Spener introduced Pietism to the Lutheran Church, by attaching his agenda, Pious Wishes, 1675, to the orthodox Lutheran volume by Arndt. Instead of writing an introduction, he posted a detour sign, based on his infatuation with Roman Catholicism and Calvinism, cell groups, and doctrinal indifference.
Some hallmarks of Pietism are:
- A heart religion instead of a head religion. Pietists often mention that false distinction.
- Lay-led conventicles or cell groups, to develop piety through prayer and Bible study.
- Unionism - cooperation between Lutherans and the Reformed. Spener was the first union theologian (Heick, II, p. 23).
- An emphasis on good works and foreign missions. "Deeds, not creeds" is a popular motto.
- Denial of the Real Presence and baptismal regeneration, consequences of working with the Reformed. (Heick, II, p. 24)
- A better, higher, or deeper form of Christianity rather than the Sunday worshiping church. This often made the cell group the real church, the gathered church.
Theological education had become dry, rationalistic, and non-Biblical, so surveys of the Bible and Biblical courses were an instant hit. Spener had enormous energy and networking skills, so his agenda became a movement.
The movement was established at Halle University, 1694 which was founded to teach Pietism. In one generation Halle became the center of rationalism in Europe. A doubting Schleiermacher studied at Halle and later taught at Halle. He was the pivotal modern theologian, teaching faith without belief, as my witty Notre Dame friend observed. The faith-words are used. The author plays with the terms, but there is no faith in God, no trust in Christ as the Savior, only a holy awe for the philosophical edifice built up in thick, almost incomprehensible volumes.
Doctrinal indifference and unionism go together well, as Reu noted in his lectures on the topic, so Halle University was both, Pietistic missions launched from Halle and other institutions expected Lutheran-Reformed union parishes and often required an adult conversion story for membership in the Lutheran Church.
Similarly, Pietistic groups are always allergic to the Book of Concord and Lutheran Orthodoxy.
Knappe was already the last of the old Pietists when he taught and gave his lectures, which became a standard volume in America, after their translation by the Calvinist Woods.
The illiterate leaders of the LCMS, WELS, and ELS fail to acknowledge that their precious Objective Justification and Subjective Justification definitions come from this Calvinist Woods - that the Knappe lectures were a standard volume in all mainline libraries for 90 years.
Knappe might have been the last of the Pietists at Halle, but he was thoroughly modern. He denied that the Trinity was Biblical - standard fare for modern theology, aping the rationalistic Schleiermacher.
The Walther group was university-trained in the rationalism growing fout of the bankruptcy of Pietism, and the son (rationalism) loathed the father (Pietism).
Therefore, their cure for the arid philosophy of academic rationalism was the cell group of Pietism. They attached themselves to Kuhn, a severe Pietist, engaged in a Halle style Bible study cell group, and later followed Martin Stephan, a Pietist with a Pietistic congregation whose land was donated by the Moravian Pietist Zinzendorf.
Walther's Pietistic pedigree is perfect. Just as Zinzendorf's son created a scandal with his boy's town, so Stephan manufactured a new one with his girl groupies. And "nobody knew." Stephan contracted syphilis and "nobody knew." He walked to Pietistic meetings with young women, in the middle of the night, even though his church was already designated a Pietistic meeting place. And yet - "nobody knew."
Stephan took his clergy and laity to America when he was placed under house arrest for sexual and financial scandals, leaving his syphilitic wife and children behind, yet "nobody knew."
|Stephan told his female followers that he controlled their souls and their bodies.|
But "nobody knew."
Pope Walther Gives Bishop Stephan the Left Foot of Fellowship
Landing in New Orleans, the Stephan sex cult moved on to St. Louis, where naked slaves were auctioned in the city streets. Locals were measuring the rope when the Stephanites ignored a great land offering and bought Mormon land in Perryville, far away from prying eyes.
Zion on the Mississippi recorded that St. Louis residents were highly suspicious of the bishop without his wife and his female companions, including Walther's young niece. But I want to assure all of you SynCon addicts - "nobody knew."
The young ladies began having syphilitic symptoms, a disease so ugly and nasty that the readers must do their own research. People knew about the disease. That is why Stephan went to spas in Europe, with his mistress, to get relief from his rashes, a basic symptom of that venereal disease.
Stephan definitely picked up an STD in Europe, and gave it to his children, through his wife, and yet "nobody knew." They definitely knew - this Pietistic circle - when the young women began sobbing and the parents started thinking about murder.
Walther, who signed the letter making Stephan a bishop for life, organized an excursion from St. Louis to Perryville, to threaten, rob, and kidnap at gunpoint the bishop. Their cover story was suddenly discovering that - gasp - Stephan was an adulterer! "Nobody knew" until two ladies, or was it just one, confessed to Walther's pal - after a red-hot Law sermon. And the mistress left to be with Stephan in Illinois - but "nobody knew" - even though she was with him often in Dresden, on the ship with him, and at his St. Louis abode.
That trial balloon should have flown as far as the Hochmuth story, but it is still being told as part of the Walther mythology, with the Great Walther riding in on a white riverboat to rescue the innocent damsels of Perryville from the newly discovered adulterous bishop.
Let us now pause and offer a mass in thanksgiving that Walther did not leave Europe on the ship that sank without a trace. God spared him to spare the Perryville sect and lead America to Lutheran Orthodoxy. Amen? Amen!
|Look who is driving the bus -|
Mark Jeske, ELCA's biggest donor, thanks to
being on the Thrivent Board of Directors.
The Axis of Evil
The Missouri Sect was a mixed bag from the beginning. They slowly abandoned their cell groups and engaged in great projects, like the German Luther set, a magnificent project done in high quality volumes.
The LCMS likes to brag that they brought Confessional Lutheranism to America, based on Stephan's insistence on the Confessions in his early career. But Confessional Lutherans do not sponsor cell groups and teach the Halle Pietism of the whole world being "declared righteous." The Henkelites published the first English Book of Concord, not the LCMS, and they had a powerful influence on the LCA (or Muhlenberg) tradition.
Likewise, the Synodical Conference was a mixture of good and bad, with the bad coming from the Stephan-Walther fusion of Pietism and Lutheran doctrine. Walther had to have his disciple follow him at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, so he rigged the election of F. Pieper.
Walther disciples at the WELS seminary in Wauwatosa left an indelible bad impression with their prolix weirdness and puffed up self-esteem.
But in contrast, Gausewitz (WELS) managed to write a catechism without any Halle UOJ and lead the Synodical Conference as president.
Nevertheless, out of a rotten base, Pietisistic rationalism, the struggle to remain Lutheran will fail unless the rationalism and Pietism are identified, refuted, and repudiated.
Instead, Pietism and rationalism have asserted themselves in the ELCA, WELS, LCMS, ELS and CLC (sic).
All the established Lutheran groups have abandoned the Scriptures and the Book of Concord to ape Fuller Seminary or the Roman Catholic Church, two forms of entertainment evangelism.
The rationale given for cola and popcorn happy clappy services is - "Everyone is doing it. We have to do the same to survive." But such excuses only prove that these clergy-wolves and their vulpine leaders are unbelievers.
|Whoever apes the Calvinist translator of Knappe|
is a Calvinist - not a Lutheran.