The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Friday, December 14, 2012

Norman Teigen Encountered the LCMS Kool-Aid Krew on the ALPB Forum

Walther pretended he suddenly found out about Stephan's adultery, but Stephan left Frau Pfarrer in Germany and traveled to America with his young mistress, Louise Guenther.

Norman Teigen has left a new comment on your post "Walther Said - "Slavery is good!"":

The responses on the ALPB Forum on this subject have been interesting. I had written that my comments on the NY Times had been published. I was brought to task for that and apologized because they had been transmitted, not published.

One really nasty commentator this morning questioned my faith. I was quite surprised by this but felt gratified by some who supported my attempt to get into a historical question. By this afternoon the offensive post had been removed.

It's really strange, isn't it, how some people feel that their particular ideas on a certain subject are sacrosanct. Doesn't say much, does it, about the intellectual breadth of those people.


GJ - Bishop Stephan's crimes are well known. So are Walther's. But the hagiographers tell a completely different story. Their lies explain why the good ol' Synodical Conference is  in the dumper today, why the biggest deceivers and plagiarists get the most money - while workers starve and students enslave themselves to student loans.

Walther and Stephan had nothing against slavery. Neither do the Concordia Seminary profs.


ALPB Forum

Johannes Andreas Quenstedt

Re: CFW Walther and Slavery
« Reply #52 on: Today at 03:43:46 PM »
Getting back to the topic, I recall hearing stories from those who were in conversation with folks who lived in that period of time. Evidently it was common place for slaves in St. Louis area to be paraded around totally naked so that the more buff and attractive men and women could be sold at the highest price possible. I also came across a depiction of slavery in St. Louis in which William Wells Brown, a former slave, writes:

"I shall never forget a scene which took place in the city of St. Louis, while I was in slavery. A man and his wife, both slaves, were brought from the country to the city, for sale. They were taken to the rooms of AUSTIN & SAVAGE, auctioneers...Several slave-speculators, who are always to be found at auctions where slaves are to be sold, were present. The man was first put up, and sold to the highest bidder. The wife was next ordered to ascend the platform. I was present. She slowly obeyed the order. The auctioneer commenced, and soon several hundred dollars were bid. My eyes were intensely fixed on the face of the woman, whose cheeks were wet with tears. But a conversation between the slave and his new master attracted my attention. I drew near them to listen. The slave was begging his new master to purchase his wife. Said he, "Master, if you will only buy Fanny, I know you will get the worth of your money. She is a good cook, a good washer, and her last mistress liked her very much. If you will only buy her how happy I shall be." The new master replied that he did not want her but if she sold cheap he would purchase her. I watched the countenance of the man while the different persons were bidding on his wife. When his new master bid on his wife you could see the smile upon his countenance, and the tears stop; but as soon as another would bid, you could see the countenance change and the tears start afresh."

"From this change of countenance one could see the workings of the inmost soul. But this suspense did not last long; the wife was struck off to the highest bidder, who proved not to be the owner of her husband. As soon as they became aware that they were to be separated, they both burst into tears; and as she descended from the auction-stand, the husband, walking up to her and taking her by the hand, said, "Well, Fanny, we are to part forever, on earth; you have been a good wife to me. I did all that I could to get my new master to buy you; but he did not want you, and all I have to say is, I hope you will try to meet me in heaven. I shall try to meet you there." The wife made no reply, but her sobs and cries told, too well, her own feelings. I saw the countenances of a number of whites who were present, and whose eyes were dim with tears at hearing the man bid his wife farewell."
 - -

Surely C.F.W. Walther should have been aware of such heart wrenching stories. That he did not both mention and condemn such practices in his writings is a horrific tragedy.

It is interesting that C.F.W. Walther also states in his Lehre und Wehre article on slavery:

The same spirit which in Europe declared the rank of princes to be an outrage in this century, who strove to depose them and replace them with democracy as the only rightful order; this same spirit compels them here to denounce slavery as a degradation of free-born man. It drives them to communism,demanding women’s emancipation (though they quite clearly agree that the female, according to God’s order, is in a certain kind of slavery)Every Christian who aids these agitators concerning slavery, is in the service of this radical-revolutionary spirit. (emphasis added)

I suspect that C.F.W. Walther was influenced by his Moravian background. Moravian missionaries, especially in the Caribbean, owned and used slaves. 

I understand that Scandinavian immigrants were given theological and ethical exhortations from Europe to not settle in places where there was slavery.  It is interesting that (according to census data) when Walther settled in Perry County there was a higher percentage of slaves in relationship to the rest of the population, than in other areas close by. 

Walther was in deep theological error about the institution of slavery. And the church today should both acknowledge it and repent of it.


We can admire the good things he did and wrote while acknowledging his errors and deploring his wrongs.  If interested, we can also examine how he came to the erroneous positions he did so that we might be able to avoid similar mistakes.

Good point. How did C.F.W. Walther come to his erroneous position? You can get a clue from the following statement by Walther (emphasis added):

We therefore hold that abolitionism, which deems slavery a sin and therefore considers every slave holder a criminal and strives for its eradication, is the result of unbelief in its development of nationalism, deistic philanthropy, pantheism, materialism, and atheism. It is a brother of modern socialism, Jacobinism and communism. Together with the emancipation of women it is the rehabilitation of the flesh. As proof of this blood-relationship it suffices to point not only to its history, but also to the close union between abolition-minded representatives of Christianity and the abolitionist tendencies of anti-Christians and radical revolutionaries in church, state, and home. The more their non-religiosity increases and reaches the pinnacles of theoretical atheism and indifferentism, the more fanatically they fight for the principle of slave emancipation.