The Third Synodal Letter - Pages 113 - 117

God have mercy on this poor man and grant him penance so he might live.

9. "They burden Christians with marriage prohibitions, etc." (ibid, page 5)

It is Mr. Krause's custom to maliciously distort all matters, which he cites in his little book and it is the case again with this sentence. Nothing is known to us concerning marriage prohibitions or the reversal of regulations dealing with marriage in the church orders, for instance, "Two brothers may not marry two sisters." Concerning this regulation there is no further definitive statement and therefore it does not proceed absolutely that it must be understood merely in the terms in which it was written or printed. Thus, for example, the blessed Doctor Daniel Kramer says concerning Leviticus 18, 6 with regard to marriage relations that it would be advisable for our pastors to jointly deliberate as to whether such a case had any risks. In his maliciousness Krause turns this into a marriage prohibition. The ministry decided to table this matter with Pastor Krause in the pastoral conferences until the next synod could sufficiently investigate it. Until that time each member would research to see if he could find anything definite concerning the matter. Pastor Kindermann shared a treatise by Hesshusius, which provides sufficient evidence that such a marriage may indeed be permitted and considered Christian. Thus any Christian was free to propose marriage to a person with such a relational tie. Krause's application of 1 Timothy 4, 1 - 5 is false and totally foreign to Christian sensibilities. He does nothing other than give vent to his limitless bitterness towards righteous preachers of the gospel.

10. "They suppress Christian freedom and the rights of the congregation of God" (ibid, page 6)

If Krause had said that the congregations did not want to consider building or creating anything without the consent and presence of the pastor or that they would not conduct a congregational meeting without the consent and presence of the pastor, then this statement would be correct. Our pastors teach that as members of the congregation they too have the right to give advice and vote for or against an issue. However as preachers and spiritual caregivers they have the right, and indeed the duty, to attend the meetings of the congregation and assist them with true counsel, to uphold the peace, to maintain good Christian customs with prayers and pleadings and warnings, to divert and prevent discontent, to punish any occasions of sin and to preserve the Christian unity of the spirit. Krause's report is nothing and his proof also nothing because we know that proper Christian freedom and Christian rights blessedly reside within us.

11. "They frighten and martyr the souls through protracted confessions, etc." (ibid, page 6)

We have never been accused by anyone from our congregations of such spiritual tyranny on the part of our spiritual caregiver. Krause assures that there are many facts at hand, yet he does not list any.

It is therefore confirmed that this charge is also a fabrication. If he had wanted to produce proof, it could only have come from things he overheard, which at best would have shown him to be a slanderer. His entire written work shows how singleminded his goal is to tear apart Christianity. Satan is probably smiling in agreement. We, the congregation in Martinsville, are unfortunately forced to issue complaint, that during his time here he perpetrated similar atrocities unashamedly before God and man, publically crying from the pulpit that he will no longer absolve anyone who does not name his sins in the confessional! Through him the consolation of the conscience became martydom. Much more could be written about this if time and space permitted.

12. "They misuse the ban, since with the ban they mostly, etc." Page 6)

We do not remember where any such occasion presented itself. Concerning the facts, of which according to Krause's statement there were a sufficient number at hand, nothing is cited most likely because they are only imagined. Proof would have to be furnished by him before we would be able to lend credance. Each man is able to say with good reason that this is merely fiction, which conveys nothing other than pure hatred and the desire for vengence.

13. "They insinuate their way into family secrets and torment people, etc."

No reasonable man knows what Mr. Krause is trying to say by such allegations. He maintains in many of his statements that "facts are at hand," but he still doesn't name them. Supposedly he's coming forward with an open acknowledgement of dreadful anxiety but he hasn't revealed the reasons in print and he doesn't want to openly name them. Everything remains secret and cryptic yet he passes himself off as someone bringing these matters to light. Praise God, that's all anyone knows in the beerhouses. Such cases of their insinuation into family secrets have not come to our attention, therefore we declare this statement false.

"Through their network of eavesdroppers and tattletales the congregation members will ..." ibid, page 7)

How does Mr. Krause know that through a network of eavesdroppers and tattletales within our congregations members are being seduced into hypocrisy or into villainy and fraud or that one person doesn't trust another, or one must suspect that the supposed friend could be a tattletale, or that scandalmongers, people ready to spread lies and dreadful shame are prevalent among us?
Answer: through none other than eavesdroppers, tattletales, scandalmongers, and people ready to spread lies. Here he openly admits that he shares in the lies of ignoble members of our congregations or with those, who have severed themselves from us or have been excommunicated. He has used them to his own shameful purpose to sling mud upon the church of Christ and its true teachings. He admits that he is

a brother to every slanderer, scandalmonger, eavesdropper and tattletale, and he dons the same mantle, for which as a Christian preacher he should be justly punished. In his all too great laziness there was no other way he could have become acquainted with his congregation. Praise God, we have once again been furnished with true spiritual caregivers and need not complain about eavesdroppers. However should members of our congregation become so forgetful of God and wish among themselves to heckle their true and God-ordained teacher (which Krause perhaps intends), then under those circumstances it is proper and Christian to deliver a report to the appropriate body so that such people may be warned in time to cease their godlessness.

14. "Things have progressed so far that no one is free any more to walk with his neighbor, etc." (ibid, page 7)

Krause states again that he completely surrounded himself with eavesdroppers and scandalmongers when he listened to such poor people (tattletales), indeed he betrayed much more since he would go out among them to gather information (as he does here.) He does not do as Strach states, "Speak to your friend about it, perhaps he did not do it." In this case there is no talk of breaking the Sabbath. However, when someone insolently ventures out on Sunday to sate his physical appetites and to set vulgar, dirty, frivolous and godless things into motion, and vexes the congregation by arriving late for church service, then quickly drives away, breaks the rod, grabs the feather, writes and then publishes — that is breaking the Sabbath! If the people, who have spoken to me, have lied, then am I lying along with them? Should it be forgotten that certain members of his own family took walks in shameful distain for the Sabbath, the sermon and the word of God while the congregation sat in the church and attended to the church service or that he seduced other people into doing work for him during the church service? While in Buffalo he was seen almost all the time coming back from walks or other diversions as people were coming out of the church. He publically demonstrated that he was no righteous Lutheran preacher, who properly held to the teachings on observance of the Sabbath, rather he was an individual, who was obedient to the flesh.

15. "In a partisan manner they give or refuse to give holy absolution." (ibid, page 8)

From our own experience we can testify and acknowledge that this is not true, rather it is a lie. Mr. Krause should have introduced a few proofs or facts in example.

"They persecute people as enemies, whose unchristian behavior towards them, etc."

Evidence must be provided so that charges of unchristian behavior, persecution, fanatical prosecutorial hunts may be deemed as truth and accepted. Mere mention of the words, as Krause does, is not sufficient. If people called the men of Christ gluttons and wine sots, tax collectors and sinful delinquents, inciters and seducers of

the people, even property of the devil, those too would have been lies. Thus Mr. Krause's mere words, though written and published, cannot be the truth.

16. "They cast suspicion upon the books of Lutheran church teachers, etc." (ibid, page 8)

All the books of true Lutheran church teachers provide true teaching and especially indicate the path to a life blessed by God, because pure teaching in itself is nothing other than a proper pathmarker and guide to a blessed Christian life. Pure teaching imparts faith, however righteous faith cannot exist without life blessed by God, which must bring it forth as His fruit. With his words Mr. Krause dares to proclaim that our pastors have rejected the entire body of pure Lutheran church teaching. Thank God, there is no need for our pastors to provide evidence against this charge, for our congregation and even our opponents (gangs and sects) certainly recognize that they adhere strictly to Lutheran teaching and diligently impart it to their congregations. However it is true that they could not approve and recommend books by certain teachers, who do not rely solely on pure teaching and especially those who turn to false doctrine (such as, for example, teachings on the thousand-year reign, et. al.), and those who extol the great holy life and make so much of it that it's as though the holy life and the fruit of faith stem from the prayers and strength of the human will. If he himself is a defender of such literature, then it is not necessary to suspect him of being a piestist since he openly admits that he is one.

17. "Their interpretation and application of God's word is supposedly,etc." (ibid, page 8)

It would have been Mr. Krause's duty to show where the interpretation of God's word by our pastors contradicted the writings on faith by the Lutheran church. However he merely lists things and when it would have been possible to write out extensive studies, he neglects to do so. This is how it is and it is opined that people will close in on him since so much more needs to be said, for they will certainly call such empty writing mere foolishness, mimicry and a waste of time. Moreover we gladly accept the interpretations of old true teachers when they mirror true faith, however we immediately reject all interpretations, no matter how attractive they seem, when they contradict the symbolic books of our church and we gladly endure it if we must consider them pig-headed and stubborn.

18. "Because not even I, after I [had witnessed] their unchristian deeds and motives, etc." (page 9)

We might have credited Mr. Krause with more love of truth than he actually possesses. In this statement he builds a fortress, the standard and stones of which are blatant lies. He hides within it and thinks that he is safe. We must state here that time and space do not permit us to refute all these hate-filled and murderous lies.

Consequently we find it necessary in all good conscience to state the truth:

Our pastors have never exercised hatred and revenge upon this poor and confused man but they have practiced ministerial and Christian love, admonishment and discipline. They have never sought to destroy him but they have taken the trouble to try and set him straight since he has so unfortunately been overwhelmed by the devil. They have never held congregational meetings with us behind his back in order to refute him but they have held them in order to find a means to extract him from the devil's grasp. He was not suspect as a pietistical rebel, a mutineer, a false teacher, a fanatic and godless man but people spoke for him with the greatest of forbearance. Whenever possible they concealed his faults, explained away his transgressions as best they could, and warned the congregation to faithfully pray for him during his supposed illness. We have not heard that they brought forth and demonstrated anything against him to the congregation and furthermore, wherever anyone wanted the bring forth something, such behavior received Christian punishment. They issued many warnings for love and forbearance and they appeased the congregation, which without these measures would have been irritated by his comportment. No one spoke to the congregation concerning deliberations on sins he had committed or had been suspected of committing, rather the congregation was urged to submit their charges against him in accordance with accepted protocol and present them to him so that the miserable situation would come to an end. It is apparent that there are terrible and real sins, some of which have already been cited while others are yet to be brought forth, which must be acknowledged and atoned for before they can be stopped. No one broke the staff over him and judged him; no one has given him penance to perform before his case can be heard. Instead it was after many fruitless hearings and warnings before many witnesses that the high ministry decided it could no longer keep the congregation in the dark and had to bring everything to light. N. B. Until that time the ministry dealt solely with him while there was still a chance that things might be resolved and the congregation might remain undisturbed.

The congregation went hand in hand with the pastors, not to overthrown or do away with him but to save him, just as Pastors von Rohr and Grabau had been warning him for a year and a day. We admit that we went to our former, true pastors and secretly registered our complaints when there was need, however we must testify that they were not happy to hear what we had to say. At each turn they said only the best things about him and they only advised us to speak with him personally and follow the proper procedure. It is the grossest of lies, that they goaded us into telling tales about him. Even during a sermon given on the day of repentance, Pastor von Rohr praised him and warned us to have patience for his weakness and to pray for him. However with his shameful lies he demonstrated his ingratitude. It is a lie that Pastor Grabau supposedly stated that someone would have to remove him from his ministerial office because of his illness. It is also a lie that the congregation was provoked into seeking his dismissal.

Go on to pages 118 - 122

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

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks