bored has left a new comment on your post "Write a Letter? Ha!":
Writing letters to the synod is a big joke. You will be ignored or patronized (and then be shunned).
So if moving through official channels won't work, whaddya do? It's tough to know what to do about the WELS. Nothing is impossible with God, so I do believe the WELS might be fixed--but it is a quagmire. Here's one example: People over at Insipid Lutherans are saying that without UOJ, faith becomes a condition for Grace and Salvation. As far as I know this is a typical attitude towards that doctrine. But think about it: UOJ teaches that all are righteous because all have been forgiven, and yet not all will go to heaven. Only those with faith go to heaven. So isn't UOJ actually making faith a condition?
Real Lutheranism teaches that God demands a condition of perfection, which men, of course, cannot achieve. God in his mercy provided Christ, who became the perfect sacrifice and substitution; through faith alone is Christ's righteousness placed on us. Through faith alone does God forgive us our sins for Christ's sake. We can't believe on our own either. In mercy upon mercy, God provides us with his Holy Spirit through the Word to create and sustain this saving faith in us.
According to UOJ, God certainly doesn't demand a condition of perfection, since, according to UOJ, all are already righteous and yet some go to hell. So, God must demand something else besides righteousness, right? What is left but faith? Faith becomes the central focus. It's nearly belief in belief.
GJ - I appreciate the insights I receive on the topic of UOJ. Brett Meyer is right - they wanted to keep their precious opinion down the memory hole, but Rick Curia put together a big collection of UOJ sources, and I added to them.
The Intrepids (sic) opened the topic on their own. This comment from Bored (probably not his real name) offers a good perspective on the topic. JP Meyer ended up with Decision Theology in his famous little book, and the necessity of that stance is apparent in the analysis above. Walther's Easter Absolution sermon is not far from Meyer, showing how one bad idea degenerates as it is passed down to lesser lights. Walther's exegesis is pure fantasy, but no one laughs or cries when reading it.
This also explains why the WELS Changers have such an affinity with the Babtists.
Enthusiasts have no grasp of the efficacy of the Word, even less comprehension of the Means of grace. Those raised on UOJ cannot teach the Confessions and consequently fear them.
The contrast to UOJ is articulated well above, but I will add my version to it:
- God does everything through the Word, which is always effective, having the greatest power in its purity.
- The Word convicts us - of the sin of unbelief in Christ and conveys Christ to us, Law and Gospel.
- God's grace comes to us only through the Word in the Means of Grace. That is exclusively the work of the Holy Spirit, bound by God's Promise to the Word.
- Any claims of God's work apart from the Word is called Enthusiasm by the Book of Concord and Luther. Enthusiasm is the foundation for all false doctrine.
You got it right. UOJ hates faith but wind up doing decisional on it in a round about way.
Great you picked it up, I was getting dysfunctional trying to pin down the position of Insipid Lutherans i.e. the Tripids. Thanks.
GJ - Bored, you got an A twice, from two different PhDs. LPC is especially good in logical analysis, so his commendation is noteworthy.
LutherRocks has left a new comment on your post "UOJ Insights from a Reader":
I thought Pastor Rydecki's third installment of today was pretty plain. Do you guys have a problem with it?
LPC has left a new comment on your post "UOJ Insights from a Reader":
Yes I still do. I have commented on that blog post and it has not appeared. I am worried he won't publish it. There I called him to stand where the ax would fall, that is, call Walther and Pieper wrong on what they taught about UOJ. I do not think he will do that.
Yet, Maier and the rest of us here are willing to say that a man no matter how spiritual he may have been should be called where he went wrong, it does not matter who he might be. I would rather that people do call me too to the mat if I were wrong, Scripture says, rebuke a wise man and yet he will be wiser.
What Rev. Rydecki is doing is that taking the cue from Marquart wants to retain, UOJ with its proper redefinition.
I agree that Christ has won forgiveness and justification as Luther called, this is a treasure. However, using the term UOJ or OJ for this should be abandoned. Why? Because it creates more confusion and ambiguity than what it solves. Just what does the term UOJ or OJ benefits?
Yet Pr. Paul, wants to redefine it as the treasure won by Christ and call this UOJ. On one end he condemns it, on another end, he still likes to us it with the Marquart spin. As Tom and I said, this is a leverage for sophistry. He takes what the left hand is doing, for now, but who knows if the right hand brings it back?
He is still keeping his equivocal terms to his sleeves. Yet, as Tom pointed out, he needs to speak un-equivocably. He is straddling the fence. I am disappointed in this as all he does is make allusions and not make categorical statements when called upon in relation to the famous proponents of UOJ - Walther and Company.
He say -- this is not what he teaches about UOJ well, pray tell, who is the right UOJ teacher? If Becker, Walther or Pieper is wrong, who is right? He is still keeping to himself some ambiguity. That is my problem with him and that my friend is still dangerous.
GJ - Joe, the UOJ people are trying to snow you. Your conference or district just had a meeting to promote and prop up UOJ, which is the doctrine behind Church Growth/Emergent Church. You will notice that the other side never acknowledges or deals with my critique of UOJ. The Intrepids (sic) asked for a summary, which I sent as a comment. Apart from that, they circle around their favorite dead authors without being clear or confessional.
I am happy that Webber and Rydecki put their anti-Lutheran doctrine on display. The WELS/ELS mucky-mucks want them to spin their wheels in the mud rather than deal with the issues of doctrine and practice in both sects.
Every UOJ advocate is dishonest and deceptive. What you see now is the effort to appear to be on the side of the Means of Grace while affirming their old Enthusiasm, which has not been repudiated.
DP Jon Buchholz tried the same method, appearing to agree with the Book of Concord, then crowing to Brett Meyer that I agreed with him (Jon). I said he was getting there, because he was able to actually say the words "Means of Grace" instead of felt needs, etc. Jon does not even understand that he is an Enthusiast. When I challenged him about Thy Strong Word, he said he had not unpacked it yet. A DP who has time to dig a swimming pool also has time to find a book, which is linked, for free online.
I can tell you what DPs care about. When Jon saw a pastor on FB who was listed as my friend, he wrote this person and said, "How do you know Greg?" The WELS KGB never rests - except when dealing with doctrine. Then it is truly "the Church at rest," to quote the hymn.
Here is my music analogy. I tried to teach a humanities class that most rock music was simply terrible and could be performed by anyone. I gave a big "Twang!" out on my imaginary guitar and screamed. They loved it and asked me to do it again. I was getting glassy stares about my good music argument, so I gave up.
The next week I had my Bose set up with Pachebel's Canon playing. The students came up an elevator and rushed in. "What is that? Where can I get it?" The students wrote down the name so they could buy it.
Here is the meaning of the parable. No one will know good music until he hears it himself. Talking about it is not enough. Making fun of bad music will not accomplish anything either, except to offend people who like Muskrat Love, Seasons in the Sun, and rap.
Until Lutherans learn to read and love the Confessions, these discussions will keep going back to the essays written by Syn Conference leaders and followers.
The basics are:
- Luther's sermons,
- the Confessions,
- and the doctrinal unity of the Scriptures.
If a pastor is not strong in all three areas, he cannot articulate the sound teaching of the historic Christian Church.