Monday, May 06, 2013

Steadfast Lutherans- your neighbourhood Lutheran Pub?

I often listen to music while I work and I wondered off to Issues Etc.

The episode I was listening had a few seconds sound grab from Steadfast Lutherans (sic)(Waltherian/Antinomians).

Here is what the sound advertisement said, I quote...

Imagine SteadfastLuthearn.org as the Internet version of a Lutheran Pub. Your neighbourhood Lutheran Pub, that is, where the finest Lutheran conversation is going on in every table and at the bar, sometimes contentious but always informative... we are only serving Wittenberg ale...etc.

Are you a bit unimaginative? Why would you use the motif of a pub to advertise your religious website? Don't you have any other ideas you can use to attract listeners to your website? Is that the best you could do? Can you not use other analogies to get the listeners interested in your website?

I did not realise there is such an animal called a Lutheran Pub. This reminds me of my Pentecostal years. You go to a "Christian" barber, a "Christian" butcher, a "Christian" mechanic, a "Christian" this and that.

Unless of course, being Lutheran is understood to have the propensity to be imbibed; and that advert shows your desire to be relevant, relational and even missional. Unless of course, you understand that it is tradition and normal for a Lutheran to be a bit tipsy and that is just being Lutheran! Not to be like that is just unLutheran.

Well of course, if you are a UOJer, God has forgiven you even before you repent and believe and that includes before you got intoxicated also. You are of course proud of your lack of sanctification and no big deal if those Evangelical pietists get offended. The main thing is you show off  your liberty in your "Gospel". You need to take pride in your justification, your "freedom" (from the Law, if you asked me).

Don't get me wrong, over here, I have been to the pub about 10 times. One time I worked in a country town and I went to the pub to buy lunch; over here, the cheapest lunch meals are found in a pub.

Don't get me wrong either, I often have a glass of wine with my meal specially in special occasions, like yesterday. I went to a wedding and I enjoyed the finger food with a glass of white. It made the food delicious.

But please do not slap me in the head because of those. Rather, kick me in the head for my lack of deft when it comes to imagination.




66 comments:

Brett Meyer said...

What can really be expected from the participants on the Steadfast Lutheran blog when they call Justification By Faith proponents 'morons'?

They call themselves Confessional but deny the chief article of Christian faith - Justification Solely By Faith in Christ Alone - thereby making them non-Christians. After that anything goes...

LPC said...

Even in pagan cultures they would be offended to find a purported Christian hanging out in their pubs much more if the said Christian appear to be proud of it too.

Philippians 3:19.

LPC

Gary said...

The Brothers of John the Steadfast blog do not have a good reputation among the majority of Lutherans in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. They tend to be a very judgmental and downright nasty bunch of self-righteous jerks. As an LCMS Lutheran, they are an embarrassment for me. Some Lutherans on-line have referred to them as the SS of the MiSSouri Synod.

I have a challenge to Brett above: I am a former evangelical. The Lutheran doctrine of Justification involves God accepting and choosing the sinner. The evangelical doctrine of Justification involves the sinner accepting and choosing God.

Now which of those doctrine seems to be the more scriptural: The one in which the sinner assists or at least cooperates in his salvation, or the one in which God accomplishes salvation all by Himself?

And lastly I must say to Brett: Isn't it odd that there is not one single shred of evidence that ANY human being on the face of planet earth for the first 800 or so years of Christianity believed that Baptism is simply and only an act of obedience/public profession of faith? No one believed this! So if evangelicals are correct about the PURPOSE of Baptism, there was no Christian Church for approximately 800 years. So much for "the gates of hell will not prevail against my Church"!

And please don't tell me that you believe that old Baptist wives' tale that true "Baptistic" believers were hanging out in caves for those 800 years. There is no trace of "Baptist" cave dwellers either!

Baptist/evangelical doctrine has no more historical evidence to validate its authenticity as the doctrine of the early Church than do the beliefs of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. You are following a false doctrine, Brother Brett. A doctrine invented by western Europeans in the sixteenth century. Your doctrine NEVER existed before that. Your doctrine may seem perfectly logical to you but it is FALSE doctrine. You have been sold a lie, my brother.

Read what the early Christians believed. NO ONE believed like you do on the PURPOSE of Baptism and the PURPOSE of the Lord's Supper.

Evangelicals use YOUR interpretation to prove your interpretation of the Bible. You have no outside sources to back you up. So who is the final authority on the interpretation of Scripture for evangelicals: an inner voice that tells you that your interpretation is right. And who is that inner voice talking to you?? Is there anywhere in Scripture that says that God will speak to individual Christians through inner voices?? No! God doesn't speak to Christians by inner voices. That inner voice you hear...is YOU!

Your belief that an inner voice tells you that you are right, is no different from a Mormon and his "burning in the bosom". The final authority of an evangelical Christian and a Mormon cultist are the same: You and your feelings!

LPC said...

Gary,

I certainly concur with your the BS of St. John, so called.

However, I am not so sure if you got the right Brett that you are addressing your comments to. Meyer is no Evangelical and so I think you got the wrong Brett.

Incidentally I was a convert from Evangelicalism so called, I was a Calvinist Charismatic of years ago.

We have no arguments for the Baptistic errors of Evangelicals - read my post on that one line in the Nicean Creed found in this blog.

