The Third Synodal Letter, Pages 8 - 12

8) On the 8th page Prof. Walther states, "Hence we transformed the Christocracy of the community of saints * within the aristocracy of the church state." Just as the previous statement is false, so it follows that this conclusion is a fiction. We profess
a) that we have not yet heard of a Christocracy of the community of saints and we do not even know what this is;
b) that we hold fast to the 28th Article of the Augsburg Confession wherein it states that the pastors may create orders and the parishioners are responsible for following such orders for the sake of charity and peace; it is presumed that said orders are in accordance with the word of God. — And if this appears to be an aristocracy within the church state to Mr. Walther, then he has to settle it with our fathers at the Diet in Augsburg (Anno 1530). We may add what the Apology to the Augsburg Confession (Bmg edition) states on page 539: "that the gospel is the plumbline of obedience." The Confession adds, "People may choose not to follow the bishop only when he establishes something which is contrary to the gospel."

9) The concluding lie on page 8 states, "In the end they make the power of God's word and the sacrament contingent upon the ordained office, which administers the sacrament." We simply observe the teaching of the 5th Article of the Augsburg Confession, "To acquire such faith God has given the preaching office, the word and the sacraments;" plus the 4th Article of the Apology (Bmg edition, page 303) states, "The sacraments, baptism, etc. are not without efficacy or power when they are administered by unworthy and godless people." For the sake of ordained office within the church, things are arranged in this manner, not for its individual persons but for the sake of Christ, as He states, "Whoever hears you, hears me." Luke 10, 16. Compare with the Second Synodal Letter, pages 11 et. al. This excerpt from the Second Synodal Letter was read before the synod and it acknowledged that it was completely in line with inquiries made by Luther, "that the power, which Christ imbued to the body and blood in the eucharist, is not bound by mere pronouncement or deed but by God's naming of it and His naming is conjoined to our pronouncement." Now since it is God's pronouncement in the holy preaching office, so it is God's activity accomplished through it. However the Missourians stick in false teaching, stating that the sacrament is actuated simply by saying the words and in this case it may be actuated when any spiritual priest or any mutineer priest says the words (or indeed any actor or milkmaid); the result is that these people utterly cancel out the ministerial office while looking around for anyone who can say the words.


* This is what Walther currently calls his democracy of district congregations in the church. Return to text

St. Paul also adds in Philippians 3, 15: To what extend things are perfect to us, that is, grounded righteously in the faith of Christianity, then let us thus be guided. This means that we strive towards that which is the primary goal; what we should maintain by way of external church matters, God also reveals to us through the teachings of his true servants. It is also St. Paul's command that the Christian congregations shall be guided by their shepherds and teachers in external church matters in accordance with the ideal examples in the gospels — (compare with verse 16) to the extent that we arrive at a standard (of united Christian faith) and we conduct and regulate ourselves accordingly. 1 Corinthians 1, 10; Romans 12, 16; 15, 5. Return to text

10) Prof. Walther professes on page 8 that it is not a matter of intermediate issues but teaching itself which keeps it beyond their power to forgive and forget things for the sake of charity and peace; thus one minor point is worth more than the entire world with all its wisdom and treasures which the true church will solely acknowledge; it concerns the highest treasury in which all other treasures are contained, etc. — But then on page 9 he states that among the points of contention there are no fundamental issues; plus they would distance themselves from those issues in which, as the Buffalo Synod understands it, there lies the accusation of heresy for confusion, lovelessness and sacrilege. This is hypocrisy. For seven years they have accused us of heresy since they use that accusation to vindicate all our rebellious church members, who felt compelled to separate themselves from us because of the papistry we taught and conducted. In this same synodal report on page 34 they state their synod is convinced that the congregations (that is, the mutineers) in Kirchhayn, Freystatt and Milwaukee separated themselves from their pastors and synod only for reasons of conscience because of the false teaching and papal practices of their pastors and they had properly appointed a righteous faith preacher immediately. This is nothing other than an accusation of heresy.

