Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Synod Convention

I would like to point you to the official convention website for information regarding the upcoming Synod convention.

Convention-2009

Because of pressing duties, BW will be on a hiatus for awhile. You may post comments or provide unfiltered information as you desire.

May we remain ever-vigilant and soldiers of the cross.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. The discussions are edifying and useful.

Lemkeel said...

There is a high likelihood that this website is infected, as well as the Ichabod site. My recommendation would be to back up your data, then do a system restore and/or clean install.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel - read what Blogger has to say. You are way off.

Anonymous said...

Update (May 26): We are still working on resolving this bug. This only affects viewers using IE to view the blog; for right now, blog owners can either move the Followers gadget lower in their sidebar, or remove it altogether. Either action will eliminate the pop-up dialog box in IE.

We will update this post when a fix has been made. — latest update on Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anonymous said...

Google is wrong. Lemkeel knows better, of course.

Anonymous said...

Does something seem strange about the list of teacher candidates for the synodical council?

10. Paul Bertolus Watertown, WI
11. James Moeller Watertown, WI
12. Frederick Uttech Watertown, WI
13. Scott Monroe Sun Prairie, WI
14. Justin Gregorius Van Dyne, WI
15. Nathan Kieselhorst Watertown, WI

All 6 with a prep school bend too them.

Lemkeel said...

You guys are hilarious - surf at your own risk. I'm not sharing with you my experiences with viruses cause I'm trying to destroy you or your computers, rather the opposite. Go ahead and do what you wish. Clearly I'm not going to listen to someone who says "think that the blogspot site is protected from virus attacks" rather I'll trust my own personal experiences, esp. since John said "I think." If you want to walk a mile on "I think" that's your prerogative. What I do know is that malware and trojans can be implanted on any webpage and the user often is unaware that their computer has been attacked.

I recently did a deep system scan and found a few files had been infected despite my antivirus software and thus did a complete system restore. Now I'm confident it's clean and am currently typing on a Mac. If you want to live on "wishful thinking" go ahead. It's likely both this site and the Ichabod site are infected, as these were the only sites that I could pinpoint as causing the problems. Clearly, according to my experiences, someone is angry and is busy trying to destroy other peoples' lives.

Anonymous said...

To anonmymous 10:40:

Yes, Paul Bertolus is a teacher at a prep school; but he also sent three daughters to MLC

Yes,James Moeller sent his children to a prep school, but he is the principal of a school which sends the second highest number of graduates to Lakeside Lutheran

Yes, Scott Monroe sent his children to a prep school, but he is a member of a congregation which belongs to the Lakeside federation and supports it generously

Yes, Justin Gregorius once taught at a prep school, but he graduated from Winnebago Lutheran Academy and now serves as principal there.

Yes, Nathan Kieselhorst teaches at a prep school, but he attended Kettle Morraine Lutheran and his father taught there for many years.

Yes, Fred Uttech lives in Watertown (although this is a tenuous prep school connection at best.)

In other words, what exactly is your point????? You might want to look at the entire picture before you try to distort it.

Anonymous said...

The entire picture is that if you have ever been to a synod convention you can easily seen that things are "stacked" one way or the other by the steering committee. Floor committees, elections, chairmen of floor committees, etc... are all pre-arranged if you look at it objectively. Watch, supporters for the SC's option #2 will be mired on floor committees that give them little opportunity to voice their concerns except from the floor.

Thanks for outlining each candidates connection to LPS. They are all fine men, just with a bend to continue the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Fred a tutor at Northwestern Prep (same school, different name now) in his younger days?

Anonymous said...

It boils down to this:

Option A: Layoff workers and reduce the current number of missionary positions in order to preserve the current 2 prep schools. This will tend to increase the issue of recent Mequon Seminary and MLC graduates having difficulty obtaining calls.
Many of the laid off missionaries and synod level workers will undoubtedly seek traditional domestic callsw. True, many churches have vacant pulpits...but many of those churches are unable to support a full time minister, at least at anything approaching synodical code. This will increase the competition for the remaining sustainable pulpits and teacher positions. In summary, this will lead to overcapacity in the area of called workers (too many workers for too few positions).

Option B: In essence, close MLS within a few years through an end to synodical funding. Luther Prep to remain the only synodically supported prep school. This COULD cause a shortage of called workers in the FUTURE. MLS is always noted as sending a large proportion of the teacher/preacher candidates each year. The current overabundance of called workers could turn into a shortage in the future.

As someone has noted, there is a sort of "old boys" network in WELS. In the military, officers who went through West Point GENERALLY have the greatest prestige and influence. Likewise, pastors, teachers, and synod level workers who have a prep school background in addition to a WELS college background have the most political power.

Therefore, it is extremely doubtful that Option B will be accepted.

Here is my own Option C:
a) Convert the 2 prep schools to area Lutheran High schools. The already have dormitory facilities for any students who still wish to attend but live too far away. Also offer more language type courses at the traditional ALHS, so those students desiring a future as a called worker can start taking those classes.
Both Saginaw (MLS) and Luther Prep (Watertown) should be able to attract a large number of area WELS teens to keep their schools going, if at a somewhat diminished enrollment level.
b) Any savings from the above should go to shoring up the financial situation of MLC (which to my understanding is in awful financial shape) as well as ensuring the Mequon Seminary remains financially viable. Without the college (MLC) to furnish teachers and starting the education of pastors, or Mequon to finish the pastor training program, WELS will disappear within a generation.

Lemkeel said...

Anon 7:34, you've made good points about Option A, as I think that the drastic cutbacks in world and home missions will likely bottleneck the rest of the field for called workers which could possibly mean shortages of calls for years to come, until people just decide to not even enter the ministry and the WELS decreases in size similar to ELS. Eventually, schools will close, and churches that are just not "thriving" will also close. This is something that could happen with this option, not saying it will.

With Option B, I think you're partially correct in noting that there's obvious lop-sidedness with options A and B in that by choosing either option A or B, the end result is that opposite ends of the same spectrum are being cut back, which basically is a self-defeating proposition. It would appear to me that with either option A or B as they currently stand that the WELS is going to reduce in size, eventually with staff as well as in membership. The difficulty I see with your belief that just because the current LPS "method" is politically managed and thus this option (Option B) will not be accepted is exactly what's going on currently in the WELS, has been and always will be (until people stand against it) and thus I do see Option B as being the winner.

I've thought about your Option C in the past, to convert the two prep schools to ALHS's. The problem with that is there's likely no way individual congregations will be able to pay to keep each of these schools running on their own, esp. in this economic forecast. These two schools need extra funding from the synod to keep running. By closing LPS in addition to MLS, the extra 2.5 million or whatever can be diverted to MLC, SEM, and missions. As I've stated earlier, if people desire to be called workers in the synod and have the gifts and motivation, then they'll end up at MLC.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that closing MLS will not free up any money within the next two years. It is an expensive thing to close a school. Option A is the only one that will bring a quick (within six months) reduction in costs.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel implies that if you close both prep schools, you will have an extra $2.5 million to fund MLC and the Sem. Think this through. You will therefore also lose a lot of tuition income. Say MLS sends 25 students to MLC per year. That's 100 students (which is approximately the current number of MLS grads on the MLC campus) on the MLC campus at any time. Let's say that if you close MLS 50% of those students still go on. So now, at any given time, instead of having 100 MLS students on campus, you have 50-would-have-gone-to-MLSers on campus. That loss of 50 students translates to a loss of about $750,000 a year in tuition for MLC. Now do the same for LPS, which sends on many more students per year than MLS does. (Although, it might not affect those who would go on as much, because of the plenteous ALHS's in Wisconsin.) So just for arguements sake, let's say closing the prep schools leads to a loss of 150 students on MLC's campus. I think that's realistic -- that in four years, you would have 150 less students. It's not close to ALL the prep-school students, but a fair percentage. Now we're talking roughly $2,225,000 in lost tuition income - roughly the same as the amount you saved by closing the prep schools.

HOWEVER... that is assuming you would keep MLC the same size. Obviously, if you have 150 less students, you need less staff. So there would be some money saved there.

I think this all demonstrates that the real issue is as Anon734 said - the number of called workers we need. Do we need as many as MLC is producing? If not, then we don't need the prep schools. If yes, then we do.

Anonymous said...

Anoynymous at 5:14 am.

Are we looking for a quick fix, or a long term solution? I would hope that we'd be looking at a long term solution, and the best one would be option B.

Lemkeel said...

Anon 11:15 am, good points. Afterall, what really is saving the synod money? Closing the prep schools may not save the synod money, as you've pointed out with your thoughts. At the same time, you've nailed the nail on the head with stating that the 2.5 million could go to MLC and SEM if needed. I think though that since all the synod's had since the beginning of the synod is a prep school/feeder system that everyone's a little anxious about "where the students will come from." I do think that more students than there currently are will come from ALHS's and public schools. If not, then the synod needs to come up with more innovative ways to encourage people for the ministry. From my perspective, as a general rule, prep schools are costly and old-fashioned. There's gotta be ways around them, as the WELS is the only synod left that has the prep school/feeder system. This might not be bad for a synod that can afford them, but this synod cannot. That's the cruncher.

MLC could join with WLC or even BLC if need be.

It's hard to make a real prediction of whether or not the prep school system is as necessary as it's proved in the past, because it's all that's been in place and to this day nothing else had been tried.

Anonymous said...

