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 continue our look at Pastor F.K.D. Wyneken. We see his growth into a truly Lutheran pastor who boldly preached Lutheran doctrine. Toward the end of the article, notice that Wyneken, with his solid Lutheran practice and confessional Lutheran teaching is accused of being Roman Catholic. That shows how corrupted so-called Lutheranism had come—supposed Lutherans had really become Reformed being unable even to recognize their own doctrine and practice. May that never be said of us!
45.1 [part 7] Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken
As we already mentioned, Wyneken returned to America in the summer of 1843. He landed in New York and from there traveled to Baltimore where he, as well as his companion Biewend, again entered the pulpit in Haesbaert’s church. His sermon made an unforgettable impression on many hearers. It seemed to them that at that time he preached much more fervently, earnestly and clearly much more Lutheran than he had before.
In fact during his stay in Germany, Wyneken had developed for the better. He still had the same openness of character; he still had the same love for his Savior and his brethren; but when he was over there many things that he had not known before had become clear to him; he grew in knowledge of Lutheran doctrine—he was much more churchly minded than before.
The lively dealings with men like Loehe, Raumer, Graul, Trautmann and others, the full insight into the Lutherans’ battle against the Union, the news of Stephan’s emigration, how those over whom he was distressed fared in America’s far west, as well as other things fully opened his spiritual eyes, sharpened his churchly mind and increased holy courage to fight against all enemies of the Lutheran Church and to do his part to help it to victory. It became more vivid and clear to him that only the Lutheran Church possessed the full truth and that it is the church which truly returned to the apostolic doctrine. Thus to the glory of his Savior and the eternal benefit of his fellow redeemed, he then also wanted to establish—even more firmly than before—respect for Lutheran doctrine and to preserve or re-establish its ecclesiastical ordinances that have stood the test.
He also freely and openly declared what he recognized as truth and what filled his soul and he maintained this in all his actions.
He did this, first of all, within his congregations. During his absence, they were in danger of being led down a completely wrong path. Besides God, he only had the watchfulness and faithful work of Pastor F. W. Hussmann to thank that it still remained a “Lutheran” congregation. With characteristic devotion and new great zeal, Wyneken again took up his work. Even more than before, however, he worked to give them a true Lutheran character. Even before, those who wanted to belong to the congregation had to subscribe to the Augsburg Confession, but now he was all the more insistent that they know the distinctive doctrines; all the more emphatically he chastised the errors of the Reformed and other fanatics; he strove all the more earnestly to preach in an apostolic and Lutheran way the grace of God in Christ, the justification of the sinner without any assistance from the sinner, and the thankfulness of the justified in good works.
Of course, this did not please many and even Wyneken saw things that previously had improved but now had relapsed.
As long as he lived in Indiana, Wyneken belonged to the old “Synod of the West” which was made up of so called Lutheran preachers in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky. Already before his trip to Germany, his synodical brethren decried him as an “Altlutheraner” [Old Lutheran], who strove to make the people Catholic again.
Soon after his return the synod held its meeting in a town in Kentucky. Wyneken was present together with Mr. Rudisill, who was a delegate of his congregation. Wyneken had the opportunity to defend himself against that slander; Rudisill, though, was filled with the suspicion that not everything was completely right with Wyneken.
Wyneken invited the synod to hold its next yearly meeting in Ft. Wayne. It agreed. It came and could then examine close up the “old Lutheran” congregation that many decried as “Catholic.”
Rudisill was still not completely free of his distrust. Thus Wyneken himself provoked him to accuse him at the synod. In this way he hoped to find a glorious opportunity to confess the Lutheran doctrine and to cause the synodical officials to stick their noses in the symbolical books, of which most were entirely ignorant.
It turned out just as he had hoped. The result was that Rudisill and other congregational members recognized that in no way did they have a closet Catholic as their pastor, but a true Lutheran. With sincere confidence they then followed him all the more fervently.
Precisely at that time when Wyneken had to defend Luther’s doctrine against his own synod, he received the first edition of Der Lutheraner that was published 01 September 1844 in St. Louis by Pastor C.F.W. Walther. Wyneken was convinced that there was no hope for his synod, and so Walther’s publication was an angel of comfort. As soon as he had hastily read through it, he called out in great joy: “Praise God! There are more Lutherans here in America!” He was enlivened with new hope for the Church in this country. He saw that day dawned after a dark night.
When Wyneken was in Germany he had heard of the “Saxons” in Missouri. But because he had been unable to locate them, he had been unable to establish contact. We will later see how he came together with them.
At the same time he found opportunity to come forward with a decidedly Lutheran confession in even greater circles. Already before his trip to Germany he had written various things against the Methodists in the Lutherische Kirchenzeitung. In his tract, The Distress Of The German Lutherans he had described their activity and that of the Albrechtsleute [a religious sect in the US similar to the Methodists in doctrine, founded by Jacob Albrecht, b. 1759] more bluntly than it ever had been before—in a way that was both absolutely true and also quite vivid and graphic. Soon several examples of that writing in Europe were sent back over to America. This, in no small way, made the Methodists bitter. They had been elated with victory because they thought that they had done away with the Lutheran Church in America. And so they raised a mighty outcry.
