The Third Synodal Letter - Pages 83 - 87


Boredom was a dominant characteristic of his ministry in Martinsville; matters got worse when he tried to leave it. He negotiated for an appointment with the Lutherans in Hamburg on the Elbe. Another time he wanted to go back to "his true church children in Wisconsin." He believed he would find Christians in Martinsville, but there weren't any. The residence and the Christians in Martinsville were bad for him. There was an eagerness in him to abandon the congregation. The eye ailment was the best supporting excuse. He moved to Buffalo and abandoned his congregation without informing any of his ministerial brothers and without asking anyone's opinion. We bore all this with patience but thought that we were being far too lenient with his hypochondria. In Buffalo he went out daily for walks but he did not come to church because the church air and the colorful clothing weren't good for his eyes! If anyone suggested that he could sit in the sacristy, he said that this would also be bad for his eyes! Whenever our Christians left the church, he concluded his walk; whoever was suspicious must be a evil person spreading gossip! If he attended the church in Buffalo he was sure that his congregation would have asked why he didn't attend his own church in Martinsville and conduct his ministry! For this reason he had to play the role of the hypocrite as though a visit to the church would have been harmful for his eyes!

After coming to Buffalo his wife spread viscious lies that the congregation in Martinsville let them suffer in poverty. She was warned and reprimanded for this lie, which unfortunately he supported. Soon after his eldest daughter spread a new lie, for which she was given a warning and Christian discipline. Similarly he gave the reason that if his congregation in Martinsville would do nothing for him, for instance, let him live in a proper parish house, then he need not do anything for them. He was given a Christian warning for this but he would not accept it, enlisting the help of a falsely interpreted bible verse *. With our true and just warnings we became for him troublesome people. He came on the 8th to our ministerial session, not to take up pressing church business but merely to declare that he would preach against us if we did not rescind our remarks made on page 49 of the Synodal Letter concerning Johann Arnd's Book of True Christianity. Thus he made it known that he was in dispute with us and it became ever clearer that he intended to leave us on the pretext of theological differences. At this time we found out that Krause had $350 locked away from us and the sum could not be seized; he had lied to us and others about being poor. Additionally, very dark rumors surfaced concerning his ministerial and private conduct while in Martinsville.

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* Then, when we told him that if he did not have such a comfortable house he should endure the hardship as a Christian and for the sake of confession commend the evil to God's care, he stated, "That was only said to servants." 1 Peter 2, 19. We responded, "It is stated, each individual endures evil for the sake of confession, not just servants. It is the duty of all Christians." Return to text


There was no one in a position to contradict these rumors before us. He was questioned concerning these evil rumors and asked to justify himself in the face of them. Likewise he was again reminded of his deceptive quarrel concerning the remark on page 49. His wife was also interrogated concerning her guilt ridden participation; she was given warnings, to which she reacted irrationally, balling up her fists and calling us papist inquisitors, whom she never wished to set eyes on again. Krause remained quarrelsome and deceitful with every warning and concerning the charges laid against him in Martinville he refused to justify himself. Instead, in a letter to the congregation dated September 6, 1850, he stated that they had lied about everything and had thus divested themselves from their minister in Martinsville. They had also found a sympathetic ear for their lies in Pastors Grabau and von Rohr! He declared that the evil rumor, which issued from the congregation, was a lie, however he provided no proof and would provide no explanation. Thus it was that the grievances of the congregation were investigated by us rather than the church in Martinsville through arrangement with the church ministry and a party of synodal deputies. The congregation had 26 grievances concerning him, among which was a charge of tyrannical false teaching concerning confession and absolution. This was corroborated through a report by former school teacher Briss of Martinsville, according to whom the efficacy of the absolution was dependent upon the listing of individual sins. The congregation sent a list of these grievances to him through two deputies, who delivered them into the hands of the senior minister, also making a verbal request that he accept these as a reminder and a warning, consider them carefully and respond to them at the next session of the church ministry. After making his appearance at that next session, he acknowledged that he would not long declare that everything, which the congregation had presented as grievance, was a lie but he also maintained his deceitfulness and obstinacy towards the congregation. He would not tolerate their stinginess even though he exhibited the same characteristic. He then stated that he had nothing more to say, stood up and departed with the words that he could already see where this was leading! With this he once again withdrew from the church ministry.