11) On page 9 he states they had also sworn a sacred oath to the profession of faith of our church and they would not break it. And yet they broke it often and without shame when they set the congregations free regardless of whether they accepted the 11th Article of the Augsburg Confession, using the invalid excuse that this was merely a matter of church orders and that they were not currently contemplating false teachings dealing with the symbolic books, whereby they would blatantly break their vow. For example, Article 28 of the Augsburg Confession where it states that it is a duty of the bishops' office to excommunicate those who are godless and publically led godless lives. They, on the other hand, state that it is the duty of the congregations and the office of each congregational member, etc.

The consequences of these things are obvious contradictions. For instance, on page 9 he states they want to uphold the unity and harmony of their synodal congregations and place it within the discretion of each district congregation whether or not it will uphold the 11th Article of the Augsburg Confession. Whosoever would ransom this article at the discretion of the populace would certainly praise the gangs, which tread it under their feet and do away with confession and confessors. The Dedekenni Thesaurus, Issue 715, Volume 1, No. 5 cites the case and verdict of blessed Simon Pauli (at Rostock) where it comes out how little regard the Missourians have for the Acta when they send off rogue priests without due consideration. Simon Pauli (in 1589) cites from Hebrews 13, 17, "Obey your teachers," etc. and Luke 10, "Whoever despises you, despises me," etc. Pauli renders the verdict that nowhere within the course of study is a pastor taught that he should accept the confession of a parishioner from his congregation if the parishioner is displeased with him and in even fewer cases should a foreign or neighboring pastor perform the confession, in contradiction to Acts 20, "Watch over yourselves and the entire flock." In 1 Peter 4 and Jeremiah 23 it demonstrates that any preacher, who would do such a thing, could not believe in Judgment Day and it warns spiritual caregivers and children of confession to be obedient to the word of God lest they invite the wrath of God upon themselves.

12) On pages 12 and 13 it is frivolously and deceptively stated that

for the sake of conscience Mr. Schaller had to withdraw from Philadelphia and Baltimore because nothing could be resolved among his congregational members and that after this Schaller became pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Detroit. Then on pages 34 through 37 concerning the Detroit matter there is an entirely deceptive story in order the justify his appointment as pastor. There will be further discussion concerning this matter.


What the Missouri Synod says on Page 34
about the "Grabau (!) Synodal Letter" and about the matter of the congregations in Milwaukee and Kirchhayn

Concerning these issues our synod declares to this extent:

a) Here the true intention of our foe becomes clear, for it would brand us a sect since it only talks about a Grabau Synodal Letter and a Grabau Ministry.

b) It is idle gossip and exaggeration that they want to issue a book in which our false teachings contained in the synodal letter are refuted and into which sufficiently substantiated reports will be amassed concerning the conduct of our pastors and church administrators by their rogue preachers (Bürger, Ernst, Keyl, etc.) and especially that in this book the issues concerning the congregations in Milwaukee and Kirchhayn will be set down so that everyone may see who acted properly and who acted incorrectly! * The declaration by this Missouri Synod is complete hypocrisy and lie - they are convinced that the three congregations currently under discussion split from our pastors and our synod for the sake of faith due to our false teaching and unbiblical, papist practices and therefore believe they acted properly in immediately appointing righteous-faith preachers.

Now we must publically request the publication of this book by them so we may see for certain that everything promised is contained within it. Until then we must consider them slanderers especially because they state that they held 6 sessions concerning it yet they did not have our testimony, so they manufactured their own proof.


The Crämer Report on the Detroit Matter -
Pages 34 - 37

This is falsehood and lie, accomplished through twisting of the facts. — Proof of this is presented from our recorded Church Acts


* In July 1852 the book by Walther was published (thus it came out 2 years later). However no proof or argument was found in it concerning who acted properly and who acted incorrectly. There was only the reiteration of Missouri's heresy concerning church and office. Instead of proof what appeared was yet another "side-car" which was supposedly the curtain being drawn up to expose our atrocities. Return to text

and is set down in extract form. * From this one can see that the three cited reasons the mutineers gave for separating from Pastor Winkler are untrue and incorrect. This is corrobrated in the passages below, where we examine the matter of the Detroit mutineers.


