Ichabod explores the Age of Apostasy, predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, with an emphasis on UOJ, Church Growth, and Emergent Church heresies. The antidote to these poisons is trusting the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. John 16:8. Most readers are WELS, LCMS, ELS, or ELCA. This blog also covers the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the mainline denominations.
There is a softer side to WELS - ask the veterans of the Mequon mattress room.
Joel DusekThanks for your thoughts, Revs. Webber and Pederson. For the record, though, I'm not struggling with this. I had my moments of inquiry and study a couple years ago when a pastor in New Mexico [Paul Rydecki] was removed from his fellowship after he suggested that Justification was being taught incorrectly. Not being a trained theologian myself, I had to study it using materials and references from a variety of sources. Both sides cited the Scripture and Confessions to support their position, and much meaning was lost in a squall of terminology. In the end, I am confident that Christ suffered, died, and rose to vicariously atone for the sins of the entire world, to propitiate God's wrath and justice, and to secure the forgiveness of sins for all people. However, I am confident that any statement that implies or asserts that ALL people are ALREADY forgiven is incorrect, as forgiveness and righteousness are only received through Faith in Christ's substitutionary sacrifice. Faith alone justifies, although Faith itself is not a work of Man but of God. Thus, I disagree with Huber, Bivens, Buchholz, and others who assert that all people are forgiven separate from faith. No struggle here!
Ron PedersonThanks for your kindly worded response. I am aware of the situation you refer to where a WELS pastor was removed from the WELS because he denied objective justification to mean the sins of the world are forgiven in Christ.
This action by the WELS was only consistent with what they and the ELS believe and practice in other situations as well. There have been many pastors who have applied for membership in the ELS or WELS who were turned down because they could not accept our position on objective justification. No seminary graduate would be allowed to become a pastor in either the WELS or ELS if it became known that they did not agree with our position on OJ. Any pastor in either the WELS or ELS would not be allowed to stay if he persisted in a different view of OJ.
I understand that the pastor you refer to now belongs to a different synod. It is a synod that believes almost exactly the same as we do except for OJ. And I am sure that that synod would also practice what they believe and remove any pastor who persisted in his disagreement with the synod’s position on OJ.
Again, thanks for a good and civil discussion . I understand the hurt that you feel regarding of this situation. But remember, let scripture, not a man or your loyalty to him, be your guide.
GJ - Tis so funny to hear someone say "our position" so many times and then say, " Let scripture (sic), not man or your loyalty to him, be your guide."
I find it noteworthy that pastors use lower case for Scripture and the Scriptures when they bow their knee to Holy Mother Synod, all the while claiming the Word without citing the Word.
Here is the whooper. You thought I meant whopper, dincha? But I meant whooper, a lie so big it makes us whoop with laughter.
Former District VP Paul Kuske was not removed from the ministerium when he loudly and persistently attacked UOJ and "another class at Mequon coming out with false doctrine." I heard that a congregation got very upset about all that, and we all know how much WELS needs its spiritual Valium, lest another Protest'ant scandal erupt.
DP John Seifert, ever the politician, stripped Kuske of his title VP Emeritus, which naturally meant nothing before or after. But was Kuske removed? Not at all. He has always been a spear carrier for Church Growth and clergy adultery. He had too many friends on both sides of the cheap motel to be removed.
Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
And yet, the dullards of UOJ cite Romans 4 as a UOJ chapter, but omit Romans 4:24.
And when justification by faith is mentioned, they say, "OJ here and SJ there," never thinking these terms came from the Calvinist translator of the Halle Pietist Knappe.
Was Paul Kuske removed from the ministerium of WELS? Of course not.