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 Professor Krauss concludes his discussion on Pastor F.K.D. Wyneken as missionary in what was then the northwest of our nation—Ohio and Indiana—and his pastorate in Baltimore. It ends with him taking a call to St. Louis. Next month we will learn about Wyneken’s tenure also as president of our Missouri Synod.
45.2 [Part 4] Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken
—The City Pastor
Wyneken was diligent and untiring in visiting the sick. He was ready to serve them every hour of the day and in the middle of the night. It will be explained later that he also cared for many sick people physically.
The most loathsome sickness proved not to be an obstacle for a visit either to encourage or to humble a person. For the sick he was a very welcome curate of the soul. They longed for his coming and their eyes would light up for him and they would stretch their arms out to him.
However, he did not tolerate the sinful rudeness of the sick nor did he indulge them. In St. Louis he visited a sick woman who thought that she could not pray, nor even sigh, and so she wanted Wyneken to pray with her. He explained that he was all too glad to do it but only after she had first made just one attempt to send a little prayer to God. Yet she did not do it and then she also did not want Wyneken to pray with her. He came several days later and asked whether she had prayed but had to leave unsuccessful. She finally broke her obstinacy and prayed; then Wyneken also complied with her wish.
In the congregational assemblies Wyneken was just as careful as he was bold. He was frequently exposed to violent attacks, but they bounced off in his peace, in his presence of mind and wisdom. He did not yield one inch; he was never at a loss for a good answer for the most unexpected and complex questions, accusations and charges. He knew how to force his most malicious opponents to fall into the trap they set for him and disgrace them.
One day he refused to give communion to a man living in adultery. The sin was still not public; yet the situation was such that if the sinner would lie, Wyneken could not have been able to prove his case sufficiently. This is what the proud and, until then, respected man counted on. He attacked Wyneken in the congregational assembly and wanted Wyneken to give the reason why he would not give him communion. Wyneken responded that the man certainly knew the reason why and therefore it was not necessary to give it here. But the adulterer insisted on his way and some of his friends strongly supported his demand. Wyneken asked him if he remembered what he said to him when he announced for communion. The man said, “Yes!” Wyneken asked again if he could deny that it was as he had said. The man did not want to answer; he only wanted to know why he was unable to go to Communion! Wyneken insisted that he had indeed told him; but if the man wanted the congregation to know he himself would have to tell the congregation. Then the man burst out, “You have said that I am an adulterer!” “Absolutely correct,” Wyneken responded, “I told you privately. You yourself have now divulged it and have to bear the results of it. Now I must explain to the congregation why I said this.” Wyneken explained it; unexpectedly witnesses were found who knew about the sin. The man stood there in his disgrace, arrogant and unbroken; angrily he left the assembly never to return again.
Wyneken was very merciful and kind toward the fallen who recognized their sin. Nothing annoyed him more than harsh, loveless judgments on people who had sinned out of weakness, or on those who were still ignorant. He could thoroughly scold the “just” and also reprimand the “wise” who could say in self-satisfaction at the reception of new members, “They are very much lacking right knowledge.”
The notices that appeared in the Lutheraner, from 1847 for example, show how quickly Wyneken succeeded in awakening in his congregation in Baltimore a willingness to sacrifice for churchly purposes.
The over-zealous Lutherans in his congregation were a source of great grief for Wyneken. Even though he was in great favor of various ceremonies, he was very slow and careful in introducing them. He would prefer to introduce them at all than to grieve someone by using them. Many of his “Lutheran” congregational members did not think this way. They maintained that a crucifix and candles on the altar were a necessary part of Lutheranism. They demanded these things; they asked they be purchased; they asked to give them. But this did not at all help the situation. Wyneken did not allow them on the altar because there were still people there, especially the old, who were not used to such things and could not at all tolerate it. Once several brothers dared “to give” candles and “secretly” placed them upon the altar, but they were found out. They received a strong rebuke privately and publicly and their candles were never again on that altar. Also Pastor H. attempts to introduce the liturgical divine service in Wyneken’s absence were not welcome. As long as Wyneken was in Baltimore, it was never introduced.
We have already heard earlier that Pastor Weyl, among others, accused Wyneken of wanting to lead his congregation back into the papacy. Wyneken hated the papacy from the bottom of his heart because it made the sinner uncertain of the state of grace, praised the work of man enough to reconcile God, perverted the Scripture and robbed God of the glory.
It is noteworthy that once a Roman priest actually made the attempt to convert our Wyneken. He lived near the beautiful church of St. Alphonse so that the priest assigned there soon knew him by sight and only had to walk across the street to reach his house. They certainly must have heard of Wyneken’s alleged “intention of wanting to be Catholic” and one of them had the boldness to visit him. Wyneken naturally treated him politely, like he did every stranger, but also very clear when he told him his opinion about horrible papistic doctrines that this priest was very quickly disappointed and took his leave, never again returning.
At times Wyneken had to laugh at the disgraceful greed of the people. Thus, for example, when he had married a couple, the bridegroom then asked what he owed him. Wyneken replied, “That is absolutely in your free will.” He then handed Wyneken a quarter while he hid at least one more between his fingers.
But it made him angry when people used God’s Word and church only to achieve worldly, earthly goals. Among those to whom he was a pastoral father was an old bachelor by the name of Wolf, who at one time was rich but later had become poor. He was some 80 years old. A niece who was almost 70 years old was in charge of the household. At her side was a black woman who spoke German very well. She was the only one left from a very large number of slaves who one by one were sold or released.
Quite unexpectedly, the people received the news that a rich relative had died and left them a large inheritance. They were to go to Germany and receive it. But, a clause of the will stated that they could only get the inheritance if they brought proof that they were married. Both had kept house together for a long time and had never thought of marriage but now quickly there had to be a marriage otherwise they would lose the inheritance. They requested Wyneken to perform the marriage and promised him a great treasure as thanks for it. It was a great struggle for them before he agreed and he would have given anything if this bridal couple would have found someone else to marry them; but finally he had to give in and perform it. He did it with reluctance. Not one cent of that large treasure came into his hands.----
At the beginning of 1850 Wyneken received a call from Trinity in St. Louis. He debated for some time on whether it was really a call of God and whether he had to accept it. Especially the earnest Lutherans in Baltimore asked him to remain with them. But after conscientious examination of all the particulars he recognized that it was God’s will that he go to St. Louis. His beloved congregation released him in peace, but he had to promise them to see to it that there was a faithful successor. The choice fell on Pastor Keyl who at that time worked in Milwaukee and has now entered his eternal rest.
When Wyneken finally had to leave, Pastor Schaller was called as vicar, who administered the pastorate until Pastor Keyl was installed. He himself gave his farewell sermon on 24 February 1850 on 1 Samuel 7.12 and traveled to St. Louis via Ft. Wayne where he met his family. On Jubilate Sunday, 1850, he gave his introductory sermon and after that pastored in a way very similar to the way he did in Baltimore—until his election as President of the Synod laid other duties on him. The limited space allotted us does not allow us to tell of other events from his life in St. Louis except what is already cited; instead we will now try to sketch him as President of the Synod.
Only one thing remains to be mentioned here: in St. Louis he had the joy of again seeing his nephew, H. C. Schwan, who had worked seven years in Brazil and promised his uncle that he would come to him to serve the North American Church.
So far Professor Krauss
EASTER is 01 APRIL! ALTAR FLOWERS: Since we have had such a beautiful display of flowers at Easter the past few years, we will again ask you to bring flowers with you to Easter Service to help beautify our sanctuary for our celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. After service, you will bring your flowers home with you to enjoy at home and be reminded of the Easter service.
OUR BABY BOTTLE DRIVE: Last year we collected $241. Let’s try to top that this year. The Pregnancy Resource Center of the Valleys in Bath will use it in their efforts to save the unborn and help women in crisis pregnancies.
NEWS AND UPDATES
April has five Sundays this year and you know what that means—a FIFTH SUNDAY DINNER. Our Fifth Sunday Dinner will follow service on the 29th. Be sure to sign up and bring your favorite dish to share and enjoy some of the great cooking of your fellow members at Faith.
29 APRIL IS THE 4TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY AND HAS THE NAME CANTATE, which comes from the first Latin word of the Introit from Psalm 98 “Sing unto the Lord…”: “The church’s song is not a form of amusement. It is the way she gives voice on earth to the eternal praise, which continually resounds, in the very courts of heaven. Christians have discovered through the ages that psalms, hymns and liturgy linger longer in the heart when sung than when spoken. With these songs on our lips, we move from public prayer in the church to private prayer at home and then to daily work. The surroundings change; the song remains the same. And thus our life together, our life alone, and our life in the world becomes one great liturgy; from the Father through the Son in the Spirit and then back again.” [Pr. Harold Senkbeil, Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness, CPH 1994]
CYRIL OF JERUSALEM—WITNESSES OF THE RESURRECTION
- Many witnesses there are of the Saviour’s resurrection.—The night, and the light of the full moon; (for that night was the sixteenth; the rock of the sepulchre which received Him; the stone also shall rise up against the face of the Jews, for it saw the Lord; even the stone which was then rolled away, itself bears witness to the Resurrection, lying there to this day. Angels of God who were present testified of the Resurrection of the Only-begotten: Peter and John, and Thomas, and all the rest of the Apostles; some of whom ran to the sepulchre, and saw the burial-clothes, in which He was wrapped before, lying there after the Resurrection; and others handled His hands and His feet, and beheld the prints of the nails; and all enjoyed together that Breath of the Saviour, and were counted worthy to forgive sins in the power of the Holy Ghost. Women too were witnesses, who took hold of His feet, and who beheld the mighty earthquake, and the radiance of the Angel who stood by: the linen clothes also which were wrapped about Him, and which He left when He rose;—the soldiers, and the money given to them; the spot itself also, yet to be seen;—and this house of the holy Church, which out of the loving affection to Christ of the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, was both built and beautified as thou seest.
