|Born forgiven? Cascione adores UOJ dogma,|
the wackier, the better.
Doctor David Scaer writes a sympathetic review of “Martin Stephan: The Other Side of the Story or At Least Part of It” in the October 2008 issue of The Concordia Theological Quarterly. <I embedded the actual link to the Scaer article.
| Scaer may be even more full of himself and his dogmas|
than Cascione. We will let God sort that out.
Stephan was the leader of approximately 700 Lutheran colonists who migrated from Dresden, Germany in 1839 to flee religious persecution and founded what would eventually become the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
GJ - False. Stephan was not being persecuted. He was under house arrest and had no career left after his adulteries and financial misdeeds became known to the court system.
Their leader, the orthodox Stephan, fell victim to the demonic teaching that pastors rule the congregation by divine right. He taught that his decisions were God’s decisions. He used the colonists’ and their assets for his own lavish life style. When it was discovered that eight unmarried women had slept with Stephan, they threw him out of the colony.
| Quenstedt seems to be arguing against Rambach the Pietist.|
He is certainly refuting UOJ.
| Jay Webber, a Ft. Wayne graduate,|
favors Rambach over Martin Chemnitz.
GJ - False. Stephan was a Pietist of the worst sort - dictatorial, abusive, in constant pursuit of young women. Everyone knew it, but Walther still served as his enforcer and sycophant. Stephan taught Walther UOJ, which makes the bishop "orthodox" in the scale-covered eyes of Cascione.
Scaer wants us to look at Stephan as more of a victim than a villain. This approach necessarily paints C. F. W. Walther, the founder of the LCMS, as the villain. Scaer has never agreed with Walther’s “Church and Ministry” the consequent result of Stephan’s removal from the colony. From Scaer’s perspective, all LCMS pastors are victims of Walther’s “voters’ assemblies” who practice voter’ supremacy, the only official polity of the LCMS.
GJ - Jacky One-Note's Chief Doctrine - the Voters' Assembly is the Master, the Prince, the judge of all articles of the Christian faith - or unfaith in his and Scaer's twisted opinion.
Scaer writes: “A certain bias can be expected in a book written by a descendant of its subject, but in this case it is a useful antidote in coming to terms with a man who, in spite of his infraction tilled the ground from which the LCMS sprang.”
Rather than say that Stephan was wrong but that Lutheran theology is correct, Scaer tries to defend Stephan while criticizing the very foundation of the LCMS.
GJ - The infallibility of Walther is hard to defend, especially since he wanted the early LCMS history hidden away and forgotten. Today's LCMS misleaders do not seem to have read the Stephan book or Zion on the Mississippi or Servant of the Word. The Fuerbringer books? Nope. And worst of all, they have never comprehended Luther, Paul, or the work of the Holy Spirit.
Scaer writes: “When Pastor Georg Loeber shared Louise Guenther’s confession with Pastors Keyl, Buerger, and C. F. W. Walther, they were embarrassed by their published defense of their bishop (May 4, 1839), which they retracted on May 27.” “Louise Guenther was unaware that her private confession had become the reason for deposing Stephan as Bishop.”
GJ - Zion on the Mississippi records the obvious - the confession story was a lie. The Walther gang admitted the lie, and anyone can guess that much about the bishop's promiscuity. Stephan left Germany with his mistress in a cabin close by, but his wife and children - dying of syphilis - were left behind. Stephan and Louise sail away, sail away, sail away, enjoying an ocean voyage to the Promised Land, and there is something left to confess? Hahahahahahaha.
What Scaer doesn’t point out is that Stephan was also the victim of his own Sacerdotalism. He claimed he was the “Chief mediator of the Means of Grace.” He made everyone in the colony including all of the clergy, swear an oath of allegiance to him.
It is almost humorous to read Scaer’s observation that Stephan didn’t receive justice, when it was Stephan who claimed that he was the judge of everything and everyone in the colony including their assets, by the divine right of ordination. The misguided clergy only practiced the justice that Stephan taught them. Scaer writes, “These pastors served as his accusers and judges in requiring him to leave the community.” Well, first, they were not pastors; they were assistants to Stephan. Stephan had so much control over them their sacraments were not valid without Stephan’s permission. After Stephan was deposed, they realized that none of them had valid calls. They debated whether they should go back to Germany or invite Swedish Bishops to ordain them.
GJ - Walther organized the mob that threatened Stephan's life, kicked him outside his cabin, stripped him of his clothing, robbed him of his gold and land, and then took all his books and personal possessions. Except in the LCMS, that is not the way pastors deal with adultery. No, this was the convenient discovery - Stephan gave his syphilis to the young girls of the colony. He told them he controlled their spiritual lives and their bodies. Everyone went along with until the horrible disease became obvious. That is also why Stephan's behavior was increasingly more bizarre and illogical.
Scaer’s sympathetic view of Stephan ignores the fact that as many as 25% of the colony died from bad administration, disease, and exposure while Stephan insisted that his house be completed and including a wine cellar.
GJ - The real crime was teaching them the rationalistic Pietism of UOJ - universal forgiveness without that - that makes adultery so easy to ignore. Stephan killed more souls than people, and Walther carried out this demonic task of teaching against Luther in the name of Luther.
Scaer states that four ships arrived but he doesn’t mention that five had set sail for America. They also booked a cheap ship, the Amelia, to save money and 125 of the colonists drowned on the way to America. One of those terrible attorneys Scaer refers to as Stephan’s accuser, lost five children to disease, following Stephan into the wilderness.
GJ - The attorneys defended Stephan in court in Germany, but no one seems to remember that fact. They all knew what Louise and the other girls were to Stephan.
Scaer writes: “At first Stephan refused what he considered an illegally constituted tribunal, but in seeing a mob armed with whips outside his cabin, he acquiesced and was deprived of his possessions.” Scaer ignores the fact that if these colonists had not been Christians they most certainly would have lynched Stephan, and we doubt that St. Louis authorities would have done anything about it.
GJ - There he goes again. Walther's merciful hand kept the murderous mob from mauling the bishop he helped install upon landing in America. But who organized the mob and left the pro-bishop people behind in St. Louis? Walther did. Hmm.
Scaer laments that the private confession of Louise Guenther should have been privileged information and facts of Stephan’s fornication should have been kept secret. Of course all of these young girls were convinced that they were honored by God to have sex with, their Bishop/cult leader.
GJ - Fake news from the 19th century. The private confession was invented to excuse the mob. Walther wanted the bishop's job, the bishop's land, and the bishop's gold, and the bishop's chalice.
Scaer writes: “First, a confession made privately to a pastor is privileged information.” In most cases I would agree, but not when it places the lives of the members and the existence of the congregation in jeopardy. Scaer uses false ethics to protect the clergy at peril of the church.
GJ - I long to study ethics under these two gasbags.
Scaer writes: “Though current LCMS guidelines disallow making confessions public, the deposal of Stephan might be a warning for some to withhold potentially disastrous sins from their pastor. What was then considered a sacrament is looked on with suspicions now.” Just think of all the honorable people who kept quiet about Jim Jones.
Let the layman beware. Even if the life and safety of members and/or the congregation are at risk, the LCMS believes clergy indiscretions about fornication, adultery, and misappropriation of funds should be kept confidential because that’s the way God wants it.
Fortunately, this was not practiced by Walther and the people who deposed Stephan or else there wouldn’t be an LCMS. When people can’t trust their pastors the church and Synod must die.
GJ - The dictatorial Cascione appeals to the laity, one of the ironies of this age of posing, primping, and pimping. What rescued the LCMS was a strong Luther element that evidenced itself in the outstanding German Luther edition - a work of art in printing. German Lutherans could and did read the original documents. Now the LCMS is devoted to Fuller, Willow Creek, and Kent Hunter clones of the same.
Scaer’s defense of successive generations of the Stephan family is completely justified. We don’t practice visiting the sins of the fathers on the children.
Scaer calls the Lutheran colony an experiment in communal living and compares it to Quakers in New Harmony, Indiana, and Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois. What about correct doctrine? Doesn’t that count for anything?
GJ - Since you asked, Jack. How is Stephan's dogma different from Walther's, his disciple who covered for him until the time to replace Stephan came along?
I’ve been to New Harmony. They practiced celibacy as they waited for the end of the world. Their false doctrine actually led to the end of them, not the end of the world. What about Joseph Smith who was shot and hung as a horse thief in Illinois. He wasn’t as fortunate as Martin Stephan. Of course, Smith practiced open polygamy while Stephan kept things quiet.
Now we get to the quote that led Herman Otten to ask me to take a look at Scaer’s article. Scaer writes: “This is the dilemma of any church which sees itself as the true, visible church on earth.”
GJ - The real issue is - when will the LCMS give back the chalice that Walther stole from Stephan and used in his church in St. Louis? The Stephan family would like it back, since it was a personal gift.
No, Scaer’s hatred of congregational polity and affection for Sacerdotalism, along with the majority of the Fort Wayne Faculty, is the death knell of the LCMS.
GJ - Jack and Otten and Scaer did their best to kill the LCMS with UOJ and Church Growth. But the Gospel will survive the fools that attack Justification by Faith.
How much of a contributing factor is a lack of trust in the LCMS clergy to a consistent loss of 25,000 to 35,000 baptized members a year?
GJ - It is not a loss to get away from abusive tyrants who teach against the Chief Article and call themselves "orthodox."
The LCMS forefathers would have had no trouble sending Scaer, his cronies, and the COP across the river with Stephan for presenting the warm and fuzzy side of Martin Stephan. Just think how talented and misunderstood Pope Leo X, Benedict Arnold, Napoleon, and Mussolini really were.
GJ - Whoa, Jack. Go easy on the airplane glue. Open a window for a while and rethink this tirade. Walther and his mob made Stephan get even sicker, sleeping outside for the night, then forced him at gunpoint across the river (probably on a steamer). They gave him almost nothing and refused to help him at all afterwards. But they gleefully accused him of keeping a gold coin or two from what they stole. Even Servant of the Word, which promoted Walther for sainthood, had to admit the "stolen coins" story was another fib.
| Walther's mob reaped great rewards when they|
kidnapped Stephan and robbed him.
But as, Cascione reminds us, it could have been worse.
They could have given CFW a life-time subscription to Reclaim News.