Would it be possible for the Synod to rely on the Holy Spirit to direct the hearts of His chosen workers instead of relying on man-made institutions and hierarchies? What would happen if there was a WELS devoid of nepotism and the self-righteousness so prevalent in the WELS? What if the WELS was more concerned with the building of the real church in the hearts of men and women because we know that"the Most High does not live in housed made by men."Act7:48? What if?

Anonymous said...

In reply to anon at May 28th, 8:58pm:

Every man is sinful;

Since the synod is composed merely of mortal men, the WELS is also sinful...

Nepotism, power politics, greed, envy, will always be a part of WELS.

God's work will be done IN SPITE OF man/WELS, NOT because of him/it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where else to place this, so sorry for putting it here. Several times I have asked Greg Jackson if he agrees with Brett Meyer, a regular poster on his site and also here, that WELS pastors and members who maintain the synod's confession, teachings and practice, are lost forever. Brett declares the WELS and those who follow her teachings to be non-Christians, the spawn of Satan. Greg Jackson, who jumps to expose errors in the C&C crowd, does not do the same for Brett. That is, unless he too subscribes to the belief that WELS is a gathering of the lost. I would like to hear his reponse, as he allows Brett to post such things unchallenged on his blog. If he does not believe Brett's charge to be valid, he would be consistent to state as such.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - since Ichabod won't give you any space, maybe you should post on the Oprah website, and Dear Abby - or give your name.

Anonymous said...

I don't care to become a fixture on the Ichabod site, but it is a sincere question.

Anonymous said...

I hope they change the name of the synod to the World Evangelical Lutheran Synod, WELS!

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous on May 29, 2:24pm - My contention has been that all those in or outside of the WELS who confess the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) as taught in it's various descriptions (There is no universally accepted Confessional statement concerning the central doctrine of the WELS beliefs - UOJ) are teaching and confessing a new gospel and not the one true Gospel of Holy Scripture and as such stand condemned by God. Instead of waiting for Pastor Jackson to challenge my confession you should come forward and challenge my contention. Either here or on Ichabod. Since Justification is the central doctrine of the Christian faith and anyone rejecting it in it's entirety as proclaimed by Christ is condemned to hell you should be willing to contend for the doctrine of UOJ, the central doctrine of your Synod, your local congregation and possibly yourself. Feel free to contact me at pygmypoacher@comcast.net to setup the discussion. (for those who may have gasped - pygmypoacher is the name of a fish)
In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett,

The Bible says that if we believe in Jesus; that he came and died for our sins, we will have eternal life. Are you saying that if people don't believe this AND what Brett Meyer says what they should believe, they are all damned to hell? I'm talking about baby Christians who have no idea of the interpretations of dogma that plagues various denominations.

JK

Brett Meyer said...

JK, that's not what I'm saying. I confess Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Using your term 'baby Christians', if they only believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins their sins, they have the Holy Spirit's faith worked by grace through Word and Baptism. They are forgiven and will be saved. If baby Christians believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins but also believe they must do good works for fogiveness, don't believe that Christ is true God, reject the Triune nature of God or one of many beliefs which reject what God is or has done than they are not forgiven, are condemned and do not have the Holy Spirit's faith.

Likewise, with the Lutheran Synods doctrine of Universal Objective Justification. It teaches a gospel that is not Christ's gospel. It teaches that God declared everyone forgiven of all sins, justified and righteous prior to the Holy Spirit's faith while they are slaves to sin, carnally minded and dead. This is not the God of the Bible. The Book of Concord confirms that the world is only considered by God to be righteous through the Holy Spirit's faith - Not before - BOC: "But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification or preparation for justification, so that not faith itself is that through which we are accepted by God,"
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php


Luther confirms that changing anything that God instituted, as he instituted it, removes God from it and makes it invalid, The Private Mass and the Consecration of Priests, “For we must believe and be sure of this, that baptism does not belong to us but to Christ, that the gospel does not belong to us but to Christ, that the office of preaching does not belong to us but to Christ, that the sacrament (of the Lord’s Supper) does not belong to us but to Christ, that the keys, or forgiveness and retention of sins, do not belong to us but to Christ. In summary, the offices and sacraments do not belong to us but to Christ, for he has ordained all this and left it behind as a legacy in the church to be exercised and used to the end of the world; and he does not lie or deceive us. Therefore, we cannot make anything else out of it but must act according to his command and hold to it. However, if we alter it or improve on it, then it is invalid and Christ is no longer present, nor is his ordinance.”

New man made gospel:
WELS CA/AZ DP 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."

MLC's Mark Zarling, "Perhaps such a distinction is helpful if it assists us in understanding the glorious Gospel: In Jesus, God has declared the entire world righteous and forgiven, irregardless of whether or not the world believes it. Such is the jewel described by objective, universal, or general justification."

Thank you for your question.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

It is a blatant lie to say that Martin Luther believed in Universal Objective Justification.

In his exposition of Galations Luther states, "By faith Christ changes places with us. He gets our sins, we get His holiness."

"By faith alone can we become righteous, for faith invests us with the sinlessness of Christ."

http://www.bibleteacher.org/luthercom_3.htm

Only by faith does God see us as righteous, dead to sin and alive to Christ. Prior to faith we are alive to sin, under the law and wrath of God. God is not at peace with anyone while they are under the law neither does he see the world as being righteous as UOJ wants to claim.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett,

We know how you feel about this topic. No denomination is perfect. But sometimes you have to see the forest instead of the trees. And I don't think you understand it. Couple to that the fact that there is terminology that isn't always used correctly when defining it which may be a part of the problem. Maybe none of us have it right. But the fact remains and no one is denying that you have to have saving faith. What do you think about the statement God loves the sinner but hates the sin? How do you reconcile the fact that God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only Son? He loves all people whether they believe or not. How do you feel about that?

JK

Brett Meyer said...

Luther, "The Scriptures ascribe no righteousness to Abraham except through faith."

JK, thank you for your response, although you make a poor confession when you state, "Maybe none of us have it right." Yet you seem confident in saying, "…I don't think you understand it."

This is the very reason the Lutheran Church has historically been a Confessional Church. When clergy and laity become apathetic toward the Word and begin to change doctrine the Confessional Lutheran can go back to the Book of Concord and clarify just what it is that the church teaches, in words that were and have been accepted as the correct explanation of Holy Scripture, Christian doctrine. My contention is that your doctrine destroys saving faith - the Holy Spirits faith worked through Word and Baptism and strengthened by Word and Sacraments. When you change the Gospel into another gospel you have removed Christ from it and teach another God, another Christ, another justification and another faith. You leave yourself destitute of the very thing you worked so hard by reason to ensure.

To answer your subsequent questions: God does love the sinner. 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 does hate 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." Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." These verses are my confession. 1 Timothy 2:4, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." Yes God loves the world whether they believe or not. He also clearly stated in Scripture how they can receive the forgiveness of sins because God did not forgive the world whether they believe or not. Romans 2:12, "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" Even your WELS DP made the following UOJ statements and then immediately contradicts the statement by saying God never said it:

WELS CA/AZ DP Jon Buchholz at the 2005 WELS Convention -
"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. "
Continued -

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

Romans 6:23 quoted above states that forgiveness of sins is through Christ because the righteousness that avails against the wrath of God upon those that are carnally minded, under the law and dead in sins is in Christ and never apart from Him. So Christ is our mediator or propitiation only by faith alone worked by the Holy Spirit by grace through Word and Sacrament alone, the Means of Grace. To have God declaring the world righteous, forgiven of all sin, justified and at peace with Him prior to faith is enthusiasm and blasphemy.

Romans 3:25, "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;"

Luther confirms, "The Scriptures ascribe no righteousness to Abraham except through faith. The Scriptures speak of Abraham as he stands before God, a man justified by faith. Because of his faith God extends to him the promise: "In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Abraham was justified because he believed. Paul's argumentation runs like this: "Since this is the unmistakable testimony of Holy Writ, why do you take your stand upon
circumcision and the Law? Was not Abraham, your father, of whom you make so much, justified and saved without circumcision and the Law by faith alone?" Paul therefore concludes: "They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."

The faith of the fathers in the Old Testament era, and our faith in the New Testament are one and the same faith in Christ Jesus, although times and conditions may differ.

Luther, "The Scriptures ascribe no righteousness to Abraham except through faith."
http://www.bibleteacher.org/luthercom_3.htm
Book of Concord
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.
Continued -

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

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

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Lemkeel said...

Brett,

As I read your staunch beliefs as you proclaim them, I can't help but wonder what you do for a living. Are you a minister? Did you grow up WELS and go through WELS schooling? What would you consider your current affiliation? Feel free to answer whatever questions I have for you as you feel comfortable. I am not judging you, but I am curious. As someone who works enjoys working with people, this is a natural inquiry of mine.

I do have a question for you though. How do you, in whatever career you have and whatever you do for fun, witness your faith to those who need to hear of the Gospel? How do you go about telling others of the good news?

Brett Meyer said...

Lemkeel, I grew up ELS, became a member of WELS after my wife and I married and as of a few years ago do not belong to either and currently I'm an independent Confessional Lutheran.

I too enjoy working with people. Whenever the opportunity arises I witness the truth of God's word directly, applying Law and Gospel. If the person is contrite over their sin then I give them the comfort of the Gospel. Since it is only God's Word through which the Holy Spirit works I try to take every opportunity to witness. I witness to people I work with, to friends both Christian and non Christian and people I don't know but happen to have an opportunity to talk to. I'm also interested in politics and nature and since both subjects lead to those who want to be gods and those created by God it provides many opportunities.