* We urgently request that the true history related by Pastor Winkler, available in Kirchliches Informatorium, Volume 1, pages 13, 19 and 27 be consulted. Compare this with the verdict of our synodal authorities concerning the Detroit rebellion. Also include Pastor Winkler's proper defense against the inciter of the rebellion, Crämer in the Informatorium, Volume 2, No. 8 and subsequent issues.

This false story begins, "the congregations in Detroit (!) have related a request for a preacher from the Missouri Synod; in order to establish that this request (N.B. - made by 7 mutineers) is appropriate, Pastor Crämer has copied from the official documents (!) a sufficiently corroborating report, in which anyone may see whether they (Mr. Walther and the Conference) will be conducting themselves properly if they send a preacher to Detroit!" — Here is a true extract from Crämer's report:

1) Discontent has arisen within the St. Matthew's congregation in Detroit because Pastor Winkler ruled harshly and stringently over the congregation in contradiction to 1 Peter 5, 2, plus in contradiction to Matthew 18: 15 - 17 he has arbitrarily and improperly exercised the ban for a long period of time. There have only been a few people, who have made this claim and they presented their concerns to him in writing, as he had requested. He then declared that these letters were accusations made against him.

The Crämer report is a lie because the truth was intentionally disguised and distorted:
a) Crämer left out everything which had gone on in Detroit congregation since 1848, especially the many sinful acts committed against Pastor Winkler by people, who had moved there from Buffalo, such as their separation from the St. Matthew's congregation for nonexistent reasons and the holding of mutineer church services; some of these people returned to the church but soon after became even more scornful of Pastor Winkler (whom they accused of being unification minded because he did not join a synod.) What a satanic connection there is between this and what occurred with those who did not want private confession after the congregation had agreed to abide by the church order of 1845. A club of mutineers, poorly put together and insufficiently erudite, rose up against Pastor Winkler. The Buffalo heros would gladly accept private confession and church discipline — however not directed against their own conduct and once they united they wanted neither private confession nor church discipline — they became united in their contention: indeed Christ did institute church discipline and private confession, however we do not want it exercised on us and if the pastor exercises it against us or our good friends, then he is a tyrant!

b) It is a lie that Crämer could have copied this report from official documents since he has nothing here but the testimony of the mutineers and his sect.

c) It is a lie that the congregation in Detroit wanted a preacher from the Missourians since it had only been the gang.

d) The statement concerning domination and tyrannical excommunications made by the mutineers is false because they simply did not want to endure church discipline for their conduct or that of their friends; hence they called it tyrannical.

e) It is true that there were only a few individuals, who had claimed that there was domination and tyranny, so it was not the congregations, which did not want to endure church discipline for their conduct or that of their friends.

f) At first these people requested verbally and then in writing that the ban be lifted.

g) In these letters they placed a threat along with their request that they would seek assistance from other quarters if their requests were not granted.

h) In these letters they cited Matthew 18 but no proof was provided that Christians were being handled contrary to this ordained mandate. There were merely declarations, which provided no proof, only accusation.

i) These accusers were both judge and plaintiff and if their charges were not settled to their satisfaction, they would seek help elsewhere. It was Christian and honorable of Pastor Winkler, that he was willing to let a Christian court deliberate on his method of handling the situation because the 7 accusers stood by their demand that the ban be lifted against all those who had been excommunicated in the past year.