The situation could not be hidden any longer. We told our congregations of Krause's unrepentance and improper attitude. Beginning October 6th, in defiance he started to preach to some gangsters in Buffalo in the house of a man named Vogel. He became friends at that time with the fanatic slanderer Ph. Lörsch, with whose help he printed up a 17 page satirical book of obvious and slanderous lies titled "Priestly Domination and Spiritual Slavery." **

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** Here are some of those obvious lies: "Pastor Grabau had altered the Synodal Letter so that the remark in the text only reflects what his brothers in office and his synodal deputies wanted to see."
The text for this footnote continues on page 85


Krause then went to Detroit and preached to a gang in the house of a man named Hoffmeyer (on November 8th). This gang had woven a foul pack of lies against Pastor Winkler and created a vengeful uprising. Krause used this gang's vengeful mood to obtain refuge and physical support. By resolution of all the members of the church ministry we sent him our final warning in writing, but he scornfully sent it back to us unanswered on January 3, 1951. During this time he had been accepted as the preacher of this gang. The warning to him stated:

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Continuation of Footnote - Other lies: "No sermons from Arndt and Heinrich Müller were read aloud!" "We made private confessions public," we forbade marriages contrary to God's word, we turned confession into a martyrdom of conscience! We threw suspicion on the books of Lutheran church teaching, indicating that pure teaching, especially that which is concerned with leading a life sanctified by God, is faulty and pietistical. He did not wish to participate in committing such sins, so we exercised hatred and vengance upon him in order to destroy him. Without his knowing we had held congregational meetings in Martinsville and had thrown suspicion on him as a fanatical and godless person so that his congregation judged him guilty of a multitude of sins, which we had fabricated and ascribed. And then he was supposed to submit himself to our verdict. We had been working up the congregation for a year now, etc. This was the reason why his congregation had dispised his conduct in office and wanted to dismiss him! He had brought this to our attention and we had wanted to force him to take a sinful stance, therefore he had withdrawn himself on September 25th and October 3rd. Because of this, we had slandered him as a teacher of false doctrine, a godless man and a renegade. Insightful members of the congregation had sympathized with our unwholesome teaching and tyranny and wanted to withdraw but were afraid of being placed under the ban. Within the church administration there were also a few insightful people, who had confided in their brothers, that they were being enslaved. He had not deprived the congregation in Martinsville of its rights and he did not interfere with the extrinsic affairs of church existence, rather he wanted to leave such matters to their discretion. — "Thus we had managed to secure our domination and it followed that the congregation in Martinville had been turned against him!" An obvious web of lies woven by a fool out of thin air! — Furthermore, he had advised us to allow the congregations to have their freedom. We had become his enemy and had said that he wanted to introduce democratic principles into the Lutheran church. We had instructed his congregation in Martinsville that "Obey your teachers, etc. from Hebrews 13, 17 applies to other things besides salvation and had told his congregation that his point of view was democratic, fanatical and a wrong interpretation of the ministerial office. The congregation had considered him a spiritually dangerous man and dismissed him." This is another pack of lies.
And further, "He had been so blind until 1848 that he had participated in the tyranny! — however then he realized that the congregations of God receive their rights and freedoms from God himself and must be permitted to exercise them. Therefore we had begun to treat him as a disrupter of the church regiment. However, because he obeyed God rather than men, we had insulted and overthrown him." — O, you deceitful martyr to freedom, you poor child of corruption. God will find you if you do not repent! It's also a blatant lie that we had accepted a preacher from Detroit into our synodal band, who taught false doctrine concerning the holy trinity or that we fortified ourselves in his sins and enslaved the congregation. It's also a lie that "Pastor Grabau had turned the school in Buffalo into a prison." If it happened to be the case, which it is not, that a student once received an unreasonable punishment for a trivial matter, it doesn't follow that the school became a prison. Poor miserable and deeply fallen Krause fished up these lies to cover up his desertion from Christian church discipline. The congregation in Martinsville has received a letter concerning the booklet of deceptions and lies as proof of the intentions of the church ministry. The matter of the congregation's disposition and acceptance into the synod will be discussed at the next session (1851) since there is not enough time to consider the case here. (See Supplement No. 8)


I. N. J. (In nomine Jesu)

Dear Krause!
The assembled ministerial brothers of our synod have asked me to issue, in all their names and mine, this warning to you for the last time; I do this in God's name and it is my heartfelt wish that you may yet reform yourself.

I.

In your letter of September 25th there is the error, in which you call the Christian warning, sent to you by the Martinville congregation, a verdict. A list of the circumstances prompting the warning were sent to you by me and two witnesses, along with a request that you examine them and, wherever possible, that you provide your justification. However you did not do this.

II.

In the same letter you stated that you had been slandered and falsely accused by the Martinsville congregation. Although we had hoped for it, you did not provide proof of this statement. We then suggested to you that there should be a public investigation of the matter.

III.

You then called the church ministry (your proper, spiritual committee established by God) a hierarchy because it had suspended you from office until such time as you provided an explanation for the charges made against you and reconciled yourself with the congregation you had abandoned. If you will quietly reflect upon this matter you will find that there is nothing hierarchical in this matter, but rather it was the duty of the church ministry to reestablish peace and bring your ministry and your congregation back together. The superficial amnesty and cover up, which you demanded, could not bring about a true and permanent peace.

IV.

The experiences you had at our ministerial sessions of September 23rd and 24th of this year prompted you, after your withdrawal, to decide that it was necessary once again to resign from your ministry in Martinsville and the church ministry of our synod because you found that we were hierarchical. Here you are greatly confused. When we confronted you with your sinful contradictions in September 24th, you became insolent and hostile — and you, "would say nothing more!" You called it unjust and out of hatred hierarchical, when we would not give in to your sinful contradictions and your machinations, when we would not cover up your sinful ways, when we earnestly showed you the danger to your soul.


V.

"You would conduct the office, you say, wherever God opens the door for you!" This is a plan conceived in blindness. How and where would God open the door for you when you abandoned your office and your congregation, which God the Lord entrusted to you. You would not and could not justify yourself against the charges raised against you, thus exhibiting open hatred and scorn for your properly appointed church court! Certain men may indeed open a door for you; men who are used to hating us or can be misled into hating us, but it will never be God. Why would God open up a door for someone who ran away from his office and service. Wasn't it men, who opened the door on October 6th in Buffalo so you could become a gang preacher? Wasn't it men, who opened the door for you on November 8th so you could be gang preacher in the Hoffmeyer house? Haven't you degraded yourself and turned yourself into a slave to these men? The devil also opens doors. Perhaps you may yet see that!

VI

In your next letter to the church ministry from October 3rd (presented October 5th) you call our necessary announcement to the congregation godless. We were forced to make this announcement to the congregation because of your situation; you would neither justify yourself against the charges of false teaching and misconduct nor would you repent. Even more than that, you maliciously and deceptively made charges against the congregation in Martinsville and the church ministry such as those from the beginning of September of this year. You're doing now what you did back then, trying to avoid church discipline by resigning from office. The congregation will learn shortly how your case is being handled in Buffalo. Thus far we've dealt with the persistence of your sins and your resignation from office and the church ministry. We haven't dealt with the issue of godlessness yet and we warn you to come to your senses concerning this matter.

VII.

There is an untruth in your letter of October 3rd of this year, that I and my brother in office, von Rohr, directed and governed the church ministry and the synod. We merely complained that in the two years of your stay here, you seldom came to our ministerial conferences. After all, you lived between Buffalo and New Bergholz and when you were in Buffalo, we were your closest ministerial brothers and besides, Pastor von Rohr was your confessor. In accordance with Christian order it was our duty, as your closest neighbors, to issue warnings to you when we saw that you were in error. Fulfilling our duty was not domination, however in your stubborness


Go on to pages 88 - 92


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

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks