And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare. For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word.
All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that Me has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures? But of these matters there is not time now to dispute at greater length; we have elsewhere sufficiently urged this subject.
For even those who believe before Baptism, or become believing in Baptism, believe through the preceding outward Word, as the adults, who have come to reason, must first have heard: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, even though they are at first unbelieving, and receive the Spirit and Baptism ten years afterwards. Cornelius, Acts 10, 1 ff., had heard long before among the Jews of the coming Messiah, through whom he was righteous before God, and in such faith his prayers and alms were acceptable to God (as Luke calls him devout and God-fearing), and without such preceding Word and hearing could not have believed or been righteous. But St. Peter had to reveal to him that the Messiah (in whom, as one that was to come, he had hitherto believed) now had come, lest his faith concerning the coming Messiah hold him captive among the hardened and unbelieving Jews, but know that he was now to be saved by the present Messiah, and must not, with the [rabble of the] Jews deny nor persecute Him.
In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother's womb without the voice of Mary. And Peter says, 2. Ep. 1, 21: The prophecy came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Without the outward Word, however, they were not holy, much less would the Holy Ghost have moved them to speak when they still were unholy [or profane]; for they were holy, says he, since the Holy Ghost spake through them.
Smalcald Articles, Part III, VIII. Book of Concord.
GJ - Strangely, it was Jay Webber, UOJ advocate, who pointed me to this section of the Book of Concord. I found this section on Enthusiasm the most condensed and insightful passage in doctrinal literature. Although there are many beautiful and insightful passages in the Book of Concord, this is the greatest of them all.
First of all, Enthusiasm explains the false foundation of all false doctrine, including the papacy and Islam. They separate the Holy Spirit from the Word in this way. The pope simply declares "the truth" on his own, and his followers accept those messages as divine revelation. Delving into papal announcements, while writing Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, convinced me how true this was. I read about the scapular (a piece of cloth) being worn to reduce time in Purgatory, "an astonishing legislation" from the pope. Likewise, world religions simply invent all kinds of fantasies and market them as eternal truths.
But Enthusiasm also explains completely the false spin put on the Christian faith by all errorists. Enthusiasm rejects the efficacy of the Word, the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit through the Word.
The Synodical Conference (tm) has had many different battles go on forever because the leaders and members did not grasp or defend this basic concept of efficacy or the fight the obvious signs of Entusiasm. Thus the SC has fostered UOJ, Receptionism, Pentecostalism, Ecumenism, and sinuflecting to Rome.
Enthusiasm is claiming that the entire world has been absolved of sin, without the Word. It just happened, the errorists claim, and it worked backwards to beginning of time, and is efficacious in the unborn. The hero of UOJ, E. Preuss, wrote that every single person on earth is born forgiven. And E. Preuss joined Roman Catholicism as a "scholar" defending superstitions about the Virgin Mary. Two Concordia professors in a row left the LCMS for the Church of Rome, and now the students are joining Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy.
No one properly trained in Biblical Lutheran doctrine would join Roman Catholicism. They either do not know the Scriptures, or Lutheran doctrine, or Roman dogma.
UOJ would have been snuffed out faster than a fluttering moth if the Synodical Conference (tm) had been founded by Lutherans instead of a Pietistic cult. As I understand it, Bishop Stephan bought Mormon land to establish Perryville. The Mormons established polygamy in Missouri, covertly, and Bishop Stephan practiced it overtly on the same land. Stephan could not have done it without the help, support, and empowerment of his obsequious followers. As Walther explained "privately," Stephan's adultery was Mrs. Stephan's fault.
The UOJ Enthusiasts can talk all day and read their essays to each other at conferences. They cannot get past a gigantic boulder in the road - Luther's explanation of their dogma. They all claim a quia subscription to the Book of Concord. Congratulations - let them explain their favorite dogma in the light of the Smalcald Articles, Isaiah 55:8-11, and Romans 10.
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Luther's Brilliant Section in the Smalcald Article...":
As Dr. Cruz and myself quoted to UOJist and Huberite Joe Krohn, LCMS Pastor Rolf Preus made the following clarification of what UOJ (Universal Objective Justification) teaches:
"God comes to sinners who see their sins and he tells them in the gospel that they have a Savior who has taken away their sins. He forgives them their sins for Christ's sake. This gospel that says your sins are forgiven for Christ's sake is the means by which God brings you to faith and keeps you in the faith.
You cannot agree with this statement if you deny that God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven the entire world of sinners. What have I said in this statement? I have said that God comes to sinners (who do not yet have faith) and tells them that they have a Savior who has taken away their sins. I say that God forgives these sinners (who do not yet have faith). Then I say that this gospel that tells these sinners (who do not have faith) that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake is the means by which God brings them to faith.
Can you see this? God forgives sinners for Christ’s sake. This is how God brings them to faith. If God had not forgiven them before they believed God would have no means of bringing them to faith.
You use the word promise as if it means that God will do something that he has not yet done. You turn the gospel into a deal: God will forgive you if you believe. Thus, by appealing to the concept of promise you reject the substance of the promise."
The quote can be read in context here:
(BM - Bolded section is my emphasis)
The discussion with Joe Krohn can be found here: