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Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

07 May 2006
  + C. F. W. Walther, Doctor and Confessor +
7 May AD 1887

CFW WaltherCarl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther was a founding father of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. He served as its first president from 1847 to 1850 and again from 1864 to 1878. Others who worked with him in the Synod's early days included Friedrich Wyneken and Wilhelm Sihler.

The son of a pastor, he was born in Langenchursdorf, Saxony on 25 October 1811. Walther's studies at the University of Leipzig and the influences of older Lutherans helped convince him that Lutheran teachings were correct expositions of Holy Scripture. However, some of his mentors were staunch Pietists, relying heavily on experience and emotion as part of conversion and sanctification. Walther rejected Pietism but seemed to always struggle against its encroachment in his theology.

Fearing a "union church" with the Reformed — as had been happening in Prussia — Walther joined with several other younger pastors under the leadership of Martin Stephan, who encouraged emigration to the United States in order to maintain confessional purity by avoiding imposed unionism. In 1839 he left Germany with other Lutherans. After a series of trials, the party settled along the Mississippi River south of Saint Louis, Missouri. Circumstances still clouded in a certain degree of ambiguity led the Saxons to depose Stephan as their leader and they finally settled upon Walther as his replacement.

Old CFW WaltherHe served as pastor of several congregations in St. Louis, founded Concordia Seminary, and in 1847 was instrumental in the formation of the LCMS (then called the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio und anderen Staaten — the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States). Walther worked tirelessly to promote confessional Lutheran teaching and doctrinal agreement among all Lutherans in the United States.

Walther was a prolific writer and speaker. Among his most influential works are Church and Office (aka Church and Ministry) and The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel. He also published Der Lutheraner, the LCMS's official news magazine for most of the time the Synod spoke and understood German.

Walther was one of many who stood steadfast in confession of the Evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith. For a sampling of some of the others in Lutheranism, please see The Meanies of Grace.

Lection
Psalm 46
Isaiah 55:6-11
Romans 10:5-17
John 15:1-11

Collect
O Lord God, heavenly Father, we pray that, as You raised up C. F. W. Walther to lead the Lutherans in American into a renewed appreciation of their confessional heritage and trust in the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, so You would continue to provide them with faithful pastors and leaders, keep them steadfast in Your grace and truth, defend them against all enemies of Your Word, and bestow on Christ's Church Militant Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Order Law and Gospel from Barnes & Noble.com.

 
Comments:
"Circumstances still clouded in a certain degree of ambiguity led the Saxons to depose Stephan as their leader and they finally settled upon Walther as his replacement."

So Stephan was deposed because of still-clouded circumstances. And Walther was Bishop Stephan's replacement.

The Missouri Synod fairy tale lives on!!!
 
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