Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Not just a war on words

Brett Meyer:

Luther's Works 33, 25.
"If I were to strangle someone's father and mother, wife and child, and try to choke him too, and then say 'Keep the peace, dear friend, we wish to love one another, the matter is not so important that we should be divided over it,' what would he say to me? This is what the fanatics do to Christ, the Lord, and God, the Father, and to mother church and the brethren with their rejection of God's Word while at the same time claiming it for themselves."

http://www.confessionallutherans.org/papers/drpreus.htm

44 comments:

LutherRocks said...

No kidding...one last try...

http://bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php

You can check it for yourself but this is from the BoC; The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord.

III. The Righteousness of Faith

(JK - I have not included points 1-7 here as they bear no relevance for my discussion.)

8] Therefore, in order to explain this controversy in a Christian way by means of God's Word, and, by His grace, to settle it, our doctrine, faith, and confession are as follows:

9] Concerning the righteousness of faith before God we believe, teach, and confess unanimously, in accordance with the comprehensive summary of our faith and confession presented above, that poor sinful man is justified before God, that is, absolved and declared free and exempt from all his sins, and from the sentence of well-deserved condemnation, and adopted into sonship and heirship of eternal life, without any merit or worth of our own, also without any preceding, present, or any subsequent works, out of pure grace, because of the sole merit, complete obedience, bitter suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Christ alone, whose obedience is reckoned to us for righteousness.

10] These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. 11] This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the father, and are eternally saved. 12] Therefore it is considered and understood to be the same thing when Paul says that we are justified by faith, Rom. 3:28, or that faith is counted to us for righteousness, Rom. 4:5, and when he says that we are made righteous by the obedience of One, Rom. 5:19, or that by the righteousness of One justification of faith came to all men, Rom. 5:18. 13] For faith justifies, not for this cause and reason that it is so good a work and so fair a virtue, but because it lays hold of and accepts the merit of Christ in the promise of the holy Gospel; for this must be applied and appropriated to us by faith, if we are to be justified thereby. 14] Therefore the righteousness which is imputed to faith or to the believer out of pure grace is the obedience, suffering, and resurrection of Christ, since He has made satisfaction for us to the Law, and paid for [expiated] our sins.

(Cont...)

LutherRocks said...

(Cont. from last post)

15] For since Christ is not man alone, but God and man in one undivided person, He was as little subject to the Law, because He is the Lord of the Law, as He had to suffer and die as far as His person is concerned. For this reason, then, His obedience, not only in suffering and dying, but also in this, that He in our stead was voluntarily made under the Law, and fulfilled it by this obedience, is imputed to us for righteousness, so that, on account of this complete obedience, which He rendered His heavenly Father for us, by doing and suffering, in living and dying, God forgives our sins, regards us as godly and righteous, and eternally saves us. 16] This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship of eternal life.

17] Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Phil. 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Prov. 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Is. 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Rom. 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits.

Point #9 is clearly an objective justification. Point #10 clearly goes into the subjective. Note the usage of declare and declared in #9 and #17.

Atonement means reconciliation. In order to be reconciled sin needs to be taken away. Mankind was reconciled to God by Jesus' death on the cross therefore a declaration of justification was rendered. But we are not justified in the salvation sense until we are made righteous and therefore justified through faith; a gift from God through the Word and the Holy Spirit. The BoC makes this crystal clear as I have shown. If you take away the objective justification, you nullify the atonement therefore making faith impossible. You can not have faith unless; should I say it...there is synergy...

JK

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, thank you for using the BOC in an attempt to anchor your doctrinal contention. You state, "Point #9 is clearly an Objective Justification (passage). I disagree and contend that it is in fact the sum total of the Justification by Faith Alone confession since it begins by saying - 9] Concerning the righteousness of faith before God. So then the paragraph describes what the righteousness of faith before God consists of. In fact to anchor my point is the fact that the whole paragraph is one sentence. All of what you and the doctrine of UOJ want to attribute to Objective Justification is in fact attributed to the righteousness of faith by the Lutheran Confessions.

You then state that, "Point #10 clearly goes into the subjective". You fail to point out though that #11 states - 11] This faith is a gift of God, by which we...are regarded as godly and righteous by God the father, and are eternally saved. Note that it is the faith the Holy Spirit works in us by which a man is regarded as righteous by God. Your doctrine of UOJ states it's in Objective Justification that God removes man's sin and guilt and regards man as righteous. This clearly shows the problem with UOJ regarding the distribution of the righteousness of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Here are additional quotes from the BOC which anchor the point.

What Is Justifying Faith?

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.

55] And, again, as often as we speak of faith, we wish an object to be understood, namely, the promised mercy. For faith justifies and saves, not on the ground that it is a work in itself worthy, but only because it receives the promised mercy.

57] Accordingly, they received gratuitous mercy and remission of sins by faith, just as the saints in the New Testament.


Cont...

Brett Meyer said...

Cont...

That We Obtain Remission of Sins by Faith Alone in Christ.

78] Therefore by faith alone we are justified, understanding justification as the making of a righteous man out of an unrighteous, or that he be regenerated.

80] 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 Christ's sake.

81] Paul, on the contrary, teaches that we have access, i.e., reconciliation, through Christ. And to show how this occurs, he adds that we have access by faith. By faith, therefore, for Christ's sake, we receive remission of sins. We cannot set our own love and our own works over against God's wrath.
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Joe you state, "Atonement means reconciliation". Please show in Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions where this is declared. I point you to the BOC line 81] above which declares men have reconciliation with God only through Christ and thus reconciliation through faith in Christ alone. Atonement is Christ paying for the sins of the whole world. Atonement therefore is not reconciliation.

You also state, "You can not have faith (without Objective Justification - BM) unless; should I say it...there is synergy…" I reject this statement and quote the BOC, "64] But since we speak of such faith as is not an idle thought, but of that which liberates from death and produces a new life in hearts [which is such a new light, life, and force in the heart as to renew our heart, mind, and spirit, makes new men of us and new creatures,] and is the work of the Holy Ghost; this does not coexist with mortal sin [for how can light and darkness coexist?]," This is found under the same link above titled "That Faith In Christ Justifies"

I want to thank Lito for sleeping in today and allowing me the first response to your statements.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Here is an additional BOC quote which stands in direct contrast and condemnation of the man made doctrine of Universal Objective Justification.

"1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life." Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election. Concordia Triglotta

By way of contrast please compare the Lutheran Confession quote, "That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith", to the WELS UOJ quotes in Our Great Heritage which states, "And yet many Lutherans still labor under the delusion that God does not forgive us unless we believe. Instead of seeing faith as nothing more than the spiritual hand with which we make the forgiveness of God our own, they see it as a reason why God forgives us. They believe that Christ has indeed provided forgiveness for all men, that God is willing to forgive them, but before he really forgives he first of all demands that we should be sorry for our sins and that we should have faith. Just have faith they say, and then God will forgive you. All the right words are there. The only thing wrong is that the words are in the wrong order. God does not forgive us IF we have faith. He has forgiven us long ago when he raised his Son from the dead." (p. 59)

"If forgiveness were dependent on faith in the sense that God does not forgive until we believe, we would always have to be sure that we are believers before we would be sure that we are forgiven." (p.60)

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, you state, "(JK - I have not included points 1-7 here as they bear no relevance for my discussion.)"

Contrary they are quite relevant as the entire section of the BOC from which your quotes come is titled, III. The Righteousness of Faith. First UOJ states that faith is not righteousness and in fact is nothing but an empty hand only receiving what was already declared to be true. UOJ also says that faith isn't a change in man which the quotes from the BOC which I provided in the above posts clearly reject. Points 1-7 which you dismiss state, "1] The third controversy which has arisen among some theologians of the Augsburg Confession is concerning the righteousness of Christ or of faith, which God imputes by grace, through faith, to poor sinners for righteousness.

This is critical to rightly judging UOJ since UOJ distributes Christ's righteousness for the forigiveness of the whole worlds sins outside of the Means of Grace all before faith.

The BOC continues:
2] For one side has contended that the righteousness of faith, which the apostle calls the righteousness of God, is God's essential righteousness, which is Christ Himself as the true, natural, and essential Son of God, who dwells in the elect by faith and impels them to do right, and thus is their righteousness, compared with which righteousness the sins of all men are as a drop of water compared with the great ocean.
http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php

Here again Christ's righteousness is not ours but by faith. I contend that points 1-7 are essential additions to the issue of UOJ at hand.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Only Nixon could go to China, and only Joe Krohn could find UOJ in the "Righteousness of Faith." It is a step forward that Joe is arguing from the Confessions rather than the Emerging Church New Age Movement. May God bless your study of the Lutheran Symbols, Joe, and I mean that sincerely.

WELS church lady said...

In response to Joe:

Hello LP! Hi Joe, you may want to refer to MLC's Studium Excitare. Read issue #9 Where Faith Comes From by Johannes Brenz. In issues#12(?) Read A Defense Of Brenz. In the defense, Brenz shows where Schwenckfeld was in error.

**Faith follows the Word of preaching.**

You an't go wrong with the early Lutheran church fathers.

In Christ,
from WELS church lady

LutherRocks said...

Thank you, Greg...I think. But I am not the first to make these correlations, nor will I be the last.

WELS church lady (sic) I prefer to stay with scripture and the BoC. There is more than enough to chew on...

Brett...I don't have the time or the patience to wade through everything you copy and paste. I will say much of what you paste has UOJ in it...you just deny it and that's OK. I just don't agree with your view of it all.

If we could just discuss one thing mat a time and stay on it without sand bagging, I would be down with that.

That being said...you said that the atonement is not reconciliation:

"Atonement is Christ paying for the sins of the whole world. Atonement therefore is not reconciliation."

I always thought the payment for the world's sins was reconciliation. It clears the way for faith...

JK

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, I think we both agree that the Atonement is most definitely Christ's payment for the sins of the whole world (Isaiah 53:6). The question is does the Atonement equal Reconciliation. Here is where the Lutheran Confessions define Reconciliation:

54] Likewise also the disputation concerning the indwelling in us of the essential righteousness of God must be correctly explained. For although in the elect, who are justified by Christ and reconciled with God, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who is the eternal and essential righteousness, dwells by faith
http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php

Note that it is the elect who are reconciled with God. According to Romans the elect are those out of the entire human race whom God has elected to grace, called, justified and saved, Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Here is another quote explaining that reconciliation is the forgivness of sins:

30] In order, therefore, that troubled hearts may have a firm, sure consolation, also, that due honor be given to the merit of Christ and the grace of God, the Scriptures teach that the righteousness of faith before God consists alone in the gracious [gratuitous] reconciliation or the forgiveness of sins, which is presented to us out of pure grace, for the sake of the only merit of the Mediator, Christ, and is received through faith alone in the promise of the Gospel.
http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php

And here the Confessions confirm Scripture when it declares the Gospel promise that God wishes to be reconciled with us but for us to be reconciled with God we must have Christ as our Mediator and He's only our Mediator through faith so that by faith alone we obtain the remission of sins through Christ righteousness and are reconciled to God:

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.

Cont...

Brett Meyer said...

Cont...

70] Likewise, just as we ought to maintain that, apart from the Law, the promise of Christ is necessary, so also is it needful to maintain that faith justifies. [For the Law does not preach the forgiveness of sin by grace.] For the Law cannot be performed unless the Holy Ghost be first received. It is, therefore, needful to maintain that the promise of Christ is necessary. But this cannot be received except by faith. Therefore, those who deny that faith justifies, teach nothing but the Law, both Christ and the Gospel being set aside.
71] But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification or preparation for justification, so that not faith itself is that through which we are accepted by God,…..but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. 72] 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."
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

So it is shown and confirmed in the Lutheran Confessions that Reconciliation between God and man is through faith in Christ's Atonement alone and thus Reconciliation and the Atonement are not the same. The whole unbelieving world stands and remains under the Law while they reject Christ. It is only those God has called to faith in Christ who die to sin, die to the Law and are raised again to life in Christ to live under Grace, who are reconciled to God.

31] Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered us in the promise of the Gospel.
http://www.bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P said...

I refer to Kittel & Friedrich's Theological Dictionary of the NT, Abridged by G. Bromiley, p.41. I hope everyone has a copy of this resource.

Only St Paul in the NT uses this word. No one else does. Reconciliation is through the death of Jesus. Through Jesus' death God is bringing the world to himself.

Reconciliation is an ongoing action of God. Hence, in this sense, as Kittel and Friedrich says, reconciliation is parallel to justification.

So looking at JK's points, it is yet to be proven that Atonement and Justification are the same or equivalent actions of God.

This equating of Atonement with Justification is like the lens which UOJers have. It is circular or question begging. They assume what is to be proven and so when they look for proofs, they think that they have established the case.

This is coercing the meaning of atonement and justification to be one and the same thing. This equivocation leads to abysmal state of affairs.

So JK says I always thought the payment for the world's sins was reconciliation. It clears the way for faith...

If I could ask you for the moment to withhold your presuppositions and test our hypothesis you can understand better the situation.

First before deciding that payment for the world's sins is reconciliation, how is reconciliation used Biblically speaking. Because if you do not stop, you will always see justification as atonement and vice versa. You will see what you like to see.

The atonement is a reconciling act of God but there are aspects to this. The atonement is the basis and is his reconciling action. The atonement is complete, Jesus paid all sins in full but that does not mean that everyone already enjoys or is availing of this payment. Only when this is avail of is a man constituted to be justified.

Through the Means of Grace, God is causing people to avail of this payment, by creating faith. The means may be resisted but only when faith is present does the person get reconciled to God. This is clear and sensible from Scripture.

So reconciliation is still ongoing.

SO Joe, I go back to the atheist - you said that this person has been forgiven by God. Notice that the atheist I mentioned rejects God and rejects Christ. When you say that this fellow has already been forgiven by God, you kick the words of Jesus who said to the Jews - If you do not believe I am he (the one who pays for your sins, the messiah), you will die in your sins.

The guy is still in his sins, so you got God saying that the atheist is already forgiven while he is still in unbelief, in rejection of God and of Christ, which Jesus says will die in his sins. Thus indeed by this you then believe that man is justified, forgiven, born again with out faith. This overthrows the sensibility of the Christian faith.



LPC

L P said...

BTW
.Brett...I don't have the time or the patience to wade through everything you copy and paste. I will say much of what you paste has UOJ in it...you just deny it and that's OK. I just don't agree with your view of it all.

How come no time? Is this saying - you can say whatever you want to say, I am not listening? A way of saying - don't try to change my opinion with facts?

LPC.

L P said...

Hi Church Lady,

I enjoyed the Brenz article but I changed computer and I no longer have the pointer to it. It was a wonderful read and I recall very pastoral too.

Let me know if you still have the URL page.

Thanks,

LPC

LutherRocks said...

