KJV 2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Where Are the UOJ Warriors?
I challenged the UOJ Stormtroopers to cite one place in the Scriptures or the Book of Concord where God declared the world forgiven without faith, without the Word, without the Means of Grace.
No one could name a single instance where God said, "The entire world is forgiven, without faith." Yet the proclamation of UOJ is the heart of their addled cult and the energy behind their Church Growth fever. All their experts start with Walther and his disciples. The WELS heroes are J. P. Meyer, whose Ministers of Christ was bad enough to be taken out of print; and Sig Becker, who also got the Real Presence wrong while muddying the waters.
I decided to post the main reconciliation passage, where the word is used in various forms. This is the Seat of Doctrine (sedes doctrinae) for UOJ fanatics, so it is easy to see how badly they have bungled their New Testament studies.
Let's start with the original Greek word, without going overboard. The original secular meaning may help but it does not always facilitate more understanding. For example, where does one start with the English word draw? Context is very important. A picture is drawn. Butter is drawn. Well water is drawn. After posing for a portrait for 10 hours, your face looks drawn.
People are always saying that the Greek word repent means: Change your ways. Actually, it means regret in secular Greek. Meta means after; noia means mind.
So some research into a word helps but cannot be definitive by itself. "Scripture interprets Scripture." The clear passages explain the ones that seem dark to us. In addition, we have to stick with the plain meaning of the Word of God, not the twisted logic of academics who defend error to keep their jobs.
The word is used for exchanging money, such as getting four quarters for a dollar. This secular meaning is probably the reason why UOJ Stormtroopers fixate on forgiveness without faith. Ignorance and lack of study are two more reasons.
Reconciliation is also used for a husband and wife getting together again.
KJV 1 Corinthians 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
So the UOJ Stormtroopers are always saying, "There was an exchange. If Christ took on our sinfulness on the cross, then the whole world must have been forgiven when Christ died."
Then again, they also use the resurrection of Christ for their Moment of Universal Absolution. Walther's Easter sermon seems to be their main argument for this calendar change. They claim both as the Moment, so there is really no hope of reconciliation in their timetable.
The context of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5 makes it clear that the word is used as a synonym for the Atonement.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The Gospel is the Word of the Atonement/reconciliation. Christ has already paid the price, so this proclamation is the Holy Spirit's means of distributing the gracious favor of God to all who hear and patiently hold fast the divine Promises.
Clearly, absolution comes from the Ministry of Reconciliation (the public ministry) and the Word of Reconciliation (preaching the Gospel).
The clamoring fanatics, who study their yellowed dog notes, but never the Book of Concord, say, "Romans will prove our case." One gambit is Jesus justifying the ungodly. How could he justify the godly? Their argument is pretty weak, even for graduates of The Sausage Factory or the Frozen Food Seminary.
KJV Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Justification by faith is the reason why we are saved from God's wrath. Those who remain unbelievers have God's wrath abiding on them. The exchange is clearly the Atonement. We joy in the Lord because we have received (believe in the Promises of) the Atonement. Receive is often a synonym for believe in.
The UOJ Stormtroopers cannot defend their weak position, which should be consistent throughout the entire Bible. How can they reconcile their bizarre opinion with this passage?:
KJV John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
When Brett Meyer was being extremely polite on LutherQuest (sic), the false prophets there piled up on him and began calling him names. They hauled out their old bromides, such as "Your faith is in faith," and assured him he was going to Hell for holding fast to justification by faith. Their UOJ opinion was backed by their previous posts (norma normans?) and by various synodical papers of the last 100 years.
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "The Reconciliation Error of Universalism (Objecti...":
The extensive discussion on Luther Quest entitled Universal Objective Justification was extremely enlightening. A few things are very clear in that thread.
First, the clear differences between UOJ doctrine and Biblical Justification were clearly defined. Pastor Rolf Preus seems to be the lead on that board concerning most topics including UOJ. He personally recommended H.A. Preus' The Justification of the World, where he contends with the doctrine of Biblicaly faithful Professor Weenaas. This article is certainly held in high regard in the UOJ circle as Pastor Rolf Preus urges it the same treatment as Scripture when he says we should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it. The article shows the high degree of disgust they hold for the faith worked by the Holy Spirit. When it works in favor of their doctrine it is faith worked by the Holy Ghost (at this point being only a withered hand that receives what was already declared). When it condemns their doctrine it is faith that is a work of man which is a damnable heresy.
The discussion also detailed the impetus behind this new doctrine. Assurance. They've rejected the Holy Spirit and because of that do not have any assurance of forgiveness, righteousness or justification. They have then created a new Gospel which gives them this assurance outside of the body of Christ and without the Holy Spirit.
It is also an example and warning to anyone who rejects God's gracious Word. The hardening of the heart is imperceptible to those who reject and the blasphemy that results can be astonishing in its blatant denial of God's pure Word.