The Fourth Synodal Letter, Pages 18 - 22


b) The form and manner are proof of their lack of repentance, their hypocrisy and persistent slandering. It is proof of their unrepentance in that they have known (since 1845) we would not have separated from them if they had not dispatched the gang preachers Klügel and Geier and had not sent any more new gang preachers to our congregation. Despite this knowledge they unrepentantly persist in sending new gang preachers. Consequently this proposal at reunitification occurs without sign of repentance. — The proposed path is also slanderous since until now they have called Pastor Grabau a papist and have attempted to destroy his congregation. Now they want to hold religious dialogs with a papist as thought they are placing brotherly trust in him to honestly and sincerely go along with this work; behind it all there is demonic temptation; Pastor Grabau is supposed to welcome their delegates, negotiate with them and admit that he was a papist in our synod. Their ignoble path and existence have been sufficiently confirmed.

This path is full of hypocrisy. They wish to appear peace-loving when they are not. Their path, which hammers the issues at hand into their opposite, does not exhibit the least desire to reach peace; it exhibits hatred, revenge and murder, the torches of discord! This comes to light in their Sidecar, their deceitful synopsis and other godless writings. They make use of our refusal, which was Christian and merely conditional, to further slander us as if we did not want peace.

3) It is quite absurd for us to reunite with them since there is a book by Prof. Walther which confirms their old and erroneous doctrine concerning church and teaching office, freedom and priesthood. From what we see in this book, they have not recognized their heresy and have not recanted it. Rather they persist in further embellishing of the old and gross principles and democratic church orders of 1839, as previously stated in our Third Synodal Letter of 1851.

4) Right up until now we have defended pure Christian teaching concerning church and ministerial office in our Informatorium based on holy scripture and our symbolic books, the church orders of the faithful and other writings. Our church members fully understand and embrace this pure teaching and we are prepared, with God's grace, to prove this teaching to anyone. Prof. Walther has no reason to believe that we fear his educated eloquence; rather we ask him and the Missouri Synod - if he wants to be Christian and prove that he is one, he should try to unite with us on the established path of truth and justice. We have tried to show them this path since 1845 when we wrote in our First Synodal Letter, "We would not have separated from them on account of the teaching on proper ordination if they had ceased sending gang preachers." In consequence,


5) the currently assembled synod has resolved that the path to unification, which was indicated by Pastor Grabau in a printed letter * to H. P. Habel, Secretary of the Missouri Synod, is the proper path grounded in God's word and proof of this is evident in the articles published in the Informatorium by our Church Ministry. See, for example, Volume 1, No. 18 and Volume 2, No. 14.

6) Subsequent to a second round of discussions the assembled synod will send a letter to Cleveland, where the Missouri Synod has met in conference. In this letter their false path will be disclosed and the proper path will be demonstrated whereby they may achieve peace with us and we may be inclined to seek peace with them safely within divine truth. They shall be asked to read this letter before their assembled synod and we shall expect a decision from them within a brief period of time. May God grant his blessing to this!

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II.

The Missouri Sidecar
Section I: Concerning the Bewersdorf-Keyl Gang, now called the Lochner Gang in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (From the Lutheraner, Volume 9, No. 8)

The author is the current gang preacher, Lochner. He attempts to justify the mutiny and misrepresent the conduct of our church ministry every step of the way so that it seems as though the members of the gang, who were placed under the ban, were banned unjustly. After reading this section the synod agreed unanimously
1) that Mr. Lochner's description of our conduct was filled with lies and distortions of the issues. Of these lies we stress, for example
a) that the former Milwaukee pastor, Krause had excluded all those from the eucharist who had disagreed with him about the purchase of a horse. Investigation of the incident clearly shows that he had only threatened them with excommincation because of the unjust manner in which they repudiated his letter of warning. He could not receive them back for the eucharist until they apologized for their slanders. This would not have been a threat but a loving warning to take back their lies.
b) that he [Krause] had refused to attend the congregation's meeting. The investigation clearly indicated that the only ones meeting were those who had something against his sermon and wanted to have a discussion with him about it. He had let it be known to this group, "Anyone, who has something to say against the sermon, should come to him individually to discuss it."
c) The major lie is that the gang insolently maintains through Lochner's mouth

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* This letter may once again be seen in Kirchliches Informatorium, Volume 2, No. 4, pages 26 and 27. Return to text


that the congregation had not come to a decision concerning the purchase of a horse or a buggy; upon investigation it was found that no agreement had been reached however it must be made public that the instigators behind the scene were identified. As these events were unfolding Krause's mode of expression had not been sanctioned.

d) Here there is another lie - former pastor Krause had asked the congregation to hold an assembly in his absence in order to reach a decision on whether or not they wanted to do it. In November 1844 Krause had asked the congregation (when the matter of purchasing a horse had first been proposed) to hold a meeting at which oral testimony would be taken down concerning Bewersdorf. The meeting took place November 28, 1844 but only some members came and nothing was decided but several people indicated things could stay as they were. * As the investigation makes clear, Krause's request for the congregation to meet (in November 1844) had nothing to do with the events of 1845. Later in the year of 1845 the congregation had come to a decision with its pastor concerning the purchase of a buggy; Krause had only wished that he would have been informed during the course of a week how the matter of a resolution had been introduced and whether the issue was at the time under advisement. However instead of this a counter-assembly was held (Bruss and Bewersdorf) and they overturned the decision, as the present investigating judges can testify to here.

e) It is another gross lie that Pastor Kindermann gave these people the choice of two paths, either to go to their own synod or to another. This did not happen; instead Pastor Kindermann indicated to them the proper path orally and in writing, that they should bring the matter before their own synod and then if they were not satified with the verdict, then they were permitted to seek counsel with another sanctified teacher after giving us prior notice. This teacher should be in their eyes an unbiased juror.

f) Mr. Lochner declares another evil lie in stating that these gangsters had separated from our pastors due to false teaching; during the time they were separated they twice offered Pastor Kindermann an appointment to take Krause's place and furthermore they had openly requested another preacher from our synod and the dismissal of Krause, as even the Sidecar acknowledges in No. 8. It is apparent they found true teaching with our pastors and had separated themselves only out of hatred for Krause.

g) Let us add the gross lies concerning the Keyl ordination case already listed in Kirchliches Informatorium Volume 2, No. 11. See the supplement covering this.

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* According to the written record of 1844 Bewersdorf himself spoke of the necessity to purchase a buggy because contributions for the current conveyances were not collected, as he wished to point out from the list. Return to text


2.) Although the presentation by Lochner (the "talented young man") is filled with lies, so many admissions of the truth shine through in the article that an attentive Christian reader will discover the contradictions, make comparisons and learn the true facts, namely that our church ministry has been diligent in questioning people, in instructing and giving warnings and that subsequently when attempts at reconciliation were disrupted, in his deceptive manner Mr. Lochner called this only one kind of reconcilation. Our church ministry has practiced the proscribed grades of Christian warning and discipline with these unrepentant foes of their pastors and it is evident that in the end these people were righteously excommunicated and placed under the ban because of their unwillingness to reconcile themselves and their persistent mutineering (plus they also held their own mutinous church services.) Thus it follows that Mr. Lochner and his Sidecar have provided no evidence of unjust bans in this article and he has given no justification whereby the Missouri gang preachers could properly take in these gangsters or even excuse them. The Missouri Synod committed an inexcusable sin when it decided in Chicago it was the sacred duty of these people to immediately appoint righteous faith preachers for themselves. The Sidecar should have tried to justify this action instead of speculating in their book. The result was evil.

We have only summarized this first issue from the Missouri Sidecar, however given the limits of time we are satisfied that we have sufficiently dealt with it. The remaining issues were read before the assembled synod and after brief discussion decisions were reached (which are now resolutions); written decisions from district pastors and church administrations were entered into the record and these decisions have been added as supplements to the Fourth Synodal Letter.

In the inquiries it was proven that the Milwaukee gang committed robbery after the report on the appropriation of the Trinity Church and its plot of land was read. Further proof is provided in a supplement to the Fourth Synodal Letter.

A second article in the Sidecar was written by Peter Schulze in Buffalo. He does not prove the ban was unjust because 1) there were many falsehoods and distortions in the article. 2) the charge of false and tyrannical teaching and practice is contradicted by the testimony and through his own writing. 3) Peter Schulze is completely mute on the point that he received seven proper church warnings based on the word of God within the course of approximately half a year. The last warnings occurred before the entire church administration and then by the church ministry. After examination of the matter this was the verdict of the synod.

The third article in the Sidecar concerns the new gang in Eden. There was a reminder and a reading of a) what was stated on pages 50 through 70 of the Second Synodal Letter concerning the new gang in Eden; b) what was written in issues 9 and 10, Volume 9 of the Lutheran where Mr. Ernst reports on what was stated in the synodal letter about this gang.


At the time this was read, the matter was examined from the testimony at hand. The examination extended into the next day and a verdict was rendered.

Verdict of the Synod

1.) The gang preacher Ernst, or whoever the author is, only reported what came out of the mouths of his gang and he has never attempted to learn the truth from the church court concerning these rotters. He limits himself to the vulgar rumors and would learn the truth from them while rejecting what is stated in the preface to the 7th Article of the Augsburg Concfession concerning de abusibus. The truth cannot be perceived in the rumors spread by people and the slanders of enemies. Since the author (who hides behind the gang) only wants to discover the truth from these sources, he and the entire Missouri Synod along with him are acting in contradiction to the teaching of the Augsburg Confession.

2.) Ernst untruthfully declares that these hostility minded people had held a legitimate congregational meeting in which they had the power to do away with the ordained procedures. Since the pastor knew nothing about this meeting and the church administrators and other church members were excluded from it, it cannot be called legitimate. Instead it was carnal and improper.

3.) Ernst alleges the gang had not declared that the ordained procedure was a sin; it is sufficiently known and supported by more than enough testimony that since the time of the uprising they had referred to it as the eternal priestly yoke. It might also be mentioned that they call it this to this day. Incidentally, it's well established that the gang declared this ordained procedure a sin since some had sinned because of it.

The ordained procedure was constitutionally enacted on March 5, 1848 by the congregation and it was to remain in effect until the church and school were debt-free. Ernst frequently repeated a gross untruth in saying that the poor members were being forced to turn over 12 Schillings per year. There is a contradiction here since from one of these people nothing at all was demanded.

4.) The mutineering authors of this defense cunningly crafted false teaching, which Prof. Walther then published; namely, when the Augsburg confession, Article 15 states "We teach people to maintain the ordering so they may preserve themselves from sin, so it may serve to establish peace and good order within the church." These mutineers want to pervert the text by interpreting the word "may" as a sign of free will or voluntary action. Therefore the words accompanying it. "serve to establish peace and good order within the church," are reinterpreted into so long as peace presides. Therefore when certain people become discontent with it, they teach people not to maintain the order. This is a blatant distortion of the text since it speaks of human church ordering,


Go on to pages 23 - 27


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

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks