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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jack Cascione Dusts Off the Iron Maiden and Polishes the Thumb Screws

You are invited to discuss this issue on
October 23, 2012

Pastor Suspended for False Doctrine by WELS but Honored in LCMS
In an era of declining Lutheranism we see a spark of vitality in the Wisconsin Synod suspending Pastor Paul Rydecki from its clergy roster for the nearly extinct charge of false doctrine.  While two-thirds of Lutherans in American are accepting homosexual clergy (ELCA) and Christian News publishes reports of open false doctrine in the LCMS in nearly every issue, suspension for false doctrine in the WELS has a medieval tone.  The WELS has not issued any official public charges but there has been a lot of writing on the subject.

Rydecki’s defenders tend to ignore the importance of correct doctrine and define love as permissiveness.  The medical profession would like to have surgical patients cut them as much slack as laity give pastors who are still coming to grips with doctrinal terms?

[GJ - Jack has a rich fantasy life. There is no relationship between the truth and the description above.]

Christian News Published the Story
The October 15 issue of Christian News reports Rydecki wrote: “only those who believe in Jesus are justified before God.”  This statement needs more explanation.  Rydecki leaves the door open for the false doctrine that faith causes salvation rather than divine grace.  Faith doesn’t cause salvation any more than soil around seed makes the rain fall.  “My faith looks up to Thee Thou lamb of Calvary” only takes place after conversion.

The Wisconsin Synod California-Arizona district president Jon Buchholz recently suspended Pastor Rydecki from the WELS clergy roster because he refuses to teach the doctrine of Objective Justification.  The average layperson has no idea what that is.  Rydecki could clear up the entire controversy by simply agreeing that the world is declared righteous in Christ.

[GJ - There you have it, the Walther-Pieper-Rambach-Webber absolution of the world. David Becker reported the story sympathetically, because many people think UOJ is hogwash.]

What is Objective Justification?
The layperson who doesn’t know what justification means has not been reading the Bible nor (sic) understands what happened at the Reformation.  The words justify, justification, and justified appear in the KJV New Testament 40 times.   Being justified means being declared righteous before God through faith by the merits of Christ on the cross.  Objective Justification means the world is justified by Christ’s payment on the cross for all its sins.  It does not mean the world has faith and everyone is going to heaven.  The term Subjective Justification applies to those who believe and trust that Christ paid for their sins.

[GJ - In other words, to justify means to be declared righteous, and that is never, ever applied to unbelievers. If you have Attention Deficit Disorder, the paragraph above makes sense.]

What Did Luther Say About This?
Without using the terms objective or subjective justification Luther describes the distinction between these two doctrines as follows:

“Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it… He who does not accept what the keys give receives, of course, nothing.  But that is not the key’s fault.  Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective.  A king gives you a castle.  If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie.  But you have deceived yourself and the fault is yours.  The king certainly gave it.” (LW 40, 366ff)
Luther’s point here is that divine grace is resistible.  There are untold numbers of p eople going to eternal damnation because they reject God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ.  On the other hand, no one has the power to make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ.  The question of why some are saved and not others, according to the Lutheran Confessions, cannot be answered and is only in God’s secret counsel.  The Gospel is God’s gracious offer of salvation through faith in Christ.
[GJ - UOJ Stormtroopers have a quia subscription to this Luther quotation about the objective truth of the atonement. He is not saying that unbelievers are forgiven. He explicitly denies that in countless places well known to any literate Lutheran (i.e.- not Cascione, not McCain, not Rolf Preus, not John Moldstad, not Jon Buchholz, not SP Mark Schroeder).They never quote the Large Catechism, where Luther clearly opposes their dogma.]

What Does the Bible Say?
Anyone who sees a contradiction between, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29) and “by grace are you saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8) does not have a correct understanding of the Gospel.  The Bible says in numerous verses that God has forgiven the sins of the world:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16
2 Corinthians 5:19 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.  2Co5:19
1Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 
1John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
John 4:42, 2Peter 2:20, and 1John 4:14 all declared that Christ is the savior of the world.  Rydecki makes us doubt if Christ succeeded.  Rydecki places a wedge between God’s forgiveness, love, reconciliation, death in Christ, propitiation for the sins of the world and God declaring the world righteous in Christ.  How can the world be forgiven, reconciled, loved, and benefit from Christ’s propitiation for its sins, and not be justified by God?  Or does God only love the believers?

[GJ - Only Jack could take the Little Gospel, John 3:16, and turn it inside-out into UOJ. The rest of his special pleading is equally inane. Has he read the book that Rydecki translated? I doubt it.]

What do the Lutheran Confessions say?
"That through Christ the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God, who, by His faultless obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life." FC, SD, Election. Par. 15, Tappert 619
“Our righteousness rests n either upon his [Christ’s] divine nature nor upon his human nature but upon the entire person of Christ, who as God and man in his sole, total, as perfect obedience is our righteousness.” FC, SD, Righteousness, Par. 549, Tappert 549
If Christ is not the righteousness of unbelievers, it is not possible to become a believer.

Evidence against Rydecki
Consider some of the evidence that Pastor Rydecki is confused on the doctrine of justific ation.
1. “The Confessions do not speak of a sense in which all sinners have already been justified before God whether they believe in Christ or not, nor do I believe the Scriptures to teach such a thing, yet such is commonly heralded among Lutherans today as the ‘central teaching of the Bible.’” (Rev. Paul Rydecki, "Do We Want To Be Dresden Lutherans?" P.10)
2. From "The Biblical Doctrine of Justification on One Page:" by Paul Rydecki
“God credits the righteousness of Christ only to those who believe in Jesus, and thus justifies only those w ho believe in Jesus. (John 3:16-18, 36; Luke 18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:26; 4:5; 10:10; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:8-9)”
3. Pastor Rydecki preached a sermon titled: "Faith is the difference between those who are justified and those who are not."
4. The Wisconsin California Arizona District President asked Pastor Rydecki to answer two questions and Rydecki refused to give direct answers.
1) “Did God forgive the sins of the world when Jesus died on the cross?”
Rydecki’s Answer: Yes. "He forgave to all people the sin, which no one could avoid." AP, IV, 103
2) “Has God justified all sinners for the sake of Christ?”
Rydecki’s Answer: Yes. "The human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ." FC, SD, Election, 15
5. Pastor Rydecki is the translator (from the original Latin) of a 16th century, recently published book available from Amazon: “Theses Opposed to Huberianism: A Defense of the Luther an Doctrine of Justification” [Paperback] Aegidius Hunnius (Author).  In this translation Rydecki shows that Hunnius, a follower of Luther, rejected the teachings of objective justification. However, in the opinion of many, including this author, Rydecki has misrepresented Hunnius’ position.

[GJ - Cascione does not understand the Scriptures, the Means of Grace, the efficacy of the Word, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the Book of Concord, or the post-Concord era. QED, he is equally expert on Hunnius and Huber.]

Ryd ecki Courted by LCMS Sacerdotalists
Rydecki, an exceptional parish scholar, wants to be a Dresden Lutheran.  This is his term for the Lutherans who migrated from Dresden Germany to the United States beginning in the late 1830’s.  The Dresden Lutherans were also practicing extreme Sacerdotalism, meaning that if the pastor didn’t have the sacrament of ordination, the Gospel, Baptism, and Lord’s Supper would not be effective.  LCMS sacerdotalists (also known as Hyper-Euro-Lutherans who want to revive pre-Walther European Sacerdotalism) publish Gottesdienst.  They recently honored Rydecki with “The Saber of Boldness” for his stance against the Church Growth Movement.  Depending on which LCMS or WELS church one visits today, the pastor may appear in a polo shirt and conduct the service like a YMCA camp counselor with a backup praise band and/or vocalist.  Rydecki’s bold stand against church growth has drawn him to the LCMS sacerdotal movement that views the clergy as the 4th means of grace.  Martin Stephan used to call himself the chief mediator of the means of grace.  The LCMS sacerdotalists’ mantra is “Where the bishop is, there the church is also.”

[GJ - Papal promoter Paul McCain was a frequent posted on LQ until recently. He was also on Tim Gende's Emergent Church blog. Pope Paul Without a Call gets around, and gets banned.]

The LCMS Went Through This in 1981
Christ's words from the cross, “Father forgive them” mean Jesus prayed that God forgive the whole world.  However, I once heard Walter Maier II, back in January of 1981, tell an audience that “Father forgive them” means only those who have faith, such as the one thief on the cross and the centurion.  Rydeki has placed himself in the same corner.  Either Rydecki is going to agree that when God forgives people they are also justified or that when Jesus spoke the words “Father forgiven them” He was only speaking about the thief on the cross and the centurion.

LCMS President J. A. O. Preus published his opposition to Maier’s teaching in the “Lutheran Witness Reporter” which led to the election of Ralph Bohlmann as LCMS President instead of Maier.  The LCMS Council of District Presiden ts has long since decided to avoid doctrinal issues and turn LCMS congregations into hymnbook free zones and entertainment venues.

In general, church bodies today who indulge in doctrinal discipline are viewed as arcane anachronists, hardly the stuff of praise bands and hootenanny worship.  In other words, doctrinal discipline is bad for business.  But then, what about truth?  Ten of the Apostles were executed.  If a church body is called to pick up its cross and follow after Christ, defense of the doctrine of justification is the highest ground they can walk.

[GJ - The UOJ always forces their argument through false paradoxes. Either they must agree with Jack or they are obvious heretics. Jack earned an A in talking point repetition for this little essay, an F in Biblical exegesis, and a LOL for logic.]


A. Berean has left a new comment on your post "Jack Cascione Dusts Off the Iron Maiden and Polish...":

Under what Luther says: Luther's Works American Edition, Vol. 25, Lectures on Romans - "God imputes to none but the believer."

So, that's something to consider...