Missouri Synod history is replete with instances when those who espoused hierarchical control were in conflict with “Missouri’s” understanding of Scripture on the issue of congregational autonomy. We are sad to see the growing attack on the Scripture in our Synod on this principal upon which the Synod was founded!
The following article by Pastor Mike Ramey is a comprehensive historical overview of a grave time in our Synod when first and founding President C.F.W. Walther had to fend off attempts by Grabau and Loehe to exert a hierarchical approach to governance at the expense of the local congregation in his day.
History Repeats Itself
We need to be aware that a full fledged attack on the rights of the local congregation is in full swing in our day. President Walther would have been gravely saddened and moved to pick up the fight should he have lived to see the darkness that is descending upon our beloved Synod in our day. It is time for new leadership.
Here is the introductory paragraph of Dr. Ramey’s article:
Of Church and Ministry and the LCMS
Mike Ramey, Pastor
“The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s sense of Church and Ministry was born
out of the tumultuous relationship between its first “bishop” and subsequent revolt
against clericalism. Its young but respected leader, C. F. W. Walther, would define its
ecclesiology mindful of the events that served to propel him into the leadership of the
Saxon migration of which, months earlier, he was but a participant. Subsequent debates
with the likes of Grabau and Loehe would reinforce the Scriptural and Confessional
principles that formed and shaped his understanding of Church and Ministry 1 which
stands as the doctrinal position of the Synod since 1851….”