In fact, they even wrote their own tract against him: Why Have You Fallen From The Faith? In it they most ignominiously slander not only Wyneken but also the entire Lutheran church.
At that time Wyneken was already a courageous confessor of his faith—a faith which was the same as Luther and all his true students. He had preached this faith in Indiana, testified to it, and adorned it with his conduct. He had, in truth, become an “apostle” to the settlers of that area! His God then wanted to use him in other areas. We must now accompany him to them.
We must mention one more thing before we take leave of the “missionary.” After his return from Germany, Wyneken could have hoped that they would do all they could to send over preachers, teachers and seminarians to America; and although he saw that several of them came, he did not fail to do his part in placing preachers of the Gospel into the fields ripe for harvest. He instructed two young men and guided them to serve the church with preaching and catechesis. They were pastors J. Jaebker and C. Fricke. Thus they were the first fruits of the Ft. Wayne Preaching Seminary, which then later took on a completely different form by Loehe, under the direction of Dr. Sihler—but Wyneken made the start.
So far Professor Krauss
LWML NEWS: A sign-up sheet for coffee hours will be posted in the new year. The December coffee hour will be a cookie exchange. Everyone is asked to bring 2 or 3 dozen cookies. After coffee hour we will sort out cookies for all who bring some. Hope you can join us. God Bless and have a blessed Advent season. Carol
OUR ADVENT SERVICE IS WEDNESDAY, 06 DECEMBER AT 7 PM. 06 December is also the feast day of St. Nicholas. We will commemorate St. Nicholas in our service.
BRING YOUR POINSETTA TO CHURCH DAY! You can help beautify our sanctuary on Christmas Eve by bringing a poinsettia to church with you. Then bring it home with you to enjoy and beautify your home as you celebrate Jesus’ birth. Remember our Christmas Eve Service is at 7 pm.
THE SEASON OF ADVENT— THIS YEAR ADVENT BEGINS SUNDAY, 03 DECEMBER
Advent begins the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Andrew [November 30].
Ends with midday prayer on December 24.
The calendar of the Church begins with Advent (from Latin adventus, which means “coming into”), a four-week period of preparation before Christmas. The story of Jesus in Advent is the story of hope coming into the world. When the time was right, God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world.
The Advent season teaches us to prepare to receive Jesus, the hope of the world. It has become common to use an Advent wreath to mark the season. An Advent wreath has four candles—one for each week in Advent. As these candles are lit each week, our anticipation mounts as we look forward to Jesus’ coming.
[A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, CPH 2011, vii]
THE SEASON OF ADVENT: Advent is about the One who is coming and so the weeks of Advent are a time to prepare for Jesus’ coming. Advent helps us to receive the promised Savior—and to receive Him in each of His three comings.
First, our celebration of Christmas marks our Lord’s coming into the world once about 2000 years ago.
Second, our celebration of His presence among us here and now and in His Holy Supper marks His coming to us today.
Third, our celebration of His promise to return as the victorious Judge over evil marks His final coming at the end of time.
And what is the “Advent attitude”? Early Christians in western Europe treated the month before Christmas in two ways.
From the early Christians in Rome we inherited the attitude that Advent is a time of joyous remembrance of the incarnation of God in the Christ-child long ago.
From early Christians in northern Europe we inherited the attitude that Advent is a time to “clean house” spiritually in preparation for Jesus’ Second Coming.
Today these two attitudes continue side by side. They give our observance of Advent specific Scripture readings, terms and symbols that lead us to introspection and renewal, as well as exuberant joy and celebration as we travel toward Christmas.
THE ADVENT WREATH: The Advent wreath, a ring of evergreens calls to mind a crown or victory wreath. An Advent wreath is our show of confidence that Jesus is the royal Victor who will lead us into the light of heaven.
The wreath is made with four candles rising from a circle of branches. It can be placed on a table or hung over it with wide ribbons. A single candle is lit every evening during the first week of Advent, beginning Saturday night, December 02 [for the Church, the day begins liturgically at sundown]. Two candles are lit during the second week, three during the third, and all four on 23 and 24 December. This blessing can be prayed before the first candle is lit:
By day and night, and through every season, You watch over us, Lord. We praise You for this Advent wreath. It is the evergreen crown of Your royal purple, and it shines with the promise of eternal victory. By the light of this wreath we shall wait in patience for Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will comfort our fears and bring hope to the world. All glory be Yours, now and forever. Amen.
THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT—DECEMBER 17-23—AND THE GREAT “O ANTIPHONS”
The seven “O” Antiphons are prayers dating from the 8th century that are prayed throughout the world from 17-23 December. Each petition focuses on a biblical title given to Jesus and asks Him to come and fulfill a scriptural promise or prophecy. They have a magnificent theology as they proclaim Jesus using the imagery from the Old Testament people’s hopes for the coming Savior. Jesus is not only the fulfillment of Old Testament hopes but also ours as New Testament believers. We feel our longing for our Savior as we pray each day “Come!” The “O Antiphons” serve as the basis of the hymn “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Immanuel.”
Read the Scripture readings each day and pray the “O” antiphon for the day:
17 December: Isaiah 11.2-3a; 1 Corinthians 1.18-31 O Wisdom, proceeding from the mouth of the Most High, pervading and permeating all creation, mightily ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.
18 December: Exodus 3. 1-15 O Adonai and ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai: Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us.
19 December: Isaiah 11.1-5, 10-11 O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage: Come quickly to deliver us.
20 December: Isaiah 22.22; Matthew 16. 13-19 O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel, You open and no one can close, You close and no one can open: Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death.
21 December: Isaiah 9. 2-7 O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
22 December: Isaiah 28. 16-17; Jeremiah 10. 1-10 O King of the nations, the ruler they long for, the cornerstone uniting all people: Come and save us all, whom You formed out of the clay.
23 December: Isaiah 7.10-14 O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord, the anointed for the nations and their Savior: Come and save us, O Lord our God.
Luther notes: “To find Christ in such poverty, and what His swaddling clothes and manger signify, are explained…that His poverty teaches how we should find Him in our neighbors, the lowliest and the most needy; and his swaddling clothes are the Holy Scriptures; that in actual life we should incline to the needy; and in our studies and contemplative life only to the Scriptures; in order that Christ alone may become the man of both lives and that He may everywhere stand before us.”
CHRISTMAS AND ITS SEASON
Begins with evening prayer on Christmas Eve (December 24)
Ends with midday prayer on January 5.
[A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, CPH 2011, vii]
The evening services of Christmas Eve mark the beginning of the Church’s celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord. The season continues after December 25 over a period traditionally known as the twelve days of Christmas. This season includes a number of lesser festivals: The festival of St. Stephen, the first martyr, occurs on December 26. St. John, apostle and evangelist, is remembered on December 27. The death of the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2) is observed on December 28 as the Festival of the Holy Innocents. The circumcision and naming of Jesus on the eighth day after His birth (Luke 2.21) is celebrated on January 1.
FROM OUR SYNOD’S STEWARDSHIP DEPARTMENT: Christmas is coming. It is a joyous time of feasting. The Church feasts upon the Word of God in sermon, song, and sacrament.
We hear the proclamation of the message of the angels: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).
We mingle our voices with theirs as we sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14)!
We feast in great joy indeed because of this great blessing from our Lord and God.We receive the proclaimed Savior, Christ the Lord, not wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in manger, but wrapped in bread and wine placed into our mouths for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
God’s people in ancient Israel also feasted with great joy. The Lord showered His abundant blessing on His people. And He commanded them to feast upon it (Deut. 16). The people were to go to the place appointed, where the Lord would make His name dwell, and give offerings, each man as he was able, according to the blessing of the Lord that He had given them (Deut. 16:10, 15, 17).
And there the Lord would bless them with joy as they feasted upon what the Lord had provided. They ate of the choice parts of their offerings. They enjoyed the company of all the people of God as they together heard His promises of blessing, sang of His bountiful goodness, and partook of what He gave.
We feast on the Word who became flesh to dwell among us, not just during Christmas, but throughout all the year.
We feast not just on the salvation He has wrought for us in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, but we feast also on all the temporal blessings that God gives out of His fatherly divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in us.
We enjoy the rich bounty that God provides, not only in Word and Sacrament, but also in house and home, property and income, family and friends.
Let us then, as did our brothers in the faith from ancient Israel, give as we are able, according to the blessing of the Lord our God that He has given us.
Let us, like them, give generously of the first fruits of our income, which He gives, so that all may know and enjoy the salvation He gives and the joy we have in the Savior born in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord.
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Giving is God’s Business
After his dramatic conversion experience, St. Paul explains the “root of it all.” Writing under inspiration, Paul shares the beautiful hope we have in Christ -God’s firstfruits.
God wants us to know that “If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.” Romans 11:16.
Faith and hope are involved. Paul previously noted “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:23-25.
Giving is indeed God’s business! During this season of Christ’s birth, the whole world celebrates the Gift of a Son, given for us. God The Father gave us the firstfruits of creation as His Eternal Gift of love. Through it, we are given light from darkness - eternal life from death.
The evidence is clear! Giving is God’s business and He has given to us the fullness of His love in Jesus, our Lord.
It is the prayer of all who are connected to the “Root” and a part of the “holy dough” that this generosity proclaimed in the Gospel would be shared repeatedly in our lives, until all whom the heavenly Father has ordained, might know of their salvation in God’s great Generosity.
Generosity is described as a spiritual gift given to the church (God’s people) by Christ Himself. (See Romans 12:8) For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427.
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 Jensen had already been pastor in Pittsburgh since 1842. Thus he had left the congregation before Wyneken had returned.
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