LPC

Gary said...

I apologize if I jumped to conclusions about Mr. Meyer, but his accusation that LCMS Lutherans do not believe in Salvation by faith alone, and are therefore not Christians, hit a nerve. That sounds like fundamentalist/evangelical language.

Brett Meyer said...

Gary, the Lutheran Synods (ELCA, LCMS, ELS, WELS, CLC) all teach contrary to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions regarding the chief doctrine of Justification. The LCMS in this case teaches that God has declared the whole unbelieving world to be forgiven all sin and righteous. This LCMS teaching specifically teaches that God has done this with no regard to the Holy Spirit working faith in Christ alone through the Means of Grace alone. Scripture teaches that men are only forgiven through faith in Christ alone, worked by the Holy Spirit alone, through the Means of Grace alone. The Lutheran Synods excommunicate individuals and clergy who teach men are justified solely by faith in Christ alone and never before or without the gracious gift of faith. Pastor Paul Rydecki is the latest in this list of excommunications as he was removed from the (W)ELS in September of 2012. Shortly after his removal – excommunication as a heretic – the LCMS clergy on Steadfast chimed in with their wishes that he had been in the LCMS so that they could have removed him.

The irony is that declaring anathema on the confession that men are only justified solely by faith in Christ alone, as the Lutheran Synods and in this discussion specifically the LCMS, is the same central and chief teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of whom the Antichrist is its godhead.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Gary said...

Brett: Are you a Lutheran?
I'm not a theologian so I'm not going to get into the weeds on this issue, but the Bible clearly states that Christ died and shed his blood for all mankind. The Bible also clearly states that man's works play no role in salvation, including man's ability to produce faith. God produces faith in those that he has predestined before the world existed to be his. Salvation is 100% God. The sinner does not assist or even cooperate in his salvation. He is a passive participant in the saving act.

Here is a link the LCMS website. Anyone who wants to read the doctrinal statements of the LCMS on this issue can read it for himself.

We are justified by faith, but our faith is a gift from God, not of works lest any man should boast.

Gary said...

Sorry, here is the LCMS link:

http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=415

Brett Meyer said...

Gary, the LCMS teaches contrary to what you correctly stated in your 5:38:00 AM statement.

The LCMS teaches that God forgave the entire unbelieving world all of their sins regardless of the Holy Spirit graciously working faith in Christ alone.

Like it or not - you are in the weeds and in the weeds is where the LCMS and all the other Lutheran Synods are teaching contrary to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions on the doctrine of Justification.

Gary said...

Could you give me a particular statement in the Lutheran Confessions that you believe that the LCMS statements on the Doctrine of Justification that I provided above contradict?

Again, I am not a theologian, but here is how I see it.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. The Bible also says that God loves the entire world and that Christ died for all.

Christ paid the penalty due every sinner, including you and me. That penalty is death/damnation. So the penalty has been paid for all sinners. The sins of all sinners are forgiven. So why isn't every human being going to be in heaven?

It is a mystery!

The Reformed try to explain this seeming contradiction by saying that Christ only died for the Elect. But the Bible clearly states that God wants ALL men to be saved, and that he died for all men.

You sound as if you want to be somewhere in the middle. You seem to be saying that the sinner's penalty is not paid until the Holy Spirit moves them to believe by faith. That sounds a little Arminian to me.

Bottom line: Lutherans believe that Christ paid the penalty for sin for all mankind. If the penalty is paid, the transgression is forgiven, blotted out.

Since only God decides who will be saved, based on his divine will/divine predestination, I have no idea why he chooses to quicken some to believe and does not choose to quicken others, although their penalty for their sins has been fully paid by Christ.

Paradoxical? Doesn't conform to human laws of reason and logic? Lutherans have no problem with that. Why? Because God isn't limited to human reason and logic.

Man's decision making plays no role in his salvation. Christ has paid the penalty for the sins of the entire world. God quickens his Elect to believe and for some reason does not quicken others for whom the penalty of their sin has been paid. God does not send anyone to hell. Man sends himself to hell.

We shouldn't be trying to delve too deep into the mysteries of God. We should just believe what he says.

Brett Meyer said...

Gary, using your LCMS link provided above to the Brief Statement of 1932:

Of Justification
(17. Holy Scripture sums up all its teachings regarding the love of God to the world of sinners, regarding the salvation wrought by Christ, and regarding faith in Christ as the only way to obtain salvation, in the article of justification. Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18‐21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by grace, for Christ's sake, He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven.


"Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ" is contrary to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions and contradicts the end of the statement which faithfully states, "He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven."

Now, the contradictory nature of these two statements may be made more palatable with some twisting and flipping of reason so it behoves the reader to dig further and ask for clarification. That clarification comes in the form of Universal Objective Justification which condemns the teaching that men are justified (declared righteous and forgiven of all sin) solely by the gracious gift of faith in Christ alone and never before or without it.

I could quote Walther and the modern Waltherites who are really Huberites but you have already confessed the same teaching when you said, "The sins of all sinners are forgiven." You simply have no Scriptural or Confessional support for such a statement.

The Lutheran Confessions teach that God does not declare anyone righteous or forgiven (justified) except by faith alone:
71] "but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because "to be justified" means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term "to be justified" is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins".

"80] ...Thus, therefore, we prove the minor proposition. The wrath of God cannot be appeased if we set against it our own works, because Christ has been set forth as a Propitiator, so that for His sake, the Father may become reconciled to us. But Christ is not apprehended as a Mediator except by faith. Therefore, by faith alone we obtain remission of sins, when we comfort our hearts with confidence in the mercy promised for 81] Christ's sake."
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Gary said...

Where do you come done on Universal Objective Justification? I have a hard time with it, perhaps not a hard a time as Gregory L. Jackson and his Ichabod blog. Still I don’t see Scriptural supporting it. Maybe it’s worse in WELS but I’ve heard it mentioned on Issues Etc. too. I’m an old guy that has recently returned to the church to reconnect with my Lutheran roots, well the church was still there but I’m having a hard time finding any Lutherans.

Pastor's response: The easiest and most succinct Biblical explanation is an examination of Romans 3:22b-24:

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

To break this apart:
1) Who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? All
2) Who are the ones that are then justified by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? The same “all”

To sum: all have sinned… the same “all” are justified

The subjects of the verbs agree. There is no different subject as in “all fall short… *only some* are justified”. Rather the second phrase: “and are justified” uses the same subject as the first clause.

The plain and simple truth of the matter is that Christ’s death on the cross means absolutely nothing if he did not die for every single son of Adam (all people, in all times, and in all places).

Faith then clings to this proclamation and receives this (which we call subjective justification).

Rev. Matthew Lorfeld

Gary said...

Brett: How would you respond to the above pastor's explanation of Universal Justification?

Gary said...

I like this pastor's explanation of Universal Justification, except I don't like the analogy he uses at the very end.

http://christiannewsmo.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-current-debate-in-wels-concerning.html

LPC said...

Gary,

Without pre-empting Brett, I want you to consider and ask why that pastor stopped at v.24.


There is a reason why this pastor did that, i.e. not mention v.25.

He wants to say that faith has nothing do to with justification. Notice that verse 25 mentions the atonement. Faith in the atonement results in justification.

However, that pastor's quote to you can be easily massaged so you can think that all sinners have been justified ALREADY without reference to personal faith. That is the magician's trick.

Also, there is blatant sophistry there in his use of the verses. He equates atonement with justification - when one does that, the Scripture becomes absurd and the sheep can be dragged down to the pit.

Notice how he switches from Justification to Atonement without ever mentioning faith.

Indeed Jesus died for me before I was born and before I could believe but I am not justified unless I trust in that atonement.

Also faith in the Bible is always present ongoing reality in the believer. Take a look at John 3:16, the believing mentioned there is present tense.

Brett is known to give a clear articulation of this and I pray your eyes may be opened up. Sophistry is the craft of false doctrine and that pastor just did a number on you.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Gary, here are two statements you make above:
"Where do you come done on Universal Objective Justification? ... Still I don’t see Scriptural supporting it."

"I like this pastor's explanation of Universal Justification"

Your own statements are contradictory.

Based on what I've written in this discussion of course I disagree with that pastor's confession of UOJ. Every version of UOJ is false and contrary to Scripture and the faithful explaination of Scripture in the Lutheran Confessions.

Look at Romans 3:26, "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

Rev. Lorfeld confesses a false central doctrine of Scripture. Scritpure is clear and consistent throughout - all those without the gracious gift of faith in Christ alone are dead in sins, condemned by God, separated from God - not having their sins forgiven although Christ paid for the whole world's sins on the Cross they are only forgiven by faith.

Gary said...

The comment "I don't see Scripture supporting it" was someone else's question to the pastor, not mine.
Sorry, I should have made that clear.

I honestly think this debate is alot of hot air. Both sides agree that faith is necessary for salvation. Both sides believe that faith is a gift from God, not a free-will decision of the sinner.

What touched a nerve with me is that you seemed to say that all Lutherans who believe in UOJ are not Christians.

LPC said...

No Gary, this is not about hot air.
If as the pastor said, all sinners are already justified by the death of Jesus, then faith is immaterial to justification.

Let that sink in a moment. Please reflect on that thought.

This was the point of Hunnius contra Huber in the 16th c. controversy w UOJ.

Because the two sides do not have the same objects of faith, either one is not correct but it can not be that both are right!
For JBFA people, JBFA is wrong if Jesus did not rise from the dead as there is no faith to latch on to, we believe a dead human being who remain dead today.

LPC


Gary said...

Do you believe that Lutherans who believe in UOJ can be Christians?

Brett Meyer said...

Gary states, "The comment "I don't see Scripture supporting it" was someone else's question to the pastor, not mine.
Sorry, I should have made that clear."

Yes, the entire sentence and paragraph structure indicated that it was your personal opinion.

I agree with Lito - the eternal controversy over UOJ is not hot air. In my opinion it is, in fact, the falling away of the Lutheran Synods into apostasy.

UOJ teaches that the object of faith is the forgiveness of sins and NOT Christ and Him crucified. Scripture teaches the object of faith is Christ and Him Crucified. That distinction is what determines a Christian and those who are not Christian. Are there people who confess UOJ as it's taught in various forms within the Lutheran denominations? - Yes, but it is despite what is officially taught and not because of it. Those who's faith still holds to Christ alone are Christian all others - no matter what they have faith in - are not.

All a matter of hot-air: that should come as a relief to excommunicated Pastor Paul Rydecki.

Brett Meyer said...

Correction: Are there people who confess UOJ as it's taught in various forms within the Lutheran denominations and who are Christian?

Gary said...

I'm still trying to figure out what the big issue is. It seems like it is a fight over semantics.

It seems that your group doesn't like the idea of calling unrepentant sinners--"justified". I would agree with you if the Synods were saving that all unrepentant sinners are "saved" based solely on Christ's payment of the penalty for their sin. But that isn't what the Synods are saying. They are using objective and subjective justification to distinguish between Christ paying the ransom for all, but only those whom God has predestined and chooses to quicken, THROUGH faith, are saved. (Faith given as a gift from God, not conjured up by the sinner's own effort.)

I think you are both saying the same thing, just using differing definitions of some of the same terms.

If you are saying that man's sins are not forgiven until HE chooses to believe, then you are an Arminian, and therefore outside of Lutheranism.

Am I missing something?

Brett Meyer said...

Gary states, "If you are saying that man's sins are not forgiven until HE chooses to believe, then you are an Arminian, and therefore outside of Lutheranism."

Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions teach that men's sins are not forgiven until the Holy Spirit graciously works faith in Christ alone, in man, through the Means of Grace alone - Word and Baptism. Christ's faith then is strengthened through Word and Holy Communion purely taught and rightly distributed.

The Lutheran Synods teach that men's sins are forgiven even before they believe. They teach that the object of faith is that forgiveness already declared and thereby they receive the benefit of the previously declared forgiveness which they say is eternal salvation. UOJ teaches that the Antichrist has been declared by God to be forgiven all sin: justified, righteous and that God is at peace with him. He just can't go to heaven unless he believes he is already forgiven and righteous in Christ.

Again, UOJ's object of faith is false.

Gary said...

It seems to me that you are approaching this subject with a Reformed mind set: everything has to make sense according to human reason and logic.

It doesn't make sense that God would grant absolution of sins to sinner's who have not yet believed but Scripture states very clearly that he does. Yes, faith receives the benefit of forgiveness already granted. Forgiveness comes before believing.

As I stated above, I'm not a big fan of the BOJS but they have a very good post on this issue. The first comment after the post is also outstanding.

You sound as if you are headed down the road to Arminianism, gentlemen. It is a false theology.

http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=22406

Brett Meyer said...

Gary states, "It doesn't make sense that God would grant absolution of sins to sinner's who have not yet believed but Scripture states very clearly that he does."

And yet Scripture clearly declares God's will and judgement regarding those who do not believe:


The UOJ that you confess Gary is a false gospel and contrary to Scripture.

Brett Meyer said...

Odd, the quote of the King James didn't copy. Here's the verse which condemns the teaching which Gary professes:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

LPC said...

Gary,

It doesn't make sense that God would grant absolution of sins to sinner's who have not yet believed but Scripture states very clearly that he does. Yes, faith receives the benefit of forgiveness already granted. Forgiveness comes before believing.

Where in Scripture does it say that God justifies/forgives people before faith.

Are you getting this from Romans 3:21-24?

Did you catch v.22, "unto all and upon all them that believe" It is ahead of v.23. St. Paul is talking about these people, all of them have sinned and now justified, because they believe.

Let me suggest something, that you are affected by Waltherian error of thinking that when faith is required, one must be an Arminian! That is false dilemma fallacy.

Jesus mentioned several times about faith in him, for example - Mk 16:16, he who believes and is baptized shall be saved, he who does not believe is condemned. Now in that verse, was Jesus being an Arminian?

The question here is the timing of justification. In UOJ there are two Justifications - one that happened at the Cross or raising of Jesus and then once again upon believing.

This is what gets UOJers tied up and when their teachers are confronted of the making of God absurd, they cry-- paradox, a cop out.

Whatever God says is good - is good! If God declared you righteous already before you were born, and before you could believe, that is already the verdict. Yet, it is the UOJ who requires that the first justification is to be believed otherwise the second (once again justification) can not happen.

I recommend you look at this post...
http://extranos.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/walthers-synergistic-quote.html

It is the UOJ through Walther who says one thing is left to be done, to believe the first absolution or you won't get really forgiven.

LPC

Gary said...

You are splitting hairs, my brother. Belief is absolutely necessary for salvation. If one does not believe, he will spend eternity in hell, EVEN THOUGH THE PENALTY FOR HIS SINS HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL AND ALL HIS SINS FORGIVEN BY CHRIST'S DEATH ON THE CROSS.

God's free gift of salvation MUST be subjectively received by the sinner, who hearing the Word, is quickened by God to believe, THROUGH FAITH.

What you are really saying is that Christ did not pay the full penalty for all sins of all mankind. What you are really saying is that Christ only died, shed his blood, and obtained the forgiveness of sins for the Elect. That is Calvinism. That is the doctrine of Limited Atonement. That is not Lutheran doctrine in any way, shape, or form.

If you want to believe Calvinist doctrine, it is certainly your right, but why do you wish to remain within Lutheranism and sow discord?

Leave, and my God correct you if you are wrong.

Brett Meyer said...

I remember when it required dozens of discussion comments to expose the false teachings of covert UOJists.

