Martin Stephan, the LCMS and Patriarchy

A major factor in the Saxon Emigration was the complete domination of men in all decisions and events during the time period I have covered, i.e., the later 17th century to the death of Martin Stephan in 1846.

Patriarchal power didn’t stop there after the establishment of the LCMS in 1847. Perpetuation of male thoughts and actions has continued relentlessly until the present. Cracks in this systemic problem only began to appear with my parents’s (third) generation in the 1930’s. A ground swell, although mild, developed in earnest after W.W. II with the forth generation (mine).

While society changed with the women’s movement, birth control, civil and gay rights, scientific advances, education and research, the LCMS has remained anchored in the 19th century or earlier.

No wonder that many Stephan descendants of the 4th generation and beyond have distanced themselves from their heritage and/or Lutheran faith. As a result, the Martin Stephan injustice is likely to implode and fade into the mists of history, unless others take up the baton we pass on. It will remain in all generations in our collective DNA, however, and have to be dealt with by each individual in the Stephan family who wishes to address it.

I am under no illusions that the LCMS will miss the voices of those who fought for rectifying Martin Stephan’s role in history when they fade through death, disinterest or desertion from the LCMS.

At this time of writing I celebrate my 80th Birthday.

Martin Stephan, you were not perfect. None of us is. You will have to deal with your faults and sins just as we all must do. But none of us deserves to be treated the way your were.

Leave a Reply

Logged in as . Logout »