Thursday, June 23, 2011

Only for the brave

...and probably for the truthful and the not so fanatical. See the post here.


Carl Vehse said...

Why are you providing a link to such a erroneous website? Even the title of the website's thread, "Pietism's Saxon Migration Began with Kidnapping Three People, Violating the Confessional, Leading a Riot, And Robbery" is inaccurate. Ony two people were kidnapped and not as the thread describes; there was no violating of the confessional, primarily because the pastor was not really a pastor; there was no riot; and any robbery was primarily done by Martin Stephan. The website thread bases its history on a equally, if not more, inaccurate book written by Philip Stephan, a descendent of deposed Missouri Saxon Bishop Martin Stephan.

A key document often referenced throughout Philip Stephan’s book, especially on controversial claims with no other substantiating historical documentation is Frederick William (Wilhelm Friedrich) Koepchen’s unpublished manuscript, “Martin Stephan and the Saxon Emigration of 1838.” Rev. Koepchen was a pastor at St. Luke’s Church in New York City in the early 20th century, when he began preparing a manuscript for the centennial anniversary of the 1838 Saxon Emigration. When Rev. Koepchen died, either in 1935 (per Stephan, p. 5) or in 1936 (per Concordia Historical Institute), his collaborator and editor who ended up completing the manuscript was none other than... Rev. Theodore M. Stephan, the grandson of the deposed Martin Stephan. Rev. Theodore Stephan also wrote in 1929 another unpublished manuscript used repeatedly as a reference in Philip Stephan’s book. Thus Philip Stephan’s book of revisionist history is critically dependent on claims made in unpublished manuscripts, which were finally edited and completed by Theodore Stephan, the grandson of Martin Stephan, based in part on documents contributed by a number of Stephan ancestors.

The most reliable historical book on the events of the Missouri Saxon Emigration is Walter O. Forster's Zion on the Mississippi (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1953), along with voluminous references to original sources. Forster's book is a revised and expanded version of his Ph.D. Thesis in History at Washington University-St. Louis.

Finally, in what may be "only for the brave" some additional discussion regarding the kidnapping of Walther's niece and nephew, Maria and Theodor Schubert, can be read in the Review, Part III of August R. Suelflow's Servant of the Word: The Life and Ministry of C.F.W. Walther (CPH, St. Louis, 2000).

Some additional information about the Schubert children was obtained a number of years ago. According to the records of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri, Maria Schubert was born on May 10, 1823, and died on July 19, 1840, at the age of 17, a year and a half after the Olbers arrived at New Orleans. The cause of death was listed as "gallstone fever". Theodor Schubert was one of the first eleven students in the Dresden, Missouri, school started on December 9, 1839, by Carl Walther, Johann Burnger, Ottomar Fuerbringer, and Theodor Brohm. According to Carl S. Meyer (Log Cabin to Luther Tower, CPH, St. Louis, 1965, p. 6) Theodor Schubert had died prior to September 12, 1841, when the remaining students signed a birthday poem for Brohm. No information on Theodor Schubert's death is in church records of Concordia or Trinity (Altenburg), but it is known that some deaths during that difficult time were not recorded.

LPC said...

I link for the intetest of balanced reporting and let the reader decide. I find your reaction funny. For you erroneous reporting is more evil than kidnapping 2 children which you admit Walther did.

Brett Meyer said...

Including the kidnapping and subsequent robbery and abandonment of Stephan I count three (3).


Carl Vehse said...

"For you erroneous reporting is more evil than kidnapping 2 children which you admit Walther did."

I pointed out erroneous reporting. I said nothing that would suggest I consider such faulty reporting more evil than kidnapping.

What evidence do you have to support your accusation?

LPC said...


I know you are using a pseudonym that in all likelihood you have used because of your fondness of Walther. I read Vehse helped Walther in his controversy.

Firstly, there is no erroneous reporting on Ichabod. To hold the freedom of movement of someone against their will is what? It is Kidnapping! So Brett was correct, if you count that Walther held Stephan against his will, he did kidnap Martin Stephan - so the count is accurate, he kidnapped 3.

You are not a real lawyer are you? For if you were, you would have spotted that technicality I pointed out.

So now my proof that you value erroneous reporting something to be corrected than the kidnapping...

The issue is not how many Walther kidnapped. Get it?

The issue is -- even if Walther kidnapped only one person, that would have been a terrible crime for a church man and out of character.

Scripture said, the Elder should be above reproach. LC-MS made a mistake in putting Walther on a pedestal as their hero.


PS. This is not to say that there are no LC-MS pastors that are better than Walther because I know there are a plenty whom I can admire. Most of them have never been interviewed at Issues Etc. I am sure.

Ichabod the Glory Has Departed said...

No one wants to debate the issue on LQ or on Ichabod. But there is hope. Cascione may change his website's name to Reclaiming the Kidnapper. That would be ideal. The Missouri Synod story is remarkable, but it should be told, warts and all. At this point Missouri's history, as proclaimed, is more like The Wonders of Mary, where a severed head came out of a well and preached for several weeks. A day is OK, but several weeks? That just gets tiresome. Walther is not the only early leader of American Lutheranism, and he was not Confessional as much as someone who merged Pietism and Orthodoxy.

joel in ga said...

Any plans for a similar treatment of the lost facts concerning Hermann Sasse? I'm currently reading Eric Metaxas' biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The book barely mentions Sasse, but when it does, it has Sasse criticizing Bonhoeffer but praising Hitler. (In charity, I would imagine Sasse later regretted that.)

LPC said...

HI Joel,

This should be a good question for Pr. Mark Henderson, at


Elijah the Tishbite said...

I don't know if you ever got an answer to your question about Sasse (since this is a year and a half after you commented here), but the Bishop Sasse mentioned by Metaxas is not the same as Hermann Sasse (even though the index conflates them by putting page numbers to H. Sasse which are really references to the bishop--who was a German Christian supporter of the Nazis). H. Sasse was always opposed to the German Christians, and though he did criticize Bonhoeffer, it was because of his compromise of the Lutheran Confessions, not because he opposed Hitler.

Incidentally, I e-mailed Metaxas about this confusion, and he said it would be changed in the next edition. I don't know if that's happened yet.

Tim Winterstein

LPC said...

Thank you for the info.