- A witness to the resurrection of Jesus is Tabitha also, who was in His name raised from the dead; for how shall we disbelieve that Christ is risen, when even His Name raised the dead? The sea also bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as thou hast heard before. The drought of fishes also testifies, and the fire of coals there, and the fish laid thereon. Peter also bears witness, who had first denied Him thrice, and who then thrice confessed Him; and was commanded to feed His spiritual sheep. To this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him Who ascended on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension. For from heaven He descended to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives; at the former place beginning His conflicts among men, but in the latter, crowned after them. Thou hast therefore many witnesses; thou hast this very place of the Resurrection; thou hast also the place of the Ascension towards the east; thou hast also for witnesses the Angels which there bore testimony; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem. The Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Kindle Locations 4390-4410). Kindle Edition.
LUTHER’S CONFESSION OF FAITH AT THE ASSEMBLY AT WORMS, 18 APRIL 1521—AND POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II SAYS HE’S RIGHT!
In 1521, the German emperor, Charles V, held his first imperial assembly at Worms. When asked by his elector whether he would be present if the emperor summoned him, Luther answered, “In humble obedience I am ready to go to the upcoming assembly and, with the help of the Almighty, present myself so that every honest person could see that until now I have done nothing out of a malicious, rash, disordered will for the sake of temporal, worldly glory and benefit. Instead, all will see that everything that I have written and taught was done according to my conscience, vow and duty, as a poor teacher of Holy Scripture, for the praise of God, for the salvation and blessedness of universal Christendom, for the benefit of the entire German nation, for the rooting out of the dangerous misuses and superstitions and for relieving all of holy Christendom from so many, endless burdens and blasphemies.”… Luther arrived on the morning of 16 April 1521…
Very early the next day, the marshal of the empire, Ulrich von Pappenheim, came to Luther and showed him the emperor’s order to appear before the assembly at four o’clock in the afternoon. The hour of decision drew near in which the faithful witness of Jesus Christ was to appear before the mighty ones of the earth. Yet Luther did not rely upon men but only upon God whom he called upon in fervent prayer for grace and help.
As soon as it had struck four, Luther was brought into the imperial assembly…
The door was opened and Luther stood before emperor and empire. There had not been a larger and more impressive assembly of the German estates for a long time. Besides the emperor on his throne, there was his brother the Archduke Ferdinand, six electors, 24 dukes, 8 Margraves, 36 bishops, one papal and five imperial ambassadors and more than 200 high ranking men. About 5000 people were in the hall and at the windows.
Luther was first asked if he recognized the books lying upon a bench to be his. Then he was asked if he would recant their contents. After the titles of the books were read aloud, he answered the first question in the affirmative. With regard to the important second question, however, which concerned faith and salvation, he asked for time to consider. He was granted until the following day. The herald again led Luther to his lodgings.…
The next day, he was again led into the imperial assembly and asked whether he wanted to defend all his books or recant something. After respectfully greeting the assembly, he confessed that by all he had taught and written with a simple heart he was only seeking the glory of God and the welfare and salvation of Christians. Then he explained the contents of his books in more detail….
Yet, a short, plain answer was demanded whether or not he wanted to recant. Then Luther said, “Because Your Imperial Majesty, Electoral and Princely Graces desire a clear, simple, precise answer, I will give one which will have neither horns nor teeth. It is this: Unless I am overcome and convinced with testimony of Holy Scripture or with obvious, plain and clear arguments and reasons (for I believe neither the pope nor the councils alone because it is as clear as day that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), and since I am convinced by the verses I cited and quoted, and my conscience is bound in God’s Word, I can and will not recant, because it is neither safe nor advisable to do something against the conscience. Here I stand. I can do nothing else! God help me! Amen.”