Thanks for your questions.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Lemkeel said...

Brett - thanks for sharing. I am sure you do a good job witnessing Christ's love to those who need it.

Lemkeel said...

I just noticed in looking over the current BORAM on page 62 of the actual document, but page 68 according to Acrobat, that the prep schools will be defunded...

whereas (1) the WELS is again faced with a serious financial crisis, (2) the mission of the church (Matt. 28:18-20) takes precedence over all forms of ministry in seeking kingdom balance, (3) the mission of the church in gospel outreach is again in danger of taking major cuts in an attempt to reach a balanced budged, and (4) the synodical prep system (MLS & LPS) is operating at less than 60% of capacity and at nearly $5 million a year cost to the synod...

resolved (1) by the end of this biennium (2009-2011) the synod withdraw synodical support from one of the prep schools by moving students to one campus, (2) the synod withdraw synodical support from the second prep school by the end of the 2013-2015 biennium, and (3) the SC in consultation with the COP appoint an ad hoc committee to guide this effort to a positive conclusion...

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

Is that option A or B that indicates MLS might close?

Is this a RECENT development ?

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

You are referencing a memorial to defund the prep schools by Rev. James Radloff, from Round Rock, Texas.

It's not a proposal made by the synod through the Synodical Council, but from the individual that memorialized the synod in convention. In fact, the SC does not propose to withdraw funding for both prep schools. Option A would fund both, at a lower amount, and option B would close Michigan Lutheran Seminary.

You see, every member or group of members can send a memorial to be included in the Book of Reports and Memorials (BORAM) to be considered by the appropriate committee at the next biennial convention. It's a very grass-roots oriented process. I was surprised by the relatively few memorials that came from the grass-roots for this convention, possibly because so many proposals came from the Ad Hoc Commission that will be discussed. Hopefully, many of those recommendations will be enacted. I'm looking forward to serving as a delegate at the convention, even though the financial situation will force us to make some difficult decisions.

WL

Anonymous said...

So if I am understanding you, Brett, you are saying that forgiveness is not awaiting the unbeliever.

JK

Lemkeel said...

WL,

Thanks for the clarification - I wasn't too sure what that was about, but that does make sense. It's a good idea that peoples' memorials are presented in the BORAM to be considered by the appropriate committees. I did think this memorial was presented strongly on missions and less so on prep schools... it will be a difficult convention that you delegates have before you...

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous post concerning Brett Meyer's belief--

I posted quotes to Ichabod from the Book of Concord and from Luther that plainly show they believed in UOJ, and Greg Jackson refused to print them. Instead he put up a picture that said the "UOJ Stormtroopers are getting nervous." When Mr. Meyer quotes the BOC and Luther and says things like "by faith Christ changes places with us" that is not in the least incompatible with UOJ. UOJ does not teach that someone is going to heaven apart from faith in Christ. There is also something equally taught called "subjective justification" (which Jackson and Meyer conveniently leave out of the discussion). Objective justification teaches that God has declared the whole world not guilty by virtue of Christ's work--and that those who trust Christ receive the benefit of his work (subjective justification) and those who don't trust Christ do not receive the benefit of his work. I'm just tiring of the misinformation.

Anonymous said...

Another quick note on UOJ--

In Mr. Meyers system of thinking, faith becomes one of the causes of a person being saved, rather than simply the means through which someone personally holds on to the gift of Christ's forgiveness. Its interesting to note that when the Holy Spirit inspired the use of the Greek preposition that says we are saved "through" faith, it always means "through" faith and never "because" of our faith. That leads us to the comforting truth that allows us to say Scripturaly "I believe because I'm saved" not "I am saved because I believe." Jesus' work is the only cause of me being saved, not my faith. His line of thinking inevitably leads a person struggling with his faith to look inward to see if he is believing enough rather than outwardly to the completed work of Christ for comfort and peace and a renewed faith.

Anonymous said...

>>>His line of thinking inevitably leads a person struggling with his faith to look inward to see if he is believing enough rather than outwardly to the completed work of Christ for comfort and peace and a renewed faith.<<<

Yes, exactly. This was something that Luther repeatedly cautioned against. There's a famous quote from Luther--I don't have it in front of me--that says something like this: Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. If you feel that you are such a terrible sinner that you can't possibly be forgiven, then simply look around and figure out if you are part of the world. If you discover that yes, you are in fact part of the world, then be at peace, because Christ has forgiven yours sins."

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous on June 10, 10:25PM, place your quotations here which you say show the BOC supported UOJ. You confirm that UOJ teaches two justifications, Objective where God declares an individual justified and guiltless in His sight and Subjective where the individual comes to believe he has been declared justified and then he's actually justified. The god that UOJ teaches is one that declares something to be true, the whole world is justified, but they aren't until they believe they have already been declared justified. An ugly circle that makes God a liar and inept. The Gospel of Holy Scripture only teaches one justification and that it's immediate when an individual comes to faith in Christ's payment for all sins, worked by the Holy Ghost through the Word. WELS' Mark Zarling (WLC President) disagrees with you by the way. He stated that the whole world is declared by God to be justified and righteous whether or not they believe it.

BOC: Accordingly, justification occurs through the Word, just as Paul says, Rom. 1, 16: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Likewise 10, 17: Faith cometh by hearing. And proof can be derived even from this that faith justifies, because, if justification occurs only through the Word, and the Word is apprehended only by faith, it follows that faith justifies.

BOC: But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification or preparation for justification, so that not faith itself is that through which we are accepted by God,
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

The Confessional statements above show that it is by faith itself that God accepts us - not before. UOJ teaches that God accepted us when Christ paid for all sins on the cross, that he declared us righteous prior to faith. Scripture and the Confessions state that prior to faith we are under the law and wrath of God.

BOC: 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.

Cont -

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

Cont -

Anonymous on June 11, 8:15AM, Please provide the exact quotation from Luther and where it can be found so that the context and intent of Luther can be assessed.

Luther speaks to both of you when he says, "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." And here, "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." And when you say, "Jesus' work is the only cause of me being saved, not my faith." Luther says, "22. Now, the Cain-like saints have not, as they themselves confess, the Christian faith which would assure them of being the children of God." (http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html)

Luther also made these statements concerning faith, "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."

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

Above Luther quotes are from http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

>>>You confirm that UOJ teaches two justifications<<<

No, Brett, it doesn't. It teaches one justification, which can be thought of and spoken of in two different senses (just as Scripture does). You seem to lack the intellectual subtlety needed to grasp this key point. You hear people talk about objective justification and subjective justification and crudely surmise it must be talking about two completely different things.

Let me give you an example. Let's say President Obama gets on the TV tonight and declares that he is sending a $5,000 check to every American citizen. Then, two weeks later, you receive the check in the mail. When was the $5,000 yours? In one sense, it was yours the very second that Obama declared it. In another sense, it was yours when the check arrived in the mail. But that doesn't mean you have two different $5,000s, for a total of $10,000. You've always only had the one $5,000, you just thought about it in two different senses.

And if were to get the check in the mail and refuse to cash it because you don't believe that Obama was telling the truth and think the check will bounce, then subjectively you lose all of the benefits of the money, because you refuse to believe. But objectively, that money still has your name on it, it's still there for you, meant for you.

It's really not that hard, Brett, certainly not as hard as seem to try to make it.

John said...

Anonymous 7:18pm...

I appreciate your analogy. In fact, I recall the same illustration from a long-ago WELS Bible study. I have sat on the sideline for much of this BW UOJ discuss.

Brett, are you caught up in the fact that 2 justifications are named? We are justified by faith.

Brett, are you saying that Christ died for the sins of all people but this death was not justification for all people?

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, so you're saying that UOJ teaches, and you confess, that the justification that God declared upon the whole world is the same justification that is confirmed in each individual when they come to believe that God had declared them to be forgiven of all sins, righteous, and justified by His divine verdict prior to believing in Christ and while dead in sins, under the Law? I believe you'll say that it is. For God to have declared the whole world justified they must have Christ since righteousness and justification are only in Him. Scripture declares that Christ is

Anonymous, Scripture says in John 16:8, " And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" How does God reprove the world of sin if He has declared them to have no sin because they are by divine verdict justified and righteous? Mark Zarling explained UOJ saying, "In Jesus, God has declared the entire world righteous and forgiven, irregardless of whether or not the world believes it." Note that Zarling doesn't say that God only declares it upon the world if they believe but whether or not they believe God has already declared them to be fogiven and righteous (Just as Christ is righteous). Is Zarling wrong about what UOJ teaches?

You talk of what UOJ is and isn't but fail to explain it fully.
PLEASE, provide the web link to the WELS definitive description of the WELS central doctrine of Christian faith, UOJ. I've read Zarling, Buchholz, Becker, Marquart, H.A. Preus, WELS This We Believe and everyones personal favorite analogy and most contradict each other or are incomplete.

John, it's not just that two justifications are named. Although that is certainly part of it. UOJ as taught by the above mentioned people teaches that the world has been declared by God to be righteous (have Christ's righteousness) outside of and before the work of the Holy Spirit through the Means of Grace. UOJ also teaches that faith is only an empty hand doing nothing but accepting what was already declared to be true. That faith isn't a change in man. That the only change that occurs is in how God sees us and not in the individual. John, my contention is that UOJ destroys every aspect of Scriptures doctrine of justification.

I confess that Christ died for the sins of the whole world, Christ's sacrifice paid for the sins of the whole world. That justification (the righteousness of Christ) is not distributed to anyone but by faith and thus God the Father does not declare anyone forgiven outside or before faith, God the Father does not declare anyone righteous outside or before faith. The righeousness that avails against the wrath of God which exists on those who are under the Law is only in and through Christ and ours only by faith apprehending Christ as our mediator against God's wrath. For UOJ say that God has declared the whole world righteous means that they have been given Christ's righteousness prior to faith. God has declared that Justification is in Christ and through Christ. Without Christ the world stands condemned by God to Hell for the sins they have committed. The atonement is not the same as justification.

Again, please provide the definitive confessional statement concerning UOJ and I'll address that specifically.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett,

You can't talk about the Objective without the Subjective. By concentrating on the Objective and ignoring the Subjective you take it out of context. It is like an egg. Once you take away an aspect of it, it is no longer an egg. This is easy stuff.

JK

Anonymous said...

Brett, so you even understand the definitions of and distinction between the words objective and subjective? It doesn't seem that you do.

Do you understand that while something may be true objectively, it may not be true subjectively? While the world may be justified objectively, that doesn't necessarily mean that justification (or the benefits of it) subjectively belongs to each individual. Do you understand the difference? It doesn't seem that you do.

You seem to be in way over your head here, Brett, grasping at words you don't really understand and arguing based on your own faulty understanding of the issues. As someone above said, you seem to lack the intellectual subtlety to understand concepts like the difference between subjective and objective.

Brett Meyer said...

JK, where is the definitive description of UOJ to be found? Please provide the WELS Confessional statement. Hopefully it's not the section on "This We Believe" since it also is extremely vague and general. Has the WELS confirmed complete agreement on S.W. Becker's UOJ essay? Buchholz' 2005 WELS Conference paper on UOJ?

Interesting that JK says it's not possible to talk about OJ without also discussing SJ but the WELS contends that the Confessions only spoke about SJ without talking about OJ which they say was always believed and taught by Confessional Lutherans. Even though the Confessions state plainly that they presented all the chief articles of the Christian faith. How stupid Luther and Philip Melanchthon must feel having missed the 'Ying'(OJ) to SJ's 'Yang'. Don't tell me that it was because the BOC was only dealing with the false RCC doctrine of works righeousness either. (heard it 2 dozen times) The Confessions also detailed the doctrine of Election which they even state wasn't in contention but did it for clarity. Also, since when did the RCC accept OJ? They deny OJ since it gives justification and righeousness without works and before faith.

JK, I like your analogy of the egg since it's exactly my issue with UOJ. Once you take away any aspect of God's Gospel, how He declares a person is justified in Christ, then it's no longer the Gospel and Christ is not present and the justification and faith being taught is not of God. Not so easy stuff since it is only through the Holy Spirit that these things can be understood according to the pure teaching of Scripture.

Then again JK, why do you say "this is easy stuff" when only a few days ago you said, "Maybe none of us have it right."

It would be nice to see other WELSians reach out and help you but maybe they all feel the same way you do.

At least provide the link to the definitive WELS Confession on UOJ.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous at 11:56am, taking your comments in the kindest possible way, I believe I do understand the terms Objective and Subjective as the WELS uses them in their doctrine of Universal Justification.

Objective meaning God has justified, aquited the whole world, absolved them of all sin through the redeeming Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The justification of the whole world God declared by divine verdict upon the whole world whether or not they believe it they are justified in His sight all without their involvement, solely the grace, act and effort of God. This divine verdict of the whole world being forgiven of all sin does not benefit the individual until the individual through the doctrine of Subjective Justification believes, has faith, that he's actually been declared to be guiltless, forgiven of all sin and justified. Subjective meaning God uses the faith created by the Holy Spirit through the Word and baptism for the individual to appropriate, or simply receive, the benefits God has declared are his through Christ's sacrifice. It's called Subjective since this phase of God's justification applies to the individual and how he benefits from God's divine verdict.

Anonymous, is this a correct understanding of the WELS doctrine of Objective and Subjective justification?

WELS AZ/CA District President Pastor Jon Buchholz made this statement at the 2005 WELS Convention in a multipart presentation on Justification, ""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."

Do you agree with this statement?

Cont-

Brett Meyer said...

Cont-

The WELS doctrine of UOJ concerning faith teaches that faith doesn't bring anything about that didn't already exist, faith doesn't cause something to happen. But you said, "The world may be justified objectively, that doesn't necessarily mean that justification (or the benefits of it) subjectively belongs to each individual." You also stated, "that while something may be true objectively, it may not be true subjectively." Now if a persons faith doesn't do anything but simply holds to (believes) God's verdict of justification already pronounced in Christ then what is declared objectively is also true subjectively even though the person doesn't believe it (Note Mark Zarlings quote above to the same point). The WELS' own doctrine of faith declares that what was declared objectively is true and real irregardless of the subjective belief of the truth in the individual. So your point of something being true objectively but not true subjectively is false and honestly is the one of most twisted logical falacies to be promoted as Christian doctrine necessary to reason and justify this man made doctrine of UOJ.

Now if Buchholz' statement above is a correct explanation of faith in regards to the WELS doctrine of UOJ then the whole world has what is needed to be saved - they've been declared by God to be forgiven of all sin, justified and righteous in His sight. UOJ only adds the requirement of faith in order to try and manage the tremendous amount of Scripture which states a person is only justified by faith alone. Problem is that UOJ has already destroyed the doctrine of Justification as presented in Scripture and confirmed in the Lutheran Confessions as the chief article of Christian faith. You can argue that I just don't understand but the truth is I do understand and completely disagree and can show where Scripture and the Confessions disagree with UOJ. The more you attempt to show how much I don't understand the doctrine only increases that truth that what you teach is a false gospel, a false justification, a false faith that is has removed the Holy Ghost and Christ from God's Gospel.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, here is a quote from Luther who confirms that faith is that righteousness given by God our of pure grace which makes of an unjust man a just man (UOJ teaches that the whole world was made just objectively, whether or not they believe it, when Christ paid for the sins of the world (the atonement). Also that it is only through faith that God's wrath no longer rests on an individual becuase through faith the individual dies to the old adam which is under the Law, dies to sin and is raised again to life to live under grace in Christ.

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

5. "Now, this is the point of contention between presumptuous saints and God. Right here carnal
nature contends, even rages, against the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures everywhere treat of this
contention. Therein God concludes all man's works, previous to his justification, evil and
ineffectual; he requires justification and goodness on the part of the individual first. Again, he
concludes that all persons in the state of nature and of the first birth are unjust and evil. As
said in Psalms 116, 11, "All men are liars." And in Genesis 6, 5, "Every imagination of the thoughts of
man's heart was only evil continually." Hence the natural man can perform no good work, and all his
attempts will be no better than Cain's."

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."

Anonymous said...

>>>JK, where is the definitive description of UOJ to be found? Please provide the WELS Confessional statement.<<<

Why do you keep asking specifically for the WELS statement on UOJ? You're acting as if the WELS is the only Lutheran body to teach it. In fact, if you want a Confessiional statement regarding the Lutheran church's teaching regarding UOJ, I would point you to the Brief Statement of the LCMS, specifically article 17, adopted in 1932, when the LCMS and WELS were in fellowship with each other.

>>>Interesting that JK says it's not possible to talk about OJ without also discussing SJ but the WELS contends that the Confessions only spoke about SJ without talking about OJ which they say was always believed and taught by Confessional Lutherans.<<<

Who in the WELS contends what you claim they contend? The Lutheran Confessions speak of both OJ and SJ. Granted, they speak much, much more about SJ, since that was the doctrine in question at the time, but they certainly also speak of OJ. (Luther in the Large Catechism talks quite clearly about OJ.) Just because the reformers didn't use the terms "objective" and "subjective" doesn't mean that they didn't believe or teach in the concepts.

>>>Once you take away any aspect of God's Gospel, how He declares a person is justified in Christ, then it's no longer the Gospel<<<

Funny you would say that since YOU are actually the one taking away an aspect of the Gospel which is clearly taught in Rom. 5:19, 2 Cor. 5:18-21, Rom. 4:25, and elsewhere.

You have rejected Scripture's teaching and have fallen into a subtle form of "fideism". Orthodox Lutherans have warned against fideism for centuries. Fideism teaches that a person's faith in some way earns or merits justification--that a person's faith is what effects salvation rather than Christ's objective work on the cross. Fideism was notably seen, and refuted, in American Lutheranism in the "intuitu fidei" controversy. Look it up.

By the way, just so everyone here is clear about where you are coming from, could you give us a description of your beliefs regarding the New World Order and the Antichrist? You haven't been very vocal about those things lately. I think a whole lot of people would love to hear your theories on that.

Anonymous said...

>>>UOJ teaches that the whole world was made just objectively, whether or not they believe it, when Christ paid for the sins of the world<<<

No, no, no, no, no. UOJ certainly does not teach that the whole world was MADE just. It teaches that the whole world was declared just in an objective way. Of course, many people lack the benefits of this and are still in their sins because they reject God's gracious declaration.

>>>Anonymous, here is a quote from Luther who confirms that faith is that righteousness given by God our of pure grace <<<

I don't understand how you quoting Luther discussing SJ in some way is supposed to prove that OJ is wrong. You still seem to be suffering from the delusion that OJ and SJ are mutually exclusive, and that if you can prove SJ that it somehow disproves OJ. I suppose this goes back to your inability to grasp the distinction between the terms "objective" and "subjective". If you understood those words, you would realize that OJ and SJ are simply the same thing, viewed from different perspectives, not two different and contradictory things.

Anonymous said...

>>>WELS AZ/CA District President Pastor Jon Buchholz made this statement at the 2005 WELS Convention...Do you agree with this statement?<<<

I most certainly do. That statement is really just a rewording of things that Luther said many times. Do you disagree with Luther?

>>>The WELS doctrine of UOJ concerning faith teaches that faith doesn't bring anything about that didn't already exist, faith doesn't cause something to happen.<<<

Exactly! And it is false doctrine to claim, as you do, that faith causes things. I already explained above that this particular false teaching is called fideism--the teaching that faith somehow causes or effects salvation. This false teaching has been refuted by orthodox Lutherans for centuries.

>>>Now if Buchholz' statement above is a correct explanation of faith in regards to the WELS doctrine of UOJ then the whole world has what is needed to be saved<<<

Absolutely not! The world does not HAVE what is necessary to be saved, at least not in the subjective sense. Faith is the receiving organ which "has" the benefit of the salvation Christ won.

This gets to the core of your caricature of UOJ. You completely deny that those who teach OJ also teach SJ, painting the WELS and LCMS and others as rank universalists who teach that everyone receives the benefit of Christ's work apart from faith.

It's a laughably sad caricature (a lie, really). I'm confident that everyone here can see through what you're trying to do.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, why not ask for the WELS Confessional statement on UOJ? You act as if you're offended that someone might want to confirm the source of the central doctrine of the WELS' faith. This is the full section dealing with UOJ in the Brief Statement of 1932. Certainly doesn't address the differences between Objective and Subjective justification. I'll agree it promotes Objective justification but it also contradicts itself in just a few sentences. First, "God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ." then, "He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe," Surely the whole world doesn't believe for God says that the road to Hell is wide and many there are who are on it. So how does God declare the whole world righteous when God accounts as righteous only those who believe? Certainly you're not suggesting that God teaches a wide and narrow sense of being righteous? What an incredibly elastic tool the 'wide' and 'narrow' senses that the Lutheran Synods use to promote false doctrines.

Of Justification http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=570, "Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by grace, for Christ's sake, He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven. Thus the Holy Ghost testifies through St. Paul: "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," Rom. 3:23, 24. And again: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law," Rom. 3:28.

Pastor James Humann (WELS) contends what I claim he contends, "Also, just because the Lutheran Confessions do not say alot about OJ doesn't mean it's not true. The controversy at the time was about salvation by grace alone, by faith alone, by Scripture alone, which would naturally bring the focus on subjective justification." Anonymous, since when did the central doctrine of the Christian faith - Justification - become a concept? Other anonymous Bailing Water posters have admitted that UOJ is a 'thought' expressed by Scripture too. I will chalk this reference to UOJ as a 'concept' and 'thought' to fruedian slips - you do not have Scriptural or Confession support for this doctrine otherwise it would be far more than a 'concept'. You also wouldn't attack me personally with inferences that are unrelated to the discussion of Universal Justification.

Where does Luther talk clearly about OJ in the Large Catechism? http://www.bookofconcord.org/lc-1-intro.php Please copy and paste your proof where Luther, "talks quite clearly about OJ".

I disagree that I've fallen into Fideism. I have always contended that it is by faith that we lay hold of Christ as our mediator and as our mediator of the righteousness that is in him through the payment of all the worlds sin. Faith is righteousness which is a gift of God worked by the Holy Ghost through Word and Baptism. Faith is what appropriates the salvation that is in Christ alone and Christ is only our propitiation through Faith. Romans 3:22, "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:" and verse 25, "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;" And from the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, The Righteousness Of Faith Before God, "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,"

Cont -

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

Cont-

Anonymous, quote where Luther said what Buchholz did but in other words. You make bold statements as to counter my contention but fail to qoute even one sentence, article or passage. You huff and puff as though to intimidate those who read this discussion and demand additional quotes from me but haven't provided any of your own. Then without providing evidence that Luther made any such blasphemous statement you lean on me with your ego and ask, "Do you disagree with Luther?" Where did Luther speak of faith as WELS DP Buchholz did?

Based on your comments, attitude and inferences I am inclined to think your name is Don Patterson, WELS pastor at Christ the Rock where JK is a member.

Yes, I am showing where everyone who confesses UOJ is a rank Universalist, teaches another gospel and remaining in that confession will be condemned to Hell for eternity. You confirm my contention that you make of Faith something other than what Scripture and the Confessions declare when you say, "Absolutely not! The world does not HAVE what is necessary to be saved, at least not in the subjective sense." In the Objective sense they do have what is necessary to be saved and since the nothing happens in the Subjective sense that wasn't there before faith they then are saved by the doctrine of UOJ. Tholuck confessed and taught Universalism to Hoenecke and the Peipers as he was taught through Knaap.

Cont-

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

Cont -

Blasphemous quotes from S.W. Becker (WELS) http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerJustification.PDF
Becker, "Faith does nothing more than accept the forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel. It is not a condition we must fulfill before we can be forgiven. It is not a cause of forgiveness on account of which God forgives us. The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message. God says to us, “Your sins are forgiven.” This is objective justification, and God’s message to us is true whether we believe it or not."

Becker, "Wherever men teach that faith comes first as a condition that must be fulfilled or a work that must be done or even as a fact that must be recognized before forgiven is bestowed or becomes real, men will be trained to look into their own hearts for assurance rather than to the words and promises of God. If my sins are forgiven only if I first have faith then I have no solid foundation on which to rest my hope for eternal life. I must then know that I have faith before I can know that my sins are forgiven. But there are times when a Christian does not know that he has faith. And many people who think they have faith do not have it, and many that think they are not believers are believing children of God. In regard to our own faith we may be in error or filled with doubt. But there is nothing uncertain in the truth that is proclaimed in the Gospel. Your sin is taken away, wiped out, forgiven, cancelled, swallowed up in the empty grave in Joseph’s garden. To that we must cling. To that we can cling. On that we can build a solid hope that will not make us ashamed. In times of temptation when I am no longer aware of my faith, when my heart tells me that I am an unbeliever, I have no place to turn for assurance if faith must come before forgiveness. But if forgiveness comes first, if it is always there, if it is true whether I believe it or not, I do not need to know whether I have faith or not before I can cling to God’s promise. I know that my sins are forgiven whether I feel forgiven or unforgiven. I know that my iniquity is pardoned whether I believe it or not. And when I know that, then I know also that I am a believer. John teaches us that when he writes, “Brethren, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” Take away objective and universal justification and you have gone a long way toward cutting the heart out of the Gospel message."


Scripturally faithful quotes from Martin Luther (Orthodox Confessional Christian) which crush the false doctrine of UOJ and those who promote it (recommend reading all of the linked section on Galations 3) http://www.bibleteacher.org/luthercom_3.htm, "The Scriptures ascribe no righteousness to Abraham except through faith. The Scriptures speak of Abraham as he stands before God, a man justified by faith. Because of his faith God extends to him the promise: "In thee shall all nations be blessed.""

"Paul's words contain the implication of contrast. When he quotes Scripture to the effect that all nations that share the faith of faithful Abraham are to be blessed, Paul means to imply the
contrast that all nations are accursed without faith in Christ. VERSE 10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. The curse of God is like a flood that swallows everything that is not of faith. To avoid the curse we must hold on to the promise of the blessing in Christ."

"Paul goes on to prove from this quotation out of the Book of Deuteronomy that all men who are under the Law are under the sentence of sin, of the wrath of God, and of everlasting death."

"I cannot tell you in words how criminal it is to seek righteousness before God without faith in Christ,"


In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

To support my contention that the Lutheran Synods doctrine of Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) is opposed to Scriptural and Confessional Justification by Faith alone I provide the following quotes which were used in defense of UOJ by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (WELS) and Evergreen Lutheran High School (WELS) out of Des Moines, WA.

From WELS Our Great Heritage:
"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)

Finally, "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)

From August Pieper (student of Tholuck the self proclaimed Universalist teaching from Haale University):
"This development prompted August Pieper to write for the third volume of the Quartalschrift his unforgettable article. The conclusion reads:
'One cannot oppose any doctrine of God’s Word with impunity; this increases sin and guilt, damages consciences and blinds the heart. One error begets another, as in the election controversy the insistence on intuitu fidei soon brought with itself the synergistic doctrine of conversion. 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.'"

Forgiveness is Justification and Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions declare that it is by faith alone worked by the Holy Spirit by grace, through Word and Sacrament alone (the means of grace). The Lutheran Synods have departed from God's Word in no less than the central doctrine of Christian faith. The one article that must remain undefiled they have destroyed with a false doctrine, a concept, a thought that has spawned a multitude of errors in doctrine. It destroys what it means to be declared by God to be forgiven, it destroys the work of the Holy Spirit through His faith, it destroys the doctrine of Election, it destroys Law and Gospel teaching another gospel and turning the fruits of faith into Law.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

John said...

Brett,

As I process your thoughts I would like to ask a few brief questions. Feel free to correct my interpretation.

1) Did Christ pay for the sins of the world? (Brett you might say, "yes this is not justification")..but you don't take the leap that Christ's payment for the sins of the world is forgiveness for the world

2) Faith in this righteous act is a gift from the Holy Spirit through water and the word? (Brett you might say, "yes this is justification through faith")

Is this correct?

Brett Meyer said...

John, yes, I confess Christ paid for the sins of the whole world and confirmation that His payment was accepted by God the Father was Christ's resurrection. I also confess that Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions declare that Christ's payment is forgiveness for the entire world through faith in Christ. Without faith in Christ no one is declared forgiven and righteous (Justified). The righteousness and forgiveness of sins for the world is in Christ and never apart from Him. That is why the proof texts of UOJ only declare the Atonement - that Christ paid for the sins of the whole world. Scripture goes on to declare that Christ is our mediator, the worlds propitiation, only through the Holy Ghost's faith worked by grace through Word and Sacrament. The first error of UOJ is to equate the Atonement and Justification. The rational thought (reason) tells them that if God the Father placed the weight of the worlds sin on Christ and He paid for those sins then they've been taken off of the world and without sin must be seen by God to be sinless, forgiven of all sin. Since forgiveness of sins is justification then, in this false gospel, the world stands justified by divine verdict in God's sight. But they still have to deal with God's declaration that man is justified by faith alone. So they by human reason decided to call the first declaration of justification Objective and the second Subjective. But because everything required for salvation was accomplished in their doctrine of Objective Justification they had to evicerate the faith of the Holy Spirit and declare that it is only an open hand accepting what was already declared to be true. That faith isn't a change in man but only a means by which God confirms His already completed gift of declaring the world to be at peace with Him, forgiven of all sin, His children justified in the blood of Christ at the cross. They even go so far as to say that if faith does anything in the individual then it's synergism and a work of man - they blaspheme the Holy Spirit by this contention. But Scripture, and the Lutheran Confessions confirm, teaches that faith makes of an unjust man a just man (this in itself is a rejection of UOJ since UOJ has God declaring all men just at the cross, before faith). That through faith we die to sin, being under the Law, and are raised again to life being under grace by faith in Christ. Look at the passages that confirm the doctrine of election. 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." God's Word teaches that those God justified he glorified. UOJ teaches that the whole world was justified. Did God glorify the whole world? He didn't, because without faith they are not justified. When Scripture and the Confessions speak of God justifying the world it states, "in Christ", "through Christ" which is the Atonement and cannot be separated from the rest of Scripture which declares how anyone is "in Christ" which is by faith.

Thanks for your questions John,

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Luther is wonderful and all, but not as wonderful as the Holy Spirit who wrote,

"Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification." Romans 5:16

Follow the line of thought--Adam sinned and God declared the whole world condemned, the gift of Christ brought justification for the same ones who were condemned.

Also,

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." Romans 5:18

Again, just as the one trespass resulted in a declaration of guilty for all men, the one act of righteousness by Christ resulted in a declaration of not-guilty for all men.

Let just emphasize again, Brett Meyer continues to say there is a conflict between the truth of justification by faith and the truth of universal objective justification. The only conflict is in his mind, not in the pages of Scripture, in the Confessions, or in Luther's Works.

Anonymous said...

I posted a number of Luther quotes that plainly show he believed and taught objective justification. I am afraid they did not publish. If they did not, I will republish them when I find out.

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Could you please share for the benefit of all of us here, your beliefs on the:

New World Government and who you claim the Anti-Christ is?

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer said, "Anonymous, Scripture says in John 16:8, " And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" How does God reprove the world of sin if He has declared them to have no sin because they are by divine verdict justified and righteous? Mark Zarling explained UOJ saying, "In Jesus, God has declared the entire world righteous and forgiven, irregardless of whether or not the world believes it." Note that Zarling doesn't say that God only declares it upon the world if they believe but whether or not they believe God has already declared them to be fogiven and righteous (Just as Christ is righteous). Is Zarling wrong about what UOJ teaches?"

Zarling is correct about what the Bible teaches. Brett, this quote shows the problem you have with this. The problem is that you don't understand the proper distinction between the law and the gospel and when to apply either. For example, the law says the whole world is guilty of sin, the gospel says the whole world is declared innocent of that sin. If you don't properly divide the word of truth you will never understand what the Bible teaches.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous on June 16th 2:19PM, Romans 5:16 declares the Gospel but does not support God declaring the whole world justified prior to faith. This is the Atonement. Same with Romans 5:18. If this passage stands alone as you've segregated it, it actually teaches Universal salvation. Life in this text is not "not guilty" but salvation. Life in Scripture is salvation not forgiveness of sins. You speak of "that brings life for all men" as a declaration of not-guilty where the word "brings" shows clearly it is a profession of the Gospel promise and not a declaration. Your defense of UOJ ("resulted in a declaration of not-guilty for all men") contradicts Scripture which says all those under the law - those without faith in Christ - are under the curse, Galations 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them", 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", 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:" and Romans 5:1-2, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand"

Anonymous on June 16th 2:21PM, Are these quotes the same references that Becker used which are taken from Luther's discussion on the effectiveness of the Office of the Keys in forgiving sins? UOJ takes these statements as Luther's confession of UOJ but it is false as the Keys are not used to forgive the sins of unrepentant sinners who reject Christ and remain under the Law as the "whole world" was at the cross. Just as in Holy Communion the taking of Christ's body and blood without faith condemns the person - it doesn't justify them. Anonymous should understand this as he/she declares an understanding of Law and Gospel.

Anonymous on June 16th 2:28PM, if John decides to open a thread on the New World Order and the New Age Theosophy which is it's global religion then I'll gladly post what I believe and what these individuals who are bringing this about say they believe, will do and have done. Nice try at painting me a whacko but anyone who is following what is currently being said about the New World Order in the news will know that my concerns are not unfounded. You've also weakened your defense of UOJ by attacking an issue which is not specific to UOJ. Does your mother know you're using the computer?

Cont -

Cont - Brett Meyer said...

Cont -

Anonymous on June 16 at 2:32PM, You state, "For example, the law says the whole world is guilty of sin, the gospel says the whole world is declared innocent of that sin." You are wrong as seen by The Defense of the Augsburg Confession What Is Justifying Faith?, 48] "The adversaries feign that faith is only a knowledge of the history, and therefore teach that it can coexist with mortal sin. Hence they say nothing concerning faith, by which Paul so frequently says that men are justified, because those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in mortal sin."
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

I repeat from the BOC qoute above, "Those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in mortal sin"

Romans 3:20-26, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 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."

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. " http://www.bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php#article4

I repeat from the BOC quote above, "This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight." Not before faith as UOJ teaches.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

>>>Life in this text is not "not guilty" but salvation. Life in Scripture is salvation not forgiveness of sins.<<<

Umm, what?!? Life is salvation but not forgiveness of sins?!? You're saying that salvation and forgiveness are two totally different things? Wow, you sure are splitting hairs to try to dodge those portions of Scripture which teach UOJ. It's quite humorous to watch.

>>>Anonymous on June 16th 2:28PM, if John decides to open a thread on the New World Order and the New Age Theosophy which is it's global religion then I'll gladly post what I believe<<<

Hmm, John didn't open a thread on UOJ, but you didn't hesitate to change the subject with your anti-UOJ comments. Why then are you so reluctant to discuss your theories on the NWO and the Antichrist? Your pathetic excuse about John not having a thread about it is hilariously transparent as you've never been one to respect the thread subjects.

Hey John, why don't you start a thread about the NWO? Should be entertaining.

Anonymous said...

You can't separate Law and Gospel. You can't separate Subjective from Universal. Brett is going to continue to spew this since he can't seem to put it in context. Anyone will draw this conclusion with blinders on.

JK

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, you make a lot of noise concerning my contention that "life" in the passage means salvation. Consider this that the whole text that was quoted is, "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." Romans 5:18 In the second part of the Scripture passage "justification" is forgiveness of sins. Christ here says, "justification (forgiveness of sins) brings life (salvation) for all men." It's an important distiction in this discussion because the poster and it seems yourself want to claim this passage has Christ declaring all men forgiven of all sins. It doesn't. To read it the way Anonymous interpreted it it would read, "justification (forgiveness of sins) brings life (forgiveness of sins) for all men." This is absurd and clarifies the requirement that "life" in this passage must be understood to be salvation. Now since it means salvation if it's used as UOJ defenders would like it would really mean all men have salvation. This is false as is the doctrine of UOJ which you've tried to prove by this passage. Not splitting hairs, just being faithful to God's Word.

I didn't change the subject to UOJ as you claim. Anonymous on May 29th, 2009 at 2:24PM posted his concern about my anti UOJ statements. I was only following up on his concerns and even posted my email address where he could contact me direct or setup a discussion on BW or Ichabod. You bring up my concerns over the New World Order because you are unaware of current events. You think that if other people who are equally unaware see my opinions it will sway them to consider my statements about UOJ as equally faulty. You sabatage the honest and constructive efforts of other Anonymous posters to this discussion by showing you have no Scriptural or Confessional defense for UOJ and so you decietfully attempt to discredit me by an unrelated issue. To entertain you I suggest you post a specific question related to the N.W.O. on the thread John just created and I'll answer it. Is there anyone at your house who is supposed to be monitoring internet access?

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous, you make a lot of noise concerning my contention that "life" in the passage means salvation. Consider this that the whole text that was quoted is, "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." Romans 5:18 In the second part of the Scripture passage "justification" is forgiveness of sins. Christ here says, "justification (forgiveness of sins) brings life (salvation) for all men." It's an important distiction in this discussion because the poster and it seems yourself want to claim this passage has Christ declaring all men forgiven of all sins. It doesn't. To read it the way Anonymous interpreted it it would read, "justification (forgiveness of sins) brings life (forgiveness of sins) for all men." This is absurd and clarifies the requirement that "life" in this passage must be understood to be salvation. Now since it means salvation if it's used as UOJ defenders would like it would really mean all men have salvation. This is false as is the doctrine of UOJ which you've tried to prove by this passage. Not splitting hairs, just being faithful to God's Word.

I didn't change the subject to UOJ as you claim. Anonymous on May 29th, 2009 at 2:24PM posted his concern about my anti UOJ statements. I was only following up on his concerns and even posted my email address where he could contact me direct or setup a discussion on BW or Ichabod. You bring up my concerns over the New World Order because you are unaware of current events. You think that if other people who are equally unaware see my opinions it will sway them to consider my statements about UOJ as equally faulty. You sabatage the honest and constructive efforts of other Anonymous posters to this discussion by showing you have no Scriptural or Confessional defense for UOJ and so you decietfully attempt to discredit me by an unrelated issue. To entertain you I suggest you post a specific question related to the N.W.O. on the thread John just created and I'll answer it. Is there anyone at your house who is supposed to be monitoring internet access?

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

JK, you state, "You can't separate Law and Gospel." Are you saying that Walther wasted his time with his faithful book, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel? That he was wrong to state that they can't be intermixed?

This is another error caused by the doctrine of UOJ. That God can declare someone forgiven of all sin, righteous and justified and at the same time damn them to Hell for their sins. Is this not mixing Law and Gospel? The condition of the person to be both forgiven and condemned at the same time. Either the Law is incomplete in convicting and sentencing the individual 100% as one who has broken the Law with no good in them (Christ's righteousness) or the Gospel is incomplete having not fully justified them so that they stand fully guiltless having Christ's righteousness. UOJ says the world which remains under the Law has been declared by God's divine verdict to be forgiven of all sin, righteous (having Christ's righteousness) and justified but yet if they don't come to believe it they are damned to Hell for the sin of unbelief. Didn't Christ also pay for the sin of unbelief? Were we not all born in the sin of unbelief? So He did or didn't pay for the sin of unbelief? And if He did pay for it why is it charged to a persons account when they don't come to faith when UOJ teaches nothing changes in the individual when they come to faith - everything was already declared forgiven in Objective Justification?

UOJ teaches that while a person is a slave to sin (under the Law) without faith in Christ, God the Father declares that they are justified (under grace). Yet Scripture declares that when we're under grace we are free from the dominion of sin, Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."

JK, Proverbs 17:15 speaks directly to you and this doctrine of UOJ you promote, "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

I think JK misspoke when he said you can't separate law and gospel. I believe he meant you have to keep them separate, something that Brett Meyer does not do.

Also, Brett, when you say that Romans 5:18 is talking about the atonement and not justification, you are just plain being foolish. The word the Holy Spirit uses there is justification which means "to declare not guilty." The passage does not say that "one act of righteousness was atonement that brings life for all men" its says very plainly "one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." I don't know how much more plain to make it.

And as for your attempt to explain away God's truth by saying "that brings life" is in regard when a person comes to faith, check verse 16 for clarification where it says Christ's work "brought justification."

Now go ahead and print three or four posts with statements about subjective justification (which no on will disagree with because they are true) and claim that means the Bible and BOC don't each UOJ.

Anonymous said...

"That God can declare someone forgiven of all sin, righteous and justified and at the same time damn them to Hell for their sins. Is this not mixing Law and Gospel?"

No, it is not, it is keeping law and gospel separate. One statement is law and the other is gospel. They are opposites that need to be proclaimed and applied properly.

Its the same as the truth of the Bible that teaches God loves sinners and God hates sinners.

Your understanding says that seeming contradictions of the Bible cannot stand because they don't make sense to you. There are a number of things that don't logically make sense to us, yet the Bible plainly teaches them.

Anonymous said...

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

It can't get any simpler than this: every last person has sinned and fallen short of God's approval--and those same all have been declared not guilty by Christ's work.

There is nothing else to say or argue over. This passage is one of many that teach UOJ. That neither denies or eliminates that a person is saved through faith in Christ alone.

Cue...Brett Meyer copying and pasting a bunch of statements about Subjective Justification that are true and fit in perfectly with UOJ, but he will claim they are contradictory.

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer said,

"So He did or didn't pay for the sin of unbelief?"

Your line of questioning would lead to this: So Jesus did or didn't pay for the sin against the Holy Spirit, which he says will not be forgiven?

Of course Jesus paid for all sins of all people, as UOJ plainly teaches. That means all the people in hell are people for whom Christ died. This shows your foolishness and your view of faith as a cause of you being saved. Unbelief is a sin that Jesus paid for, but if a person is in a state of unbelief he is rejecting the only means of personally obtaining Christ's forgiveness--through faith.

Again, for everyone, UOJ does not teach that a person goes to heaven apart from saving faith in Christ--that is what Brett Meyer claims it teaches.

Brett Meyer said...

Anonymous on June 16th 10:38PM, You are incorrect about my line of questioning. As was confirmed earlier, according to the doctrine of UOJ, every person who has died without faith in Christ was declared by God to have been exactly like Christ according to Objective Justification since Christ's payment for all sins was applied to the whole unbelieving world prior to ever coming to faith. Justification is the forgiveness of every sin including the sin of unbelief. And if in Subjective Justification the unbeliever's (now believing) faith doesn't bring about anything that wasn't there before in the Objective sense what is there to condemn him if he doesn't believe? Nothing, not even unbelief since it too was paid for by Christ and forgiven by God the Father in order for that individual to be seen as Justified in His sight.

You can go on and on about how it isn't his until he believes it but UOJ as presnted by Mark Zarling and S. W. Becker (both WELS) state that the unbelievers Justification has been declared whether or not they believe it. H.A. Preus and Jon Buchholz declared that full and complete Justification had to have been there prior to faith otherwise faith would have nothing to cling to. Ceeeeertainly faith couldn't hold onto the "Promise" of forgiveness of sins given in the true Gospel message and anchored in the righteousness of Christ having paid for the whole worlds sin (Atonement).

Anonymous, you are correct UOJ doesn't teach a person goes to heaven apart from faith in Christ. UOJ teaches that once an individual has been declared by God the Father (who made everything in a Word) to be Justified - they aren't. That the whole world has what God demands of them - to be sinless in God's eyes and yet they will be condemned to Hell in a sinless state for the sin of unbelief which had been seen by God to have been forgiven, in Christ, Objectively. No wonder the WELS came up with the Kokomo Statements and S.W. Becker was able to accept the 4 statements for the WELS.

You teach another God and not the God of the Bible.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Quote from WELS DP Pastor Jon Buccholz and accepted by the 2005 WELS Convention, "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." The divine verdict is the imputation of Christ's righteousness upon the entire unbelieving world, otherwise they could never be seen in God's sight as being free from sin, guilt and fully righteous.

But Scripture says in Romans 4:24, "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;" WAIT - "to whom it shall be imputed, IF we believe…"?? UOJ says it has already been imputed by divine verdict BEFORE we believed.

But Scripture says in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." WAIT - "be converted, that your sins may be blotted out," UOJ declares that even before conversion Christ's sacrifice blotted out (forgave) all unbelievers sins. In fact the WELS UOJ book Our Great Heritage states, ""And yet many Lutherans still labor under the delusion that God does not forgive us unless we believe. Instead of seeing faith as nothing more than the spiritual hand with which we make the forgiveness of God our own, they see it as a reason why God forgives us. They believe that Christ has indeed provided forgiveness for all men, that God is willing to forgive them, but before he really forgives he first of all demands that we should be sorry for our sins and that we should have faith. Just have faith they say, and then God will forgive you. All the right words are there. The only thing wrong is that the words are in the wrong order. God does not forgive us IF we have faith. He has forgiven us long ago when he raised his Son from the dead." (p. 59)

Well Objective Subjective is just thrown out the window in regards to imputation of Christ's righteousness to the world of unbelievers. In the UOJ doctrine declared by the WELS Our Great Heritage, "God does not forgive us IF we have faith, He has forgiven us long ago…."

I disagree as does Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. James 5:15, "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." Forgiveness of sins by faith alone.
The Confessions also confirm this in AAC What is Justifying Faith, "Hence they say nothing concerning faith, by which Paul so frequently says that men are justified, because those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in mortal sin." The unbelieving world cannot be accounted righteous before God because they are dead in sins, servants to sin and under the Law - not under grace.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

From 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

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

Emphasis: "...God, who regards as just only believing children."

This is quote eliminates any possibility of Luther referring to Objective or Subjective justification but is pure faithfulness to Scripture and condemns UOJ which falsely declares that God regards the whole unbelieving world as just (justified).

Quoting Anonymous on June 15, 2009 2:27 PM, "Do you disagree with Luther?"

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

Quotations from the Lutheran Confessions which stand in direct opposition to the false doctrine of Universal Objective Justification.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession
Part 5
That We Obtain Remission of Sins by Faith Alone in Christ.
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

"But the remission of sins is received by faith alone, and, indeed, by faith properly so called, because the promise cannot be received except by faith. But faith, properly so called, is that which assents to the promise [is when my heart, and the Holy Ghost in the heart, says: The promise of God is true and certain]. Of this faith Scripture speaks. And because it receives the
remission of sins, and reconciles us to God, by this faith we are [like Abraham] accounted righteous for Christ's sake before we love and do the works of the Law, although love necessarily follows. Nor, indeed, is this faith an idle knowledge, neither can it coexist with mortal sin, but it is a work of the Holy Ghost, whereby we are freed from death, and terrified
minds are encouraged and quickened. And because this faith alone receives the remission of sins, and renders us acceptable to God, and brings the Holy Ghost, it could be more correctly called _gratia gratum faciens_, grace rendering one pleasing to God, than an effect following, namely, love."

"Wherefore that faith of which the Apostles speak is not idle knowledge, but a reality, receiving the Holy Ghost and justifying us [not a mere knowledge of history, but a strong powerful work of the Holy Ghost, which changes hearts]."

"But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy. Accordingly, Scripture testifies that by faith we are accounted righteous, Rom. 3, 26. We, therefore, will add testimonies which clearly declare that faith is that very righteousness by which we are accounted righteous before God, namely, not because it is a work that is in itself worthy, but because it receives the promise by which God has promised that for Christ's sake He wishes to be propitious to those believing in Him,"

"Is not this to bury Christ altogether, and to take away the entire doctrine of faith? Paul, on the contrary, teaches that we have access, i.e., reconciliation, through Christ. And to show how this occurs, he adds that we have access by faith. By faith, therefore, for Christ's sake, we receive remission of sins. We cannot set our own love and our own works over against God's wrath. 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 judgment of God."

"The wrath of God cannot be appeased if we set against it our own works, because Christ has been set forth as a Propitiator, so that, for His sake, the Father may become reconciled to us. But Christ is not apprehended as a Mediator except by faith. Therefore, by faith alone we obtain remission of sins when we comfort our hearts with confidence in the mercy promised for Christ's sake."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

It can't get any simpler than this: every last person has sinned and fallen short of God's approval--and those same all have been declared not guilty by Christ's work.

There is nothing else to say or argue over. This passage is one of many that teach UOJ. That neither denies or eliminates that a person is saved through faith in Christ alone.

Anonymous said...

Brett Meyer said "Yes, I am showing where everyone who confesses UOJ is a rank Universalist, teaches another gospel and remaining in that confession will be condemned to Hell for eternity."

Great, now we have Brett saying that if I believe that Jesus Christ paid for all the sins of all people of all time by his death on the cross, that God has declared the whole world not guilty because of Christ's completed work, and I believe that means that Christ died for my sins, that my sins are paid for, and God has declared me as an individual not guilty of my sins---I'm going to be condemned for all eternity.

Sheesh!

Brett Meyer said...

Sheesh, yes in the same sense that the Baptists which the WELS receive training from say they believe Jesus Christ paid for all the sins of all people of all time by his death on the cross, that God has declared only believers not guilty because of Christ's completed work, and I believe that by my decision to accept Christ as my Savior means that Christ died for my sins, that my sins are paid for, and God has declared me as an individual not guilty of my sins---I'm going to be condemned for all eternity.

I think you're getting it -

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

By the way, you should take a serious theological swing at the meat of my contentions using Scripture and the Confessions.

Brett Meyer said...

It's important to note in the exchange with Sheesh above the reason the UOJist is condemned to Hell is that they confess a distribution of righteousness that is not Scriptural righteousness. They confess a faith which is not Scriptural faith. And they declare a gospel which is not Scriptures Gospel.

Anyone confessing the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification as the Lutheran Synods declare is condemned for they teach a false gospel.

Note though that members of those synods who in their heart confess justification by faith alone in Christ (having the Holy Spirit's faith) are truly and fully justified by faith alone and are the children of God. Only God reads the heart and knows who those are. Same in the Baptist and Roman Catholic churches, God knows who trust alone in Christ by faith. It should be clear from this and other UOJ discussions that the faith of UOJ defenders is not the faith of the Holy Spirit for they claim it doesn't do anything as opposed to true faith which makes of an unjust man a just man, through which a man dies to sin and is born again to life by grace through faith in Christ alone, regenerates the sinful man and is the only way a man is born again as Christ commanded.

UOJist want to say that 'well we still teach it's not yours without faith' so everything is OK. My response is that the Baptists also teach it's not yours without faith. Yet the Baptists also teach a person must make a decision, must perform the work of deciding for Christ for it to be theirs. They are condemned for this belief in works. So also the UOJist who declares a different way to righteousness and a different faith - they are condemned.

Romans 10:3, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brett Meyer said...

I wanted to provide this assessment of Siegbert W. Becker's essay on UOJ by inserting God's Word throughout Beckers discussion of faith as proclaimed by the WELS doctrine of UOJ. A Scriptural study of this WELS essay on UOJ shows the extreme blasphemy that the false doctrine promotes. (Scripture references are mine - Brett Meyer)

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

Becker, "But universal and objective justification is one doctrine whose place in the victorious Christian life is clear. Wherever men teach that faith comes first as a condition that must be fulfilled or a work that must be done or even as a fact that must be recognized before forgiven(ess) is bestowed (Note here bestowed = imputed) (Mark 2:5, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.") or becomes real, (Mark 4:12, "That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.") men will be trained to look into their own hearts for assurance rather than to the words and promises of God. If my sins are forgiven only if I first have faith (Acts 10:43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.") then I have no solid foundation on which to rest my hope for eternal life (Romans 8:24, "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?"). I must then know that I have faith before I can know that my sins are forgiven (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.")

But there are times when a Christian does not know that he has faith(Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.") (Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."). And many people who think they have faith do not have it, and many that think they are not believers are believing children of God (Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."). In regard to
our own faith we may be in error or filled with doubt (Romans 14:23, "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.") But there is nothing uncertain in the truth that is proclaimed in the Gospel. Your sin is taken away, wiped out, forgiven, cancelled, swallowed up in the empty grave in Joseph’s garden. To that we must cling. To that we can cling. On that we can build a solid hope that will not make us ashamed.

Cont -

Brett Meyer said...

Cont -

In times of temptation when I am no longer aware of my faith, when my heart tells me that I am an unbeliever, I have no place to turn for assurance if faith must come before forgiveness (Romans 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all"). But if forgiveness comes first, if it is always there, if it is true whether I believe it or not, I do not need to know whether I have faith or not before I can cling to God’s promise (Romans 11:20, "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.") (2 Cor. 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?). I know that my sins are forgiven whether I feel forgiven or unforgiven. I know that my iniquity is pardoned whether I believe it or not (Romans 9:31-32, "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"). And when I know that, then I know also that I am a believer (James 2:19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Knowledge without faith does not make someone a believer - the devils know Christ paid for the worlds sin but are not believers). John teaches us that when he writes, “Brethren, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” Take away objective and universal justification and you have gone a long way toward cutting the heart out of the Gospel message.

Romans 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Luke 7:50, "And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace"
Luke 8:48, "And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."
Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Thank you for using Dr. Becker's paper to help make my point! As Dr. Becker so beautifully explains, subjective faith personally lays hold of objective truth. Brilliant!

God is so wonderful.

Brett Meyer said...

2nd Peter 2, "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;"

I also believe S.W. Beckers WELS essay speaks to the truth of the doctrine of UOJ.

Anonymous said...

"We treat of the forgiveness of sins in two ways. First, how it is achieved and won. Second, how it is distributed and given to us. Christ has achieved it on the cross, it is true. But he has not distributed or given it on the cross. He has not won it in the supper or sacrament. There he has distributed and given it through the Word, as also in the gospel, where it is preached. He has won it once for all on the cross. But the distribution takes place continuously, before and after, from the beginning to the end of the world."

There is only one justification (forgiveness). It was acquired for all people by Christ at the cross. It is given (dispensed, distributed) through the means of grace, and in no other way, wherever the gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered.

When we write or say things, we must not confuse the universal acquisition of forgiveness at Calvary with particular distribution of forgiveness. When that distinction isn't maintained, we can unwittingly sound like universalists. That's wrong. Or we can unwittingly sound like enthusiasts, divorcing forgiveness from the means of grace which dispenses it. That's wrong, too. We have to be careful how we say things.

But saying that faith causes forgiveness or justification is synergism, pure and simple. Every student of Lutheran theology 101 knows that there are only two causes for salvation: The grace of God and the meritorious work of Christ. The teaching that "faith causes forgiveness" is not and has never been a Lutheran doctrine.

Did you surmise that the first paragraph quoted above is from Luther? It's from "Against the Heavenly Prophets." AE Volume 40, p. 213. As you can see, it is patently false to say that Luther didn't teach universal forgiveness.

But Luther was also very careful to articulate the difference between how forgiveness was acquired (past tense, completed!) and how it is distributed (present tense, ongoing!). This is essentially the same distinction we make today between "universal justification" and "personal justification." It's just that Luther didn't use those terms.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Anonymous 2:27 - that sounds just like DP Buchholz. Your problem is two-fold. Justification means the declaration of forgiveness, which is only through faith - both in the Bible and the Confessions. You are confusing the Universal Atonement with an imaginary Universal Declaration of Forgiveness (without the Word, without the Means of Grace). Are you saying the Holy Spirit declared this universal forgiveness without Means? Then you are an Enthusiast.

The second problem is that your formula comes from a Pietist whose textbook was widely used in America and Europe, in English (America) and in German (both areas). The textbook preceded the arrival of Walther. Similar language, recorded by Hoenecke, is from another Pietist, the son-in-law of Bengel.

Starting with Synodical Conference error and working back to Biblical citations is not a good idea.

In Christ,
Greg Jackson

PS - I hope this helps.