Monday, May 7, 2012

C. F. W. Walther, Theologian

Commemoration of C.F.W. Walther, Theologian
May 7, 2012

The Lord be with you

Today is the Commemoration of C.F.W. Walther, Theologian. Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther (October 25, 1811 – May 7, 1887) is sometimes called the “Father of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.” He was ordained in 1837, and soon found himself in disagreement with the religious policies of the political state. Something called the “Prussian Union” was being forced on the people of Saxony, which basically kept the name “Lutheran” but insisted on “Reformed” theology. Ministers who continued in the Lutheran Faith would be jailed, have their property confiscated, and in other ways persecuted. Under the leadership of Martin Stephan, Walther, along with 600 others, emigrated from Saxony, in 1839 and settled in Missouri. When serious questions were raised about Stephan, his leadership ended, leaving Walther as one of the ablest ministers. He served as a pastor of several congregations in St. Louis, founded Concordia Seminary, and in 1847 was instrumental in formation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (later renamed The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod). Walther served as the Synod’s first president from 1847 to 1850 and again from 1864 to 1878. Walther worked tirelessly to promote confessional Lutheran teaching and doctrinal agreement among all Lutherans in the United States. He was a prolific writer and speaker, and among his most influential works are Church and Ministry and The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. He also was responsible for the periodicals Der Lutheraner and Lehre und Wehre. These two publications were very influential in bringing together the founding churches of the LC-MS. Often a congregation would be isolated and could think they were the only Lutherans in America. Then they would find a copy of Der Lutheraner and realize there were others out there, and seek to contact them. Walther died and was buried in St. Louis, Missouri.

Appropriate prayers include:
  • For courage and faith to remain faithful to the truth
  • For the use of media (print or other) to spread the Gospel
  • For the LC – MS, and her leaders
  • For our seminaries
  • That all governments might let the Gospel be preached freely
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

No comments:

Post a Comment