'The guy is still in his sins, so you got God saying that the atheist is already forgiven while he is still in unbelief, in rejection of God and of Christ, which Jesus says will die in his sins. Thus indeed by this you then believe that man is justified, forgiven, born again with out faith. This overthrows the sensibility of the Christian faith."

LPC - I did not say what you have concluded...if I mislead you may I clarify...

Your atheist friend's sins have been atoned for, forgiven, accounted for all in a forensic objective sense. This is UOJ; as in a declaration; as was God's promise to Abraham. A promise is also a declaration. A promise that God made good on. This is the essence of GRACE.

He is forgiven, justified and made new in the personal sense (subjective) through faith. Circular sums up God in a lot of ways, doesn't it?

All the more tragic when the atheist walks away from all of this...truly the damnable sin...the sin against the Holy Spirit.

GRACE alone! FAITH alone! WORD alone!

Peace!
Joe

Brett Meyer said...

Now that's the Joe Krohn I know.

You have no Scriptural or Confessional proof for the claims you make against God.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

L P said...

Joe

Your atheist friend's sins have been atoned for, forgiven, accounted for all in a forensic objective sense. This is UOJ; as in a declaration; as was God's promise to Abraham. A promise is also a declaration. A promise that God made good on. This is the essence of GRACE

This is where you mix categories and hence find whatever you are looking for.

You said my atheist friend's sins have been atoned for. Then you talked on and said his sins are forgiven. Do you not see how you are mixing atonement with justification which is by BoC language forgiveness? Do you not see that this is a category mistake?

So for UOJ God declares the atheist already forgiven while he is still in the state of unbelief. Hence God declares the atheist justified in right standing with Him while he still rejects Jesus. Do you not see how you make God the Father betray Christ when he says to the Jews - you will die in your sins if you do not believe I am He?

Also it is interesting your use of Article 9 of SD, II to support UOJ. To you believe this is prima facie evidence for UOJ? Do you consider this the best argument supporting UOJ?

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

KJV John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Thus, UOJ is defeated.

Brigitte said...

I think in essence we all mean the same thing. We are just talking about how we talk about it, which is not unimportant. Nobody here thinks, not Walther and Pieper either, that your proverbial atheist is "saved", to used that word. You have to grant that.

I wonder what the practical implications are? We should make a list of how "faith" is used correctly and incorrectly. Would that make us happy?

If Walther or Pieper did not say it quite correctly, we can deal with that.

I have the Walther quote here in full:

"Everything has already been done; you are already redeemed; you have already been made righteous before God; you have already been saved. You therefore do not have to do anything to redeem yourself; you do not have to reconcile God to yourself; you do not have to earn your salvation. Only believe that Christ, the Son of God, has done all this in your stead; and by means of this faith you are a participant in this salvation. Being saved by faith means; saved through the righteousness of Another, namely Christ, whose righteousness becomes man's personal possession."

When he says, you have already been made righteous and saved, he means your sins are taken care of, or you would prefer the word "atoned for". That's all he means.

Does the "believe" and "faith" in this passage seem just tacked on? I don't think so.

But I do wonder whether all this affects the way we invite people to trust in Christ. We are against decision theology. We are for confessing faith. It's just that people can't decide to have the faith we would like to see them confess.... So we talk about Christ and not faith. The Spirit calls by the gospel.

Someone joked with me the other day: "Why can't Lutherans do any mission work?" -- "Somebody might make a 'decision' for Christ".

Is this what we are talking about?

Brett Meyer said...

The statement was made that, "I think in essence we all mean the same thing."

This is not true.

Scripture: Christ died and paid for the sins of the whole world.
UOJ: Christ died and paid for the sins of the whole world and in order to do that the whole worlds sins were taken off of them and placed on Christ leaving the whole world without sin, guiltless and innocent in God's sight.

Scripture: Outside of Christ man remains under God's wrath and condemnation, under the Law, outside of Grace, dead in sins.
UOJ: Following Christ's payment for sins man is under God's wrath and condemnation, under the Law and also God is at peace with man as man stands guiltless and innocent because Christ removed the whole worlds sin, the world is also under God's Grace having been forgiven of all sin, justified and declared righteous. Man is both under Grace and under the Law.

Scripture: The righteousness of Christ is in Christ and never apart from Christ.
UOJ: The righteousness of Christ has been given to the whole world in order that their sins are forgiven even while they are outside of Christ and at war with God.

Scripture: The Holy Spirit works through the Means of Grace to work contrition over sin and faith in the Atonement of Christ so that believing in the Promise a man is declared justified by the righteousness of Christ.
UOJ: God has declared the whole world to have Christ's righteousness for the forgivness of sin, declared justified and at peace with God without and before the Means of Grace and the Holy Spirit's faith.

Scripture: Christ died and paid for all sins even the sin of unbelief which the whole world was born with.
UOJ: Christ died, paying for all sins and forgives the whole world of thier sins except the sin of unbelief.

Scripture: Through the Means of Grace the Holy Spirit works faith that obtains Christ as Mediator and receives His righteousness for the forgiveness of sins, justification and eternal life - immediately and not as a process.
UOJ: The whole world is declared by God's divine verdict to be sinless, righteous and justified in Christ but they aren't and will be condemned to Hell for eternity unless God also works faith in them to believe that he already declared them innocent, sinless, righteous in Christ and justified.

Scripture: Having Christ's righteousness through faith, by grace, is justification, the forgiveness of sins and salvation.
UOJ: Having Christ's righteousness before faith, being justified and forgiven of all sin is to remain under God's wrath and condemnation at the same time that they're under God's grace and peace.

Scripture: Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit by which a man dies to sin, is raised again to life in Christ: by which a man is born again from under the Law to live under Grace: by which God makes of an unjust(ified) man a just(ified) man.
UOJ: Faith is nothing but an open hand accepting what was already declared to be true. It doesn't do anything in man, is not a change in man, does not change man. If faith alone justifies a man then it's a work of man and synergistic.

Scripture: Faith is Christ's righteousness given to man by grace through the Means of Grace with which he clings to God's promises in Christ.
UOJ: Faith is not the righteousness of Christ. If faith does nothing but accept what's already true it's of the Holy Spirit. If it justifies a man it is a work of man and condemned.

Scripture: Justification is instantaneous and not a process.
UOJ: Justification is a process by which men are generally justified and personally justified. But there are not two justifications only one. The first justification really happened and the second only believes in the first. The first is not true or complete until the second is accepted.

Brett Meyer said...

Also

Scripture: The Gospel is the promise of the remissions of sins, the promise of reconciliation with God, through faith that Christ died and paid for all sin.
UOJ: The gospel is the declaration that your sins are fogiven, you already stand righteous in God's sight, you have been declared sinless and guiltless by the body and blood of Christ.

Scripture: Anyone who receives Christ's body and blood in the Sacrament of Holy Communion without faith is condemned.
UOJ: The whole unbelieving world has received Christ's body and blood without faith for the forgiveness of thier sins and they are justified and righteous by God's divine verdict.

Scripture: without faith in Christ you remain under God's wrath and condemnation. Through faith in Christ you are in Him and He in you, you have Christ's righteousness for the forgiveness of all your sins, you are fully justified, righteous and saved eternally.
UOJ: without faith in Christ you are by God's divine verdict, righteous, guiltless, justified, forgiven of all sin, and saved. You are also condemned and under God's wrath at the same time and will be damned if you don't believe you are righteous, guiltless, justified and saved. With faith (UOJ's faith) in Christ you remain as you were before faith only now it's really really yours like it was before you had faith.

Brett Meyer said...

Scripture: Those God has predestinated he also called, and those he called he also justified, and those he justified he also glorified. Thus the doctrine of Election. Christ died and paid for the sins of the whole world. God would have all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Only those God calls receive faith, by the grace of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament alone.
UOJ: God has called the whole unbelieving world because when Christ died God removed the sins from the whole world and declared them justified, righteous and saved without faith. UOJ destroyes the doctrine of Election.

Scripture: Only those who God calls to faith in Christ receive the adoption of sons and are righteous, justified and saved. Only children of God are heirs to Christ's righteousness and to eternal life.
UOJ: The whole world has been received into sonship through the distribution of Christ's righteousness for the forgiveness of their sins. All unbelievers have been declared children of God and heirs. The dead and decaying who remain under the Law by rejecting the Mediator have been given the perfect righteousness and are embraced by God as His own.

Scripture: God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is Omnipotent - all powerful and perfect.
UOJ: God makes declarations that are not true. God is circular. God declares something to be true and then if you don't believe it he tells you it's not true. Christ's righteousness does not wash the sin of unblief away. The way Christians in the Old Testament were forgiven of sins and saved eternally is not the same way Christians are forgiven and saved after Christ died.

Scripture: Christ's Word is perfectly clear and concise in all points especially in the central doctrine of Christian faith - Justification by faith alone.
UOJ: Christ's Word is grey, difficult to understand with mysterious contradictions. When we finally see the contradictions then we can know it is truly God's Word because his wisdom is not ours.

Scripture: Only those who with the Holy Spirit's faith obtain Christ as Mediator receive the forgiveness of sins unto salvation. Those who teach another gospel are condemned.
UOJ: The whole world is forgiven except those who reject Objective Justification and declare that Justification is by faith alone.

LutherRocks said...

And here is the Brett I know:

"UOJ: without faith in Christ you are by God's divine verdict, righteous, guiltless, justified, forgiven of all sin, and saved. You are also condemned and under God's wrath at the same time and will be damned if you don't believe you are righteous, guiltless, justified and saved. With faith (UOJ's faith) in Christ you remain as you were before faith only now it's really really yours like it was before you had faith. "

One more time (with feeling!)...

Christ's death on the cross and resurrection took away the sin of the world. The effect of this is forgiveness of sins in a forensic sense; justified. NOT SAVED!!! That is your interpretation. It is not mine as you will never find a place where I said that or anyone else for that matter. You are made righteous and justified personally through faith and therefore saved. Whether you believe your sins are forgiven or not does not change the fact that they are atoned for; forgiven. Faith take hold of the forgiveness and makes it your own. It is not yours before faith, ever.

JK

WELS church lady said...

Hi LP! Here is the linl to the two Brenz papers. http://www.studiumexcitare.com

Studium Excitare is part of Martin Luther College. Once you make it to the site, click on issues #9 for Where Faith Comes From(Brenz sermon) and issue#11 for Defense Of Brenz.(Brenz pointing out the errors of Schwenckfeld)

In Christ,
from WELS church lady(sic)

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, the doctrine of UOJ is man made as you've confessed before (see your quotes below) and combined with your unwillingness to study the Lutheran Confessions and thereby see that God's Words have specific meanings you will continue to equate the Atonement and Justification, excuse the massive contradictions UOJ creates and remain condemned by God because of your false confession (Galations 1).

Brett,
You have taken my statements out of context. Furthermore you have taken them and tried to put them in
a different context. Let me rephrase… The Gospel was meant to be simple; so simple a child can
understand it. Period. End of story. UOJ is man's way of describing something that God has done and thus creating a doctrine. This is a slippery slope evidenced by all the discussion in this thread. By man's words, this is getting mucked up. God didn't intend for it to get mucked up. I gave the simple example of Jesus forgiving His executioners. They were forgiven regardless of faith or lack thereof of which I am of the opinion. Funny you looked right past that. I believe Lutheran doctrine assumes UOJ, therefore whatever has been written is cryptic within this context and not too much should be read into it. You think too darn hard, man.
JK
February 20, 2009 1:56 PM

Brett,
God willing, I have grandchildren that will be born. Are you saying that the sins they will commit are not already forgiven? I thought God's love was unconditional.
JK
February 24, 2009 11:22 AM
http://bailingwater.blogspot.com/2009/02/wels-woes.html

Brett Meyer said...

Joe Krohn states, NOT SAVED!!! That is your interpretation. It is not mine as you will never find a place where I said that or anyone else for that matter.

WELS District President Pastor Jon Buchholz at the 2005 WELS Convention, "The forgiveness acquired by Jesus for all at the cross gives us confessional Lutherans, among all the church bodies of the world, the highest motivation to share our Savior. In contrast to the “Jesus Saves” churches, we don’t preach a salvation that is incomplete and just waiting for the sinner to do something to complete the transaction. We proclaim boldly, “Jesus Saved,” past tense, finished, certain. We don’t leave God’s people twisting in an ambiguous morality asking, “What would Jesus do (WWJD)?” We proclaim what Jesus did to rescue sinners, and we rejoice that God counts every Christian work of faith done in the righteousness of Christ as good. We offer comfort to troubled sinners, the assurance, not the mere possibility, of salvation."
Page 9
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BuchholzJustification2_0.rtf

L P said...

LutherRocks,

As far as I can read in the internet, I have never seen anyone UOJ proponent used SD II of the BoC to support UOJ. I only heard it from you.

There is a reason for that Joe.

Did you notice when you quoted #9 the first line of that article?
It mentions the righteousness OF FAITH? Hence by definition #9 does not speak of an objective justification that is devoid or of no reference to faith.

It is a blunder and I say that not to put people down. I have no interest and it does not give me any joy. I am too old for nonsense.

I say that to alert you as a form of concern to my fellow man.

The task is quite simple - in order to show there is a justification, the declaring of righteousness by God on people that has no reference to faith or anything at all they should do the following:

1. Give Biblical evidence wherein it can be tested by exegesis.
2. Add additional warrant from the BoC that the exegesis is sound.

There is no point the UOJ speaking about subjective justification for UOJ people and JBFA people agree on this already!

The contention is, if there is an objective justification that us universal. This is the task at hand.

Since JBFA people are in the negative on this, then the work is on the UOJ fence, since they are the one on the positive.

It might seem unfair that the UOJ needs to do more work to illustrate the existence of a universal objective justification. However, it cannot be helped since they are in the affirmative.

LPC

L P said...

Brigitte,

Nobody here thinks, not Walther and Pieper either, that your proverbial atheist is "saved", to used that word. You have to grant that.

Not true. Justification and being saved is the same thing. As per UOJ that atheist has been forgiven already and has been justified even before he was born or even before he believes.

This is not a war on mere words.

Does it have practical effect. Absolutely, ideas have consequences!

I see UOJ in the way they articulate it to me even in Pr Jay Webber's attempt to present it well, that there is sophistry in the way it proves it.

The BoC speaks a lot about sophistry. The Lutherans attacked RC for their sophistry and now Lutherans of UOJ are doing the same.

If you believe that by default this atheist is already justified, declared righteous and is forgiven of his sins even before he was born, even now that he is unbelief, then what effect is it for him to believe? It affects nothing. It does not change anything.

This is the reason why UOJ Lutherans can go gaga with the pope they just believe he is already justified and saved already the Pope just does not believe it yet.

Universalism is the ultimate good news, and by me saying that, I do not mean to compliment it.

LPC

LutherRocks said...

I have the assurance of forgiveness and salvation because my faith rests on the completed work of Christ. Neither you or Satan can pluck me from Jesus hand. How dare you call me condemned. You sir, need to watch the sinking sand you walk on.

May you find peace. I will no longer engage you. Your behavior is of the devil.

Joe

Brett Meyer said...

WELS DP Pastor Jon Buchholz, "God’s objective justification not only saved us. It still empowers us for our mission and ministry."

http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BuchholzJustification2_0.rtf

Interestingly it was WELS DP Pastor Buchholz' essay which, in a contradictory flair, declared that God doesn't say what UOJ says He said.

Those quotes seem to slip right by the UOJ enthusiasts.

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, the apostle Paul said it first when he wrote the letter to the Galations.

Galations 1:6-9, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

L P said...

Brigitte,

I am sorry I neglected your question:
Someone joked with me the other day: "Why can't Lutherans do any mission work?" -- "Somebody might make a 'decision' for Christ".

Is this what we are talking about?


1. As to Lutherans not doing mission work: well IMHO if Lutherans believe in UOJ then Law and Gospel are out of whack. The Law has no more teeth. It has nothing to accuse because what the hey? By UOJ you are already forgiven before you were born and before you could have faith. If on the other hand Lutherans assert JBFA then they would be busy with the Means of Grace - preaching the Word, administering the Sacraments.

2. As to decision for Christ. No, this is not what we are talking about but rather we should set out properly what saving faith is as a gift of God. In other words, don't try to improve on Scripture and on what the BoC elaborates. It is properly setting forward the Law and then the Gospel. During the time of the BoC there was already various takes on faith etc. What did the BoC do? The writers did not condemn or pooh poohed faith rather they set it forward as to what this faith is.

I have a new post on Chemnitz which I got from Dr. Ichabod. This quote is very very profitable. See the next post.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

I encourage the Anticonfessionals to lay aside their UOJ and study the writings of Chemnitz. He studied under Luther and Melanchthon and had the best traits of both.

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, study the issue of Christ's righteousness. The doctrine of UOJ has muddled the meaning of Justification, Reconciliation and Atonement. But it hasn't done, and couldn't do, the same with Christ's righteousness. In this you will, by the Grace and Mercy of God, find the failing of UOJ which leads to it's complete collapse in everything else. UOJ distributes it before faith and Christ in Scripture never does without faith and subsequently never does the BOC.

I wish you no harm but by the grace and abundant mercy of God I pray that you will turn from the doctrine of UOJ to Justification by Faith alone if it be God's will.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

David Cochrane said...

Gregory Jackson,

I have been curious about some things about an "Online Lutheran Church" How does one receive the body and blood of Jesus over the internet? How does one present his or her newborn baby for baptism? Marriage? Funerals?

Does that person then go to a so called Lutheran Church that is despised as false by the pastor of this "Online Lutheran Church?"

Can an "Online Lutheran Church" truly be confessional? And since it appears to not be confessional in the sense none of the above can happen shall the pastor of it be trusted in his judgements against others. One cannot despise the body of Christ without also despising the Christ.

Brett Meyer said...

David, I'm a member of Pastor Jackson's Bethany Lutheran Church. Each family that attends the services either the live broadcast or replaying the recording has the bread and wine set for providing communion to themselves and thier families. Pastor Jackson follows the TLH order for Communion service. He consecrates the elements of Holy Communion for those with him and for those attending in their homes around the world. It is rightly distributed. It is my responsibility as head of my household to ensure that those who I distribute Christ's body and blood to understand the nature and purpose of Holy Communion and that it's taken in a confession of faith in Christ alone. This happens in each home. You seem to be saying that Christ's Word is not effective over the phone wires or when purely taught and heard over the internet? Is this true?

Bethany hasn't been blessed with the addition of a new soul presented to Christ but when this happens the child can be baptized where Pastor Jackson is or if the child is in a remote location it can be baptized by it's father or mother. Baptism through the pure Word and water is effective by anyone who administers it. Are you saying that this isn't true?

Marriage and funerals are fairly self explanatory and mixed with you calling my pastor only by his first and last name means that you only wish to deride him.

Unless you can show that Pastor Jackson teaches false doctrine in regards to Christ's pure Word and the right distribution of the Sacraments then it is you who despises the body of Christ.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

David Cochrane said...

Confessional Lutherans are keen on closed communion. How does one have closed communion in an online Lutheran Church?

Brett Meyer said...

David, will you acknowldege that what I stated concerning your earlier accusations is correct?

To ignore the answers I provided to your first attempt at disparaging Pastor Jackson and move to your next attempt is to strip away any possibility that your questions were asked in honest curiosity and expose your heart.

David Cochrane said...

Mr Meyer,

The original question was directed at him not you. Since he has not answered we can communicate if you wish.

To post to him by first and last name can not be considered derision. He posts to blogs with first and last name not Pastor Jackson so responding to him with first and last name is to follow suit.

I have known many pastors throughout the years and not once have they responded to being addressed by first and last name as dirision. Many have mentioned it is refreshing to be called by first name instead of his title. So no derision meant but it has been received which is unfortunate.

Since you wish to answer the questions: How does one, over the internet, ensure all those participating are properly instructed. In addition can we ensure that there are no drunken frat boys, for example, listening in and insulting the Sacrament? No. Now since Confessional Lutherans are keen on closed communion one cannot consider what happens over the internet would be a Confessional Lutheran Sacrament.

Many people stand outside the church and hurl stones at the "hypocrites" who are members. They will self righteously proclaim themselves as the sole harbour of true doctrine and practice. To do that is to state that one does not love the brethren. And one cannot hate the brethren and love the Christ.

God's peace. †

Brett Meyer said...

David, you avoided my question. In your initial post to Pastor Jackson you state, "Can an "Online Lutheran Church" truly be confessional? And since it appears to not be confessional in the sense none of the above can happen shall the pastor of it be trusted in his judgements against others. One cannot despise the body of Christ without also despising the Christ."

I answered your questions of my own accord and ask that you respond with agreement or reject them and hopefully state why before moving to another question. As it stands I reject your statement, copied and highlighted, as it infers that the Word is not supremely efficacious.

You also state, "Many people (you intend that Pastor Jackson and those attending his services are in this catagory?) stand outside the church and hurl stones at the "hypocrites" who are members. (BM-these "hypocrites" are well fed by (W)ELS laity and clergy, uncorrected and they remain in fellowship with what you might call the "faithful" - I find that hypocritical) They will self righteously proclaim themselves as the sole harbour of true doctrine and practice.(BM-this is not the case as we have always proclaimed that Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions are the primary harbingers of true doctrine and practice and others also in as much as they are faithful to both) To do that is to state that one does not love the brethren.(BM-is to preach the Law to those in gross doctrinal error a show of hate or of love?) And one cannot hate the brethren and love the Christ. (BM-indeed point taken and returned to you. One cannot remain in fellowship with false teachers and those who promote such and be with Christ. You cannot drink the cup of devils and the cup of the Lord.)

Brett Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L P said...

Hi D.C.

You raise a very interesting question in regards to the practice of closed communion.

I am not sure if there is a specification in the BoC as to how to implement closed communion, though. Most practices are based on what is wise and proper or what is preferable or not preferable.

Is it not the case that at the end of the day, it is the HS who actually does the fencing off of the Lord's Supper?

I say this for in a face to face worship service, the pastor does not actually know for sure the faith of the communicant. So the same is true for an online worship service (I should think). So implementation of closed communion is neither here nor there.

The reason I say the HS is the one who actually police the bread and the cup because the Word has already pronounced curses to people who do not distinguish the body and blood of the Lord. Similarly there is a blessing to those who take it worthily as stated already in the Word.

Is this a question on how effective one implements closed communion in online vs non-online situations?

LPC

David Cochrane said...

St Lito,

It is true that in the BOC we do not see a closed communion mandate. I was referring to those who call themselves confessional are quite fond of closed or at least close communion.

What is more apparant is the impossibility of pastoral care at a long distance. One has no idea if the communicant is a penitent sinner or living in open rebellion. That is difficult in close proximity let alone over hundreds or thousands of miles.

In addition I am not sure setting oneself up as the only true teacher in all of the USA is gathering or scattering the sheep. If I had a dollar for every Enthusiast to make that claim it could keep us in beer and brats for years to come. If one was to be a caring pastor he would assist the persons a long distance away in finding local fellowship. But when one is straining at gnats one would not find such a fellowship for noone would measure up.

Mr Meyer, You seem indeed to be comfortable with the arrangement. I dont blame you. Trying to drag myself out of the house on Sunday is getting harder and harder. It is tempting to turn on the computer, listen to an online sermon and bible study. And read the words of institution to ourselves and call it good. Then be at peace with this arrangement. †

Brett Meyer said...

David, you make some funny assumptions. I left the WELS when Pastor Mark Schewe of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Moines, WA USA had the women read the liturgy to the congregation. Following a month of contending with him and the Elders over this issue (of which I was one at the time) they told me that God's Word only teaches when the Pastor reads it and not when the women read it so the role of women in the church was not violated.

My family then attended an ELS church for a period of 3-4months while they debated the ELS Office of Public Ministry issue. They sided with the (W)ELS on that issue and kissed the mini Antichrist pope of the ELS as he removed a called pastor from his divine call of his own accord, placing the congregation under threat.

We then attended two ex-ELS churches. For a period of 1.5 years while we discussed the only glaring false doctrine that they held to which was UOJ. They would not agree to Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions on the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone so we left just prior to reaching out to Pastor Jackson's Bethany Lutheran Church.

HTLS was 30 miles one way from my home.
The ELS church was 60 miles one way from my home.
The two other ELS churches that had left the ELS over the PMW fiasco were 180 miles one way from my home in Oregon state.

You have a bone to pick and so will unlikely understand what my family and I have gone through. You persecute Christ's church with your statements and you should be ashamed and not at all at peace with your actions and the condition of your heart. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.