Like taking candy from a baby.

Joe Krohn said...

Gary...not only is it a dumb, semantic argument, but it shows a lack of understanding justification, redemption and reconciliation.

Brett said:

"...condemned by God, separated from God - not having their sins forgiven although Christ paid for the whole world's sins on the Cross they are only forgiven by faith."

The Bible is clear: God saves and man condemns...Jesus came to save the world and not to condemn it.

Brett is willing to say that Jesus has paid the debt of sin...but the debt isn't really paid for...unless you have faith and then the debt is really forgiven...which really is what OJ is after all isn't it in a round about way?

Gary said...

The idea that faith must come first before one's sins are forgiven, is not Lutheran doctrine. Please show me in the Confessions where such a statement is made.

You are demanding that God withhold the forgiveness of sins until man expresses belief. That is works righteousness. It is not Lutheran. It is not scriptural.

The link that I posted above to a BOJS post is an excellent discussion of this topic and correctly explains the terms justification, redemption, etc.

So all the Lutheran Synods are wrong and always have been wrong, but your group has suddenly found the truth?? Sounds like new doctrine to me and new doctrine is 99.999% of the time heresy.

Are there any Lutheran Synods in the world that believe like you and your group?

Gary said...

Joe said:

"Jesus has paid the debt of sin...but the debt isn't really paid for..."

So he has...but he really hasn't???

I think that statement pretty much sums up the fallacy of this false teaching.

Enjoy Geneva, boys!

LPC said...

Gary,

Have a look at the nature of your exposition, you hardly quoted any scripture ( properly divided or interpreted) to prove to me that God has already forgiven everyone without faith and before faith.

Atonement is not the same as justification, why? Due to the nature of the Gospel. Tell me are there not people today abysmally trying to pay for their sins?

I will ignore the blatant misrepresentation of Joe on Brett, so I go to the finish,

Gary if I call you a Huberite would you know what that means? Go ask Joe because he is one.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Gary, the two BOC quotes I provided on Tues. May 7th show that the Lutheran church has always confessed faithfully with Scripture that man is neither acceptable to God or forgiven by God exception by faith alone.
The Huberian doctrine of UOJ was completely refuted by BOC signer Hunnius years ago. Written translations of these irrefutable essays are available on Amazon for less than the cost of an LCMS Ablaze prayer cloth.

Brett Meyer said...

More faithful Justification solely by faith quotes from the BOC to those who care enough to read and whom God has given the faith of Christ to comprehend:

Apology to the Augsburg

36] Lastly, it was very foolish for the adversaries to write that men who are under eternal wrath merit the remission of sins by an act of love, which springs from their mind since it is impossible to love God, unless the remission of sins be apprehended first by faith. For the heart, truly feeling that God is angry, cannot love God, unless He be shown to have been reconciled. As long as He terrifies us, and seems to cast us into eternal death, human nature is not able to take courage, so as to love 37] a wrathful, judging, and punishing God [poor, weak nature must lose heart and courage, and must tremble before such great wrath, which so fearfully terrifies and punishes, and can never feel a spark of love before God Himself comforts].

46] Thus, because faith, which freely receives the remission of sins, sets Christ, the Mediator and Propitiator, against God's wrath, it does not present our merits or our love [which would be tossed aside like a little feather by a hurricane]. This faith is the true knowledge of Christ, and avails itself of the benefits of Christ, and regenerates hearts, and precedes the fulfilling of the Law.

48] "The adversaries feign that faith is only a knowledge of the history, and therefore teach that it can coexist with mortal sin. Hence they say nothing concerning faith, by which Paul so frequently says that men are justified, because those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in mortal sin."

69] Now we will show that faith [and nothing else] justifies. Here, in the first place, readers must be admonished of this, that just as it is necessary to maintain this sentence: Christ is Mediator, so is it necessary to defend that faith justifies, [without works]. For how will Christ be Mediator if in justification we do not use Him as Mediator; if we do not hold that for His sake we are accounted righteous? But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us.

80] ...Thus, therefore, we prove the minor proposition. The wrath of God cannot be appeased if we set against it our own works, because Christ has been set forth as a Propitiator, so that for His sake, the Father may become reconciled to us. But Christ is not apprehended as a Mediator except by faith. Therefore, by faith alone we obtain remission of sins, when we comfort our hearts with confidence in the mercy promised for 81] Christ's sake."
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Gary said...

Semantics.

You are dividing the Body of Christ, sowing discord among the Brethren over semantics.

May God have mercy on your souls.

LPC said...

Gary,

So you would agree with the Roman Church that the Reformers were dividing the church then they insisted that justification is not the same as sanctification.

For after all such distinction is just semantics, no?

LPC

Gary said...

Please name one Lutheran Synod in the world that agrees with your position.

Please name one Lutheran Synod that in the present or past specifically stated opposition to the belief that the sins of all sinners have been forgiven and blotted out by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Gary said...

Here is why I am not quoting Scripture on this subject: any heretic can prove practically anything by quoting the Bible.

I could quote from the Bible that to prove you are a good Christian you must be able to pick up and handle snakes. I could prove from Scripture that any Christian man who looks at another woman with even a hint of lust in his heart, should have his eyes plucked out.

The only way to know what true Christian doctrine is, is to read the early Church fathers to see what they believed that the Apostles believed.

As a former fundamentalist Baptist, then evangelical, I can tell you how good fundamentalists and evangelicals are at Scriptural knowledge and Biblical interpretation. They will start talking about "genitive cases" and other point of grammar to prove that Baptism does not save.

But no matter how good their English grammar and Greek interpretive skills are, if their teaching opposes the writings of the Early Church Fathers, then it is heresy and false doctrine.

So again, I ask, are there or have there been any major Lutheran bodies/Churches in the world that hold to your position that God has not forgiven the sins of all sinners due to Christ's death on the cross.



Brett Meyer said...

Gary states, "Please name one Lutheran Synod that in the present or past specifically stated opposition to the belief that the sins of all sinners have been forgiven and blotted out by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

The faculty of Wittenberg University and specifically Hunnius and Leyser who signed the Lutheran Book of Concord soundly rejected the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification - regardless of the version - using Scripture and the BOC. Again, their clear refutation of the false gospel of UOJ is available on Amazon for less than an LCMS/Thrivent funded ELCA called worker abortion.

Martin Luther refuted forgiveness without faith in his excellent commentary on Galatians:
12. As before said, they regard faith of slight importance; for they do not understand that it is our sole justifier. To accept as true the record of Christ--this they call faith. The devils have the same sort of faith, but it does not make them godly. Such belief is not Christian faith; no, it is rather deception.

15. ...You see how they make faith of no value to themselves, and so must regard as heresy all doctrine based upon it. Thus they do away with the whole Gospel. These are they who deny the Christian faith and exterminate it from the world. Paul prophesied concerning them when he said (1 Tim 4, 1): "In later times some shall fall away from the faith." The voice of faith is now silenced all over the world. Indeed, faith is condemned and banished as the worst heresy, and all who teach and endorse it are condemned with it. The Pope, the bishops, charitable institutions, cloisters, high schools, unanimously opposed it for nearly four hundred years, and simply drove the world violently into hell. Their conduct is the real persecution by Antichrist, in the last times.

29. You cannot extricate yourself from unbelief, nor can the Law do it for you. All your works in intended fulfilment of the Law must remain works of the Law and powerless to justify in the sight of God, who regards as just only believing children.

37. Note, Paul everywhere teaches justification, not by works, but solely by faith; and not as a process, but instantaneous. The testament includes in itself everything--justification, salvation, the inheritance and great blessing. Through faith it is instantaneously enjoyed, not in part, but all. Truly is it plain, then, that faith alone affords such blessings of God, justification and salvation-- immediately and not in process as must be the case with works

74. But what is the process whereby Christ gives us such a spirit and redeems us from under the Law? The work is effected solely by faith. He who believes that Christ came to redeem us, and that he has accomplished it, is really redeemed. As he believes, so is it with him. Faith carries with it the child-making spirit. The apostle here explains by saying that Christ has redeemed us from under the Law that we might receive the adoption of sons. As before stated, all must be effected through faith. Now we have discussed the five points of the verse.
http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html

Gary states, “Here is why I am not quoting Scripture on this subject: any heretic can prove practically anything by quoting the Bible.”

My response to that is and emphatic NO.

Gary said...

Semantics, semantics, semantics!

You are trying to imply that the entire Lutheran world (other than your small group) believes that one can be saved without faith. That is blatantly false.

It all boils down to how you define "justified/justification"---semantics! The LCMS, at least, I can't speak for the other Synods, is not saying that God has saved the entire world and that all mankind will be in heaven. They are splitting the term justification into "objective" and "subjective" to more clearly explain that Christ died and paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind. The debt/punishment for ALL sins has been paid in full by Christ's death on the cross. However, that reality is of no benefit to the sinner unless and until God chooses to quicken his spiritually dead soul to believe and his belief is received through faith, a faith not produced by man, but given as a gift to man by God. Salvation is all God.

You and your group are creating a division in the body of Christ over semantics.

I am finished discussing this issue.

Brett Meyer said...

What UOJ is teaching is that the Body and Blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins is not eternal salvation for the one God declares forgiven.

It is the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification which is separating people from Christ.

Gary, you came on like a red hot flame thrower and are leaving as a burnt ember. I attribute that to the false gospel of UOJ.

Gary said...

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."

Romans 16:17-18

LPC said...

Gary,

"Please name one Lutheran Synod that in the present or past specifically stated opposition to the belief that the sins of all sinners have been forgiven and blotted out by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

The synod in Australia called LCAus, has no official statement similar to LC-MS 1932 Brief Statement or any formal statement alleging that the very act of atonement all sins have been automatically forgiven whether the sinner believes it or not.

The American Lutheran Synods are in fact the peculiar bunch from the rest of the Protestant world. No exegete of respectable scholarship can you find agreeing with the way your pastor friend take Romans 3:21-24 the way he did.

LPC

LPC said...

I could quote from the Bible that to prove you are a good Christian you must be able to pick up and handle snakes. I could prove from Scripture that any Christian man who looks at another woman with even a hint of lust in his heart, should have his eyes plucked out.

Yes you can I can also prove you wrong. So since heretics use the Bible, so you ditch the Bible from conversation?

Which authority do we appeal to for conversation.


I tell you how you know you are in the right, you know it (by your reasoning here) because you belong to Holy Mother Synod, right?

What makes you different from an Roman? At least they believe they belong to a church which they claim has a pedigree, not some synod that got born in the 1800s.

One of the slogans of the Lutheran Reformers was sola scriptura. SInce you can not and do not support your position by Scripture, are you really Lutheran?

LPC

LPC said...

Eph 4:14
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

1 Corinthians 14:20
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.


LPC

Gary said...

You had an article on your blog entitled that the Saxon Germans in America did not flee persecution but PROSECUTION. The article suggested that the Saxon Germans (the ancestors of the LCMS Lutherans) came to America so that their leader could escape prosecution, pointing out his womanizing habits.

This leader was defrocked once his sins were revealed. Shame on you for insinuating that thousands of Saxon German Lutherans gave up their homes and churches just to protect a womanizing pastor.

You sound anti-American to me. Maybe that is your real beef.

Joe Krohn said...

"What UOJ is teaching is that the Body and Blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins is not eternal salvation for the one God declares forgiven."

Where's the punch line, Brett?

LPC said...

Gary,

I am no anti-American.

My ancestors mourned for 7 days the passing of General Douglas MacArthur.

Which nation ever did that to their president?

My dad and uncle are citizens and continue to live in USA and benefits from living there. I have a sister there too.

We owe Uncle Sam our education.

So I am no anti-American.

I am anti-UOJ. It just so happens that in my research only the so called "conservative" USA synods believe it. Certainly where I am the pastors have no formal statements about it (though of course USA being USA, some have been influenced) and certainly the laymen have no clue what it is. The laymen believe JBFA.

I had dinner one time with a layman who happened to be a life long Lutheran. At the table I asked if he believes that God has forgiven all of their sins whether they believed it or not, he almost choked on his stake. He retorted to the effect Jesus's words - if you do not repent and believe you will die in your sins.

Believe me Gary, functional universalism (which what UOJ practically leads to) is the best thing since slice bread that is why many people do not want to let go of UOJ. But it is wrong and an inaccurate presentation of justification.

I pray your sanity might be sanctified by the HS to see the fruits of UOJ.

LPC

LPC said...

The article suggested that the Saxon Germans (the ancestors of the LCMS Lutherans) came to America so that their leader could escape prosecution, pointing out his womanizing habits.

I do not recall writing it, you must be referring to Dr. Greg Jackson's post, but why don't you check the evidence?

It is apparently documented in the book in
http://www.amazon.com/Zion-Mississippi-Settlement-Lutherans-1839-1841/dp/0570045398

LPC

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Gary....you have imbibed deeply of the UOJ kool-aid, that's for certain.

I am an American Lutheran, and I don't buy into the UOJ scheme because it is neither Scriptural, nor confessional.

BTW: you seem to understand Calvinists about as much as you understand your Bible. You ought not bear false witness against your Reformed brethren.

Brett Meyer said...

According to Gary, Calvanists have proved their doctrine to him using Scripture. He just doesn't believe it.

Gary states, “Here is why I am not quoting Scripture on this subject: any heretic can prove practically anything by quoting the Bible.”

Lito is right - when Scipture is no longer the unwavering foundation and singular doctrine of God's Word - there is no foundation at all and Scripture cannot be trusted since contradictory doctrines are proved by the same Word. Then again, that sounds exactly like the defense and origins of UOJ.

LPC said...

I was a Calvinist. One of the striking philosophical assumption of Calvinism is to equate the Atonement with Justification, that is to say to interchange the two concepts with each other. As can be seen in the comments here, UOJ does exactly the same thing.

Here is the logic of Calvinism.
Atonement = Justification.
Justification is subjective
Therefore, Atonement is subjective too.


Here is the logic of UOJ
Atonement = Justification.
Atonement is objective.
Therefore, Justification is objective too

Lutheran JBFA never equates Atonement with Justification, that is why it avoids Universalism unlike the UOJers and avoids Limited Atonement unlike the Calvinist.

I believe C F W Walther is responsible for the confusion and the division in Lutheranism.
I can see some UOJ influences of pastors where I am, some have not fully studied the implication of UOJ intently that is why they would say statements that reject UOJ and then also say statements that seem to support.

I give an example.

In the absolution, the pastor says - I forgive the sins of all of you who repent and believe.
This is Biblical.

Then in some of portion of the liturgy, we hear --by his death he has made us right with God.

That last statement IMHO needs some unpacking and further elaboration, who is the "us" there, etc.?

Some knowledgeable pastors I have met are quite critical of C F W Walther. That was an eye opener for me during my early years in Lutheranism.

Walther lambasted Calvinism during his day, while he himself was a functioning Calvinist brought about by his rationalistic Pietism.

Notice the conversation we just had with them, all rational reasonings, no Scripture text.

LPC

Elizabeth said...

I've seen some Calvinists changing up the lingo from Limited Atonement to Limited Justification.

That's how I look at it.

Justification is limited by belief, which is the enabling gift of the HS, given through the Means of Grace.

All are bid come. All are told to repent and believe. Most remain in their sin.

I don't think orthodox Calvinists(think conservative Anglicans, Orthodox Presbyterians and serious Reformed folk....NOT Baptists/Wesleyans/seeker/non-denoms)) and JBFA Lutherans are nearly as far apart in these things as are UOJ Lutherans and JBFA Lutherans.

