Tell it to the Church! by J. A. A. Grabau and H. C. G. von Rohr - Pages 7 - 10


when the group was tired of Bürger it sent them another rogue minister by the name of Ernst from Bavaria.

When the gang in Buffalo no longer wanted Bürger this synod sent them another man by the name of Franke and after him yet another by the name of Diehlmann; Bürger yielded to both, half under duress and half voluntarily, remaining on friendly terms with them and still serving small portions of his rogue congregations in and around Buffalo. There was also a small gang in New Bergholz, Niagara County, which separated itself from the congregation through its pietistic error and established its own separatist church group; the group had been seduced by a rebel scholar from our preparatory institute, one Mr. von Kornatzky; it took in M. Bürger and the synod of Missouri honored the group by calling it a daughter congregation of Pastor Bürger's - without any thought for its pastor or church ministry!

Despite our repeated public warnings and the evidence provided in the 2nd and 3rd synodal letters of 1848 and 1851 the Missouri synod continued to build within our congregations altar against altar and they sent the rogue minister Fürbringer to the wayward and excommunicated members of our congregations in Freistadt; to those in Milwaukee they sent the rogue servant Lochner in Keyl's place and recently they sent the rogue minister Günther to the people in Cedarburg and Grafton (Wisconsin).

In 1850 7 members of the congregation of Pastor Winkler in Detroit intended to bring proceedings against their pastor; they charged him however the members did not wish to be called to testify. These people from Detroit had divided themselves from their congregation even after they had chosen our synod to be their church court along with their pastor. They began a rogue church. By taking in these people from Detroit and by sending the rogue minister Schaller to these separatists the Missouri Synod planned the horrible devastation of Detroit; and by installing Krause, the minister, whom we had excommunicated, as rogue minster to the rural congregation belonging to Pastor Winkler they also not only constructed a mutinous counter-altar in Macomb County but also robbed the congregation of its church as is proven in Numbers 7 and 8 of Issue 1 of our church publication Informatorium.

On the other hand we rejected the appeal by Pastor Pöschke, ordained by Missouri, to join our synodal assembly until such time as his difficulties with then president Walther et. al. had been resolved by their own synod. We also requested information from the Missouri Synod with regard to an announcement of its desire to be joined with us. No one could volunteer any information to us as to why it had immediately banned Pastor Pöschke from its synodal assembly without proper church disciplining and excommunication because of a violation of a paragraph in the constitution; a warrant had been issued for him in the public newspapers and he was described as a dismissed Lutheran pastor.

During this time in 1846 and again in 1852 they requested a colloquium with the Senior member of our church ministry


in order to discuss doctrinal differences with him in person. However Pastor Grabau could not accept this invitation after a decision made by our Synod in 1845, which stated: that we would hold no communion with them until such time as they respected us as a Lutheran church and called back the rogue ministers from our excommunicants. [1.] This resolution was well-heeded also in the following synods.

Afterwards through their publication The Lutheran the Missourians from 1846 to 1851 tried to win over public opinion by means of untruths and accusations — broad interpretation of a constitution gives each congregational district legal jurisdiction over its ministers and the right to posit a profession of faith and the power to freely interpret the articles of the Augsburg Confession, for example whether or not to have private confession — thus within a few years their numbers increased by a hundred preachers. At the same time as the Missouri Synod was drawing members from our group our small church's publication, Informatorium, dealt above all else with the saving of their souls based on the holy scriptures and the Lutheran symbols; for a long time it has striven to extricate itself from many internal battles and to firmly establish the preservation of Christian discipline in the face of the old Pommeranian and Saxon church regimes but now we only have 12 pastors with 16 congregations.

In this Church Informatorium we have not only proven the erroneous doctrine of the Synod from Missouri and carried on the present dispute through the Word of God but we have also desired to show through it the dreadful sins of the entire Christian church whereby this Synod has insinuated itself upon us, limiting and hindering church discipline and devastating the Lutheran Church in this country; it endears itself to those who have been banned and shunned by our congregations because of their evil deeds. We have thus established in accordance with the Word of God the grounds whereby we can not hold colloquium with them if they do not expel our excommunicated gangs from their synodal assembly and lead them back to us from their church courts because in accordance with 2 Thessalonians 3, 14; Romans 16, 17, 18 and other verses we ourselves may hold colloquium with our excommunicants since they are of one body, one heart and one soul with them.

We have demonstrated that we could publicly bear witness against this synod and warn them only for so long; this is not the activity of a people belonging to a Lutheran synod wishing to hold brotherly discussion with us.

