|This is photographic proof that dogs are smarter than most Lutherans.|
I did some random searching on Google this morning, wondering about some classmates from the distant past. Several of them should be retired, I thought, but they are active in two synodical posts (ELCiC) and in a newly endowed position at a Roman Catholic seminary. The first two were in my Canadian seminary class, the other classmate a priest from Notre Dame. The priest told me, the last time we wrote, "I still have your Luther set that you gave me. I read it every year."
I gave the same set to Jay Webber, because it was out of print and he coveted it. Probably Father Ken has read his set more than Jay has. One cannot detect any impact of Luther's works on Webber's highly-subsidized writings.
Searching led me into various scandals, one in ELCA that was never explained. Googling took me to the same person on Facebook and LinkedIn, but the conflicting dates (ELCA vs. the bishop) and utter silence left me baffled. I often post updates - where are they now? - which Natalie Pratt enjoyed. But how does one update a mystery unsolved?
The Big Scandal
The pratfalls of various church officials are common enough to made them daily fodder, and those are the ones that escape the sanitizing and deceptive actions of their Damage Control Committee.
But the biggest scandal of all is the enormous amount of money scarfed up from members, foundations, gift annuities, and Thrivent and spent to promote false doctrine.
Denominations can be defined by a phrase or a reputation:
- Episcopalians are broadminded, so the clergy can easily include Billy Graham Evangelicals and almost-in-Rome priests.
- Methodists are "conservative but irenic."
- Liberal Baptists are social activists and devotees of Walter Rauschenbusch.
- Southern Babtists practice repeated immersions as a substitute for Holy Communion.
- Roman Catholics provide the Mass, the ultimate being their public Papal Masses, designed to make Protestants weep that they lack this unique form of entertainment.
- Luther always taught Justification by Faith.
- Melanchthon and the Book of Concord taught the same and used the phrase.
- Chemnitz and the Concordists confirmed Justification by Faith as the Chief Article.
- Gerhard, who worked with Chemnitz, also taught the Chief Article.
- The Scriptures teach Justification by Faith with great clarity, and this is recognized by most denominations, even when they observe it in the breach - Rome, ELCA, WELS, the ELS, LCMS, and CLC (sic).
Luther said, "It takes seven lies to cover up one lie," so WELS has about 60 essays in their precious repository - all teaching against Justification by Faith, two of them explicitly using the phrase Chief Article while promoting their cowardly Universalism - Mark Zarlng and F. Bivens plagiarizing Zarling.
The LCMS, ELS, WELS, and CLC (sic) are united with ELCA in teaching that grace means everyone in the world is already righteous (Objective Justification) and that one only needs to make a decision for UOJ to be really, truly, absolutely, positively forgiven. That almost sounds like the Roman Catholic fides formata, faith formed by love, works required forgiveness - "Yes, you are forgiven, but there is one more thing you must do." Yes but = No.
Books and professors are selected to make sure that Universalism triumphs. This erosion has taken place slowly over time, lest the narcotic effect of a manufactured peace be disturbed.
One pastor wrote me:
|Paul McCain called himself the Andreae of the LCMS.|
No, he is more like the Gollum of Lutherdom.
Andreae taught justification by faith -
McCain and his Godfather, SP Harris, teach against the Chief Article.