The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 25, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, July 31, 2009

UOJ Church Growth Can Be Hard To Swallow




Spoiled Egyptians Hard To Digest




Free Advice Needed for WELS





Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Luther, Lord's Prayer, and OJ":

Dear Pr. Jackson,

Please offer to help WELS leaders sort out their theological mess. Start with a letter/email to the Prez.

***

GJ - I appreciate the suggestion. I imagine it will be read by some and discussed by many.

Otten made a serious mistake in brokering the news for various synods. He helped manage the campaigns for Jack Preus, Ralph Bohlmann, and Al Barry. A typical day, based on my visits there, had him on the phone frequently with various synodical power brokers. That made him an unacknowledged leader of various synods, because he was almost as involved in WELS/ELS as Missouri, and dabbled in the misbegotten CLC too.

The UOJ Stormtroopers did not want me discussing their precious heresy in public, so I was banned in CN. The tabloid is so last-century now, weeks later than most people get their news from the Net.

My approach will continue to be - publish whatever is rotten in the state of Denmark and discuss Lutheran doctrine. The Word is effective, as shown by the latest efforts to silence me by attacking my sainted daughters. Once exposed by their own Dreck, they called their opponents "nasty," refused to publish their comments, and stopped. They reminded me of Gibbon's description of one army - "They fought without discipline and ran without shame."

UOJ is the ugly head of Enthusiasm, while Romanism is the alluring answer to Enthusiasm...from Enthusiasm. Both must be addressed and defeated by Lutherans.

By naming the key doctrines of the Book of Concord--God's own methods--WELS has stepped into a new discussion that divide the sheep from the goats, or more optimistically, the sheep from the wolves.

Many Lutherans are new-born babes in discussing the Means of Grace and the efficacy of the Word. They have been fed religious Pop-tarts, candy corn, and soda crackers. The new diet will be challenging but exciting. They will meet opposition everywhere. Chytraeus wrote that one of the surest signs of orthodox is that opposition.

Reading Pilgrim's Progress again, I ran into a funny but accurate description of how things go. Apollyon (Satan's servant) assailed Christian to come back to the City of Destruction and abandon his trip to the Celestial City. "Your master stays where He is and never helps His servants when they are in trouble. But my master enters the world and helps his servants, by deceit and fraud." Of course, that is Satanic temptation, to imagine the first part true when it is not. But the second part is definitely true in every single denomination.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Luther, Lord's Prayer, and OJ



Little Rockers listen to new hit parody -
"Perish is the word I use to describe..."


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "First Known Statement of Two Justifications - From...":

Dr. Jackson,

I agree with you on UOJ. I was wondering if you could briefly comment on Luther's explanation of the 5th Petition in the Large Catechism, which might be used as a defense for UOJ.

***

GJ - Here is the statement in question:

88] Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and to pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness. 89] For since the flesh in which we daily live is of such a nature that it neither trusts nor believes God, and is ever active in evil lusts and devices, so that we sin daily in word and deed, by commission and omission, by which the conscience is thrown into unrest, so that it is afraid of the wrath and displeasure of God, and thus loses the comfort and confidence derived from the Gospel; therefore it is ceaselessly necessary that we run hither and obtain consolation to comfort the conscience again.

This is a beautiful statement about the Atonement, which is pure forgiveness. One example from the New Testament is Paul's discussion on Reconciliation, a synonym for the Atonement.

KJV 2 Corinthians 5:17 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.

Another is the three-fold example of Christ's sacrificial death:

KJV Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

KJV Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

KJV Romans 5:10 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.

These examples show that the Atonement is the Gospel, an objective fact which does not depend upon man's faith or virtue. Luther often wrote things like this, which I am paraphrasing - "Christ died for the sins of the world" - that is a meaningless statement unless you say "He died for me." Here the explanatory phrase is ignored by the Stormtroopers: "(for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it)."

The preaching of this Gospel produces faith, the Holy Spirit working effectively through the Word. The best comparison is the Atonement being the great treasure (a term used more than once in the Book of Concord). The treasure lies in one pile until it is distributed by the Holy Spirit in the Word and Sacraments.

So the Atonement is already true, without us and apart from us. But the declaration of our forgiveness is separate from the Atonement. Justification in the Bible always means justification by faith. The UOJ Stormtroopers confuse "if" and "when." They erect their Straw Man fallacy and say, "You are not forgiven because of your faith!" Faith means trust in the Gospel Promises, so we are forgiven when we believe in the forgiveness proclaimed in the cross of Christ. The Word of God daily proclaims this to us. The Gospel of John was written to produce faith, so faith must be good in the eyes of God. John 3:16 commends faith and John 3:36 condemns unbelief. " 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."

Either we believe or we do not believe. There is no middle ground.

The tragedy of our time comes from Lutherans who have separated grace from the Means of Grace. Not trusting in the effectiveness of the Word, they turn to secular methods and become hardened unbelievers who will do or say anything to maintain their chintzy little kingdoms.

I know intelligent Lutherans who embrace UOJ and supposedly reject the Church Growth Movement. UOJ is the foundation of CGM, as Valleskey revealed in his odious book and the fake Ichabods disclosed on their defeated blog.

I highly recommend reading Luther's Commentary on Galatians in its entirety. I read it aloud to Mrs. Ichabod. The commentary was Bunyan's favorite, apart from the Bible. Luther said he would keep two of his books - Galatians and his Small Catechism. It is so strange that seminary professors suggest drivel like Your Church Can Grow instead of Luther.


Perish Services Perishing



Their pop hit needed just a little tweaking.


Perish is the word I use to describe
All the feeling that I have hiding here for you inside. (Yech, yech)
You don't know how many times I've wished that I could scold you,
You don't know how many times I've wished that I had sold you,
You don't know how many times I've wished that I could have
Rolled you into something who could
Perish yourself as much as you perished me.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WELS Convention Thread for Thursday":

I think even bigger news than the budget is the resolution that Schottey brought up. Perish Services has been totally decimated. Rather than a Board with an Administrator and a Chairman and decision making power, with many sub-boards and sub-administrators, Perish Services now consists of only 3 sub-administrators who report to the Conference of Presidents and are called by the COP.

President Schroeder slapped them down for trying to go around his authority and destroyed them and their support of the CG movement. Now there's not much left of Perish Services, and what is left can't do a thing without the COP knowing about it.

This is great news.


First Known Statement of Two Justifications - From Halle University Pietist



Look at who donated the Knapp book scanned by Google.


George Christian Knapp (1753-1825) was a Pietist but very rationalistic. He taught two justifications, objective and subjective, in his Lectures on Theology, published in German in 1789. The Lectures were translated into English in 1831 by Leonard Wood, who was very influential at the time, published and used in many editions in America. The Lectures were still being used at Andover at the end of the 19th century, mirroring the enormous span of years Knapp spent teaching.

Knapp taught Objective and Subjective Justification, in form familiar to Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie:

Here are some statements from the English edition, 8th, 1859, p. 397ff:

The Scripture doctrine of pardon or justification through Christ, as an universal and unmerited favour of God.

1. The Universality of this Benefit

It is universal as the atonement itself...If the atonement extends to the whole human race, justification must also be universal--i.e., all must be able to obtain the actual forgiveness of their sins and blessedness on account of the atonement of Christ. But in order to obviate mistakes, some points may require explanation.

*[Translator note - This is very conveniently expressed by the terms objective and subjective justification. Objective justification is the act of God, by which he profers pardon to all through Christ; subjective is the act of man, by which he accepts the pardon freely offered in the gospel. The former is universal, the latter not.]


(GJ note - This is the same formula, in the translator's note, taught by J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, late professor at Mequon, originator of the first three Kokomo Statements. This formula morphs easily into Babtist decision theology, hiring Ed Stetzer, and learning from Andy Stanley. I understand the "dog notes" at Mequon are from Meyer himself.)

The Register, quoted below:

"Dr. Knapp, late Professor at the University of Halle, was born at Glancha,in Halle, on the 17th of September, 1753, and received his early education in the Royal Paedagogium, one of the institutions of the pious Francke. At the age of 17, he entered the university at Halle, and attended the lectures of Semler, Noesselt and Gruner, with more than common success. The Bible was his great object of study, while the Latin and Greek classics still received a degree of attention which enabled him ever afterwards to adorn, enrich and illustrate from classical literature whatever he said or wrote in the department of Theological science. In 1774 he completed his course of study, and in 1775, after a short absence, he began to lecture, at Halle, with much success upon Cicero, the New Testament, and the more difficult portions of the Old Testament. He was appointed Prof. Extraordinary in 1777, and Prof. Ordinary in 1782. He then lectured in Exegesis, Church History, and in Jewish and Christian Antiquities.

On the death of Freylinghausen (1785), he and Niemeyer were appointed Directors of Francke's Institutes; and continued jointly to superintend these establishments for more than 40 years. In the division of duties, the Bible and Missionary establishment fell to Dr. Knapp, which brought him into near connection with the Moravians. The lectures, of which this volume forms a part, he commenced during the summer of the same year."


WELS Convention Thread for Thursday


Michael Schottey has left a new comment on your post "Walther, Valleskey, Brenner, and Propositional The...":

The WELS passed a four part resolution this morning

1) Acceptance of "Option C"--cuts will be made in administration, travel and in para-ministries that can be easily replaced at a later time.

2) Encouragement of synodical entities to use the WELS VEBA Holiday refund by remitting it back to synod in the newly established ministry support fund

3) Mandate to the Synodical Council that if, in the second year of the biennium, cuts need to be made, Salary Furloughs are utilized first rather than cuts.

4) We as a synod place emphasis and understand that it is God who blesses us and thank him for these gifts.

---

From WELS:

Delegates have adopted a resolution of the Finance and Budget Floor Committee for the 2009-11 biennium, which provides enough funding for Ministerial Education to retain WELS' present three-tier, four-school system as contained in the Synodical Council's proposed budget Option A.

The resolution also keeps funding for the Boards for Home and World Missions at the same level as the proposed budget Option B so that no further missionary cuts are needed.

Instead, the budgets of Communications, Financial Services, Technology, the Congregational Resource Team within Parish Services, Mission Counselors, and corporate travel expenses will be cut by a total of $1 million.

Look for more details to follow.

---

An observer wrote:

"An interesting conclusion might be drawn from the vote (paper ballots) on the first budget resolution that kept Missions and Education at the higher levels and moved the cuts elsewhere. The vote was, as I recall, 261 to 65, give or take a few, the ayes being 80%. That seems to say those favoring the schools were 80%, while those against them were 20%, of those present. That might be an indication of the ratio against the C&C gang. Maybe that is not a sound conclusion, but I thought the ratio looked good."

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WELS Convention Thread for Thursday":

Why couldn't the SC come up with this as well? They could not come up with something like this "Option C"?

261 to 65? Convincing vote.


***

GJ - I think SP Schroeder showed wisdom in allowing the convention to decide on options rather than forcing one solution through. Inventing a crisis and forcing the purchase of a failed Roman Catholic school led WELS into Prairie due Chien, which is now a prison, and losing a prep in New Ulm, where WELS members are especially dense. The density of WELS members in that area moved them to spend oodles on their own Area Lutheran High School, removing a large number of potential students from Prairie.

Someone wrote earlier about $22 million in debt. Institutions and individuals always have debt. The report showed the debt being reducing by about 1/3 while the economy was in meltdown. That is impressive.

Schroeder has led the synod well, with The Love Shack throwing in more obstacles than one finds in The Pilgrim's Progress. Now it is up to members and pastors to consistently follow through, first by studying the Confessions, second by applying them in all situations.


Walther, Valleskey, Brenner, and Propositional Theology



Growth in WELS



Pastor Wehrwein reprinted an essay by Egbert Schaller about the basic weaknesses of the Missouri Synod.

Schaller made some excellent points about Walther not being a Biblical theologian. Walther stated propositions and followed them up with "proof" from various citations, often just a list of Biblical passages. Walther and Pieper's dogmatics classes were often "repeat after me" exercises, too, something Mequon reproduced with predictable results. The ELS lets seminarians think a little bit, but smacks around those who express their confessional conclusions. Pope John the Malefactor keeps the Left Foot of Fellowship ready - his knee-jerk reaction to dissent from his infallible doctrine.

Most of the errors weighing down Lutherans today are from propositions offered up and given no Biblical support. The propositions are endlessly repeated and people soon learn not to question the theses. Therefore, Biblical passages opposed to the falsehood or not supporting the error are attached to citations, like lint to Velcro. Just try to pull them apart.

When did God "declare the entire world forgiven of its sin"? Walther declared it in his Easter absolution sermon, and the Brief Statement entered the notion into canonical law.

Valleskey promoted Fuller doctrine the same way - with propositions in his odious WLQ essay. Those who even questioned him were pushed out of the WELS ministry. Brenner was already at Mequon when the seminary published the essay as Gospel truth. When I spoke to Brenner about the seminary's published errors, since they endorsed Church Growth with the publication, he had two answers for me:


  1. The editor Gawrisch was sick, so that was why nothing was done. I asked if the whole faculty was also sick, since they did nothing.
  2. "Write a letter."


So when Brenner began chanting the slogans of Kokomo Justification, I knew Enthusiasm would not depart from Mt. Zion in the near future. Forgot the politics of how the faculty and board have been stacked with members of the Patterson-Jeske-Parlow network. There are no doctrinal standards to evict professors like Al Sorum until the Book of Concord is studied, known, and discussed.





I think there is a good start already. Politics will not win the day. The Word of God will accomplish His purpose.

Confidential to all those who kept silent and let me answer Valleskey by myself - Has WELS grown larger and stronger since 1991?


Spoiling the Egyptians


More on Universal Objective Justification




Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Objective Justification Question":

Pastor Jackson,

Are you saying, in reference to the interchangeability of the the word Atonement and Justified etc., which has caused confusion, that you had never heard pastors, professors, theologians actually say "the whole world is forgiven of all their sins, even those who don't believe are foprgiven," like was said at the WELS convention on Tuesday by the seminary professor, prior to 1991 when writing your book Liberalism?

[GJ - I went to summer school at The Surrendered Fort in the late 1980s and decided to join WELS after the LCMS convention in Indianapolis. I never heard the two justification scheme in theological studies or in reading Luther. When I first read Pieper at that time, I thought he was using objective justification as a synonym for the Atonement. Since then I have talked to or written to a number of laity and pastors who thought the same thing. In fact, Bishop Jim Heiser thought that way too, and he publishes all the post-Luther books at Repristination Press. Chapter Five of Thy Strong Word opened a lot of eyes and also made some people very angry with me.

After Kokomo, WELS and Missouri avoided the subject.]

I admit that I had first heard the phrase specifically in about 1992 or 93. Before that I can't say I ever heard anything other than, "Christ died for the sins of the whole world."

I would think it odd that a pastor would not have run into that speak earlier and thus using the term Objective Justification should have already been known to not mean the same as Atonement.

[GJ - The ALC/LCA side of the Lutheran Church did not use the term Objective Justification. But their Gospel reductionism offered the same message - everyone is forgiven. Lenski, who is read on both sides of the Lutheran divide, never accepted OJ for good reason - it is absent in the Scriptures. My favorite theologians of General Council never delved into the Walther/Pieper scheme.

The Synodical Conference was unduly influenced by the propositional thinking of Walther and Pieper, but the LCMS did not regurgitate double-justification from the beginning, as people would like to promote. The 1905 LCMS catechism never mentioned the scenario.]

I need to clarify this in my mind. I do not intend to sound antagonistic.

[GJ - The antagonistic ones sound very different from you - believe me.]

Thank you.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More On UOJ



Beware of feral rabbits who double as UOJ agents.
Night of the Lepus is more than a movie.
Caution - if you click on the link for Lepus -
the screen will fill with plump, slo-mo attack rabbits. Shudder.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ojective Justification Question":

UOJ begs the question: Did the believers in the promise who died before Christ died for their sins go to heaven with their righteousness counted to them by grace through faith, or did they remain in some sort of way-station until they were forgiven with the whole world?

Seems to me that if forgiveness comes to us apart from the means of grace, all of the folks who died had to wait outside the gates of heaven until Christ died.

***

GJ - UOJ offers a host of Biblical contradictions, all ignored by its advocates.

You brought up a good question. Abraham is rightly called the father of faith, because he believed in the promised Savior, and it was reckoned as righteousness (justification by faith). God's Promises made Abraham a believer, but in trusting God's Word the patriarch received the blessing of forgiveness.

KJV Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

KJV Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

UOJ claims everyone was declared forgiven the moment Christ died (one version) or the moment He rose from the dead (another version). They cannot agree on the timing of their idiosyncratic heresy. So - how was Abraham objectively or universally justified? Or when?

Instead of allowing the Atonement to be a mystery revealed in God's Word, the advocates try to improve on it with wild, distorting, and absurd claims. "All the people in Hell are guilt-free saints." They must wonder why they are suffering, since they are guilt-free saints. Although the word-group faith is the most frequent by far in the New Testament, the Stormtroopers delight in attacking faith.

Brenner explained, "Faith is not a virtue..." So who said it was?

One extremist signed his Internet post, "An unbeliever."

Sig Becker seemed eager to outdo the Kokomo Statements, even though he had trouble with them.

If UOJ is such a glorious comfort, why does it cause such discomfort? Why does WELS lie about Kokomo?

The true Gospel is a source of comfort, unless someone has mangled it.

---

Anonymous wrote earlier on this post -

http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/2009/07/not-every-wels-member-agrees-with-ski.html

The issue of objective or universal justification has been bothering me for some time. I've always been taught and used the term objective (not universal) justification. I've seen the term condemned here, but it seemed that what I believed about justification, faith, and the means of grace also agreed with what I've seen here.

I've just read the Justification chapter of "Thy Strong Word," (as suggested by another poster here), and doing so really did help me understand the issue. I think the following passage describes my use of the term, which I will avoid in the future:

"However, in this muddle caused by false teachers, we must allow for those who use the term Objective Justification as a synonym for the atoning sacrifice of Christ. That is how I used the term in Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant. Those who use Objective Justification innocently have responded to early drafts of this chapter. These men do not believe that God grants forgiveness without the Means of Grace and without faith. They want to emphasize the universal and non-conditional nature of the atonement of Christ, that is, to emphasize that Jesus died for all sins and remains the source of comfort for all contrite sinners. The atonement remains true whether anyone believes in the cross or not. Nevertheless, God bestows His forgiveness only through the Word and Sacraments and never apart from the Means of Grace."

I learned the term, basically as another word for atonement from WELS pastors, and I've encountered it in C.F.W. Koehler's "Summary of Christian Doctrine" and a number of other books. I never understood objective justification as anything other than the atonement as you describe it above, but I see now where the terms can lead and why they should be avoided. I have not, thankfully, ever been in a classroom or church where anything resembling the Kokomo version was taught.

July 20, 2009 7:55 PM


Objective Justification Question


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Brenner Essay: "Christ's Love and the Efficacy of ...":

Pastor Jackson,

I was wondering about your use of the term Objective Justification that you used on page 144 of your rather good book: Liberalism, its Cause and its Cure pubished (sic) by NPH and how that differs in what you speak of reguarding (sic) UOJ above?

I could not seem to gleen (sic, probably means glean, because gleen means to glisten) your use of the term from the context of the paragraph.

Thank you.

***

GJ - I thought, as do many today, that Objective Justification meant the Atonement. But John Brenner and the UOJ Stormtroopers preserve the original intent of the Pietistic opinion of Knapp:
A. Everyone has already been forgiven, whether they believe or not. Objective Justification.
B. Everyone needs to make a decision about this eternal (19th century) truth. J. P. Meyer.

The new version mixes the Means of Grace with this formula, but oil and water do not combine readily. Falsehood and truth combined do not improve the falsehood but make it more dangerous by cloaking the Enthusiasm in some pretty words that are obviously not believed.

Recently one reader commented that he once had the same false view of OJ, thinking it was a harmless synonym for the Atonement. However, Brenner made it clear from the start that he was promoting and defending the double-justification error of Knapp. Brenner has published a paper on Pietism, so perhaps he will study it some more.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ojective Justification Question":

Pastor Jackson,

Please indulge me with a few more questions.

My pastor told our class when doing a class about CGM that justification, atonement, redemption, all meant the same thing. He had notes from the seminary where he showed us that the professor taught that the Greek said that they all mean the same thing.

So you are saying this isn't so?

I still have not met anyone, Pastor or layman, who says "you are saved without believing" or "you will go to heaven even if you don't believe." But warn of the risk that we have to do something.

Doesn't your position risk putting people into the place of making a decision, if Christ didn't die for the sins of all? Making a formula to make sure you believe, thus playing into "making a decision" the next a logical step.

What did Christ do on the cross if he didn't die for all the sins of the world past, present and future?

Respectfully yours.

***

GJ - Seminary notes are not to be confused with the Book of Concord! You did touch on an important fact - combining all the terms. The Atonement is Christ paying for the sins of the world. That is not disputed. Justification by faith, sometimes called forensic justification, is God's declaration of forgiveness received in faith. The UOJ Stormtroopers have made their OJ into a special category, separate from the Atonement.

I suggest that you read the material on Knapp, posted under the Brenner essay.

A WELS DP said that he never heard someone claim that everyone was saved. I said, "WELS had an evangelism compaign, where the banners said to everyone - I am saved, just like you." Of course, he ignored what I said, which is a matter of record.

Why criticize Church and Change while defending their doctrinal foundation?

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ojective Justification Question":

I may be the reader Dr. Jackson mentioned who used to think Objective Justification was a harmless term for the atonement. I asked a lot of the same questions that this reader did, because I too had learned learned the term from WELS pastors, teachers, and authors. I found answers by reading carefully in Paul's Epistles, the Formula of Concord (justification and election) and Luther's Large Catechism (article III of the Creed). I was led to review those sources by Dr. Jackson's book, "Thy Strong Word." When in doubt, always return to Scripture and the Confessions (the norming norm and the normed norm respectively).

I still think many do simply use OJ as another term for atonement, but I do not think it is a harmless term. Words mean things, often precise things. There is simply no need to use the term OJ and add to and confuse what the Scripture and the Book of Concord say about justification, which is the central article of Christian doctrine.

***

GJ - Thanks. Can you remember which post you responded to? Comments did not work well (using email) and I lost track of where it landed. Thanks.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ojective Justification Question":

I have been a member of an ELS congregation for a little over a year. I grew up in the LCMS and was always taught that Christ paid for (atoned for) the sins of the whole world - His righteousness. His righteousness is our righteousness through the free gift of faith alone through the Word alone (means of grace).

After reading Rev. Jackson's postings on UOJ, I looked at the ELS teaching on its website and learned that the posted teaching is as Rev. Jackson states, that the whole world is forgiven.

Isn't such a teaching close to Rome's teaching of infused grace?

