Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 08/22/2010
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel” (Isa 29:18-19).
A mixture of sadness and excitement hung in the air at the port of Bremen in November 1838.
Within a span of two weeks, five sailing ships carrying a total of over seven hundred Lutherans from the Kingdom of Saxony would cast off and bring the passengers to a new and as yet unknown home across the Atlantic Ocean.
Tragically, one of the five vessels would go down with all hands.
But after a harrowing voyage, some eight weeks later the remaining four sailing ships would arrive in New Orleans.
The Saxons would travel up the Mississippi River and eventually put down roots in Perry County, Missouri.
Why did these Lutherans leave their homes in Saxony?
Because the government back home had prohibited the teaching of Biblical truth in Lutheran churches.
This was something these Christians would not tolerate.
You see, over thirty years earlier, Frederick Wilhelm III of Prussia had merged the Reformed and Lutheran churches in his territory by force.
And as this unfortunate practice spread to other regions of Germany, including Saxony, the Calvinist doctrine of the Reformed churches gained the upper hand.
Consequently, the Lutheran churches were forced to give up the ancient teachings of early Christianity.
Instead they had to adopt biblically unsound teachings, which had been invented only three hundred years earlier.
Any Lutheran who resisted Reformed doctrine was persecuted and even thrown in prison for wanting to adhere to the original Biblical teachings which had been handed down to the Apostles by Christ Himself.
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
Nine years after they had settled in Missouri, under the leadership of C.F.W. Walther, the Saxon immigrants would form the nucleus of what later would become the LCMS.
These Christians knew that the key to keeping their faith free from heresies and errors was to make sure that true Biblical doctrine—as exposited in the Lutheran Confessions—would be taught in their churches and passed down to their children.
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