Duties in the Small Catechism informs us. Are you a hearer of God’s Word? Are you a citizen of society? Are you a member of a family? Stewardship covers these three estates: church, society, family. We don’t particularly struggle to give to society or family. Our struggles, our difficulties and our questions arise in giving to the church.
So, what is our duty as members of the church with regard to giving? The Table of Duties, again, gives us a guide. If you are a hearer, a member of the church who receives instruction, St. Paul taught: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor” (Gal. 6:6). This means the local congregation is primary.
Your pastor is the one called to preach the Gospel to you and administer the Lord’s blessed sacraments to you. Your congregation is the place where those things happen. Thus, when God calls us to give to the church, He has the local congregation in mind. For “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14).
In other words, giving to the church is not to be an afterthought, given after everything else is spent. In this way, it is deliberate. We give regularly – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly – keeping in mind our own strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. We set it aside beforehand – before anything else is spent.How much do we give to the local congregation? Our only instructions are these: to give regularly (1 Cor. 6:1–2), proportionally (1 Cor. 16:1–2; 2 Cor. 8:12), and generously (2 Cor. 8:20) of our first fruits (Gen. 4:4; Prov. 3:9; Lev. 27:30) with a spirit of eagerness (2 Cor. 9:2), earnestness (2 Cor. 8:7), cheerfulness (2 Cor. 9:7), and love (2 Cor. 8:23).
From those first fruits, we set aside a proportionate and generous amount. Ten percent was the standard for the Israelites. This was a command for the ancient Israelites. We can give as much as we want, but ask yourself: do we really want to be less generous than was commanded of the Israelites? Is the job of the New Testament Church bigger or smaller than the job given to Israel?
And how are we to give it? We give it with eagerness and earnestness. We give it cheerfully and with love, not out of compulsion. For through the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments, God has made us His children, forgiven us all our sins, given us grace upon grace, promised us life everlasting with Him in His kingdom, and filled us with His own Spirit, the Holy Spirit. This makes giving a joy, as Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
It’s that easy. And it is joyful. For in stewardship, our gracious and giving Lord invites us to take part in the work that He accomplishes here on earth, providing for the ongoing preaching of the gospel as well as those who are in need. Taking part in that makes all our work holy – work that is done in service to the Lord as priestly members of His kingdom.
FROM THE LCMS FOUNDATION
January 2018: New Horizons Focus our Hopes and Plans
The new year brings a noteworthy opportunity to focus on what is, and what might be. Some people transition with nostalgia. Others plan, occupied with purpose. Do you carry regret for ambition unaccomplished or do you see new horizons as open doorways?
We are given, and develop, emotional capacity. We live in the emotional space navigated by our personalities and psyche. Do you navigate these expressive roads with sensitivity and ease or do you get snagged by triangles and conflicted relationships? God provides constant forgiveness to release tensions and lead us to quieter waters.
Our physical bodies are either in youthful pliability or becoming rigid due to the length of our journey. A new year brings an annual testament to the Creator’s wonder. It is ruled by strength or frailty; discipline or dependence. The afflicted are blessed to reflect on mortality, knowing that He who shaped our body, will redeem it someday.
Financial condition holds some without hope, spiraling in unending discouragement from circumstance or past decisions. Do you plan your here and now with an eye to eternity? Wise stewards plan to pass the baton. They will bless loved ones and ministry. This new year offers an occasion to be encouraged that we serve an Owner Who desires our good.
God has planned a future and a hope for us. May this new year be an opportunity to live in the newness that time gives and in a greater communion with He who comes to dwell with us.
For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427.
Comments for this post have been disabled.