The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Biblical Justification by Faith Alone vs. Pietism's Universal Objective Justification.
UOJ = OJ = General Justification


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.

UOJ-OJ-General Justification
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.
UOJ Terminology and Claims Do Not Come from the Bible, Luther, or the Book of Concord, But from Pietism and Calvinism
One cannot find UOJ, OJ, or General Justification among Lutherans until the era of Pietism and Rationalism at Halle University.
The sole exception to this rule is Huber, a former Calvinist, who taught at Wittenberg University.
Huber was kicked out of Wittenberg and repudiated by P. Leyser and Hunnius.
OJ seems to be taught in two forms - 
  1. An imaginary Easter absolution of the entire world, based on a false reading of 1 Timothy 3:16.
  2. Creating two terms for justification - Objective Justification and Subjective Justification.
It is both wrong and dangerous to invent terms not found in the Bible. In a few cases, some terms have become common ways to encapsulate an entire controversy, such as Trinity for the the Biblical concept of the the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Another example is the Means of Grace, to condense the basic concepts of the Word and Sacraments.

Man-made analogies are also ridiculous, such as OJ/SJ being "two sides of the same coin." Not so. Subjective Justification is belief in universal absolution without faith.



Jesus Is the Primary Obstacle to UOJ/OJ
Jesus taught the foundational sin is "not believing on Me." How can the entire world, including unbelievers, be forgiven and saved, without the Word? John 16:


John 16:8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on Me;
More Obstacles from Jesus - But You Need a Good Bible for This, KJV
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The modern Bibles obscure this passage because they come from the delusions of an apostate, Nida, and his disciples. The KJV, Luther, and some modern KJVs get this right. 
If faith is so bad, as the UOJists claim, then why are we justified by the faith of Jesus? - not faith in Jesus (which follows from the Gospel, but the faith OF Jesus is primary).
But wait, there's more - in the key book on Justification by Faith.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Not only are we justified by the faith of Jesus, but that is contrasted with justification by works. There are only two alternatives - faith or works. Those who reject Justification by Faith are favoring justification by works, whether they admit it or not.
And there is still more.
Philippians 3:And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Justification by Faith is accused of being Decision Theology, which is ridiculous. Yes, the synergists say, "God has done all this, now you have to do something. You have to believe in Jesus and submit to Him." Of course, they have that wrong, because the Gospel plants faith in Jesus in those who hear and listen in sincere hearts. 
Ironically, Decision Theology comes directly from Walther and JP Meyer, two heroes of UOJ false doctrine. Read what they say below.

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,
far worse.

Will he accept or reject this cowardly quasi-Universalism?

The error of the synergists is a combination - 
  1. they direct people to pray Jesus into their hearts and 
  2. give that prayer the power to do that, 

But the power is already in the Word of God. No one prays to Jesus without faith in Him. Prayer is the fruit of faith in Jesus, not the way to generate faith in Him.
Your DPs will support this look in time.
Some of the "conservative" Lutheran pastors admire her.

Basic Errors of UOJ:
  1. They claim we are born without sin and yet baptize infants and practice the confession of sin.
  2. 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).
  3. Their Moment of World Absolution cannot be both the crucifixion and the resurrection. They cannot figure that out.
  4. They even teach that the angelic pronouncement to the shepherds was world absolution. Now we have three Moments of World Absolution.
  5. 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.
  6. The liturgy has no meaning because there is no trust in the efficacy of the Word.
  7. 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.
  8. Nothing keeps the LCMS-ELS-WELS from working with ELCA, because they teach the same thing as ELCA.
  9. The UOJ leaders bristle at the thought of faith, so they silence, shun,  persecute, and expel those who teach Justification by Faith.