The Fourth Synodal Letter, Pages 8 - 12


who in reality may still call themselves Lutheran Christians by virtue of their faith and righteous profession. With certain members of his congregation Pastor Kühn has the same cross to bear.

In Buffalo the old hatred against the Lutheran church persists, being visited upon us by demogogical newspapermen, the Order of the Odd Fellows, the beerkeeps, the children of the world, the gangsters, the papists and the Jesuits. Our church discipline in accordance with the Pomeranian and Saxon church orders is particularly a thorn in the side of gangsters, children of the world, demogogical politicians and Free Masons. They deny us respect by assaulting us with insulting names. And so the world would be happy and more satisfied with us if we were to surrender to them; we might also amass a mighty group of Lutherans in the name of Christ and fill the church with their riff-raff. For this may God protect us. May this faithful, Christian discipline and order be an ever stronger barrier against the maelstrom of the godless. We profess our loyalty to our fathers in "being resolute not only in redeeming the gross and well-known sinner but also the subtle and secret sinner, whom only God recognizes." Smalkaldic Article Part 3, §7. Let us state with Pastor Besser of the Leipzig Conference of 1851, "Ceterum censo, disciplinato ecclesiasticam esse restitudendam."

We must reiterate here that we have issued no new tenets and church orders in the freedom which our beloved Lord Jesus Christ has granted us. Rather we have been united with our church children since 1839 in observance with our Lutheran forefathers of the church orders inherited from Pomerania and Saxony to the extent that they are applicable to our current circumstances. We are well-advised to do so and are at peace with our consciences because we see that these orders are plainly grounded in God's word and in accordance with the symbolic books of the church. Whenever difficult issues of conscience occur, which can not be solved through these church orders alone, we consult other writings on faith such as the Wittemberg Consilia and the Dedekenni Thesaurus. It may thus be seen that our constitution is grounded in the old church orders since:
1.) each congregation has an appointed church committee with its pastor as chairman.
2.) the pastors within the synod make up the church ministry, which assembles from time to time in order to render opinions and determinations in accordance with God's word in matters which cannot be resolved within the individual congregations, especially regarding church discipline.
3.) the synodal assemblies are comprised of the pastors and congregational deputies and they convene every three years or more often in order to deliberate on teaching and other general church issues, which cannot be resolved within the ministry.


Once again I wish to remind the entire synod and all our beloved church members to care for the external and internal wellbeing of our Martin Luther College, specifically the need for

1.) the appointment and maintenance of a capable Christian teacher or professor of righteous-faith theological erudition.
2.) the appointment and financial support of a second, Christian-minded and loyal to faith teacher, who can teach the rudiments of language, civics and social science. I will not cease to lend every possible assistance.
3.) It may be necessary in the near future to move the facility from its current rented location because it is becoming too small and it would be very costly to rent a larger building. Therefore it is advisable to have plans for a building drafted as quickly as possible. Certainly our beloved congregations will do their part. If we can produce a sufficent number of Christian-faith preachers, we will soon be able to do more for the swiftly dwindling German Lutheran population in Canada.

May the Lord reveal Himself and have mercy on Zion, for it is the time when He shall grant His grace upon her and the hour is come. Your servants, O Lord, were happy when she was built and they were happy to see the stone and mortar come together. Let all heathens fear the sound of Your name and let all kings on earth fear Your glory. The Lord builds Zion unto his glory — He can do it and He will! This will be written to the descendants and the nation, which shall thus be created and will praise the Lord. Amen.

The synod wanted this report added to the 4th Synodal Letter. To it is attached the following list of transactions.


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Part One
Matters Related to Teaching

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I.

The Sixth Synodal Report of the Missouri Synod for the Year 1852

First there is a list of their preachers and synodal members. Following this there is a synodal address of the president, Pastor Wynecken.

As evangelical Lutheran preachers they list Mr. Ernst in Eden, Mr. Schaller in Detroit, Mr. Diehlmann in Buffalo - including the Trinity Church congregation!, Mr. Lochner in Milwaukee, Mr. Bürger near Buffalo, Mr. Fürbringer in Freystadt and Kirchhayn. Among the synodal deputies is listed Mr. Ernst Krieg in New York.

It was decided by all that it was a blatant lie to send out these so-called persons as evangelical Lutheran preachers to such and such a district and such and such a church. They would have written down the truth if they had said, we have installed so and so as preachers in districts inhabited by those excommunicated, who were cast out by the primary and proper Lutheran congregations.

The intention of this blatant lie is unmistakably to obscure the existence of our Lutheran congregations from those who are banned so that it appears to the eyes of the world that among us there are no Lutheran pastors and congregation in our districts. They have deceptively put themselves in the place of our ministers and congregations and act as though they are the legitimate and original congregations.

Therefore it follows that the Missouri Synod persists in all its earlier sins and it should be noted for the record that in 1853 they have installed a new gang minister by the name of Günther amid our congregations and Preacher Böhm in Cedarburg and Grafton plus they accepted the gang preacher Fürbringer shortly after he took on a gang opposing Pastor Böhm in Abbot Town, Wisconsin. According to testimony supplied by our congregation members, Friedrich Winter and Gottl. Hilger, the Missourians openly states, "They, the Missourians, would be the mother of the Lutheran Church in North America and would unconditionally take in all those who left us! These public speeches by Fürbringer provide new proofs of their long-established practice of luring away and destroying our congregations.

The Synodal Address of President Pastor Wynecken

1) The rhetoric and language used in this address is pompous display meant to bewitch the audience and represent all of Missouri's errors as most splendid.

2) Christ's church on earth is hardly represented


since it is by its nature an invisible heavenly kingdom consisting of invisible priests, kings and prophets, who preside over and claim ownership of all rights, offices and authorities. It is not described as an assembly of the faithful, purely and openly taught the word of God and properly administered the sacraments. Thus the errors in teaching are as follow:

The church on earth is, by its nature, invisible; it is merely considered in terms of form and ordering; there are still assemblies where the holy ministry presides with pronouncements of the word and the administration of the sacraments. Wynecken's portrayal does not address the church, merely the inner Christianity of its members. Church and inner Christianity are both the same. St. Paul states concerning this, "Christ lives in me," and the Lord Jesus states, "We will come to him and live with him." Additionally, "The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit, that we are children of God." — But concerning the church the Lord Jesus states, "Upon this rock I will build by congregation and the gates of hell shall not preside over it." Plus, "Wherever two or three are gathered I am with them." And, "How often I have wanted to assemble your children just as the hen gathers her chicks under her wings." Therefore the church is an assembly of the faithful in Christ, where Christians are the sheep who hear His preaching and His voice, eat His body and drink His blood for eternal life and those who hold to this belief shall ascend to heaven because they have such high priests.

Wynecken's description of the church is only half a description because it wishes to define the church merely in terms of inner Christianity, the nature of its membership or the character of the faithful. Thus in fact and truth it is inherent to the essence and the conception of the church that it be an assembly of the faithful gathered in Christ's name, that it hears the word and voice of God and it maintains the ordering of the holy sacraments in Christ.

Wynecken's teaching and that of the Missouri Synod concerning the ministry is this: it goes no further than a general Christian standing in grace communally with all Christians whereby all Christians are called dignitaries and arrayed with the highest honor and ministry. Each child receives this honor or office at baptism, for the office is unconditionally and immediately bestowed with the honor of the spiritual priesthood. Each baptised child is situated within the ministry and is a pastor, be that child male or female. Here there is no distinction (says Wynecken) between man and women, master and servant, etc. Thus it certainly follows that each baptised believer in Christ is a pastor and according to this right he requires no further appointment to the office, however it is by the ordering of Christ that individuals give up their rights and hand them over to one among them whom they respect for he has special gifts and is spiritually preferred by God. This individual might best direct in their place therefore others


Go on to pages 13 - 17


Copy of text provided by the A. R. Wentz Library, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks