Someone has written me about Justification by Faith, and I am happy to answer. My email address is posted at the top of the blog page, so anyone else can do the same.
UOJ Is the Doctrine of ELCA and the National Council of Churches
The WELS-ELS-LCMS leaders imagine they are united by the dogma of Universal Objective Justification, so many clergy think anything else is an attack on the Gospel and a denial of certain Biblical truths. ELCA has truncated UOJ down to "God's grace means everyone is forgiven." That is also the basic assumption of all mainline denominations - members of the National Council of Churches.
WELS loves to say Universal Objective Justification, but the ELS and LCMS favor Objective Justification. Hoenecke wrote General Justification (in German - every single person is justified). All three terms have the same meaning - that God has declared everyone in the world forgiven - without faith.
Justification by Faith Is Definitely Not a Limited Atonement
Many Lutherans claim that teaching Justification by Faith is the same as advocating a Limited Atonement.
The concept of a Limited Atonement comes from Calvinism - and means that Christ died only for believers. The foundational error of Calvin is separating the Holy Spirit from the Word, which Lutherans call Enthusiasm. No one has the right to invent Christian teaching, whether the pope, the Calvinists, or the Pietists.
The reason many equate Justification by Faith with a Limited Atonement is clear - they merge the Atonement with Justification. That is why they seize on Atonement passages in Luther and the New Testament and say, "Oh, Jay, OJ! UOJ! You owe Jay!" All the chanting and exultation in the world will not merge the Atonement with Justification.
The Gospel message is clear - Christ died for the sins of the world, not only for minor and trivial sins, but also for great and terrible sins. His death for the sins of the world is testified throughout the Bible, Luther, and Book of Concord. That is not the same as saying the entire world has been absolved of all sin.
The Gospel Message Creates Faith, Sustains Faith, and Is Received in Faith
The Holy Spirit works through the Gospel Word to plant faith in the hearts of those who hear it, especially in infants. Faith is created, sustained, and strengthened by the invisible Word of teaching and preaching, the visible Word of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
Luther constantly emphasized the importance of preaching the Gospel and emphasizing faith. One effect of UOJ is
- to reduce preaching to plagiarizing the sermons of others and
- to reduce worship to entertaining the sheep.
The results of UOJ are appalling.
Grace Only Comes from the Means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments
- The Gospel begins with the first Gospel Promise to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15.
- Justification by Faith is explained in Genesis 15 when Abraham believed the Promises of God, and it was counted as righteousness.
- Two phrases are significant here - Abraham believed, and it was counted as righteousness. Sometimes the English term is imputation of righteousness, always used with faith or belief.
- Abraham is the example of faith in Romans 4, Galatians, Hebrews 11, and James. The true children of Abraham are those who believe in Christ, as He taught so clearly in John 8.
- Christ is conveyed to us either by the invisible Word of preaching and teaching or by the visible Word of the sacraments. That is why the Word and Sacraments are called the Means of Grace. To claim that the world enjoys the grace of God without the Means of Grace is pure Enthusiasm, separating grace from the Means of Grace.
| The Calvinist Woods used OJ and SJ|
to explain the dogma of a Pietist at Halle - Knapp.
This book was a major Evangelical text in America
before Walther arrived.
- An imaginary Easter absolution of the entire world, based on a false reading of 1 Timothy 3:16.
- Creating two terms for justification - Objective Justification and Subjective Justification.
|Do you accept world absolution without faith?|
I thought the Babtists were off, with accepting Jesus as a decision,
but this is making a decision for absolution without faith,
|Will he accept or reject this cowardly quasi-Universalism?|
- they direct people to pray Jesus into their hearts and
- give that prayer the power to do that,
|Your DPs will support this look in time.|
Some of the "conservative" Lutheran pastors admire her.
- They claim we are born without sin and yet baptize infants and practice the confession of sin.
- They cannot explain how Abraham was justified by faith in Genesis 15, before the death of Christ (one of their cockeyed claims) or before His resurrection (their other claim).
- Their Moment of World Absolution cannot be both the crucifixion and the resurrection. They cannot figure that out.
- They even teach that the angelic pronouncement to the shepherds was world absolution. Now we have three Moments of World Absolution.
- Because everyone is born forgiven, no matter what, they practice and teach Antinomianism. The Law is obsolete, the same error as Agricola, so they do whatever they want.
- The liturgy has no meaning because there is no trust in the efficacy of the Word.
- Fooling around with the worship service turns the Means of Grace into plagiarized coaching talks and low-brow pop entertainment: clowns leading the goats. No more shepherds and sheep because the latest Evangelical media stars are their heroes.
- Nothing keeps the LCMS-ELS-WELS from working with ELCA, because they teach the same thing as ELCA.
- The UOJ leaders bristle at the thought of faith, so they silence, shun, persecute, and expel those who teach Justification by Faith.