NOT ONLY IS THIS A BEAUTIFUL AND BOLD CONFESSION OF FAITH, BUT IT ALSO SEEMS THAT POPE JOHN PAUL II SAYS LUTHER IS RIGHT TO FOLLOW HIS CONSCIENCE. Pope John Paul II writes: “The Council [Vatican II] merely reaffirms what has always been the Church’s conviction. The position of Saint Thomas is, in fact, well known: He is so consistent in his respect for conscience that he maintains that it is wrong for one to make an act of faith in Christ if in one’s conscience one is convinced, however absurdly, that it is wrong to carry out such an act (cf. Summa Theologiae 1-2,19.5). If man is admonished by his conscience—even if an erroneous conscience, but one whose voice appears to him as unquestionably true—he must always listen to it.” [emphasis added] (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pg. 190-191)
STARTING THIS SUMMER JOIN US AS WE BEGIN A STUDY OF LUTHER’S SMALL CATECHISM. Each Sunday morning before service we will study a section of the catechism. We will be using the new 2017 Synodical catechism. If you would want to order a copy of the catechism—CPH is cutting us a deal of $1.50 off each one—please let pastor know. Once we have a final number, we will place the order and let you know the price including shipping. Our deadline to order is 15 April. We look forward to having you join us.
From our Missouri Synod--Stewardship Newsletter Article
Our Father in heaven sent His Son, Jesus, to be our savior. His atoning sacrifice is the firstfruits of all the dead, a pleasing aroma to His Father – and ours – so that His perfect life and death count for all who believe in Him.
A view of our synodical headquarters, affectionately known as the Purple Palace, from the back parking lot.
He claimed us as His own children in Holy Baptism. He sustains and strengthens our faith with His Holy Word and His Body and Blood. As new creatures, who have put on Christ, we bear good fruit. We do the good works prepared for us, which He makes known to us in His Word.
By faith then, trusting in the Word of God, we do what he says because He does not lie and always keeps His promises. For “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
And so the Lord promises: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Prov. 3:9-10).
How do we honor the Lord with the wealth that God has given us in His generosity? By giving it generously to those whom the Lord has called us to love and support: your family, your society, and your church. And His promise is that in so doing, you will never lack.
I can almost hear it now: “But that’s from the Old Testament!” But our Lord Jesus Himself gives us similar promises in the New Testament. He says, at the conclusion of the parable of the talents, “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance” (Matt. 25:29).
And then at the end of the parable of the dishonest manager, he says: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:10–13).
And in His sermon on the mount, he says: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19–21).
We have become conditioned against these promises because of their misuse by the peddlers of the prosperity gospel – the guys on TV who say you get rich by putting God in your debt. And thus, we miss out on the fact that God does reward temporal faithfulness in temporal matters with temporal blessings.
It’s no quid pro quo. It’s all from God’s grace, His fatherly divine goodness and mercy. But those Bible passages just quoted do in fact say what they say! It’s not the Old Testament’s problem. It’s ours. It is almost as if we have become so jaded against this that we think it a virtue to be stingy with our offerings.
But our Father in heaven still loves to bless those who bless others. He loves to give to those who give freely and generously. In fact, he challenges us to challenge Him: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Mal. 3:10).
And so, while we don’t give so that we would get, we do receive from the Lord in order to give, and He will bless your giving with more receiving. For “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things” (Rom. 8:32)?
Easter is a moveable feast. Easter isn't on the same calendar date every year in the way that Christmas is always celebrated on December 25. The date for Easter each year always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. And once you find the date of Easter, everything else finds its place—Good Friday and Maundy Thursday, Ash Wednesday and the Transfiguration, the Ascension of our Lord and Pentecost.
www.lcmsfoundation.org 800-325-7912 Ext 1684
How Taxes Effect Generosity
We’ve seen a lot of press in recent months about tax reform. If you formed your views from the media’s coverage, you might think that charitable giving is doomed as we head into the future. The reality will be quite different than these prognostications.
For sure, tax issues are important considerations for people when considering the ways that they give. Taxes can also affect the types of gifting, amounts and property contributed. Planning such gifts consider taxation and often result in gifts of significance.
However, taxation ranks lower on the list of motivating factors and incentives for charitable giving. The decision to be generous and willing to share flows from a source connected to a person’s heart and spirit.
All people, by the power of the Holy Spirit, have the capacity to love, do good and be generous. This is evidence of the Creators’ image planted within all human creation. But because we live in a fallen world, this generosity is often not recognized nor fulfilled. Often, our giving is at cross purposes to God’s infinite kindness.
For Christians with faith to understand their need for redemption, God’s gift of repentance produces fruit leading to gratitude to God for salvation and all earthly blessings. Such love of God is the source inspiration for all generosity. This ‘agape’ love of God within people fuels a ‘philo’ love towards fellow humans and compassionate desire to help others. God in Christ is the source of all kindness! We are urged to not keep this to ourselves.
Many donors counsel with professional advisors to plan their gifting. The encouragement of a Christian gift planning counselor will connect their intent and passion to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.
For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427.
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