The Glory Has Departed
Understanding Luther's Galatians, in progress. CFW Walther: The American Calvin, is next.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Luther, following Paul, makes it clear in his Galatians work that we are justified by faith or by works.
Therefore, the Universal Objective Justification fanatics are not Lutherans but Romanists, teaching salvation through the Law in the name of their legalistic Antinomianism. They teach against justification by faith, so they are really presenting justification by works, in spite of their claims.
Fides Formata - Faith Plus Works
The Roman Catholics teach justification by faith. Doesn't everyone? They all do - until we look at what they mean. The Church of Rome means justification by faith formed by love, fides formata.
In other words, man must add works to faith because faith is inadequate. That makes Purgatory a nice, toasty place, too, because whatever works are not done in this life are performed (or atoned for) in the next. Fortunately, the wealthy can leave behind a large estate for saying Masses in perpetuity. Buying the abomination of the Mass will chip away at the years of Purgatory owed on the account of A. Catholic Sinner. Perhaps, just before the end of time, he will enter Paradise. Mother Mary helps by visiting the suffering souls in Purgatory. We know this is true because the Pope teaches this infallibly. The Holy Spirit would not allow the pope to err in teaching doctrine, even if it was made up last week. That may sound like Wayne Mueller logic, because it is, but Rome thought it up first.
UOJ - Salvation by Works
UOJ is pure Romanism because it denies justification by faith alone, then ties salvation to the visible organization, whether it be WELS, Missouri, or the smaller fragments of Walther's Pietistic kingdom.
Moravian Pietism and UOJ
The Moravian Church exists because of three contributing factors: (1) the revival of Pietism in Germany, (2) the reemergence of an old church, and (3) Count Zinzendorf. Pietism preaches the saving power of the gospel instead of dogmatic principles. This leads one to a more personal faith and away from intellectualism. The positive effects of Pietism lead to Bible reading, prayer, outwardly speaking about one's faith, and a turn from worldly activities. Its weaknesses include subjectivity due to the deemphasis of intellectualism and an attitude of self-righteousness. The Pietist influence developed many traditions in the Moravian Church. The love feast, first celebrated in August, 1727 is unique to the Moravians. This ritual consists of a light meal, singing, and a talk which together comprise an informal service that centers on communion. The Litany is another characteristic found in this tradition. It is a prayer form developed for corporate or private devotions. The Pietist movement also started the idea of small groups of believers meeting together regularly to worship and encourage each other. [GJ - Bishop Stephan belonged to this Pietistic tradition, used land given by Zinzendorf, and took the Walther crew into his cell group ministry in Dresden. Stephan trained at Halle University, the center of Pietism.]
How about that, Missourians? You were founded by a famous Pietist, Bishop Martin Stephan, STD. His enforcer, CFW Walther, organized a mob, robbed him of all his gold/books/chalices, and kidnapped him over to Illinois. Walther was a Pietist as a college student, as a pastor, and as a Stephan follower.
Paul Calvin Kelm (DMin, Church Growth Pietism, St. Louis) described his dogma as starting with the Gospel and moving to the Law. That is very much like Moravian Pietism. WELS and Missouri did not abandon Luther for Fuller Seminary. They tired of dabbling in Luther and returned to Pietism.
"But," some will say, "the headline is all about Roman Catholicism." That is true, but there is not much difference in substance between Romanism and Pietism. Both produce works-saints and suffer from extreme self-righteousness. It is no surprise that Missouri pastors join Rome as priests, and WELS/ELS are comfortable with featuring Roman Catholic prelates as their chapel speakers. Sure, WELS/ELS lie about that fact, but they are quite comfortable with lying too.
In Rome the ritual-starved Pietists find everything they imagine they lacked - Holy Mother Church, real bishops, and a certainty based on works.