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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dapper Don Pieper Responds With the Unloving Card

Don has left a new comment on your post "Try To Make Sense of This WELS Sermon:Dis-Graceful...":

Yes, it is disgraceful if that is what Pastor Schewe or Voss preached in Trinity Lutheran, Des Moines this Sunday.

It is always dangerous to hear ony (sic) bits and snippets of a sermon.

The preacher also said earlier of Jesus, "He revealed himself as the Servant and Savior sent from the Father, and promised forgiveness and salvation to those who confess their sins and put their faith in him." This is not universalism.

He also mentioned the desertion of many of Jesus' followers, a desertion that caused the Savior great pain (why, if they were all saved?). This is not universalism.

A cursory glance may accuse the preacher of making a questionable statement, "God the Father reveals here that all people are saved on equal status before him through the Savior." But this follows the presentation that the Jews have no "first dibs" (my wording) on God any more.

And the final statement of the sermon brings in the role of faith, "May our minds be blown away that God has loved us so much. And may our faith in him be strengthened as we see what he has planned for us!" God's love calls forth and creates faith in us.

Jesus said he who is forgiven little, loves little. And the Apostle said, "love covers a multitude of sins."

Perhaps Mr. Meyer loves so little he covers up material in this sermon which would give your readers a balanced perspective.

Don Pieper--and please, use my name.


GJ - First of all, linking the sermon is not covering up. All my sources link material because people need to read everything in context and judge for themselves. That approach is much better than vague accusations about "a certain blog" that remains nameless and unlinked, with nothing specific to answer.

Don, you would be shocked at the number and variety of sources from WELS. I remember someone having a meltdown on the phone because I said, "All of it comes from WELS pastors and members." I would have to add now - "former members and pastors, too" - because so many have given up on the sect. Mostly, they have been driven out.

From the sermon itself, verbatim:
As we sit as a fly on the wall, we see that God the Father will have the last word, as he brings about the salvation of all people and exalts his Son to his rightful place as King!

The salvation of all people is Universalism.

I have studied this for over 10 years now and read countless books related to the subject, so I am not spitting out talking points from one mentor or another. The Syn Conference fragments try to rescue themselves from the charge of Universalism by adding a little about faith. That gets forgotten soon enough, so some of your best and brightest (according to WELS PR) have become atheists or Pentecostals.

Look at your hero Jungkuntz. He advocated UOJ, misled people about his Biblical beliefs, and worked his way down to ELCA. He finally became the ELCA parson he always was, to paraphrase Father Neuhaus.

The foundational pratfall in UOJ is merging the Atonement with justification, and that is quasi-Calvinism.

DP Jon Buchholz denied, in a conversation with me, that anyone teaches Universalism in WELS. I reminded him of the recent WELS evangelism campaign, featuring banners with this message for the whole community, "I am saved, just like you."

The sermon quoted is from Buchie's previous congregation. So there are two examples of Universalism.

WELS is so deep into UOJ now that pastors cannot even think in terms of Lutheran doctrine. I know this is currently being taught at The Sausage Factory (Mequon) and Mary Lou College in New Ulm - "Hitler is a guilt-free saint."

I think Universalists would be deeply offended by Hitler's sainthood. The assertion by WELS is an example of getting deeper into hyperbole with each generation.

WELS pastors are disgusted with UOJ, but they remain in the silent minority, as far as I can tell. Perhaps many of them simply think of UOJ as a synonym for the Atonement. Pastor James Heiser, ELDONA, thought so. I did as well, until WELS laity pointed out what the documents really say.

Unlike the knee-biters in WELS, I have provided as many quotations from both sides of the debate as I could muster, in Thy Strong Word, which is available free from In fact, one person trying to provide UOJ for his doctorate is using Thy Strong Word, because of its extensive documentation.

To spell it out again - UOJ is from Halle University, not from the Bible or the Book of Concord. Double-justification is found verbatim in English in Knapp's theology book in 1831, but he was lecturing on it long before that, and his book remained a major tome for the entire 19th century. Knapp is still in print today.

UOJ is Calvinism via the Pietism of Halle University.

Justification by faith (absent UOJ) was taught in the Gausewitz catechism of WELS and the old Missouri catechism in German.

UOJ was not taught among Lutherans before the era of Pietism.

I can tell Dapper Don has a poor argument, delivered off the cuff, when he ends with a typical WELS eye-poker like this:

Perhaps Mr. Meyer loves so little he covers up material in this sermon which would give your readers a balanced perspective.


Don has left a new comment on your post "Dapper Don Pieper Responds With the Unloving Card":

Judge from the sermon, and not from your extensive experience. Find another dog to flog.
Don Pieper