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. We again catch a glimpse of the poor condition of the Lutheran Church in the early days of our country. Although we can complain a lot about how “unlutheran” some Lutheran congregations may seem, we have nothing on the Lutheran churches of 150-200 years ago. But God, in grace, had mercy on the Lutherans here in America and sent faithful preachers of the word like Pastor F.K.D. Wyneken. May we treasure the gift of pure doctrine we have been given so that those poor conditions can never come to us.
- 1. [part 2] Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken
In Baltimore no one at all knew Wyneken and he did not know the name of a pastor or of anybody else from who he could make inquiries. After a long search, he found people who claimed to be “Lutheran.” They brought him to their worship service but everything was quite different and strange. They asked him to give a sermon and he granted this request. Then “Brother Numsen” asked him to lead a prayer meeting. Wyneken was also willing to do that. They sang a hymn and he then read aloud a passage of Scripture and spoke a prayer. But during the prayer, the people began to moan and groan and first from one corner of the room and then from another people called out “Amen! Amen!” in awful voices. This was followed by singing like Wyneken had never before heard. The people became jolly and became increasingly louder and noisier. Finally the “hour of prayer” was over. Numsen went to the greatly shocked foreigner and self-righteously asked him, “so, Brother Wyneken how did you like it?” Wyneken answered curtly and concisely, “I do not know whether it is from God or from the devil! But in any case, it is not Lutheran!” He then incurred the displeasure of these pious Methodists. He had come upon Otterbeinians [The United Brethren, founded by Philip Otterbein, 1726-1814. This group is very similar to historic Methodism in theology and polity—editor], who passed themselves off as Lutherans in order, when possible, “to convert” a Lutheran preacher.
Then Wyneken wandered through the streets of Baltimore trying to find another Lutheran church. He asked a German that he had met if he knew where a Lutheran preacher lived. The man directed Wyneken and his colleague, Wolf, to Pastor Johann Haesbaert. Several years earlier had founded St. Paul’s, the second German Evangelical Lutheran Church. Its members had left the older Zion Church because its pastor, Scheib, preached the most wretched rationalism. However, the richest and most prominent members protected supported him. At the time, Pastor Haesbaert and his congregation thought that they were truly Lutheran, when in fact they were a union congregation, which means that both Lutherans and Reformed belonged to that congregation. When the Lord’s Supper was celebrated, both communion hosts and bread were on the same plate next to each other so that each person could choose one or the other according to his/her preference.
When Wyneken and Wolf came to Haesbaert, they told him that they were missionaries and had come to seek out the Germans living in the west and to gather them into congregations.
Haesbaert looked upon them with suspicion. That is because at that time there were already many spiritual vagrants who under the pretext of wanting “to help people” only sought money and days from work. When Haesbaert asked where they had found quarters, they responded: “With Pastor Rossel.”
“Ah!” he said angrily, “he is a Methodist.” Haesbaert was no friend of the Methodists because they used deceptive ways to lure many members away from him.
Wyneken said that he did not know that since they were foreigners in the country. Haesbaert could not hold it against them that in their ignorance they had stayed with the Methodists.
Haesbaert liked Wyneken’s open, free and friendly demeanor. He opened his heart to the foreigners and had them stay with him. Wolf preached at St. Paul’s the following Sunday and during that following week, Haesbaert became sick. He asked Wyneken to stay with him until he had recovered. But the recovery took a while. Haesbaert even had to leave the city and go to the country in order to find the necessary rest. In the meantime, for about six weeks, Wyneken cared for the congregation and also faithfully visited the sick pastor. Both continued to get know the other better and became friends and became heartily devoted to each other in brotherly love.
When Haesbaert could again carry out his office on his own he reluctantly allowed his new friend to go. Wyneken wanted to go and had to go if he still wanted to begin his mission work before the onset of the raw fall weather. Haesbaert then told to him, “You should not travel to the west on your own authority. I will write the Mission Committee of the Pennsylvania Synod to send you out as their missionary.” He did that and soon Wyneken received the commission to go to Indiana to seek out the scattered German “Protestants”, to preach to them and, when possible, gather them into congregations.
But before we accompany Wyneken on his mission journeys, we must rightly ask: How could the Lutheran Wyneken serve the congregation in Baltimore which was still, in fact, a union congregation?
At that time Wyneken was not informed about the communion practice being used at St. Paul’s. Since the sacrament was not administered during Haesbaert’s illness, Wyneken did not see anything that could have alarmed his Lutheran conscience and have shown him the true ecclesiastical condition of the congregation. Besides that, at that time he certainly did not have a right understanding of the Lutheran doctrine in all areas. He had many errors in his head and also some fanaticism in his heart. At that time, his mind was not so earnestly inclined toward pure doctrine and unity in doctrine. It could easily happen, then, that due to his association with Haesbaert, Wyneken could not avoid it where and when Haesbaert was not fully Lutheran. Those were different times than today. In those days many who now could hardly pass as proper Lutherans, in fact, regarded themselves as proper Lutherans. In comparison with many others, in fact with all preachers at that time who called themselves Lutheran, Wyneken possessed a good understanding of the divine word—but, of course, much was still lacking when the proper measure is applied.
This must be said here—first, because it is absolutely true; and secondly because without it, we cannot rightly understand either the man or the course of his life. Only gradually, by God’s grace, did he extricate himself from his erroneous views and from a Christianity he had at the time which was based on feelings. Later he had great patience with the erring, so long as he could assume they were sincere. When he definitively came out against the Methodists and other fanatics not only orally but also in writing, he went to great lengths to avoid condemning the person and humbly confessed, “I myself was long stuck in this fraudulent spirit and know how difficult it is to come out.”
Already at that time Wyneken was a thoroughly decent and honest man. He was not pretentious and whole heartedly opposed deceptions. As was already mentioned, he was certainly not free from many errors in doctrine and regarded these errors as truth, but he would have cast them aside in an instant had he found a brother who would have shown him something better.
Integrity was a dominant character trait of our missionary. At the same time, his speaking, thinking and actions were sanctified; they had been transformed by the love of Christ. He freely and joyfully associated with everyone because he was full of love.
So far Professor Krauss
THIS MONTH’S LWML NEWS
We have no coffee hour for July because we have 5 Sundays. That means on July 30th we will have a dinner following service! Please sign up on the sheet next to the organ, as to what you want to bring.
We need to have a short meeting Sunday July 16th after church. This will be a short meeting so
please plan on attending.
Thank you and have a blessed month
MERCY AT WORK: At both ends of life
Our Baby Bottle drive brought in $241 for the Pregnancy Resource Center, which now has a Corning office. Your gifts are gifts of mercy to help the youngest, smallest and most vulnerable members of our society—the pre-born.
Susan thanks all those who bought geraniums from her to benefit our local hospice, Care First. You were part of a record breaking profit of $28,279.14 to help hospice in their work of caring for those at the end of life.
LCMS Stewardship Newsletter Article: July 2017
“I will bless you …, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). The Lord blessed Abraham so that he would be a blessing. How did He bless Abraham? He promised that from His seed would come the Savior of the nations. And Abraham believed that promise, trusted that the Lord would provide it just as He had promised. Thus, everything Abraham did was colored by that promise. He willingly gave of himself and his household in service to the Lord in view of that promise.
Our Father in heaven has richly blessed us. Not only has He given us everything that we need to support this body and life, but He has also provided, that promised seed in His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the savior of the nations. He is the redeemer of the world. He is the one who has conquered sin, death, and the power of the devil by His death, resurrection, and ascension.
Just as we are richly blessed, we are also thereby freed to be a blessing. Since God has endowed us with His gifts, we are set to endow others. Thus, we give of the blessings we have received so that others may be blessed. We do this in our homes, our communities, and our churches. We press the blessings God has lavished upon us in service to those around us. We use our time, our talents, and our treasures to be a blessing even as they have been a blessing to us.
The Lord blesses us. And He enlists us to be a blessing to others. So, whenever you put that envelope in the collection plate, when you set out to serve at the local food pantry, when you sit down to help your kids with homework, think of this: The Lord has blessed you, so that you will be a blessing.
WHILE ON VACATION THIS SUMMER—REMEMBER THE CHURCH STILL NEEDS YOUR OFFERINGS AND PRAYERS.
And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. Colossians 4:16 (ESV)
On Sundays, we, as Christians, gather in our congregations. We hold the Divine Service. That means: We are served by God and we serve Him with our joint praise and prayer. In the word He speaks to us. He shows us our failings, our always fresh sin and guilt. But He also pronounces upon us His gracious forgiveness when we are ready to come to Him with our sin and confess it to Him. By Baptism and Holy Communion He gives us more certainty of His forgiveness.
It is part of the Christian worship service that texts from the Bible are read. We normally hear a reading from the Gospels and one from the Epistles of the Apostles. There can also be a reading from the Old Testament.
The reading of portions from the Bible in the Divine Service is nothing new. This practice was already introduced by the most ancient Christian congregations. Our verse from the end of Colossians speaks about it. The apostles knew nothing of email. They wrote their news on pieces of papyrus or they dictated them to a secretary [compare Rom. 16.22]. At the end they signed them with their own hand to exclude any forgeries.
Papyrus is a delicate material. It cannot be preserved indefinitely. Therefore the letters were copied and shared with other congregations. They too were to read them. In this way God’s word has come to us. Thank God!
Our God, we thank You: You had Your word also written for us. Grant that we may diligently use it for our salvation. Amen.
[Dr. Gottfried Herrmann in God Is For Us, 06 May 2017]
Although this is not a unionist publication, we do on occasion print worthwhile thoughts from Reformed theologians. In the mid 90’s, Reformed theologian James Boice commented:
“I am convinced the great problem in America today is that people are not thinking. It’s a cultural phenomenon that has spilled over into the church. It is not just that there is a lack of a Christian way of thinking – a ‘Christian mind’ – but that there is hardly a mind at all. In our day and age people, Christian and non-Christian alike, just do not think. We act and we react, but we do not consider and contemplate. There are many ways to explain this phenomenon: secularism, relativism, materialism, or just the fast pace of our lives. But we cannot overestimate the fact that our society has become so obsessed with entertainment that it has never learned to think. And this is because we have embraced a television culture rather than the print-based culture of our ancestors.
“Do not get me wrong; I am not crusading against television. I would just as soon watch a movie on television as go to the theater. It is cheaper and I can do it in the comfort of my own home. There is nothing wrong with that. But we must stop believing that television is making us think. Television does not make us think; it entertains.”
[“Wanted: Thinking Christians” by James M. Boice, Modern Reformation, July/August 1994]
…we rejoice in our sufferings… [Romans 5.3]
If the devil were smart and keep quiet and let the Gospel be preached, he would suffer less harm. When the Gospel is not challenged, it gets all rusty having no reason or cause to bring its power and might to the fore. Therefore nothing better can happen to the Gospel than when the world opposes it with its power and cleverness. The more my conscience, sin and devil oppose me, the stronger my righteousness becomes. That is because the sins that oppress me hurt me and so I continue on more fervently and stronger in praying and crying to God and so faith becomes increasingly stronger. Since we have a refuge that actually becomes stronger by trial and offense, we should not fear but take hear and rejoice in our sufferings. –Luther [In Wegweiser, 152]
TREASURES FROM THE CHURCH
“Therefore if the Church is to fulfill her task on earth, its mouth must be filled with the Gospel, and it must be diligent to open that mouth wide. It must not allow itself, through want of success, to set aside the preaching of the Gospel in order to pursue other means. What cannot be redeemed through the Gospel certainly cannot be redeemed. Would to dear God that He preserve our Synod so that we let it be our proper task to proclaim the Gospel near and far. Then, for our part, we will assist in gathering the scattered children of God and preparing them for the kingdom that has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world.” Pfotenhauer in At Home in the House of My Fathers, 747.
THE DIVINE SERVICE
“How often we hear today that the church must change to meet the changing times. The true church will beware of such advice. For the needs of man have not changed since the Garden of Eden; nor has the cunning of Satan. And thus the church must ever guard against his deceptive advice. As our Lord once said even to Peter: ‘Get behind me, Satan! You have not in mind the things of God, but the things of men’ (Mt 16.23). In truth, the faith once delivered has not changed. The need for God’s gifts in his means of grace has not changed. And the need for a stable worship life that points heavenward has not changed. The music of the church serves the needs of men, in the context of changing times, when it directs the hearts and minds of men to the unchanging things of God. In so doing, the music of the church—as with all the gifts of God to his church—preserves the church upon the rock of Christ, ‘even when steeples are falling.’ In the words of Pastor Johann Gerhard: ‘Beautiful as a lily is the church, but it is as a lily among thorns. She is the daughter of God, but she is greatly despised by the world and looks expectantly to her heavenly inheritance. She is as a chaste virgin and those who are true to her abstain from the embraces of the world. They belong to her and do not wish to dishonor themselves or by an unholy alliance with the devil. Let her children beware that they not cling to Satan in an unholy union. “Thanks be to God for his good gift of music! The true church delights and rejoices in the use of this gift as God intended, even as she surely will in heaven.”’”
[Kantor Richard Resch, Music as Gift of God or Tool of the Devil, Logia]
FROM THE LCMS FOUNDATION
www.lcmsfoundation.org 800-325-7912 Ext 1684
Relationships are a deeply cherished aspect of life for most of us. We are emotional creatures who depend on relationships to define joy or sorrow, satisfaction or want, emptiness, loneliness or fulfillment. People spend countless hours trying to master relationships (relational stewardship).
Learning how to steward relationships begins even before a child is born. It continues in the home. Children watch their parents and other family members interact. If the father protects mother and children, treating them in such a way that they flourish to be all that they were created to be, then children learn to treat others with loving kindness and forgiveness.
If a mother nurtures and cares for father and children so they can flourish to be all that they were created to be, then children will also learn to treat others so they know they are treasured.
When people treat their friends with respect, honesty and support, they are also helping them flourish and achieve their full potential.
God has created an eternal relationship with us in Jesus Christ. This relationship gives harmony, confidence and immortality. This gift makes known to the world the great depth and vastness of God’s love for His creation.
Each person has a lasting opportunity to care for their relationships with family, others and ministries by developing an intentional plan to transfer their estate to others as a blessing.
Managing or stewarding relationships isn’t always easy. Yet, it is one of the most important aspects of life that can be managed. Stewarding relationships helps the people you love and the ministries you care about to be all that God created them, in His love, to be! . . . For more information, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-863-4427.
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This week on KFUO.org, we wish everyone a blessed and relaxing Independence Day holiday, continue in our Daily Lectionary study of Acts on His Time (weekdays @ 8:00am CT), and learn how to sing together for family devotions (Faith & Family 7/5 @ 10:30am CT).
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THE FAITH ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS... Issues, Etc. is a radio talk show produced by Lutheran Public Radio in Collinsville, IL and hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken. This week's teachings include: Martin Luther's Prayers, The Prophet Jeremiah, Joseph Cares for Jacob, 5th Century Archbishop of Alexandria Cyril, 2nd Century Bishop of Lyons Irenaeus and more. You can listen to what you want when you want at www.issuesetc.org and on the Lutheran Public Radio mobile app.
 Luth. Kirchenzeitung. Volume 6, pg. 86, Sp. 3
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