LPC said...

Calvin himself was ambigouous on LA, but his Reformed followers are not, i.e. the Puritans etc.

In stressing the necessity of faith JBFA and Calvinists are not that far apart. Where they differ is how faith comes. When placed in the scheme of Predestination, for the Calvinist, people's faith are just a side note because Predestination rules.

In effect, for Calvinists, they preach because they do not know who are the elect and the elect are the ones who are MEANT TO believe because of Predestination.

In the end the Calvinist and UOJ eventually come around together.

I recommend studying the Huberian controversy. Rydecki's book is very instructive and if you are once a Calvinist and now Lutheran, you can easily see why Huber went off the rails because he did not believe that faith is instrumental to all that God provides, i.e. justification, predestination etc.

Theses Opposed to Huberianism: A Defense of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification

Joe Krohn said...

Interesting that the 'UOJ' debate always comes around to election.

Lito, now maybe you might gain insight into the controversies in America.

UOJ rightly taught does not forgive all men individually; but as Isaiah 53 teaches so eloquently; the sins of men are forgiven for the sake of Christ.

The Elect are those that God has foreseen; whereas they are predestined.

Huber taught that since God loved all and died for all, therefore they are His elect. This is why Hunnius et al rejected Huber as a heretic and his psuedo universalism.

UOJ is the pardon declared for all; whether they come to faith or not.

LPC said...

This statement
UOJ rightly taught does not forgive all men individually

and this statement

UOJ is the pardon declared for all; whether they come to faith or not

are self contradictory and sophistry and hence, from this you can prove anything.

This makes God a poor mathematician and does not talk sense. There can not be "ALL" if there are no individuals that make up for the "ALL".

When God declares ALL are pardoned, then the individuals, i.e, everyone that makes up the ALL are pardoned as well, for God does not lie. When he called his creation good, they are good. God defines it.

UOJ wants to keep the cake and eat it too. UOJers do not want to be considered universalists but can not help themselves from making universalist statements.

Huber taught that since God loved all and died for all, therefore they are His elect. This is why Hunnius et al rejected Huber as a heretic and his psuedo universalism

This misleads, for Hunnius did not rebut Huber in his false election, he also rebutted Huber for his false justification which is shared by UOJ. Huber believed in universal justification, if it is universal then it is objective too, just like UOJ.

LPC



Brett Meyer said...

"Want to keep the cake and eat it too" An appropriate statement. UOJ is a New Age religon that teaches God declaring contradicting statements that reside in different realities. The thoughtful UOJists migrate to believing in various realities as the doctrine naturally feeds on itself.

Thanks for your posts Lito!

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Your brother in Christ,
Brett

LPC said...

A few years ago, I spoke to a pastor here about UOJ. As can be expected most of the pastors there as in here have not fully studied the issues. This pastor consulted a Lutheran theologian of our state and advised him of the correctness of UOJ.

Just letting you know that the said theologian left Lutheranism for Romanism. He is now a professor at Roman theological college.

God bless you Bro. Brett.

Your brother too in Christ,

Lito

Joe Krohn said...

Lito, will you not separate sin from the sinner? God certainly did in the atonement. I know you will agree that the sins of men have been atoned for and it is universal; for the sake of Christ. What does this mean? Atonement is likened to redemption. See kinsman redeemer in the OT; this for that. Christ has redeemed all men by paying their debt.

LPC said...

Joe,

My quarrel with you is not about the Atonement, my quarrel is the insistence of UOJ to equate Atonement with Justification.

When Jesus paid for the sins of the world, did he automatically Justify (i.e. declared righteous) everyone also?
UOJ says yes.

Here the words of St. Paul...
1 Timothy 4:10
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Why did St. Paul say, specially of those that believe? It is because of the nature of the Gospel,the message. God is offering Christ as the Saviour of the world the payer of man's sins. But men can deny that and can say they would rather pay for their sins or say there really is no sin to pay for.

This nature of the Gospel message is what the UOJer could not comprehend.

St. John 1 John 4:14
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

Why did St John say "to be the Saviour of the world",because although God has provided the Saviour what God provides is not necessarily what man receives. For you can be your own saviour or point to anything except Christ as Saviour.

Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,

UOJers are proud when they trash faith, yet Jesus rejoiced when he saw it.

LPC

Tom Moeller said...

"Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ"

This whole argument seem to be summed up in the LC-MS statement above.

I have yet to read any "UOJ" or "JBFA" advocate that disputes this statement.

All are righteous IN Christ.
He died for the justification of all mankind. He did not die to justify all mankind.
Read slowly. Distinguish between FOR and TO. They do it and you do it.

LPC said...

When is someone IN Christ?

Are all IN Christ?

LPC

Joe Krohn said...

Actually He did die to justify all men since He does not delight in the destruction of the wicked and wants all to be saved. All would justified subjectively if it weren't for their rejection. God saves; man condemns.

LPC said...

So you are countering Tom's assertion Joe?

LPC

Joe Krohn said...

Lito, I don't think Tom would have a problem with what I said. Since Christ's death redeemed the human race as Scripture and the BoC delineate, clearly God would have all men to be justified. The problem is many will not have it. Not all men have faith; so they are not in Christ. However their justification is still in the person of Christ.