Saturday, February 7, 2009

WELS woes

It seems the financial crisis has hit the WELS between the eyes. Drastic budget cuts are necessary and it will be telling for all as to what gets cut.

As financial gifts are pulled and school enrollments continue to drop the WELS staggers in response. Someone recently told me that the WELS will not exist in the way that we have known it in five years.

The synod president struggles to meet budget yet parish services calls a new consultant as the financial crisis unraveled.

Think back to almost two years ago when Rev. Mark Schoeder presented a vision for the WELS titled:
Reclaim the MissionA proposal to foster renewed unity in purpose and direction in WELS
Mark Schroeder May 16, 2007

Look back at this document and see if things are changing....

-----------------
5B. Re-visit synodical salaries and staffing
5B-1 Since many qualified lay people would desire to serve in the church if the opportunity were given, the synod shall adopt a policy that states that, as a general rule, lay employees of the synod will be compensated at roughly the same levels as called administrative workers, not at rates dictated by the secular market place.
5B-2 The salary of the president should be established by the synod in convention, not by the Synodical Council.
5B-3 We shall publish all salaries or salary ranges for all synodical workers; we shall publish regularly the number of positions employed in the administrative areas of the synod.
5B-4 We shall explore whether outsourcing work is an economical alternative to permanent staffing.
5C. Incorporate and coordinate para-synodical efforts into the overall priorities of the synod

157 comments:

Anonymous said...

I for one am waiting to see how the budgetary problems affect our worker training schools. As a parent of an LPS child, I wonder how staff in Watertown will be affected and how much tuition will rise next year. We need to pray that the Lord will bless our leaders with wisdom in order to deal with these challenges.

Bruce Church said...

And guess what! The recession is going to get worse. Read this from Spiegel:

MORE TROUBLE AHEAD
Europe's New Wave of Toxic Debt

By Carol Matlack
A decade of heavy borrowing has lofted euro zone debt to $11 trillion, and it's starting to come due just when companies are strapped for cash. Rising defaults could send shock waves through global markets.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,605887,00.html

Benjamin Tomczak said...

The good news is that despite the challenges, we've managed to eliminate about 30% of the Synodical debt -- it's been reduced from $22.4 to about $16.2 million.

Also, the Ad Hoc Commission -- which was tasked to study some of these issues, start the discussion among the Districts and bring a report of recommendations and encouragements to this summer's convention -- is preparing it's final report.

Despite our smallness, it's still a big ship that turns slowly -- frustratingly slow. We're also having to deal with the reality that our President is not an autocrat who can dictate policy and everything happens according to his whim. That's just not how we're set up -- for better and for worse.

We continue to lay things before the Lord of the Church and trust in His confidence, knowing that the Church can never be overcome!

Pr. Benjamin Tomczak

PS
As of right now, LPS is offering a $200 discount to all new students who ask for it. MLS is reducing tuition by 10% for the 2009-2010 school year. The goal is to increase revenue by increasing enrollment, not fees.

Anonymous said...

This just shows the lack of forward thinking by the 2007 Synodical Conference.

When presented by long term financial challenges (yes, there was evidence in 2007 of major problems), instead of making hard choices, a "wait and see" attitude was taken.

Instead, "feel good" votes were made, and the issue was pushed under the rug.

Now, there is news that the 2.5 million dollar Canadian gift had to be rescinded due to the crashing Canadian Market. It is also noted that the Schwann Foundation will not be able to give as much money this year.

Over the past decade or so WELS has increasingly relied on large endowments, and has made long term committments on sources that can often fluctuate dramatically.

I predict no major changes to the course of WELS at the 2009 Synodical conference. Changes will only be made once the treaury runs dry. Then it will be mass panic and accusations of "Why didn't we know ? "

Anonymous said...

A. Sell the Mequon (seminary) property, easily 100 million, moved the operation to New Ulm, plenty of room there (cut 15 positions).

B. Close MLS, send operation to Watertown, plenty of room. Saginaw property worthless but you save operating costs and you can cut about 25 positions.

Anonymous said...

And if I can presume to add to the list:

C: Close MLC and move the whole operation to WLC in Milwaukee, cut about 60 more positions.

Anonymous said...

Training of the headquarters staff has already been outsourced to Trinity in Deerfield, Fuller Seminary, and Willow Creek Community Church. Has that saved money?

Bespoke

Anonymous said...

Some of you who freqent this blog are spiritually very sick. To the others, thank you for words that are meant to build up and not tear down. I ask those who are making cynical and sarcastic and blatantly coarse comments to check their sinful attitudes. To make light of and delight in the Lord's work being damaged alongside a faltering economy? (To throw crass charges on ministries based not on the Word but on personal feelings? That's the ultimate scwaermer modus operendi). May God forgive you for such a spirit.
Say what you will about the WELS, but it is a place where Law and Gospel are proclaimed. Through our pulpits and altars the Holy Spirit is at work. I thought it was only the devil that cackled when Christ's message is lessened in any manner. If you have such hardened hearts about the WELS either find another church body or start your own. If not, then pray for God's work to go forward among those who are your brothers and sisters inside your congregation and synod. This tearing down of the Lord's work needs to stop. And those who are tearing down need to ask for forgiveness, and the wonder is that it is always there for those who ask. May God continue to share his Word through the WELS, as he has in the past, for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

WELS rule #1.

Never criticize the synod.

Anonymous said...

WELS Haters Rule #1: Use perceived WELS rule #1 when the law cuts to the heart...it makes me feel better about myself.

Anonymous said...

WELS rule #2.

Never spell-check.

Anonymous said...

WELS Hater's rule #2: When their points of debate are proven to be shallow and baseless, when they are proven to be wrong or proven to not be as knowledgeable about the issues as they think they are, or when they feel threatened, accuse WELS members and their clergy of poor spelling.

dk said...

Look folks,

I know I'll draw some heat for this remark (particularly from folks who accuse readers of being spiritually sick) but I'll say it anyway-- I won't hide behind anonymity either.

I think the WELS' problems, theological and financial, are a result of a misguided belief of what a synod is. The WELS thinks about itself as one big church, with an internal hierarchy much like the Roman Catholic Church. While the WELS is made of up of individual members of the Invisible Church the WELS is not, in fact, a tangible manifestation of the Invisible Church. Real Apostolic succession--The actual One True Church-- is built by faithful individuals, not any material organization.

If the WELS superstructure existed solely to train clergy, coordinate missions, and organize Lutheran education--leaving actual preaching and teaching to the Pastors we might find all the money problems disappear.

The WELS' problems can be accurately compared to the problems in Washington DC. Centralization beyond what's prudent. Too much Pork. Too much procedure.

The above anon comments left A B C etc. recommendations for how to save the WELS financially. I'd be curious to know what people think of my list:

A. Root up and throw out enthusiast churches, pastors and administrators. Saves the WELS theologically and it save some $$ too.

B. End all expenditures that do not relate to Clergy eduction or missions.

C. Sell WELS headquarters at 2929 N Mayfair. That's an valuable building. Buy a few modified double wide trailers and buy an acre of farmland. That'd be perfectly adequate.

Anonymous said...

Re: C-- I think it has been considered. Here's some discussion about it:

http://together.wels.net/2008/2/4

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?process&procID=1518&cuQA_qaID=1&cuTopic_topicID=198&cuItem_itemID=16633

Anonymous said...

I think this budget crisis could provide an opportunity for the WELS. CMO is relatively stable year after year. I just read that even in the bad economy, the 2009 subscriptions are about the same as 2008. So if we could just learn not to rely on trust money (like Schwann), we'd be fine. Granted, that would take some drastic weaning back, but maybe some pruning is a good thing. Then, when the Schwann Foundation re-ups it's always generous gifts, that money could be given in block grants to fund one-time operations (a building project, funding to run a three year ministry, etc.). That way the synod isn't crippled every time the economy is hurting and those grant monies temporarily dry up. Learn to live on CMO, WELS, and you'll be fine!

Anonymous said...

We have to stop this drowning in red ink because if the good ship WELS sinks, Lutheranism is doomed.

California on my mind said...

Anonymous from 10:31am:

I want to encourage you to think "outside the box" on this. Confessional Lutheranism is never doomed--if the Lord in his wisdom decides to stifle his work being done through the WELS, he will make sure it's done somewhere else by someone else. His Word will never return void. There are times when it may be good and beneficial for us to realize it's not up to us--but it's up to our Savior to make sure his Word is preserved and proclaimed.

Anonymous said...

WELS sank when it adopted the false gospel of Universal Objective Justification which denies the work of the Holy Spirit, destroys God's faith worked in Christians through Word and Sacrament alone, destroys the doctrine of election, eliminates the Law and turns the Gospel into law. Since they've thrown out the central doctrine of Christian faith - Justification by faith alone - they are not Christian and their future will reflect that truth.

Anonymous said...

Ask any WELS pastor if they teach that a man is saved apart from faith, and you'll find that every time they will answer "no." If they answered "yes" they would be going against Sola Gratia, Sola Fides, and Sola Scriptura, something they've been taught since college.

It's an incredible fallacy that's been floated around and serious charge to say that all WELS pastors teach that a man is justified apart from faith. The truth is, they don't.

Brett Meyer said...

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2617&collectionID=1161&contentID=76707&shortcutID=26388

2005 WELS Convention
Justification Expounded by Scripture by Pastor Jon Buchholz (currently WELS AZ/CA District President)

quotes:
"Jesus then offered his innocent life as the payment (atonement) for the guilt of sinners. In this great transaction that took place on the cross, God removed the guilt of the world’s sin and replaced it with the righteousness of Christ"

"Here is the legal or juridical nature of justification, revealed at Calvary. The change does not take place in the sinner. The change takes place in the relationship or the status between a sinner and God.2 A verdict has been rendered, which declares man free of sin and guilt, righteous in God’s sight, and worthy of eternal life, for Jesus’ sake"

"Since the term objective justification is found neither in Scripture nor in the Lutheran confessions, we can understand the term correctly as referring to the justification of the entire world."

"Scripture teaches universal reconciliation: "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus is the universal peacemaker. His sacrifice on the cross has removed the barrier of guilt and sin that separated humanity from God. Where the barrier of hostility has been removed, there is peace. In Christ and through Christ the status between God and the human race has changed from one of hostility to peace."

"Faith is simply trust. Faith must have an object, something that it holds onto. That object may or may not be real or true, but faith doesn’t make it real or true. Faith that holds onto something untrue is misplaced—no matter how sincere it may be. Christian faith appropriates and holds onto the reality of God’s justification completed in Christ. It does not cause justification or forgiveness to take place. It simply grasps God’s justification that is already a reality." Also, "Faith doesn’t bring anything into existence that doesn’t already exist. Faith doesn’t cause something to happen. Faith simply grasps—trusts—something that already is in place."

"God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our faith. But here’s where the caveat comes in: In Scripture, the word "forgive" is used almost exclusively in a personal, not a universal sense. The Bible doesn’t make the statement, "God has forgiven the world."

"God has forgiven all sins, but the unbeliever rejects God’s forgiveness." Again, this statement is true—and Luther employed similar terminology to press the point of Christ’s completed work of salvation.16 But we must also recognize that Scripture doesn’t speak this way."

"God has declared the entire world righteous." This statement is true, as we understand it to mean that God has rendered a verdict of "not-guilty" toward the entire world. It is also true—and must be taught—that the righteousness of Christ now stands in place of the world’s sin; this is the whole point of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. However, once again we’re wresting a term out of its usual context. In Scripture the term "righteous" usually refers to believers. "

WELS - This We Believe
http://www.wels.net/s3/uploaded/4421/eng.pdf

"4. We believe that God reconciled "the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them" (2 Corinthians 5:19). We believe that Jesus is "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The mercy and grace of God are all-embracing; the reconciliation through Christ is universal; the forgiveness of sins has been gained as an accomplished fact for all people. Because of the substitutionary work of Christ, God has justified all people, that is, God has declared them to be not guilty. This forms the firm, objective basis for the sinner's assurance of salvation."

WELS teaches Universalism at every chance. Those WELS pastors who still hold to Justification by Faith alone do not speak up to defend Christ's doctrine. For proof just listen to the WELS recording of the question and answer period following Pastor Buchholz' promotion of Universal Objective Justification.
http://streams.wels.net/video/?series=justification

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Gregory L. Jackson said...

WELS ran an "evangelism" campaign where the printed posters and ads said, "I am saved, just like you." The campaign was aimed at everyone, from the Eskimeaux to the Hindoo, from the Mooselimbs to the Boodists. That is Universalism, the nasty little secret behind UOJ, and the main component of their Emerging Church and Change strategy.

Anonymous said...

Oh poppycock y'all. There are no WELS pastors that will say all are saved end of story. We are all saved through faith and that's what any WELS clergy will say. Your arguement about UOJ is moot since faith and belief in Christ trumps all. It's like you guys are accusing WELS of solving an equation and purposely leaving out a variable (faith). This is nonsense. Do you not see the forest????

Anonymous said...

Brett and Greg,

Then answer me this: Is faith the cause of grace, or is grace the cause of faith? To put it another way, is faith the cause of forgiveness or is grace?

To me, faith has to have something to hold onto, and that is grace. That grace, of course, is most vividly displayed through Jesus sacrifice for sin on the cross. To what, then, is Jesus refering to when he says "It is finished?" That he merely took on the punishment that God demanded for sin? Or that he fulfilled God's promise made already at the Garden of Eden that he would send the world a Savior from their sins?

Also, how then do you explain Luther when he says, "God justifies solely through his grace"?

Again, the forgiveness of the world has to be there before anything else, or else faith has nothing to which it can grasp. Otherwise, it would appear that our faith is the cause of grace/forgiveness, rather than God's grace alone.

I look forward to your response.

Brett Meyer said...

2nd Anonymous, you error when you say, "To me…." because you follow your own wisdom with, "Again, the forgiveness of the world has to be there before anything else, or else faith has nothing to which it can grasp." Scripture teaches that Christ's righteousness is by grace (freely given by God and not of ourselves) through faith (created by the Holy Ghost by Word and Sacrament alone) in the Gospel promise. Apology to the Augsburg Confession: Justification, "But the Gospel freely offers, for Christ's sake, to us, who have been vanquished by sin and death, reconciliation which is received not by works, but by faith alone. This faith brings to God, not confidence in one's own merits, but only confidence in the promise, or the mercy promised in Christ. This special faith, therefore, by which an individual believes that for Christ's sake his sins are remitted him, and that for Christ's sake God is reconciled and propitious, obtains remission of sins and justifies us."

The WELS pastorate teach that the gospel is the declaration that the whole world has been forgiven by God and stand guiltless, righteous and justified in His sight. Scripture and the Confessions teach that the Gospel is the promise of forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ. That the righteousness that avails against the worlds sin is in Christ and never apart from him. 1 John 5:10-13, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record , that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Note that eternal life is in Christ, Christ's righteousness was not distributed for the worlds forgiveness outside of belief (faith) in Christ. Note here in Romans 3:22-26 that Christ is only our mediator or propitiation through faith, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." These verses stand in direct and eternal opposition to the false doctrine of Universal Objective Justification which has created a new, false gospel. God's wrath remains on all in the world who do not believe on His Son, 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."

All those who do not have Christ's righteousness are still under the law being carnaly minded, Romans 8:6-7, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Galatians 3:24-27, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Those who do not come to faith in Christ are dead in their sins and being under the law will suffer the punishment that their sins have earned, 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." WELS teaches that those who do not have faith are condemned to Hell for the sin of unbelief. That Christ paid for all of their sin except for the sin of unbelief because they falsely teach that unbelief is an unforgivable sin. But Scripture teaches that we are all born in sin and without faith (unbelief) and that Christ paid for all sin even the sin the whole world has been guilty of, the sin of unbelief, Romans 11:23, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again." Thus the landslide of error the WELS and all Lutheran synods fall into because of the false gospel of UOJ. Romans 4:13-14, "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to
Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:"

Luther says God justifies soley through His grace because justification by faith is a free gift to those God has called. 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." WELS doctrine of UOJ has the whole world being justified and thus glorified and called effectively destroying the Lutheran doctrine of election.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

My pastor teaches that all are forgiven but all are not saved. Is he teaching me incorrectly?

Anonymous said...

This was posted today on the WELS website from the office of the President...

"I will be with you, to the very end of the age." With those words, Jesus gave his sure and unchanging promise that he would be with his people as they carry out the mission he had just given them. Those words, as familiar as they are, need to fill our thoughts and hearts as our nation and the world struggle with growing economic problems, and as we address some of the most difficult financial challenges our synod has faced in many years.


This newsletter was begun 18 months ago as a way to provide information to you that is both current and accurate. As we've tried to share with you both the good news and the bad, the information has changed rapidly and repeatedly. In recent weeks, the latest information of one week became outdated by the next. Plans based on yesterday's information have had to be adjusted to fit today's new realities.

The new reality is, by any measure, very difficult. We are faced with the simple and painful fact that the level of funding available to support our synod's mission and ministry will be significantly less in the next two years than it is today. While support from congregations has been commendable and steady in these difficult times, expected support from other sources has dropped significantly. The blunt reality is that we will need to reduce our synod's budget by approximately $8 million, from about $38 million today to approximately $30 million in the next fiscal year. When the Synodical Council presents a balanced budget to the convention in July, which it is required by the constitution to do, significant reductions will need to be made in all areas of our synod's work.

All areas of ministry have been asked to determine and describe how reductions will be made and the impact they will have. We will begin by sharply reducing the administrative costs across the synod, including significant staffing reductions. We are working to identify one-time expenditures that can be delayed, reduced, or eliminated. From there, areas of ministry will also need to plan for significant reductions in the size and scope of their ministries. There is no sugar-coating this situation. The reductions will be deep and they will be painful; all areas will be affected. The current situation will require us to evaluate everything we do, determine our programs in keeping with expected funding and the synod's stated priorities, and focus on the essential programs that can be retained. We will need to do less than we are doing now; whatever we continue to do, we will need to do it better and more efficiently.

Our desire to proclaim the gospel to more and more people has led us to adopt ambitious plans across the synod. That is a noble goal, but we have often looked to support those plans on anticipated gifts from foundations, individuals, and other sources. We are now in a situation where some of those large gifts have been suddenly reduced. As commendable as our plans may have been, we simply do not have the financial means to continue at the same level as before.

Determining where those reductions in mission and ministry are to be made will be extremely difficult, since every current program is valuable and important. On the positive side of this, the cuts—while very difficult and painful—will require us to plan our mission and ministry at a level that is sustainable with the ongoing funding available to us. Faithful stewardship of God's resources demands that we plan in this way.

For that reason, the Synodical Council will not simply be wrestling with the short-term reduction in the budget. It will also be looking to the need for providing long-term stability to our finances. The Synodical Council will be considering at least one proposal to achieve this goal. This proposal for long-term stability will not enable us to avoid difficult cuts now, but it will seek to provide a new approach to budgeting and planning that will greatly reduce the likelihood of a similar situation occurring in the future. One main element of the proposal is a commitment to planning our ongoing ministry based primarily on our most stable source of funding (Congregation Mission Offerings) and using large donations from other sources for one-time or limited-time programs. All ideas to provide long-term financial stability will be explored.

Because the funding situation changed so suddenly, the Synodical Council will not be able to adopt a complete budget recommendation at its February meeting. Adoption of a final budget and the reductions it will require will need to wait until April, in order to give areas of ministry the time to adjust their plans and programs. For that reason, the Conference of Presidents has agreed that the Book of Reports and Memorials, which contains the budget recommendation and all other business that will be considered at the synod convention in July, will be published somewhat later than normal. The plan is to have the information in the Book of Reports and Memorials available electronically in time for district conferences in June. The published book will be in the hands of convention delegates a few weeks later.

In all of these challenges, we remain confident that God is using these circumstances somehow to bless his believers and to benefit his church. We continue to place our trust in him, and we pray that God would use these difficult times to unite us more closely with him and with each other.

Serving in Christ,
Mark Schroeder

Brett Meyer said...

Apology of the Augsburg Confession_
by Philip Melanchthon - What Is Justifying Faith?
"But the Fathers knew the promise concerning Christ that God for Christ's sake wished to remit sins. Therefore, since they understood that Christ would be the price for our sins, they knew that our works are not a price for so great a matter [could not pay so great a debt]. Accordingly, they received gratuitous mercy and remission of sins by faith, just as the saints in the New Testament."

Also from the Apology - That Faith In Christ Justifies, "Christ, in the last chapter of Luke 24, 47, commands that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name. For the Gospel convicts all men that they are under sin, that they all are subject to eternal wrath and death, and offers for Christ's sake remission of sin and justification, which is received by faith." also, "Christ, in the last chapter of Luke 24, 47, commands that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name. For the Gospel convicts all men that they are under sin, that they all are subject to eternal wrath and death, and offers for Christ's sake remission of sin and justification, which is received by faith"

Note here that in the Lutheran Confessions it is agreed with Scripture that no one is forgiven without faith and remission of sins which is justification received by faith. Now the Lutheran Synods declare that God's verdict at Christ's resurrection, or on the Cross when He said, "It is finished", is that the whole world is forgiven, justified and guilt free. But it isn't theirs until they believe it, have faith. This faith they say is just and empty hand that recieves what was already declared to be true (that the whole world is forgiven and justified). This makes God a liar because he says in Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." But the world having been forgiven (given Christ's righteousness) doesn't come to believe that God declared them forgiven then it isn't theirs and they die in their sins, 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."

Yes, you are being taught incorrectly. Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions are clear and consistent that no one is justified, forgiven and under grace unless they, by the Holy Ghost through Word and Sacrament alone, are brought to faith in the promise of forgiveness of sins in Christ and thereby receiving Christ as their mediator (propitiation).

It is argued that UOJ and the doctrine of Justification by faith alone are compatible since they both rely on faith. Study the Apology to the Augsburg Confession and you'll see that the faith of the Holy Ghost is that righteousness that makes of an unrighteous person a righteous person in Christ. The WELS version of faith is just an open hand accepting what was already declared to be true. When they are presented with the work of faith as declared by Scripture and the Confessions they will then cry that if faith does anything it becomes a work that we do and thus is to be condemned. So as long as it's a outstretched and withered hand it is God's doing but as soon as it does what Scripture declares it's condemned as a work of man.
From the Apology - That Faith In Christ Justifies, "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."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett

Your quotes from the Confessions are accurate but you are missing the point. The confessors were upholding the Bible's teaching of justification by faith against the Romanist teaching of justification by works, not as you assert objective justification. Objective justification doesn't negate justification by faith. It is the affirmation that Jesus Christ did all that was necessary to atone for the sins of the whole world; that when he said, "It is finished", it really is finished and there is no more to do. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

No WELS pastor would and should teach otherwise. However, if you truly believe that Jesus' death did not pay for the sins of the whole world (objective justification), then what does? And if you believe that Jesus' death only pays for the sins of those who believe, then you have made something in man the reason and cause for forgiveness.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

UOJ is not the same as the Atonement, Anonymous at 8:21 AM. Some people think that UOJ = Atonement, Redemption, Propitiation. When Robert Preus was still promoting UOJ and Church Growth, he made the point that UOJ is not the Atonement. UOJ is the imaginary event: "that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ..." (LCMS Brief Statement, hereafter cited as BS). Everyone in Hell is a guilt-free saint, according to WELS' Kokomo Statements. UOJ is the denial of the Means of Grace, because it proposed grace coming to the entire world without Means, without the Word, and without faith receiving the Promises of God. As Luther said, when justification is wrong, foul errors rush in. The Lutherans in America are proof of that.

Anonymous said...

"UOJ is the denial of the Means of Grace, because it proposed grace coming to the entire world without Means, without the Word, and without faith receiving the Promises of God. As Luther said, when justification is wrong, foul errors rush in. The Lutherans in America are proof of that."

This statement is asinine. Regardless of what happens before faith, faith is necessary to gain eternal life and is freely given by the Holy Spirit. There is absolutely nothing we do positively. The only thing we are capable of doing is rejecting this gift. It is only through the Means of Grace that one can even receive faith, so I don't know how you can even say that. Do you not understand that the Word is God? Jesus is the Means of Grace.

Anonymous said...

(From http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=45&cuItem_itemID=2835)

The teaching of objective justification is that God the Father declared the sins of the whole world forgiven because Christ had paid for all sin. To benefit from that payment and that declaration it is necessary that a person be brought to faith in Christ as his Savior (subjective justification) (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

The so-called Kokomo Statements should not be taken as representative of WELS teaching. Much that has been put out and circulated about the Kokomo Statements has been a misrepresentation of the WELS position. The Kokomo Statements were not drawn up by anyone in WELS as a presentation of our position. They were drawn up by opponents of the WELS position. Three of the statements are taken from WELS sources, but taken out of context, they caricature the WELS position and should not be taken as as an adequate presentation of WELS teaching. Anyone circulating the Kokomo Statements as a representation of the WELS position is not giving a fair and balanced presentation of WELS teaching.

A brief evaluation of the so-called Kokomo Statements is contained in a 1982 paper by Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," which is available from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary library. Papers on objective justification also appear in Vol. III of Our Great Heritage, available from Northwestern Publishing House.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous's, you are correct in stating the doctrine of UOJ in this way, "The teaching of objective justification is that God the Father declared the sins of the whole world forgiven because Christ had paid for all sin." Other Anonymous posters have contended that UOJ doesn't teach universal forgiveness outside of faith. There are at least as many versions of UOJ as there are Lutheran Synods. (Interesting considering that Justification is the central doctrine of the Christian faith.) Scripture and the Confessions declare that Christ paid for every sin ever committed by every person. They also declare as shown in the above quotations that Christ's righteousness which has paid for those sins is IN Christ and not apart from him. That only through faith is he our mediator, our propitiation against sin and the wrath of God over sin. Declaring the whole world forgiven while they are outside of faith and thus outside of Christ is false doctrine and contrary to the Scripture quotations below which state that if Christ is not in you than you are none of His. Meaning those without faith in Christ, dead in sins, under the law, under God's wrath are not children of God and do not have Christ's righteousness which is the only thing that avails against God's wrath over sin.

Romans 3:22-26, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

Romans 8:1-9, "1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

The Kokomo statements are the rational outcome of the UOJ doctrine. The Lutheran synods want to rationalize Justification, "Since God laid the sins of the whole world on Christ and He paid for the sins and proof of God's acceptance of His payment was Christ's resurrection then all sins were taken off of the world and they stand forgiven, justified and sin free in God's sight. It must be this way otherwise faith would have nothing to lay hold of" But when the WELS members who came up with the Kokomo statements declared what the doctrine clearly teaches then they are rejected because they've shown the absurdity of the entire doctrine.

I've been asked to explain my position which is only right and fair.

I ask that anyone reading this who holds to the doctrine of UOJ explain Romans 3:22-26 in comparison with the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Opponents of UOJ ought to listen to John the Baptist as he cries out, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."

Was John a liar? Was Jesus unsuccessful in his mission?

Jesus has not just paid the price for the sins of the world, he has taken away the sins of the world. Unless you want to claim that taking sins away is something completely different than forgiving sins, how can you dispute the call of the Baptist?

Gregory L. Jackson said...

August 30, 1979



Mr. and Mrs. David Hartman

R. R. #1, Box 90

Kokomo, Indiana 46901



Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hartman,



In response to your letter of August 18, 1979, it is our understanding that your ‘no’ vote on June 20th against supporting the biblical doctrine of the WELS was based at least in part, on your failure to accept the following statement – included in your letter – all of which are in agreement with the teachings of the WELS, namely that:

‘Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinners’ [sic] attitude toward Christs’ [sic] sacrafice [sic], purely on the basis of God’s verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint.’
‘After Christs’ [sic] intervention and through Christs’ [sic] intervention, God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints.’
‘When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not.’
‘At the time of the resurrection of Christ God looked down in hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints.’


I trust this is the information you desire.



Sincerely yours in Christian love,



Michael Liebner, Acting Secretary

Faith Lutheran Church Voters’ Assembly”

Both families appealed and Mequon (Armin Panning) upheld the expulsion and doctrine. Sig Becker defended the Kokomo Statements, three of which were almost vebatim from J. P. Meyer. One shouldn't name-call anonymously and try to deceive people about WELS UOJ.

Gregory L. Jackson,PhD

Brett Meyer said...

Christ indeed paid for the sins of the whole world on the cross. His resurrection is proof that God the Father accepted Christ's payment.

Scripture and the Confessions declare that the righteousness, forgiveness, justification and salvation Christ won for the world is in Him and never apart from Him.

That it is through faith alone that God distributes Christ's righteousness to those he calls, justifies and glorifies.

Christ is only our mediator through faith. Romans 3:22-26
The Confessions declare this also. Article IV: Of Justification. "1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4."

Note that the Augsburg Confession states, "This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight." Per UOJ it was Christ's righteousness that was imputed to the world for the forgiveness of the whole worlds sin at the cross. Thus allowing God to declare the whole world forgiven and justified. The Confessions state that it is the Holy Spirit's faith worked in us that God imputes for righteousness. Not at the cross but when individuals are brought to faith by the Holy Spirit. It is Christ's righteousness that cleanses us from all sin when by the Holy Spirit, through faith, we believe in the Gospel promise given to Abraham. And just as Abraham was justified by faith so are we. Galations chapter 3.

http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#III.%20The%20Righteousness%20of%20Faith%20Before%20God.
The Righteousness of Faith Before God
"1] Since it is unanimously confessed in our churches, in accordance with God's Word and the sense of the Augsburg Confession, that we poor sinners are justified before God and saved alone by faith in Christ, and thus Christ alone is our Righteousness, who is true God and man, because in Him the divine and human natures are personally united with one another, Jer. 23:6; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21"

You refer to John 1:29 as proof text for UOJ (one of only three versus that are used as proof texts for UOJ). This verse teaches what Christ has come to do. How He does it is through faith as declared throughout the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. No verse stands alone.

Do this. Reconcile the following passages:

John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

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."

Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett says, "Do this. Reconcile the following passages:

John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

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."

Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.""

Reconcile God's Word? Do you find a lack of unity in God's Word? A disagreement?

I would rather proclaim God's Word as directed by God's Word and let God give the growth.

To "reconcile" God's Word is what the rationalist does.

This is true: Jesus took away the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

This is true: If you don't believe in Jesus, you will die in your sins. (Mark 16:16)

This is true: Forgiveness means God has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west. (Jeremiah 31:34)

One rationalist says, "I have to reconcile those statements because there seems to be a contradiction." Another says, "Those contradict so this is a bunch of hogwash." The believers says, "Amen. Thus saith the Lord." And so he preaches.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

Anonymous said...

"...name-calling(sic)..."?

If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. You Mr. Ichabod ought to take your own advice more often on your excuse for a blog.

You guys who are so 'anti-UOJ' are counting kernels. I'm WELS and I could really care less about UOJ since the point is moot...you need faith regardless. WHY DO YOU KEEP LABORING THE POINT?

Anonymous said...

The title "Lamb of God" shows what John has in mind as to how Jesus will take away the sins of the world - through his sacrificial death.

Reconcile those passages? That's what we do by speaking in terms (perhaps not the best) of objective/subjective justification.

Brett Meyer said...

In light of the false doctrine of UOJ the 3 passages above are contradictory.

Those three passages are not contradictory in light of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions declaration of Justification by Faith Alone.

How will an unbeliever die in his sins if Christ, on the cross, took them away from the sinner as far as the East is from the West?

You are unable to defend the doctrine of UOJ in light of Romans 3:22-26, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." And as shown before the faith of UOJ is not the Holy Spirit's faith.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Here is what I take from the above conversations:

#1. Never express any doctrinal opinion that in ANY WAY can be thought of as going against the official WELS standpoint, or you are going to be badgered to death and/or excommunicated

#2. Whatever money is given to WELS, always expect it to be not enough and to be asked for more. Whether a gift of $500, $5,000, or 5 million is given, it is never enough

I think I am becoming a fundamentalist anti-cleric (a bible believing Christian who is turning against organized religion).

Signed (for my mental and physical safety).

Anonymous

John said...

Brett,

I realize that I am a bit naive, but this discussion is perplexing to me. It seems that the comments above are talking right passed each other. From what I have read both the WELS and LCMS believe that we are saved because of faith....or is it "in so far as?"...Scripture says faith comes from hearing the message...

I am wondering if you can provide an example of a Lutheran synod or denomination that speaks your language and denounces UOJ?

Brett Meyer said...

John, I don't believe we're talking past each other. The Scripture passages and Confessional statements I've posted are quite clear and demonstrate that Justification is by faith alone, not before faith and never without faith. No one can or has resolved Romans 3:22-26 in light of UOJ. Nor have they resolved this quote from the Confessions with UOJ, Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Justification,
""80] Christ's sake. 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."

Note it says, "The wrath of God cannot be appeased..." unless Christ is apprehended as our Mediator and that is by faith. UOJ says that God's wrath was appeased at, "It is finished" while the unbelieving world was carnally minded and dead in sins.

Here are quotes concerning faith from WELS pastors and teachers who have been taught UOJ - this shows that the faith of UOJ is not the faith of the Holy Spirit as declared in Scripture and the Confessions:

From the WELS' Our Great Heritage Vol. 3,
"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)

August Pieper, 3rd Vol Quartalschrift states, "But whoever molests the doctrine of justification stabs
the gospel in the heart and is on the way of losing entirely Christian doctrine and personal faith and of falling into
the arms of heathenism, even if he ever so much emphasizes justification by faith."

Read the WELS revised Catechism by David Kuske 1982. Page 210, section 252 On What Basis
Did God Declare Guilty Sinners To Be Righteous? Kuske posts: Romans 3:23-26 (So that God could be a
good judge and still declare sinners righteous, he had Christ pay the debt which sinners owed for all their sins.)

Note that Kuske can't bring himself to quote these versus verbatum because they don't support his false doctrine so he summarizes. Compare this section with the original LCMS Catechism where Justification is only by faith alone and there is no mention of UOJ. Will the arguement be that Luther was only trying to teach Subjective Justification in his catechism??

All Lutheran Synods accept and teach UOJ. As I hope you've seen I am not just speaking my language but quoting from Scripture and the Confessions. UOJ is the great falling away from the faith that Christ speaks of.

I appreciate your questions.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

"I think I am becoming a fundamentalist anti-cleric (a bible believing Christian who is turning against organized religion).

Signed (for my MENTAL and physical safety).

Anonymous"

Too late.

Darryl

Anonymous said...

John, I concur. For some time, I've seen Brett and Pr./Dr. Jackson fighting against UOJ with so many, many words on a couple of other blogs. I've tried to follow (but confess the posts get so long I've given up after awhile). I guess I thought most Lutherans believe that faith is required - though it being a gift from God and not a work of our own. And most conservative Lutherans believe that not everyone is saved, but that Christ did die for all sins. I think it's been described in Lutheran circles as just laying in a pile with no benefit apart from faith (subjective faith).

Brett, maybe in layman's terms and briefly, you could let us know why this is incorrect? That might help someone like me with ADD. Thanks.

Rob

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, you state, "faith is required - though it being a gift from God and not a work of our own. And most conservative Lutherans believe that not everyone is saved, but that Christ did die for all sins. I think it's been described in Lutheran circles as just laying in a pile with no benefit apart from faith (subjective faith)." I would agree with this statement but would clarify that it's not "in a pile" but "in Christ". I believe it was Martin Luther who made that statement originally.

There is a plethera of quotations, articles and doctrinal statements from the WELS, ELS and LCMS which reject your statement above which denies Objective Justification. I am hopeful that you see where your statement is contrary to the doctrine of Objective Justification.

You speak of most conservative Lutherans etc. but I've quoted directly from Pastor John Buchholz' 2005 WELS Conference paper above which says just the opposite of your statement. He being the WELS District President for California and Arizona. The objections to UOJ is not splitting hairs but an objection to the teaching of a different gospel than that Gospel which is taught and declared in Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

"I am hopeful that you see where your statement is contrary to the doctrine of Objective Justification." - BM

I'm probably not clear on what the doctrine of OJ actually is. I don't believe in a limited atonement. I do believe Christ died for all sins and those who believe that will be saved. I believe that I can only believe that because God has created and sustains my faith through Word and Sacrament and it is a git of the Holy Spirit. I believe Christ's death paid for my sins. I believe I am baptized into Christ so that His death counts as mine and I do not have to die. I believe His resurrection proves He accomplished that for me and all who believe. I believe those who don't believe in salvation by grace through faith in the One and Only will go to hell. And they will be without excuse because they rejected the free gift of salvation through Christ. I believe God is saving His elect.

I also believe I don't know very much and have a lot to learn. But I don't recall the doctrine of UOJ, as far as I surmise you've described, being preached or taught in the LCMS or WELS that I have heard or read. But i certainly could be missing it.

Rob

Brett Meyer said...

Rob, you've accurately described Justification by faith alone. Read the quotes above from Pastor Buchholz' conference paper to see where UOJ teaches against Justification by faith alone.

Note this quote they use from August Pieper (quoted above), ""But whoever molests the doctrine of justification stabs
the gospel in the heart ... even if he ever so much emphasizes justification by faith."

This quote is from one of the Anonymous poster's quote from above (caps are mine to highlight the error), "Again, the FORGIVENESS OF THE WORLD HAS TO BE THERE BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, or else faith has nothing to which it can grasp. OTHERWISE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT OUR FAITH IS THE CAUSE OF GRACE/FORGIVENESS, rather than God's grace alone."

This is where Pastor Jackson correctly points out that UOJ is Enthusiasm which is condemned by the Lutheran Confessions and Scripture because they have Christ's righteousness distributed to the world for the forgiveness of the worlds sins outside of the working of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament (the very means by which the Holy Spirit works repentance and faith).

Rob, you know more than most Lutheran's do today. At least, by the grace of God, you care more about it than most. Most of them will continue to dismiss the false doctrine as squabling over minutia (note we're talking about the central doctrine of Christian faith(Justification by faith alone which separates believers from unbelievers))and go about believing whatever the WELS says is true.

Here are quotes from WELS Pastor Nathan Seiltz of Evergreen Lutheran High School:

"A. Objective justification is universal. Scripture teaches that God has reconciled the world to himself. This includes all people, believers and unbelievers. All, believers and unbelievers, have deserved death and damnation. Jesus came as the substitute for all. He obeyed the law for all. He died in the place of everyone. When Jesus rose, he rose as the substitute for every sinner. By his resurrection God declared sinners, all of them, forgiven. This is the good news Scripture reveals. This is the good news we proclaim to contrite sinners: “God has reconciled you to himself. Your sins are already forgiven. Calvary and the empty tomb are the proof of it.”

"E. A quick look at the terms ought to be sufficient to remind ourselves of the Lutheran doctrine of objective or universal justification–that God at the resurrection of Christ declared sinners justified, universally, excluding none, and objectively, whether they believe it or not."

This quote is from WELS District President Jon Buchholz, ""God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely
true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our
faith."

WELS teaches a new gospel in their false doctrine of Universal Objective Justification.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

If you deny UOJ, you are a Calvinist.

Calvinists believe that Christ only died for the elect. Lutherans believe Christ died for all. Calvinists have no assurance that they are among those who Christ died for. Lutherans believe Christ died for them because he says he died for all.

Lutherans believe those who have faith are justified and have salvation. Lutherans believe faith comes from the Holy Spirit as a free gift. We receive faith through Word and Sacrament.

In short, Christ earned salvation for the whole world on the cross. Only those who have faith can benefit from what Christ earned.

It's as if I found a giant gold mine and paid off everybody's mortgages. Some believe me, but others refuse to believe and keep making payments.

Brett Meyer said...

The WELS doctrine of Universal Objective Justification can be read also in the essay, "Objective Justification" By Dr. Siegbert W. Becker, an essay delivered at the Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982

http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerJustification.PDF

Also here in an article written by H.A. Preus and promoted by former ELS Pastor Rolf Preus. “The Justification of the World” By the Reverend President H. A. Preus of the Norwegian Synod, February 13, 1874

http://www.christforus.org/Papers/Content/HermanAmbergPreusonJustificationofWorld.htm

Both of these articles declare forgiveness and justification (really the same thing) to the entire world before and without individual faith, Enthusiasm.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett, what confuses me then is what was actually accomplished by Christ's death on the cross? Is not what you're stating a form of limited atonement (as mentioned in a previous blog as Calvinism)? Or possibly a faith in faith? I mean, the object of our faith is Christ crucified and resurrected. So that did actually happen while we were still enemies with Him. And there is no benefit without faith. So, in your view, what was accomplished when Christ died on the cross? I could very well be confused by the terms - atonement, justification, subjective, objective, etc.

Thanks for the input.

Rob

Anonymous said...

The anti-UOJ people sound persuasive because what they say makes rational sense to our minds. But they have exalted reason over what God's Word really says.

The teaching of the anti-UOJ crowd is a pernicious and soul-destroying thing.

Scripture's doctrine of UOJ takes the focus of despairing sinners off of themselves and directs it to the objective reality of what Christ has done. "How do I know that I'm saved? Well Christ came to take away the sins of the world, and I'm part of the world, and so I can be absolutely sure that my sins have been taken away." What glorious certainty!

On the other hand, anti-UOJ doctrine focuses despairing sinners not on Christ, but on their own faith. "How do I know that I'm saved? Well Christ only forgives those who already have faith. Do I really have faith? Is my faith strong enough? How can I ever know for sure?" What dreadful uncertainty!

In short, those who deny UOJ deny the objective reality of the Gospel message and make faith the cause of salvation. There's a reason why Brett couldn't name a single Lutheran church body that opposed UOJ--it's because the Lutheran Church always has, and, by God's grace, always will oppose those who oppose the gospel.

Anonymous said...

"Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

Taking away sin is not forgiving sin? Then what is it?

Anonymous said...

Brett,

You sin against me (punch me in the nose). You truly repent, you ask my forgiveness. I forgive you. You confess before your pastor to God. You are absolved in the name and in the stead of Christ.

Later in the day you say, "hey, he was such a jerk, he had it coming." You come to me and say, "hey, jerk, forget what I said earlier, you had it coming."

Were you forgiven by God for that sin when you in repentance confessed? Was it removed as far as the east from the west? Are now you forgiven by God for that sin?

The Other Darryl

Anonymous said...

It's utterly pointless to debate this with Brett and The Reverend Jackson (said in my best Rush Limbaugh voice). Despite the fact that people are telling these two individuals that their pastors teach that all the world has been forgiven of their sins, but that forgiveness is of no benefit, nor is it conferred apart from faith, they still belabor the point and attempt to tell people that WELS teaches Enthusiasm, that they are heretics.

The fact of the matter is this: No matter what we say, they aren't going to budge from their position. They ignore the fact that the essays they quote are on the subject of Objective Justification, the teaching that all the world is saved from their sins through Jesus work. However, they fail to realize that we also teach subjective justification, the teaching that what Christ accomplished on the cross, namely the forgiveness of all sins, is only of benefit to an individual if received through faith, which is a gift of God.

Again, all they focus on is the objective justification that the WELS believes and teaches according to scripture. But they conveniently ignore the subjective justification that the WELS believes and teaches according to scripture, that Christ's work is only of benefit to an individual if received through faith.

As I said, debating with Brett Meyer and The Reverend Jackson (in my best Rush Limbaugh voice) is an exercise in futility. They refuse to see the forest through the trees, and clearly have an agenda against WELS. No matter how much time or effort is spent in defending the WELS against these wholly untrue accusations, they will continue to spout them and deceive people about what the WELS truly believes and teaches. And for that, they will answer to God.

Anonymous said...

I think I would be correct in assuming that you guys that are anti-UOJ probably give your fellow man conditional forgiveness then. In other words, you won't forgive someone sinning against you unless you see a change in their attitude. That would explain alot of your judgemental/legalist leanings.

Brett Meyer said...

Rob, I believe the confusion you have comes from equating atonement with justification. The atonement is that Christ paid the price for the sins of the whole world. Justification is the forgiveness of sins. Unlike what Anonymous said above that since I've rejected universal justification I am then a Calvanist who believes Christ only died and paid the sins of those God has called to faith, I confess with Scripture that Christ paid the sins of the whole world but I confess Romans 3:22-28 which states, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Here Christ says that justification, forgiveness of sins, is in Him and is, freely by grace, given to those who believe on Him. There is only one mediator between God and men and that is the Man Jesus Christ. How do we obtain Christ as our mediator - through faith. Throughout Scripture God declares that Justification is by Faith alone.

So again, I do not confess limited atonement. I confess that atonement (Christ's payment for all sins) is not the same as justification because Scripture says that redemption is in Christ Jesus. And that Christ is only our propitiation through "faith in His blood" and that Christ is the "justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" and "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law".

Rob, note in this discussion of UOJ the seriousness of the doctrine. One anonymous poster said the discussion doesn't matter since we all believe that one must have faith to be saved. The fact is the Lutheran Church teaches that if you reject UOJ than you are a Calvanist who rejects Christ's universal work. My rejecting UOJ for the Scriptural and Confession evidence posted causes them to say I've raised reason above the Word, and that declaring Justification by Faith alone is a pernicious and soul-destroying thing. This isn't a minor issue. It is the one critical issue.

The poster below your last says that the doctrine of Justification by faith alone - denying Universal Justification - makes faith the cause of salvation. My quotes from Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions clearly state that faith clings to the promise of forgiveness of sins in Christ. Not faith in faith but faith in Christ. Why? Because it's the Holy Spirit's faith which does so much, making of an unjust man a just man. UOJ rejects the Holy Spirit's faith and goes about to create their own gospel comfort which then must state the whole world of which I'm a member has been forgiven of all sin at the cross so that I know that I and the whole world know we've been forgiven even if I don't believe it (have the Holy Spirit's faith). They've created a new and different gospel. Note here in 1 John 5:10-13, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record , that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he
that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." The last sentence is the proper response to UOJ which says that unless the whole world was forgiven at the cross then there's no way to know if your sins are forgiven and if you think you can look to your faith for that comfort well then you have faith in faith and faith becomes a work that you do so you're condemned. This is our comfort, "And this is the record , that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life" If we believe (have faith) that this is true we have the comfort that our sins are forgiven because through faith are we in Christ and He in us.

Mark 4:12, "That seeing they may see, and not percieve; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." Note here that it is after conversion that a person's sins are forgiven them - not before.

Romans 9:30-32, "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Acts 10:43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."

Galations 3:22-26, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Every time Brett Meyer comments, he leads to more confusion and leaves one as baffled as the duck in the Geico commercial after listening to Yogi Berra.

Again, how does UOJ reject the Holy Spirit's faith? No one here is saying it does, quite to the contrary. You're failing to read the comments that have been made by WELS members and their experience within WELS churches. And you do so because it doesn't fit your paradigm that WELS teaches unadulterated UOJ.

The fact that Jesus died for the sins of the world is on objective fact. But just because Jesus died for the sins of the world to forgive them doesn't mean that all people are saved. Faith, which is created by the Holy Spirit is the only way in which that forgiveness becomes a reality. This has been stated numerous times since this topic began on the blog entry began.

WELS does not teach that man is saved apart from faith. It is an absolute fallacy. Contact President Schroeder and ask him if WELS teaches this. Contact Seminary President Paul Wendland and ask if WLS teaches this. Contact Mark Zarling and ask him if MLC teaches this. Contact President Matt Crass and President Paul Prange and ask them if LPS and MLS respectively teach that man is saved apart from faith which the Holy Spirit works through Word and Sacrament. I guarantee that every one of them will say no. And yet, that answer will not be good enough for you because it doesn't fit your preconceived notion and paradigm of WELS.

You quote the DP of Arizona California. You quote Sigbert Becker. You quote all of these people but so often fail to realize the context in which they were speaking or writing their essays.

Ask any of the above mentioned men, minus the sainted Becker, if they believe and teach that people receive Christ's forgiveness apart from faith. And if any of them answer yes, then we have something to talk about. But I am utterly convinced that you will find none of those men to answer yes to your question.

I will leave you with two quotes from "This We Believe: Questions and Answers" by Professor Richard Gurgel. Q: How can we say that all have been justified when billions don't believe in Jesus?

A: Justification, or the declaration of acquittal, is God's gift to all humanity. He has provided it freely and without any consideration of any human effort. It is like any gift offered in love. But like any gift, it doesn't do any good unless you possess it as yours. Faith makes God's gift yours. When billions do not believe in Jesus, they simply refuse God's gift. All have been justified by God's free grace, but not all make it theirs by faith."

And Finally point 11 in This We Believe: We reject universalism, the belief that all people are saved, even those without faith in Christ (John 3:36).

To continue to say that WELS teaches UOJ only shows one's continued ignorance in understanding the WELS true position.

P.S. I apologize in advance if my html tags did not work.

Anonymous said...

Before people get too bothered about what Brett is writing, they should know that Brett has written on several occasions on another blog about the coming New World Order led by the Antichrist (real tin-foil helmet kind of craziness). Anyone who read his ravings could tell you that he has has some serious issues. Don't take anything he says seriously.

Brett Meyer said...

I do not intend to cause more confusion to those above who are having a hard time following this discussion but here's a few quotations from the Confessions and Luther. (Capitalization is my emphasis)

Apology of the Augsburg Confession
by Philip Melanchthon
Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau
Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. (St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1921), pp. 97-451
Part 5
"That We Obtain Remission of Sins by Faith Alone in Christ"

"For the adversaries give men bad advice [therefore the adversaries are truly unfaithful bishops, unfaithful preachers and doctors; they have hitherto given evil counsel to consciences, and still do so by introducing such doctrine] when they bid them doubt whether they obtain remission of sins. For how will such persons sustain themselves in death who have heard nothing of this FAITH, and think that they ought to doubt whether they obtain the remission of sins?"

"Paul, on the contrary, teaches that we have ACCESS, I.E., RECONCILLIATION, 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. Secondly. It is certain that SINS ARE FORGIVEN FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST, AS PROPITIATOR, Rom. 3, 25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.Moreover, Paul adds: THROUGH FAITH. Therefore THIS PROPITIATOR THUS BENEFITS US, WHEN BY FAITH WE APPREHEND THE MERCY PROMISED IN HIM, AND SET IT AGAINST THE WRATH AND JUDGEMENT OF GOD."

Note here that reconcilliation is by faith. And that it is by faith we apprehend the mercy promised in Christ and that is what appeases the wrath and judgement of God. UOJ teaches that the unbelieving world has, at the cross, been reconcilled with God and that he forgives them all their sins, they are justified and at peace with Him. UOJ is contrary to the Lutheran Confessions.


A Sermon by Martin Luther; taken from his Church Postil of 1522. [The following sermon is taken from volume VI:224-266 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI). http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html

"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."

"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."

"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"

Here also Luther confirms that justification is by faith and INSTANTANEOUS. It is not a process which UOJ teaches = God declares the whole world forgiven and justified at the cross, but they aren't until He works faith in them to believe that they've already been declared forgiven and justified.

UOJ teaches that God gave the world Christ's righteousness so that He, at the cross, declares the whole world forgiven, justified and righteous but they aren't until they believe that in fact they are and were at the time of Christ's resurrection. And since UOJ teaches that a person's faith is just an empty hand doing nothing but accepting what was already declared to be true the person is in fact seen by God exactly the same way before faith as he is after faith, forgiven, justified, guiltless and righteous. Seen as an equation, with the end result needing to be justification in the sight of God, faith is made void.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Gregory L. Jackson said...

David Valleskey, the former president of the WELS Seminary, wrote We Believe, Therefore We Speak. He repeatedly used the term Universal Objective Justification and endorsed his one great love, the Church Growth Movement. The two doctrinal perversion go claw in hoof together down the road to perdition. Valleskey's beloved CGM is the reason WELS is a shambles. The CGM people have managed WELS into insolvency for the last 25+ years. The evangelism campaign I mentioned before was Universalism, which is only a pirourette away from UOJ.

Anonymous said...

Brett,

I ask again. You sin against me (punch me in the nose). You truly repent, you ask my forgiveness. I forgive you. You confess before your pastor to God. You are absolved in the name and in the stead of Christ.

Later in the day you say, "hey, he was such a jerk, he had it coming." You come to me and say, "hey, jerk, forget what I said earlier, you had it coming."

Were you forgiven by God for that sin when you in repentance confessed? Was it removed as far as the east from the west? Are now you forgiven by God for that sin?

The Other Darryl

Anonymous said...

"(real tin-foil helmet kind of craziness)."

Are ad hominems really helpful? The popes were randy characters and so were the evangelicals. So what.

The Other Darryl

Anonymous said...

Jackson, your argument is so tired.

I find it ironic that you and your wife have assumed the identity of your blog, Mr. and Mrs. Ichabod, from others and acknowledged it by your own mouth. You even refer to 'Ichabod World Headquarters'. You have prophesied about yourself from your own mouth. I believe that God has withdrawn Himself from you. Repent, Jackson.

I think there has been a trend in WELS for a long time and it is now coming back to bite them. in my experience, I have found alot of WELS churches to be cold and cliquey. I say this as I have been a visitor to many. Top that off with the fact that Lutherans are traditionally stingy givers. Last time I checked, the percentage was in the paultry 5% or less range. This is how we thank our gracious God? I was told that if everyone mustered 1-2% more we'd be rolling in it.

Brett Meyer said...

Daryl, I'll respond by coping your statements and will place my answers in quotations.
I ask again. You sin against me, punch me in the nose. You truly repent (true repentance means understanding that the sin I committed is a sin against God and also is a function of faith worked by the Holy Spirit which means that I am a Christian with a mind spiritually renewed in Christ but with flesh that still serves sin. As a Christian I am already forgiven of this sin through faith. Romans 7:14-25 posted below), you ask my forgiveness (the correct thing to do as my sin was against you). I forgive you (assuming you are a Christian, you are here using the Keys of loosing or retaining sins which Christ gave to everyone in His Church, you are anouncing Christ's forgiveness on me, a repentant (as far as you can tell since only God can read the heart) Christian). You confess before your pastor to God (not necessary but if I was distraught to the degree that it weakened my faith and didn't feel that my sin was forgiven, or wished to receive additional comfort) . You are absolved in the name and in the stead of Christ (again the use of the Keys which you used earlier).

Later in the day you say, "hey, he was such a jerk, he had it coming." You come to me and say, "hey, jerk, forget what I said earlier, you had it coming (truly a sign of unrepentance and lack or loss of faith. The loss of which rejects Christ's atonement (payment for all sins) and the redemption and forgiveness found only in Christ, pronounced and received only when we're in Christ. The lack of which is a challenge for all Christians as our sanctification - renewing of our flesh - is not complete here on earth.)."

Were you forgiven by God for that sin when you in repentance confessed (yes and as a Christian even before I confessed in repentance)? Was it removed as far as the east from the west (Yes, that is Christ's promise)? Are now you forgiven by God for that sin (I'm assuming you mean after I renounced my contrition and entrenched myself in sin) (I am now dead in my sins having rejected the forgiveness of sins in Christ alone)?

Romans 7:14-25, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Daryl, are you trying to make the correlation that since in the life of a Christian one's flesh will sin and Christ has removed even that sin from the Christian as far as the East is from the West and if they fall away from faith in Christ later in life they are dead in sins and their sins apparently were not removed quite so far THEN it is also true of Objective Justification, that God's pronouncement on the world, at the cross, that He's forgiven them all their sins, justified them, pronounces them not guilty and removes their sin by the blood of Christ away from them as far as the East is from the West and if they never come to believe that it's actually been declared by God then they are dead in sins and their sins apparently were not removed quite so far away from them. If this is your intent and your correlation is correct then my contention against UOJ using Psalms 103:12 is incorrect and wrong.

It's important to understand that what Christ offers is only benefits a person if they are in Christ, only while they are in Christ. The forgiveness of sins (justification) and eternal life are never apart from Christ's body and blood. Unbelievers are dead in sins, carnaly minded and under the law. God says that while a person is an unbeliever that person has no part of Christ or what He offers in his body and blood. It is the function of faith, contrition over sin and belief in Christ, that makes of an unjust man a just man. Unless a person dies to sin, they cannot be risen to life in the blood of Christ. They cannot have what Christ has won - the forgiveness of sins. Matt. 10:32-33, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." The whole unbelieving world has denied Christ and yet the doctrine of UOJ declares that God has accepted them by rendering the verdict upon them that they are guiltless, forgiven, justified and righteous in the blood of Christ. Now if you are going to say that, "well, even though God declares them guiltless, forgiven, justified and at peace with Him they aren't until they believe that they are" then you've destroyed your whole point above concerning Psalms 103:12 because it was your original implied contention that Christ in fact did remove their sins from them as far as the East is from the West.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Sermon by Martin Luther; taken from his Church Postil of 1522. [The following sermon is taken from volume VI:224-266 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI). http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html
"8. Do you ask: "What then am I to do? How shall I make myself good and acceptable in person to begin with? how secure that justification? The Gospel replies: "Hear Christ and believe in him, utterly despairing of yourself and resting assured you will be changed from a Cain to an Abel and then present your offerings." just as faith is proclaimed without merit or work on your part, it is also bestowed regardless of your works, without any of your merits. It is given of pure grace. Note, faith justifies the individual; faith is justification. Because of faith God remits all sins, and forgives the old Adam and the Cain in our nature, for the sake of Christ his beloved Son, whose name faith represents. More, he bestows his Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes the individual into a new creature, one with different reason and different will, and inclined to the good. Such a one, wherever he is, performs wholly good works, and all his works are good; as taught in the preceding epistle lesson."

Brett Meyer said...

Daryl, just to clarify, having read again what I wrote it may indicate agreement when in fact I didn't agree with your correlation as I believe it's incorrect. I wrote, "If this is your intent and your correlation is correct then my contention against UOJ using Psalms 103:12 is incorrect and wrong."

Again, I don't believe that correlation is correct as explained in the following paragraph.

Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

"It's important to understand that what Christ offers is only benefits a person if they are in Christ, only while they are in Christ."

Brett, this is EXACTLY what the WELS and all other Lutheran churches teach. You would realize that if you were fair and acknowledged that the Lutheran church teaches BOTH objective and subjective justification, just as Scripture does.

Brett Meyer said...

Would any of the Anonymous individuals above, or those using their names (appreciate your courage), provide a link to the earliest essay, sermon, article, document from the Lutheran Church which declares the doctrine of Universal Objective and Subjective Justification? Requesting that the reference clearly show a confession of there being the two separate verdicts - God the Father at the cross declaring the whole world forgiven and then again the justification when the individual accepts that it is true.

Thank you,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, that's the problem. When WELS teaches Objective Justification they state that the whole world is in Christ the moment, UOJ says, he took all of their sins off of them and paid for them on the cross. UOJ has all of those who are under the law, carnally minded, dead and rotting in sin being washed in the blood of Christ before the Holy Spirit by use of the Means of Grace works contrition and faith in them. To then follow up with Subjective Justification is totally moot since they've already been washed in Christ's blood. UOJ says the whole world is IN Christ. Otherwise they could not stand forgiven, justified, guiltless and at peace with God the Father as UOJ's version of Objective Justification states they are.

The Means of Grace being Word (Scripture) and Sacrament (Baptism). An Anonymous poster above wanted to state that Christ is the Means of Grace which the Holy Spirit uses to create faith. It is Christ in the Word (Scripture) and the Word and water of Baptism which 'Means of Grace' refers to.

You continue to state that I don't understand OJ and SJ as the WELS teaches it. Yet I quote most of the accepted sources of the doctrine. For the sake of this discussion please post the link to the definitive definition of OJ and SJ from the WELS and I will gladly directly address that. Honestly, there are a dozen different opinions within the WELS on the definition and function of UOJ.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

PS, It would be nice if you'd post your real name so that my replies can be appropriately addressed. Since Christ commands us to be ready at all times to give account of the Hope that we have in us by the grace of God, I find it disheartening that so few are willing to stand behind what they claim is 'Christ Words and Doctrine'.

Anonymous said...

Brett, the Becker essay that you linked awhile ago briefly points out instances of objective justification from Luther, in the Confessions, and, of course, Scripture.

Anonymous said...

RECENT WELS FINANCIAL HISTORY:

So first WELS double spends 22 million dollars. In 2007, there is a strong movement to close MLS, a prep school, because of the severe economic crisis.

Then, in 2008 there is a big victory cry that WELS is getting another large investor gift, and things are looking pretty rosy.

In addition, 2008 was the "Year of Jubilee", an attempt to recoup the previous double spending of 22 million dollars. We never heard anything about this at our WELS church, and after asking some neighboring WELS congregations, most of those did not hear anything about it either.

In 2009, we are looking even bleaker than we did in 2007. The large gift promised in 2008 has disappeared due to market crash; other large WELS donors, such as Schwann, are also going to be significantly less. The estimated budget, which was supposed to be completed this month, will not be finished because of the continuing decline in the economy. I think the last I saw was that out of a normal annual budget of 38 million, WELS was expected to be about 8 million short. This is a little over 20 percent.

Does WELS have the leadership necessary to make the hard choices that need to be made at the coming convention. A precious 2 years was lost by the 2007 convention to make long term plans.

Will WELS survive.
Will WELS congregants give even more to an administration which has mismanaged the finances so poorly in the past?

God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Brett, still trying to digest this here. You said: "Rob, I believe the confusion you have comes from equating atonement with justification. The atonement is that Christ paid the price for the sins of the whole world. Justification is the forgiveness of sins."

I think you're right that this has caused confusion. It seems what some are calling objective justification - Christ's death on the cross paying for all sins - you call atonement. And what some call subjective justification, you call actually receiving forgiveness of sins or justification.

So it would be helpful to me if, in the briefest, most concise way possible, you could distinguish why this is incorrect. And do you think OJ believers are without saving faith?

I'm trying to make sure I understand the two views and also see the practical dangers of the difference.

Thanks.

Rob

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous above, it's true Becker quotes Luther where he says, "those who do not believe God's message of forgiveness will someday find out how surely their sins were forgiven even though they did not believe it." (Luther's Works 40:366f) The truth is that Becker took the Luther quote out of context. Luther was talking about the use of the Keys. The ability that every Christian has to forgive or retain sins on behalf of Christ. And as mentioned above a Christian does not use the Keys to forgive an unrepentant unbeliever. (same point made above in response to Daryl) The point Luther was making is that when a Christian pronounces forgiveness upon another Christian who is distraught over their sin, Christian being distraught because it is a sin against God and that Christ died to pay for that sin or for an individual who through contrition worked by the Holy Spirit through the Word is distraught over thier sin, even if that individual doesn't believe they can be forgiven they in fact are in Christ. The Keys allow Christians to forgive as though Christ Himself were saying the very words. This is not a UOJ quote confirming that Luther thought Christ gave His blood to the whole world at the cross outside of the means of grace, Word and Sacrament.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Rob, good question. The atonement (Christ paid for the sins of the whole world) is not the same as justification (sins are forgiven an individual, in the case of the doctrine of UOJ - the whole world) Scripture and the Confessions concur, the righteousness which removes all sin is IN Christ and never apart from Him. To make use of the righteousness to remove my sins I have to be IN Christ and He IN me (Romans 3:22-28). The world at the time of Christ's resurrection, excluding believers, was outside of Christ, dead in sins, carnally minded (it requires a spiritual mind to be IN Christ and that only comes by faith, Romans 8:6)they were not declared to be forgiven, justified, guiltless in the sight of God the Father (John 3:18).

UOJ states in the words of WELS District President Jon Buchholz, "God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our faith. But here’s where the caveat comes in: In Scripture, the word "forgive" is used almost exclusively in a personal, not a universal sense. The Bible doesn’t make the statement, "God has forgiven the world."

"God has forgiven all sins, but the unbeliever rejects God’s forgiveness." Again, this statement is true—and Luther employed similar terminology to press the point of Christ’s completed work of salvation.16 But we must also recognize that Scripture doesn’t speak this way."

"God has declared the entire world righteous." This statement is true, as we understand it to mean
that God has rendered a verdict of "not-guilty" toward the entire world. It is also true—and must be
taught—that the righteousness of Christ now stands in place of the world’s sin; this is the whole point of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. However, once again we’re wresting a term out of its usual
context. In Scripture the term "righteous" usually refers to believers. "

In case Anonymous states I've taken his words out of context note that he makes the UOJ statement then says Scripture doesn't say it. Note this was the 2005 WELS Convention keynote presentation covering nothing less than the CENTRAL ARTICLE OF THE CHRISTIAN FIATH.

Rob you ask, "And do you think OJ believers are without saving faith?" I confess that if an individual confesses the gospel as Pastor Buchholz does in the first quote above which directly ties to UOJ's conviction that faith is and can only be an empty hand which only grasps what was already declared by God to be true, then yes that individual stands condemned before God the Father.
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."

As for other UOJ promoters who waffle between Justification by Faith alone and UOJ I cannot read their heart only God can and will judge. God's wrath is certainly upon everyone who teaches, little children and adults, this false doctrine of two justifications called Universal Objective Justification. Scripture assures us that it would be better if they were never born.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett, your last post, in which you describe UOJ, convinces me all the more that you simply do not understand the doctrine of UOJ. You have caricatured it beyond recognition, claiming that UOJ teaches things that it most certainly does not. I would urge you to reexamine the doctrine with a serious and open mind. You strike me as someone looking for something to complain about, seeing problems where there are none, taking things out of context to justify your indignation.

Anonymous said...

Brett, when I referred to
"your last post" I meant the one at 7:06. Another one was posted while I was typing.

Benjamin Tomczak said...

Anonymous at 7:11 pm ~

The so-called "double-spent" money was not $22 million. It was $8 million. The rest of the debt was left over from the amalgamation of DMLC-NWC and various capital projects at MLC, MLS, and LPS.

The $22 million figure represents the entire Synodical debt (combined into one account with a lower interest rate, instead of the four or five that there were), about 30% of which has already been paid down through the Year of Jubilee offering and scheduled debt repayment, so that debt stands now at about $16 million -- a considerable reduction in one year's time.

Grace and peace,
Pr. Benjamin Tomczak

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, again, if you don't think I'm addressing a correct understanding of what the UOJ doctrine teaches - right here for the record - please either post it or post a link to the preeminent description of UOJ. Or if one is not available please post it in your own words and finally place a stake in the ground. You complain that I don't understand the doctrine yet you never take the time or effort to express what you believe it is. I understand why you don't sign your own name.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous posts above, "Brett, the Becker essay that you linked awhile ago briefly points out instances of objective justification from Luther, in the Confessions, and, of course, Scripture."

Here is my response to Becker quoting what he says is UOJ in the Confessions.

(Capitalization is mine to emphasize the significant statements)

Becker quotes the Lutheran Confessions in the Apology (Defense) Justification 103, "The law would seem to be harmful since it has made all men sinners, but when the Lord Jesus
came he forgave all men the sin that none could escape. (Apol. IV, 103)"

Here is what the entire section says:
"103] Here and there among the Fathers similar testimonies are extant. For Ambrose says in his letter to a certain Irenaeus: Moreover, the world was subject to Him by the Law for the reason that, according to the command of the Law, all are indicted, and yet, by the works of the Law, no one is justified, i.e., because, by the Law, sin is perceived, but guilt is not discharged. The Law, which made all sinners, seemed to have done injury, but when the Lord Jesus Christ came, He forgave to all sin which no one could avoid, and, by the shedding of His own blood, blotted out the handwriting which was against us. This is what he says in Rom. 5:20: "The Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Because after the whole world became subject, He took away the sin of the whole world, as he [John] testified, saying John 1:29: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." And on this account let no one boast of works, because no one is justified by his deeds. BUT HE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS HAS IT GIVEN HIM BECAUSE HE WAS JUSTIFIED AFTER THE LAVER (BAPTISM). FAITH, THEREFORE, IS THAT WHICH FREES THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, BECAUSE HE IS BLESSED "WHOSE TRANSGRESSION IS FORGIVEN, WHOSE SIN IS COVERED," Ps. 32:1,104] These are the words of Ambrose, which clearly favor our doctrine; he denies justification to works, and ascribes to faith that it sets us free 105] through the blood of Christ." http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Note that Becker takes the quote out of context where the Confessions treat the statement in the same way as John 1:29 (one of UOJ's three proof verses). The entire paragraph emphasizes faith as that which makes one righteous through the blood of Christ.

Becker quotes the Lutheran Confessions in the Apology, Repentance 88, "It is God’s command and the Gospel itself that they should be sure that their sins are forgiven freely for Christ’s sake, not doubting that they are forgiven them personally. If anyone doubts, he makes the divine promise a lie. (Apol. XII, 88)"

Here is what the entire section says:
"Chrysostom asks concerning repentance, Whence are we made sure that our sins are remitted us? The adversaries also, in their "Sentences," ask concerning the same subject. [The question, verily, is worth asking; blessed the man that returns the right answer.] This cannot be explained, consciences cannot be made tranquil, unless they know that it is God's command and the very Gospel that they should be firmly confident that for Christ's sake sins are remitted freely, and that they should not doubt that these are remitted to them. If any one doubts, he charges, as 1 John 5, 10 says, the divine promise with falsehood. We teach that this certainty of faith is required in the Gospel." http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_10_repentance.php

Note that Becker again takes the quote out of context. This statement was in response to the certainty of the forgiveness of sins following repentance. The sentences following the quote confirm that certainty of forgiveness of sins is a part of faith and faith is integral to the Gospel message. UOJ states that the gospel message is, in the words of WELS District President Jon Buchholz, "God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins. This statement is absolutely true! This is the heart of the gospel, and it must be preached and taught as the foundation of our faith."

In Christ,
Brett

Anonymous said...

I think Brett is trying to convince himself of some things.

I don't think you see a whole lot on UOJ or SJ in Lutheran writings because it is assumed. What little there is written is cryptic enough so that it can be skewed.

Again this was meant to be simple; so simple that children understand it.

Two examples that show Jesus died for the sins of the world so that the world could be reconciled to Him.

All of us were conceived in sin and had no hope. Until we received faith, we were lost. Had not Jesus paid the price beforehand with His death on the cross, we could not be reconciled to Him.

As the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, what did He say? "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Why would Jesus ask the Father to do this if He wasn't about to pay for all the sins of the world?

To gain understanding in this you have to stop thinking from the human perspective. Stop leaning on your own understanding. I think you are using 30 A. D. as a focal point without realizing that God transcends time. Will there be an end of the world on our timeline? Absolutely! But receiving eternal life through faith needs no perspective. When we die, we immediately go to the judgement. Abraham went to heaven when he died because he had saving faith.

JK

Brett Meyer said...

JK, you write, "Again this was meant to be simple; so simple that children understand it." and "What little there is written (about UOJ) is cryptic enough so that it can be skewed."

These two statements are incompatible. To rephrase, you believe UOJ is so simple children can make sense of the skewable, cryptic doctrine?

Because you see the doctrine so clearly can you describe the doctrine of UOJ that the WELS holds to. As yet 'Anonymous' above has not provided this detail.

I would be grateful if you would provide this or a link to it so that it's clear for everyone what the WELS position is on UOJ.

Also, do you believe that District President Jon Buchholz is wrong in his description of UOJ based on his 2005 WELS Conference paper? If so where?

Thank you,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Why don't you post a link to that paper so people can read the whole thing in context. For all we know you've ripped 3 or 4 paragraphs out of context to fit your agenda, which really wouldn't be all that surprising.

The truth is, I can make selected quotes say what I want them to say too. I could quite easily review all of the comments you have made in this blog posting and consequently misconstrue your main points, making you say something which fits my agenda if I really wanted to.

So take your own advice and post a link to the AZ/CA DP's 2005 Convention paper so that we can read it in its full context.

Anonymous said...

JK said: "You think to darn hard, man."

That is because Brett Meyer is essentially a rationalist. If it doesn't make sense to him, he has to rationalize it in his own mind so that it does. Hence, you have all of his long winded comments.

He reminds me of people who say "It just can't be that easy...there has to be something I must do."

Brett Meyer said...

JK, I believe I do understand what you're saying. Basically, correct me again if I get it wrong, per the WELS the central doctrine of Christian faith (being central - if you get it wrong you remain condemned by God), of which Objective Justification is integral, has not been clearly defined and is generally assumed to be true.

JK, do you believe that District President Jon Buchholz is wrong in his description of UOJ based on his 2005 WELS Conference paper? If so where? Thank you

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous WELS pastor,
I did post the link to District President Buchholz' 2005 WELS Conference paper. Please refer to the post dated February 17, 2009 10:37 PM

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

I apologize that isn't the date I posted a link to Pastor Buchholz' essay. It was this post - February 16, 2009 10:13 AM

Here's how to search the web for this document
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Justification+Expounded+by+Scripture+buchholz&aq=f&oq=

Here's access to the pdf from the web search above
http://www.wlsessays.net/node/390

Here's a quote from another WELS supported Pastor Buchholz article (Linked on WELS.NET so I am assuming it's an approved explanation of UOJ), "God removed the guilt of the world’s sin and replaced it with the righteousness of Christ. The justification of the world came through a legal verdict that was rendered when Jesus died and rose again. It didn’t change human nature, but it did change the relationship or status between God and a world of sinners. The verdict rendered at Calvary declared the world free of guilt, righteous in God’s sight, and worthy of eternal life—all for Jesus’ sake. The guilt of the world was placed on Jesus, and the perfect obedience of Jesus stands in its place as righteousness for all." http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1712&cxDatabase_databaseID=1&id=8723&magazine=Forward%20in%20Christ

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

The quote just above from District President Pastor Jon Buchholz on WELS.net is consistent with the quotations I've posted from his 2005 Convention essay, M. Zarlings paper, Siegbert Beckers essay and H.A. Preus' article. I believe throughout this discussion I've addressed an accurate and detailed explanation of the WELS doctrine of Universal Objective Justification.

Are there any Anonymous WELS pastor's out there who reject what DP Buchholz has written? What Siegbert Becker has written? Preus?

If you reject it can you explain why.

JK, do you believe that District President Jon Buchholz is wrong in his description of UOJ based on his 2005 WELS Conference paper? If so where? If the doctrine is generaly assumed why do you think Buchholz, Zarling, Becker and Preus have been so detailed and specific about the doctrine? Thank you.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett,

All I know is what the Bible says. If I need a clarification, I may consult certain commentary. But I will trust the Holy Spirit ultimately.

Jesus forgave his executioners as they drove the nails. That is all I need to know regarding unconditional forgiveness. I believe that is what UOJ is.

Peace in Jesus!

Joe Krohn

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, sincere thanks for posting your real name.

You are refering to Luke 23:34, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."

I believe it's important to see that Christ said "Father, forgive them;" He didn't say 'I forgive you' or 'you are forgiven'. Then looking at how God the Father forgives sin it becomes clear that it is through faith that the Father, if it was His will, would forgive them.

Was Christ able to pronounce forgiveness right then and there, yes, absolutely. Mark 2:10, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy,)I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house." He didn't, because throughout His earthly ministry Christ only forgave those who had faith in Him. Mark 2:5, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." Because by faith they were in Him. The Gospel is the promise of forgiveness of sins in Christ. Mark 10:52, "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." Luke 8:48, "And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."

This is not a Universal Objective Justification (Forgiveness) verse or act of Christ. This is Christ fulfilling His command which says in Matt. 5:44, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" and Romans 12:14, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

John 3:18, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, JK or any Anonymous WELS pastor,
Has the Roman Catholic Church ever confessed belief in the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification as it has been assumed (using JK's belief) by the Lutheran Church? If you believe they did can you post where this can be found.

I really don't want to add another question to the many I've asked and haven't recieved an answer to but I think this is a legitimate question. Thanks in advance.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Were is my wels Q&A comment?

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Are saying that the WELS believes there are forgiven people in hell?

Is that what you believe the WELS teaches?

I'm thinking you're confused.. WELS pastor.

Anonymous said...

Romans 5:18
18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous WELS pastor, here are quotations from Objective Justification
By Dr. Siegbert W. Becker
[An essay delivered at the Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982]

http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerJustification.PDF

THE FOUR KOKOMO STATEMENTS
In the light of the previous discussion we may now briefly evaluate the so-called “Four Kokomo
Statements.” The statements read:
1) Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner’s attitude toward Christ’s
sacrifice, purely on the basis of God’s verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not,
whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint.
2) After Christ’s intervention and through Christ’s intervention, God regards all sinners as guiltfree
saints.
3) When God reconciled the world to himself through Christ, he individually pronounced
forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not.
4) At the time of the resurrection of Christ GOD LOOKED DOWN IN HELL AND DECLARED JUDAS, THE PEOPLE DESTROYED IN THE FLOOD, AND ALL THE UNGODLY, INNOCENT, NOT GUILTY, AND FORGIVEN OF ALL SIN AND GAVE UNTO THEM THE STATUS OF SAINTS."

S. Becker, "Every one of the statements can be understood correctly, even though ONE MUST SWALLOW A LITTLE HARD TO ACCEDE TO THE FOURTH. However, because the statements were used to discredit the truth of universal justification and to
cause other laymen to doubt this teaching it is especially necessary to point out that THE STATEMENTS DO NOT CONTAIN FALSE DOCTRINE."

This essay has been consistently used by the WELS as their understanding of the doctrine, and unequivocally accepted as correct concerning UOJ.

Although I haven't referenced this specific heinous error I will confess that yes, the WELS believes this and has never corrected or retracted what S.W. Becker has written but use it as proof of their false doctrine.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Requesting someone answer my questions above. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Christ’s death is a payment for sin that makes possible the salvation of people, whichvsalvation actually occurs only when they have saving faith given by the Holy Spirit through the saving Word.

There is no problem saying Christ’s death paid the penalty of the sin of all the people in the whole world, because until any believes, he or she is not saved.

WELS pastor #2

Anonymous said...

Hi Brett,

I have gone back and reviewed Pastor Bucholz' paper from 2005. I agree with it whole heartedly. I think he is spot on in his assessment of the Kokomo Statements. It would be well served if they were re-written. I think TKS were OK in principle, but poorly worded.

Joe Krohn a.k.a. JK

Gregory L. Jackson said...

DP Buchholz (note the spelling, Joe) has the doctrinal endorsement of a Church and Changer? I would worry about that, if I were DP. See this link for the largest collection of UOJ statements ever, including guilt-free saints in Hell: http://www.gljackson.com/chap05just.htm.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous poster of Romans 5:18,
You seem to imply that this verse is proof of Universal Justification. I don't see any other reason you would post it in the context of this discussion. They error in your confession is that if this is proof of Universal Justification (forgiveness) then it is also proof of Universal Salvation. When God says, "so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all." Life is Salvation. Justification is forgiveness of sins and if you say this verse testifies that the whole world (all) is justified (forgiven) then you must also commit to the fact that in your view it testifies that the whole world is saved (life).

You may indeed believe this as I confess the doctrine of UOJ supports it but I reject this understanding and attempted use of the verse.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

WELS Pastor #2, your explanation of the Gospel is Scriptural and Confessional Justification by Faith alone (as literally stated). I assume though that you support Universal Objective Justification (correct me if I'm wrong as my comments will address this as though you do) which gives to the whole world Christ's righteousness and as a result they stand forgiven, justified, guiltless and righteous in God's sight before faith and while they are dead in sins - under the Law. I confess that the belief in UOJ destroys Justification by faith alone as it places everyone in Christ and Christ in them (having been given His righteousness for the forgiveness of sins). Reference Buchholz' quotes above which clearly state this as WELS doctrine, uncontested and not corrected to date.

If anyone will attempt to state that the forgiveness of sins is not really their until they have faith in Christ then God the Father also has not rendered the verdict that they are forgiven and justified. If anyone makes this declaration they are Enthusiasts (Condemned by Scripture and the Confessions) which say that the redemption, reconcillation and justification are available to the world while they are under the law and outside of the Means of Grace.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

I may not receive an answer to the question, "Has the Roman Catholic Church ever confessed belief in the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification?" I have never seen evidence of this and believe it would contradict their doctrine of works righteousness.

My point here is that the WELS teaches that UOJ has always been a doctrine of the Lutheran Church and the reason it wasn't covered in the extensive Confessional statements of the Lutheran Church was that it wasn't an issue at the time, only justification by faith (WELS refers to this as Subjective Justification - personal belief that they've been declared justified at the cross of Christ, the whole worlds sins were forgiven ).

The very fact that the RCC rejects the WELS doctrine of UOJ exposes the above explanation (defense) false. UOJ would have been an enormous issue in the Justification VS Works Righteousness war. In the whole scope of the WELS OJ and SJ doctrines, Objective Justification carries the most emphasis since they teach that in SJ faith is just and empty hand receiving what was already declared to be true. That if faith did anything other than just receive it woiuld then become a work of man which is works righteousness. If OJ was a Lutheran doctrine it would have been explained in the Confessions. It was not mentioned. Only Justification by faith alone was defended as the only Justification God declares. As shown above Siegbert Becker's essay's contention and quotes that the Confessions supported UOJ were out of context and blatantly false.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

John said...

Brett,

I appreciate your passion and zeal. However, I wonder if this issue will never be resolved. I wonder if we shouldn't move on?

I did ask you earlier if any Lutheran Church today holds to your view of justification?

I don't think that you will find anyone answer the questions you desire. Let's bask in the transfiguration of our Lord.

Brett Meyer said...

John, you want to agree to disagree and just be brothers in Christ but while you confess the doctrine of universal objective justification we are not brothers in Christ.

I answered that all Lutheran Synods confess UOJ. There are individual churches which confess Justification by Faith alone and condemn UOJ and certainly every individual who is of Christ's universal church confesses Justification by faith alone and condemns UOJ. Of those individuals many are members of Lutheran Synods but just as it is only God who sees the hypocrites so it is that only God sees who are truly His.

Why can't anyone answer my simple questions? The answer is certainly not that they've already been answered as every proof that been provided has been shown to be either a deception or in complete contradiction to Scripture and the Confessions. One person says we've always believed this way but cannot show this. The proof from Lutheran Church fathers has been shown to have been taken out of context and as such an attempt to decieve, in the name of Christ no less.

Your approach reminds me of the following comments by Martin Luther: "Therefore nothing but a satanic, seductive, and sinister strategy is involved when we are called upon to yield a bit and to connive at an error for the sake of unity. In this way the devil is trying cunningly to lead us away from the Word. For if we adopt this course and get together in this matter, he has already gained ground; and if we were to yield him a fingerbreadth, he would soon have an ell."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f. Ephesians 6:10-17.

" Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we are told that not love but the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures." 19 " In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything." 20 "Doctrine is our only light. It alone enlightens and directs us and shows us the way to heaven. If it is shaken in one quarter (in una parte), it will necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum). Where that happens, love cannot help us at all." 21 " But this tender mercy is to be exercised only toward Christians and among Christians, for toward those who reject and persecute the Gospel we must act differently; here I am not permitted to let my love be merciful so as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order. Then it is my duty to contend in earnest and not to yield a hairbreadth." What Luther Says, II, 637f.

Feel free to move on but I will always be willing to discuss this issue. This is the central doctrine of Christian faith no less. To make a perversion of this doctrine, teach another gospel than the one Gospel given by God, condemns the person to an eternity in Hell if that person, by the grace of God, does not repent and believe in Christ alone. I think it's important enough to talk about and debate until Christ returns. And that won't be long.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

I don't want to bring this discussion back from the dead, but I just think it's sad. It's sad that someone of Brett's obvious intellect doesn't have the intellectual sophistication to understand the distinction between something that is objectively true and something that is subjectively true.

Is it objectively true that unbelievers have been justified? Yes! Is it subjectively true that unbelievers have been justified? NO! This is the key thing that Brett doesn't understand. He lacks the capacity to see the same thing can be true in one sense and untrue in another sense.

Let me give you an example. Congress passes the biggest bailout in history and credits a million dollars to the account of every single US citizen. Thus, in once sense, every American is a millionaire. But in another sense, not every American is a millionaire. Some will not hear about it, some will not believe it, and thus some will continue to live in poverty because they don't enjoy the benefits of what the government did. Objectively, they are millionaires, but subjectively they aren't.

Brett would say, "Well, it doesn't make sense that people can be millionaires and not be millionaires at the same time!", but clearly that's exactly what they are.

Anonymous said...

To make a perversion of this doctrine, teach another gospel than the one Gospel given by God, condemns the person to an eternity in Hell if that person, by the grace of God, does not repent and believe in Christ alone.

Wow...a little presumptuous, are we? You have no idea who any of the commentator's are on the blog, but you're quick to judge their hearts, that they are teaching another gospel and will be condemned to hell. Nice! Does that mean baptists are going to hell? Does that mean all Roman Catholics are going to hell? Does that mean all Evangelicals are going to hell?

You're comment is truly eye-opening, and proves that you really don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. A little knowledge can puff up, and is dangerous, because he thinks he knows something, when it reality he knows nothing.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous with the million dollar deposit, what I do get is that a million dollars has been deposited in my account, even if I don't believe it I am a millionaire. It doesn't matter at that moment what I believe, reality is that it's been deposited in my bank account. All UOJ supporters use this kind of analogy with a stated exception saying, "every analogy has a point where it fails". When speaking of the central doctrine of Christian faith, use God's Word, use the Confessions. These kinds of analogies are spoken of in 2 Timothy 3, "..reprobate concerning the faith."

If UOJ has God declaring that the whole world is forgiven, justified, guiltless and without sin then even if they don't believe it it is a reality. They are saved and will enter heaven not knowing why. This is part of the blasphemy UOJ teaches: The God who made everything in a Word, has in a Word declared everyone forgiven of all sin and justified in the righteousness of Christ - BUT they aren't until the believe that they ARE. That they have been given by God, by divine verdict, everything they need to be saved, they are brothers with Christ, yet if God does not give them the faith to believe it then although they are exactly like (perfectly righteous and without sin in God's sight) they will spend eternity in Hell. UOJ makes a mockery of what it means to be Justified, forgiven of all sins, and guiltless before God.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous WELS pastor who says, "Wow...a little presumptuous, are we?" As I've posted above I am not judging hearts - based on everything I've ever written no one can claim that I have judged hearts. I do judge the doctrine which they declare to be Scriptural and Confessional and show where it isn't. I've shown where UOJ is not Scriptural or Confessional. UOJ is another gospel.

As for Baptists - those that confess the official doctrine of the Baptist churches reject Justification by Faith and declare that man must make a decision to accept Christ (this doctrine is seen in their confession on baptism) they make faith a work that they do and as such are condemned.

As for RCC - they reject that Christ paid for all sins and reject Justification by Faith alone declaring justification by works. All Catholics who confess the official doctrines of the RCC are condemned and apart from God and the righteousness that is only in Christ.

As for Evangelicals - they now confess a mix of Methodist, Pentecostal, Reformed and RCC doctrines. If any rely on anything other than Justification by Faith alone in Christ they stand condemned of themselves and in the sight of God.

Am I presumptuous? No. I am applying Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to what people say they believe and God's Word judges.

You though have said that my statement, "To make a perversion of this doctrine, teach another gospel than the one Gospel given by God, condemns the person to an eternity in Hell if that person, by the grace of God, does not repent and believe in Christ alone." is presumptuous. Assure you it is not and I refer you to the following Scripture passage, Galations 1:6-12, "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. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." As you see God said that if any preach another gospel than the one Gospel he gave they are condemned.

As you see it is you who have presumed.

By the way, I do not know who I'm addressing on this blog as 98% do not sign their names. I have utmost respect for the Office of Public Ministry which Christ instituted. Those in it have my respect in so far as they adhere to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

Do any of the Anonymous WELS pastors justified anyones respect on this and other blogs when they speak (concerning God's Word no less) anonymously? To compare that to Luther who stood in front of the Pope and said, "Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen" makes me ashamed of what the Lutheran Church has come to.

I appreciate everyone who posts their real names. For whatever you each may think that's worth.

By the grace of God, forever in Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

"If UOJ has God declaring that the whole world is forgiven, justified, guiltless and without sin then even if they don't believe it it is a reality. They are saved and will enter heaven not knowing why."

No, Brett, this is your silly caricature of UOJ. You have been shown repeatedly here that this is not at all what UOJ teaches. You've shown that you aren't willing to listen and discuss in an open and honest way. Thus, there's no use in talking to you anymore.

Anonymous said...

Brett,

1) Christ died as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the entire world. His perfect life and death removed the guilt and punishment of sin from ALL humanity--sinner and saint. This is a gift, given as a one-sided covenant based on grace, nothing we have merited.

2) This gift of grace is received only through faith. Faith is another gift of God given without any merit on what we have done.

3) Faith is received and nurtured only through the power of the Holy Spirit who works through the Word of God both in Scripture and physically in the Sacraments.

That is what I have been taught from Lutheran (WELS and ELS) grade school, through Preparatory school and now at Martin Luther College. I have never once been told that any man is saved apart from faith. Nor have I ever been told that all are saved regardless of faith.

Justification, on the part of God, is universal. God's actions cannot depart from his omnipotent will. If God "wants all men to be saved" we will enact the salvation of all. Jesus died for all, saint and sinner.

However Justification, on the part of man, is not universal. Man has the ability to reject God's gift. If man is saved it is the gift of God, if man is condemned it is through his own rejection.

Jesus wept when he approached Jerusalem, longing to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks. He knew his death would be for them as well and they would squander it with their unbelief.

Christians of all times have erred on both sides of the matter. Some believe that Christ died only for the elect, others teach that all are saved. I neither believe either nor have been taught either.

Please, no longer tell me what I am being taught, you are incorrect in the matter.

Michael Schottey
MLC Senior-SPaM Track
Graduate of MLS ('04)

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Wow! Such busy beavers. I just wanted to say that I like Michael's summary and think he summed it up well and spot on. In a similar sitution of WELS grade schools, Lakeside Lutheran High School, a few years at DMLC, and in the 20 years since spent at 6 WELS churches, I have never once heard it differently...and apparently 20 years has not changed the message the WELS students are hearing.

I think this discussion is illuminating. It illustrates the danger of taking things out of context like so many other erring religions. It's not suprising that it is championed by an absolute master of taking things out of context. I think Brett's last post famously illustrates where this belief will take you. Apparently only a few crackpots scattered amongst the synods and some independent Lutherans are going to be saved.

I also think it is interesting in discussing this central doctrine of the church, that depite differing opinions amongst the BW family in the particulars of worship and such, there seems to be a decent amount of commonality in the condemnation of this belief in the denial of OJ.

Tim Niedfeldt

Tim Niedfeldt said...

BTW. Here is a great essay from Dan Deutchlander called "On the Distinction between Objective and Subjective Justification" He has hit most everything talked about in this thread. A great read.

http://www.wlsessays.net/files/DeutschlanderDistinction.pdf

Tim Niedfeldt

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Michael Schottey
MLC Senior-SPaM Track
Graduate of MLS ('04): Dr. Robert Preus rejected your stated opinion in his last book, Justification and Rome. I suggest you read it carefully. There is no justification apart from the Means of Grace and faith. It is best to use Biblical and Book of Concord terminology and not adopt the schemes of the Halle Pietists like Knapp. In Christ,
Greg Jackson

Anonymous said...

Rev. Jackson,

Rev. Daniel Deutchlander (from the article posted by Mr. Niedfeldt)writes...

"By objective (or universal) justification we mean simply this: God, on account of His own free and
unmerited grace, has forgiven the sins of the whole world;1 this “not guilty” verdict God has declared
over the whole world2 without injury to His divine justice;3 for the sacrifice of His Son in the place of all
mankind4 serves as the all-sufficient satisfaction for the offence done to God by the individual and
collective sin of our fallen race,5 and that sacrifice provides each and every sinner with the only possible,
perfect, and complete covering for his guilt.6"
--------------------

This is justification in the forensic sense (as Paul often uses it) Jesus declared the world, "Not Guilty" when he said "It is finished"

Prof Deutchlander admits for the confessions' silence on the subject yet provides adequate reasons for said silence and provides sound scriptural support for how the WELS defines Objective Justification. If you would like to paint Deutchlander as a heretic I would suggest you remove your glowing review of his book.

Schottey

Anonymous said...

The Reverend Jackson (In my best Rush Limbaugh voice) said, and I quote: "There is no justification apart from the Means of Grace and faith."

Straw man. Michael Schottey never said this was the case. No one commenting on this blog post has said this was the case. It's obvious from scripture that faith is only created and sustained through the gospel in Word and Sacraments. Take off your Anti-WELS goggles and actually read what people are writing (unless intellectuals like you are above reading the words of peons like us). You and Brett Meyer are one in the same, caricaturing a WELS position to fit your own Anti-WELS agenda, and attributing comments to people that they never said.

You are no different than Brett Meyer, in that you cannot distinguish something that is objectively true and something that is subjectively true. A previous commentator's words to Brett Meyer are quite fitting for you: "You lack the capacity to see the same thing can be true in one sense and untrue in another sense."

You, Reverend Jackson (in my best Rush Limbaugh voice) are a rationalist just like Brett. And your continued caricature of WELS clergy and laity in which you accuse them of believing one is justified apart from the Means of Grace is old and tired. It's time to stop beating this dead horse.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, Rev. Jackson, since you and I have gone around this merry-go-round a few times before, I realize we can debate the semantics of the "forensic" view of the word Justification until we are both blue in the face.

You consider the "Justification" which Deutchlander describes a characterization and mislabeled "Atonement." I'm comfortable with that. The doctrine is the same. Christ died for all.

If you (or Mr. Meyer) would like to call someone out for a pietistic view I would think it would be for more than semantics. Your view of atonement and the WELS view of UOJ are exactly the same.

That being said, we both know there are bad apples. (Rotten to The Core) Who will confuse the people with careless language like "I am saved so are you" But I would wager if you spoke to the men teaching at MLC they would disagree with that ad campaign as much as you have. (in fact, the issue has been broached).

Schottey

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Schottey, I don't understand your snotty remarks. I reviewed Deutschlander's book and specifically took issue with his one passage on OJ. I suspect your insecurity over this recently invented opinion is showing through. The Universalism ad campaign, "I am saved, just like you," was carried out under the watchful eyes of the entire synod. One DP even told me personally it never happened. You must have had the same dream I had. The issue was broached? Many issues are broached and covered up in WELS. It's their thing.

Anonymous said...

Greg,
I don't think you are reading. Schottey said nothing that you should take as "snotty". Please reread his last few posts and recognize that the 5:53 PM post was from an anon who is not Schottey. I realize the Deutschlander paper makes it difficult to paint all the WELS with the broad brush, but that doesn't mean you need to get upset.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I just think there is incredible irony in that you will sit at the feet of an unquestionable "UOJ Stormtrooper" and praise his book. This would be your own version of "spoiling the Egyptians." I guess its okay after all.

I was almost ready to believe that going outside one's denomination for theological content was heresy. However, now I know that I can pick and choose the acceptable content of false teachers and heretics as long as I acknowledge the parts I don't agree with. I can now use discernment in picking through false teaching mixed with good teaching.

The irony and hypocrisy are astounding yet it is good to know that C&C can soon expect the full endorsement of Greg Jackson. "What's good for the goose..."

Tim "Felt Needs"

Brett Meyer said...

I dropped out of the discussion as I thought the Blog owner wanted to move on. It doesn't seem to be the case.

I've been labeled a rationalist because I've looked at the origins of UOJ (Pietism and Universalism of Halle University, WELS has only traced it back to Walther in the states, Easter Sermon), I've studied the Scriptural proof texts of UOJ (three verses), I've read the recommended documentation (Becker, Preus, Zarling, Buchholz), heard the WELS reasons why UOJ wasn't mentioned in the Confessions (RCC rejects UOJ so this is absurd), read the WELS quotations from the Book of Concord supporting UOJ (Deceptive lies taken out of context - shame on you Becker), read the origins of the doctrine of UOJ by WELS pastors in this discussion (UOJ is an assumed doctrine) and what everyone comes away with is that WELS has created a doctrine by assuming that it must be true because thier reason tells them that faith cannot believe in something that is already a reality. God must have already declared the whole world forgiven in Christ otherwise faith would have nothing to hold onto. Where is the Scripture that says Faith can only hold to something already completed? Isn't there. You call me rationalistic?

God is the same yesterday, today and forever and cannot deny Himself yet WELS defense of UOJ is a resounding contradiction to the rest of Scripture and WELS then says God can say two contradictory statements concerning one thing, Justification, and it must be believed even though the context of their three verses are in harmony with the rest of Scripture which declares Justification by Faith alone and leaves no room for God declaring the whole world forgiven, justified and at peace with God before faith. And you call me rationalistic?

UOJ has God washing the whole world in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins at the cross when Scripture says that a person must first be brought to contrition and faith (repent and believe) for the remission of sins before they are washed in the blood of Christ. You even maintain the Scriptural doctrine of the Lord's Supper where if anyone takes Christ body and blood outside of faith they are condemned. How then can you continue to embrace UOJ washing the whole world in Christ's blood at the cross? And if you say He didn't, then UOJ is proven wrong because they are not forgiven. Or are you saying that they can be forgiven and justified outside of Christ's blood?? But UOJ has everyone embracing these contradictions as though God ordained them.

Tim and Co., you say, "You lack the capacity to see the same thing can be true in one sense and untrue in another sense." And you call me rationalistic?

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Irony indeed. I've addressed this before. He is Ichabod by his own admission. And the Glory has departed. The Bible speaks of God turning men over to their evil desires. That's the only way I can explain the madness, irony and godless behavior.

JK

Gregory L. Jackson said...

"If you would like to paint Deutchlander as a heretic I would suggest you remove your glowing review of his book.

Schottey"

That is the comment I addressed, and it is indeed snotty and sophomoric.

Reading comprehension was high on my spiritual gifts inventory.

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer,

I suggest you find your local Calvinistic church where they teach that Christ died only for the elect.

Christ died for all. The punishment of sin is paid for all. It is a free gift for all.

When Christ said, "It is finished" He meant it. Take him at his word.

Now are any saved apart from the Means of Grace which impart Faith--certainly not! NO ONE IS TEACHING THAT AT MLC OR AT MEQUON...NO ONE! Your assertion that it is being taught is fallacious and a ridiculous debate in semantics.

Michael Schottey

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer said @ 8:42AM

"UOJ has God washing the whole world in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins at the cross when Scripture says that a person must first be brought to contrition and faith (repent and believe) for the remission of sins before they are washed in the blood of Christ."
----------------------------

What you have just described is limited atonement (The "L" in the TULIP metaphor for Calvinist Theology)

Christ's vicarious atonement OF THE WHOLE WORLD is the central theme of the Bible and of the Confessions.

Faith is the tool by which that gift is received by natural born sinners. No one is saved apart from faith--That does NOT mean that Christ did not die for all.

If God wants all men to be saved, he will enact a plan by which all men COULD be saved. In your limited atonement scenario, God only wished to save some--Those he wished to bless with faith. It is a dangerous road you have walked down and now you are espousing limited atonement and double predestination because you do not believe that Christ died for all.

I admitted earlier that I believe Rev Jackson and I believe the same thing...he just wishes to use the word Atonement because UOJ has negative evangelical connotations. You, however, in that quote have spoken false doctrine.

Schottey

Anonymous said...

Brett, what actually was accomplished with the death of Christ on the cross? What is atonement? Thanks.

Rob

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Michael Schottey, you are just recycling all the UOJ mottos, epithets, battle cries, and insults. That only proves that you have not studied the Biblical foundations for justification by faith alone. You are generating what Jay Webber calls "Repeat after me" doctrinal sound-bytes. The results are not good and not edifying.

Anonymous said...

To Reverend Jackson,

I apologize for my comment, it was tongue in cheek aimed at the fact that often your UOJ claims are aimed at Church Growth supporters.

I don't think anyone in their right mind would call Rev. Daniel Deutchlander a church growth advocate.

I did not mean it as snotty however I can certainly see that it could have been taken that way, I apologize for my lack of decorum and promise it would have come out much better with the wink and nod I would have given while speaking it.

Schottey

Anonymous said...

That's OK, Schottey. In fact it was quite large of you to apologize in the first place. The problem is that GJ makes snotty remarks all the time and it is OK for him to do it. But when the shoe is on the other foot, it's one shoe he doesn't want to wear. He likes to dish it out but he can't take it. On the playground when we were kids, we would have called him a spoiled brat.

JK

Brett Meyer said...

Galatians 3:24-27, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

UOJ has the whole world (dead in sins, carnaly minded and under the law) washed in Christ's blood for the forgiveness of sins at the cross. What then is the Holy Spirit speaking of here when He says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." How do we put on Christ at our baptism when UOJ says it was done at the cross when Christ said, "It is finished"? It is through baptism that we die to sin, carnally minded, and are raised again, spiritually minded, to Christ through faith alone.

Romans 8:6-7, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."

UOJ has the whole world declared by divine verdict - forgiven, justified, guiltless, righteous and at peace with God while they are carnally minded and under the law. Scripture says to be carnally minded is death. Does UOJ teach that the divine verdict also makes of an unjust man a just man, a carnally minded man a spiritually minded man? Does UOJ teach that a man can be carnally minded in one sense and spiritually minded in another?

Mark 4:12, "That seeing they may see, and not percieve; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."

Christ here says that the forgiveness of sins follows conversion (contrition and faith). Why does UOJ teach that the whole world dead in sins has been declared by God to be forgiven, justified and righteous before conversion by the Holy Ghost? Proverbs 17:15, "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD." UOJ justifies the wicked and condemns Justification by faith alone. August Pieper writing for the third volume of the Quartalschrift, "But whoever molests the doctrine of justification stabs the gospel in the heart ...even if he ever so much emphasizes justification by faith."

Epitome of the Formula of Concord, The Righteousness of Faith before God, "1] Since it is unanimously confessed in our churches, in accordance with God's Word and the sense of the Augsburg Confession, that we poor sinners are justified before God and saved alone by faith in Christ, and thus Christ alone is our Righteousness, 4] 2. Accordingly, we believe, teach, and confess that our righteousness before God is (this very thing], that God forgives us our sins out of pure grace, without any work, merit, or worthiness of ours preceding, present, or following, that He presents and imputes to us the righteousness of Christ's obedience, on account of which righteousness we are received into grace by God, and regarded as righteous. 5] 3. We believe, teach, and confess that faith alone is the means and instrument whereby we lay hold of Christ, and thus in Christ of that righteousness which avails before God, for whose sake this faith is imputed to us for righteousness, R om. 4, 5. 7] 5. We believe, teach, and confess that according to the usage of Holy Scripture the word justify means in this article, to absolve, that is, to declare free from sins. Prov. 17, 15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the righteous, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Also Rom. 8, 33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."

As quote above the Confessions state, "3. We believe, teach, and confess that faith alone is the means and instrument whereby we lay hold of Christ, and thus in Christ of that righteousness which avails before God, for whose sake this faith is imputed to us for righteousness, R om. 4, 5. 7] 5. We believe, teach, and confess that according to the usage of Holy Scripture the word justify means in this article, to absolve, that is, to declare free from sins." UOJ teaches that the world MUST have been declared by God to have been forgiven and justified of all sin BEFORE faith otherwise what would faith have to hold onto. The Confessions state, "this faith is imputed to us for righteousness". UOJ says no, Christ atonement was the imputation of His righteousness upon us. UOJ is contrary and eternally opposed to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions which are the correct explanation of Scripture.

UOJ has Christ acting as the worlds mediator, propitiation, at the cross, "It is finished."

Scripture says Christ is only our mediator through faith, Romans 3:22-26, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

The Confessions say Christ is only our mediator through faith, Apology to AC, Justification, ""80] Christ's sake. 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." UOJ then wants to say wellllllll, the forgiveness of sins is not theirs until they believe it. At the same time the UOJ defense wants to quote Luther and the Confessions out of context when speaking of the Keys and repentance by saying, "even if they don't believe it surely they will find out that their sins WERE forgiven." Does UOJ teach that we must accept contradictory statements from UOJ's doctrine and from whatever proceeds from their mouth.

UOJ teaches the doctrine of man. It is not Scriptural or Confessional. UOJ is supremely rationalitic in it's treatment of Justification and Faith.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

I believe in UOJ, but I think there is a disconnect. Just because I believe iN UOJ, does not mean I believe everyone is saved, just that Jesus didn't die on the cross and only completed 1/2 the job. He died for the sins of the WORLD, not just the elect (John 3:16--a passage even unbelievers know is clear on that).

In believing in UOJ, I also believe in sujective justification as well, where Jesus' sacrifice is applied to the believer through faith created by the Holy Spirit.

As for this whole thread...haven't read it all...but what I am finding is that the WELS can no longer claim to be unified, but then maybe the "unification" of the past was just part of my childish understanding.

Now as an adult, I realize why denomination affiliaion is important to some degree--it is truly an issue of the individual church.

Not all WELS churches will be doctrinally sound...and we as a Synod have got to face the fact on this issue.

Marie

PS Please excuse all typos..I have 5 kids and well, my ability to focus is not part of this season of my life. :)

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Nice to have Joe Krohn revealing his spleen again. I don't need to hide behind "Anonymous" and my initials.

Brett Meyer said...

I think this quote from the Confessions is fitting.

"19] We shall commend our cause, therefore, to Christ, who some time will judge these controversies, and we beseech Him to look upon the afflicted and scattered churches, and to bring them back to godly and perpetual concord. [Therefore, if the known and clear truth is trodden under foot, we will resign this cause to God and Christ in heaven, who is the Father of orphans and the Judge of widows and of all the forsaken, who (as we certainly know) will judge and pass sentence upon this cause aright. Lord Jesus Christ it is Thy holy Gospel, it is Thy cause; look Thou upon the many troubled hearts and consciences, and maintain and strengthen in Thy truth Thy churches and little flocks, who suffer anxiety and distress from the devil. Confound all hypocrisy and lies, and grant peace and unity, so that Thy glory may advance, and Thy kingdom, strong against all the gates of hell, may continually grow and increase.]"

http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_greeting.php

Anonymous said...

Haha... Greg Jackson accusing someone of snotty remarks? :) Now that is a good one! Give him the Oscar this year for Best Hypocrite!! We did meet folks like Greg on the playground when we were kids. They usually had a bloody nose because of the way their mouth engaged life. Play on!

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer...

Who did Christ die for? What do you mean when you speak the word atonement?

Michael Schottey said...

First to JK, Rev Jackson et al. back to your corners. No one has ever profited by bickering.

Secondly, to the group I submit these words:
------------
"The God Incarnate,—I say, was sent for this purpose—that He might desire, speak, do, suffer, and offer unto ~>ALL<~, all things that are necessary unto salvation, although He should offend many, who, being either left or hardened by that secret will of Majesty, should not receive Him thus desiring, speaking, doing, and offering: as John i. 5, saith, "The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." And again, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not."
--------------------

According to Mr. Meyer the man quoted is a UOJ heathen. Can anyone from the group identify the source?

Brett Meyer said...

There is a knee jerk reaction when someone says that they reject the doctrine of UOJ which washes the whole world in Christ's blood while they are outside of faith and under the law. The immediate response is, "you're wrong, Christ didn't just die for the elect!" That those who hold to UOJ, which is justification without faith, regard those who hold to Justification by faith alone as Calvinists.

Isaiah 53: 4:6, "Surely he hath borne our grief's, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD HATH LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL."

1 Timothy 2:4-6, "WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, AND COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; WHO GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time."

Romans 3 says that the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL AND UPON ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE. This isn't "Christ died only for the elect". The Atonement is that Christ died and paid for the sins of all the world and the Father accepted Christ's payment and the proof was His resurrection. But over and over the Scriptures declare that the righteousness that avails against God's wrath on all mankind over sin is IN Christ. NOT apart from Christ as UOJ teaches. Christ is the propitiation for the whole world ONLY through faith in Him.

Romans 3:22-26, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

JK, you ask, "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, while your grandchildren are growing in the womb of their mother they are dead in sins, carnally minded, under the law and apart from God. Because of their sin God's wrath abides on them. This will be their condition as infants until, by the grace of God, they are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. In baptism your grandchildren die to sin and in faith worked by the Holy Ghost be raised to life, spiritually minded, in Christ. They will be justified, forgiven of all sin, through baptism. Romans 3:22-28 Prior to their baptism as infants or faith worked by the Holy Spirit through the Word when they are older their sins are not forgiven because the righteousness which removes our sin is in Christ and never apart from him. It is only through faith that Christ becomes their propitiation, their mediator, and as their Mediator they are in Christ and Christ in them having all that He offers, forgiveness of sins, comfort and salvation. Your question about God's love being unconditional is a flawed appeal. God is perfectly merciful. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God is perfectly just also and has declared his wrath on sin, 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." and Romans 9:22, "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:" God is also perfectly loving and has provided a mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, Romans 3:22-26. JK, you have equated the Atonement (Christ paid all sins) and Justification (the forgiveness of sins in Christ).

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Michael, I never commented on the quote you just provided. Seeing the quote just now I would say no this quote is not UOJ as it pronounces "offer unto all" and "recieve (H)im thus" which wording and inference is Scriptural. The Gospel offers the forgiveness of sins and justification through faith in Christ.

Brett Meyer said...

Reading the Book of Concord this afternoon I came across this quote which speaks to UOJ.

"6] Let any one of the adversaries come forth and tell us when remission of sins takes place. O good God, what darkness there is!"

This is a good quote as it sets the stage for declaring exactly when justification (remission of sins) takes place. If UOJ is a Scriptural and Confessional doctrine the BOC will clearly detail it in response to this quote because UOJ says the whole world was absolved at the Cross before faith.

"6] Let any one of the adversaries come forth and tell us when remission of sins takes place. O good God, what darkness there is! They doubt whether it is in attrition or in contrition that remission of sins occurs. And if it occurs on account of contrition, what need is there of absolution, what does the power of the keys effect, if sins have been already remitted? Here, indeed, they also labor much more, and wickedly detract from the power of the keys. 7] Some dream that by the power of the keys guilt is not remitted, but that eternal punishments are changed into temporal. Thus the most salutary power would be the ministry, not of life and the Spirit, but only of wrath and punishments. Others, namely, the more cautious, imagine that by the power of the keys sins are remitted before the Church and not before God. This also is a pernicious error. For if the power of the keys does not console us before God, what, then, will pacify the conscience? 8] Still more involved is what follows. They teach that by contrition we merit grace. In reference to which, if any one should ask why Saul and Judas and similar persons, who were dreadfully contrite, did not obtain grace, the answer was to be taken from faith and according to the Gospel, that Judas did not believe, that he did not support himself by the Gospel and promise of Christ. For faith shows the distinction between the contrition of Judas and of Peter.
But we say that contrition is the true terror of conscience, which feels that God is angry with sin, and which grieves that it has sinned. And this contrition takes place in this manner when sins are censured by the Word of God, because the sum of the preaching of the Gospel is this, namely, to convict of sin, and to offer for Christ's sake the remission of sins and righteousness, and the Holy Ghost, and eternal life, and that as regenerate men we should do good works. 30] Thus Christ comprises the sum of the Gospel when He says in Luke 24, 47: That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in My name among all nations. 31]
35] We therefore add as the second part of repentance, Of Faith in Christ, that in these terrors the Gospel concerning Christ ought to be set forth to consciences, in which Gospel the remission of sins is freely promised concerning Christ. Therefore, they ought to believe that for Christ's sake 36] sins are freely remitted to them. This faith cheers, sustains, and quickens the contrite, according to Rom. 5, 1: Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. This faith obtains the remission of sins. This faith justifies before God, as the same passage testifies: Being justified by faith. This faith shows the distinction between the contrition of Judas and Peter, of Saul and of David. The contrition of Judas or Saul is of no avail, for the reason that to this there is not added this faith, which apprehends the remission of sins, bestowed as a gift for Christ's sake." http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_10_repentance.php

Remission of sins takes place a person comes to faith in Christ as their Lord and Saviour over sin, death and the power of the devil. UOJ is a man made doctrine (assumed to be true) and the result is that UOJ makes a mockery of what it means to be justified in Christ, evicerates the Holy Spirit's faith and teaches a new gospel because men needed a means of being justified before God while rejecting the faith of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett, I still struggle as it seems to be a debate in semantics. Christ died on the cross for the sins of all men - agreed upon by both sides. He made "atonement" for the sins of all men - agreed by both sides. This, though, you say is not justification. Justification only comes through faith - which some would call subjective justification - to which both sides agree (apart from the terminology).

So, even though those who disagree with you don't believe there is any benefit in Christ's sacrifice for the unbeliever -- for those apart from faith -- it's not acceptable. It still seems like the debate is over the term atonement vs. objective justification and justification vs. subjective justification. I'm sorry, but I can't see the difference besides that. But you obviously do. Does that mean I'm condemned? Am I lost because I don't have the knowledge about this topic that you do?

That's where my hang up is in this whole discussion. I can appreciate your passion. But it still isn't clear to me the difference. I don't believe in universalism. I don't believe in limited atonement. I don't believe people are saved apart from faith. I believe in the means of grace. I believe God saves through baptism. I believe Christ's death was for all sins. But I don't see the difference other than language in this one.

Rob

Michael Schottey said...

Exactly!

Objective Justification is Christ's declaration...thus the offer of salvation to the entire world.

Subjective Justification is the reception of that salvation which is only by Grace though faith.

The quote I provided above is exactly what I and other WELS members mean when we say atonement/Universal Objective Justification. It is from Luther--Bondage of the Will.

Do not continue to argue with the "WELS position" unless you want to argue with Luther. You have mischaracterized the position long enough.

John said...

Rob,

Thank you for your clear post on the seeming differences.

I'm interested in Brett's answer to your question:

..."Does that mean I'm condemned?"

Brett Meyer said...

Rob, you state, "So, even though those who disagree with you DON'T BELIEVE THERE IS ANY BENEFIT in Christ's sacrifice for the unbeliever --for those apart from faith -- it's not acceptable." (caps are my emphasis - Brett). Here are quotes from those who disagree with me above which show that they believe there is benefit apart from faith:

Anonymous - February 16, 2009 1:49 PM
"Again, the forgiveness of the world has to be there before anything else, or else faith has nothing to which it can grasp."

Anonymous - February 16, 2009 8:16 PM
"My pastor teaches that all are forgiven but all are not saved."

Anonymous - February 17, 2009 8:21 AM
"It is the affirmation that Jesus Christ did all that was necessary to atone for the sins of the whole world; that when he said, "It is finished", it really is finished and there is no more to do." and, "And if you believe that Jesus' death only pays for the sins of those who believe, then you have made something in man the reason and cause for forgiveness."

Anonymous - February 17, 2009 9:38 AM
"The teaching of objective justification is that God the Father declared the sins of the whole world forgiven because Christ had paid for all sin."

Anonymous - February 17, 2009 12:08 PM
"Jesus has not just paid the price for the sins of the world, he has taken away the sins of the world."

Anonymous - February 18, 2009 10:04 AM
"Despite the fact that people are telling these two individuals that their pastors teach that all the world has been forgiven of their sins,"

Anonymous quoting Prof. Gurgel - February 18, 2009 12:56 PM
"A: Justification, or the declaration of acquittal, is God's gift to all humanity. He has provided it freely and without any consideration of any human effort."

Joe Krohn - February 20, 2009 9:55 PM
"Jesus forgave his executioners as they drove the nails. That is all I need to know regarding unconditional forgiveness. I believe that is what UOJ is."

Anonymous - February 22, 2009 7:45 AM
"Is it objectively true that unbelievers have been justified? Yes!"

Michael Schottey - February 23, 2009 1:47 AM
"1) Christ died as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the entire world. His perfect life and death removed the guilt and punishment of sin from ALL humanity--sinner and saint."

Michael Schottey quoting Rev. Daniel Deutchlander - February 23, 2009 5:43 PM
"By objective (or universal) justification we mean simply this: God, on account of His own free and unmerited grace, has forgiven the sins of the whole world;1 this “not guilty” verdict God has declared over the whole world"

These quotes are from the accepted 2005 WELS Conference paper - "Justification Expounded by Scripture"

WELS AZ/CA District President, Pastor Buchholz
"Jesus then offered his innocent life as the payment (atonement) for the guilt of sinners. In this great transaction that took place on the cross, God removed the guilt of the world’s sin and replaced it with the righteousness of Christ."

"Here is the legal or juridical nature of justification, revealed at Calvary….A verdict has been rendered, which declares man free of sin and guilt, righteous in God’s sight, and worthy of eternal life, for Jesus’ sake."

"Faith is simply trust. Faith must have an object, something that it holds onto…. Christian faith appropriates and holds onto the reality of God’s justification completed in Christ. It does not cause justification or forgiveness to take place. It simply grasps God’s justification that is already a reality." Also, "Faith doesn’t bring anything into existence that doesn’t already exist. Faith doesn’t cause something to happen. Faith simply grasps—trusts—something that already is in place."

"God has forgiven the whole world. God has forgiven everyone his sins." This statement is absolutely true!

""God has declared the entire world righteous." This statement is true, as we understand it to mean that God has rendered a verdict of "not-guilty" toward the entire world. It is also true—and must be taught—that the righteousness of Christ now stands in place of the world’s sin; this is the whole point of what Jesus did for us at Calvary."

Rob, your premise is flawed as most people who believe in one of the many definitions of the WELS central article of UOJ believe that there is benefit, that there must be benefit, before faith.

Rob, you ask if I think you are condemned if you don't understand the controversy between UOJ and Justification by Faith alone? No. Your inability to understand the controversy has nothing to do with whether or not God sees in your heart sole trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins. God also sees in people's hearts, no matter what they say outwardly to the world, trust in anything other than Christ - trust that they've been declared righteous before faith - trust in a belief that all are forgiven and I'm one of all so then that's why I'm forgiven - any rejection of the work of the Holy Ghost - rejection of everything the Holy Spirit works in a man through faith.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I will throw my hat in there too. I find myself in full agreement with Rob (how about that, huh!) and Michael and would be interested in the answer to that question.

Tim Niedfeldt

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Michael Schottey said...
Exactly!

Bondage of the Will. I know a DP who was shopping that argument. I have heard them all times 20. If we are going to play, "Let's quote Luther," then there is no end to it. But then I will have to pray to Mary because he did in his Magnificat commentary. And so will you.

But we have some boundaries - Chemnitz and Company selected material to form the Book of Concord. You cannot argue UOJ from the Book of Concord or the Bible.

All the UOJ sedes doctrinae are really Atonement passages. So if someone points that out, the Stormtroopers yell "Calvinist," followed by "I am sorry if I have offended you." Touching.

I am not conceding that any Luther passage is UOJ. The UOJ blinders make the sectarian fanatics, Knapp-huggers, Pietists, imagine that every Atonement passage supports their peculiar idea of God declaring the world forgiven, a statement without support in the Scriptures, without foundation in the Confessions.

Mr. Student Change-the-Subject cannot deal with Robert Preus' clear repudiation of UOJ.

Michael Schottey said...

What is the difference between atonement and UOJ as the WELS believes it?! It is the same doctrine with different labels.

Anonymous said...

Brett, pardon my seeming mental deficiency, but I can't figure where you answered a previous question. This must be quite frustrating for you, so I apologize. But what did Christ's death on the cross accomplish exactly? What is atonement? Thanks for your patience.

Rob

Brett Meyer said...

Clarification of my statement dated February 24, 2009 10:46 PM:

When I said, "Rob, your premise is flawed as most people who believe in one of the many definitions of the WELS central article of UOJ believe that there is benefit BEFORE FAITH, that there must be benefit (forgiveness)DECLARED TO THE WORLD AS A VERDICT FROM GOD, before faith."

Anonymous said...

Once again, Brett rips quotes out of their context in this blog posting to attempt to show that people here believe one is saved apart from faith and the means of grace. He conveniently forgot to add the rest of the commentator's quotes which said things like "that forgiveness is of no benefit to them apart from faith" etc.

Rationalist Jackson tells us to take the blinders off, but perhaps he and Rationalist Meyer should take their own advice. You two are being seduced by the devil's whore. What does that make you yourself?

John said...

Again, it seems the wheels are spinning and the discussion isn't going anywhere.

If you have anything fruitful to add please do so. However, stay focused on the discussion at hand not on the posters.

Brett Meyer said...

Rob, I've answered your question multiple times throughout this discussion. Please review the post dated February 18, 2009 10:53 AM.

Tim and Michael, you each seem to have indicated a solid grasp of what UOJ is and is not. As you've read through the entire discussion you saw that there are a few versions, some people saying they believe UOJ is correct but confessing differences in the details. Would either of you be willing to 1.) Provide a link to the difinitive description of the WELS doctrine of UOJ. Or 2.) detail the doctrine yourselves taking everyone through OJ and SJ - what was accomplished in each and why. This would help focus this discussion which has widened as opinions are added from UOJ supporters. I am hoping that since UOJ is the central doctrine of WELS faith that there would be a definitive, official description posted on the web somewhere much like the Lutheran Confessions.

Also, do each of you believe Becker or Buchholz' papers on UOJ were correct? Do you disagree with any of it and if so where? This will also help the discussion and allow you to make a clear confession based on previously accepted WELS papers.

Please let me know if you're willing to do this. Thank you.

Anonymous, I haven't taken the quotes out of context. The quotes above were made by people saying that "this" was done - it's a reality. When they then say but it doesn't apply until they believe it it becomes absurd. Especially when it's understood that it is GOD who is making the declaration, the verdict. This whole 'true in one sense' and 'false in another sense' is the most rationalistic hogwash I've heard. And it becomes blasphemy when attributed to the Triune God. UOJ is a man made doctrine, assumed to be true, has no foundation in the accepted Lutheran church fathers who wrote the Confessions and the way in which it contradicts Scripture and the Confessions is proof. Talk about rationalism. Look at the origins of the terms Objective Justification and Subjective Justification. There are the roots of UOJ - from the pietist and universalists, Knapp and Tholuck of Halle University. Tholuck being the favorite friend and teacher of the Piepers and Hoenecke.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Layman007 said...

Brett said, When they then say but it doesn't apply until they believe it it becomes absurd.

But that is what we mean by subjective justification. You refuse to acknowledge that this is what we believe but instead you continually say we reject salvation by faith alone.

Absurd or not, we believe it by faith because it is what the Bible says.

"Christ died for sins once for all."

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith."

Wonderful paradox. I cannot rationalize it. I accept by faith.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I don't think that the SJO (subjective justification only) Stormtroopers like that God would make payment for all sins and then have the gall to put in a provision that faith is required in order to receive it. It's crazy that an almighty God would do things as he sees fit.

I believe it must make one feel rather accomplished that they have received the forgiveness of sins because you have faith and the heathen next to you has not had his sins paid for yet. Hopefully God will pick him though before he dies.


Tim Niedfeldt

Brett Meyer said...

Layman007, (I won't ask about the WELS licenses you have) Your point is consistent with what UOJ teaches. The problem with this part of the UOJ doctrine as you've presented it, and UOJ doctrine is in harmony with you, is that it disregards Scripture and the Confessions which state the redemption won by Christ, the forgiveness for all sins are in Christ through his perfect Atonement and never apart from him (Romans 3:22-28). They are only distributed and only declared to be attributable to each individual through faith and not before faith. UOJ doctrine states, and you confirm, Christ's blood has been distributed to the world before faith. I assure you I do not disregard UOJ's doctrine of Subjective Justification - my point has been that because of OJ the faith that UOJ teaches in SJ is not the faith of the Holy Spirit which makes of an unjust man a just man and is the righteousness of God with which, by the grace of God, we take Christ as our mediator against God's wrath which before faith is present upon all sinful unbelievers to their condemnation while they are carnally minded, dead in sins and under the law. God does not see anyone as being forgiven, justified, guiltless or righteous prior to faith.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett went round and round with many on LutherQuest about this subject a year ago or so. This had been discussed previously with Dr. Greg Jackson per information in that blog. Part of Brett's last post on the one from a year ago (I hope that's kosher to do):

"It is no surprise to anyone that I hold to a different doctrine than most if not all of you. I agree with you that the differences are so significant that whoever is wrong and dies in that condition is damned to an eternity in hell. ...

"I believe that I've stood on the doorstep of each of you who reject what I've written, what Scripture and the Confessions clearly state. You haven't rejected me but the Lord who's will and Word you've rejected. We're instructed to shake the dust from our feet from the doorsteps and towns which reject God's Word. I do that now."

I now recall following that discussion back then. The same arguments made here, and more were made there.

Because I obviously can't understand, I'll leave it to the Holy Spirit. I believe Christ died for the sins of the world. I also believe those with faith will be saved.

My apologies for any confusion caused. I'd say it's been enlightening, but I am at about the same place I was prior to starting. I appreciate the civility of the discussion. It was at least interesting for awhile.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Brett said: "Rob, your premise is flawed as most people who believe in one of the many definitions of the WELS central article of UOJ believe that there is benefit, that there must be benefit, before faith."

This is where Brett's understanding of and argument against UOJ is completely flawed. Did Christ's death on the cross objectively benefit the entire world? Yes, of course. John the Baptizer clearly said so. (It would be absurd to say otherwise.)

But then Brett (purposely?) neglects that the WELS also teaches subjective justification, which clearly says that Christ's death on the cross does not benefit anyone subjectively except through faith.

Until Brett acknowledges the fact the the WELS teaches subjective justification just as much, if not more so, than objective justification, there's no use in discussing this topic with him anymore. You can never win an argument with a fool or a liar. I'm not sure which Brett is, but he's definitely one or the other.

Brett Meyer said...

Tim, your assumptions about my confession are incorrect as can be clearly seen in what I've written above.

Rob, I'm fine with having anything posted which I've written. No harm done. I stand by what I said on Luther Qwest.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

John (blog owner), thank you for allowing this discussion. Appreciate your efforts on this blog.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jackson, why don't you want us to quote Luther? If we did, would you then have to acknowledge that some of us read things other than Stanley/Stetzer/Sweet?
I must have my blinders on, but I remembered reading a quote of Luther's where I clearly saw an understanding of OJ/SJ. I looked and found it in his commentary on Galatians 3:14 (LW, Vol. 26). I would encourage you to read all 14-15 pages on the verse (don't want to take anything out of context).
But Luther says things like, "the whole world is purged and expiated from all sins," and "If the sins of the entire world are on that one man, Jesus Christ, then they are not on the world."
Yet Luther clearly states that salvation is only through faith in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Question for Brett,

After reading through many of the comments I'm left wondering what it is you think needs to be explained in Romans 3? Or to put it another way, what conflict do you see between universal justification and Romans 3?