The Fruit of Faith in Christ
KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Someone asked me if Justification by Faith was making any progress among the Lutherans. Without question, many are now aware of the great falling away (apostasy) from the Chief Article of the Christian Religion, the Master and Prince, the doctrine that judges all other articles of faith.
At the same time, now that the difference between the Biblical doctrine of Justification by Faith and the rationalistic dogma of Justification without Faith (UOJ) is clear, the "conservative" Lutherans are piping up with smart alec responses to the challenge or grieved criticisms about what I have written.
I have thought about this often, because of the way clergy and laity are treated by their own leaders. If someone has a legitimate question, that individual is trashed in every way possible. If a pastor is an addicted, abusive, false teacher, then the leaders do everything possible to protect the villain and attack anyone who thinks pastors should be sober teachers of Biblical doctrine.
Incompetent and abusive pastors are handy tools for a synod to shut down a congregation and grab the equity built up in the property, sometimes by decades of offerings. The pastor who wrecks the congregation is given a call and a stooge is put in that place to watch it crumble around him and to take the blame. His family suffers with him, but he is expendable.
Luther wrote about the treatment of pastors in his own time - a perfect description of the synodical leaders today.
Many suffer from the results of this lack of faith today. I have been reading about the LCMS clergy, shaking in their rabbit warrens, afraid to speak out about anything, lest SP Matt Harrison kick them out of the ministerium and therefore out of their calls. Their own synod convention voted for this papal ruling, but Missouri is no different from the others, whose leaders are just as wrathful if anyone questions them.
WELS was so terrified of the Intrepid Lutherans, which SP Mark Schroeder wanted as his own lobbying group, that they told everyone to quit and of course they did, starting with the founder, Schroeder's friend Steve Spencer. The trouble was, the group became sentient and no longer agreed robotically with the sect. Thus they had to be silenced.
The mini-bishop of the ELDONA micro-sect is so afraid of ideas that he had his hangman get rid of non-kosher books and murmur a few threats as a bonus.
So the Apostle John wrote, "Do not marvel if the unbelieving world hate you."
Unbelief is always going to bristle at faith. That is the nature of unbelief. They acknowledge faith to a certain extent - they believe but their hides bristle. But this is a reaction of fear and hatred, not of trust in Christ and His Word.
Luther saw and experienced the practices of his time - grand spectacles of holiness, but no foundation of faith. Someone can wear the most expensive robes and burn the best incense, carefully observing the gestures and practices of the ancients, but have no faith - even teach against faith.
We are seeing the Reformation era reborn before our eyes - the worst part of it. The more Rome grew away from the Gospel, the more elaborate the ceremonies became.
Thus the supposed answer of the conservative Lutherans to Church Growth Fullerism is to stage elaborate worship services - while teaching against faith. Thus they imagine that their high church entertainments will counter the Fuller low church praise bands. But what is being taught? For example, the LCMS leaders of their Jungendbund - Higher Things - stage elaborate worship services while teaching against Justification by Faith. When I challenged them on this, they kicked me off their FB page and hid their hideous dogma that was previously so brazenly promoted on their Higher Things websty.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
These days we have a new definition of love. One definition is Antinomianism, no law, actually anti-law. Our society claims that to say that anything is a sin means one is unloving. That word unloving is said with great gloom, doom, and condemnation, but no one seems to spot the irony. To identify false doctrine as such - that is really unloving.
The Apostle John was known for living in Ephesus, for taking care of Mary, and for emphasizing love. His motto was "Love one another."
Therefore, people have corrupted the teaching of the Apostle, ignoring the foundation of his letter - faith in Christ.
1 John 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
So the corrupters say, "We have to be more loving and not talk about doctrine all the time." They have programs to make people smile more - have greeters! - and hide away anything that might offend. I heard a WELS favorite say to a group of pastors, "The best sermon will do no good if the ushers are not friendly." Thus the Word of God is not effective, but the smiles of the ushers are! Oh blessed new-evangelism, that we can smile people into the Kingdom of God.
No wonder the lazy Lutheran Church Growthers copy their sermons from Babtists and Methodists. It does not matter what they preach if the ushers smile.
This is very important - what do these poseurs mean when they say "doctrine"? They do not want Biblical doctrine to offend and annoy the unbelievers or idle by-standers. But their precious doctrine is nothing more than synodical opinions, ever-changing dogma wrapped up in the sanctity of the sect.
The Gospel of John and the First Epistle both emphasize that the reaction of unbelief to the Gospel is hatred. As Luther wrote, the Apostles lived in poverty and hurt no one, but they were killed for teaching the Gospel.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The one not loving (thus) remains in the death; his not-loving being the plain evidence. John once more writes the verb "remains," which appears throughout this letter. The fact that love always shows itself, just as does the absence of love, John will add presently.
15) It startles us when John adds: Everyone hating his brother is a man-murderer. So the world hates us and thereby attests its Cainlike nature. Whether blood is actually shed or not makes no difference (Matt. 5:22). is the very word that Jesus used with reference to the devil in John 8:44; it applies to all the devil's children (v. 10b); included among these are the antichristians who have gone out from us (2:19). John has called the latter liars (1:6, 10; 2:22) and combines liar and man-murderer as Jesus does in John 8:44. Let the deniers of the deity and of the expiation of Jesus (1:7; 2:2) read this double verdict on them!
There are many examples of this across Protestantism, not to mention the Church of Rome. But let's stick with the Protestants. They have done such things as:
- Sued a church to take its property away, only to lock it up or sell it cheap to another group. Crime - being traditional. Episcopal.
- Stolen a church property and its endowment, using the endowment funds to defend the theft. WELS.
- Left a synod because it was evil, then joined again to have a call and take the property away. ELDONA.
- Closed hundreds of small parishes because of a lack of interest in them, depriving people of their church. United Methodist.
- Moved clergy to new areas to whitewash what they did, whether a DUI arrest, murder, adultery and abandonment, etc. Various "conservative" Lutheran groups.
- We have to be happy to make people want what we have.
- We have to be loving to make them love the Gospel of Jesus.
- We have to be doing all these things to prove our love.