_____

[1.] He considered this beneficial yet only under the assumption that his assembled brothers in ministerial office would do the same and the synod would agree to it, however this was not a personal matter he should deal with by himself. Return to text


Our assembled synod, which met in May of this year in Buffalo, N.Y. for the fourth time, composed, as the enclosed shows, a synodal communiqué to the Missouri Synod assembled in Cleveland (Ohio) whereby it is stated and proven that the proper and only means to peace is that the Missouri Synod cease their sinning and release our excommunicants. Unfortunately the exchange of correspondence showed that the Synod of Missouri will stubbornly, arrogantly and unrepentantly persist in its sinning.

II.

Summary Proof of the Injustice Committed against Us

Namely:

   1. that the Saxon pastors sent the mutineer preacher Geyer to the gang that had fallen away from Pastor Kindermann without consulting the pastor in 1843.

   2. that they lent assistance to our mutineers in Milwaukee by recommending the services of their candidate Klügel and that they called him a pastor instead of subjecting him to Christian discipline on account of his Calvinist heresy and because of his utterly shameless snatching of a foreign ministry for the Lutheran Church, for which he remains unrepentant.

   3. that they sent Pastor Keyl as mutineer preacher to Milwaukee, who snatched up all our pastors' excommunicants of Kirchhayn, Freystadt and Milwaukee and built counter-altars in these 3 congregations without consulting our ministerium - 1846.

   4. the acceptance into their synod of the mutineer preacher Bürger and his entire gang, that is, our excommunicated members despite sufficient prior notice of their excommunication from the Christian regime - 1847.

   5. The takeover into their synod of our excommunicated mutinous members in Eden by forcably seizing the church of this congregation - 1848.

   6. Sending the mutineer preacher Ernst to this evil house - 1849.

   7. Taking over the small pietist separatist group from the congregation in New Bergholz and assigning it as a daughter congregation to their mutineer preacher Bürger without consulting the pastor of that congregation - 1848.

   8. Sending the mutineer preacher Lochner in Keyl's place - 1850.

   9. Sending the mutineer preacher Franke in 1850 and Diehlman in 1852 to the excommunicants of our congregation in Buffalo.

  10. Installing the mutineer preacher Schaller in Detroit and Krause in Macomb County - 1850.

  11. Sending the mutineer preacher Fürbringer to the excommunicants of our congregation in Freystadt - 1851.

  12. Sending the mutineer preacher Günther to the excommunicants and rebels in Cedarburg and Grafton, Wisconsin - 1853.

Thus our reverent, urgent plea and demand is issued to all true-faith evangelical Lutheran faculties, synods and


consistories to join with us as Christians and brothers in our time of need and to punish the unrepentant, destructive Synod of Missouri for its sins because while its members acknowledge themselves brothers of the same fundaments of faith, they have seized ministries and are still seizing them.

Further, this is issued as a warning to cease these and all sins resulting from their actions - sending mutineer preachers and constructing counter altars in the Lutheran church, whereby they lift the ban from excommunicated public sinners and absolve them from their evil deeds.

Further, this is issued as a final warning to them, that their synod hinders all Christian church discipline by leading a search for all our church members, who are under church discipline for defiance to their spiritual caregivers and their congregations, who flee to counter altars where they are taken in by the Missouri Synod as holy children of God.

Further this warning is issued that they discontinue their working premise that as long as there is doctrinal dispute within the Lutheran Church, one contingent may take in the excommunicated sinners of the other.

We also ask for Christian verdict as to whether we stand justified according to God's Word in Romans 16: 17, 18 and Thessalonians 3, 14 in stating that we may not hold colloquium with them until they release our excommunicated members from their synodal band; with regard to doctrine we must limit ourselves to the defense of truth; with regard to this injustice we must point out these public sins to the entire Lutheran Church, thus in accordance with the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18, 13, we must "Tell it to the Church." For our part in this requested verdict we will gladly accept punishment and warning based on the Word of God, for it is our honest hope and desire to follow the path of Christ, to do whatever need be done to bring about reconcilation with our adversaries in a scriptural way with the help of the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church, and with the help of God to find a Christian path in which to pursue and finish the dispute of doctrine with the assistance of true Lutheran judgment from all Evangelical Lutheran Church committees, all the more to gain God's blessing and the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in this our and the entire Lutheran Church's time of need and peril.

May the merciful God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ inspire many hearts for the healing of the needful Lutheran Church of North America and especially the hearts of those, who sit in church office and hierarchy, to heartfeltly examine the ruin of Joseph through their God-given wisdom, knowledge and grace and to assist in healing it with faithful witnessing of the truth. Amen.

Buffalo, N.Y., July 1, 1853.

              The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Buffalo, in whose name:
                                    J. Andr. A. Grabau, Senior Minister
                                    H. C. G. von Rohr, Pastor
                                    Deputies of the Synod.


This is the end of Tell It to the Church!


Photocopy of text provided by Klinck Memorial Library, Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois - Call No. BX8065 .G727
Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Completed March 6, 2005