pub-769827371306972 pub-769827371306972
top of page

Unpardonable sins, secret sins & secret societies

1889 Bluffton sermon series in the town hall didn't end well

Heaven, hell, the unpardonable sin, secret sins and secret societies provided Bluffton residents the opportunity of broadening their theological horizons during three evenings of lecture-sermons in January 1889.

However, as interesting as those topics may appear, a follow-up story in the News about the person presenting these talks certainly became the number one topic in Bluffton later that winter.


As a primer on secret societies, Mennonites in particular, were generally opposed to these. On the other hand, for persons interested in joining one, the list of the choices available in Bluffton in the 1890s is provided  at the bottom of this story.


The first story

Jan. 6, 1889, Bluffton News – U.S. Steiner, the evangelist, will lecture on the following subjects: “Heaven,” “Hell” and the “Unpardonable Sin,” on Monday eve, Jan. 24; and on Tuesday eve, Jan. 25, on “Secret Sins,” and on Wednesday eve, Jan. 26, on “Secret Societies,” at the town hall, Bluffton.


Meetings open at 7 p.m. sharp, sun time.


You are cordially invited to attend these meetings. Admission free, however a liberal collection is expected of those who can “give willingly, as to the Lord,” to defray the expenses for the town hall, etc.


Singers will consist of solos and general participation.


Editor’s Note: Perhaps Matthew 12:30-32 speakers to the unpardonable sin -  "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the spirit. will not be forgiven.”


We can only imagine what the “secret sin” sermon entailed.


Follow up story

From the Jan. 27, 1898, Bluffton News – U.S. Steiner, the evangelist, was taken before Judge Beamer and was adjudged insane and was taken to the Toledo Asylum.

The Bluflfton News offered no further follow-up or details on the status of the evangelist.

January 1889 Bluffton News story





bottom of page