At any rate, I don't know if I can stay in a denomination that teaches that we receive forgiveness apart from the means of grace.

Thank you, Rev. Jackson for your continuing discussion on this very important topic.

***

GJ - Infused grace is similar - here is one Roman Catholic defense of it.

But Universal Objective Justification is worse than Romanism, if possible.




WELS or ELS or LCMS Pastor: "Someday, my princess, you will grow up to be a UOJ Stormtrooper, just like me. Together we will rule the universe, unless you turn to the Dark Side -
the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace."


I. Luther, The Book of Concord, Lutheran Orthodoxy


"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.'
Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28.

"The apostle says 'our,' 'our sins;' not his own sin, not the sins of unbelievers. Purification is not for, and cannot profit, him who does not believe. Nor did Christ effect the cleansing by our free-will, our reason or power, our works, our contrition or repentance, these all being worthless in the sight of God; he effects it by himself. And how? By taking our sins upon himself on the holy cross, as Isaiah 53:6 tells us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 180. Hebrews 1:1-12; Hebrews 1:3;

"Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot help and benefit a man unless he believes it and experiences its saving power in his heart."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 705f. Smalcald, 1537.

"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves.
"The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.

"But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves [from this Church]."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 195.

Formula of Concord
"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.

"Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Philippians 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Proverbs 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Isaiah 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Romans 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits."
Formula of Concord, SD III. #17. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921 Tappert, p. 541f. Heiser, p. 251. Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33.

Gerhard
"The entire Scripture testifies that the merits of Christ are received in no other way than through faith, not to mention that it is impossible to please God without faith, Hebrews 11:6, let alone to be received into eternal life. In general, St. Paul concludes concerning this [matter] in Romans 3:28: Thus we hold then that a man becomes righteous without the works of the Law--only through faith."
Johann Gerhard, A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 1610, ed. D. Berger, J. Heiser, Malone, Texas: Repristination Press, 2000, p. 165. Hebrews 11:6; Romans 3:28.



The sainted Jack Preus (l.) translated Chemnitz and presided over the LCMS after leaving the Little Sect on the Prairie. David Preus (r.) was cousin to Jack and Robert; he led The ALC into altar fellowship with the Reformed. Robert Marshall, next to David Preus, led the LCA into women's ordination. Robert Preus (no photo available) was a UOJ warrior in the springtime of his Norwegian Pietism, but reformed late in life. No one told his sons Rolf and Dan. Well, I did, but they did not listen. I was acquainted with three of these men above, Robert Preus, Ralph Bohlmann, and a few others.

Robert Preus
"But the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner takes place when the Holy Spirit brings him to faith through Baptism and the Word of the Gospel. Our sins were imputed to Christ at His suffering and death, imputed objectively after He, by His active and passive obedience, fulfilled and procured all righteousness for us. But the imputation of His righteousness to us takes place when we are brought to faith." [procured in italics in text]
Robert D. Preus, Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 72.

Abraham Calov: "Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe." [Apodixis Articulorum Fide, Lueneburg, 1684]
Robert D. Preus, Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n.

Lenski
"The danger is that by use of the term 'subjective justification' we may lose the objective divine act of God by which He declares the individual sinner righteous ex pistews pistin in the instant faith (embracing Christ) is wrought in him, leaving only the one divine declaration regarding the whole world of sinners, calling this an actus simplex, the only forensic act of God, and expanding this to mean that God declared every sinner free from guilt when Christ was raised from the dead, so many millions even before they were born, irrespective of faith, apart from and without faith. This surely wipes out 'justification by faith alone.' Only his faith is reckoned to him for righteousness."
R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretation of Romans, Augsburg Publishing House: Minneapolis, 1963 p. 85. Romans 1:17. [GJ - WELS does not like Lenski on this point because Lenski is correct - and a real scholar of the Bible and Lutheran orthodoxy.]

"Nowhere in the bible is any man constituted or declared righteous without faith, before faith; all asservations and argumentations to the contrary notwithstanding."

Lenski, Romans, p. 382? Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 86.

"As to the doctrine in general, he [Lenski] repudiates and ridicules the teaching that on Easter morning God forgave, really forgave, all the world all its sins, really and truly justified the world. He protests against making objective reconciliation, general justification, mean that God on Easter morning did actually pronounce the world, all individuals making up the world, really innocent of all sin and guilt."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 508. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. [GJ - The LCMS UOJ Stormtrooper do not like Lenski on this point either.]

II. Halle Established Pietism and the Cancer Spread



Johann Albrecht Bengel, 1687-1752, second only to Spener in Pietism's influence, laid the groundwork for Semler's rejection of God's Word.


Anyone interested in Universal Objective Justification (God declaring, in His grace, without the Means of Grace, that the entire world is forgiven but not really forgiven) needs to know about J. A. Bengel, the radical Pietist.

Bengel's daughter married Philip David Burk, who worked closely with his father-in-law on the Gnomon. Burk also published extensively, his works in German still available in various libraries. As far as I can tell, Burk is the first theologian to support justification without faith (UOJ).

Hoenecke:
And Ph. D. Burk (Rechtfertigung und Versicherung, p. 41) rightly said:

"The difference between general justification and the more common usage of the term justification can be expressed as follows. The latter takes place precisely upon the appropriation of the former." Adolph Hoenecke, Dogmatik, III, p. 354-5


Burk, Philip David, a Protestant theologian of Germany, was born July 26, 1714, at Neu Ren. He studied at Tubingen, was in 1742 pastor nt Bolheitn, and in 1750 at Hcdelfingen, near Stuttgard. In 1758 he was appointed superintendent at Markt-Groningen, and in 1766 he was called for the same position to Kirchheim, where he died, March 22, 1770. He is the author of fïnowmn in Dundecini Prophetus Minores (Heilbronn, 1753), with a Preface by his father-in-law, the famous J. A. Dengcl: — Gnomon Psalinorum (Stuttgard, 1760): — Knuigelischer Fingerzeig auf den wahren Verstand und heilsamen Gebrauch der geirohnlichen Sonn-Fest-itml Feiertäglichen Kvangflien, etc. (Leipsic and Tübingen, 1760-67, 7 vols.) -.—Die Lehre rnn der Reehljerttyiiiig und decen GeiciJtshfit im Jlerzen und Geirissen des Sünden, etc. (Stuttgard, 1763-65, 7 pts.). Sec Winer, Handbuch der then!. Lit. i, 99; During, Die gelehrten Theologen Deutschlands, i, 208 sq. (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature by John McClintock)

Otto Heick has an interesting paragraph in his History of Christian Thought, volume II. (Heick was my Christology professor at Waterloo Seminary. He often took Mrs. Ichabod and me to supper.)

"Johann Albrecht Bengel spent much time and effort to unlock the mystery of the Book of Revelation. He toyed with the idea of a 'restoration of all.' He also developed in detail a doctrine of the blood of Christ. The body of Christ, he taught, was totally drained of blood on the cross. In the resurrection it was not reunited with the body , but is retained in heaven as the precious ransom of man's sin. In the act of justification the believer is sprinkled in a mysterious manner with the blood of Christ and thus cleansed from his sin. This emphasis on the blood of the Savior played a very important part in the theology of Zinzendorf." (Heick, II, p. 25)

Bengel is pivotal because his creative approach to theology opened the doors to inventing additional theories of justification and a rationalistic approach to the Scriptures. (Read more about Semler below.)

I am only speculating at the moment, but I can see a direct connection between Bengel's blood theory, which is pure Enthusiasm, and his son-in-law's quoted statement in Hoenecke, which is also Enthusiasm. Bengel's version seems to be an allegory of OJ (blood in heaven) and SJ (given to believers). I can only find advocates for UOJ among the Pietists, Universalists, and Methodists (English Pietists).

Here is a description of Bengel from a doctoral student at Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield. The student's words carry great weight because WELS is in fellowship with Trinity, as the Trinity printed materials reveal.

To have Bengel on your side as a critic of inerrancy is to have a "heavy hitter" in the history of the Christian church. Although he is now largely confined to a passing comment in discussions of the history of textual criticism, Bengel has been described as a leading figure in the history of Lutheran theology-comparable to Martin Luther, J. C. K. von Hofmann, and Adolf Schlatter.7 he has been described as "the exegete of pietism"8 and even "the most important exegete since Calvin."9 In fact, although he is readily recognized as the father of modern textual criticism,10 Helmbold claims that he is also the father of modern scientific exegesis, modern eschatological study, and even the father of those seeking unity among Evangelicals.11

Whether or not one agrees with these estimations (Helmbold's claims, in particular, seem rather generous), Bengel can hardly be dismissed as an "uncritical" pietist with a simplistic faith and little intellectual ability. In addition to a master's degree in philosophy and an honorary doctorate from the University of Tubingen, he published work on the accents of the Hebrew Bible, Spinoza, new editions of classical and patristic texts, the history and methods of textual criticism, a harmony of the Gospels, a history of interpretation and commentary on the book of Revelation, and a study of biblical chronology and salvation history (Ordo Temporum). Bengel also spent twenty-eight years in leadership of the preparatory school at Denkendorf preparing students for the University of Tübingen and ordination for the Lutheran ministry.12


In a history book by the great Henry Eyster Jacobs:
But as historical truth demands it, we let the story be told by a later Halle professor, the eminent Professor Tholuck, whom no one can charge with prejudice against the school of Spener and Francke. "Pietism in Halle," says Professor Tholuck, " reached the summit of its power under Frederick William I. [1 713-40], the soldier king with the Christian soldier's heart, the particular patron of the Halle theological faculty. Under him was issued in 1729 the edict which was promulgated anew in 1736, according to which no Lutheran theologian should hold a position in the Prussian state who had not studied at least two years in Halle, and received a testimonial from the Halle faculty of being in a state of grace.

Gradually the nursery of piety was transformed into a nursery of rationalism. ' God's gifts descend not by inheritance;' this is proved also in the history of the Halle institutions. Every director had the right to chose his own successor; and yet with Ludwig Schultze and Niemeyer the direction passed gradually into the hands of rationalism. Under Baumgarten the interests of piety yielded to those of learning ; and through Semler, Gruner, Nosselt, and Niemeyer, rationalism became the prevalent theology. Only in George Christian Knapp a branch of the old Halle school remained, but reserved and timid, and without any extensive influence. At my [Tholuck's] entrance in Halle in 1826 I found still two citizens who traced their faith to this one deceased advocate of the old school among the clergy." This deterioration, however, was gradual.



Tholuck was Hoenecke's most important professor at Halle University, and Tholuck was probably the most conservative among the Halle rationalists.


Tholuck's Universalism, from The Modern History of Universalism:
Professor Sears, of the Baptist Church in New England, speaks very decisively, on the point that Tholuck was understood to believe in the restitution of all things. "Though as a theologian, Dr. Tholuck is on the side of Orthodoxy, it must be remembered that it is the Orthodoxy of Germany. I feel the more called on to state frankly what I know to be the truth, from the fact that the works of several German critics, of whom he is the safest, have now become so popular in England and America as to demand a translation. This distinguished and excellent man, in common with the great majority of the evangelical divines in Germany, though he professes to have serious doubts, and is cautious in avowing the sentiment, believes that all men and fallen spirits will finally be saved. The current hypothesis (meaning in Germany) is that in the middle state, intervening between death and the resurrection, the righteous will gradually attain to perfection ; and that to all the wicked, whether men or angels, the gospel will be preached, and that they will ultimately accept it and be restored.1"
Professor Sears afterwards gave the subject of a conversation which he had with Tholuck as follows : "One evening, at his house, there was a debate between us on the subject, in the presence of two American gentlemen, now in this country. It made such a painful impression on the mind of the writer, that he can remember not only the ideas, but many of the identical words and phrases employed at that time. The following is the substance of that conversation, which was held in English : —
Tholuck: I suppose that my American brethren would consider me orthodox in general, except in my Universalism. — Sears : They would, most certainly. But with them that one point would be a 1 This announcement was made by Professor Sears, A. 1). 1834. We refer those who wish to look more fully into this subject, to an article entitled, " Professor Tholuck and Universalism," from the pen of Rev. T. J- Sawyer, in the Expositor and Universalist Review, vol. iii. New series, edited by Rev. Hosea Balkm 2d., Boston. Published by Q. W. Bazin & A. Tompkius, 1839.

But with them that one point would be a serious matter. With this sentiment you could not hold a standing in our Orthodox churches. Now, where did you find this doctrine, — in the Bible, or in your philosophy ? — Tholuck: In both. — Sears : What are the passages of Scripture on which you principally rely ? — ' Tholuck: My main passage is 1 Cor. xv. 28. Christ shall overcome all, and hring them in complete subjection to God, who to all men will be their all, their everything. Such language cannot well be applied to those who shall still remain his enemies. Also Rom, xi. 36. For out of him, and through him, and into him, are all things ; i. e. all things proceed out of him as their source of being; by him they are conducted to their proper destination ; and into him they all return, as their eternal resting place. It follows, of course, that they will all be happy ; for happiness consists in being in God. Another passage is, ' Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess,' &c. (Philip, ii. 9-11.) — Sears: Do you find no passages of Scripture which positively declare the everlasting punishment of the •wicked ? Tholuck : Yes. Matt. xxv. 46, and others like it.— Sears : Can those passages, which you think favor Universalism, be understood in any other sense without violating the fundamental laws of interpretation ? — Tholuck: Yes, they can, but the construction would not be so easy and natural. — Sears : Can the other passages, which speak of endless punishment, possibly bear any other construction ? Tholuck : I do not see how they can. — Sears : Well, what are you going to do with them ? — Tholuck: This is my onlv difficulty. These two classes of texts seem to me contradictory ; I cannot reconcile them. But when I reflect upon the character of God, as a Being of love, I lose all my doubts.


III. The Synodical Conference Drew Its UOJ from the latter, rationalistic stage of Halle Pietism



Walther moved in Pietistic circles in his early life and came to America with the Pietistic Bishop-for-Life Stephan.


Walther
"For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also possess the gift. This one thing is--faith. And this brings me to the second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken individually to him."
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 p. 233. Brosamen, p. 138. Mark 16:1-8

"Christ's Glorious Resurrection from the Dead the Actual Absolution of the Entire Sinful World Here I would point out two things: 1. That This Is Certain And True, and 2. That Therefore Every Man Who Wants To Be Saved Must By Faith Accept This General Absolution As Applying Also To Him,"
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 p. 230. Brosamen, p. 138. Mark 16:1-8.

"The fact of the redemption and reconciliation of the entire human race through Christ, and with it the forgiveness of all sins for all men on God's part--which, indeed, is precisely what the Gospel proclaims, presents and gives--can by no means become a lie through the unbelief of men...even when the unbelievers don't receive it, but reject it for themselves and for this reason--indeed, for this reason alone--are lost."
Walther's colleague, Theodore Brohm, 1808-1881 Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 16.

See Valleskey Below for the Same Confusion
"It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach: That forgiveness and justification before God do not involve each other, or that justification and reconciliation are entirely different from each other, as though a person can be reconciled without being justified or justified without being reconciled." Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, #3.

Valleskey – OJ and CG
"In Christ, God has effected a universal justification, a universal reconciliation, a universal ransom, a universal atonement. Different terms, but all communicating the same message: God in Christ has declared the whole world to be not guilty."
David J. Valleskey, We Believe--Therefore We Speak, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995, p. 71.



Francis Pieper, raised in the Pietistic Wisconsin Synod, was selected by Walther to pass along the false doctrine of UOJ. Pieper established UOJ in the Brief Statement and had his own disciples expand on the Enthusiastic fantasy of the world's absolution on Easter.


Pieper
"The starting point in presenting the doctrine of the means of grace must be the universal objective reconciliation or justification. This is the procedure of Scripture."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 105.

"Now, then, if the Father raised Christ from the dead, He, by this glorious resurrection act, declared that the sins of the whole world are fully expiated, or atoned for, and that all mankind is now regarded as righteous before His divine tribunal. This gracious reconciliation and justification is clearly taught in Romans 4:25: 'Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification.' The term dikaiosis here means the act of divine justification executed through God's act of raising Christ from the dead, and it is for this reason called the objective justification of all mankind. This truth Dr. Walther stressed anew in America. He taught that the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the actual absolution pronounced upon all sinners. (Evangelienpostille, p. 160ff.)" part one
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 321. Romans 4:25

"The resurrection of Christ is, as Holy Writ teaches, the actual absolution of the whole world of sinners. Romans 4:25: 'Who was raised again for our justification.' At that time we were objectively declared free from sin."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 348 Romans 4:25

"Scripture teaches the objective reconciliation (o.r. in italics). Nineteen hundred years ago Christ effected the reconciliation of all men with God. God does not wait for men to reconcile Him with themselves by means of any efforts of their own. He is already reconciled. The reconciliation is an accomplished fact, just like the creation of the world. Romans 5:10: 'We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.' When Christ died, God became reconciled." pt. 1 of paragraph
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 347f. Romans 5:10

J. P. Meyer, WELS
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?"
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

"This applies to the whole world, to every individual sinner, whether he was living in the days of Christ, or had died centuries before His coming, or had not yet been born, perhaps has not been born to this day. It applies to the world as such, regardless of whether a particular sinner ever comes to faith or not."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 109. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

"Before Christ's intervention took place God regarded him as a guilt-laden, condemned culprit. After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention He regards him as a guilt-free saint."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 107. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

"The administration of the katallage is carried out by means of the Word. The Word is made the vehicle for conveying and applying the katallage to the world. There is no other way of administering it...It is the Word which God established through which the katallage is brought to us and through which we bring it to the world."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 110f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

Stoeckhardt
"This doctrine of general justification is the guarantee and warranty that the central article of justification by faith is being kept pure. Whoever holds firmly that God was reconciled to the world in Christ, and that to sinners in general their sin was forgiven, to him the justification which comes from faith remains a pure act of the grace of God. Whoever denies general justification is justly under suspicion that he is mixing his own work and merit into the grace of God.
[George Stoeckhardt, Concordia Theological Quarterly, April, 1978, p. 138.] Pastor Vernon Harley "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 1.

"The entire Pauline doctrine of justification stands and falls with the special article of general justification. This establishes it beyond peradventure that justification is entirely independent of the conduct of man. And only in this way the individual can have the assurance of his justification. For it is the incontrovertible conclusion: Since God has already justified all men in Christ and forgiven them their sins, I, too, have a gracious God in Christ and forgiveness of all my sins."
[Quoted with approval by Theodore Engelder, from George Stoeckhardt, Commentary on Romans, p. 264.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 2.

Theodore Mueller
"The resurrection is God's public absolution of the entire world: 'Your sins are forgiven, all sins of all human beings; and there is no exception.' This is the meaning of the technical term 'objective justification.' The objective justification is central to the doctrine of salvation and derives logically from the facts that God's reconciliation, forgiveness, and declaration of 'not guilty' in no wise depend on the attitude or behaviour of human beings. If objective justification is denied, then it must follow that those who are declared righteous in some way have contributed to God's change of heart; justification is then no longer solely the result of God's grace."
[Theodore Mueller, Concordia Theological Quarterly, January, 1982, p. 29.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 3.

"The doctrine of the means of grace is understood properly only when it is considered in the light of Christ's redemptive work (satisfactio vicaria) and the objective justification, or reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:19-20, which He secured by His substitutionary obedience (satisfactio vicaria). If these two doctrines are corrupted (Calvinism: denial of the gratia universalis; synergism: denial of sola gratia), then also the Scripture doctrine of the means of grace will become perverted."
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 442. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.

Engelder
"The chief purpose, however, is to keep this article (general justification) before the people for its own sake. It cannot be presented and studied too often. Its vital relation to the subjective, personal justification by faith, cannot be stressed too strongly. It forms the basis of the justification by faith and keeps this article free from the leaven of Pelagianism. Unless the sinner knows that his justification is already an accomplished fact in the forum of God, he will imagine that it is his faith, his good conduct, which moves God to forgive him his sins. And unless he knows that God had him personally in mind in issuing the general pardon on Easter morning, he will have no assurance of his justification."
[Theodore Engelder, Concordia Theological Monthly, July/August/September, 1933. Reissued by the seminary printshop, Ft. Wayne, 1981.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 1f.

"Does Missouri teach 'that this, an actus simplex, is the only justification there is'? Yes and no. We do not teach that the objective justification of Easter morning is the only justification there is...But most readers of the Pastor's Monthly know that Missouri teaches that there is a) an objective justification and b) a subjective justification."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 514. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.



Paul Kelm has been hired by The Love Shakc to promote Church Growth Enthusiasm. He advocates upside-down theology. Indeed.

Kelm
"It's just easier for many people to work backwards from the subjective to the objective in their thinking. In fact, upside-down evangelism may start with gospel and work back to law, stating the solution as a prelude to the problem and clarifying both at the cross."
[This is Moravian Pietism, as shown by Walther's Law and Gospel.] Paul Kelm The Evangelism Life Line (WELS), Fall, 1985 p. 5.

WELS Kokomo
"At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints." (Pastor Charles Papenfuss) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. "When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 109) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.

"After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 107) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.

"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of saint."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 103) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.

"Here the panel feels itself compelled to distinguish between form and content. While the form of the Four Statements is inadequate, the doctrine of objective justification it grapples with is Scriptural. The Four Statements have served to show that there is a doctrinal difference between Faith Congregation and the appellants."
Report of the WELS Review Committee, Hartman, Pohlman Appeal, June 30, 1980. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 133.

E. Preuss, LCMS then Roman Catholic
"So, then, we are reconciled; however, not only we, but also Hindus, and Hottentots and Kafirs, yes, the world. 'Reconciled', says our translation; the Greek original says: 'placed in the right relation to God'. Because before the Fall we, together with the whole creation, were in the right relation to God, therefore Scripture teaches that Christ, through His death, restored all things to the former right relation to God."
F. R. Eduard Preuss, 1834-1904, Die Rechtfertigung der Suender vor Gott. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 24.

Norwegians
"The chief differences between the contestants [Norwegians and Swedish Augustana] seems to have been in the essence rather than in the effect of Absolution. Both agreed that the Gospel offered the forgiveness of sins, but the one side held that it was given only to those who in faith received it, while the other side said that it was given also to unbelievers, though they did not accept it. Both agreed that unbelievers received no benefit from such an absolution."
J. Magnus Rohne, Norwegian Lutheranism up to 1872, New York, Macmillan, p. 231. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 20.

"The teaching of the [Norwegian] Wisconsin Synod is this, that in and with the universal reconciliation, which has occurred in Christ for the whole world--even Judas; the world--even Judas--has been justified and has received the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, according to Luther's clear words ("for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation"), (even Judas) has become a child of God and an heir of heaven."
Quotation from Gottfried Fritschel, "Zur Lehre von der Rechtfertigung," Theologische Monatshefte, vol 4, 1871, (1-24), p. 7. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 2. Wisconsin Synod of the old Norwegian Synod - Charge made by Hasselquist.

Sig Becker
"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."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated

"Three of the four [Kokomo] statements, because of their lack of clarity, tend to confuse the issue. But since the disciplined laymen used them to advance their false doctrine, it was understandable that the congregation should also use them in its rejection of the falsehood being advocated. I do not consider any of the four statements to be false doctrine, but I would rather not use the language used in the first, second, and fourth." [conclusion of paper] Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.

"Every one of the statements can be understood correctly, even though one must swallow a little hard to accede to the fourth [Kokomo Statement]." Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated "The first three statements are taken verbatim from WELS sources."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.

"The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.

"The doctrine of universal justification is often ridiculed with the argument that if God really forgives sins prior to faith then the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith becomes meaningless. Such conclusions demonstrate a rationalistic spirit that consciously or unconsciously refuses to be guided by Scriptures alone."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated .

"The two terms are relatively modern. They are not used in the Lutheran Confessions. They are also not really synonymous. 'Universal justification' is a term denoting the doctrine that God has forgiven the sins of all men. Strictly speaking, the term 'objective justification' expresses the thought that the sins of a man are forgiven by God whether he believes it or not. Objective justification is not necessarily universal, but if justification is universal it must of necessity be objective."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, p. 1.

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L P has left a new comment on your post "Ojective Justification Question":

Pr. GJ.

I have a question on the first Luther quote.


"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.'
Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28.

I can understand the last sentence. I highlighted the portion in which Luther seems to believe in Limited Atonement.

Can you explain? Are the following Luther quotes after that meant to clarify this?

LPC

***

GJ - Luther wrote 100 volumes, each one equal to an encyclopedia. There are also issues about transcriptions were faithful, such as with the Table Talks, with various editors. Besides, that one, statement can appear UOJish while this particular one sound like Limited Atonement to you.

The Parable of the Sower can viewed the same way, with three examples out of four showing a lack of yield. Does that make Jesus a teacher of Limited Atonement? Luther was fond of saying "The Gospel is thinly sown." He was not a triumphalist, so he would have ridiculed a program like the LCMS Ablaze.

I think we have to start with the foundation - how a theologian treats the Word. Calvin was rationalistic, impossible to miss in his writings, but also an Enthusiast who separated the Holy Spirit from the Word. Calvin was a propositional theologian, and many have followed in his wake, including some Lutherans. Limited Atonement has to be seen in the context of rationalism, double predestination, the extra Calvinisticum, and other aberrations.

In contrast, Luther did not try to solve the issue of why some are saved and others not. His statement about Holy Communion is clear to me, but capable of misunderstanding. The clear part is this - Holy Communion is only for believers. If the Words of Institution included "poured out for all," Universalism would be even more widespread than it already is.

This reminds me of the paradox about faith and works. Some parables (Final Judgment) seem to speak only of works while others speak only about faith. The audience and intent have a lot to do with the content.

Finally, the Book of Concord has given us a selection of Luther as a correct exposition of Scripture, and yet Lutherans hardly know those parts (Small and Large Catechism, Smalcald Articles). Not that Luther is wrong in the statement above, but the Book of Concord selection is Luther at his best and most precise.




WELS Wednesday Convention Thread


Post comments and observations about Wednesday's activities on this thread. Thanks.

Brenner Essay: "Christ's Love and the Efficacy of the Means of Grace"


2009 WELS Convention: Essay, "Christ’s Love: The efficacy and power of the Means of Grace" from WELS Streams on Vimeo.



Unfortunately, he began with an UOJ statement - "God forgave the whole world."

Soon after - "God declared the whole world forgiven when Jesus rose from the dead." (Where is this found?)

Nevertheless, "there is no salvation apart from Jesus."

Straw man - "Faith is not a virtue that earns salvation."

I could not listen to Brenner's constant sing-song chant, the interweaving of UOJ propositions and Biblical statements which contradict these themes of Pietism - right from Knapp of Halle University.

I doubt whether anyone at Mequon is trained in theology. Brug got a PhD in Hebrew. Brenner was hired in church history and had to take a year of prep work at UW before he actually entered the doctoral program. Brenner may have finished, but it is a tradition in WELS not to finish a PhD, to stop after passing the written doctoral exams. According to Lawrenz, the dearth of PhDs in WELS comes from the brain drain, men leaving WELS for Missouri or worse, and the connection of intellect with the Protest'ant crisis. Their logic is superb - a dumb hedonist cannot possibly be an intellectual Pietist (since they call the Protest'ants "Pietists.")

Good and Bad
If WELS goes ahead with a study of the Book of Concord, that action will enable laity and a pastors to shred the remains of Kokomo UOJ Pietism.

When I listened to the hodge-podge at the beginning of Brenner's essay, I wondered, "Is this the faith that launched a thousand CGM programs, that toppled the topless towers of Milwaukee?"

I find it significant that none of this UOJ nonsense was found in SP Schroeder's report, and I listened to every word. But I did not wonder that the Shrinkers found a foothold in WELS and constantly united their UOJ blasphemy with Church Growth idiocy. A recent example was found in the fake Ichabod blog, where Valleskey and UOJ were featured as counterarguments to Lutheran orthodoxy. As far as I know, Valleskey and Bivens only pursued advanced studies at Fuller Seminary. Neither one published anything above the level of low comedy. NPH refused to print their New Life in Christ booklet.

Basic Errors of UOJ, Repeated Forever by Its Guard-dogs


  1. Grace is separated from the Means of Grace, which is the very definition of Enthusiasm, condemned roundly in the Book of Concord, all of Luther, and the subsequent Lutheran theologians. If the Holy Spirit is bound to the Word and Sacraments, there is no forgiveness apart from the Means of Grace.
  2. The double-justification scheme of Knapp (Halle University) is repeated without Biblical or Confessional support. Knapp was very influential in Germany and America, with his odious book in print (German and English) before Walther landed in Perry County and all through the 19th century. See the links on the left about UOJ. Walther came from Pietistic circles.
  3. Justification is confused and mingled with the Atonement/reconciliation. Scholars know--and many UOJ advocates concede--that justification without faith does not exist in the Scriptures or the Confessions. So UOJ Stormtroopers yell, "Calvinist!" when their Universalism is challenged. Their scheme is actually the bastard child of Calvinism, Enthusiasm, and Pietism.


Even if every speaker gave Lutheran essays, this UOJ issue would not be over. Nor would Shrinker ideology fade away on its own.

The Brenner essay reminds me of Vatican II commenting officially on Vatican I. The Church of Rome cannot admit to error. The Holy Spirit will not allow their indefectible, Holy Mother Church to make a mistake. So most Vatican officials would like to bury Vatican I in history, but they cannot deny the eternal truths of papal infallibility, Purgatory, and Mariolatry, etc.

WELS does not admit to giving birth to the Kokomo Statements. Three statement are almost verbatim from the infallible book of J. P. Meyer (who taught at Mequon, where no professor has ever erred, unless he joined the Protest'ants). The infallible Sig Becker admitted as much in his endorsement (with hesitation) of the Kokomo Statements. Nevertheless, WELS officially disowns the statements (on their website) which they embrace and Brenner repeated once again.
WELS blames the Kokomo Statements on the two families they kicked out of WELS for not agreeing to those statements. Yes, I was there in Kokomo years later, and got copies of both letters sent to the families. I spoke to both of them about their experiences. Mequon endorsed kicking them out, but just as I said earlier, tried hard to forget the incident. Panning (Panzer), who upheld Kokomo, did not sing the praises of UOJ when I was in his Romans class in 1988.

This reminds me of the Mormons changing their tune on the Atonement, not that I really believe the LDS. They used to attack the Atonement. Now Mormons believe in the Atonement, they claim. I see that as a way for many Mormons to get introduced to the Scriptures, which I have tried to do in many religion classes.

If the UOJ Stormtroopers want to blabber about the Means of Grace while teaching against the Means of Grace, they will introduce laity and pastors to a study which can only have a good conclusion if pursued honestly and persistently.

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Knapp, Pietism, and UOJ

Some of us are just starting to pursue some leads about the origin of two justifications. I first mentioned the Pietistic seedbed of UOJ in Thy Strong Word, citing Hoenecke (who studied at Halle under Tholuck).

I suggest Googling terms and names but also going to Google Documents and Google Books for the same kind of search. GD will find the names in obscure books and highlight them. For example, I found a reference to George Christian Knapp (Mr. Two Justifications) in The Education of Philips Brooks, about a well known New England divine.

Here is the citation.

The point made is that Knapp (Halle University) was a Pietist and a very dull writer. Amen to both! He was not in harmony with Luther. Yes, I hear you brother.

And Knapp was used at Andover Seminary until 1898. That means the two justification book was being used as a text while the Synodical Conference was building a fence around their precious UOJ.

Dates to consider:
Woods (very prominent Protestant leader) translated Knapp into English, 1833.
C. F. W. Walther took credit for founding the LCMS 1847.
Knapp was still being used at Andover Seminary, 1898.
UOJ was made canonical in the Brief Statement of the LCMS, 1930.

Here is material on Tholuck the Universalist.

This paragraph establishes how influential Knapp was in America, at least in the view of one author:

"Now, to the bold assertion of Mr. Lecky, we shall oppose the assertion of Dr. George Christian Knapp; whose great, calm, judicial mind, as well as great learning and piety, has gained for him an enviable reputation in both the Old and the New Worlds, and from all sections of the Christian Church. Indeed, although a decided Arminian himself, his Theological Lectures have, for the benefit of theological students, been translated from the German by an eminent and learned Calvinistic divine ; an act which reflects equal honor on both the translator and the original author."

Here is an 1832 notice of the Knapp book being made available in English. Figures and institutions of Pietism are reverently highlighted in red - by me. Knapp was thoroughly trained in Pietism:

NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

"Lectures on Christian Theology, by
GEORGE CHRISTIAN KNAPP. Translated by
LEONARD WOODS, Jan., Abbot Resid. at the
Theol. Seminary in Andover, Mast., in two vol-
umei, vol. I. New York : published by G. & C.
& H. Carvill, 108, Broadway. Andover: printed
at the Codman Fress, by Flagg & Gould, 1831.
pp. 539.


Dr. Knapp, late Professor at the University of Halle, was born at Glancha,in Halle, on the 17th of September, 1753, and received his early education in the Royal Paedagogium, one of the institutions of the pious Francke. At the age of 17, he entered the university at Halle, and attended the lectures of Semler, Noesselt and Gruner, with more than common success. The Bible was his great object of study, while the Latin and Greek classics still received a degree of attention which enabled him ever afterwards to adorn, enrich and illustrate from classical literature whatever he said or wrote in the department of Theological science. In 1774 he completed his course of study, and in 1775, after a short absence, he began to lecture, at Halle, with much success upon Cicero, the New Testament, and the more difficult portions of the Old Testament. He was appointed Prof. Extraordinary in 1777, and Prof. Ordinary in 1782. He then lectured in Exegesis, Church History, and in Jewish and Christian Antiquities.

On the death of Freylinghausen (1785), he and Niemeyer were appointed Directors of Francke's Institutes ; and continued jointly to superintend these establishments for more than 40 years. In the division of duties, the Bible and Missionary establishment fell to Dr. Knapp, which brought him into near connection with the Moravians. The lectures, of which this volume forms a part, he commenced during the summer of the same year. In consequence of illness, and the variety and extent of his other duties, he did not complete them, however, until 1789, when they were first read before a class of 186 students. He continued to lecture on Theology, until his death, to auditories no less numerous. Such was his popularity (notwithstanding his orthodox sentiments !) that when in 1825 he closed the 50th year of his connection with the theological faculty of the university, and the accustomed jubilee was held in his honor, the most flattering marks of affection and respect were poured upon him from every side. He died the 14th day of October, 1825, in the 73d year of his laborious life. At his request he was interred privately in his family tomb ; and in the public notices of his decease, nothing was to be said in his honor, except that he lived in the faith of these words, I know that my Redeemer liveth. The volume before us is an important addition to our helps in the department of Theology."

In another notice:

The Author of these Lectures appeared on the stage at the time when the theologians of Halle began to be " divided into different schools, according as they adhered more closely to the principles of Spener and Franke" (the founders of the University) " or fell in, either with the more ascetic, or the more free and liberal principles then prevailing."

In a history book by the great Henry Eyster Jacobs:

But as historical truth demands it, we let the story be told by a later Halle professor, the eminent Professor Tholuck, whom no one can charge with prejudice against the school of Spener and Francke. "Pietism in Halle," says Professor Tholuck, " reached the summit of its power under Frederick William I. [1 713-40], the soldier king with the Christian soldier's heart, the particular patron of the Halle theological faculty. Under him was issued in 1729 the edict which was promulgated anew in 1736, according to which no Lutheran theologian should hold a position in the Prussian state who had not studied at least two years in Halle, and received a testimonial from the Halle faculty of being in a state of grace.

Gradually the nursery of piety was transformed into a nursery of rationalism. ' God's gifts descend not by inheritance;' this is proved also in the history of the Halle institutions. Every director had the right to chose his own successor; and yet with Ludwig Schultze and Niemeyer the direction passed gradually into the hands of rationalism. Under Baumgarten the interests of piety yielded to those of learning ; and through Semler, Gruner, Nosselt, and Niemeyer, rationalism became the prevalent theology. Only in George Christian Knapp a branch of the old Halle school remained, but reserved and timid, and without any extensive influence. At my [Tholuck's] entrance in Halle in 1826 I found still two citizens who traced their faith to this one deceased advocate of the old school among the clergy." This deterioration, however, was gradual.



Once again, the Unitarian-Universalists have donated a book to Harvard about Knapp, who agreed with them! Your precious advocate of Objective and Subjective Justification provided a historical argument for Unitarianism.

To this effect I will quote the authority of George Christian Knapp an eminent Trinitarian writer, whose " Lectures on Christian Theology," as translated by Leonard Woods, Jr., are a standard work with Trinitarian believers. After a full and learned discussion of the whole subject, he distinctly admits that it is " impossible to prove the agreement of the earliest Christian writers with the common Orthodox doctrine as established in the fourth century." Vol. I. pp. 294, 299, &c.


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Tholuck was A. Hoenecke's mentor at Halle University, a school founded for Pietism by the leader of Pietism. That does not make Hoenecke a Universalist, but it helps illustrate why UOJ is just one step away from Universalism. Note what Jacobs said above about Pietism degenerating into rationalism.

About Tholuck:

Tholuck, though only in his twenty- first year, was commanded to fill the chasm, by delivering Lectures in the Exegesis of the Old Testament. In 1823, he was appointed to succeed the venerable George Christian Knapp, in the University of Halle, where " he maintains his standing with growing honour and usefulness."

One WELS DP claims that the UOJ leaders are not Universalists, but WELS ran a so-called evangelism campaign with this slogan: "I am saved, just like you." Grace without the Means of Grace = Enthusiasm, which leads to Universalism. That is a Universalist slogan, but WELS swallowed that lump of toxic leaven, too.

I have a church for the UOJ Universalists - right near my house.

Here it is.

"Love is the doctrine of our church;
The quest for truth is our holy rite;
And service is our prayer.
To dwell together in peace;
To seek knowledge in freedom;
To serve humankind in friendship;
Thus do we covenant."