2) Here are more of the lies in Crämer's report:
a) The 7 people issuing the complaint had reproached Pastor Winkler using God's true word! This consists in nothing further than that they cited the passage from Matthew 18.
Go on to continuation of footnote on page 12

It is dreadful and unconscionable that the Crämer essay states, "The synod considers these reasons significant!" It is dreadful and unconscionable that

Go on to pages 13 - 17


Continuation of footnote from page 11:
However this had nothing whatsoever to do with what motivated them to approach their spiritual caregiver. It is not reproaching with God's word if someone does not also prove to his pastor how the citation applies to him!

b) Crämer lies in stating that he did not give information to his gang (page 35). He told the gang about his arrival but not Pastor Winkler. Now Mr. Crämer merely regrets that Pastor Winkler was not informed! Mr. Crämer arrives merely as a third party of an investigation committee and immediately takes up residence with one of the mutineers and holds a meeting with the mutineers in this house; at this meeting, according to reliable reports we have received, he laid out his teachings concerning the preaching office and the spiritual priesthood. Subsequently on May 2, 1850 he comes to Pastor Winkler's house with a companion and legitimizes his presence as a committee member to Pastor Winkler! He does not conduct himself as a brother in office but as a country judge and member of the gang! He holds meetings with the gang behind Pastor Winkler's back, conducts discussions, etc. as though he were a fully vested member of the gang, not as a Christian investigator and an arbitrator of the dispute.

c) Crämer lies in passing himself off to Pastor Winkler as a disinterested observer in the matter; there is a great difference between being disinterested about a presumed party member and our individual church matter. Mr. Crämer goes to Monroe while Pastor Winkler formed his committee, comes back and learns that I can and will not form a committee with Mr. Crämer and his crew. He then sets a date without asking! A district judge!

d) Pastor Winkler now traveled to Buffalo and upon his return attempted to sway his congregations into joining the Buffalo Synod, thus insulting the Missourians! This is untrue. In their many meetings Pastor Winkler did nothing other than set forth the teachings and practices of both synods — the rural congregations joined the Buffalo Synod as did the city congregations amid the quarrel and alarm of the gang leader. The result of a written ballot produced not one single vote for the Missouri Synod.

e) On June 7th or 10th Mr. Crämer received word from Pastor Winkler that no committee would be formed and therefore his presence was neither necessary nor of any purpose. Then on June 12th Crämer was requested by means of an urgent invitation from the mutineers to come quickly because Pastor Winkler was scheming to hinder their case by having it handled by a nonpartisan church court since he wanted to bring them under the Buffalo Synod. N. B. Thus his decision and that of the congregation to join the Buffalo Synod was presented as a scheme. When Crämer hears of a scheme, he goes to them immediately — as a man with no appointed vocation — on this own authority he had set June 13th as the date and then he hears that his presence as a committee member will be useless — so now he goes as a party man at the call of his party, meets with Pastor Winkler in his house and starts a quarrel with him! A veritable scoundrel! Any reasonable Christian and lover of the peace would not have responded to such a summons; he should have responded to the calling or baiting party, I have been told that no committee has been formed; you must first come to an understanding with your pastor and your congregation. In this Christian manner you will become united in permitting an investigation into the matter. If I can serve to bring about peace in this matter I shall do so. It is not within the scope of my office to consider whether you deem the Buffalo Synod false. You have to bring that matter before your pastor in your congregation and provide proof since you have said that he schemes against you to bring in the Buffalo Synod. I will not involve myself in another pastor's intrigues, however if I should come to you I will come as one properly appointed with the knowledge and consent of your pastor and congregation as an investigative committee member or as the member of another peaceful church court — but not as one who rushes to involve himself in another person's supposed intrigues. Crämer came without Christian and proper calling to Detroit in order to alert his party of Winkler's schemes, according to his own interpretation! — How utterly different my response was to these same people, who had approached me in March and 2 and a half months previous, saying that I should come and take up their case since they wanted to separate from Pastor Winkler and would have to get themselves a pastor! I responded to them, this matter requires a proper investigation and I have no ordained authority to do this so long as your pastor and your congregation do not place a request that I come to investigate or arbitrate the matter. They thought ill of me for this and ran to Missouri for assistance.
Go to conclusion of footnote

Go on to pages 13 - 17

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

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks