The Third Synodal Letter - Pages 128 - 132


III) Since Pastor Krause and his wife and eldest daughter would not justify themselves in the face of the charges leveled against them and they declare that they are lies and slanders, we are dutybound to further examine the testimony from Martinsville so the church ministry may reach a verdict.

   J. A. A. Grabau,      H. C. G. von Rohr,
   E. A. H. Lange,        Johann Drews,
   Christ. Wendt,          Friedr. Grosskopf
                        Carl Sack

At the request, which Pastor Lange placed the other morning, the 3 pastors, Grabau, von Rohr and Lange, along with the 2 deputies, who were still available, went one more time to Krause. He rescinded the letter of resignation to the ministry together with the false accusations and desired to reconcile with his ministerial brothers without further investigation so that everything would be covered up, forgotten, forgiven and discarded.

However, when investigation, repentant acknowledgement and confession were urged and many hours were spent in heartfelt warning and pleading to consider the sanctity of his soul, he demonstrated stubborn obstinacy. His son-in-law, Pastor Lange, who out of filial love suggested that in the beginning the terms may have been too harsh for Krause to accept, eventually rendered the following testimony of his unrepentance and obstinacy, as it is found in the documents, to which his signature is affixed:

"He (Pastor Lange) was not convinced of how true and brotherly the warning to Pastor Krause had been issued and he ended his testimony with the exclamation:
"Oh, if you were to die this very night, you would leave this earth in such dreadful unrepentance!"

On September 11th and 12th an official hearing was conducted in Martinsville by Pastors Grabau and von Rohr. The plaintiffs were asked to come before the assembled church administration to substantiate their complaints through witness testimony.

Then Pastor von Rohr was commissioned to request that the congregation in Martinsville issue a warning to its pastor.

On September 15th the recorded proceedings of the hearing of testimony was delivered with a warning that no one speak of them; if anyone noticed any incorrect statement, he was to submit his comments regarding it. Unfortunately almost all the complaints dealing with public conduct in the church and on the pulpit had to be substantiated by the entire congregation.

26 points of complaint were set down with a warning to Pastor Krause to repentantly seek reconcilation with the vexed church. Additionally, if there were any points which he did not understand or which he considered untrue, he should request a proper investigation with the congregation in order to establish his innocence. The congregation received a warning from its pastor that in the event Krause should follow through on the conditions of the warning and seek reconcilation with the church, it should receive him again with love and trust.


For the sake of Christian love the congregation promised to do this although it would be very difficult for many of them considering the tyrannical treatment they had suffered.

There is listed, for example:

5) We warn you to acknowledge that it is sinfully unjust and hierarchical when you call the spiritual warnings and punishments of your brothers in office hierarchical in your letter and will not tolerate them; instead you have declared that such complaints of the congregation should not have been accepted by your brothers in office. This is mere foolishness. Furthermore, in a letter to us you declare it pointless and unnecessary to submit any refutation of the charges raised. *

We warn you to desist this hierarchical disparagement of your congregation and your brothers in office and your church court and also to insist upon a proper investigation whereby you and your family can purge yourselves of the charges leveled again you and, if this is not possible, so you can repentantly reconcile yourselves with the vexed congregation.

At the conclusion was listed:

If you comply with this, our truly intended warning, offering a sincere apology, in accordance with Matthew 18, 21 and Luke 17: 3, 4 we will take you back with reconciled hearts and renewed faith.

On September 18, 1850 this warning was delivered to him by 2 deputies and read to him by the senior ministers.

He promised to reflect upon this and decided to seek reconcilation.

Saturday evening he came to the senior ministers and requested a ceremony of thanksgiving in the church on Sunday, September 22nd for the healing of his eye ailment. He also seemed inclined to seek reconciliation with the ministry and his congregation.

In the ceremony of thanksgiving Pastor Grabau called him a servant of Christ in the hope of his repentant return.

He appeared at the ministerial conference of 3 pastors on September 23rd and 24th.

He rescinded all the charges he had leveled against us for a second time and although it was difficult he allowed himself to be convinced and he confessed:

1.) It was sinful for him to have resigned from his congregation.
2.) that he had resigned from his church ministry
3.) that in many instances he had spoken falsehoods and he had committed the sin of lying. For example, he declared it untrue that no one in Martinsville had warned him of what had transpired repeatedly on the part of his confessor, the entire church administration and individual congregation members.

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* Lie: "In it he was condemned." Return to text

Lie: "Up until September 22nd he was aware that he had been subject to church discipline for the past 2 months." Return to text


4.) He admitted that he was not able to declare all the charges of the congregation members in Martinsville fictions and slanders.

5.) He admitted to committing sin by calling his ministerial brothers hierarchical because they had given him brotherly warning concerning this matter.

However when he was warned to repent for his greed, feigned poverty, his harshness with his congregation especially with regard to his illness and self-coddling, he raised considerable dispute on several facts and testimonies concerning the sins. He left us with the accusation that we were in collusion with the congregation and only wanted to overthrow him! Despite all Christian warning to repent also delivered on September 24, he remained obstinate even as he appeared one more time at the conference.

The resolutions and announcements, which had been decided upon by the synod on September 9th, were finally put into action on September 29th.

On October 5th Krause sent a libelous letter to the ministry and then began to preach to the gangs in Buffalo. He threw himself into the arms of the Missourians in writing, even though he had promised he would never do this during the issuing of the 3rd warning by the synodal deputies and his son-in-law. He then wrote his first libelous book, Priestly Domination and Spiritual Slavery, in which he expanded upon the lies and slanders in his libelous letter.

He traveled to Detroit, took over the rogue congregation of Pastor Winkler in Macomb County, Michigan and allowed himself to be installed there by the Missouri mutineer preacher, Schaller. He made a public announcement in the Missourians' journal, The Lutheran. And then he allowed his second piece of libel, resulting from our discourse with him, The Secret of Evil to be published.

In this brief piece of fiction, as in both of his libelous works, there is a web of lies in which he stands firm in his innocence.

1.) Until the year 1848 he had shared our hierarchical opinions and then he began to be convinced otherwise.
2.) Up until September 22, 1850 we had despised him and for the last 8 days we had defamed him for no reason.
3.) Since 1848 we had persecuted him.
4.) For a year and a day we had secretly slandered him among the Martinsville congregation and wanted to overthrow him.
5.) We wanted to hinder his efforts to get a better dwelling!
6.) We had planned to allow him to go blind because we warned him to visit the church!
7.) Page 21: Pastors Grabau and von Rohr had drawn up a verdict against him, which the congregation in Martinsville accepted even though it was only a preliminary warning from the Martinsville congregation.
8.) He lies on page 22: He had come to the ministerial meeting on September 23rd and 24th to convince us of our sins and to issue a warning for our return. In truth he had promised


to come there in order to accept the previously described written warning of the congregation in Martinsville and he even conceded to a few of the points mentioned within it.
9.) Page 18: That Pastor Grabau sent a general scout to Martinsville.
10.) We had secret dealings in Martinsville behind his back since we held a public hearing after his second public resignation.
11.) Page 19: We had deluded the congregation into thinking that its sanctity could only be assured through us!
12.) Page 17: We had planned to get rid of him, plus on page 15, that we considered his rapid return to Martinsville necessary and had therefore sought the testimony and support of a physician.

What follows are lies and slanders expressed against our teaching and conduct:

1.) Page 8 - Pastor Grabau teaches: the means to grace are God's word, the holy sacraments and prayer.
Krause falsifies this in contradiction to his own knowledge because he knows that this false accusation was already refuted at the 1845 Synod.

2.) Page 8: Matthew 28, 20 applies only to the ministerial office. According to this heresy the congregation of Christ is abandoned.
Response: This passage appiles especially to the ministerial office, for Christ is present and powerful for all time. Krause merely reaches an erroneous conclusion, as if only preachers may be comforted by the grace-filled presence of their savior.
The congregation has and hears its savior through the ministerial office and indeed, it has the promise that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, I am there, even when they are without the ministry.

All the same, he calls Pastor Grabau a heretic and a gruesome foe of man because he teaches, "Go everywhere in the world and teach all peoples and baptize them," only applied to the apostles.
This is correct teaching, that the time of the unmediated sending of apostles to all people no longer is at hand; rather we now have mediated and ordained vocation and it is necessary that preachers be desirous of and willing to accept being sent to the heathens. Above all else Pastor Grabau has this in common with the old teachers of our orthodox beliefs in contrast to the popes and pietists, who still wish to send apostles or missionaries to all people.

The first issue of our Kirchliches Informatorium already addresses this issue, therefore it is a lie when Krause writes on page 9, that Pastor Grabau teaches that all missions among the heathens are false and godless!

On page 9 he contradicts his own lie when he falsely states:

4.) Pastor Grabau posits prayer as an entirely unnecessary thing,


which is unheeded by God. He has preached this in great contradiction to Arnd's proper teaching concerning prayer on the 14th of September, 1850 and he has cast aside the admonition of God's word concerning communal and faithful prayer. All this has been proven because Pastor Grabau preached, "God does not listen to our prayers because they are deeds but rather because they are instances of faith in Christ."
What else should be understood from this than God only hears the faithful prayer?

5.) It is an outright lie that Pastor Grabau desires that, as the professional doctrinaire, his vote should be worth more than the vote of all congregation members since his is the vote of the established house. It has been our practice for 12 years that the vote of the pastor, in cases where he does vote, counts only as the vote of one congregation member. However as the official voice of doctrine, he retains the right to pronounce against all things sinful and erroneous as well as the right to teach and to evince. But whereas each Christian has a voice with which to testify to something sinful or erroneous in the congregation, it is our rule that when decisions concern teaching or sin, a verdict is not delivered through a majority of votes but through convincing truth of God's word. Only extraneous matters can be determined by vote and in such circumstances our pastors have only the same voting power alloted to any congregation member. Against all his knowledge Krause lies in stating that anyone can be placed under the ban! *

6.) On page 13 Krause lies in declaring that Pastor Grabau untruthfully stated on December 8, 1850, "He had never said that he had to support himself on beggar's pennies."

The circumstance and Christian testimony prove that Pastor Grabau stated the truth: "I will not support myself on beggar's pennies." This means people should not consider the gifts in the collection plate a charitable contribution requested for my support but as a dutiful and necessary donation for my sustinance.

He had to issue a warning to the congregation, which was then reiterated by the church fathers, because many financially well-off congregation members neglected their duty after the church fathers' announcement.

The declaration stated: "I must say, to the shame

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* Just as Belial's children obscure and turn all truths, so it is probable that some seed of Belial has heard something in the congregational assembly. It is indeed beneficial to the maintenance of peace between pastor and church children when, during a vote on extraneous matters of importance, there is an understanding of what is the proper and best course of action; therefore the Christian principles and the report of the pastor should be heeded as an official voice and the church children should make no decision which is contrary to the articles of faith and love. Thus there remains for all time agreement between the preacher and those to whom he preaches; for example, in dealing with the question of whether it is a good idea to sell a piece of church property. In this case there should not be merely a rough vote after some deliberation but rather a previously agreed upon unity of Christian principles whereby the holy preacher's office and the church ministry in accordance with our church orders is granted the right to impart the true and circumspect voice of teaching as well as a vote. From this and similar remarks the seed of the enemy may have spawned the above lie and passed it on to Krause. (The Editor) Return to text


Go on to pages 133 - 137


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

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks