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Luther versus the UOJ Pietists:

Justification by Faith
Gregory L. Jackson, PhD

Epiphany, 2012 Revision


Martin Chemnitz Press
Art, Copyright, Norma Boeckler, 2011
Text, Copyright, Gregory L. Jackson, 2011
ISBN #978-0-557-66008-7

Acknowledgements

Lutheran laity began this project by asking me to look into


justification by faith and the UOJ controversy at a WELS congregation in
Kokomo, Indiana. That research became an important part of Thy Strong
Word. The need for additional study has been motivated by the spread of
false doctrine among Lutherans, the abandonment of the Confessions and
liturgical worship, and the hatred expressed toward justification by faith.
Many Lutheran pastors think they are conservatives because they
covertly express their mild criticism of Church Growth. Nevertheless,
they goose-step, with glazed eyes, to the beat of forgiveness without faith,
universal absolution, justification without faith. Their love for the bitter
fruits of Pietism was predicted by Luther in describing the Zwinglians:
They divorced the Word and the Spirit, separated the person who
preaches and teaches the Word from God, who works through
the Word, and separated the servant who baptizes from God,
who has commanded the Sacrament. They fancied that the Holy
Spirit is given and works without the Word, that the Word merely
gives assent to the Spirit, whom it already finds in the heart. If,
then, this Word does not find the Spirit but a godless person,
then it is not the Word of God. In this way they falsely judge and
define the Word, not according to God, who speaks it, but
according to the man who receives they want only that to be the
Word of God, which is fruitful and brings peace and life...1

Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass,
St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 664f.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

DEDICATION

CHAPTER 1: HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION

Robert Preus, Justification and Rome

10

Important Dates

12

Reformation

13

Spener

14

Pietistic Origins

16

The Untouchables of Pietism

16

Stepping Stones to Modernism

18

Victory of Pietism

19

CHAPTER 2: THE EFFICACY OF THE WORD

21

Doctrine of Creation Conversion Efficacy

23

Isaiah 55:8-11

24

Abundant Examples

25

CHAPTER 3: LUTHER TAUGHT JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH THROUGH THE


MEANS OF GRACE
27
Efficacy of the Word

30

The Preaching Office

31

The Sacraments

33

Holy Baptism and Justification

34

Forgiveness in Holy Communion

37

Chapter 4: Exegetical Essay on Justification

39

UOJ Advocacy

39

UOJ Opposition

40

The LCMS Brief Statement

41

Romans 4:25 and 5:19

42

Lenski:

44

Highpoint of Romans 4
Lenski:

47

47

Transition to Romans 5:1-2

47

We have access by faith into this grace

49

Examples of faith:

50

Three Statements of Gods Grace

51

Lenski, Romans 5:6

51

Romans 5:8-9

52

Romans 5:10-11

52

Romans 5:12-17

54

Romans 5:18-21

55

Luther on Romans 5:18

56

Romans 10 Pauline Means of Grace

57

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

59

1 Timothy 3:16 Easter Absolution

63

One Redemption, Two Verbs

65

Propitiation

66

Conclusion67
CHAPTER 5: JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ASSUMES THE EFFICACY OF THE
WORD
68
1. The Scriptures

69

2. The Confessions

70

3. Luthers Sermons

70

Gods Only Method The Means of Grace

71

CHAPTER 6: PIETISM IS ENTHUSIASM


4

74

Roman Catholic Enthusiasm

75

The Formula of Concord Repudiates UOJ

76

Muhlenberg Tradition

77

Chapter 7: Samuel Huber, Post-Concord Universalist

78

Book of Concord Aftermath

82

Walther and Huberism

84

Chapter 8: Stephans Halle Pietism Became Walthers Universal


Objective Justification
88
Martin Stephans Saga, Pietism and Syphilis

88

C. F. W. Walther the Pietist

94

Kidnapping Two Children from His Fathers Home

97

From Here to Rosebud: Syphilis Exposed

99

Walthers Stealth and the Stephan Riot

Chapter Nine: Summary of the Doctrinal Issue


Samuel Huber
Pietism

101

107
107

108

New Pietism
APPENDIX 1: FALSE CLAIMS OF UOJ

109
110

Halle University - Professor Knapp

110

Eduard Preuss, LCMS to Roman Catholic

112

Cherney, WELS

112

Siegbert Becker, WELS

113

Hoenecke Citing Burk

113

Walther, Easter World Absolution

114

F. Pieper Easter Absolution

114

Pieper Reconciliation as Absolution

115

Stoeckhardt

116

Engelder, 1933

116

Theodore Mueller, 1982

118

Theodore Brohm, 19th Century

118
5

Norwegian Synod, 19th Century

119

Missouri Synod Brief Statement, 1932

119

J. P. Meyer and Kokomo

120

WELS Conference of Presidents, 1954

122

Excommunicated For Denying Statements

122

LCMS Theses on UOJ, 1983

123

David Scaer

126

Robert Preus

127

Sig Becker, 1982

128

Sig Becker, 1984

128

David Beckman

129

Bourman 130
Deutschlander

130

Buchholz 131
Reim

132

Jungkuntz132
Wendland 133
Zarling

133

APPENDIX 2: JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH


Treasure Distributed

135

No Forgiveness Outside the Church

135

Lenski

135

Justification, Apology

136

Chytraeus, Concordist

137

Curia Confession

138

Norwegian UOJ

138

Formula, Free Will

139

Luther - Not the Sins of Unbelievers

140

Requires Faith

140

LCMS Catechism, 1905

142

APPENDIX 3: EFFICACY CATECHISM


6

135

144

Misuse of Creation

144

Is God always active through the Word?

145

What New Testament text supports this claim?

147

Additional Passages

148

The terms efficacious and effective

150

Is Satan also effective?

152

Is the Word alone is effective?

153

Can we detract or add to the Word?

154

Do we create obstacles to Gods Word?

154

Did Jesus believe in the efficacy of the Word?

155

Did Jesus use miracles to convert people to faith?

156

Does love make us effective?

157

Can unfriendly ushers undo a sermon?

160

Does God limit Himself to the Word?

161

Effective Sermons

163

Why is it important to preach?

163

What if I fail to see results?

164

Is it the pastors job to be popular?

166

Would a better personality help?

167

Why reject Reformed doctrine?

169

Quo propior Luthero, eo melior theologus!

169

How can the Sacraments be Gods Word?

174

How do we number the Sacraments?

174

16. Why is infant Baptism such a great comfort?

175

Why do we say that God acts through Baptism?

177

How is the Word effective in Holy Communion?

178

Christ is bodily present in Holy Communion?

178

APPENDIX 4: THE GOSPEL IN A FEW, SIMPLE STEPS

180

Errors Refuted

181

Preaching of the Gospel Stone in a Pond

182

Dedication
This book is dedicated to all the faithful Lutherans, often unnamed, who
have encouraged research into this vital topic of justification by faith.
Two of them became Roman Catholics in their frustration with the pitiful
ignorance of the so-called conservative Lutheran leaders and professors.
Others have endured the Sisera counseling method once used so
effectively by Jael (Judges 5:26). Two families were expelled from WELS
for being Bereans and examining the Scriptures. We are in the Age of
Apostasy when the leaders who call themselves orthodox Lutherans
persecute Luthers doctrine and reward those who confess Zwinglis.
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
Epiphany, 2012
400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, 2011

Chapter 1: Historical Introduction

Lutherans will find the following to be a familiar, erroneous


definition of justification:
This is very conveniently expressed by the terms objective and
subjective justification. Objective justification is the act of
God, by which he proffers pardon to all through Christ;
subjective, is the act of man, by which he accepts the pardon
freely offered in the Gospel. The former is universal, the latter
not.
This is not a quotation from Walther in 1847 or Piepers Christian
Dogmatics in English in 1950. Nor is it from any work prior to the Age of
Pietism. Instead, it is the translators note from a book of lectures
published by a Halle University Pietist, Georg Christian Knapp.2 The date
of the first English edition is 1831, eight years before Walther landed in
America with the Stephanite migration. The translator, Leonard Woods,
Junior, was the brilliant, young Calvinist superstar of the mainline
Protestants. His translation of Knapp was used throughout the 19th
century, so the book influenced the conservative German Lutherans who
Lutherans are tempted to add missing words or substitute better ones,
but what does proffer pardon mean? The term suggests universal
absolution, with or without the Word. The act of man is synergistic,
completing the transaction. Repentance is absent. The Means of Grace are
missing. This vague formula of Enthusiasm has become that parody of
justification known as Universal Objective Justification.
2

read the original and the mainline Protestants who used the English
translation in their schools.3
The original German book began as lectures at Halle in the late
1700s, which were published in 1817. Halle University was established in
1691 to teach Pietism, a peculiar blend of Lutheran and Calvinistic
doctrine. The Knapp book is still in print today, an indication of its
formidable influence in German and English in the 19th century in
America. That influence continues today, because universal absolution
became the hallmark of mainline Protestantism, notably in the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. Universal absolution is also the essence of
Universal Objective Justification (UOJ), the only important doctrine for
the old Synodical Conference the Wisconsin Synod, the Evangelical
Lutheran Synod, and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. UOJ is the
reason why the WELS, the ELS, and the LCMS work together with
ELCA they share the same doctrine.
The Biblical doctrine of justification by faith has become toxic to
the old Synodical Conference. The development of this turning away
from sound doctrine can be documented in two ways. First of all, the
historical context needs to be considered, because most people do not
know what Pietism is, how American Lutheran church bodies began in
Pietism rather than Lutheran orthodoxy. Secondly, the favorite passages
of the UOJ advocates need careful examination, because their perversion
of the truth requires twisting Gods Word.
Additional materials include the favorite quotations of UOJ
advocates and why these sentiments are wrong. Justification by faith is
naturally taught clearly before the Age of Pietism, so those quotations are
also listed.
Research is being completed about the injection of Pietism into
the nascent Synodical Conference. That work, by another author, will
eventually be included in future editions of this volume. Additional essays
are also going to be added, with permission from the authors family.

His translation of Georg Christian Knapp's Christian Theology (18311833) was long used as a text-book in American theological seminaries.
http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Leonard_Woods

10

Robert Preus, Justification and Rome


Dr. Robert Preus is known for advocating UOJ in the 1980s,
when Concordia Seminary in Ft. Wayne was also deep into Church
Growth Enthusiasm.4 In his last book, edited after his death by his sons
Daniel and Rolf, his clear stance against UOJ is obvious.
When does the imputation of Christs righteousness take place? It
did not take place when Christ, by doing and suffering, finished
the work of atonement and reconciled the world to God. Then
and there, when the sins of the world were imputed to Him and
He took them, Christ became our righteousness and procured for
us remission of sin, justification, and eternal life. By thus making
satisfaction He procured and merited (acquisivit et promeruit) for
each and every man remission of all sins, exemption from all
punishments of sin, grace and peace with God, eternal
righteousness and salvation.5
"In an initial burst of enthusiasm reflecting Preus's concern for missions,
the Fort Wayne faculty had petitioned the 1977 convention of the
Missouri Synod to have each of its subdivisions or districts make a
thorough study of the Church Growth materials. What is more, the
districts were to be urged to organize, equip, and place into action all of
the Church Growth principles as needed in the evangelization of our
nation and the world under the norms of the Scriptures and the Lutheran
Confessions. By the time of the 1986 synodical convention, however, the
same faculty, while appreciating the valuable lessons of common sense to
be learned from Church Growth, asked that the Synod warn against the
Arminian and charismatic nature of the church-growth movement. Kurt
E. Marquart, "Robert D. Preus," Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed.,
Walter A. Elwell, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995, pp. 353-65.
Reprinted in Christian News, 6-26-95, p. 21.

R. Preus footnote: Systema, Par. II, Cap.3, Memb. 2 S. 1, Th. 44 (II, 363).
Cf. Abraham Calov, Apodixis Articulorum Fidei (Lueneburg, 1684), 249:
Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification,
and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor
do we become Gods children in Christ in such a way that justification in
the mind of God takes place before we believe. Justification and Rome,
footnote 74, p. 131.
5

11

But the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner takes


place when the Holy Spirit brings him to faith through Baptism
and the Word of the Gospel. Our sins were imputed to Christ at
His suffering and death, imputed objectively after He, by His
active and passive obedience, fulfilled and procured all
righteousness for us. But the imputation of His righteousness to
us takes place when we are brought to faith.6
Quenstedt says, It is not the same thing to say, Christs
righteousness is imputed to us and to say Christ is our
righteousness. For the imputation did not take place when
Christ became our righteousness. The righteousness of Christ is
the effect of His office. The imputation is the application of the
effect of His office. The one, however, does not do away with the
other. Christ is our righteousness effectively when He justifies
us. His righteousness is ours objectively because our faith rests in
Him. His righteousness is ours formally in that His righteousness
is imputed to us.7
Preus quoted this statement from Calov with approval, which is worth
repeating Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins,
justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us
prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in
such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place
before we believe.8
I understand these two passages to be a repudiation of UOJ and an
apology for all the harm done in the name of that fad.

Robert D. Preus Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic


Press 1997, p. 72.
6

Systema, Par. III, Cap. 8, S. 2, q. 5, Observatio 19 (II, 787). R. Preus


footnote #76, Justification and Rome, p. 132.
7

Apodixis Articulorum Fidei, Lueneburg, 1684. Cited in Robert D. Preus,


Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n.
8

12

Chapter 1: The Age of Pietism Gave Us UOJ


Important Dates
Martin Luther lived 1483-1546. Melanchthon lived 1497-1560.
The 95 Theses were written in 1517.
The Augsburg Confession was published in 1530, the Book of Concord
was completed in 1580.
Samuel Huber was rebuked and removed from the Wittenberg faculty, by
P. Leyser, an editor of the Book of Concord, among others. Thus one
form of UOJ existed before Pietism.
Zwingli died on the battlefield in 1529.
Calvin published his Institutes in 1536 and lived until 1564.
Spener published his Pious Wishes in 1675, his program of Pietism.
Halle University was established in 1694, under Speners direction.
Muhlenberg came to America, a graduate of Halle, in 1742.
Knapp lectured at Halle University, where he had been a student, and
became a full professor in 1782.
Woods translated Knapps theology lectures into English in 1831.9
Martin Stephan studied at Halle University and became Walthers mentor.
Walther landed in New Orleans with the Stephan group in 1839.
Hoenecke graduated from Halle in 1859.
The LCMS Brief Statement of 1932 became the best known endorsement
of Universal Objective Justification.10
The LCMS restated UOJ in its Theses on Justification, 1983.
WELS published J. P. Meyers Ministers of Christ, 1963.
WELS supported the expulsion of two families for denying UOJ, 1980.

9 His translation of Georg Christian Knapp's Christian Theology (18311833) established his reputation, which was enhanced by his leadership in
religious education. Strangely, his disastrous double-justification formula
is remembered, but his name is unknown among Lutherans.
10

Previous official Statements of Missouri did not include UOJ.


13

WELS published David Valleskeys We Believe, Therefore We Speak, which


teaches Church Growth and UOJ, 1995.
In 2011, Holy Word Lutheran Church, WELS, excommunicated Joe and
Lisa Krohn, for asking questions about justification by faith.11

Reformation
All false doctrine begins with Enthusiasm, the separation of the
Holy Spirit from the Word. Zwingli and Calvin were Swiss pioneers of
this error in Protestantism, as shown in the Biblical section. Zwingli said
arrogantly, that the Holy Spirit does not need a vehicle, like an ox cart.

Zwingli
Zwingli said:
I believe, yea I know, that all the Sacraments are so far from
conferring grace that they do not even convey or distribute it. In
this, most powerful Emperor, I may perhaps appear too bold to
thee. But I am firmly convinced that I am right. For as grace is
produced or given by the divine Spirit (I am using the term 'grace'
in its Latin meaning of pardon, indulgence, gracious favor), so
this gift reaches only the spirit. The Spirit, however, needs no
guide or vehicle, for He Himself is the Power and Energy by
which all things are borne and has no need of being borne. Nor
have we ever read in the Holy Scriptures that perceptible things
like the Sacraments certainly bring with them the Spirit.12
11

Pastor Tim Glende, a UOJ and Church Growth Enthusiast, excommunicated attorney
Rick Techlin from St. Peter Cares, WELS, in Freedom, Wisconsin. There were no specific
charges. In all the WELS cases noted, the synod denied the appeals.

14

Calvin said as much, though more elegantly. Zwingli died early, on the
battlefield and published relatively little. Calvins ministry was much
longer and he published extensively, including a complete set of Biblical
commentaries still used today. The two leaders established a break with
the Lutheran Reformation, in spite of many conferences and discussions.
This essential difference, Enthusiasm, remains the divide between Biblical
Lutheran doctrine, the historic Christian faith, and all false religion.

Spener
The second source of Enthusiasm came from Philipp Jakob
Spener, who modeled his cell group method after Labadies, a Calvinist
and former Roman Catholic. Intense Roman Catholic piety is encouraged
in small groups, perhaps because the large scale Mass is so impersonal and
mechanical. The falsehoods of Roman Catholicism are also due to
Enthusiasm. The Holy Spirit works primarily through the Pope, who is
considered and proclaimed the conduit of Gods grace, the ultimate
keeper of the keys. Roman Catholics are encouraged to participate in
lengthy, intense, and emotional prayer meetings, with rosaries and objects
of devotion, such as the relics of saints. Every single Roman Catholic
parish has a relic from a saint, certified by the Vatican, built into the altar.
Many have noticed the parallel between Roman Catholic sanctification,
with its emphasis upon receiving grace from prayer, and the Reformed
sects, which also emphasize grace coming from prayer.
Spener started Pietism with his Pia Desideria (Pious Wishes) in 1675.
He wrote a long essay as an introduction to a popular orthodox book of
sermons by Johann Arndt, so Arndt's book served inadvertently as a
launching pad for Pietism.

Hallmarks of Pietism
1. A heart religion instead of a head religion, they claim. Pietists often
mention that false distinction.
2. Lay-led conventicles or cell groups, to develop piety through
prayer and Bible study. Spener began cell groups in 1699.
Fidei Ratio, ed. Niemeyer p. 24; Jacobs, Book of Concord, II, 68. Cited in
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht,
St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 132f.
12

15

3. Unionism - cooperation between Lutherans and the Reformed.


Spener was the first union theologian.
4. An emphasis on good works and foreign missions. "Deeds, not
creeds" is a popular motto.
5. Denial of the Real Presence and baptismal regeneration,
consequences of working with the Reformed.
6. A better, higher, or deeper form of Christianity rather than the
Sunday worshiping church. This often made the cell group the
real church, the gathered church, superior to those who merely
worship and participate in the Means of Grace.13
The issue for justification is the source of Gods grace in
forgiveness. The Scriptures, the Book of Concord, Luther, Chemnitz,
Gerhard, and all the orthodox Lutherans teach that grace comes only
from the Means of Grace. The non-Lutheran Protestants deny this.
Roman Catholics use the term Means of Grace, but they apply a different
meaning, because they have seven sacraments that fail to deliver complete
and free forgiveness of sin. Purgatory is that place where forgiveness is
earned through countless years of torture. Pietism is the Protestant
version of that style of sanctification.
Spener influenced the ruler to found Halle University in 1694, to
teach actual Biblical studies, which had been neglected in favor of
ferocious dogmatic struggles between the Lutherans and Calvinists. Halle
and the charitable foundations around it became so imbued with sacred
awe that no one could question the school, Spener, or its influence.
Few appreciate the substance, scope, and continuing influence of
Pietism among the Lutherans in America. Spener had such a reputation
among Lutherans that very few criticized him. Walther, who blasted many
religious figures in his journalistic fervor, never dealt with Spener in his
famous Law and Gospel lectures. Walther experienced an awakening
through the Pietists and worked in Pietistic circles, before he came to
America under Bishop Stephan, a Pietist.

Pietistic Origins
Walther was no different from other American Lutheran pioneers:
Otto Heick, A History of Christian Thought, Philadelphia: Fortress Press,
II, p. 23f.
13

16

1. Muhlenberg came over from Halle University, the center of


European Pietism, a school created to promote Pietism. Thus the
LCAs Muhlenberg tradition was an extension of Halles Pietism.
2. The Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes were Pietists, with certain
exceptions - the Happy Danes.
3. The Wisconsin Synods most famous theologian, Adolph
Hoenecke, was trained at Halle University under Tholuck, the last
of the true Pietists, although he admitted being a Universalist.
In short, this means that almost all Lutheran church bodies in America,
from the colonial Muhlenberg tradition (the Lutheran Church in America)
to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (1917) were Pietistic in origin.
Pietism was unionistic from the beginning, and Spener is
considered the first union theologian. His compromise over doctrine,
making love more important, enabled Lutherans and other Protestants to
work together without doctrinal agreement, a situation that led to a
complete lack of doctrinal discernment and ultimately Unitarianism. His
emphasis upon lay leadership and cell groups also moved people into an
experiential form of worship, where feelings mattered far more than
fidelity to the Word of God. The Confessions became insignificant
because they were considered divisive.
Given the sacrosanct status of Pietism among American
Lutherans, the copying of the double- justification scheme from Halle
professor George Christian Knapp was only natural. He was highly
respected as the last old-fashioned Pietist at Halle. Significantly, Halle was
honored as the center of all that American Lutherans admired and
emulated. Probably few then realized how far Halle had fallen in basic
doctrine, just as few realize today how bad their conservative seminaries
are in the lap of Fuller, Willow Creek, and New Agers like Leonard
Sweet.

The Untouchables of Pietism


Francke met with Spener, adopted his program, and got into a
world of trouble over Pietism. Spener had Francke appointed to the newly
established Halle University. Francke remained there as a professor and
pastor of a congregation for the next 36 years. His energy spread the
influence of Pietism, both in his charity work (Halle Orphanage) and his
Biblical teaching.
Count Zinzendorf (1700-1760) had a profound effect on the
spread of Pietism, not only through his contact and friendship with
Wesley, but also by being the father of world missions. Methodism is
17

another form of Pietism. The English Methodist George Scott influenced


Carl Olaf Rosenius, who founded Swedish Pietism.14 Zinzendorf is also
known for his "Come Lord Jesus" prayer and his hymns.
Pietistic hymns emphasize the blood of Jesus because of the
influence of Johann Albrecht Bengel, famous for his Gnomon. (Heick, II,
p. 25) Bengel's son-in-law, Burk, may be the inventor of Objective
Justification. Burk is credited by Hoenecke for this statement:
Hoenecke:
And Ph. D. Burk (Rechtfertigung und Versicherung, p. 41) rightly said:
The difference between general justification and the more
common usage of the term justification can be expressed as
follows. The latter takes place precisely upon the
appropriation of the former.
An emphasis upon general justification is necessary in order to
safeguard the material content of the Gospel.
We need furnish no extraordinary proof in regard to the
justification of the individual sinner; let us suffice with the story
of the publican. Justification takes place in the one who appeals to
the grace of God, but it does not take place in the Pharisee. And
the entirety of Scripture demonstrates that he who believes is
always justified; this applies to every individual, the moment that
faith is kindled in him.15

Stepping Stones to Modernism


Tholuck is considered the last of the Pietists who taught at Halle.
The rest were rationalists who rejected the basic doctrine of Christianity.
Rosenius and Scott are identified with the Swedish Pietism of the
Augustana Synod, whose college and seminary were established in Rock
Island, Illinois. Augustana came under the influence of orthodoxy through
Eric Norelius being trained at Capital Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. The
more Pietistic side of this Swedish immigration to America formed the
Mission Covenant and Evangelical Free denominations, both known
today for their Church Growthism.
14

Hoenecke, III, p. 354. Burk was the son-in-law and dedicated


co-worker of the Pietist Bengel. Philip David Burk (1714-1770) published
an expanded edition of one of Bengels works in 1763.
15

18

Although Tholuck is largely forgotten, he is important for two reasons.


One is his role as mentor of Adolph Hoenecke, the dogmatician who
helped the Pietistic and unionistic Wisconsin Synod become Lutheran.
Another is his reputation for being a bridge between the old Pietists who
had faith and the new theologians who were rationalists. Tholuck was a
blend, who took the Objective Justification of old Knapp and turned it
into Universalism. Tholuck was a confessed Universalist who simply
declared that all men are saved. That does not make Hoenecke a
Universalist, but the historical facts help the student of theology see the
UOJ connections to Pietism.
Friederich Schleiermacher, 1768-1834, was a Halle student and
later a faculty member. He is the most important modern Halle professor,
a pioneer of faith without belief, essential for such later theologians as Karl
Barth and Paul Tillich. The modern theologians, with few exceptions,
write about the articles of faith but make it clear that they reject the topics
they consider with their enormous volumes.

Schleiermacher

Karl Barth dominated the 20th century, thanks to long life and his
joint-publication of the Dogmatics, which was largely written by his live-in
mistress Charlotte Kirschbaum. Although known as a critic of
Schleiermacher and falsely called a classical theologian, Barth extended the
influence of faith without belief. He wasand probably still isthe central
theologian for Fuller Seminary. He turned several Fuller leaders against
inerrancy, who re-fashioned the school into a large-scale factory for liberal
Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Missouri and WELS pastors.16
"A third indication of the coming crisis involved the son of the founder,
Daniel Payton Fuller...After he had been there [on the faculty at Fuller]
16

19

Victory of Pietism
The current state of the Lutheran Church in North America
constitutes proof that the visible expressions of the church have done
more than lose their doctrinal heritage they have consciously and
persistently rejected it in favor of Enthusiasm, the source of all false
doctrine.
This rejection has been the work of Lutheran Pietism, a curious
amalgamation of Calvinistic doctrine and Lutheran identity, with Lutheran
doctrine on the scaffold and Calvinism on the throne and in the
hangmans role.
Some visible proofs of the victory of Pietism over Lutheran
doctrine are:

Hatred of the Confessions.

Denigrating faith in the Word as a virtue or merit.

Repudiation of Luthers work.

Rejection of the historic liturgy and the Creeds.

Coaching motivational speeches replacing sermons.

Cell groups.

Predominance of the Law, but chiefly man-made law, such as


You must be growing.

Antinomianism, as if Gods Law is obsolete.

Silence about the efficacy of the Word.

Avoidance of the Means of Grace, or weak-kneed lip-service to


this Biblical concept.

Receptionism in Holy Communion.

Tawdry gimmicks used in place of evangelism through the Word.

several years, he went to Basel, Switzerland, to work for another doctorate


under men like Karl Barth. While Fuller was at Basel, rumors began
coming back to America that he had shifted his position on the Scriptures.
I personally talked to Charles E. Fuller about this on a number of
occasions. In every instance he assured me that there was no truth to the
rumors that his son had changed his position. He was wrong, as
subsequent events demonstrated." Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible,
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976, p. 108f.
20

Obvious persecution of faithful pastors and shunning of faithful


laity.

Promoting, defending, and rewarding false teachers.

Seminaries and colleges providing a tawdry Calvinistic education,


with no one objecting.

District and synod officials in cahoots with the false teachers.

Feminist dogma leading to de facto womens ordination.

Unionism with every possible sect.

Division, tension, hostility, polarization.

The silence of the shepherds and the slaughter of the lambs.

21

Chapter 2: The Efficacy of the Word


Luther always taught the efficacy of the Word, and this
effectiveness is stated clearly and concisely in our Confessions:
For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be
already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of
the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares
upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts
against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you
must always have God's Word in your heart, upon your lips, and
in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not
sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are
aware. On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word,
whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is
bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new
understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure
heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not inoperative or
dead, but creative, living words.17

Luther

The Large Catechism, #100, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia


Publishing House, 1921, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378f. Heiser, p. 175f.

17

22

Efficacy is the most neglected characteristic of Gods Word


today, although it was central to Luther, the Concordists, the orthodox
Lutherans of Europe, and the General Council in America. The efficacy
of the Word was defined by WELS theologian Adolph Hoenecke: The
Word never without the Spirit, the Spirit never without the Word that is
sound doctrine. Encapsulating the Scriptures and Confessions, that plain
and simple formula means God Word and Spirit cannot be divorced from
each other. If Gods Word is taught in its purity, without the adulteration
of mans wisdom, that Word will have its effect, whether to save or damn,
illuminate or darken, convert or harden. Moreover, the timing of Gods
work and will is not ours to judge. The efficacy of the Word is the point
of contention in discussing the topic of justification.
Enthusiasmseparating the Holy Spirit from the Wordlies behind
every error in teaching justification, whether that error is advanced by
Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, or synodical Lutherans. A
synodical Lutheran honors and protects the visible church, the
synod. A confessional Lutheran values the Scriptures and
Confessions above all.
Guilt-free saints in Hell are a staple of the WELS/ELS
perversion of the Gospel, but Luther taught otherwise, since it is only the
efficacious Word that creates saints (believers).
For the Word of God is the sanctuary above all sanctuaries, yea,
the only one which we Christians know and have. For though we
had the bones of all the saints or all holy and consecrated
garments upon a heap, still that would help us nothing; for all
that is a dead thing, which can sanctify nobody. But God's Word
is the treasure which sanctifies everything, and by which even all
the saints themselves were sanctified. At whatever hour, then,
God's Word is taught, preached, heard, read or meditated upon,
there the person, day, and work are sanctified thereby, not
because of the external work, but because of the Word, which
makes saints of us all. Therefore I constantly say that all our life
and work must be ordered according to God's Word, if it is to be
God-pleasing or holy. Where this is done, this commandment is
in force and being fulfilled. 18

The Large Catechism, Preface, #91-2, The Third Commandment,


Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 004 p.
607. Exodus 20:8-11.

18

23

Wherever the UOJ wolves prowl, they argue against the efficacy of the
Word. Their attacks may not be directly against the Word, because that is
too obvious. Instead, they praise and honor their own methods and
personalities, realizing that supplanting the Word is preferred. One they
have made the ministry man-centered, the outward confessions and
doctrines mean nothing.

Doctrine of Creation Conversion Efficacy


Before man existed, God fashioned the entire universe through
the creating Word the Son of God. When God spoke through the
Logos (the Word), His will was immediately carried out, not in billions of
years to allow for random events of infinite complexity. This issue is not
antiquarian but essential to justification by faith.
The universe was created by the Word, and every believer is a
new creation through the Word. But UOJ advocates would have us
understand that God works without the Word in declaring the entire
world absolved, free from sin, extending this Enthusiastic decree to the
residents of Hell.
The Genesis commands, and God said, are the work of the
Logos in John. The creating WordHe was in the beginning with God.
The Holy Spirit never without the Word, the Word never without
the Holy Spirit that is sound doctrine. Adolph Hoenecke19

Hoeneke

19

Dogmatik, IV, p. 17.

24

Christians can claim that the Word is always effective and that the
Holy Spirit always works exclusively through the Word. The classic Isaiah
passage alone is enough to refute any attacks against this doctrine, but
there are many other passages expressing the same unified truth in
different words.

Isaiah 55:8-11
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your
thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven,
and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring
forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not
return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
The Word of God is exactly like rain and snow. The three-fold results
are revealed in perfect clarity:
1. It shall not return unto Me void,
2. But it shall accomplish that which I please,
3. And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
This passage by itself makes rejection of the Words efficacy impossible.
No exceptions can be found with a litotes,20 a double negative it shall
not return to Me void. The rain and snow metaphor enforces this
teaching.
Gods Word blesses us with many ways to view this efficacy, to
deepen our trust in His Holy Spirit work, to remove our toxic doubts.
How often we stop to measure our Christian ministry by the outward
marks of success, instead of trusting fidelity to His Word! Satan plagues us
by showing off the wealth and honors of his most compliant servants,
taunting us with those examples, to take our attention away from Gods
Promises.

Litotes is the use of a negated antonym to make an understatement or


to emphatically affirm the positive.
http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsLitote
s.htm
20

25

Abundant Examples

The Sower
Nevertheless, the Scriptures provide an abundant witness of the
effectiveness of the Word alone:
1. The Sower and the Seed parable (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
teaches us that the Word will prosper in spite of difficulties.
2. The living seed of the Word has life in itself and grows.
3. Growth is inevitable with the Gospel leaven, Matthew 13:33.
4. An individual is born again by the power of the incorruptible
seed, which is the Word (1 Peter 1:21).
5. The engrafted Word (James 1:21) placed in the believer saves his
soul.
6. The Gospel is a yeast which grows and permeates the life of the
believer (Matthew 13).
7. Those who abide in Christ through the Means of Grace will bear
fruit, while those who separate themselves will shrivel, die, and be
cast away (John 15:1-10).
8. God alone gives the increase, 1 Corinthians 3:4-9.21

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye
received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the
word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually
worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
21

26

Chapter 3: Luther Taught Justification by


Faith Through the Means of Grace

Confusion and error about the efficacy of the Word have allowed
a Halle University Pietist to trump the Bible and the Book of Concord
with his strange concoction of double-justification, grace without the
Means of Grace, forgiveness without the Word, without faith. A general
understanding of the unity of Christian doctrine is necessary to discern
the truth revealed in the Scriptures as distinguished from the manifest
errors of the Enthusiasts. Justification takes place only through faith, only
through the Means of Grace, as Krauth (pictured below) and Pieplow
wrote.

The Holy Spirit works through the Word and the Sacraments,
which only, in the proper sense, are means of grace. Both the
27

Word and the Sacraments bring a positive grace, which is offered


to all who receive them outwardly, and which is actually imparted
to all who have faith to embrace it.22
The Lutheran Church faces the world by clinging to the Means of
Grace. The doctrine of the means of grace is truly a most timely
subject. For just in these last times, according to divine revelation,
there will be at work many spiritual brigands who will perpetrate
the grossest kind of deception.23
This knowledge is a great comfort for all believers, especially those once
led into confusion by Enthusiasm.
Martin Luther is known both for his prolific writing and also for
his consistency. He taught the same theology throughout life. Historians
are not met with confusion caused by Calvin, who was also prolific. The
Swiss Reformer contradicted himself throughout his writings, so the
Calvinists continue to debate his doctrine and lack a unified, harmonious
confession.
The Lutherans Reformers were anxious to avoid splitting the
Christian faith into many doctrines, as if they are individual concepts, a
modular religion to be put together and taken apart in units. Luther
grasped and taught the entire Bible as a unified truth, the Bible as the
Book of the Holy Spirit. The Concordists likewise sought a harmonious
witness to the truth, not one that bartered and swapped individual pieces.
When UOJ advocates cry out, You have denied Universal
Objective Justification! they emphasize their own error, because they
isolate one item and defend it by quoting other false teachers, without
ever connecting their concept to Biblical, Lutheran doctrine.
Lutheran doctrine is not the result of a franchise being
established. Lutheran doctrine is not synodical, regional, or bound
by a nations borders. The Book of Concord confesses, and faithful
Lutherans agree that the unified truth proclaimed in its pages is the
historic Christian faith. Therefore, the Book of Concord begins with the
Ecumenical Creeds:
1. The Apostles Creed, so ancient that no one knows its origin.
Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology,
Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 127.

22

Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace," The Abiding Word, 3 vols.,


ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II,
p. 322.
23

28

2. The Nicene Creed, fashioned to combat errors about Christ.


3. The Athanasian Creed, the most splendid ecclesiastical lyric
ever poured forth by the genius of man. (DIsraeli).
Thus, any debate among Lutherans or with those of another confession
should be considered as an argument about the truth of historic
Christianity. We used to say the Catholic faith, when it meant the
universal and orthodox faith revealed in the Scriptures. But so many
Lutheran pastors have sinuflected to Rome that they have tainted the term
Catholic.
The Concordists considered themselves theologians of the 1530
Augsburg Confession, as did Luther. The Augsburg Confession and the
additional writings of the early Reformation established the difference
between the historic truth of the Scriptures as opposed to Roman errors,
all in the context of the faithful witnesses of the past.
The Formula of Concord, 1580, dealt especially with conflicts
among the Lutherans and errors among the non-Lutheran Protestants.
Doctrinal discussions must always reflect this miracle of harmony. If not
the participants engage in the sectarian conceit of people belonging to
the church of the open Bible, as if the Confessions were irrelevant,
boring, and impractical. That attitude reveals a marked anti-Lutheran and
anti-Biblical attitude, one which generally decays into Unitarianism or
worse, unless awakened from its torpor of ignorance, synod-worship, and
sloth.
Convention and conference essays have no authority over the
Book of Concord. The Brief Confession of 1932 has no more credibility
than a seminarians essay in doctrine class. Some parts seem good, but the
justification section is dangerously false, rendering the rest of the Brief
Confession toxic. Moreover, the Brief Confession contradicts other
confessional efforts and catechisms by the Missouri Synod, where UOJ
was never mentioned. The 1987 Theses are just as ridiculous as the 1932
Brief Confession, because they try to blend UOJ with justification by
faith.
Robert Preus was wrong when he promoted UOJ in the 1980s,
but he corrected himself in his Justification and Rome, even though his UOJloyal sons Rolf and Daniel edited it posthumously. That change of heart
and misplaced filial loyalty should remind everyone not to make a man or
a recent publication the last word on a topic, but to seek truth in the
ruling norm of the Scriptures and the ruled norm of the Book of
Concord.

29

Some have asked how the Missouri Synod got this so wrong
when the Muhlenberg tradition (LCA) and Lenski grasped the basic truth.
The General Synod/General Council split took place because of antiConfessional practices involving revivals, unionism with the Reformed,
even the formation of union Lutheran-Reformed congregations.24 The
Henkels influenced the Tennessee Synod and others to take the Book of
Concord seriously again. Thus the doctrinal division in the General Synod
served to move many toward a Biblical understand of the efficacious
Word in the Means of Grace.
These basics are beyond debate and remain absolutely at war with
the Pietistic fad of UOJ.

Efficacy of the Word


God has bound His Holy Spirit to His Word and never works
apart from that Word. Any person who claims otherwise is an Enthusiast,
a false teacher participating in the foundational evil of all doctrinal error.
The Holy Spirit works through the Law to convict us of our sin, but the
primary emphasis in this section is justification through the Means of
Grace.
The Word of God has been described as:
1. Invisible in teaching and preaching,
2. Visible in the Sacraments.
The Gospel conveys Christ to us in both forms, and grace only comes
from these appointed Means or Instruments of Grace.
Forgiveness through Gods grace is the issue in justification,
which is Gods declaration of forgiveness. The Gospels divine power
creates and sustains faith in each individual, but UOJ Pietists avoid the
terms and the application of the Means of Grace, disparaging faith in the
Gospel as if that were a sign of orthodoxy.

The Preaching Office


Luther observed in a sermon that the shepherds and Wise Men
must have wondered at God directing them past the marvelous Jerusalem
One union congregation was St. Paul, German Village, in Columbus,
Ohio, which eventually joined the Wisconsin Synod. Another was historic
St. Johns in Milwaukee, which became a leading church for the Wisconsin
Synod and was eventually kicked out of the synod due to the spitefulness
of the liberal, unionistic WELS leaders.

24

30

Temple to find the Savior in a manger. God has chosen foolishness to


shame the wisdom of the wise. How bizarre to find Lutheran church
leaders rejecting the spiritual wisdom of the Word to embrace the alleged
wisdom of statistical analysis, marketing, and entertainment. Gods Word
gives us Christ, as Luther wrote.
Observe, Christ is not put into your hand, not given you in a
coffer, not placed in your bosom nor in your mouth. He is
presented to you through the Word, the Gospel; He is held up
before your heart, through the ears He is offered to you, as the
Being who gave Himself for youfor your unrighteousness and
impurity. Only with your heart can you receive Him. And your
heart receives when it responds to your opened mind, saying,
Yes, I believe. Thus through the medium of the Gospel Christ
penetrates your heart by way of your hearing, and dwells there by
your faith. Then are you pure and righteous; not by your own
efforts, but in consequence of the Guest received into your heart
through faith. How rich and precious these blessings!25
Nothing seems more foolish to the world than preaching and
teaching the Gospel. Nevertheless, God Himself has chosen this
instrument as the primary channel for His grace. The Enthusiasts of
Luthers day wanted to extol the Inner Word, as if someone could sit
alone in a room and wait until the Holy Spirit came to him with
inspiration. Quakerism is based upon this notion. In contrast, Luther
followed the Biblical example of the External Word, the Holy Spirit
always united with the Word. No better example can be found than that
of the Savior. In each and every case Jesus converted people to faith
through the Word, His teaching confirmed by miracles. He created the
sacraments for us, to give us forgiveness through the Word, as confessed
in the Formula of Concord.
This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the
Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and
received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with
God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship
of eternal life.26
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 135. Christmas Eve, Titus 2:1115.
25

31

Justification by faith and the Means of Grace are always discussed


together in the Book of Concord.
The Old Testament leaders preached the Gospel, not just the
Law, as some imagine. The prophecies and blessings are all Gospel. The
Old Testament has more Gospel content than the New Testament, due to
its size, about three times that of the New Testament. Jesus and the
apostles preached the Gospel, His way prepared by the preaching of John
the Baptist. The illegal, persecuted Church in the Roman Empire had no
mass media methods to ease its way into the world. Instead, they relied on
preaching and teaching until Rome itself was converted and
Constantinople became the center of a Christian empire for eleven
centuries.27
The Pietists preach about the carnal sins of the world, which is
exactly what the Church of Rome did to scare people into paying for
indulgences. Jesus, in His farewell message to the disciples, emphasized
the role of the Holy Spirit in preaching, but placed an emphasis on sin
that is almost always lacking today.
The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, because they have
not believed on Me. The problem of carnal sin preaching stems from its
ineffectiveness. The Law condemns the problem without providing a
solution. Threats and punishment can stop the outward sin while
inflaming the inward rebellion. Thus, one church may say, Gambling is a
terrible sin, so you must not gamble. Another one says, Drinking is a
terrible sin, so you must not ever drink alcohol. They apply more Law,
which is no solution, and continue the cycle.
Jesus did not say, Ye gamblers and ye drunks! but O ye of
little faith. Faith in Christ is forgiveness of sin, justification by faith,
Gods proclamation of absolution through the Word. The foundational
sin is not trusting in the atoning death of Christ. The Gospel message is
simply Christ crucified for the sins of the world. This message of grace
Formula of Concord, SD III. #16. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. Tappert, p.
541. Heiser, p. 251.

26

Ancient Rome still loved their pagan rituals and gave them up with great
reluctance. Constantine moved noble families to his new capital, old
Byzantium, and styled himself Equal to the Apostles, replacing the pagan
capital Rome with a Christian one. The city became known as
Constantinople, and is Istanbul, Turkey now. Tragically, Byzantium is the
least known empire among historians and believers.
27

32

reveals to the unbeliever that the price has been paid. The proclamation
means, Not only for the world did He die, for also for my sins. The
Promises of God create faith, which receives the benefits of forgiveness.
Although our sinful, selfish nature continues, the Gospel helps us in
resisting temptation and following God out of love rather than fear.

The Sacraments

Preaching the Gospel offends the world, and the Sacraments


offend most Protestants. Most Protestants call the sacraments ordinances,
to say that these instruments of God do not offer what they promise
forgiveness of sin. These Protestants are sarcastic about the Real
Presence, although Jesus said, This is My Body. They deny the effect of
Holy Communion, neglecting the meaning of given for the forgiveness
of sin. They stumble at the variety of the Means of Grace, asking Why
does God need so many? as if forgiveness is Gods necessity and not
mans. J. T. Mueller addressed the question by quoting the Book of
Concord.
If the question is put, Why did God ordain so many means of
grace when one suffices to confer upon the sinner His grace and
forgiveness? we quote the reply of Luther who writes (Smalcald
Articles, IV: The Gospel not merely in one way gives us counsel
and aid against sin, for God is superabundantly rich in His grace.
First through the spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins
is preached in the whole world, which is the peculiar office of the
Gospel. Secondly through Baptism. Thirdly through the holy
Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly through the power of the keys
and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of
brethren, Matthew 18:20.28
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal
Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 447. SA, IV,

28

33

The question of need applies to man, not to God, and we should not
question His abundance of mercy.
These Enthusiasts are just as antagonistic about Holy Baptism.
Baptists and Pentecostals wonder, How can a baby believe? and call
baptismal regeneration a Roman heresy. These opponents of infant
baptism dedicate their newborns, reading the Scriptures, but do not allow
water to be used. Many others baptize infants but still call it an ordinance,
an empty symbol that does not accomplish what God has promised in the
Word. Still others oppose infant baptism but will offer it in the name of
increased membership and diversity of doctrine.
Lutherans occasionally try to persuade others that their prejudice
against the Sacraments is wrong. Whether they start from Holy
Communion or Holy Baptism, the debate is thwarted by a vast but often
overlooked gulf. Confessional Lutherans should believe in the efficacy of
the Word alone. The Sacraments are visible expressions of that effective
Word.

Holy Baptism and Justification

Infant baptism is always discussed in the context of justification by faith,


in the Scriptures and the Confessions. Luther captured the power of Holy
Baptism in this Large Catechism passage, which we confess:
Comprehend the difference, then, that Baptism is quite another
thing than all other water; not on account of the natural quality,
but because something more noble is here added; for God
Himself stakes His honor, His power and might on it. Therefore
it is not only natural water, but a divine, heavenly, holy, and
blessed water, and in whatever other terms we can praise it,all
on account of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, that no
one can sufficiently extol, for it has, and is able to do, all that
Concordia Triglotta, p. 491.
34

God is and can do [since it has all the virtue and power of God
comprised in it]. Hence also it derives its essence as a Sacrament,
as St. Augustine also taught: Accedat verbum ad elementum et fit
sacramentum. That is, when the Word is joined to the element or
natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament, that is, a holy and
divine matter and sign.29
The continuous value of Holy Baptism should be clear to all believers:
Thus it appears what a great, excellent thing Baptism is, which
delivers us from the jaws of the devil and makes us God's own,
suppresses and takes away sin, and then daily strengthens the new
man; and is and remains ever efficacious until we pass from this
estate of misery to eternal glory.30
This Sacrament has so much power and effectiveness because it is the
work of God upon us, not mans witness to others.
David Chytraeus is often forgotten as an editor of the Book of
Concord. His statement about infant baptism is a fine summary of
justification through this Sacrament.

The purest and best part of the human race, the special nursery
and flower of God's Church, is tender youth. Youth retains the
gift of the Holy Spirit which it received in Baptism; it learns
eagerly the true doctrine about God and our Redeemer, Jesus
Christ; it calls Him God with a chaste mind and with a simple,
pure faith; it thanks Him with a quick and joyful heart for the
blessings received from Him; in its studies and the other parts of
life, it carries out the duties commanded it; and it obeys God and
parents reverently. Particularly God-pleasing, therefore, are the
studies of one's earliest age: prayer, obedience and praises which
honor God, regardless of how weak and stammering its voice
may be.31
The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #17-18. Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 735f. Tappert, p.
438. Heiser, p. 206.

29

The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #83. Concordia Triglotta,


St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 751. Tappert, p. 446.
Heiser, p. 209.
30

35

Luthers reflections on infant baptism are equally sublime:

I still maintain, as I have maintained in the Postil (SL 11, 496f.)


that the surest Baptism is infant baptism. For an old person may
deceive, may come to Christ as a Judas and permit himself to be
baptized. But a child cannot deceive. It comes to Christ in
Baptism as John came to Him and as the little children were
brought to Him, that His Word and work may come over them,
touch them, and thus make them holy. For His Word and work
cannot pass by without effect; and in Baptism they are directed at
the child alone. If they were to fail of success here, they would
have to be entire failures and useless means, which is impossible.32

How strange to have conservative Lutheran leaders claim they want to


evangelize the world, while hanging out with Enthusiasts who condemn
infant baptism, reject the Sacraments, and prefer their own glittery
gimmicks to the efficacy of the Word!33

Forgiveness in Holy Communion


Nothing communicates shame in the Gospels effectiveness more
than hiding and avoiding Holy Communion, with the excuses that it takes
time and offends the non-members.
And just as the Word has been given in order to excite this faith,
so the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward
appearance meeting the eyes might move the heart to believe [and
strengthen faith]. For through these, namely, through Word and
Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works.34
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard
Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 9.

31

32 What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 50. Letter to two ministers, 1528.

At one point both the LCMS and WELS had contracted to pay Baptist
Ed Stetzer to teach them about evangelism. The WELS Church and
Change contract was canceled only after repeated admonitions from
Ichabod, The Glory Has Departed (blog) and the WELS Conference of
Presidents.
33

36

In an era where people are endlessly confused about forgiveness, the


perversion of this Sacrament is disgraceful, no matter how much the false
teachers want to promote their version of Gods grace. As Luther wrote,
they talk about Jesus all the time, but they destroy the bridge to the Savior,
rejecting the Means of Grace, divinely commanded to serve that purpose.
Taking Holy Communion away from the regular and special
services of worship is no less than removing the greatest spiritual help
from our daily lives. The Lutheran Pietists argued that the Sacrament was
too special to be offered all the time, but their actual agenda was
sponsoring lay-led cell groups to serve as the real church, their
Enthusiasm endorsing prayer as their Means of Grace and anything-goes
doctrine as their guide. The strange notions of Lutheran Pietism are easily
corrected by the Book of Concord. Luther wrote about the value of Holy
Communion and its efficacy in forgiveness in this passage from the Large
Catechism.
On this account it is indeed called a food of souls, which
nourishes and strengthens the new man. For by Baptism we are
first born anew; but (as we said before) there still remains,
besides, the old vicious nature of flesh and blood in man, and
there are so many hindrances and temptations of the devil and of
the world that we often become weary and faint, and sometimes
also stumble. Therefore it is given for a daily pasture and
sustenance, that faith may refresh and strengthen itself so as not
to fall back in such a battle, but become ever stronger and
stronger. For the new life must be so regulated that it continually
increase and progress; but it must suffer much opposition. For
the devil is such a furious enemy that when he sees that we
oppose him and attack the old man, and that he cannot topple us
over by force, he prowls and moves about on all sides, tries all
devices, and does not desist, until he finally wearies us, so that we
either renounce our faith or yield hands and feet and become
listless or impatient. Now to this end the consolation is here
given when the heart feels that the burden is becoming too heavy,
that it may here obtain new power and refreshment.35
34 Apology Augsburg Confession, XXIV (XII), #70. The Mass. Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 409. Tappert, p.
262. Heiser, p. 123.

The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #23-27. Concordia Triglotta,


St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 759. Tappert, p. 449.
Heiser, p. 211.
35

37

Given the nature of the Confessions as a proper interpretation of the


Scriptures, written by Luther himself, how can any pastorwho calls
himself Lutherankeep the efficacious Body and Blood of Christ from
his own members? Not surprisingly, the pastors who do not want to be
known as Lutheran are also the leaders who cannot bring themselves to
ruin their entertainment evangelism with this medicine for souls.

38

Chapter 4: Exegetical Essay on Justification


Luther identified justification by faith as the chief article of the
Christian Church. This famous passage is often quoted just before the
advocates of Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) launch an attack on
Luthers work and the Scripture itself. Not content with eviscerating their
own heritage, they look into every possible place in the Book of Concord
where they can conjure UOJ in place of the Word and against the Word.
Briefly stated, Universal Objective Justification is the claimfrom
Pietismthat God absolved the entire world of sin at the time of the
crucifixion or, in one of their many contradictions, at the time of Christs
resurrection. The UOJ advocates insist that every single person in the
world enjoys the status of guilt-free saints, even if they never come to
faith and suffer in the depths of Hell itself. This claim is palpable
nonsense, and its animosity toward sound doctrine has grown with the
years.
The American Lutheran expression of UOJ was copied from Pietism
by C. F. W. Walther and promoted by his disciples. His efforts to
dominate the 19th century Midwest resulted in the spread of this
Enthusiasm. Students of church history will note that the Church Growth
Movement is a tacky version of Calvinism, with dollops of mutual love
exchanged between Church Growth and Pietism.

UOJ Advocacy
Some of the milestones of UOJ in the Lutheran Midwest are:
1. C. F. W. Walthers work.
2. The Norwegian Synod.
3. Eduard Preuss, who later become Roman Catholic Justification.
4. Franz Piepers Christian Dogmatics.
5. The Missouri Synods Brief Statement of 1932, seconded by
WELS, the ELS, and the micro-mini sects.
6. The Kuske catechism, but not the earlier Gausewitz editon.
7. J. P. Meyers Ministers of Christ.
8. The WELS Kokomo Statements, based on J. P. Meyer.
39

9. Siegbert Beckers advocacy of the Kokomo Statements.


10. Herman Otten and Jack Cascione.
11. Robert Preus, when Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne was
promoting the Church Growth Movement.
12. The LCMS statements on justification, dishonoring the
Reformation, 1983.
13. Jon Buchholz reiterating the Easter absolution nonsense of
Walther, at a recent WELS convention.

UOJ Opposition
Opposition to UOJ has been expressed by:
1. LCMS Pastor Vernon Harley.
2. Walter Maier II, LCMS seminary professor at Ft. Wayne.
3. Robert Preus last book Justification and Rome.
4. Thy Strong Word, 2000.
5. Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, second edition.
6. Brett Meyer and several anonymous laity who encouraged me to
pursue this topic, the third rail of Midwestern Lutheranism.36

Anyone who dares to question UOJ will face excommunication by the


UOJ Storm troopers who watch over their false doctrine and protect it
from all assaults. The third rail is the high voltage contact on a subway
line, fatal to touch.

36

40

Biblical passages have been abused to promote the false doctrine


of Universal Objective Justification. People need to be armed against the
frequent claims that God has already declared the entire world forgiven.
The following pages will show that the UOJ argumentation is groundless
and a base perversion of the Word of God. These studies began with
laymen urging me to study these issues, so I am writing this chapter with
them in mind. For that reason I am using my Greek text but offering an
explanation that does not require knowledge of that language.

The LCMS Brief Statement


Of Justification
17. Holy Scripture sums up all its teachings regarding the love of
God to the world of sinners, regarding the salvation wrought by
Christ, and regarding faith in Christ as the only way to obtain
salvation, in the article of justification. Scripture teaches that God
has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ,
Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the
sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by
grace, for Christ's sake, He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous,
all those who believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's
sake their sins are forgiven. Thus the Holy Ghost testifies
through St. Paul: "There is no difference; for all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His
grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," Rom. 3:23,
24. And again: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by
faith without the deeds of the Law," Rom. 3:28.37
Declaring the whole world to be righteous was absent in the 1897
LCMS Brief Statement and the 1912 Catechism. It was also absent from
the 1922 publication, What the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri
and Other States Has Always Taught. These facts parallel the deposit of
37

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not
shall be damned. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.My wife
asked, Why are these verses ignored?

41

faith concept in Church of Rome, where a new doctrine is suddenly


revealed as an ancient truth, kept in reserve until the right moment.
The Missouri Synod approved the Brief Statement of 1932, the
final effort of Francis Pieper, who was drafted by C. F. W. Walther to
follow in his steps. iUnfortunately, many have treated this document as
superior to the Book of Concord, supplanting the Confessions by making
the Brief Statement of a Midwestern sect the final word on all doctrinal
matters. Since this paragraph ties their doctrine to three passages, they
need to be examined in context.

Romans 4:25 and 5:19


The sins of the world were forgiven the moment Christ rose
from the dead.
Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again
for our justification.
That is a common claim, one that bears scrutiny. If the verse does
not say what is claimed, the false foundation is removed. Clearly, the
citation is only part of a statement, but the statement itself is found within
the context of a chapter. We all know that chapter divisions in the Bible
are rather arbitrary, assigned many centuries after the fact. Nevertheless,
they follow the change in themes clearly visible in Romans.

Romans 4
Romans 4 has a theme, clearly articulated. The chapter teaches us
about Abraham as the father of faith. He is the example to follow in this
matter of justification, being declared free of sin by God.
Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining
to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he
hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture?
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of
debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth
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the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also
describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth
righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities
are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom
the Lord will not impute sin. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the
circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith
was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then
reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in
circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
In Romans, Paul offers the alternatives of faith or works,
justification by faith (already established) or justification by works.
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith
without the deeds of the law.
Throughout the Bible and the Confessions, justification is always
justification by faith, as the most ardent UOJ advocates have admitted.
This is especially true of Abraham, because the issue is raised How was
he counted (reckoned) as righteous?
Romans 4: 9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or
upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to
Abraham for righteousness.
No one can claim from this section that anyone is counted righteous
without faith.
Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the
righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he
might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not
circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And
the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only,
but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which
43

he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the
heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but
through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be
heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15
Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no
transgression.
The champions of UOJ rail against faith, belittling faith, mocking
faith as if it were bad, dangerous, and a work of man! This shows the
effect of false doctrine, hardening and blinding men, so they see what
God extols as bad. Abraham was not righteous because of a
workcircumcisionbut received circumcision as the seal of the
righteousness of faith.
Abraham was justified by faith before he was circumcised:
Genesis 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now
toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he
said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and
he counted it to him for righteousness.
Abraham was justified by faith before God commanded circumcision,
which can be seen in the time between his justification and the instigation
of circumcision.
Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and
you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be
circumcised.

Lenski:
Abrahams faith was so reckoned. His faith reached out to the Heir,
to Christ. The moment it did this it became in Gods accounting
perfect righteousness for him. He is our spiritual father, and all of us,
like him, are accounted righteous by God in the same blessed way. He
is never our ancestor due only to an outward religious connection of
Christianity with Judaism.
4) There are two kinds of reckoning. Paul carefully distinguished
between them, for only the one kind applies here. Now to the one
working the pay is not reckoned according to grace but
44

according to obligation; but to one not working (at all) but (only)
believing on him who declares the ungodly one righteous his
faith is reckoned for righteousness.38

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was
not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the
righteousness of faith.
This language is especially important, because it is reflected in one
of the Formula of Concords articles The Righteousness of Faith. One
of the best ways to change doctrine is to get people used to a new
vocabulary. The righteousness of faith bridges the historical gap between
Paul, the 1580 Book of Concord, and us. New terms and meanings must
come from the outside, alien to the long line of faithful Gospel teachers.
Objective Justification, Subjective Justification, General Justification, and
Universal Justification are new words, foreign to Lutherans and opposed
to the clear and precise Promises of God.
10] These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the
promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by
which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them
to ourselves. 11] This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly
learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel,
and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we
have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and
righteous by God the father, and are eternally saved.39

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
Lenski, R. C. H. (1936). The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans
(291). Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern.
38

Book of Concord, Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article III,


10-11, The Righteousness of Faith.

39

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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 Sara'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.
Faith is not opposed to grace because the word means trust in
God, Who moves us to believe in His mercy in Christ because of the
Holy Spirit working in the Gospel Promises. This is the Christ-centered
and God-glorifying doctrine of the Christian Church, no matter who has
changed or diluted or amalgamated it. True, the revivalists have damaged
the original Biblical meaning of faith, by making mans faith a healing and
saving virtue. But, to paraphrase Luther, we should not be like the man
who knifed his brother to death when trying to protect him from an
attacking bear. The solution to revivalism and New Age salvation-bypositive-thinking is to teach against it, using the Word of God as a
weapon, not to copy and paste sermons and ape their pathetic attempts at
entertainment evangelism.
Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness
The context is Abraham believing he will be the father of many
nations and acting on that Promise of God. Once again, this important
term imputed (counted, reckoned) is used. He believed and he was
counted righteous. His actions were works of faith, which glorify God,
not works of the Law, which cause men to boast (see the Pharisee and the
publican parable).

46

Highpoint of Romans 4
Romans 4:23 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.
The Holy Spirit revealed through Paul that Abraham was the first
of many, not just a single figure in the Bible. The Word of God teaches us
that we are also counted righteous (imputation, reckoning) if we believe
on Him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. The entire sentence
should be quoted and cited and not just Romans 4:25 in a misleading way.
Romans 4:25 explains the glorious work of God in the
Atonement (delivered for our offences) and the resurrection. There is no
claim that the world was absolved of its sin and forgiven the moment
Christ rose from the dead.

Lenski:
Our transgressions, our being declared righteous, as in other
similar expressions, speak of the believers alone because in them
the purpose of Christs death and his resurrection is fully realized.
The fact that Christ died also for those who deny him and bring
swift destruction on themselves (2 Pet. 2:1) does not need to be
introduced here. The two our prevent us from making
because of our justification signify the justification of the whole
world instead of our justification, our referring to us believers
(personal justification). It is this justification with which the entire
chapter deals and constantly also emphasizes faith.40

Transition to Romans 5:1-2


The highpoint of Romans 4 is the transition to Romans 5:1-2, the
classic statement of justification by faith. All of Romans 4 should be read
as the introduction to Romans 5 that is, as an extended explanatory
Lenski, R. C. H. (1936). The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans
(328329). Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern.
40

47

passage teaching faith in the Word of God. Very much like the Gospel of
John, Paul begins with a spiritual truth and expands upon it by repetition,
giving more and more meaning to the term as it is repeated and explained.
Justification by faith in Romans 3, 4, and 5 is like the Bread of Life in
John 6 or the Good Shepherd in John 10.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience,
hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
To derive justification without faith (UOJ) from Romans 4:25,
right in the middle of Pauls justification by faith chapters, is an act of
criminal dishonesty. The Missouri Synod absorbed the toxins of UOJ
slowly, not even reflecting them in their 1905 catechism. Once established
as a doctrinal norm, UOJ sped the transition to the doctrines of
Enthusiasm and the works of the flesh.
Even more dishonest is using Romans 5, which begins explicitly
with justification by faith, to promote justification without faith.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The particle therefore is critical to understanding Romans 4. The word
signals that Paul has already established justification by faith in the
previous section. In chapter 5, Paul is elaborating on what that means for
people who believe in the Savior. In other words, justification by faith is
the singular theme of Romans 4 not the imaginary absolution of the
world found in Walther, the Brief Statement, and subsequent Synodical
Conference teachers. Only in justification by faith can we have peace with
God through Jesus Christ our Lord. This peace is not the worlds peace,
but the peace of having our sins forgiven through faith in the Gospel.
That is precisely why Luther taught that faith is justification.
That does not make justification a work, as anxious Walther
disciples want to claim. God creates and sustains individual faith through
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the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the Word. God creates the faith,
which is a gift, and declares us forgiven of our sins. This alone glorifies
God, unlike UOJ, where people are instructed to make a decision after
being told that Hitler, Mao, and Judas Iscariot are guilt-free saints, thanks
to UOJ.ii A study of the word peace in the New Testament shows that
the word is always connected with salvation. Justification by faith means
forgiveness of sin and peace with God, Who is seen as He is loving,
kindly, and merciful.

We have access by faith into this grace


Someone who does not grasp this clause should not be allowed
to teach or preach as a Lutheran, for these words condense the preaching
office of the Church, according to the Scriptures and the Confessions.
Simply put, these words remind us of the efficacy of the Word in the
Means of Grace. God has united His grace to His appointed instruments
or means. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to receive Gods grace
apart from His instruments the Word and Sacraments.
Forgiveness is grace, because we have not deserved forgiveness
for any or all of our sins, much less a complete and free forgiveness from
God. However, the false teachers of UOJ want us to agree that God has
already bestowed His grace upon the entire world by absolving the world
of its sin, without the Word and Sacraments, without any means, without
faith.
John Calvin

The UOJ opinion is a version of Calvinism, which divided into


two streams of Enthusiasm. In its original form, the audiences were told,
like UOJ you are already saved, now believe what is already true.
49

Breaking with double-predestination Calvinism, the Arminians argued for


mans decision. The Arminians typically say, God has done this much
for you.iii Now you must complete the transaction by making a decision
for Christ. This is called synergism, making man part of the formula.
True Calvinism is rare, except among the UOJ fanatics. Most people in
the Calvinist tradition favor the Arminian decision for Christ. Both forms
of Calvinism are Enthusiasm, inheriting from Zwingli a mockery of the
efficacy of the Word, a rejection of God acting through the visible Word
of the Sacraments. As a result, the UOJ philosophy of the LCMS, WELS,
and ELS finds itself at home with Pietists, Baptists, Pentecostals, and
Presbyterians.
Romans 10the Means of Grace chapter in this
epistleexplains why all the blessings of the Gospel come from the Word
alone and never apart from the Word. The combined efforts of the
Enthusiasts, in making the Word attractive, germane, relevant, and
relational all betray a profound lack of trust in Gods appointed Means of
Grace. Reaching for an effective method, as they claim, they shun the
Holy Spirits work in favor of mans alleged wisdom.
Faith receives the grace of God, and the Bible teaches us
consistently how important this faith is. Faith is the most frequently
found word in the New Testament, often extolled by Christ.

Examples of faith:
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that
followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in
Israel.
Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy,
lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy;
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is
thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made
whole from that very hour.

50

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto
them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for
of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall
not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Luke 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath
saved thee.

Three Statements of Gods Grace


Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ
died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet
peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Christ died for the ungodly! is used as support for UOJ, but
that can be tested by reversing the meaning Christ died for the godly!
That makes no sense even Unitarians would reject that statement. Christ
died for the unbelieving world. The UOJ philosophy combines the
atoning death of Christ with justification, creating an amalgamation that is
false to both. As unbelievers, continuing in sin, we have no strength. Only
the Gospel Promises can give us strength through this gracious
forgiveness received in faith. Trying to convert others through love or
relationships is a denial of God working through the Word.
Paul is reminding us that God provided for our forgiveness and
salvation before we could even imagine it.

Lenski, Romans 5:6


The aorist Christ died is historical and appears again with
emphasis in v. 8. It is true that Paul is addressing the Roman
Christians, and that his we includes himself, and we may admit
that all of them came to faith after Christ had died. Yet Pauls
words are not restricted to these believers, to their ungodliness
before they came to faith. The preceding chapter deals with
Abraham who was justified exactly as were these Roman believers
but was justified a thousand years before Christ died. With him
Paul in chapter 4 combines all his seed of the old covenant era
who also lived before Christs death. That should not be
overlooked when discussing chapter 5. The fact that Christ died
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for the ungodly applies to all believers from Abraham, yea from
Adam, onward. Ungodliness was the characteristic of all of them
before they believed, and for them Christ died as he did for us
later believers, not as those who would eventually become godly
people but as originally being ungodly people. The fact that his
death occurred at a specific time in history makes no difference as
far as its relation to the ungodliness of even the believers for
whom he died is concerned. Rev. 13:8.41

Romans 5:8-9
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now
justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
The Scripture often describes Gods work in groups of three.
This is the second of three statements, each one offering more
perspective. Weakness is an attribute of sinfulness, an obvious attribute of
those who remain in sin and have no power to leave it, even though they
participate in numerous self-help programs. We are alike in that regard,
having no strength on our own weak, fallible, and flawed. But Christ
died for us sinners, and because we are justified by faith, we are spared
from Gods wrath through the sacrifice of our Savior.

Romans 5:10-11
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved
by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
The terms reconciled and reconciliation are useful for the
UOJ Enthusiasts, because they want to have entire world forgiven by an
exchange, one for the other, the literal meaning of the word. Atonement
is an English construction from at-one-meant. The original Greek term
Lenski, R. C. H. (1936). The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans
(344345). Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern.
41

52

was used for making change, such as four quarters for a dollar, but it is
misleading to take a secular term and apply a doctrinal meaning to it,
without regarding the context and the rules of Biblical interpretation.
Grace only comes to us through the Means of Grace, so if we
imagine this verse promises grace without Gods appointed instruments
of grace, the premise must be wrong. The Bible is not logical, according
to mans rules of logic, but it is consistent, without error or contradiction,
as Luther said in his Large Catechism (Baptism).
The UOJ premise takes this verse to mean that the moment
Christ died on the cross, His righteousness was exchanged for mans
sinfulness, one for the other, Gods Great Exchange, so that the entire
world became absolved from sin.
God established the reconciliation (the Atonement) so that man
was reconciled to God, knowing his sins were redeemed on the cross.
This was, as Lenski stated, mans need. God already loved the world, but
man remained a weak sinner, an enemy of God, until the Gospel was
preached to him. The distinction between the Atonement and justification
is made twice in two verses.
1. Were reconciled, being reconciled.
2. By Whom we have now received the Atonement (reconciliation).

Lenski, Romans 5:10:


God always loved the world (John 3:16). It was this love which
dated from all eternity that caused him to give his Son into death
for the ungodly world (v. 8). God needed no reconciliation,
nothing to change him, for God is lovewhy should he change?
The whole trouble was with us, with what we had made ourselves
(enemies), with the state into which we had placed ourselves (sin,
godlessness). The view is inadequate that, as it so often happens
in the case of men, so it happened in the case of God and of us,
that we had mutually fallen out with each other, and that
reconciliation was completely one-sided, even doubly so: we were
wrong, we alone; a change had to take place in our case, and we
could not make it ourselves, God had to make it. It took the
sacrificial death of his Son to do it.42
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans.
Columbus, Ohio : Lutheran Book Concern, 1936, S. 352.
42

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Romans 5:12-17
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when
there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even
over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's
transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as
the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many
be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by
one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by
one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to
condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which
receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in
life by one, Jesus Christ.)
The results of justification expand in the last section of this
chapter. The first part of Romans 5 is about us, while the second part
extends to the vast numbers who will receive the Gospel in faith.
Although nothing in this part suggests that the entire world is justified, the
UOJ advocates claim it does. How can this be?
Walther was a systematics professor rather than a Biblical teacher.
As anyone can see from the Law and Gospel lectures, he stated his
arguments and then proved them. That can be effective if there is a
connection between the thesis and the Biblical passage. This same method
is used in the Brief Statement. The anti-Scriptural statement is made about
the world being declared forgiven, followed by citations that are contrary
to the claim without explanation. Someone reading the Brief Statement
and not knowing the passages would say, Here are several passages that
show this is true. A cursory reading, given the slicing done on Romans 4,
would reinforce that view. Those who have been marched through the
talking points in seminary would also agree with the summary. But, given
this method and the lack of Biblical foundation, a group of theses could
also be used to promote the Church Growth Movement in the Lutheran
Church. And it has in Missouri, the ELS, and WELS.iv
The only way to discover UOJ in this section is to turn many
into all. Believers must stay with the clear, plain meaning of the passage
54

and not become creative with the words. Justification is universal only in
the message being broadcast throughout the world. All possible restraints
to this world-wide effort are discarded. The Gospel transcends Jewish
ritual law, ethnic and social barriers, and the depravity of sin.
For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or
believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were
offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost
through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and
accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for
us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work
remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in
vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried,
but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go
forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to
bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore
sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive
this good, to which we could not attain ourselves.43

Romans 5:18-21
Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all
men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift
came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's
disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall
many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence
might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through
righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
UOJ would like to seal their argument with Romans 5:18, since
the free gift came upon all men unto justification. Their interpretation
would contradict all the justification passages in the Bible this one as
well.
Luther, The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p.
415. Heiser, p. 194.

43

55

Luther:
Therefore it is considered and understood to be the same thing
when Paul says that we are justified by faith, Romans 3:28, or that
faith is counted to us for righteousness, Romans 4:5, and when
he says that we are made righteous by the obedience of One,
Romans 5:19, or that by the righteousness of One justification of
faith comes to all men, Romans 5:18. For faith justifies, not for
this cause and reason that it is so good a work and so fair a virtue,
but because it lays hold of and accepts the merit of Christ in the
promise of the holy Gospel; for this must be applied and
appropriated to us by faith, if we are to be justified thereby.44

The meaning of this passage is not that God has justified all
people, whether they believe or not, but that all justification comes to man
through faith in Christ.

Luther on Romans 5:18


(v. 18) Here the Apostle says 'all'; first, because as all who are
begotten of Adam are born again (through faith) in Christ; and
secondly, because as there is no carnal begetting except through
Adam, so also there is no spiritual begetting except through
Christ. (v. 19) Here the Apostle speaks of "many" and not of "all"
to show that the emphasis is not on the number of the sinners or
the righteous, but on the power of sin and grace. If sin proved
itself so powerful that a single transgression has perverted many,
or rather all, then divine grace is much more powerful; for the
one act of grace (Christ's atonement) can save many, indeed all
men, of many sins, if they only desire it.45

Formula of Concord, SD III. #12. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia


Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p.
541. Heiser, p. 251. Romans 4:5; Romans 3:28; Romans 5:19.

44

Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, trans. Theodore Mueller, 1954,


Zondervan, p, 97.
45

56

Romans 10 Pauline Means of Grace


Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,
and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For
with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever
believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference
between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all
that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they
have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have
not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall
they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the
feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of
good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith,
Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God.
Anyone can rightfully say that UOJ leads to Universalism.v At
Halle University, the home of Pietism, two justifications were taught by
Knapp, a formula which preceded the formation of the Missouri Syond
and continued to influence mainline Protestants throughout the 19th
century. The next generation at Halle saw Tholuck openly espousing
Universalism, which only makes sense if God has already declared the
entire world forgiven of its sins. Although WELS denies teaching
Universalism, a recent evangelism campaign features banners that said
I am saved just like you. Using such language as an evangelism appeal is
the same as setting aside the Gospel and justification by faith. Needless
the say, the entire WELS structure has been devoted to UOJ and the New
Age doctrines of the Church Growth Movement from Fuller Seminary.
This section from Romans is an antidote against Universalism, a
by-product of Enthusiasm before it degenerates into atheism. The
language of Romans 10 should be familiar to everyone, since they
encourage and motivate all Christians while explaining how people
become believers, forgiven of their sin, and saved. Paul has reversed the
order, so we can start from the beginning, with some elaboration:

57

1. God sends preachers to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


This is the message of the Atonement, the reconciliation, Christ
crucified for the sins of the world.
2. Faith comes from hearing the Gospel proclaimed. The Word of
God effectively moves people to faith because the Holy Spirit is
always at work in the Word. Therefore, this individual faith is a
gift from God.
3. Believing is justification by faith. Because people come to faith
through the Gospel, God declares them forgiven of all their sins.
Preaching is therefore the primary Means of Grace, conveying the
Gospel of Jesus Christ first in converting them, second in
sustaining their faith.
4. Preaching the Gospel begins with newborns, who are baptized,
given a new life, and filled with the Holy Spirit through the
Gospel Promises. Their child-like faith is nurtured by their
parents and Christian teachers so they continue in the Means of
Grace. Holy Communion is their next stage in appreciating and
enjoying Gods forgiveness.
5. Because condemnation to death comes from sin, justification by
faith means salvation.
6. The only possible form of evangelism, therefore, is to preach and
teach the Word of God in its purity and truth.
Foul errors are bound to rush in when these basic truths are scuttled.
The Lutheran organizations in America have degenerated into
tragic caricatures. They retain the name Lutheranreluctantlywhile
aping the doctrine and methods of the Enthusiasts. Wherever possible,
they jettison the name Lutheran, although they find it useful in raising
funds from Lutherans. Their synod executives, professors, missions
people, and pastors get ahead in the denomination by being trained at
Fuller Seminary (the mother of all Enthusiasm), Willow Creek, Mars Hill,
NorthPoint Stealth Baptist, Saddleback Stealth Baptist, and Granger
Community Church. Fuller Seminarys many heresies led to worse
blasphemies from the current crop of New Agers, leading up to (or rather
down to) Leonard Sweet.
Repudiating the Means of Grace has led to many outrages among
the conservative Lutherans. Only a few of them are listed below. They
are reliable indicators of where the synods are going and how fast they are
degenerating into indifferent Universalist social clubs:
1. The name Lutheran is removed from as many congregations and
entities as possible, because the name hurts business.
58

2. The local congregation no longer provides a worship service on


Sunday, but replaces it with entertainment designed to recruit
new members, almost always from other local congregations.
3. The minister and congregation come dressed as if prepared for a
clean-up day.
4. A movie theater is considered an ideal place to meet, especially
since free popcorn and drinks are provided for the service.
5. Hymns disappear, replaced by the cacophony of a rock band.
6. The pipe organ is silenced, precisely because it supports hymn
singing.
7. The sermon is turned into a coaching session.
8. Holy Communion and Holy Baptism are moved into mid-week
services, because they hurt business.
9. Promotions become
sensationalism.

increasingly

degraded,

aimed

at

10. Synod executives, district officials, and overlapping false doctrine


lobbies work together to make matters worse while announcing
Be patient. We are working on this.
11. The schools teeter toward bankruptcy.
12. Lawsuits flourish because the cutting edge clergy have as much
trouble with their self-control as they do with their egos.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all
things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and
hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. 20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you
by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he
hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made
the righteousness of God in him.

59

J. P. Meyer

"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's


attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict,
every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or
not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is
informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?"46
The UOJ advocates have a serious problem with their abuse of
this word reconciliation, which is so often used to fuel their Enthusiasm.
They would make this section of 2 Corinthians dance to their tune, when
it does not. The Atonement of Christ is universal. What was charged to
mans account was paid in full on the cross. Gods action through Christ
is not justification, but Atonement. The two best synonyms in Greek are
redemption (to purchase and to release, see below).
The Gospel is the message of the Atonement:
1. God has given His only-begotten Son to us.
2. Christ willingly laid down His life to pay for all our sins.
3. All our sins have been purchased on the cross, releasing us from
the power of sin, death, and the devil.

J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to


the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21. [How is this different from Decision Theology?
Will he accept, or will he decline?]
46

60

4. Christ and His benefits are conveyed to us solely through the


Word, the Holy Spirit giving Divine energy to the efficacious
Word and to our hearts in receiving this message in faith.
Because man is trapped in works-righteousness in his natural state, he
needs to know that this reconciliation has been accomplished. The
Atonement is the antidote to works of the Law.
UOJ falls into the pit through Calvinistic rationalism. This is how
the Enthusiasts turn the Gospel into quasi-Universalism Since Christ
bore our sin on the cross, the entire world became righteous upon His
death (or resurrection). Although they are quite firm on Hottentots and
Hitler being guilt-free saints, they are not clear about their timing, which is
fatal when considering Abraham and all those who believed in Christ
before His Incarnation.vi Abraham was counted righteous because of his
faith (Romans 4), so that would be he was declared forgiven before Rome
was founded and declared forgiven again when Christ died on the cross or
rose from the dead. Such contradictions are the reasons the UOJ
Enthusiasts do not like their opinions examined closely. In the name of
the Gospel they destroy the Gospel.
Christian doctrine is one congruent message, with no
contradictions. When people new to UOJ are told the strange twists of
this opinion, they open their mouths in astonishment. They do not hear
the Gospel but a strange twisting of words. Instead, the Scriptures teach
clearly:
A. Jesus Christ gave His innocent blood to pay for our sins, rising
from the dead, to be the first fruits of the resurrection.
B. God entrusted this Word of reconciliation to His apostles and
pastors, to move people to faith and to declare them forgiven of
their sins.
C. This forgiveness or justification is the reason why we inherit
eternal life, not because of our merit but because of Christ.
D. The Gospel is conveyed by the Holy Spirit through: preaching
and teaching, absolution, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion,
and the mutual consolation of believers.
E. The Gospel moves us to works of faith, because God has already
done everything for us.

61

Formula of Concord
God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]:
1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with
God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience,
suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which
avails before God, and eternal life.
2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented,
offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments.
3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is
preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active
in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the
true faith.
4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive
Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the
adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life.
5. That He will also sanctify in love those who are thus justified,
as St. Paul says, Ephesians 1:4.47

Every example of the reconciliation word group in the New Testament:


1 Corinthians 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be
reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement
[reconciliation].
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to
himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of
reconciliation;
Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election. Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069. Tappert,
p. 619. Heiser, p. 288. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.
47

62

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.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled
to God.

1 Timothy 3:16 Easter Absolution


1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness:
a) God was manifest in the flesh,
b) justified in the Spirit,
c) seen of angels,
d) preached unto the Gentiles,
e) believed on in the world,
f)

received up into glory.

This concise, beautiful confession of faith, probably an early Christian


hymn, may be the basis for Walthers Easter absolution concept. The
rationalistic conclusion would work this way Jesus was justified when
He rose from the dead, so the world was also justified, based on 2
Corinthians 5:21.
However, this confuses the second clause justified in the Spirit.

Walther

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Lenski:
When and how was Jesus declared righteous by God? In and by
the act of raising him from the dead. Men had nailed him to the
cross, condemned him to the cross as one accursed of God, for
to be hung on wood meant to be declared accursed of God; him
God raised from the dead, him God thereby declared righteous.
Gods forensic judgment was analytic: Jesus himself was declared
righteous; it was not synthetic: anothers righteousness was not
imputed to him. On Christs sinlessness note John 8:46; Heb.
10:7, 9; 7:26; 4:15. Why this signal act of declaring Jesus
righteous? He is made unto us righteousness, 1 Cor. 1:30; he
64

was raised for our righteousness, Rom. 4:21; that we might be


made the righteousness of God in him, 1 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 10:4.48
What the world saw as sinan ordinary man dying for
crimesGod declared righteous in the resurrection. Seeing the cross as a
positive sign has dampened our horror of the cruelest method of
execution ever devised. This early Christian hymn of faith turned the
ignominy of the cross into the glory of Gods grace.

One Redemption, Two Verbs


Redemption is one of the best synonyms for the Atonement in
the New Testament, a word so expressive that the Holy Spirit gave us two
words in Greek, which we merge into one English term. Redemption as a
purchase is used for the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:46) and also to
express the Atonement.
1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of
men.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being
made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a
tree:
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth
his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that
were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as
there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians, to
the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon. Columbus, O.: Lutheran
Book Concern, 1937, S. 611.
48

65

damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring
upon themselves swift destruction.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take
the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast
redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and
people, and nation;
Many people also think of redemption as release from slavery:
Redemption apolutrosis, apoluo (release, dismiss; used for divorce, release
of a prisoner). Christ paid a ransom for the sins of the world. The term is
used in Romans 3:24, 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:17, 14, 4:30;
Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12, 15. Lutron ransom, Matthew 20:28 (Mark
10:45). 1 Timothy 2:6.
Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be
testified in due time.

Propitiation
Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [mercyseat]
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.
Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat;
of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Conclusion
The New Testament passages all distinguish the Atonement from
justification by faith. As the most ardent UOJ Enthusiasts concede,

66

justification in the Scriptures and Book of Concord can only mean


justification by faith.

67

Chapter 5: Justification by Faith Assumes the


Efficacy of the Word
Many people bewail the condition of the Lutheran church bodies
in North America. The congregations and schools are failing, while the
cost of a Lutheran education has quickly pushed that essential into the
elitist category. Room, board, and tuition at my alma mater, Augustana, is
now $40,000 per year. A Wisconsin Synod college is about $25,000 per
year. To avoid the Ivy League cost of a Missouri Synod seminary, that
synod offers alternative programs, reducing academic requirements and
doctrinal training. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is facing
massive defections from the expected results of teaching universal
forgiveness and political activism for the last 50 years or more, including
the pre-ELCA days of the LCA and ALC. The ELCA is so removed from
historic Christianity that Carl Braaten is touted as a confessional dissenter,
a dinosaur from the past, and he was always opposed in print to the
articles of faith. The solutions offered to these problems are many and
varied, all mistaken and bound to make matters worse.
More money will not help the so-called conservative Lutherans:
the former members of the Synodical Conference, the Wisconsin Synod,
the Missouri Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The
extraordinary Marvin Schwan donations promoted even more apostasy
and wasteful spending. The two main groups leaving the ELCA are happy
to be free, but they seem to be intent on rolling back the clock a decade or
two, meaning they will eventually arrive at the same point again, even if
ELCA is even worse in all respects.
The issues debated are symptoms rather than causes. For
example, womens ordination is a symptom of teaching against the
efficacy of the Word, a problem which is pandemic in all synods. The
conservatives are working around the prohibition against female clergy,
but they still present it as Law. This is forbidden, so we will not do it.
They fail to teach male spiritual leadership as a positive response to the
effectiveness of the Word. Women will always become default spiritual
leaders if the men refuse to be leaders in their own homes, churches, and
synods. Women pastors will always supplant male leadership, but male
leadership will encourage the participation of men and women in
receiving the blessings of the Means of Grace.
If God allows the world to continue another century, this
blighted time will be known as Era of Gimmicks, or We Trust Everything
68

Except the Word of God. How else can anyone explain that 99% of all
Lutherans have leadership trained at Fuller Seminary, the home of Church
Growth and the citadel of Emergent Church? Fuller graduates dominate
the old Synodical Conference. The ELCA mission people have the same
doctrinal DNA. They all share Enthusiasm, separating the Holy Spirit
from the Word, not trusting the Word alone to accomplish Gods will.
The foundation is not merely weakened it is missing. Congregations and
synods still live from the blessings of the past, when their leaders trust the
Word, but that is quickly coming to an end.
Believers would love to see their church bodies engage in a
serious study of the Book of Concord, but a corrupt corporation is bound
to usurp a proper effort and turn it into Confessional Treasures and
Sharing Your Treasures. When all the denominations tried to get together
in the 19th century, which was called the Interchurch Movement, they
agreed on one thing raising money. They built the current building for
the National Council of Churches and collapsed. In contrast, individuals
today will need to take this study up on their own and rely on relatively
few books. The correct attitude toward the Scriptures and the Book of
Concord is needed.
Lutheran orthodoxy can be defined as simply as 1-2-3.
1. The

Scriptures

First of all, the Scriptures are the very Word of God. The verses
are individually the Voice of God. The entire Bible is one, unified truth
the Book of the Holy Spirit. But more than that, the Word works Gods
will upon the person who studies it with an honest and sincere heart. We
are weak, frail, impulsive creatures, tossed about by events and emotions,
temptations and crises. The Word deepens our faith in Gods power - first
to forgive our sins completely, secondly to guide our lives, and finally to
bless us in many different ways. The most painful lesson is the cross.
Lutherans easily use the phrase Christ crucified for our sins. The
difficult part is knowing the Word brings the cross, that this cross is a
blessing. European Lutherans always taught, No cross, no crown, using
a symbol of a cross surrounded by a crown. American Lutheran leaders
teach, No glory, no crown, no call.

69

Lutheran leaders cannot be trusted to provide a decent English Bible


because there is so much money in backing a bad translation, as they did
with the NIV. Lutherans should study the translation closest to Luthers,
which is the Tyndale-King James Version. Those who find the older
English of the KJV an obstacle can always start with a modern version of
the KJV and compare it with the KJV, especially in the sections about the
Sacraments.49 All citations in this book are KJV unless otherwise noted.
2. The

Confessions

The Book of Concord is not Gods Word but mans witness to


Gods Word. Lutherans are the only group where its leaders have put
together a harmonious (Concordia) set of documents that defines their
beliefs in relationship to the historic Church of the ages. When we read
the Book of Concord, we are not saying, This makes us Lutheran, but
This is the universal, correct Christian faith, as revealed in the Sacred
Scriptures.
The greatest theologians in the history of Christianity wrote the
Book of Concord, but lazy pastors and members call it irrelevant, oldfashioned, and boring. Martin Luther and Martin Chemnitz are the
greatest theologians of the Christian Church, not just the Lutheran
Church. Melanchthon and Chytraeus are the third and fourth greatest.
When people view the Book of Concord as their most compact and
useful one-volume Bible commentary, they start to see its value. The
Triglotta is the best version, and the Tappert is the best portable version,
along with the Heiser English-only Triglotta.
Bentes Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord are modular,
just like the Confessions. A student of Christian doctrine can read about
one controversy at a time, or study an infinitely detailed description of the
origin of the Confessions. The Introductions only come with the Triglotta,
so owning the big green volume is essential.
3. Luthers

Sermons

Luther has 30 volumes of sermons in the Weimar Edition. I


question whether many volumes in the American Edition of Luthers
Works are read thoroughly. They look good on a pastors shelf, even
better in a District Presidents bookcase. Believers should begin with
Luthers Sermons, always going back to them, to read and digest their
The Baptists and Pentecostalswho are the natural market for the
updated KJVsare also the very people who do not like Baptism now
saves you and communion with the Body of Christ.
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70

spiritual wisdom. Luthers Reformation was a revolution in preaching, a


rebirth of the sermon, and Luther believed in the power of the sermon.
He said, If you cannot preach an entire hour, preach at least 30 minutes.
Luthers devotion to the sermon itself, even more than his
incredible number of publications, was based upon his consistent belief in
the efficacy of the Word alone.
The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown
into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it,
the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they
come to the shore. Although the center becomes quiet, the waves
do not rest, but move forward. So it is with the preaching of the
Word. It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes
forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven
hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known
to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the
midst of its course and is condemned as heresy.50
For that reason we ought to know Luthers theology first through his
sermons and use them to deepen our understanding of the Word. If
Lutheran pastors and laity are so busy, why do they take the time to read
drivel when they can study the greatest of all Christian writers?
A handy, attractive, and inexpensive edition of Luthers Sermons
can be obtained from Grand Rapids of all places. The Lenker set and
the Klug set are combined in seven volumes. They are also an incentive
for preaching from the Historic Pericopes instead of the Roman Catholic
three-year cycle. The ministers who need more insights have two to four
sermons for each observance in the church year. The laity have the same
advantage.

Gods Only Method The Means of Grace


Man may arrange convention votes to obtain a temporary
document in opposition to Gods Word, but those efforts based on
trickery, collusion, bribes, and threats do not produce the truth. God
forgives only through the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. That
forgiveness is not like mans where past sins are dredged up and
rehearsed. With Gods justification, they are removed from man
completely. First of all, God has graciously provided the payment for our
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 202. Ascension Day Mark 16:1420.

50

71

sins in the crucifixion of His Only-Begotten Son. Then He has appointed


the Holy Spirit to give us this treasure to us through His Word and
Sacraments.
Believing in Christ is forgiveness. The universal atonement of
Christ is Gods action. Preaching the Gospel is arranged and guided by
God. God creates trust through this faithful preaching of the Gospel
Promises, and that Word-energized faith receives what God offers so
freely.
God has provided the Means of Grace as His only method, yet
congregations and pastors make themselves so busy doing other things
that they neglect the sermon, hide Holy Communion, and move Holy
Baptism out of prime time. Nothing reveals modern hatred for the Word
more than a rumpled minister in casual clothes, copying a Groeschel
sermon and graphics, serving popcorn and cola, and entertaining the
audience with rock music.
Ministers and members must return to the motto of Luther that
faithfulness is success, that God will bring about His will through the
Word and in no other way. For that reason a major part of the week must
be set aside for studying the Word and Confessions, preparing the sermon
carefully, broadcasting it as freely as possible, a pun based on Mark 4 and
reliant on the new printing press, the Internet.
Congregations must become prouder of the Sacraments than they
are of the parking lot, carillon, and pit band. Every service should provide
Holy Communion for all those members who wish to receive this
medicine for the soul. Closed communion should be taught as a reflection
of how powerful the Word is to condemn faithless reception, how
powerful in preparing us for eternal life.
Every baptism should be a major part of the service, reflected
upon in the sermon and aided with appropriate printed materials. Let
every opponent of infant baptism and infant faith squirm helplessly while
the Promises of God are proclaimed, for faith makes us bold. In large
print, have the bulletin say Baptism now saves (1 Peter 1:21) and
Unless one believes as a child
No one needs to look for the cross when the pure Word is
taught. The cross will be laid upon our shoulders, surely a milder and
lighter cross than the Savior bore. If we ever doubt the survival of the Old
Adam in the midst of the Means of Grace, the pinching and scraping of
the cross as we complain will remind us. Like the grief that speaks hope
from the Gospel about eternal life, the pain of the cross will transform
sorrow into joy, showing that the precious, holy cross is indeed the work
of God.
72

Chapter 6: Pietism Is Enthusiasm


The foundation of all false doctrine is Enthusiasm, condemned
by the Book of Concord, based upon a correct interpretation of Scripture.
The efficacy of the Word alone excludes Enthusiasm, just as Enthusiasm
leaves no room for the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit through the
Word.
In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the
beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison]
having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon,
and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially
of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. Therefore, we ought and
must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to
deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the
Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit
without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear
even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and
no prophet, neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without
the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. Neither was John
the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor
did he leap in his mother's womb without the voice of Mary. 51
As Luther noted then, the Enthusiasts did not trust the Word of
God to be efficacious and filled with the Holy Spirit, but they wrote as if
their own offerings were directly from God and efficacious. The same evil
spirit prevails today, from ignoring the clear message of the revealed
Word while proving an evil doctrine from recent synodical essays and
theses.
All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted
Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward
Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless
he accomplished this through other outward words. Just as also
our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word,
Smalcald Articles, VIII. Confession, 9-10 Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 497. Tappert, p. 313. 2 Peter 1:21.
51

73

and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the
world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the
Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of
the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must
come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and
writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their
writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into
them without the preaching of the Scriptures?52

Roman Catholic Enthusiasm


The Roman Catholic Church is pure Enthusiasm; because of the
way the pope manufactures new revelations that contradict the Scripture.
Lutherans trained in synodical Enthusiasm find the change to Roman or
Eastern Orthodoxy Enthusiasm a blissful transition. No conversion is
necessary.
For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by
which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his
heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his
church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to
Scripture and the spoken Word.53
Pietistic cell groups have led people to believe that they receive
grace without the Word, without the Means of Grace. Thus we hear that
programs and methods are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and even very
anointed, while making it clear that the Word alone cannot accomplish
such great tasks as the Prayer Warriors, the Off-Our-Rockers elderly
program, the Entertainment Evangelism seeker service, the Childrens
Puppets, and liturgical dance. Such training makes it relatively easy to
imagine that everyone in the world is forgiven, without faith or the Word.
Also, such a perverse doctrine as UOJ guarantees that methods of
Enthusiasm will rush in to replace the Means of Grace.

Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 5, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:


Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312f.
52

Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 4, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:


Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312.
53

74

And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word,


we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no
one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in
order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i. e.,
spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the
Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and
explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many
still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between
the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or
declare. For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer
enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the
shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with
[in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and
contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word.54

The Formula of Concord Repudiates UOJ


Repudiation of Enthusiasm is rejection of UOJ, as the Formula
of Concord states so clearly, since Gods grace comes to man only
through His appointed Instruments of Grace.
Also, we reject and condemn the error of the Enthusiasts, who
imagine that God without means, without the hearing of God's
Word, also without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws men to
Himself, and enlightens, justifies, and saves them.55
The Missouri Synod recognized this fact, long before UOJ
became dominant.
Hence, too, the lack of emphasis, even in the best of Reformed
preaching, upon the divine Word as the vehicle of regenerating
grace and on the Sacraments. The office of the Word, then, is
merely to point to the way of life, without communicating that of
which it conveys the idea. The Word and Sacraments are
declared to be necessary; their office in the Church is a divine
Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 3, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312.
54

Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article II, Free Will, Concordia Triglotta,


St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 789. Tappert, p. 471.

55

75

institution; but they are only symbols of what the Spirit does
within; and the Spirit works immediately and irresistibly.56

Muhlenberg Tradition
The Muhlenberg traditionGeneral Synod, General Council,
ULCA, LCA, and a large segment of ELCAbegan in Pietism and
wandered into revivalism (General Synod). However, the confessional
struggle helped many of its leaders realize the value of the liturgy, creeds,
and Means of Grace.
To the Lutheran the sermon, as the preached Word, is a means of
grace. Through it the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and
sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. It is a constant
offer of pardon; a giving of life, as well as a nourishing and
strengthening of life. In the Reformed churches the sermon is
apt to be more hortatory and ethical. It partakes more of the
sacrificial than of the sacramental character. The individuality of
the preacher, the subjective choice of a text, the using of it merely
for a motto, the discussion of secular subjects, the unrestrained
platform style, lack of reverence, lack of dignity, and many other
faults are common, and are not regarded as unbecoming the
messenger of God in His temple. Where there is a properly
trained Lutheran consciousness such things repel, shock, and are
not tolerated.57
Gerberding was describing the Church and Change leaders of
WELS/ELS today, the Jesus First and charismatics of the LCMS.

"Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th.


Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House,
1927, p. 298.

56

G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis:


Publishing House, 1915, p. 278.
57

76

Augsburg

Chapter 7: Samuel Huber, Post-Concord


Universalist
Universalism is the teaching that all people have been forgiven
and saved because of the grace of God. That simple definition lacks any
mention of the Means of Grace, which is appropriate. Enthusiasmthe
platform for all false doctrinedivorces the Holy Spirit from the Word.
When Gods actions are separated from His Word, any error can be
justified. These errors have a certain harmony, one with another, although
they may not agree in all details. Universalism and Unitarianism in
America are different in details and even in their culture, but they are
close enough to have merged in the Unitarian Universalist Association in
1961. Samuel Huber, the first Lutheran Universalist, is claimed as a
pioneer in the history of Universalism. Although he was removed for false
doctrine from Wittenberg University and his opinions repudiated, they
emerged in the Missouri Synod in teaching of Bishop Martin Stephan and
his disciple C. F. W. Walther.
Lutherans bewitched by UOJ do not want to associate Huber
with their opinions or Universalism with their doctrine, but many can see
the parallels, especially since those parallels have created such comfortable
relationships with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.58 Samuel
Huber is part of the history of Universalism, a pioneer worthy of note in
many different sources. A history of Universalism mentions Samuel
Huber as a representative in the 16th Century.59
Huber was born in 1547 and died in 1624. He was originally a
Calvinist. His name is associated with discussions of UOJ. Marquart
named him in one essay.60 The Wisconsin Synod mentioned him in its
journal. Tom Hardt discussed him at some length in an essay, which was
included in a Festschrift volume published in honor of Robert Preus.61
58 There were no significant doctrinal differences between The American Lutheran Church
and The Lutheran Church in America, which merged with the Seminex AELC to form the
ELCA in 1987. The most important unifying force was the Universalism of all three
groups, best represented by Richard Jungkuntz, former WELS professor at Northwestern
College in Watertown, UOJ advocate, chairman of the first Lutheran seminary to ordain
homosexual pastors Seminex, or Christ Seminary in St. Louis, official training center for
the Metropolitan Community Church.
59

http://www.ovrlnd.com/Universalism/Universalism_Cyclopedia.html

60

http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology.marquartjustification.html

61

http://luk.se/Justification-Easter.htm Festschrift essays are especially valued in theology


because they represent the best effort of that theologian. This study was first published in
A Lively Legacy: Essays in Honor of Robert Preus. Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort

77

The essay is Justification and Easter, A Study in Subjective and Objective


Justification in Lutheran Theology. The title gives away the doublejustification terminology of George Christian Knapp, Halle University.
While the librarians of theology like to classify each variation in doctrine
according to the Library of Congress system, with extremely fine
distinctions made for each sub-category, the agreements should be
examined foremost.62
Hardt is pivotal in the Synodical Conferencea favorite among
certain LCMS professors and ELS leadersan object of scorn for WELS.
The conflict involves the consecration of the elements of Holy
Communion, with Hardt representing the consecration of the Word,
WELS on the side of receptionism. This may seem to be an annoying
digression, but it is not. The issue of consecration versus receptionism is
directly related to the efficacy of the Word, just as justification is. Many
readers might wonder how Lutheran leaders can comprehend the
importance of the Word in consecration but not in justification. The same
leaders supposedly hate Pietism and the Church Growth Movement but
embrace the Pietism and Enthusiasm of UOJ. The reason is their slighting
of the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace. Hardt is quite
comfortable with this contradiction, as his essay shows.
Hardt wrote about the first Lutheran Universalist, although he
denies the title Universalist for Huber:
The first doctrinal controversy within the Lutheran church
concerning the relationship between Christs universal
righteousness and its bestowal on the believer is connected with
the name of Samuel Huber (c. 1547-1624), a Swiss convert from
Calvinism to Lutheranism, who got into conflict with leading
Lutheran theologians on the universality of predestination and
justification.63
The statements of Huber are eerily familiar to anyone who has studied the
arguments in favor of UOJ, especially since they erupted during the
Wayne, Indiana 1985.
62

Two fields promote atheism. One is church history, which tends to emphasize the folly
of mankind in pursuing the most obnoxious causes in the name of religion. The other is
the history of dogma, where all the philosophical differences in various theologians are
examined and debated in verbose, tedious, and tendentious volumes. Innocents who pick
up these histories are like the man robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the road to
Damascus. Additional volumes are no more helpful than additional beatings. He needs the
comfort of the clear, plain Word of God, and the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions.
63 Justification and Easter A Study in Subjective and Objective Justification in Lutheran
Theology, part II.

78

WELS Kokomo episode. The benefit of that conflict was to unearth


many more quotations in favor of that odd amalgamation of universal
absolution without faith and making a decision for Christ.64 The shock of
reading what UOJ really taught has brought some to their senses but has
hardened the rest in their folly.
Hardt wrote this about Hubers opponents:
Hubers attempt to argue for the notion of a universal
justification with reference to certain Scripture passages and to
Gods universal will to save all men was met by firm opposition
from men such as Egidius Hunnius, Polycarp Leyser and Samuel
Gesner. They referred to the fact that the Lutheran confessions
did not know of any such concept.65
The best way to judge the UOJ-Huber-Walther parallels is to quote the
Calvinist turned Lutheran, Samuel Huber. The following quotations are
from the Hardt essay:
His opponents charged this, which is right out of the UOJ playbook:
1) He affirms a universal justification, whereby all men are equally
justified by God because of Christs merit, regardless of faith.
2) He denies faiths or the believers individual justification to be
by God or a special action of God, whereby He justifies only
believers.
3) He states faiths individual justification to be only mens action,
whereby they apply to themselves by faith the righteousness of
Christ.66
This charge against Huber is identical to what Walther affirmed, and the
ELS lovingly quoted, in the famous Easter absolution sermon.
Former WELS Synod President Carl Mischke liked to defend the
double-justification of Knapp (Objective Justification and Subjective
Justification) as two sides of the same coin, an argument repeated
recently by ELS Pastor Jay Webber. Both of them channeled Huber:
Huber does not conceal his disagreement with the Wittenberg
theologians. Huber himself does not uphold his own difference
64 J. P. Meyers language in Ministers of Christ has been retained in the new edition of the
book from Northwestern Publishing House.

Hardt, part II. #24. Controversiae inter theologos wittenbergenses de regeneratione


et electione dilucida explicatio D.D. Egidii Hunnii, Polycarpi Leyseri, Salomonis
Gesneri, s.1. 1594, fol. E 4 a.
65

66

Hardt, #29. Actorum posterior, p. 10.

79

between general and special justification: Answer: they are not


two.67
Although the Synodical Conference is hotter than Georgia asphalt for
Hubers strange opinions, Hardt admitted the defects:
Although Huber repeatedly refers to Luther for support of his
theology, it is much too evident that he distorts what Luther says.
It is also striking that Christs resurrection is not even mentioned.
Certainly Huber presupposes Christs atonement as the necessary
condition of the universal justification, but faith is directed
toward God in Himself, not toward the deed of the Father in
raising His Son.68
Hardt expressed some wonder that Huber ignored Easter and did not use
Easter as part of his justification innovations. However, that is also
modeled in the current Synodical Conference presentations. Many of
them stipulate world absolution taking place at the moment of Christs
death, because He said, It is finished. Since the entire world was
absolved from that moment on, without the Word, without the Means of
Grace, without faith, not much can be said about the resurrection of
Christ and justification. However, others follow Walther and declare the
moment of universal absolution to have been the moment Christ rose
from the dead, since He was raised for our justification, Romans 4:25,
studiously ignoring Romans 4:24.69 For some it is too obvious that having
one Moment of Absolution on Friday and another Moment of Absolution
on Sunday is pure chaos when affirming the purity of UOJ. If this opinion
were so clear, so Biblical, and so much in harmony with the Book of
Concord, it would not contradict itself so easily.

Hardt, part II, #41. Samuel Huber: Antwortt auff die Heydelbergische
Artickel, s.1.,1595, fol. E 2 b: Antwort. Es sind nicht zwo.
67

Hardt, part II, #47. Samuel Huberus: Confutatio brevis ... p. 50; Aegidius
Hunnius: Articulus de Providentia ... fol. i 4 b: Actorum ... posterior, p. 121 f.
68

69 KJV Romans 4:22 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. The Easter
absolution advocates ignore Romans 4 as a chapter on faith, Abraham as a model of man
justified by faith, and Romans 4:25 being clarified and expanded by Romans 5:1ff
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ.

80

Book of Concord Aftermath


Given the long-standing Norwegian investment in Pietism and
the Missouri Synod, Robert Preus support of UOJ was not surprising.
That is why his final book, Justification and Rome, left behind a mystery
to be solved. Two of his sons, Rolf and Daniel, were listed as the editors,
and they have been UOJ advocates. However, the book clearly repudiated
the old UOJ boilerplate, with quotations coming from the field Preus
knew better than any contemporary the post-Concord era. The
statements he quoted seemed to be answering a conflict of today, but it
had to be one of that era. The answer is clear now. The quotations were
aimed at Samuel Hubers peculiar Calvinistic ideas, which emerged again
during the 19th century from the unionism, rationalism, Calvinism, and
Pietism of Germany and Prussia. All of the quotations answer this
question: If Christ died for the sins of the world, is every single person
now declared forgiven of his sins by God?
When does the imputation of Christs righteousness take place? It
did not take place when Christ, by doing and suffering, finished
the work of atonement and reconciled the world to God. Then
and there, when the sins of the world were imputed to Him and
He took them, Christ became our righteousness and procured for
us remission of sin, justification, and eternal life. By thus making
satisfaction He procured and merited (acquisivit et promeruit) for
each and every man remission of all sins, exemption from all
punishments of sin, grace and peace with God, eternal
righteousness and salvation.70 [Quenstedt]
Preus:
But the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner takes
place when the Holy Spirit brings him to faith through Baptism
and the Word of the Gospel. Our sins were imputed to Christ at
His suffering and death, imputed objectively after He, by His
active and passive obedience, fulfilled and procured all
righteousness for us. But the imputation of His righteousness to
us takes place when we are brought to faith.71
70

R. Preus footnote: Systema, Par. II, Cap.3, Memb. 2 S. 1, Th. 44 (II, 363). Cf. Abraham
Calov, Apodixis Articulorum Fidei (Lueneburg, 1684), 249: Although Christ has acquired
for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify
us prior to our faith. Nor do we become Gods children in Christ in such a way that
justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe. Justification and Rome,
footnote 74, p. 131.

81

Quenstedt: It is not the same thing to say, Christs righteousness


is imputed to us and to say Christ is our righteousness. For
the imputation did not take place when Christ became our
righteousness. The righteousness of Christ is the effect of His
office. The imputation is the application of the effect of His
office. The one, however, does not do away with the other.
Christ is our righteousness effectively when He justifies us. His
righteousness is ours objectively because our faith rests in Him.
His righteousness is ours formally in that His righteousness is
imputed to us.72
In the Synodical Conference literature, Calov is often mentioned as an
advocate of UOJ perhaps an oral tradition. Preus quoted Calov with
approval:
Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins,
justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us
prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in
such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place
before we believe.73
These theologians, including Johann Gerhard, were post-Concord leaders.
Polycarp Leyser lived and worked among the Concordists.
Although overshadowed by Martin Chemnitz, Leyser was also an editor
of the Book of Concord and the biographer of Chemnitz. As the nephew
of Andreae and the student of Chemnitz, he understood justification by
faith. Huber still defines Leysers work today, because the two names are
linked together.
And to make his opinion plain enough to us, he then asked us,
how we would deal with people, if we came to a place, where
nothing had been taught about Christ before. Then we answered
him that we would start with the Law; make it clear to them that
they were poor sinners and under the wrath of God, which they
should recognize with penitent hearts. If they now were sorry for
their sins, God offers through the Gospel His grace and
remission of sins in Christ, wishing to make them righteous and
saved, as far as they would accept it in true faith. To this Dr.
Huber responded: No, this would not be the true way to preach
71

Robert D. Preus Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 72.

72

Systema, Par. III, Cap. 8, S. 2, q. 5, Observatio 19 (II, 787). R. Preus footnote #76,
Justification and Rome, p. 132.
73 Apodixis Articulorum Fidei, Lueneburg, 1684. Cited in Robert D. Preus, Justification and
Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n.

82

to the unbelievers, but he would begin by saying this: You have


the grace of God, you have the righteousness of Christ, you have
salvation.74
Walther and Huberism
Hardt observed this about C. F. W. Walthers unchanging
doctrinal perspective, showing that Martin Stephans understudy did not
deviate from the Lutheran Pietism he brought over from the Dresden cell
groups, the Halle philobiblicum:
In the 19th century C. F. W. Walther (1811-1887), founder of the
Missouri Synod, is especially connected with the theological issue
under treatment in this article. Our investigation of Walther will
be based on his Easter sermons (sermons on Easter Day, 2nd and
3rd Easter Day, 1st Sunday after Easter) and also on pertinent
material in Walthers theological periodical, Lehre und Wehre, as
well as other documents of relevance to our topic. As a first
observation it should be said that Walthers homiletic treatment
of the relationship between Easter and justification shows no sign
of a gradual development. Our material covers the period 18401886, and all the sermons seem to possess the same degree of
dogmatic clarity. If there ever was a young Walther like the
young Luther in his pre-Reformation time, he has left no
traces.75
This lack of development is not complimentary when considering that
Walther gladly followed a known adulterer to America, pledging his
obedience to Stephan as a bishop for life. Walther was no more than a
university graduate from Leipzig, a rationalistic school, a cell group
follower in a Pietistic cult, not the greatest and most orthodox Lutheran
theologian in America.
The dates of his early life are instructive, because he was the
youngest of the clergy to come over with Stephan.
Born October 25, 1811.
Graduated from Leipzig University, 1833.
Ordained and called, January 15, 1837.
74 Hardt, part II. #44. Concilia Theologica Witebergensia, Frankfurt an Mayn 1664, p.
554.
75

Hardt, part III. Walthers Pietistic group at Leipzig was supplemented by a Halle contact
who led their philobiblicum (PietisticBible study group). Walther moved from the severe
Pietism of the Leipzig circle, where he almost starved himself to death in atoning for sins,
to the milder Dresden ministry of Stephan. See the Suelflow biography.

83

Resigned call to go to America, September 30, 1838.


Kidnapped his niece and nephew, with the help of his brother.
Pledged obedience to Bishop Stephan, January 14, 1839.
Led the mob action against Stephan, May, 1839.
Altenburg debates, April, 1841.
Accepted call to Trinity, St. Louis, after the death of his brother,
late April, 1841.
Walther was ordained at the age of 26 and served a congregation
for only 20 months. He resigned from that call to come to America, yet he
still described himself as the pastor of that congregation. Nevertheless, he
seized control of the Perry County settlement, leading a mob to threaten,
rob, and kidnap Martin Stephan. At the age of 30 he was the leader of the
Stephanite group and the pastor of Trinity in St. Louis. Walther exerted
the same kind of control as Stephan, but without the title of bishop. More
disturbing is the imprint of his doctrine and practice upon the Synodical
Conference, which grew around his energy, hard work, and domineering
spirit.
Walther wrote this bizarre statement: As we were co-punished in
Christs death, we are again co-absolved from our sins in His
resurrection.76
Hardt observed:
In a sermon from 1843 on Romans 4:25 (Who was delivered for
our offenses, and was raised again for our justification) he makes
this text the basis for the interpretation of Christs resurrection as
our absolution, a quotation that frequently recurs in succeeding
sermons.77
Walther has many statements like the following, treating the resurrection
of Christ as the absolution for the entire world:
Whereas the passion and death of Jesus Christ was the penitence
and confession of the Son of God for the entire apostate
humanity, His resurrection was, on the contrary, the heavenly
Fathers absolution, subsequently solemnly and factually delivered
in Christ to all men, publicly before heaven and earth.78
76 Hardt, part III, #48. C. F. W. Walther: Festklnge, Saint Louis 1892, p.
219 (Easterday 1840): wie wir in Christi Tod mit gestraft wurde, so sind wir in seiner
Auferstehung von unseren Snden auch wieder mit losgesprochen.
77

Part III, #50. Festklnge, p. 225.

78

Hardt, part III. #57. Id., p. 255 f.:

84

This is often offered as pastoral counseling in the Synodical Conference


today:
For now man should not first do something in order that his sins
may be forgiven, but he is only to believe that it has already
happened, that in the resurrection of Christ his sins have been
forgiven unto him, that the grace of God and salvation have been
assured to him. As often now as the Gospel is preached, baptism,
absolution and the Lords Supper are administered and the
benediction pronounced over him in church, so often the
preacher only repeats what God has already done to all men
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.79
Hardt noted: During the discussions a reference was made to the fact that within
the Missouri Synod it had always been preached that:

Through the resurrection from the dead God has absolved all the world, i.e.,
set it free from sin; if now the world already is absolved and set free
from sin, what is then the absolution or preaching of the
Gospel in the church? Is it, too, a setting free, or merely
a proclamation of the setting free that has already occurred?
Answer: precisely through the Gospel occurs the conveying of
what is in Gods heart... a proclamation that really brings and
gives the forgiveness The absolution in the Gospel is nothing else than
a repetition of the factual absolution which has already happened through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.80
The Missouri Synod material was translated into Norwegian, which led to
conflict between the Norwegian and Swedish Lutherans. Thus the
Augustana Synods rebuke of the Norwegians became the fourth of the
Kokomo Statements, the other three coming from J. P. Meyer.81
Hardt found significant differences between Huber and Walther,
but really served to highlight their similarities.
79

Hardt, part III. #59.

80 Hardt, part III. #62-63. Ueber den innigen Zusammenhang der Lehre von der
Absolution mit der von der Rechtfertigung in Zehnter Synodal-Bericht der Allgemeinen
Deutschen Evang.-Luth. Synode von Missouri, Ohio u.a. Staaten vom Jahre 1860, St.
Louis, Mo., 1861, p. 34 ff. The author of the theses is said to have been Rev. Th. J. Brohm;
cfr. Grace for Grace. A Brief History of the Norwegian Synod, Mankato, Minn., 1943, p.
156.
63 Id., p. 42.
81

"At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared Judas,
the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of
all sin and gave unto them the status of saints." Kokomo Statement, IV.

85

A second point of divergence is the fact that to Huber


justification of the world is connected merely with a change
within the Godhead, effected by the atonement, but to Walther
with an external act of God, the Father raising His Son, turning it
toward the world. To Huber atonement and universal
justification are one; to Walther they are two different acts.82
The merging of atonement and justification are the features of Calvinism
that Pietism borrowed without attribution. However, the evidence has to
erupt, even when the obvious is denied. UOJ comes from the influence of
Calvinism, transformed through Pietism. Huber, Spener, Knapp, and
Stephan are the immediate influences upon Walther, with Luther being a
minor and secondary influence. Walther never grasped the theology of
Luther because he never developed past the rationalist and Pietistic
training he received in Europe. Hardt, so clever in playing to his American
sponsors, gave it away when he connected Rambach the Halle Pietist to
UOJ:
Johann Jakob Rambach: that in His person all mankind was
justified and absolved from sin and curse.83
When the Intrepid Lutherans were discussing whether UOJ came from
Pietism, ELS Pastor Jay Webber stepped in defend Rambachs exegesis
rather Martin Chemnitz work, knowingly preferring a Pietist to the senior
editor of the Book of Concord.

82

Hardt, part III.

83

Hardt, part III. #66. Joh. Jac. Rambach ... dass in seiner Person auch das ganze menschliche
Geschlecht gerechfertigt und von der Snde und dem Fluch absolvirt wurde.

86

Chapter 8: Stephans Halle Pietism Became


Walthers Universal Objective Justification
The official history of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is full
of deliberate, bald-faced lies about its origin. Central to the deception is
the C. F. W. Walther mythology, tales and claims that portray him as the
American Luther, when he was really the American Pope, a treacherous
and criminal usurper, a divisive figure who forced his imprint upon the
Synodical Conference. The often-told story is familiar to most
conservative Lutherans. The Saxon immigrants came over to America
with Bishop Stephan leading them. They suddenly discovered he was an
adulterer and forced him out, with the brave and noble Walther taking
over and leading them until his death. Although Stephan is always called a
false teacher and Walther a champion of Lutheran orthodoxy, with details
too murky to decipher, the truth is unsettling.
Many will portray the facts about Walther as a personal attack,
but the truth needs to come out, to set the so-called conservative
Lutherans free from the yoke of synod worship and Walther mythology.
For too long the statements of Walther have been used to define
Scriptural interpretation. His writings have usurped the Book of Concord
in the same way that he usurped the position of the bishop he swore to
support, the documents he swore to follow in case of a dispute. Walther
also set up minions who would repeat his opinions post-mortem until
they were established as canon law, best exemplified in the position of
UOJ in the Synodical Conference today.84

Martin Stephans Saga, Pietism and Syphilis


Martin Stephan had a difficult early life, due to the effects of
Roman Catholic persecution of Protestants, which prepared him for
future hardships and the leadership of a Pietistic congregation.85 He was
84 The Synodical Conference officially broke up, but the three synods work together with
the ELCA through Thrivent. Their dramatic loss of members and the decline of their
schools will soon force some type of merger, although it may be dressed up in different
clothes.

85 Philip G. Stephan, In Pursuit of Religious Freedom, 2008, p. 25f (hereafter cited as


IPRF). Martins parents died while he was a teen-ager. He and his sister fled home because

87

born in Moravia in 1777, and Moravia was a center of Pietism. His


pastoral sponsor was a Pietist, and so were his parents. He had to get by
on his own for years, but he enrolled at Halle University for two years,
1804-06 Although the University of Halle was no longer a center of
pietism, it remained alive among some students even though rationalism
was dominant.86
He finished at Leipzig in 1809, the disruption in his schooling caused by
the Napoleonic wars.
He served one congregation for a year and began his ministry at St. Johns
in Dresden in 1810.
St. Johns was a Pietistic congregation with a special charter to
continue cell groups or conventicles when they had become suspect. The
land for the church came from Count Zinzendorf, one of the superstars
of Lutheran Pietism.87 Stephan gloried in his cell groups, which are the
essence of Pietism.88
Stephan was not a rationalist. At the time, the two major parties
were the rationalists and Pietists. Since the Pietists emphasized Bible study
and prayer, they attracted those who found no solace in human reason.
Thus anyone who mentioned faith was accused of being a Pietist or a
mystic.
Unfortunately, cell group leaders often become bewitched by
their power over others. Stephan was unusually successful and well
of Roman Catholic oppression.
86

IPRF, p. 32.

87

Zinzendorfs furtive trip to America (under a false name) caused Lutherans to send
Henry M. Muhlenberg to America (from Halle) to serve them in 1741. Zinzendorf, who
gave us the Come Lord Jesus table grace and two hymns, was controversial but also
extremely influential. He was a bridge to Wesley and Methodism, a major influence on the
pioneers of the Swedish Augustana Synod.
88

Cell groups are Pietism, just as yoga exercises are Hinduism. The cell group is the real
church, according to Pietists, a rejection of the Means of Grace. There is also a family
oral tradition about the hat drawn in the seal. It was believed that the hat represented the
hat that Martin used when he preached. This preaching hat may have represented
Herrnhut, which translated into English means the hat of the Lord. Herrnhut was always
an important place in the Pietist tradition. It was in Herrnhut where two families of
Moravian Brethren came to live on the estate of Nicholas Ludwig, called Count von
Zinzendorf. The count donated the land for their community that grew and then they built
a church on the donated property that was near DresdenZinzendorf was born in 1790
only seventy miles from Dresden. He had a profound influence on the awakening
movement, on Pastor Stephan, and on the Bohemian founders of St. Johns Church in
Dresden.
#31, IPRF. p. 64.

88

known. In court, testimony from his another woman stated that among
all those who followed Stephan there was the idea that if you entrusted
your spirit to him [Stephan] then you could also give him your body
without committing a sin.89 Although some of his troubles came from
his position as a successful Pietist, his other trials came from his immoral
behavior. Accusations came at an early date in his ministry.
The book about Martin Stephan is honest about his problems
with adultery, providing a considerable amount of evidence, which was
known long before Stephan led 700 people to America in pursuit of
religious freedom. He obviously wanted more than religious freedom,
because he took his mistress, Louise Guenther, and his healthy son to
America and left his wife at home with all the sick children. The society
paid for Stephans family to travel together to America, but he left them at
home. Oddly, that son became the patriarch of some leading LCMS
pastors, including one Lutheran Hour speaker, a singular honor.
Even in this age of hedonism, Stephans liberties were outrageous
and well known. He was often caught taking evening walks with various
women. He was investigated by the justice system numerous times. He
installed a young woman in the parsonage attic and told his long-suffering
wife it was none of her business he was the master of the house.90 When
he took the cure at the spa, his mistress Louise lived with him. When his
wife came to help, she was sent away and walked 20 miles home. The spa
and the walks were excused because of his health, but why did he suffer
so many chronic complaints?
Martin Stephan suffered from syphilis. He gave it to his wife, and
passed it on to some of his children. Syphilis is the great pretender,
mimicking one disorder and then another. A sore may appear at the first
outbreak, but it goes away, giving false hopes of a cure. The carrier is still
contagious even if his symptoms are difficult to discern at any given
moment. Anyone with questions about this disorder should consult a
physician and read the extensive information (with photos) on the Net.
Reading the Stephan book and the Web sources will lead readers to an
obvious conclusion.
Previous researchers have come to the same conclusion, but no
one wants to admit that Walther and the other pioneers of Missouri
89

IPRF, p. 105. These records have been available since 1986 at the Concordia Historical
Institute, where Dan Preus and Paul McCain have been directors. #18, ibid, p. 109.

90

His wife kicked the girl out and locked the attic, keeping the key. Stephan broke the lock
and re-installed the girl. Sad to say, many church officials imagine they also have the same
rights and duties today, and their clergy pals look the other way.

89

Synod followed an obvious adulterer and covert syphilitic to America.


The evidence demands this conclusion:

Primary syphilis erupts with one or more lesions, painless and


non-itchy, which go away in about three months. Stephan could
have contracted the disorder and passed it to his wife while
thinking (or hoping) it was nothing, once the initial lesion went
away.
Secondary syphilis shows itself with rashes, a major problem for
Stephan. The rashes made him go for long evening walks and
visit the spa for its comforting waters. Syphilitic rashes are very
ugly indeed. The disease attacks various organs, including the
liver, brain, eyes and heart. The disease may become latent
without treatment, with the rashes going away. The latent period
can last many years. Modern medical sources do not agree about
the syphilitic being contagious during that time, tempting the
person to be careless.
Tertiary syphilis means obvious neurological and cardiac
problems, possible open sores in various parts of the body and
on the skin. These lesions are hideous.
Congenital syphilis is passed from the pregnant mother to the
unborn child. Stephans wife was sickly and died before he did.
Three of their daughters were deaf and had to be
institutionalized. Deafness is one symptom of congenital syphilis.
Newborns have many obvious symptoms, perhaps another
reason for Stephan to leave his innocent children behind their
deformed bodies were a tragic testimony to his misdeeds.91
Stephan was quite ill before leaving for America. He was also ill
during most of the voyage.
The violence of the upheaval against Stephan is not explained by
a sudden revelation of adultery by two women, one of them his
long-standing mistress, Louise. Historians concede that the
colonists did not need to violate the confessional. Instead, it was
likely the spread of syphilis in the colony that enraged the men
and justified everyone in their violence and criminal actions. 92

91

Hutchinson's triad is a common pattern of presentation for congenital syphilis. It


consists of: 1. Interstitial keratitis, 2. Hutchinson incisors, 3. Eighth nerve deafness.
Hutchinson's triad is named after Sir Jonathan Hutchinson (1828-1913).
http://classictriads.com/hutchinsons-triad
92

The neurological damage might have made Stephan less capable of dealing with the
incredible tensions around him. At least one writer seemed puzzled that someone once so
aware found himself uninformed and unaware. On the voyage across the ocean he was
accused of doing little work. He also gave a severely critical sermon against his shipmates.

90

Stephans subsequent decline after sleeping outside one night is


another indication of his STD. Exposure would have lowered his
fragile immune system and brought on the symptoms with new
force. Louise Guenther, moved to Illinois to live with him and
help him recover. He did not live much longer.
There must be evidence of the disease in the official record.
Celestine was the first of three daughters born deaf, and all three
were eventually placed in an institution. The first boy named Martin died
at the age of three weeks, the cause not known. A set of twin girls died at
the age of six months, in 1831, no cause given. Two daughters grew up
and were married, one of them dying young in childbirth.93 The
profoundly deaf daughters probably had congenital syphilis. Perhaps the
three who died in infancy were also afflicted.
The fathers symptoms are illuminating. Stephan suffered
particularly from eczema and some kind of liver ailment, especially after
1832 when another set of twins died.94 Although the author does not
attribute the problems of the children and the eczema, the cluster of
symptoms certain points to syphilis. He used the nearby baths to soothe
his rashes. His mistress Louise Guenther came to spa to help him and
wrap his legs daily. His wife and daughters visited him but did not stay
there. Louise did. The same woman helped him when he was cast out of
the Perry County experiment and forced at gunpoint to cross to Illinois.
Stephan also took evening walks, accompanied by various people.
Court records called them the equivalent of groupies. His behavior with
various women on these evening walks was the subject of investigation
before the great migration to America. He was doubly suspected of
conventicle and immoral behavior. The earliest accusation of adultery was
1814, although this seems to have been dismissed or finessed away.95
Stephans evening walks and stay-overs at inns were also the
subject of official investigation and ecclesiastical dismay in 1836.96
Stephan ignored the obvious problems raised by abnormal behavior and
irregular church practices. Like many successful pastors, he seemed
immune to charges and oblivious to the damage he was doing. His longAlthough exhaustion and depression might be understandable at that point, the symptoms
also fit his STD.
93

IPRF, p. 41f.

94

IPRF, p. 79.

95

IPRF, p. 82f. Philip Stephan is willing to believe the best about the bishop, but he is also
frank about the many recorded situations with women.
96

IPRF, p. 86.

91

suffering wife Julia testified in 1838 that Martin lived with Louis Guenther
at the spa and the vineyard inn. At present he has disassociated himself
from me completely, and although I have offered him my hand in peace
and consolation, my efforts in this regard have been in vain.97 Julia also
testified that Martin installed a young woman named Sophie in the attic,
persisting when Julia threw her out and locked the attic. He broke the lock
and invited the girl back. The attorneys Marbach and Krause, and a few
friends, knew about Julias testimony, so the leaders willingly left for
America with an adulterous Pietist. Even if many did not know the full
extent of Stephans promiscuity, his adoption of Louise Guenther as a
substitute wife would have been clear to anyone. Julia Stephans testimony
has been available since 1937, according to Philip Stephan, so the
continued myth-making of the Missouri Synod is difficult to excuse.98
Stephan was still under investigation and under house arrest
before the Dresden group left for America in early 1838.99 The charges
were suddenly dismissed and he was free to go with his groupies. Since
the official charges and testimonies included the names of various women
and situations, no one could honestly claim that Stephans adultery was
suddenly and shockingly discovered after a particularly effect sermon. The
lawyers Marbach and Krause knew what the testimony was; Marbach and
Vehse also helped in kidnapping the niece and nephew of C. F. W.
Walther. The Saxon immigration was not so much in pursuit of religious
freedom as it was a flight from justice, with the two famous leaders
Stephan and Walther - both involved in criminal activities.

97

IPRF, p. 92f.

98

IPRF, p. 94.

99

IPRF, p. 102.

92

C. F. W. Walther the Pietist


C. F. W. Walther took control from a power-mad, adulterous
false teacherwho made himself a bishop and instituted an era of
Lutheran orthodoxy combined with congregational autonomy. That
deception is the foundational Missouri Synod myth. The facts contradict
this fantasy, which continues to be told to the gullible when they visit the
Shrine of the Immaculate Synod in Perry County, Missouri.
Walther was the opposite of Martin Stephan in many ways.
Stephan struggled to survive, after losing his parents and escaping from
Roman Catholic persecution. He found work as a weaver, enrolled as a
student at Halle University, but found his education broken up by war.
Stephans early life is shrouded in mystery because of those hardships, but
it is known that he lacked the complete classical education of Walther, the
son of a pastor.
Both men identified with Pietism, but this was the late stage of
that movement, when rationalism had already taken over Halle University.
George Christian Knapp was considered a leftover Pietist when he taught
at Halle, yet he claimed the Trinity was a post-Biblical development!
Rationalism already had a grip on him. Tholuck, who came later, the
mentor of Adolph Hoenecke, confessed that he was a Universalist. Both
professors illustrate that the remnant conservatives of Halle were moving
toward consistent Unitarian-Universalist rationalism. The clergy at the
time were dominated by rationalist leaders who considered faith to be a
sign of Pietism or mysticism, their two derogatory labels for
conservatives. Those who were more conservative felt persecuted, which
was one reason to migrate to America.
Walther earned his degree at Leipzig University in 1833, which
was thoroughly rationalistic. His conservatism made it difficult to win
approval from the examining board, but his connections helped him
overcome that obstacle. Walther moved among Pietists because he was
one. This account has Walther in a Pietistic cell group and participating in
a conventicle where the professor was appointed by the leading Pietist of
Europe, Speners heir, August Franke.

93

This handful of awakened students gathered on specific dates of


every week for common prayer and for the common reading of
Holy Scriptures to their edification and for a mutual exchange
with respect to the one thing needful. For a while (at the
invitation of August Hermann Francke), Professor Lindner also
privately conducted a so-called Collegium Philobiblicum, in
which he applied the Scriptures in an edifying manner and gave
instruction in the derivation of servant themes from biblical texts.
The students, who had come to faith and had withdrawn
completely from the world, naturally had to submit to much
ridicule and derision.100
Unfortunately, his guru put him and others through grueling self-denial,
leaving him almost dead. He heard about Martin Stephans gentle,
compassionate leadership and contacted him. Stephan did not practice the
same severe kind of Pietism, so his initial letter of consolation brought
great relief to the future leader of the Missouri Synod. Walther admitted
that Stephan saved his life. Thus Walther and his older brother were
drawn into the Stephan circle in Dresden. As a Pietist beaten down by
legalism, he wrote to Stephan for comfort:
Walther still had not found the spiritual consolation he was
looking for. Encouraged by his friends, he wrote to Martin
Stephan, a notable confessional Lutheran pastor (sic) in Dresden.
Stephan had preached the Gospel in an age of faithlessness and
rationalism. His sermons and devotional exercises brought
countless people to his church. Sometimes entire families walked
many miles to attend his worship services.101
Walther wrote to Stephan, whose reply was well remembered by
Ferdinand: When I read his reply I felt as though I had been translated
from hell to heaven. Tears of distress and sorrow were transformed into
tears of heavenly joy.102 The content of that letter is remembered thus:
100

August R. Suelflow, Servant of the Word, The Life and Ministry of C. F. W. Walther, 2000, p.

24.
101 Ibid., p. 25. Stephan was a Pietist, not an orthodox, confessional Lutheran. Stephan nor
Walther were both trained in a combination of Pietism and rationalism.
102

94

Ibid.

Stephan had shown him that the repentance [Busse] taught by the
Law, which he sought, had already long taken place; that he was
missing absolutely nothing other than the faith [in Christ]so
the peace of God entered in. And so he received the living
absolution as a sinner with a broken heart.103
This conversion experience, conveyed through Stephan and Halle
University, became the template for all of Walthers work. The description
is telling because Suelflow interprets the atonement as justification:
From this point on, this doctrine of forgiveness of sins through
Christs death became the heart and soul of everything Walther
preached, taught, and wrote. One can determine whether a
doctrine (sic) is true or false only by exploring how it harmonizes
with the article of justification.104
Therefore, the official biographies show that Walther began with Pietistic
subjectivism, his own experience, using the Scriptures and Confessions to
buttress his absurd conclusions. Martin Chemnitz was required to earn a
doctorate in theology in order to serve as a bishop, but Walther is
considered The American Luther on the basis of a bachelors degree from
a rationalistic university and his purgatorial experience among the Pietists.
Cell groups are not merely central to Pietism they are Pietism.
Spener borrowed the concept from a Reformed leader, Labadie, who had
been Roman Catholic. Those familiar with Roman Catholic devotional
circles can recognize the similarity in emotional intensity and subjectivism:
praying for hours, repeating the same mantras, and experiencing mystical
ecstasy.105 Walther moved from the harsher Pietism to Stephans milder
form. Stephan took great joy in his cell group ministry. The great
migration took cell groups to Perry County and St. Louis. Undoubtedly
Stephans grip on his subordinate ministers came from his spiritual
dominance through those cell groups. The senior cell group guru knows
103 Ibid, p. 153. This sounds exactly like J. P. Meyers amalgamation of Objective
Justification and making a decision for Christ, because the Wauwatoa professors of WELS
were trained at Walthers Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where Walthers experience
became the ruling norm, especially with Francis Pieper in charge.
104

Ibid.

105

Lay cell group leaders soon adopt the posture of being ordained pastors, or even
apostles, especially when they are women usurping authority from men. They are eager to
destroy anything that gets in the way of their honor, power, and perks.

95

the secrets of his followers and creates a powerful dependency in his


subjects.106 Lesser cell group leaders also have an inordinate influence
over the lives of their charges. Some attribute Walthers dictatorial attitude
and need to control to his German culture. His spiritual birth and re-birth
in Pietism probably contributed the greatest part of this dynamic. The
dates and activities of the Society show that Walther simply took over
control of the group by breaking all the rules he agreed to follow, doing
so with deliberate deceit and unprecedented guile.

Kidnapping Two Children from His Fathers Home


With the help of attorneys Marbach and Vehse, and the
cooperation of the future Walther mother-in-law, Walther and his brother
(another pastor in the group) kidnapped their niece and nephew from
their fathers parsonage while their father was deathly ill.
Stephan issued an order for J. F. Buenger to remain in
Germany with his mother. A daughter, Agnes, later Hermann
Walthers wife, also stayed. However, the profound sympathy
which both Stephan and O. H. Walther professed for the
unfortunate woman, six of whose children had already left or
were leaving for the United States, did not prompt them to set
her free by surrendering the Schubert children.107
The official Missouri Synod excuse, repeated at Concordia Seminary, St.
Louis, is: The niece and nephew wanted to go to America. Both
children later died in America, perhaps without seeing their grandparents
again. Even if this unverified childish wish were true, that would not
justify breaking the law, because the grandparents were the legal, courtappointed guardians. Kinship kidnapping makes a mockery of the law,
which is why arrest warrants were issued for Walther. His future motherin-law Christiane Buenger was arrested and interrogated, because Walther
used her to hide the children. The attorneys Marbach and Vehse also
helped in hiding the children and getting them to America. Like Jonah,
106

The struggling new synod kept cell groups for a period of time. Cell groups rose up
with a shout again in recent times because the liberal and unionistic leadership chose to
unwrap a covert Pietism which never left the Missouri Synod.

107

96

Walter O. Forster, Zion on the Mississippi, 1953, p. 197.

Walther jumped an early ship and wasted money to get out of town fast.108
His appointed ship was lost with all lives aboard in an ocean storm,
crossing the Atlantic. That fact has fueled the ludicrous LCMS claim that
God graciously spared the life of Walther to fulfill His great plans for the
Missouri Synod. Forster claimed that the children were taken with
knowledge and permission of the grandparents, but that is unlikely, given
the arrest warrants for Walther and the imprisonment of Mrs. Buenger.
Even if the grandparents had agreed, the Walther brothers had no legal
authority to transport minor children to a new country. As Philip G.
Stephan noted, the entire episode cast a shadow over the pastors, the
emigrants, and the shipping company.109
In fact, many of the most famous names involved in the
migration were lawless fugitives: Martin Stephan, C. F. W. Walther, O. H.
Walther, Christiane Buenger, attorney Carl Vehse, and attorney Adolph
Marbach (the last two brothers-in-law). The state authorities and church
faithful might have been happy and relieved to see them leave the
country. The Suelflow biography spins the initial felonies with an alarming
lack of candor:
And now came the immigration. What to do with the Schubert
orphans? The Walther brothers wanted to whisk them out of the
country, so they transported the minors illegally, took them to
Bremen, and entrusted them to the mother of John F. Buenger.110
O. H. Walther married one Buenger daughter (Agnes), who was widowed
young and married Ludwig Fuerbringers father, Ottomar. Ferdinand
married another Buenger daughter, Emilie. Mrs. Christiane Buenger was
arrested and jailed for the Walther brothers. Ludwig Fuerbringer omitted
the reason for her delay in coming to America in his Eighty Eventful Years.111
Mrs. Buenger contributed daughters for three future LCMS patriarchs,
and also helped in secretly planning the riot which threatened, robbed,
108

Herman Melvilles preacher makes much of this fact, that Jonah paid the fare when
he grabbed the ship sailing to the farthest corner of the globe, away from Nineveh. A
guilt-free passenger would have dickered over the price. KJV Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up
to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he
found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go
with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

109

IPRF, p. 131f.

110

Suelflow, p. 36.

111

Fuerbringer, 1944, p. 9.

97

and kidnapped Stephan. Ferdinand also took over his brothers


congregation when O. H. died Trinity in St. Louis. The chalice used by
Trinityand never returnedwas the one stolen from Stephan.
The entire Saxon migration was well thought out and thoroughly
organized. Their plans and regulations were established and printed.
Other groups might have collapsed and scattered during the twin crises of
house arrest and kidnapping children. The only document left to sign was
created and supported on the trip across. Landing in the Bay of New
Orleans, the leaders gathered and voted for Martin Stephan as their
bishop, which was announced January 14, 1839. Although C. F. W.
Walther had resigned his position, he still signed as the pastor in
Braunsdorf. His brother used a different wording former pastor. On
May 31, 1839, Bishop Stephan was:

accused,
threatened with bodily harm,
robbed of his money, extensive library, bedding, clothing, chalice,
land,
forced across the river at gunpoint,
and left at a forlorn cabin with $100 and a few meager tools.
Walther was the leader of the revolt and the myth-creator. When the
turmoil was over, he was the new bishop, but without the title. He was
everything: in publishing, in teaching, in running the synod, in controlling
the ministerium, and in Lutheran synodical politics. He became the
American Pope

From Here to Rosebud: Syphilis Exposed


Philip G. Stephan made a valid point in his book - the Saxon
migration suffered from the same leadership crisis that many experienced
in organized groups coming to America. Clergy and lawyers were
prohibited from the New Ulm, Minnesota group because both
professions were too divisive. As reasonable as the theory seems, the
events were far too explosive to be explained by sociology. Epidemiology
is the most reasonable explanation. Stephan had an eye for unmarried
women, and the leaders knew it.
The curtain of myth in Zion on the Mississippi slips down to the
floor in one admission, where the author conceded that Stephan was up
to his old tricks in St. Louis the same ones he employed in Germany.

98

His female groupies were even more shameless in hanging around his
abode.
It was only a matter of weeks after arrival in St. Louis before
Stephan gradually began again to re-establish the way of life to
which he had become accustomed in Germany. The Bishop
always had a number of women staying with him at his residence
in St. LouisThe nocturnal strolls were also resumed in St.
Louis, although it does not seem that even the semblance of a
religious gathering was given them there.112
That was bound to attract attention and a possible necktie party in St.
Louis. The society was already being lambasted in Europe and America by
various periodicals. At first the pastors defended their leader. Soon they
changed their tune. Since adultery was not news, another development
must have been the shocker.
According to the hagiographers, Pastor Loerber gave such a good
sermon on Rogate Sunday, May 5, 1839. Two women confessed their
adultery with Stephan to Loerber after the service. One woman was
Louise Guenther.113 The other name or names are not clearly known. The
reasons make sense if the real shocker was the spread of syphilis in their
close-knit community.
Like many synodical cover-ups, this one is full of holes. A casual
examination of Stephans antics in Dresden, recorded by ecclesiastic
authorities and the courts, witnessed by many, shows him already known
as a promiscuous adulterer. At least one author reveals that Walther and
Loerber did not violate the confidentiality of the confessional, because the
adultery was already known!114 That is not much of a defense, because it
means they all willingly followed an adulterer, a man who abandoned his
sick wife and family, and they pledged their allegiance to him as a bishop.

112

Forster, Zion, p. 355.

113

Ibid., p. 392.

114 Paul McCain: I have examined the voluminous amount of evidence in the Concordia
Historical Institute about the theological and moral failings of Stephan, and, to say the
least, it is facile to suggest that he was the "victim" of the seal of the confessional being
broken. The lie that the Saxons only knew of Stephan's infidelity because what was
allegedly "confessed" has been spread by certain ALPB board members for some years.

http://www.lutheranforum.org/blogs/Rehabilitating_Martin_Stephan/

99

What changed? In Pursuit of Religious Freedom states that Stephan


was quite ill before they left for America. He was also accused of being
lazy and not preaching during the ocean voyage.115
The most likely change was the period of latency being over just as they
came to America. If he became contagious again, with the latency period
ending, an outbreak of syphilis among the tight-knit group would have
been explosive and alarming, especially in light of the attacks on them
abroad and in St. Louis. The leaders changed from defending him to
threatening his life. Syphilitic daughters would do that to anyone.
Confirmation of this theory is well known among a few people in the
LCMS. The subsequent loyalty to Walther was more likely based on his
cover storysparing so many from the shame Stephan brought to their
families. Walther took the lead in providing a modified, limited hang-out
(a Nixon era phrase), casting all the guilt upon one man, sparing the great
enterprise and the reputations of their soiled doves, who would have been
unable to have a healthy marriage and children after catching the evil
pestilence from their bishop.

Walthers Stealth and the Stephan Riot


The real crisis was not the sudden discovery of adultery in May of
1839 but the multiple reports of syphilis among women in the Stephan
migration. Contagious, final stage syphilis can create mood disturbances,
like the bitter sermon on board the ship coming over, fatigue, and
grandiose delusions. Many report that Stephan lost his common touch
with the group when they arrived in America. He demanded special
treatment and made poor decisions.
Walther began taking over immediately. His conduct was
dishonest, unethical, contrary to the regulations they all agreed to follow
when establishing their little Zion. Tragically, Walthers conduct became
the standard for the Synodical Conference and dominates today. Walther
did not end the reign of the pietistic pope but took over his role.
Ferdinands first task on May 15th was to steal 40 acres of land
from Stephan and organize the opposition. Walther traveled from St.
Louis to Perry County without speaking to Stephan about the new
accusations.

115

IPRF, p. 139f.

100

Forster believed that Walther did not just go to change the deeds
of land in Stephans name; Walthers primary goal was to win
support for a change in leadership. Walther deliberately ignored
Stephan on this occasion. He was also spreading the news of
Stephans misdeeds and building support for deposing Stephan.
Soon to marry into the Beunger family, Walther stayed with them
while in the Perry County settlement. He told them and other
Society members to keep the secret of Louise Guenthers
confession and of their plan to depose him, so that Stephan
would not be warned in advance. Walther said nothing to
Stephan on this trip, nor did he speak to him privately. He had
already determined that the bishop was guilty of the charges he
had deduced from Guenthers private confession.116
Walther removed the bishops name from the land title, which was fraud
and outright theft. He was not able to do the same with the 80 acre parcel,
which the bishop bought with his own money. Later, Walther tricked
Stephans son out of the land. By May 27th, 1839, the pastors were
retracting their defense published in the German paper only one month
before.117 Walther, Keyl, Loeber, and Buerger signed the retraction and
promised to depose the bishop.
Each of these events occurred between May 5 and May 27. They
were carefully orchestrated in St. Louis by Pastors Loeber, C. F.
W. Walther, and Keyl with the help of attorneys Vehse and
Marbach, without any communication with the bishop about
their concerns and charges.118
On May 28th, the pastors led two groups, by steamboat, a total of 300, to
Perry County, including only those who agreed with them, another mark
of Synodical Conference discipline. They by-passed their own council,
which was set up in advance to deal with disputes. Instead, Walther led a
kangaroo court and lynching party to Perry County.
On May 29th the pastors read their charges to Stephan, who
insisted on the duly constituted group to deal with the accusations. The
116

Ibid., p. 186.

117

IPRF, p. 182.

118

Ibid.

101

pastors refused this request and made that another accusation for their
long list.
On May 30th they put a real estate agent, someone outside the
Society, in charge of reading the deposition. They accused Stephan of
fornication, adultery, misappropriating the trust fund, false doctrine, and
refusing to submit to the new self-appointed group. Vehse insisted that
Stephan had to leave at once, and Stephan refused. Subsequently, the mob
vented its fury in a new series of illegal actions.
1. He was forced, due to physical threats from the crowd, to give up
all claims and never return to the settlement.
2. The mob made him strip off his clothes so they could make sure
they got all of his money. They robbed him of every cent,
including a large sum, 4000 gold Thalers, saved for his retirement.
They also took his personal effects, clothing and bedding, plus his
valuable library of 1500 books.
3. The crowd built fires and lashed the home with their whips, so
Stephan was forced to leave his home and sleep in a tent by the
river.
4. He was forced across the river the next day at gunpoint, which is
kidnapping, landed at a remote location, give $100 cash, a few
tools, and decrepit cabin.
The Society gave itself a bonanza by taking Stephans gold, his cabin and
land, his library, and his position. This gave Walther a chance to step into
the same position, and exert the same kind of control.
Bishop Stephan was joined in Illinois by his mistress, Louis
Guenther, who lived with him and cared for him. He had another setback
from being forced to sleep outdoors overnight, another indication of his
venereal disease.
Now finding him ill, she knew she had the strength he lacked to
do what it took to stay healthy. She was young, only half his age,
and previously nursed him back to health from a blistering case
of eczema (sic). Little did she know that Stephans persistent
pneumonia would get worse.119
He did some congregational work in Illinois and died in in 1846, buried in
Horse Prairie (Red Bud), Illinois as the first American Lutheran bishop.
He outlived his wife Julia, who died in Dresden in 1844.
119

IPRF, p. 229.

102

Walther engaged in many felonies, enough to disqualify himself


from any responsible job today, let alone leadership of a church body.
Some excuse his crimes by saying it was an emergency situation, but that
was not true when Walther was head of the little seminary and Stephans
son came back from Europe to become a pastor. Walther talked young
Stephan out of the 80 acres that belonged to the bishop. That was a new
case of fraud and theft, not to mention a clear case of coveting. The land
became sub-divided so the father was not able to regain control of it. Nor
did he gain anything more than a pittance from going to court about the
massive theft of his gold, books, and possessions.
Young Stephan came back to America as an architect and also
became a pastor. However, he recorded in a letter that Walther constantly
undermined his work and his pastoral relationships. Walther called him a
Judas in a classroom lecture for returning to Germany to care for his
ailing mother, at her request. And yet, Walther had the temerity to tell
Stephan to give up his 80 acres of land a fraudulent swindle.120
Nevertheless, Martin V became a pastor, designed the first Concordia
Seminary building in St. Louis, and contributed in many other ways as a
pastor and as an architect. Descendants continued to contribute, with one
Stephan serving as the speaker for The Lutheran Hour, a singular honor
in the Missouri Synod.
Bishop Martin Stephan was an unrepentant, serial, adulterer. If he
was a false teacher, as the pastors charged during his defenestration, then
what were they - for electing him bishop five months earlier and
defending him in public one month earlier? The pastors accused him of
embezzling money, even though he did not have direct access to the
Society funds, and they continued to slander him about money without
ever disclosing the real reason for their wrath or admitting to their grand
larceny. When In Pursuit of Religious Freedom was published, Missouri
Synod loyalists exploded in rage that the truth was damaging their
carefully crafted mythology of the origins of the Missouri Synod. An
instructive example can be found at this link, where Paul McCain attacked
the author of the book, the webmaster, the mode of publishing, the
American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Norman Teigen, and various
innocent bystanders who were trying to comment on the book:
http://www.lutheranforum.org/blogs/Rehabilitating_Martin_Stephan.
Philip Stephan concluded that Bishop Stephan brought centuries
of pietistic faith and practice to those who founded the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. This pietism, rooted in the Moravian Brethren of his
ancestors, was not at all rigid, enthusiastic, nor ascetic as he demonstrated
120

Ibid, p. 269ff.

103

by his intensely personal relationship with God.121 The Norwegians,


Swedes, and Germans of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
were Pietists. The Germans of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
were Pietists. Each group struggled with the issues of Pietism versus the
Lutheran Confessions. In many ways the Missouri Synod led the others
with the publication of Luther and the Book of Concord, but the growing
dominance of Universal Objective Justification, a legacy of Walther and F.
Pieper, is a throwback to the Pietism of Halle, conveyed by Stephan to
Walther and the Saxon migration.

121

Ibid., p. 265.

104

105

Chapter Nine: Summary of the Doctrinal Issue


The proclamation of the Gospel, through Word and Sacrament,
is the only mission of the Christian Church. The Gospel is justification by
faith, utter trust in Christ as our Savior, Who forgives our sins and grants
us eternal life. God has only revealed one Truth, but there are many false
versions and rejections of that Truth the revealed Word of God in the
Scriptures.
Samuel Huber
Samuel Huber, as a former Calvinist, became an early proponent
of Universal Objective Justification, as the historical record shows. The
theologians, led by P. Leyser, an editor of the Book of Concord, charged
him thus before removing him from the Wittenberg faculty:
1) He affirms a universal justification, whereby all men are equally
justified by God because of Christs merit, regardless of faith.
2) He denies faiths or the believers individual justification to be
by God or a special action of God, whereby He justifies only
believers.
3) He states faiths individual justification to be only mens action,
whereby they apply to themselves by faith the righteousness of
Christ.122
Huber defended his opinion this way:
And to make his opinion plain enough to us, he then asked us,
how we would deal with people, if we came to a place, where
nothing had been taught about Christ before. Then we answered
him that we would start with the Law; make it clear to them that
they were poor sinners and under the wrath of God, which they
should recognize with penitent hearts. If they now were sorry for
their sins, God offers through the Gospel His grace and
remission of sins in Christ, wishing to make them righteous and
saved, as far as they would accept it in true faith. To this Dr.
Huber responded: No, this would not be the true way to preach
to the unbelievers, but he would begin by saying this: You have
the grace of God, you have the righteousness of Christ, you have
salvation.123
122

Hardt. part II, #29.

106

The statement sounds bizarre to most Lutherans, but the wording is


almost the same as WELS VP Wayne Muellers talk at the youth
conference in Columbus, Ohio. Many WELS missionaries have defended
that language as the basis for their world missions. Moreover, LCMS
pastors have stated that they tell those who come for confession, You
were already forgiven before you came here. They would not claim
Huber as their spiritual father, because few have heard of him. But they
use the words and thoughts of Universalism, for the Universalists have
claimed Huber as one of their first theologians.124
Pietism
Some will angrily reply that they cannot be influenced by
someone so obscure, but they are inspired by the movement that began
after the Lutheran Age of Orthodox Pietism. Influenced by Calvinism
and called the first union theologian, Jakob Spener amalgamated the
Enthusiasm of the Swiss with Lutheran doctrine and practice. Halle
University was founded to promote his teaching and methods, and that
school became the single most important training center for Pietistic
leaders in America:

Henry M. Muhlenberg, the Pietistic founder of the General


Synod (later LCA).

Martin Stephan, the Pietistic leader of the Saxon migration to


Missouri, Walthers mentor.

Adolph Hoenecke, the main dogmatics of the Wisconsin Synod.

Every Lutheran group coming to America was profoundly influenced by


Pietism, which is why they often had the same debates as the Methodists
and Calvinists, about dancing, theaters, and cards. Swedish and
Norwegian pastors often gave blistering sermons on tobacco and cards,
and German Pietists adopted the same agenda, except they never turned
against alcohol.125
Halle University was hallowed ground, even though it turned
rationalistic in one generation. Halle boasted the great charities, promoted
world missions, and stood for Biblical faith (at first) in an age of
rationalism. Knapps double-justification scheme was taught in his widely
123

Hardt, part II, #44. Concilia Theologica Witebergensia, Frankfurt an Mayn 1664, p. 554

124

http://www.ovrlnd.com/Universalism/Universalism_Cyclopedia.html

125

The Swedish Augustana Synod reacted against the widespread alcoholism of their
homeland and established a committee on morals, which later became the platform for the
Social Gospel Movement. Pietistic law changes into social activism in one generation.

107

used dogmatics book throughout the 19th century, available in German


and English, a natural textbook for all Protestants. The doublejustification language of the translator traveled to a German periodical and
came back to America with Walthers expressed approval. Thus a
Calvinist manufactured a scheme for justification that became canonical in
the Synodical Conference.
A Halle student and leader of cell groups, Martin Stephan,
brought the Saxons over to Perry County and St. Louis. Walther, a Pietist,
joined Stephan in this quest. Unfortunately, the St. Louis professors,
carefully picked by Walther, taught the Wauwatosa professors of the
Wisconsin Synod and influenced the Evangelical Lutheran Synod as well.
Thus the Synodical Conference was formed out of Pietism rather than
Lutheran orthodoxy, as a few brave souls will admit. They do not confess
that their justification opinions are right out of Knapps Halle textbook
and in complete harmony with Samuel Huber.
New Pietism
With a weak foundation in Pietism, a false view of justification,
and no concept of the efficacy of the Word, the Synodical Conference
lost its nerve and turned to Fuller Seminary and other beehives of false
doctrine for the answers. Disgusted by entertainment methods, many
pastors looked to other fonts of Enthusiasm, Rome and Constantinople,
for their ministries.
The so-called conservative Lutherans no longer teach the Biblical
doctrine of justification by faith. They despise the Means of Grace. They
constantly confess the sins of Martin Luther while using the name to raise
money.
As Chemnitz wrote, these are the last days of an insane, old
world.

Appendix 1: False Claims of UOJ

108

Halle University - Professor Knapp


From Knapps Lectures on Christian Theology, translated by Leonard Woods,
Jr., New York, 1833. The LCMS was organized in 1847, the Stephan ships
landed in 1839.
UNIVERSALITY OF JUSTIFICATION
It is universal as the atonement itself; vid. 111, II. If the atonement
extends to the whole human race, justification must also be universal; i. e.
all must be able to obtain the actual forgiveness of their sins and
blessedness, on account of the atonement of Christ. But in order to
obviate mistakes, some points may require explanation. Justification, then,
is universal,
(1) In respect to the persons to be pardoned.
All men, according to the Bible, may partake of this benefit. It was
designed for all; vid. especially Rom. 3: 23. 5: 15 ( 111),
318 ART. X. 113. UNIVERSALITY OF JUSTIFICATION
in opposition to Jewish exclusiveness. It is bestowed however
conditionally ; certain conditions are prescribed which are indispensable.
Those who do not comply with these conditions, are excluded from the
enjoyment of the benefit. Justification and forgiveness are not, therefore,
universal in effect (actu); and this solely through the fault of men.*
Another conclusion from the universality of justification is, that every one
may be sure of his forgiveness. This certainty, however, must not be
founded upon inward feelings, which are frequently deceptive ; but upon
an actual compliance with the conditions on which God will forgive sins.
If any one finds in himself the signs of true faith, of sincere love to God
and Christ, of a renewed heart, and of a virtuous Christian disposition, he
is justified. Rom. 8: 16, " The holy, Christian temper wrought in us by
God, gives us the clearest and surest proof, that we are the children of
God." 1 John 3: 7. 2 Pet. 1: 9, 10. This certainty is in the highest degree

109

necessary to our tranquility and happiness. 1 Tim. 1: 16. ICor. 6: 11. 1


John 5:18-20.
(2) In respect to sins and the punishment of sin.
(a) As to sins; the position that all sins, without exception, are forgiven for
Christ's sake, is proved partly from the power and efficacy of the
atonement of Christ, which is extended to all sins (vid. 111, and the
texts there cited) ; and partly from the texts which promise forgiveness of
all sins, even the greatest and blackest, to those who comply with the
prescribed conditions of pardon. Ezek. 18: 21, 22. Ps. 103: 3. 1 Cor. 6: 11.
Ephes. 2: 5. 1 Tim. 1:15. The sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be
regarded as an exception ; vid. 84.
(6) As to the punishment of sin ; the answer to the question whether the
pardoned are exempt from all the punishments of sin, whether therefore
justification is plena et perfecta, may be learned from 111, II. The
natural and physical evils which result from past sins, indeed, remain ; but
they are mitigated and rendered more tolerable, and are divested of the
terror of punishment.
* [Translator - This is very conveniently expressed by the terms objective
and subjective justification. Objective justification is the act of God, by
which he proffers pardon to all through Christ; subjective, is the act of
man, by which he accepts the pardon freely offered in the Gospel. The
former is universal, the latter not.]
End of Knapp quotation
Jackson This may be the first instance where the Atonement and
justification were confused and intermingled. New terms often introduce
concepts alien to the Word, such as creating a separate Holy Spirit
baptism distinct from water baptism, elevating one while demeaning the
other. Knapps book remains in print today, so the translators
introduction of two justifications is significant for understanding the
origin of this error. This particular selection, like so many discussions of
two justifications, is lacking any emphasis upon the efficacy of the Word
in the Means of Grace. To discuss forgiveness without the efficacy of the
Word is a grave error that cannot be fixed with the elegant use of Latin
110

terminology. Notice that it took only 100 years for this to be called correct
doctrine in the LCMS Brief Statement of 1932.

Eduard Preuss, LCMS to Roman Catholic


"So, then, we are reconciled; however, not only we, but also Hindus, and
Hottentots and Kafirs, yes, the world. 'Reconciled', says our translation;
the Greek original says: 'placed in the right relation to God'. Because
before the Fall we, together with the whole creation, were in the right
relation to God, therefore Scripture teaches that Christ, through His
death, restored all things to the former right relation to God."
Eduard Preuss, 1834-1904, Die Rechtfertigung der Suender vor Gott.
Cited in Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective
or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference,
WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 24.
Jackson Luther and the Concordists always kept the Gospel message in
harmony with the Scriptures, emphasizing both the universal Atonement
of Christ and the necessity of faith in receiving Gods declaration of
forgiveness. Preuss has been quoted many times to support the
forgiveness of the world, without the Word, which is the fundamental
error of the Brief Statement, 1932.

Cherney, WELS
Not guiltyperiod. Gods court doesnt work that way either. God, our
judge, has pronounced his verdict over us: Not guiltyperiod. Weve
been declared innocent of the crime of sin, free from the penalty of
eternal death, all because Jesus took our place under Gods justice and
paid every penalty we ever owed. And to demonstrate his verdict just as
dramatically and convincingly as possible, God raised Jesus from the dead.
He was raised to life for our justification, (Romans 4:25). That means
Jesus rose to prove we are justified. Acquitted. Not guilty.
Pastor Ken Cherney (WELS), The Surprising Verdict,
Northwestern Lutheran, August, 1998.
Jackson Exegesis this poor should get someone removed from the
ministry, but that is not true when UOJ is being defended. This claim is
exactly the same as Universalism everyone in the entire world is
forgiven. Romans 4 teaches faith and Abraham as the father of faith. This
article teaches forgiveness without faith. Romans 4:25 is turned upside-

111

down, because the passage and the chapter both teach justification by
faith.

Siegbert Becker, WELS


"The two terms are relatively modern. They are not used in the Lutheran
Confessions. They are also not really synonymous. 'Universal justification'
is a term denoting the doctrine that God has forgiven the sins of all men.
Strictly speaking, the term objective justification expresses the thought that
the sins of a man are forgiven by God whether he believes it or not.
Objective justification is not necessarily universal, but if justification is
universal it must of necessity be objective."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral
Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, unpaginated.
Jackson The terms are definitely modern, the first instance in English is
dated in the 1830s (Woods translation of Knapp), where objective was
contrasted with subjective justification. Universal seems to be even more
recent, used in the last few decades and added to objective.

Hoenecke Citing Burk


And Ph. D. Burk (Rechtfertigung und Versicherung, p. 41) rightly said:
The difference between general justification and the more
common usage of the term justification can be expressed as
follows. The latter takes place precisely upon the appropriation
of the former. (Cited in Hoenecke)

Jackson The use of General Justification illustrates the danger of


inventing new terms and modifying what the Bible clearly teaches. In
German, General (allegemeine) Justification means every single person on
earth, regardless of faith or the work of the Means of Grace. All three
terms imply Universalism, which is where they lead.

112

Walther, Easter World Absolution


"For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in
Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter
death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also
possess the gift. This one thing isfaith. And this brings me to the
second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you
that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general
absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken
individually to him."
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections,
"Christ's ResurrectionThe World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic
Publishing Company, 1978, p. 233. Mark 16:1-8.
Jackson This sermon is lovingly reprinted by the Evangelical Lutheran
Synod, showing why the synod teaches UOJ so ferociously today. If
Walthers name were not on this sermon, we would say, This is
synergism, which he condemned. Synergism means God has done His
part now you must do yours, make a decision. J. P. Meyer taught the
same synergism in his Ministers of Christ.

F. Pieper Easter Absolution


"Now, then, if the Father raised Christ from the dead, He, by this glorious
resurrection act, declared that the sins of the whole world are fully
expiated, or atoned for, and that all mankind is now regarded as righteous
before His divine tribunal. This gracious reconciliation and justification is
clearly taught in Romans 4:25: 'Who was delivered for our offenses and
was raised again for our justification.' The term (dikaiosis) here means the
act of divine justification executed through God's act of raising Christ
from the dead, and it is for this reason called the objective justification of all
mankind. This truth Dr. Walther stressed anew in America. He taught that
the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the actual absolution pronounced
upon all sinners. (Evangelienpostille, p. 160ff.)Calov, following Gerhard,
rightly points out the relation of Christ's resurrection to our justification
as follows: 'Christ's resurrection took place as an actual absolution from
sin (respectu actualis a peccato absolutionis). As God punished our sins in
Christ, upon whom He laid them and to whom He imputed them, as our
Bondsman, so He also, by the very act of raising Him from the dead,
absolved Him from our sins imputed to Him, and so He absolved also us
in Him.'" [Bibl. Illust., ad Rom. 4:25]

113

Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia


Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 321. Romans 4:25.
Jackson The Easter absolution error of Walther was not refuted by
Pieper, who was his hand-picked successor at the seminary. The
Scriptures do not teach that the entire world was absolved on Easter, so
the entire argument is absurd. Robert Preus quoted Calov against this
whole line of thought, and he knew the post-Concord orthodox authors
better than anyone.

Pieper Reconciliation as Absolution


"Scripture teaches the objective reconciliation. Nineteen hundred years ago
Christ effected the reconciliation of all men with God. God does not wait
for men to reconcile Him with themselves by means of any efforts of
their own. He is already reconciled. The reconciliation is an accomplished
fact, just like the creation of the world. Romans 5:10: 'We were reconciled
to God by the death of His Son.' When Christ died, God became
reconciled. As Christ's death lies in the past, so also our reconciliation is
an accomplished fact. 2 Corinthians 5:19: 'God was in Christ, reconciling'
(namely, when Christ lived and died on earth) 'the world unto Himself.'
The katallassein of Romans 5:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:19 does not referlet
this fact be notedto any change that occurs in men, but describes an
occurrence in the heart of God. It was God who laid His anger by on
account of the ransom brought by Christ. It was God who at that time
already had in His heart forgiven the sins of the whole world, for the
statement: 'God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself'
meansand that is not our, but the Apostle's own interpretationthat
God did 'not impute their trespasses unto them.' And 'not imputing
trespasses' is, according to Scripture (Romans 4:6-8), synonymous with
'forgiving sins,' 'justifying' the sinner. "The resurrection of Christ is, as
Holy Writ teaches, the actual absolution of the whole world of sinners.
Romans 4:25: 'Who was raised again for our justification.' At that time we
were objectively declared free from sin."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia
Publishing House, 1951, II, p. p 348. Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19.
Jackson The Easter absolution argument, based on the abuse of
Romans 4, is one false foundation of UOJ. Reconciliation as justification
(really as absolution) is the other. As Luther taught, and we confess, the
reconciliation is the Atonement of Christ, His death on the cross for our
sins. That reconciliation is not the same as justification, because those
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who have not received the Gospel Promises in faith remain condemned,
under the wrath of God.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on
him.

Stoeckhardt
"This doctrine of general justification is the guarantee and warranty that
the central article of justification by faith is being kept pure. Whoever
holds firmly that God was reconciled to the world in Christ, and that to
sinners in general their sin was forgiven, to him the justification which
comes from faith remains a pure act of the grace of God. Whoever denies
general justification is justly under suspicion that he is mixing his own
work and merit into the grace of God.
George Stoeckhardt, Concordia Theological Quarterly, April, 1978, p.
138. Cited by Pastor Vernon Harley "SynergismIts Logical Association
with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031,
August, 1984, p. 1.
Jackson Although the term General Justification has been dropped in
favor of the more alarming Universal Objective Justification, the concept
remains the same. False doctrine is advanced with false assumptions.
Stoeckhardt claimed that this residue of Pietism and Calvinism is needed
to keep justification by faith pure. In other words, justification-withoutfaith keeps justification by faith orthodox. No reason is given for that
claim, and those who doubt this are threatened with the accusation of
false doctrine. The Promises of God create and sustain faith, which is the
work of the Holy Spirit. Stoeckhardts argument is the one which
Calvinists used against the Arminians, who did teach faith as a virture.

Engelder, 1933
"The chief purpose, however, is to keep this article (general justification)
before the people for its own sake. It cannot be presented and studied too
often. Its vital relation to the subjective, personal justification by faith,
cannot be stressed too strongly. It forms the basis of the justification by
faith and keeps this article free from the leaven of Pelagianism. Unless the
sinner knows that his justification is already an accomplished fact in the
forum of God, he will imagine that it is his faith, his good conduct, which
moves God to forgive him his sins. And unless he knows that God had
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him personally in mind in issuing the general pardon on Easter morning,


he will have no assurance of his justification."
Theodore Engelder, Concordia Theological Monthly,
July/August/September, 1933. Reissued by the seminary print-shop, Ft.
Wayne, 1981. Cited by Pastor Vernon Harley, "SynergismIts Logical
Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota
56031, August, 1984, p. 1f.
Jackson This is another reflection of the Calvinist case against the
Arminians, even though the UOJ advocates end up with making a
decision for Christ, which is synergism. Many of them informally claim
great works or descent from famous synodical figures, so they also fall
into Pelagianism.
"The entire Pauline doctrine of justification stands and falls with the
special article of general justification. This establishes it beyond
peradventure that justification is entirely independent of the conduct of
man. And only in this way the individual can have the assurance of his
justification. For it is the incontrovertible conclusion: Since God has
already justified all men in Christ and forgiven them their sins, I, too, have
a gracious God in Christ and forgiveness of all my sins."
Quoted with approval by Theodore Engelder, from George
Stoeckhardt, Commentary on Romans, p. 264. Cited by Pastor Vernon
Harley, "SynergismIts Logical Association with General Justification,"
511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 2.
Jackson Engelder quoting Stoeckhardt is an example of the UOJ forces
gathering momentum by quoting one another, a process that continues to
this day. In the same way, Roman Catholics quote one another on the
Assumption of Mary and her Immaculate Conception, conveniently
omitting the Biblical witness and the utter silence of the Apostolic Age
about those invented concepts. The Atonement of Christ reveals the
grace of God, without the need to invent a universal absolution. The
Atonement does not depend upon mans merit or works but upon the
grace and mercy of God alone.

Theodore Mueller, 1982


"The resurrection is God's public absolution of the entire world: 'Your
sins are forgiven, all sins of all human beings; and there is no exception.'
This is the meaning of the technical term 'objective justification.' The
objective justification is central to the doctrine of salvation and derives
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logically from the facts that God's reconciliation, forgiveness, and


declaration of 'not guilty' in no wise depend on the attitude or behaviour
of human beings. If objective justification is denied, then it must follow
that those who are declared righteous in some way have contributed to
God's change of heart; justification is then no longer solely the result of
God's grace."
Theodore Mueller, Concordia Theological Quarterly, January, 1982, p.
29. Cited by Pastor Vernon Harley, "SynergismIts Logical Association
with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031,
August, 1984, p. 3.
Jackson The endless repetition of universal absolution should have
alerted the members and pastors to this heresy, but this has been kept
under wraps for the most part. This particular argument is circular,
claiming that those who deny forgiveness for the entire world are trusting
in their own attitude or behavior. Faith is not a virtue or a work, but utter
trust in Gods Word. Sin is not denial of UOJ, but something else, as
taught by the Savior Himself:
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
The most basic sin is not trusting in Christ.

Theodore Brohm, 19th Century


"The fact of the redemption and reconciliation of the entire human race
through Christ, and with it the forgiveness of all sins for all men on God's
partwhich, indeed, is precisely what the Gospel proclaims, presents and
givescan by no means become a lie through the unbelief of men...even
when the unbelievers don't receive it, but reject it for themselves and for
this reasonindeed, for this reason aloneare lost."
Walther's colleague, Theodore Brohm, 1808-1881. Cited in Rick
Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal
Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS.
January 24-25, 1983. p. 16.
Jackson This paragraph means that unbelievers must believe they were
already forgiven or they will be lost. That creates a Limbo where the entire
world is forgiven but only some are saved when those few believe in
universal absolution and become truly forgiven and saved. This chaotic

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bundle of contradictions shows how the Walther group was deeply


influenced by the Calvinistic rationalism of Pietism.

Norwegian Synod, 19th Century


"The teaching of the Wisconsin Synod [of the old Norwegian Synod] is
this, that in and with the universal reconciliation, which has occurred in
Christ for the whole worldeven Judas; the whole worldeven
Judashas been justified and has received the forgiveness of sin.
Therefore, according to Luther's clear words ("for where there is
forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation"), the whole world (i.e.
every person who is a part of the worldeven Judas) has become a child
of God and an heir of heaven."
Gottfried Fritschel, "Zur Lehre von der Rechtfertigung,"
Theologische Monatshefte, volume 4, 1871, (1-24), p. 7. Cited in Rick Nicholas
Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification,
Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25,
1983. p. 2.
Jackson The UOJ leaders continue to repeat that Judas, Hitler, and
Stalin are forgiven their sins. The dishonesty of this group is shown in
quoting Luther to teach against justification by faith.

Missouri Synod Brief Statement, 1932


Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be
righteous in Christ, Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 4:25;
that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works
of the Law, by grace, for Christs sake, he justifies, that is, accounts as
righteous, all those who believe in Christ, that is, believe, accept, and rely
on, the fact that for Christs sake their sins are forgiven.
Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, 1932, Of
Justification.
Jackson This is the first official statement of the synod that endorsed
UOJ, although people today treat the 1932 effort as superseding the Book
of Concord. Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole
world to be righteous in Christ that statement is completely erroneous.
But even worse are the Scripture citations, which teach the opposite of
what the Statement claims. Blending UOJ with justification by faith does
not soften a valid charge of false doctrine. In fact, those who blend false
doctrine with sound doctrine are especially dangerous. This statement
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does not seem to be as bad as Universalism, but it leads to the same


conclusion: all are forgiven by grace without faith, so all we have to do is
tell them this fact.

J. P. Meyer and Kokomo


About 300 years earlier Johann Gerhard expressed the same truth in
these words: By raising Christ from the dead God absolved Him from
our sins, which had been imputed to Him, and accordingly He absolved
us also in Him. Gerhard was professor of theology in Jena. He did not
write a Brief Statement, but he did write a book on Lutheran dogmatics
consisting of 20 volumes. He died in 1637.
J. P. Meyer, The Holy Spirit Creator, The Northwestern Lutheran,
September 24, 1950, p. 310.
Jackson When this was published, people did not have access to
Gerhard in English. This statement is a serious distortion of Gerhard,
who agreed with the Concordists and published with Martin Chemnitz.
The departure from justification by faith came after the influence of
Pietism. No matter what could be found and isolated in the vast
publications of the post-Concord era, our confessional subscription is to
the Book of Concord itself, not to everything written by Lutherans
leaders, including Luther, who wrote favorably about praying to Mary,
early in his career.126
First Kokomo Statement
I. "Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's
attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict,
every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or
not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is
informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?"
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of
Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963,
p. 103f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
Jackson In the New Testament, only believers are forgiven and given
the status of saints.
Should we use Luthers Magnificat commentary to advocate praying to
Mary? The book itself is wonderful to read, but only those pastors slowly
sinuflecting to Rome want to pray to Mary.
126

119

Second Kokomo Statement


II. "Before Christ's intervention took place God regarded him as a guiltladen, condemned culprit. After Christ's intervention and through Christ's
intervention He regards him as a guilt-free saint."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of
Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963,
p. 107. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
Jackson This is Enthusiasm, because he does not teach that the Holy
Spirit distributes the treasure of the Gospel through the Means of Grace.
Publishing this false doctrine laid the groundwork for Fuller Enthusiasm
and worse.
Third Kokomo Statement
III. "This applies to the whole world, to every individual sinner, whether
he was living in the days of Christ, or had died centuries before His
coming, or had not yet been born, perhaps has not been born to this day.
It applies to the world as such, regardless of whether a particular sinner
ever comes to faith or not."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of
Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963,
p. 109. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
Jackson Meyer ignored Abraham, the father of faith, who believed and
it was reckoned as righteousness. Note that these words or had died
centuries before His comingmean that all pagans born before Christ
were also forgiven their sins and given the status of saints.
Decision Theology
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's
attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict,
every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or
not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is
informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?"
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to
the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

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Jackson The fatal attraction of WELS to various liberal Baptists is


explained by this endorsement of Decision Theology. Will he accept, or
will he decline?"127

WELS Conference of Presidents, 1954


The Judge in heaven examines this evidence. He declares His verdict. It
is one of acquittal. Mans debt of sin is no longer charged against him.
Sinful man is free!
WELS Conference of Presidents, Every Sinner Declared
Righteous, 1954 tract.
Jackson This is another example of the Atonement confused with
justification by faith, showing what happens when the Means of Grace are
ignored and the efficacious Word is not trusted.

Excommunicated For Denying Statements


Faith Lutheran Church
3215 West Judson Road
Kokomo, Indiana 46901
August 30, 1979
Mr. and Mrs. David Hartman
R. R. #1, Box 90
Kokomo, Indiana 46901
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hartman,
In response to your letter of August 18, 1979, it is our understanding that
your no vote on June 20th against supporting the biblical doctrine of the
Read in context, there is not one WELS pastor who would disagree
with what Meyer says. Perhaps the terminology might be troublesome,
but certainly not the content. What the Kokomo couples did was to
twist these statements and try to straight jacket our teaching to fit their
four statements. (The fourth statement is from a non-WELS source.)
Mark Zarling, Stand in Awe of Justification, 1983 essay.
127

121

WELS was based at least in part, on your failure to accept the following
statement included in your letter all of which are in agreement with
the teachings of the WELS, namely that:
1. Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual
sinners [sic] attitude toward Christs [sic] sacrafice [sic], purely on
the basis of Gods verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or
not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a
saint.
2. After Christs [sic] intervention and through Christs [sic]
intervention, God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints.
3. When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He
individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner
whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not.
4. At the time of the resurrection of Christ God looked down in
hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all
the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave
unto them the status of saints.
I trust this is the information you desire.
Jackson WELS describes the Kokomo Statements as a caricature of
justification written by the families involved. The first three were taken
from J. P. Meyers Ministers of Christ. The fourth was from an earlier debate
in Lutheranism. They did write them down and ask the minister about
them, because their pastor was teaching that caricature of justification.
Therefore, they were kicked out by WELS for disagreeing with these
statements and blamed by WELS for writing down what WELS still
teaches. Dishonesty about UOJ is a basic trait of UOJ advocates.

LCMS Theses on UOJ, 1983


"Thus objective justification or reconciliation is the forgiveness of sins
both as it has been acquired for the entire human race by Christ's work of
obedience in its stead and declared by His resurrection, and as it is
seriously and efficaciously offered to all in the means of grace."
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, II. #5.
Jackson Why did only a few LCMS pastors object to this
nincompoopery? Like Kokomo, this is another step beyond the initial
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error of UOJ because it explicitly claims that forgiveness is acquired and


declared for the human race but on what grounds? A large number of
people enjoy the Means of Grace, but not everyone does. This sentence is
Universalism hidden under the guise of the Means of Grace.
"Subjective justification or reconciliation is this same forgiveness as it is
received, appropriated by, and applied to the individual sinner through
God-given faith alone (sola fide)."
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, II. #6.
Jackson This is a second forgiveness, since the first forgiveness is
universal, according to #5.
Jackson - The CTCR devoted section III to The Nature of Justification
(What Happens When the Sinner is Justified). Theses 7 and 8 both speak
of justification without mentioning faith. This error is compounded by
another grand statement:
It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach: That, although
Christ by His work has earned forgiveness for all, there are still certain
conditions which God demands of people before He will pronounce
them righteous.
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, III. #8.
Jackson - Confessional statements should be precise and clear, but this
formula introduces the Monster of Uncertainty. Is faith now a demand?
What an odd term for faith. Or do they mean something else? Any
Lutheran graduate of Theology 101 knows that the efficacious Gospel
produces faith, that faith receives the Gospel promise of forgiveness.
Section III announces that forgiveness has been earned for all,
that all sins are forgiven. This is followed by Section IV, Mans Need for
Justification, a Law section. Why would this noteworthy commission
declare the Gospel first and then the Law? The method is common to
Moravian Pietism and denounced by Luther. However, since justification
itself has been confused already, the meaning of the Law section is
especially troubling. Section IV by itself is adequately written. The runt of
the litter seems pretty healthy when the rest are still-born.
Section V, The Basis of Justification, is another misbegotten
effort. One can hardly imagine that Lutheran theologians with access to
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the Book of Concord, Luther, and Chemnitz, could write so poorly about
justification. Once again, It is contrary to Scripture and the pure
Gospel Why is that peculiar formulation used? Is the pure Gospel
something other than what God reveals to us in the Scripture? I suspect
that the men involved followed Karl Barths distinction between the
Scriptures and the Word.
The lupine teeth and claws come out from under the fleece in
Section VI. The Universal and Finished Results of Christs Work of
Obedience. Note well:
1. Christ is the Savior of all. This means that the whole world of
sinners has been redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to God in
Him.
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses
on Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, VI. #19.
Jackson This is Universalism.
2. God, by raising His Son from the dead, has justified Him,
declared Him to be the Righteous One, and in Him (i.e., for the
sake of His finished work of obedience and satisfaction) has
declared (as proclaimed in the Gospel), or reckoned, the whole
world to be righteous.
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, VI. #22.
Jackson This is perverted Universalism, because the language of
justification by faith (reckoned or counted righteous) is employed to make
justification by faith meaningless.
3. God has acquired the forgiveness of sins for all people by
declaring that the world for Christs sake has been forgiven. The
acquiring of forgiveness is the pronouncement of forgiveness.
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, VI. #23.
Jackson - After establishing a vague Universalism, the CTCR devotes the
next section to Justification by Faith, although the main heading is The
Appropriation of Christs Righteousness. The rest of the document does
not merit additional comment, because the entire structure is wrong from
the beginning, even if isolated statements are correct by themselves. The
124

Theses on Justification are a leaning tower of logs, like the one that
collapsed at Texas A and M University, built badly on a foundation of
sand. One statement alone condemns the entire work, which contains
many other errors, confusions, and fraudulent statements:
It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach:That it is not
Biblical to speak of objective justification.
Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on
Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, VI. #23.

Jackson This is pure popery, denouncing anyone who adheres to the


Book of Concord and Luther as being contrary to Scripture and the pure
Gospel.

David Scaer
Whoever denies objective justification reduces justification to the act of
believing and does not believe in it at all. Logically, he denies the
atonement and preaches that man is responsible for his sins.
LCMS Professor David Scaer, Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne
http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/scaerthirduseresolvetension.pdf

Jackson Justification by faith means not believing in justification by


faith? How the minions must drool as they listen to Scaer contradict
himself, nudging them toward a priesthood in Roman Catholicism or
Eastern Orthodoxy. The two sentences quoted above are assertions
without evidence or argumentation. Scaers logic is at war with Scriptural
revelation.

125

Robert Preus
All this is put beautifully by an old Lutheran theologian of our church,
We are redeemed from the guilt of sin; the wrath of God is
appeased; all creation is again under the bright rays of mercy, as
in the beginning; yea, in Christ we were justified before we were
even born. For do not the Scriptures say: God was in Christ
reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses
unto them?' This is not the justification which we receive by
faith...That is the great absolution which took place in the
resurrection of Christ. It was the Father, for our sake, who
condemned His dear Son as the greatest of all sinners causing
Him to suffer the greatest punishment of the transgressors, even
so did He publicly absolve Him from the sins of the world when
He raised Him up from the dead. (Edward Preuss, "The
Justification of a Sinner Before God," pp. 14-15)
LCMS Seminary President Robert Preus, 1981,
Jackson The old Lutheran theologian of our church is deceptive, since
Preuss abandoned teaching at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, to join the
Church of Rome and promote papist doctrines there all because God
sent him the sign of a glorious sunset! (L. Fuerbring) This phrase should
scream falsehood at people we were justified before we were born
yet Cascione quoted this article with reverence and awe. Fortunately, Dr.
Preus retracted this position in his final book, Justification and Rome.
Lutherans should observe that he quoted a dead papist when Church
Growth flourished at Concordia, Ft. Wayne and the faculty endorsed
Church Growth principles. But when Preus wanted to warn his faculty
and his synod against Romanism, just before he died, he argued for
justification by faith and against UOJ.
http://www.reclaimingwalther.org/articles/jmc00225.htm

Sig Becker, 1982


It has been argued that the polloi of this verse clearly indicates that Paul
did not mean to say that all would be justified in and through Christ. It
has even been said that many means not all. This is an argument
unworthy of Lutherans who have always opposed the Calvinistic notion
that the words of Jesus in which he says that his blood was shed for many
(Mt 26:28) and that he had come to give his life as a ransom for many (Mk
10:45) are proof for the doctrine of limited atonement.
Sig Becker, Objective Justification, 1982
126

Jackson Polloi in Greek means many, and Greek is precise. This sounds
like Alice in Wonderland, where words mean whatever Humpty Dumpty
declares at the moment. Moreover, Becker claimed that the proper
translation of the word polloi was an argument unworthy of Lutherans but
typical of Calvinists, a quick shift from fantasy to guilt by association.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerJustification.PDF

Sig Becker, 1984


That God has punished the sins of all men in Christ finds few
questioners among Lutherans who are still interested in such questions as
those we are discussing today. But, sad to say, there are some Lutherans
who want to be conservative and orthodox who find it very difficult to
say with equal fervor and vigor that God has forgiven the sins of all men
in Christ.
Anyone who is at home in the literature of the old Synodical Conference
surely must know that this was the unanimous and unquestioned position
of our Synodical Conference fathers. We will make no effort to
demonstrate that fact with actual quotations.
Sig Becker, Universal Justification, 1984
Jackson This claim is pure deception, since the Missouri Synod did not
teach UOJ in its 1901 catechism, as shown by Pastor Vernon Harleys
translation. Also, UOJ was not taught in Missouri statements before the
1932 Brief Statement, which was one among many. The UOJ faction has
elevated the 1932 document above all previous statements, which have
disappeared down the memory hole. They also choose to emphasize their
1932 statement as if it transcends and replaces the Book of Concord. That
is, they choose to teach UOJ from the 1932 statement while quoting the
Book of Concord.
Sig Becker, UJ, 1984
However, we should be aware that also a Calvinist, who would most
assuredly reject the doctrine of universal justification, could perhaps feel
perfectly at ease with the concept of objective justification. Strictly
speaking, the term objective justification means that a sinner is justified by
127

God whether he believes it or not. Many Calvinists believe that this is true
of the elect. While they might therefore be willing to accept our
terminology when we speak of objective justification they would
vehemently reject the concept of universal justification because that
would conflict with their doctrine of limited atonement.
Jackson Here Becker admitted what former Calvinist L. P. Cruz has
contended many times, knowing this from his own training and
experience: Objective Justification is Calvinism. Beckers verbal backflips
do not rescue any of his new terms from the influence of Calvin, since
Luther taught justification by faith alone.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerUniversal.PDF

David Beckman
Previous to this development in the mid-19th century, Lutherans used the
terms universal justification or general justification. Even
Stoeckhardt, a contemporary of Schaller and Francis Pieper, is more
comfortable with the older term, general justification. In an article
entitled General Justification, he states,
The article of justification remains pure, firm and unshaken if we
keep in mind the statement of doctrine and faith concerning
general justification, if we hold firmly that the entire world of
sinners has already been justified through Christ, through that
which Christ did and suffered. (George Stoeckhardt, General
Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 42 (April, 1978), p.
140.)
David Beckman, 1983
Jackson General is a vague term to translate the original German
word allgemeine. The German adjective means every single one, so
universal is the best translation. All these writers dance around the truth
that they are promoting a new concept, alien to the Lutheran Church and
the Confessions. However, Halle theologian George Christian Knapp
taught it before Walther landed in America.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckmanUniversal.PDF

128

Bourman
But, sadly, Satan worked and continues to work within the Lutheran
ranks. Some wanted to make justification an act of God at the moment
of faith and so they denied and even rejected universal, objective
justification. For instance, Gottfried Fritschel in his article Zur Lehre von
der Rechtfertigung made a false distinction between reconciliation and
justification. He wrote that the whole world, with the exception of no
one, has been reconciled with God in Christ. Forgiveness of sins is
bought for all men. However, only when the sinner has experienced the
wrath of God and in faith takes hold of Christ, only then does God look
on him in Christ. In regard to justification he uses phrases like now and
not before in regard to the act of justification.
Nate Bourman, 2010
Jackson The Holy Spirit used two different terms. Most UOJ fanatics
recognize that justification always means justification by faith in the
Bible and the Book of Concord. From the context, reconciliation means
the Atonement. The Stormtroopers can make their argument work only
by making the Atonement of Christ and justification by faith the same
action. Therefore, they cannot articulate any meaning for the Means of
Grace which is harmonious with their bizarre claims.
http://scdwels.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/justification-paper.pdf

Deutschlander
Our Lutheran Confessions have no separate article on Objective
Justification; the closest we can come to a paragraph of formulation for
this doctrine is in Article IX of the Formula of Concord, under the
doctrine of election. But even that is not really sufficient or suitable for
stating the orthodox position in a clear and unequivocal manner. For our
Fathers it was not difficult at all to consider objective and subjective
justification under the same heading, and they were apparently unaware of
any need to separate them or distinguish between them. But such was and
remained the case only so long as the orthodox had a clear understanding
of the nature of faith; once that understanding was gone, it became
necessary (at the end of the last century) to begin making such as
distinction.
Daniel Deutschlander, 1977

129

Jackson If only the greatest theologians of the Christian Church (Luther,


Melancthon, Chemnitz, Chytraeus) had enjoyed the wisdom and foresight
of the Synodical Conference! Lacking here is the fact that Pietism brought
UOJ to the Lutheran Church, through Halle University. The Synodical
Conference began attacking faith, the chief attribute of the Christian,
according to Luther, while teaching justification without faith.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/DeutschlanderDistinction.pdf

Buchholz
The forgiveness acquired by Jesus for all at the cross gives us confessional
Lutherans, among all the church bodies of the world, the highest
motivation to share our Savior. In contrast to the Jesus Saves churches,
we dont preach a salvation that is incomplete and just waiting for the
sinner to do something to complete the transaction. We proclaim boldly,
Jesus Saved, past tense, finished, certain Gods objective
justification not only saved us (sic sentence fragment, automatic fail in
Freshman English 101).
Jon Buchholz, 2005
Jackson District President Buchholz told me, a few years after giving
this paper, that no one in WELS teaches that everyone is saved. Not
having this revelation from the Essay Files, I still replied, There was an
evangelism campaign in WELS recently. The banner for the public said
I am saved, just like you.
http://www.wlsessays.net/node/390

Reim
We have seen that the terminology of an objective and a subjective
justification is common property within our Synodical Conference. There
is no reason why we should not use it in our discussions with each other.
Nevertheless we still have a preference for the simpler terminology of a
general or universal, and of a personal justification, To use these simpler
terms will show that we are concerned about the substance of the
doctrine rather than one single mode of expressing it.
130

Edward Reim, 1955


Jackson All the replacements for justification by faith mean universal
forgiveness, without faith. A hog in a tuxedo is still a hog.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/ReimHistory.pdf

Jungkuntz
The direct consequence of this change in the relationship between God
and man was the justification of the whole world, the declaring of every
sinner righteous before God. For that is the meaning in positive terms of
what St. Paul here states negatively: not imputing their trespasses unto
them. It is impossible to overemphasize this statement. For in our own
time, even in our own Synodical Conference, this vital truth is being
endangered, both by direct attack and by neglect.
Richard Jungkuntz, 1954
Jackson In fact, no aspect of the Christian faith should be emphasized
at the expense of another. The chief characteristic of a sect is to make one
concept their sole fake Gospel message rapture, holiness code, ecstatic
speech and behavior. UOJ has turned the revealed mystery of the Atoning
death of Christ for the sins of the world into an alien opinion universal
forgiveness without the Word, without faith, grace without the Means of
Grace. Where did God reveal this precious truth?
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/JungkuntzReconciliation.pdf

Wendland
On Romans 5, 19 he [Lenski] comes out with the flat statement:
Nowhere in the Bible is any man constituted or declared righteous
without faith, before faith, all asseverations and argumentations to the
contrary notwithstanding. Dr. Lenski plainly recognizes no biblical
doctrine of objective justification and is very clear in stating so. His
divergence from Dr. Stoeckhardt on this point cannot merely be passed
off as an exegetical question of minor consequence, since it involves the
central teaching of Scripture, the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae.
131

E. Wendland, 1951
Jackson By calling UOJ a biblical doctrine, Wendland condemned
Lenski by definition. OJ is biblical, so anyone doubting it is against the
Bible. And Lenski disagreed with Stoeckhardt! But here, gentle readers,
is where UOJ turns from heresy into lunatic, slapstick comedy denying
justification without faith is a sin against the Chief Article of the Faith, the
central teaching of Scripture, the article on which the Church stands or
falls. The Chief Article is justification by faith and not universal
forgiveness without faith.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/WendlandJustification.pdf

Zarling
We quote from President Mischke's newsletter of June, 1982.
A word of caution may, however, be in place. It may be well to
remind ourselves not to divide "objective" and "subjective"
justification as if they were two totally different things which can
be treated in isolation from one another. They are rather the two
sides of the same coin, and there can be no "saints" or salvation
without faith. To teach otherwise would indeed be universalism.
(Mischke, C.H. The President's Newsletter, June, 1982.)
Jackson - Jay Webber recites the same nonsense, two sides of the same
coin, even though he makes fun of WELS all the time and mocks the
Mankato leadership unless he is near the Little Vatican on the Prairie at
the moment. SP Carl Mischke was the worst leader of WELS, ever, until
Gurgel took over for 14 years. Mischke promoted UOJ and the Church
Growth Movment, making Paul Kelm the theological leader of the sect.
Becker asserts
We are not pressing the word beyond what it can bear if we say
that, when Paul says that God justifies the ungodly, he is
asserting that God declares the unbeliever just. The fact that
the unbeliever by rejecting God's verdict deprives himself
eternally of the joy and comfort that this message gives does not
make the declaration of God untrue. (Becker, OJ, 1982, p. 3)
132

Zarling, 1983
Jackson Judas Iscariot, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin are guilt-free saints too.
That is still being taught at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. No wonder the
Synodical Conference of today has rested its hopes of the money given
them by a divorced adulterer.
http://www.wlsessays.net/files/ZarlingJustification.pdf

133

Appendix 2: Justification by Faith


Treasure Distributed
"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on
Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and
granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the
Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and
gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if
the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be
in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be
appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be
proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home
and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than
bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which could not attain
ourselves."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p.
415.

No Forgiveness Outside the Church


"But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no
forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all
who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the
Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and
severed themselves [from this Church]."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56, Concordia
Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693. Tappert, p.
418.

Lenski
"The danger is that by use of the term 'subjective justification' we may
lose the objective divine act of God by which He declares the individual
sinner righteous ex pistews pistin in the instant faith (embracing Christ) is
wrought in him, leaving only the one divine declaration regarding the
whole world of sinners, calling this an actus simplex, the only forensic act of
God, and expanding this to mean that God declared every sinner free
from guilt when Christ was raised from the dead, so many millions even
134

before they were born, irrespective of faith, apart from and without faith."
This surely wipes out 'justification by faith alone.' Only his faith is
reckoned to him for righteousness."
R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretation of Romans, Augsburg Publishing
House: Minneapolis, 1963, p. 85. Romans 1:17.
But this must be noted: Christ died 1900 years ago, on a certain day, at a
certain hour in time. But this counts for all time: for the entire future time,
for all the prior time. For by Christs death all died, Adam and all his
descendants. The effect covered all. It is literally true: the Lamb slain
from the foundation of the world. His death availed for Adam. All in the
Old Testament who believed were saved by that death just as all are in the
New Testament who believe.
R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretation of Second Corinthians, Columbus:
Wartburg Press, 1957, p. 1033. 2 Corinthians 5:15.
I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from
eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has
redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won
[delivered] me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil,
not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His
innocent suffering and death, in order that I may be [wholly] His own,
and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting
righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the
dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.
Martin Luther, The Small Catechism, Explanation of the Second
Article of the Creed, II. 4. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis; Concordia
Publishing House, 1921, p. 545.

Justification, Apology
"This faith, encouraging and consoling in these fears, receives remission
of sins, justifies and quickens. For this consolation is a new and spiritual
life [a new birth and a new life]. These things are plain and clear, and can
be understood by the pious, and have testimonies of the Church [as is to
be seen in the conversion of Paul and Augustine]. The adversaries
nowhere can say how the Holy Ghost is given. They imagine that the
Sacraments confer the Holy Ghost ex opere operato, without a good

135

emotion in the recipient, as though, indeed, the gift of the Holy Ghost
were an idle matter."
Article IV., Justification, Apology of the Augsburg Confession,
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 139.
Tappert, p. 115.
"Now, that faith signifies, not only a knowledge of the history, but such
faith as assents to the promise, Paul plainly testifies when says, Romans
4:16: 'Therefore it is of faith, to the end the promise might be sure.' For
he judges that the promise cannot be received unless by faith. Wherefore
he puts them together as things that belong to one another, and connects
promise and faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV, Justification,
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135.
Tappert, p. 114. Romans 4:16.
"But as the Confutation condemns us for having assigned these two parts
to repentance, we must show that [not we, but] Scripture expresses these
as the chief parts in repentance and conversion. For Christ says, Matthew
11:28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify
the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ
is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ's sake; when we believe, our
hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost through the Word of Christ.
Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII (V), #44,
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 263.
Tappert, p. 187. Matthew 11:28.

Chytraeus, Concordist
"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the
Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or
merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ,
who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this
sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is,
God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for
Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes
with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."

136

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans.,


Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 105.
"Christian righteousness is the forgiveness of sin, the imputation of the
righteousness of Christ and acceptance to eternal life. It is free, not the
result of any virtues or works but is given solely because of Christ, the
Mediator, and apprehended by faith alone."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans.,
Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 106.
"Scripture therefore uses these words, 'We are justified by faith,' to teach
both: 1) What the reason (or merit) for justification is, or what the
blessings of Christ are; to wit, that through and for the sake of Christ
alone we are granted forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life;
and 2. How these should be applied or transferred to us; namely, by
embracing the promise and relying on Christ by faith alone."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans.,
Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 107.

Curia Confession
"It must be admitted that when our Lutheran Confessions speak of
justification they speak almost exclusively of that facet of justification we
usually call 'subjective' justification, which has also been called 'special' or
'personal' justification. But the Confessions also show us that the basis for
this justification is the justification that precedes faith."
Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective
or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference,
WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 13.

Norwegian UOJ
"The chief differences between the contestants [Norwegians and
Augustana] seems to have been in the essence rather than in the effect of
Absolution. Both agreed that the Gospel offered the forgiveness of sins,
but the one side held that it was given only to those who in faith received
it, while the other side said that it was given also to unbelievers, though

137

they did not accept it. Both agreed that unbelievers received no benefit
from such an absolution."
J. Magnus Rohne, Norwegian Lutheranism up to 1872, New
York, Macmillan, p. 231. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the
Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California
Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 20. [This is
important for understanding the early Robert Preus, who supported UOJ.]

Formula, Free Will


"Against both these parties the pure teachers of the Augsburg Confession
have taught and contended that by the fall of our first parents man was so
corrupted that in divine things pertaining to our conversion and the
salvation of our souls he is by nature blind, that, when the Word of God
is preached, he neither does nor can understand it, but regards it as
foolishness; also, that he does not of himself draw nigh to God, but is and
remains an enemy of God, until he is converted, becomes a believer [is
endowed with faith], is regenerated and renewed, by the power of the
Holy Ghost through the Word when preached and heard, out of pure
grace, without any cooperation of his own."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, II. 5. Free Will,
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 881.
"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1
Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for
eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for
God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can
be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be
understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2
Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute
sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which
is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the
forgiveness of sins.' (Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28)
Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1
Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28
"In like manner Moses must precede and teach people to feel their sins in
order that grace may be sweet and welcome to them. Therefore all is in
vain, however friendly and lovely Christ may be pictured, if man is not
138

first humbled by a knowledge of himself and he possesses no longing for


Christ, as Mary's Song says, 'The hungry he hath filled with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away,' Luke 1:53."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 149. Matthew 15:21-28; Luke
1:53.

Luther - Not the Sins of Unbelievers


"The apostle says 'our,' 'our sins;' not his own sin, not the sins of
unbelievers. Purification is not for, and cannot profit, him who does not
believe. Nor did Christ effect the cleansing by our free-will, our reason or
power, our works, our contrition or repentance, these all being worthless
in the sight of God; he effects it by himself. And how? By taking our sins
upon himself on the holy cross, as Isaiah 53:6 tells us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 180. Hebrews 1:1-12; Hebrews
1:3;
"Christ is speaking here not of the word of the law, but of the Gospel,
which is a discourse about Christ, who died for our sins, etc. For God did
not wish to impart Christ to the world in any other way; he had to
embody him in the Word and thus distributed him, and present him to
everybody; otherwise Christ would have existed for himself alone and
remained unknown to us; he would have thus died for himself. But since
the Word places before us Christ, it thus places us before Him who has
triumphed over death, sin, and Satan. Therefore, he who grasps and
retains Christ, has thus also eternal deliverance from death. Consequently
it is a Word of life, and it is true, that whoever keeps the Word shall never
see death."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 177. John 8:46-59.

Requires Faith
"To this incline your ears, and be persuaded that God speaks through
men and forgives you your sins; this, of course, requires faith."

139

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand


Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 200.
"If I do not believe it, I will not receive its benefits; but that neither
renders it false nor proves that anything is lacking in Christ."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 258. Easter, Third Sermon. Mark
16:1-8.

Luthers Sermon, Treasure


It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has
removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through Him we
are lords over all things. But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is
not yet distributed nor invested. Consequently, if we are to
possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to
believe and say: I, too, am one of those who are to have this
treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the
treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise
than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying:
Dear Father, if it is Thy will to show toward me such great love
and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love
Thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what
pleases Thee. Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil
140

eyes, does not imagine He will cast us into hell, as it did before
the HS came....
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 279. Pentecost Sunday. John
14:23-31.
All who are born into the world of man and woman are sinful under
God's anger and curse, condemned to death. For all are conceived and
born in sin as Scripture testifies (Psalm 51:5): Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Sermons of Martin Luther, The House Postils, 3 vols., ed., Eugene
Klug, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996, II, p. 26. Easter Tuesday.
Luke 24:13-35; Psalm 51:5.
Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are
there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the
work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot
help and benefit a man unless he believes it and experiences its
saving power in his heart.
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 705f. Smalcald, 1537.

LCMS Catechism, 1905


"#305. Why do you say in this article: I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins?
Because I hold with certainty that by my own powers or through my own
works I cannot be justified before God, but that the forgiveness of sins is
given me out of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For where there is
forgiveness of sins, there is also true justification. Psalm 130:3-4; Psalm
143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Job 25:4-6 (Q. 124)."
Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.
"#306. What is justification? Justification is that activity (Handlung) of
God by which He out of pure grace and mercy for the sake of Christ's
merits forgives the sins of a poor sinner who truly believes in Jesus Christ
and receives him to everlasting life."
141

Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis:


Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.

The True Vine

142

Appendix 3: Efficacy Catechism


Misuse of Creation
"Creation serves the ungodly unwillingly; it cries out like a woman lying in
travail. But on the Last Day this crying will cease, and the misuse of
creation will also come to an end; heaven and earth will collapse, and a
new heaven and earth will arise. For all creation must die and be cleansed
and purged by the last fire. Then there will be a new heaven and
earth...when the present heaven and earth take off their workday clothing
and put on their festive garment."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1529. 1540 exposition. Psalm
72:7.
Lutherans have a fine tradition of presenting doctrinal information
in the form of a catechism. The Enchiridion of Martin Chemnitz and the
Outline of Christian Doctrine by Henry Eyster Jacobs both served to train
pastors in the basic elements of Scriptural teaching. The question and
answer format is useful in addressing controversial points. The following
catechism is not designed to cover every point in Christian doctrine, but
those topics directly related to the efficacy of the Word.
"On the other hand, the practical result of the acceptance of the Scriptural
doctrine that the Holy Spirit is inseparably united with the Word is the
absolute subjection of every thought to the Word of God, as this is set
forth in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 10:5. In this case every doctrine which is
opposed to Scripture is rejected as false, no matter to what source it may
be attributed, whether it be the 'spirit,' the 'inner word,' the 'inner light,'
'reason,' 'science,' 'the Church,' 'the Pope,' and the like. Unless we fully
accept the Scriptural doctrine that the Holy Spirit is indissolubly united
with the Word of Scripture, we cannot regard this precious Book of God
as the only source and standard of faith. It was for this reason that our
Lutheran theologians so strenuously defended the inseparable unity of the
Word and the Spirit."
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of
Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 135. 2
Corinthians 10:5.
143

"And what need is there of many words? If I were to recount all the profit
and fruit which God's Word produces, whence would I get enough paper
and time? The devil is called the master of a thousand arts. But what shall
we call God's Word, which drives away and brings to naught this master
of a thousand arts with all his arts and power? It must indeed be the
master of more than a hundred thousand arts. And shall we frivolously
despise such power, profit, strength, and fruitwe, especially, who claim
to be pastors and preachers? If so, we should not only have nothing given
us to eat, but be driven out, being baited with dogs, and pelted with dung,
because we not only need all this every day as we need our daily bread, but
must also daily use it against the daily and unabated attacks and lurking of
the devil, the master of a thousand arts."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #12, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 571. Tappert, p. 360. Heiser, p.
167.

Is God always active through the Word?


The prophet Isaiah teaches us that Gods Word always has an
effect and is never without an effect. The comparison with rain and snow
reminds us in the clearest possible way that the results of Gods Word are
inevitable.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my
ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and
returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring
forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to
the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish
that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent
it.
God has also attached three specific promises about the power of His
Word:

144

a)

It shall not return void, meaning that it will always have an


effect.

b)

It shall accomplish Gods will, so all the effects of the Word


are in harmony with Gods plans, in spite of how they might
appear to us;

c)

It will have the very effect desired by God and not another
effect.

All our thoughts or claims about Gods Word must be in harmony with
this passage from Isaiah 55.

"Though all the powers of evil


The will of God oppose, His purpose will not falter,
His pleasure onward goes.
Whatever God's will resolveth,
Whatever He intends,
Will always be accomplished
True to His aims and ends."
Paul Gerhardt, 1656, "Commit Whatever Grieves Thee," The Lutheran
Hymnal, #520, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941. Isaiah 55.
"Der Geist wirkt nicht vor der Schrift, die Schrift nicht ver dem Geist,
sondern beider Wirken faellt zusammen, sowohl der Aktion als dem
Effeckt nach." [The Spirit does not work before the Word, the Word does
not work before the Spirit, but both are inseparable, just as action follows
cause.]
Adolf Hoenecke, Evangelisch-Lutherische Dogmatik, 4 vols., ed.,
Walter and Otto Hoenecke, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House,
1912, IV, p. 20.

"Quenstedt (I, 183): 'We are to assume here not only a certain conjunction
or union of distinct actions, or even a unity of aims or effects, but also a
unity of energy and operation. For the Holy Spirit does not by Himself do
something, and the Word of God by itself something else, in the
conversion of men; but they produce the one effect by one and the same
action. For such is the peculiar nature of the principal and subordinate
causes, intrinsically united together, that they produce an effect by one
145

and the same action. Thus the soul and the eye see by a single action, and
not by distinct actions.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United
Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 505.

"And thus we might go on, and show that what is ascribed in one place to
the Spirit, is ascribed in another place to the Wordproving conclusively
that the two always go together. Where one is, there the other is also. The
Spirit operates through the Word, whether it be the written, the preached,
the sacramental, or the Word in conversation or reflection."
G. H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church,
Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887, p. 134.

"Rise, Thou Light of Gentile nations,


Jesus, bright and Morning Star;
Let Thy Word, the gladsome tidings,
Ring out loudly near and far,
Bringing freedom to the captives,
Peace and comfort to the slave,
That the heathen, free from bondage,
May proclaim Thy power to save."
Herman Fick, 1885, "Rise, Thou Light of Gentile Nations," The Lutheran
Hymnal, #498, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941. Isaiah 60:1.

What New Testament text supports this claim?


St. Paul distinguishes between mans wisdom, without the Holy
Spirit, and the work of the Holy Spirit through Gods Word,
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but
the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely
146

given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words


which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;
comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Mans wisdom opposes Gods Word, and Gods Word teaches
against mans wisdom. That doctrine is why Gods Word is foolishness to
the unbeliever. It also shows us that anyone who mocks the pure Word of
God is an unbeliever.
You must always have the Word of God in your heart, on your
lips, and in your ears. Where the heart is idle and the Word does
not ring out, the devil breaks in and has done damage before we
are aware of it. On the other hand, such is the power of the Word
if it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used that it is never
without fruit. It always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and
devotion and purifies the heart and thoughts. For these are not
inert or dead but active and living words.
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St.
Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1467. Exodus 20:8.

Additional Passages
There are many. In the Old Testament, there is no difference
between the command of God and the result. Therefore, we have
hundreds of examples of Gods Word being active and powerful, from
the Creation of the world in Genesis 1 to the destruction of Sennacherib.
Isaiah 37:33 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of
Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor
come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. 34 By the way that
he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city,
saith the LORD. 35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine own
sake, and for my servant David's sake. 36 Then the angel of the LORD
went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and
fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning,
behold, they were all dead corpses. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria
departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
In the New Testament, we have many passages where the Holy Spirit
teaches effectiveness of the Word.

147

a.

The Sower and the Seed parable, Matthew 13:3-9, shows us


that the Word encounters many difficulties but still prospers
according to Gods will.

Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying,
Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell
by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell
upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they
sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun
was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered
away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and
choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,
some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to
hear, let him hear.
b.

The Word is called an incorruptible seed in 1 Peter 1:23,


revealing to us that the eternal Word will bring about eternal
life.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of


incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
c.

In James 1:21, the implanted Word alone is able to save


people.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of


naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able
to save your souls.
d.

In calling Himself the True Vine in John 15:1-8, Jesus


teaches us that remaining with Him will always yield spiritual
fruit.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what
ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
e.

In another comparison with the Creation, the apostle Paul


shows us that in planting and nurturing the Word, we do not
credit man as effective but God alone.
1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the
increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that
watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

148

Hollazius (993):
A divine power is communicated to the Word by the Holy Spirit
joined with it indissolubly.' Hence, there is a native or intrinsic
power and efficacy belonging to the Word, deeply inherent in it.
The Dogmaticians draw proofs of this, (1) From the qualities
which the divine Word ascribes to itself, John 6:63; Romans 1:16;
Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:21.
(2) From the similar supernatural and divine operations which are
ascribed to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, ex. gr., calling,
2 Timothy 2:14; illumination, 2 Peter 1:19; conversion, Jeremiah
23:29; regeneration, 1 Peter 1:23; justification, 2 Corinthians 3:9;
sanctification, John 17:17."
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United
Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 505.

The terms efficacious and effective


God chose Greek as the language for the New Testament. In the
Greek New Testament we have many examples of Gods Word being
called efficacious, an older term for effective. Examples of this Greek
word group are underlined in the passages below.
a.

The apostle Paul distinguishes between mans word and


Gods Word in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, because Gods Word is
effective. The Thessalonians knew that Gods power in the
Word converted them from paganism.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God
without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of
God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word
of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which
effectually worketh also in you that believe.

b.

Paul was converted and made an apostle through the Word


spoken by the risen Christ to him, while he was on the road
to Damascus to persecute the Christian faith. When the
Scriptures converted Augustine from paganism to the
Christian faith, his mother Monica recited this passage from
Ephesians.
149

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do


exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him
be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
world without end. Amen.
c.

The Word is called a living and powerful (effective) sword


in Hebrews 4:12.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and
powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.

d.

God is effective in giving us the will to obey Him and in


actually doing His will.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

"It is indeed a precious truth, that this Word not only tells me what I must
do to be saved, but it also enables me to do it. It is the vehicle and instrument
of the Holy Spirit. Through it the Holy Spirit works repentance and faith.
Through it He regenerates, converts, and sanctifies."
G. H. Gerberding, The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church,
Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1887, p. 132. [emphasis in
original]

"Hollazius (993) uses the following figures: 'It possesses and retains its
internal power and efficacy even when not used, just as the illuminating
power of the sun continues, although, when the shadow of the moon
intervenes, no person may see it; and just as an internal efficacy belongs to
the seed, although it may not be sown in the field.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United
Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 506.

150

Is Satan also effective?


Yes. The passage warning us about the power of the Antichrist
uses the term for efficacy three different times.
2 Thessalonians 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he
who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall
that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of
his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him,
whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them
that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they
might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie:

"And the devil, who is efficacious in the godless, as Paul says, Ephesians
2:2, does not cease to incite this feeble nature to various offenses."
Apology to the Augsburg Confession, XVIII, #5, Free Will.
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 335.
Tappert, p. 226. Heiser, p. 102.
This text from 2 Thessalonians shows us that those who reject
the truth of the Scriptures also prove the efficacy of Gods Word, because
they become deluded and love error. Men harden their hearts by scoffing
at the grace of God. In the same way, when people unworthily receive the
Body of Christ, without discernment, they eat to their damnation, 1
Corinthians 11:29.
1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

"Is it the office of the Word simply to afford directions that are to be
followed in order to obtain salvation? It is more than a directory and
guide to Christ. It does more than 'give directions how to live.' It brings
and communicates the grace concerning which it instructs. It has an
inherent and objective efficacy, derived from its divine institution and
promise, and explained by the constant presence and activity of the Holy

151

Spirit in and with it. Romans 1:16; John 6:63; 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 4:4;
Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Romans 10:5-10; Isaiah 55:10."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith,
Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1913, p. 288.

Is the Word alone is effective?


First of all, every passage about the efficacy of the Word
concerns itself exclusively with Gods power. Isaiah 55 does not associate
Gods power in the Word with mans effort, work, wisdom, or
salesmanship. Secondly, when man is included in the text, it is only to
exclude man from the efficacy of the Word. Two clear examples are 1
Thessalonians 2:13 and 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.
a) 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye
heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in
truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you
that believe.
b) 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God
gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing,
neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
"In the Word of God there is not only a speaking about God, but in and
through His Word God Himself speaks to us, deals with us, acts upon us.
Therefore the Word of God is also an efficacious means of grace through
which God regenerates, converts, and sanctifies man. This efficacy the
Word of God possesses always; it is always united with the Word, never
separated from it. The effect which God intends through the Word is
indeed not always attained, but this is owing to no lack of efficacy in the
Word, but solely to the resistance of man; for man has the power to resist
God and to prevent His Word from accomplishing the effect which He
intends."
E. Hove, Christian Doctrine, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing
House, 1930, p. 27.

152

Can we detract or add to the Word?


We do not have to look hard to find the origin of their folly. The
Reformed consistently teach that the Scriptures are dead, lifeless, and
incapable unless man makes them germane, relevant, or appealing by his
effort. The Reformed have compared the Scriptures to a statue of Hermes
or a road-sign, which points the way but does not give the individual the
power to go in that direction. This delusion is clearly repudiated in the
text listed earlier:
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will
and to do of his good pleasure.
"(3) Hollazius: 'The Word of God, as such, cannot be conceived of
without the divine virtue, or the Holy Spirit, who is inseparable from His
Word. For if the Holy Spirit could be separated from the Word of God, it
would not be the Word of God or of the Spirit, but a word of man. Nor is
there any other Word of God, which is in God, or with which the men of
God have been inspired, than that which is given in the Scriptures or is
preached or is treasured up in the human mind. But, as it cannot be
denied that that is the divine will, counsel, mind, and the wisdom of God,
so it cannot be destitute of the divine virtue or efficacy.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United
Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 505.

Do we create obstacles to Gods Word?


Asking this question is the first step on the road to apostasy.
When we begin thinking about obstacles to Gods Word, we start to
diminish the power of the Holy Spirit. Deluded Lutherans have even
imagined that a ministers clothing will change the outcome of the
sermon. Instead of thinking about obstacles to Gods Word, we should
dwell on the importance of the purity of Gods Word.
2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but
by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's
conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to
them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the
153

minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The Scriptures teach confidence in God, not in man. The positive
and negative emphasis upon man, whether he helps or hurts the Word,
diverts trust from the Gospel promise, which never lies or deceives, and
focuses upon man, the earthen vessel, 2 Corinthians 4:7.
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the
excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses
are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the
wind, have taken us away.

Did Jesus believe in the efficacy of the Word?


Yes. Jesus converted people to faith only through the external or
spoken Word. He spoke the Law and the Gospel to the woman at the
well (John 4).
John 4:5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near
to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's
well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on
the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 7 There cometh a woman of
Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his
disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the
woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest
drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no
dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou
knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink;
thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living
water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with,
and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art
thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank
thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and
said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But
whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing
up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this
water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto
her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and
154

said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have
no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now
hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith
unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers
worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place
where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe
me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at
Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we
know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour
cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father
in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God
is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in
truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which
is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith
unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
He spoke the Law only to the rich young ruler, who was still
proud in the imagination of his heart.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that
thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying,
he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Did Jesus use miracles to convert people to faith?


In the Gospel of John, Jesus teaches with great clarity that His
Word was accompanied with miracles during His earthly ministry to
confirm that the signs and the doctrine came from God the Father.
John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I
do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and
believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Lenski:
The thought is that the more one may hesitate to believe Jesus words,
the more he is bound to believe the works, which as actual works admit of
no legitimate denial; compare 14:10, 11. The words one may connect only
with Jesus, since they fall from his human lips; the works are so connected
with both Jesus and the Father who sent him to do these works that he
who will not believe the works sets himself in antagonism against the
Father. Believe the works! means, Fly not in the face of these!128

155

Does love make us effective?


This question comes from Pietism, an earlier Lutheran-Reformed
movement where people demanded the fruits of the Spirit but denied
their source, the pure Word of God. This belief is a confusion of the tree
with the fruit. Jesus teaches us to value the tree, the source of the fruit,
which is the Word. The treesound doctrineproduces love. Love does
not produce the tree.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes
of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth
good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree
cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and
cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
In this text, which is never contradicted by the Scriptures, Jesus
insists that nothing good will come from false doctrine. However, He also
promises that the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) will necessarily spring
from the pure Word.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there
is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
"Correct doctrine is essential. But it is never to be a priority at the expense
of the mission. In fact, when the quest for proper doctrine intensifies to
the point of neglecting mission and ministry, then it is no longer proper
doctrine."
Kent Hunter, LCMS, Foundations for Church Growth, New Haven:
Leader Publishing, 1983, pp. 152-3. Cited in Rev. Curtis Peterson, former
WELS World Mission Board member, "A Second and Third Look at
Church Growth Principles," Metro South Pastors Conference Mishicot,
Wisconsin, February 3, 1993 p. 21. Peterson is now an atheist working
128Lenski,

R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN :


Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 772

156

with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but his essays are still in the
deuteron-canonical WELS files, as of 2011.
False teachers among the Lutherans have cunningly motivated
people to accept their Reformed doctrine and agenda in the name of
missions, love for lost souls, and tolerance for those who deeply care
about the growth of their synod. According to the false teachers, anyone
who dares to question them is loveless, against missions, opposed to
evangelism, and against the growth of their synod. Luther places love in
its proper perspective.
"For this reason one should not be too credulous when a preacher comes
softly like an angel of God, recommends himself very highly, and swears
that his sole aim is to save souls, and says: 'Pax vobis!' For those are the
very fellows the devil employs to honey people's mouths. Through them
he gains an entrance to preach and to teach, in order that he may
afterward inflict his injuries, and that though he accomplish nothing more
for the present, he may, at least, confound the people's consciences and
finally lead them into misery and despair."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 322. Luke 24:36-47.
"In like manner we will also do to our princes and priests; when they
attack our manner of life, we should suffer it and show love for hatred,
good for evil; but when they attack our doctrine, God's honor is attacked,
then love and patience should cease and we should not keep silent, but
also say: I honor my Father, and you dishonor me; yet I do not inquire
whether you dishonor me, for I do not seek my own honor."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 176. John 8:46-59.

"Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to


be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we are told that not love but
the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f. Ephesians 6:10-17.
157

"Consequently, I say to my worst enemies: Where it is only my own


person that is involved, there I am very willing to help you and to do
everything good for you in spite of the fact that you are my enemy and
that all you ever do for me is to harm me. But where it is the Word of
God that is involved, there you must not expect any friendship or love
that I may have for you to persuade me to do something against that,
even if you were my nearest and dearest friend. But since you cannot
endure the Word, I will speak this prayer over you: May God dash you to
the ground! I shall willingly serve you, but not in order to help you
overthrow the Word of God. For this purpose you will never be able to
persuade me even to give you a drink of water."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St.
Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1480. Matthew 5:43-48
"In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very
stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters
concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and
leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412f. Galatians 2:8.
"Doctrine is our only light. It alone enlightens and directs us and shows
us the way to heaven. If it is shaken in one quarter (in une parte), it will
necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum). Where that happens, love
cannot help us at all."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 414. Galatians 5:10.

"But this tender mercy is to be exercised only toward Christians and


among Christians, for toward those who reject and persecute the Gospel
we must act differently; here I am not permitted to let my love be merciful
so as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are
concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order. Then it
is my duty to contend in earnest and not to yield a hairbreadth."

158

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637f.

Can unfriendly ushers undo a sermon?


No. If a Lutheran pastor or anyone else makes this claim, he is
saying that the glare of an usher is more powerful than Gods Word. Once
again, this claim is a confusion between the fruit of the Spirit and the
treeGods Word. The love salesmen want to gather apples where there
are no trees. They advocate love but promote the Law, which cannot
produce any love, since only the Gospel can produce the fruit of the
Spirit. All claims about the efficacy of love are actually Law demands, and
they derive their authority from mans wisdom. The evangelism expert
will say, You must be more loving or no one will want to join our
congregation. He may even say, No one comes to our church, because
it is not loving enough and no one invites friends. Growth in
membership, according to recent studies, always comes from members
inviting friends. Jesus refuted the notion that producing visible results is
the work of God.
John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work
the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the
work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
If there ever was a strictly conservative body, it surely is the Missouri
Synod. Nevertheless, this growth!...It is a mark of the pastors and leaders
of the Missouri Synod that they never, aye, never, tire of discussing
doctrine on the basis of Scripture and the Confessions. That is one trait
that may be called the spirit of Missouri. People who thus cling to
doctrine and contend for its purity are of an entirely different nature from
the superficial unionists who in the critical moment will declare five to be
an even number. God will bless all who value His Word so highly.
Dr. R. C. H. Lenski, Kirchenzeitung, May 20, 1922. Cited in W. A.
Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore
Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 515f.

"The correct understanding of the doctrine of the Means of Grace will


have a salutary influence on pastors and hearers; without the proper use
159

of the Means of Grace no sinner can expect to be saved and no Church


can hope to grow."
Edwin E. Pieplow, "The Means of Grace," The Abiding Word, ed.,
Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p.
344.

Does God limit Himself to the Word?


Men deceive themselves and others when they question Gods
gracious will, revealed in the Scriptures, and then claim God is limited
(using a pejorative term) by what He has revealed about Himself. This
limitation has been a frequent charge against the Biblical doctrine of the
Means of Gracethat this doctrine limits God to His Word and
Sacraments. Like Ahaz in Isaiah, these false teachers will not limit God.
However, God has bound Himself to His Word through His promises.

"First, our Lord does encourage us or even command us to believe that


wherever there is the good character, the Christ-like character, there the
Holy Spirit is at work. God works far beyond His own appointed
channels. The principle of loyalty and obedience binds us who know His
will to use His sacraments, His instituted ordinances; but God is not tied
to His own ordinances. He can work wherever He sees the good
disposition; and it is blasphemy against His Spirit to deny that He is at
work anywhere where we witness the forming of the Christian character.
The good fruit cannot come from anything else than the good tree."
Bishop Charles Gore, (Anglican) The Sermon on the Mount, A
Practical Exposition, London: John Murray 1906, p. 179f.
We receive many benefits from being certain about how He works
through means:

160

1.

We know that we can find God and His grace only in the
Word and Sacraments, and never apart from the Word and
Sacraments.

2.

We can understand why various man-made methods,


gimmicks, fads, and tricks will not accomplish Gods will or
build the true Church which has only one foundation, the
Word.

3.

Knowing that God always works exclusively through the


Word, we can be as careless as the Sower (Matthew 13) in
broadcasting the living seed, knowing God will prosper the
work according to His will.

4.

We can learn to be less self-centered, thinking Gods


Kingdom is dependent upon our efforts, and grow in
confidence in the Word.

"Faith lives on the offer of the forgiveness of sins, as it comes to us in the


certain promise and absolute guarantee of the Gospel and the Sacraments.
Here, again, Lutheranism fully meets the sinner's need."
The. Engelder, W. Arndt, Th. Graebner, F. E. Mayer, Popular
Symbolics, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 5.

"True, the enthusiasts confess that Christ died on the cross and saved us;
but they repudiate that by which we obtain Him; that is, the means, the
way, the bridge, the approach to Him they destroy...They lock up the
treasure which they should place before us and lead me a fool's chase;
they refuse to admit me to it; they refuse to transmit it; they deny me its
possession and use." (III, 1692)
Martin Luther. Cited in The. Engelder, W. Arndt, Th. Graebner,
F. E. Mayer, Popular Symbolics, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House,
1934, p. 5.

"The Word of God is efficacious not only when it is being read from the
Bible, but also when it is being spoken or preached, and when it is recalled
by memory. The Word of God, properly speaking, is really not the letters
which we see or the sound which we hear, but the divine thoughts, the
truths designated by these signs."
E. Hove, Christian Doctrine, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing
House, 1930, p. 27.

161

Effective Sermons
Why is it important to preach?
Although the Word is also efficacious when read or remembered,
God willed that men should proclaim Law and Gospel in sermons. Luther
called this preaching the External Word to emphasize the nature of the
spoken Word, pointing out that the Son of God converted people
exclusively through preaching and teaching. The Holy Spirit works
through the Word in preaching to plant faith in the hearts of the audience.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God.

"The most important of all the pastor's acts is his public preaching...A
minister may be ever so good as a liturgist, ever so gifted as a ruler of his
congregation, or in private pastoral work, but all this can never take the
place of right preaching."
C. F. W. Walther, Pastorale, p. 76. Cited in G. H. Gerberding, The
Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1915, p. 275.

"'When the Word is read at home it is not as fruitful or as forcible as in


public preaching and through the mouth of the preacher whom God has
called for this purpose.
Luther, Erlangen edition, 3:401. Cited in Henry Eyster Jacobs, A
Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia: General Council Publication
House, 1913, p. 290. Jacobs is pictured below.

162

Henry E. Jacobs
"The apostle's purpose in praising his co-laborers is to prevent them
from despising the external Word as something inessential to them, or
well enough known. For though God is able to effect everything without
the instrumentality of the outward Word, working inwardly by his Spirit,
this is by no means his purpose. He uses preachers as fellow-workers, or
co-laborers, to accomplish His purpose through the Word when and
where He pleases. Now, since preachers have the office, name and honor
of the fellow-workers with God, no one may be considered learned
enough or holy enough to ignore or despise the most inferior preaching;
especially since he knows not when the hour may come wherein God will,
through preachers, perform his work in him."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 134. 1 Corinthians 13. Isaiah 55.

"For it is not preaching itself, but the Word as preached which is a means
of grace. This demands not only that nothing be preached but what
comes directly or indirectly from Holy Scripture, but also that the
contents of Holy Scripture be preached in due proportion and in the
proper order."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith,
Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1913, p. 293.

What if I fail to see results?


When ministers and members fret about seeing visible results in
their congregations, they are turning away from trust in God in favor of
the temporary comfort of money, buildings, and a full church. One
163

congregation removed pews to make their church seem to be full! The


Scriptures do not contain a single commandment, injunction, ordinance,
or exhortation to build up institutions.
Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy
righteousness. 41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy
salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have wherewith to answer
him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. 43 And take not the
word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
God has also warned us:
Isaiah 30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye
despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay
thereon: 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall,
swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant

"Be not worried because of this! For even though a man preach and
continue in the Gospel for many years, he must still lament and say: Aye,
no one will come, and all continue in their former state. Therefore you
must not let that grieve or terrify you."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 305. Luke 24:36-47.

"So confident now should every preacher be, and not doubt, that
possesses and preaches God's Word, that he could even die for it, since it
is worth life to us. Now there is no man so holy that he needs to die for
the doctrine he has taught concerning himself. Therefore one concludes
from this that the apostles had assurance from God that their Gospel was
God's Word. And here is also proved that the Gospel is nothing else than
the preaching of Christ."
Martin Luther, Commentary on Peter and Jude, ed. John N. Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1990, p. 245. 2 Peter 1:16-18.

164

Is it the pastors job to be popular?


If the minister teaches the pure Word of God, he cannot be a
respecter of persons, a special term unique to the New Testament and
clearly explained in the Scriptures. God shows no partiality.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his
countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him:
for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward
appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive
that God is no respecter of persons:
Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Because God shows no partiality, neither should believers.
Ephesians 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing
threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there
respect of persons with him.
Colossians 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong
which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Synodical leaders today violate the Scriptures constantly through
their Planned Giving Counselors, Major Gifts programs, endowment
drives, and selling of indulgences to unrepentant transgressors.
Consequently, the greedy leaders despise poor pastors and ordinary
members, especially those who treasure the Word instead of Mammon.

James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your
assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also
a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the
gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to
the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not
then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
James 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are
convinced of the law as transgressors.
165

"Your first desire will be that all men may obtain the same knowledge of
divine grace. Hence your love will not be restrained from serving all to the
fullest extent, preaching and proclaiming the divine truth wherever
possible, and rejecting all doctrine and life not in harmony with this
teaching. But take note, the devil and the world, unwilling that their
devices be rejected, cannot endure the knowledge of what you do. They
will oppose you with everything great, learned, wealthy and powerful, and
represent you as a heretic and insane."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Lenker, Grand Rapids:
Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 147. Titus 3:4-8.

"This title [market house] we should write on all churches in which the
Gospel is not preached, for there they mock God, destroy souls, banish
the pure Word and establish dens of murder; for he who listens to their
words must die."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 328. Luke 17:5.

Would a better personality help?


Those who sell relationship evangelism programs have
convinced many foolish people that stinking sinners will make the
glorious, eternal Word of Truth appealing to unbelievers. In other words,
their glittering vices, as Augustine called them, would make people say, I
want what you have. The doctrine behind such programs is nothing
more than Pharisaic righteousness, the glorification of self with a reluctant
nod toward the Creator of heaven and earth.

"Non-Christians usually become good prospects for personal reasons or


as I like to say: 'They come for sociological reasons and stay for
theological reasons.'"
Rev. Paul Kelm, "How to Make Sound Doctrine Sound Good to
Mission Prospects," p. 4.

166

"Upside-down evangelism may begin with different diagnostic questions.


What do you want out of life? lets the other person pick the path for
witness. How do you feel about where our society is heading? uncovers
fears and needs without becoming too personal. What makes people
happy (or unhappy) do you think? allows someone to express preceived
[sic] needs in the third person."
Paul Kelm, The Evangelism Life Line (WELS), Fall, 1985, p. 5.

"Lifestyle evangelism is the merger of visual and verbal witness, by the


people Jesus intended, in the way that He modeled. It's the primary
element in a church's strategy to win the lost."
Rev. Paul Kelm, Evangelism, WELS, Your Invitation! Kent
Hunter, (D. Min., Fuller).

"Whoever does not receive the Word for its own sake, will never receive it
for the sake of the preacher, even if all the angels preached it to him. And
he who receives it because of the preacher does not believe in the Word,
neither in God through the Word, but he believes the preacher and in the
preacher. Hence the faith of such persons does not last long. But whoever
believes the Word, does not care who the person is that speaks the Word,
and neither will he honor the Word for the sake of the person; but on the
contrary, he honors the person because of the Word, and always
subordinates the person to the Word."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 162. Luke 2:15-20.

"In the second place, to resist wicked preachers of man, who do not bear
witness of Christ, the Light, but of themselves. For it is true indeed, that
all who preach the doctrines of men make man the light, lead men away
from God to themselves, and set themselves up in the place of the true
Light, as the pope and his followers have done."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 203. John 1:1-14.

167

Why reject Reformed doctrine?


Anyone who says that the Scriptures are dead until man makes
them live with his reason is an opponent of God. Many Lutheran pastors
will claim that this teaching is not their position, but their doctrinal
foundation is genuinely Reformed. These pastors read Reformed authors
instead of Lutheran authors and soon join the Reformed in mocking and
adulterating Gods Word. They never quote one particular statement from
Jesus about being a disciple.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye
continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

"Hence, too, the lack of emphasis, even in the best of Reformed


preaching, upon the divine Word as the vehicle of regenerating grace and
on the Sacraments. The office of the Word, then, is merely to point to the
way of life, without communicating that of which it conveys the idea. The
Word and Sacraments are declared to be necessary; their office in the
Church is a divine institution; but they are only symbols of what the Spirit
does within; and the Spirit works immediately and irresistibly."
"Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th.
Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927,
p. 298.

Quo propior Luthero, eo melior theologus!


"It is the purpose of this volume to aid in displacing books of Reformed
preachers. We would encourage the cultivation of distinctly Lutheran
preaching. Therefore, we now appeal to our brethren always to consult
Luther when preparing to preach. Quo propior Luthero, eo melior theologus! Let
us who are called Lutheran preachers be sure that in every one of our
sermons we preach God's Word and Luther's doctrine pure. It is that
preaching which God demands of us, 1 Peter 4:11. It was that preaching
which conquered the Roman Goliath, Revelation 12:11. By that preaching
we shall truly build the walls of Zion, not with hay, straw, and stubble, but
with such stones as all the powers of hell shall never overthrow, Luke
21:15."

168

Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, St. Louis: Concordia


Publishing House, 1931, p. ix.

"Paul...is speaking about methods of preaching the Gospel. He means to


say that you can introduce methods into your Gospel work which on the
surface do not appear as shameful, but which in reality disgrace the
Gospel. He is harking back to 2:17, where he spoke about kapeleuein,
about 'selling' the Gospel. To use a coarse illustration: Some ministers in
their eagerness to bring the Gospel to the people, resort to entertainment
to attract the crowds, in order to get an opportunity to preach to them. If
you would tell such ministers that they are ashamed of the Gospel and
that by their methods they disgrace it, because they manifest a lack of
trust in its efficacy, they would resent the charge. Are they not doing all in
order to promote the Gospel? The disgrace their methods bring upon it
does not appear on the surface; that is why Paul speaks of secret things of
shame."
John P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, Milwaukee: Northwestern
Publishing House, 1963, pp. 62f. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
"It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do;
but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, false teachers, may
not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves, with
the Word of God, even to the sacrifice of our lives. Such are good
shepherds, of whom few are found."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 34. John 10:11-16.

"The world desires such wolf preaching, and is not worthy of anything
better since it will not hear nor respect Christ. Hence it is that there are so
few true Christians and faithful preachers, always outnumbered by the
members of the false church."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 385. Deuteronomy 29:19.

"It must be so, the village must be against them; again, the apostles must
despise them and appear before them, for the Lord will have no flatterer
169

as a preacher. He does not say: Go around the village, or to the one side
of it: Go in bravely and tell them what they do not like to hear. How very
few there are now who enter the village that is against them. We gladly go
into the towns that are on our side. The Lord might have said: Go ye into
the village before you. That would have been a pleasing and customary
form of speech. But he would indicate this mystery of the ministry, hence
he speaks in an unusual way: Go into the village that is over against you.
That is: Preach to them that are disposed to prosecute and kill you. You
shall merit such thanks and not try to please them, for such is the way of
hypocrites and not that of the evangelists."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 46f. Matthew 21:1-9.

"But the Lord refutes this and says: Go ye there and preach what does it
matter if it is against you? You will find there what I say. We should now
do likewise. Although the masses storm against the Gospel and there is no
hope that they will be better, yet we must preach, there will yet be found
those who listen and become converted."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 48. Matthew 21:1-9.

"Thus we arrive at the apostle's meaning in the assertion that a minister of


Christ is a steward in the mysteries of God. He should regard himself and
insist that others regard him as one who administers to the household of
God nothing but Christ and the things of Christ. In other words, he
should preach the pure Gospel, the true faith, that Christ alone is our life,
our way, our wisdom, power, glory, salvation; and that all we can
accomplish of ourselves is but death, error, foolishness, weakness, shame
and condemnation. Whosoever preaches otherwise should be regarded by
none as a servant of Christ or a steward of the divine treasurer; he should
be avoided as a messenger of the devil."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 73. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5,
"Paul in Romans 12:7-8 devotes the office of the ministry to two things,
doctrine and exhortation. The doctrinal part consists in preaching truths
not generally known; in instructing and enlightening the people.
170

Exhortation is inciting and urging to duties already well understood.


Necessarily both obligations claim the attention of the minister, and hence
Paul takes up both."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 9. Romans 13:11-14;
Romans 12:7-8.
"If Satan were only prudent enough to keep quiet and let the Gospel be
preached, he would receive less injury from it; for if the Gospel is not
attacked it completely rusts and has no occasion or reason to make its
power and influence manifest."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 300. Matthew 22:15-22.

"So it goes in the spiritual government of the Church, as specially


indicated in the narrative now before us. Where I have preached and
taught during the past ten or twenty years, there another could perhaps,
have done more in one year; and one sermon may bring forth more fruit
than many others. Here, also, it is true that our labor, diligence and effort
can accomplish nothing. These two things must go together, namely, that
each one does his duty, and that he, nevertheless, acknowledges with
Peter: 'My labor cannot bring forth anything, if thou dost not give the
increase.'"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 153. Luke 5:1-11.

"The means of grace are thus limited for Barth. The preacher descending
from the pulpit can never quote Luther and say with joyful assurance that
he has preached the Word of God. Of course, he can hope and pray; but
he can never know whether the Holy Spirit has accompanied the preached
Word, and hence whether his words were the Word of God. To know
this, or even to wish to know it, would be a presumptuous encroachment
of man upon the sovereign freedom of God."
Hermann Sasse, Here We Stand, trans. Theodore G. Tappert,
Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1946, p. 161.

171

"Almighty Father, bless the Word


Which through your grace we now have heard
Oh, may the precious seed take root,
Spring up, and bear abundant fruit.
We praise you for the means of grace
As homeward now our steps we trace.
Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here
May all at last in heaven appear."
Almighty Father, Bless the Word, The Lutheran Hymnal, #52, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1941. Mark 4.

"To the Lutheran the sermon, as the preached Word, is a means of grace.
Through it the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the
whole Christian church on earth. It is a constant offer of pardon; a giving
of life, as well as a nourishing and strengthening of life. In the Reformed
churches the sermon is apt to be more hortatory and ethical. It partakes
more of the sacrificial than of the sacramental character. The individuality
of the preacher, the subjective choice of a text, the using of it merely for a
motto, the discussion of secular subjects, the unrestrained platform style,
lack of reverence, lack of dignity, and many other faults are common, and
are not regarded as unbecoming the messenger of God in His temple.
Where there is a properly trained Lutheran consciousness such things
repel, shock, and are not tolerated."
G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg
Publishing House, 1915, p. 278.

172

"Then hail, ye mighty legions, yea, All hail!


Now save and blest for aye,
And praise the Lord, who with His Word
Sustained you on the way."
Hans A. Brorson, c. 1760, "Behold a Host, Arrayed in White," The
Lutheran Hymnal, #656, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941.
Revelation 7:13-17.

How can the Sacraments be Gods Word?


Rejection of the efficacy of the Word is easier to mask when
talking only about the Word. The Reformed teach the Word, preach the
Word, and publish an unending supply of books about the Word.
However, they come alive in their hatred of the Sacraments. Baptism and
Holy Communion can only be seen as symbolic, according to them. Their
false view of the deadness of the Word is not so apparent when they write
about the Word, so they seem to be part of our flock of sheep. But when
they consider Baptism and Holy Communion to be dead, that is, lacking
in divine activity, the lupine claw appears out from under the fleece. They
are not content just to dismiss the Sacraments as ordinances to be obeyed
as evidence of our Christian faith. The Reformed condemn describing the
Sacraments as the visible Word as a Roman Catholic heresy.

How do we number the Sacraments?


The term Sacrament is unwritten, as Chemnitz stated in his
Examination of the Council of Trent. It is not found in the Bible. Today we
use the term to include Baptism and Holy Communion.
Generally, we define the Means of Grace as the Word and
Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. However, God has
provided various ways in which we receive the Word. In the statement
below, quoting the Book of Concord, Smalcald Articles, we have a total of
five means: a) the spoken Word, b) Baptism, c) Holy Communion, d)
absolution, and e) the mutual consolation of the brethren.

173

Chemnitz
"If the question is put, 'Why did God ordain so many means of
grace when one suffices to confer upon the sinner His grace and
forgiveness?' we quote the reply of Luther who writes (Smalcald Articles,
IV: 'The Gospel not merely in one way gives us counsel and aid against
sin, for God is superabundantly rich in His grace. First through the
spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins is preached in the whole
world, which is the peculiar office of the Gospel. Secondly through
Baptism. Thirdly through the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly
through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation
and consolation of brethren, Matthew 18:20.'"
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of
Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 447.
Matthew 18:20.

16. Why is infant Baptism such a great comfort?


First of all, we can see God at work, because an infant has no
works to exchange for salvation and no reasoning power to make a
decision. When we see the faith of children, we know that God has
planted it in their hearts through the Word. Secondly, no one thinks to
judge whether the minister was effective in the Baptism. Third, Baptism is
a lifelong sacrament. A sermon or a lesson may be forgotten, but Baptism
remains Gods promise forever.

174

"The purest and best part of the human race, the special nursery and
flower of God's Church, is tender youth. Youth retains the gift of the
Holy Spirit which it received in Baptism; it learns eagerly the true doctrine
about God and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ; it calls Him God with a
chaste mind and with a simple, pure faith; it thanks Him with a quick and
joyful heart for the blessings received from Him; in its studies and the
other parts of life, it carries out the duties commanded it; and it obeys
God and parents reverently. Particularly God-pleasing, therefore, are the
studies of one's earliest age: prayer, obedience and praises which honor
God, regardless of how weak and stammering its voice may be."
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans.,
Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 9.

"How beautifully the apostle in these strong words extols the grace of
God bestowed in Baptism! He refers to Baptism as a washing, whereby
not our feet only, not our hands, but our whole bodies are cleansed.
Baptism perfectly and instantaneously cleanses and saves. For the vital
part of salvation and its inheritance, nothing more is necessary than this
faith in the grace of God. Truly, then, are we saved by grace alone,
without works or other merit."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 154. Titus 3:5.

175

Why do we say that God acts through Baptism?


All the language about Baptism in the New Testament suggests
divine activity.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and
renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through
Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be
made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the
church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it
with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to
himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;
but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash
away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,
nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were
some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.Hebrews
10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with
pure water.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the
longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a
preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The
like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting
away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward
God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven,
and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being
made subject unto him.

176

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with
him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from
the dead.
Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings,
and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Mark 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat
not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as
the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

How is the Word effective in Holy Communion?


The Sacrament of Holy Communion gives us forgiveness of sin
in a visible form, in an act we repeat to strengthen our faith and prepare
us for eternal life.

"A Christian should know that nothing on earth is more sacred than
God's Word; for even the Sacrament itself is made, blessed, and sanctified
by God's Word, and all of us, too, are thereby spiritually born and
consecrated Christians."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St.
Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1469.
"She desired nothing besides this Word, nor did she ask for more than
merely to touch His garment, which she used as an external means and
sign to gain the desired help. Likewise, we need nothing more in our lives
and in the kingdom of faith than the external Word and Sacraments, in
which He permits Himself to be touched and seized as if by His
garment."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker,
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 350. Matthew 9:18-26.

Christ is bodily present in Holy Communion?


The Scriptures teach us not what we can imagine, but what God
has done and will do in the future. We cannot imagine the Creation, the
Incarnation, the Trinity, or the Resurrection. The Word of God shows us

177

that the peace given to us through the Gospel also exceeds whatever we
can imagine with our minds.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This doctrine is also taught with great clarity in Ephesians:


Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Therefore, if we limit God to what we can think, imagine, or make
reasonable, then we have indeed created a Freudian divinity in our own
minds, a reflection of ourselves.
(6) "Human reason, though it ponder,
Cannot fathom this great wonder
That Christ's body ever remaineth
Though it countless souls sustaineth
And that He His blood is giving
With the wine we are receiving.
These great mysteries unsounded
Are by God alone expounded."
Johann Franck, 1649, "Soul, Adorn Thyself with Gladness", The Lutheran
Hymnal, #305, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

178

Appendix 4: The Gospel in a Few, Simple


Steps
God's will is carried out only through His Word, and this Word is always
united with the divine energy of His Holy Spirit. Isaiah 55:8-11.
The efficacious Word of God created the universe in six days and
converts the blind, hardened unbeliever into a new creation. This same
Word continues to work in the believer, to encourage godly contrition and
sustain his faith in Christ.
The Holy Spirit works through the Law to condemn our sins
against the Ten Commandments, our spiritual sins (First Table) against
God, which lead to the more visible sins against our neighbor (Second
Table).
God uses the preaching and teaching of the Gospel to plant and
sustain faith in the crushed hearts of contrite sinners. The Gospel message
is summarized:
"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.
The proclamation of the Gospel is carried out through the
invisible Word of preaching and teaching, the visible Word of Holy
Baptism and Holy Communion. God grants grace only through His
instruments, the Means of Grace.
Those who believe in the Gospel of Christ receive what He has
promised, complete and free forgiveness of sin. God declares that person
forgiven - justification by faith. Romans 5:1-2.
The fruits of the Spirit follow from faith in Christ, and God is
glorified by all things done in faith. Those who wish to harvest more for
the Kingdom should broadcast the Word with complete abandon, trusting
in God's Promises.

179

Errors Refuted
What God could do should not be confused with His Promises. He
has bound Himself to the Word forever, so the Holy Spirit never works
apart from the Means of Grace. Separating the Holy Spirit from the Word
is called Enthusiasm.
The word of man accomplishes nothing and only serves to dilute
and pollute the Word of God when mixed with His Wisdom. All Church
Growth and Emerging Church programs are pure Enthusiasm, loved by
Satan for turning weak members into Unitarians, lazy pastors into atheists.
Pastoral work is summarized by carrying out the divinely blessed
work of the Means of Grace - preaching, teaching, and visitation with the
Word. The minister is not obliged to balance the budget, keep everyone
happy, or pack the calendar with social events. He is not an entertainer, a
fishing buddy, a shrink. God enrages the devil by making an ordinary
person the ordained vessel for transmitting the Means of Grace.
Ministerial success is defined solely by faithfulness to the
Scriptures and Confessions, as Walther stated in quoting Luther, at the
end of Law and Gospel. God Himself will bring about His results.
Money is not a Means of Grace and has no effect on the growth
of the Kingdom. Because the love of money is the root of all evil, an
abundance of money will normally work against the Gospel - materially
bankrupting the spiritually bankrupt, as shown by the work of the Schwan
Foundation.
Scarlet fever (the desire to be a bishop, synod president, or
committee chairman) is best discouraged by making men pay to hold
office in the organization, paying a penalty for avoiding a studious life.
Working with those who deny the Means of Grace will always
undermine trust in God's appointed instruments. Lutherans have proven
repeatedly that they cannot work with the Reformed and remain faithful
to the Scriptures and Confessions.
False doctrine is a cancer, not an adiaphoron.
Synodical traditions and unwritten rules are hogwash designed to
fool the unwary, keep the organization captive, and thwart God's Word.
Mark 7:6. He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied
of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their
lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
180

Preaching of the Gospel Stone in a Pond

The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown


into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it,
the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they
come to the shore. Although the center becomes quiet, the waves
do not rest, but move forward. So it is with the preaching of the
Word. It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes
forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven
hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known
to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the
midst of its course and is condemned as heresy.129

Ever since, the Synodical Conference has been obsessed with the
question, What Would Walther Do? See the all-time best-selling Pietistic
novel, In His Steps, which tries to answer - What Would Jesus Do?

Many feign objections to J. P. Meyer and the Kokomo Statements, but


their words and actions support the substance of UOJ, which is pure

ii

Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand


Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 202. Ascension Day Mark 16:1420.

129

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Enthusiasm. Some forms of UOJ may be presented in a more appealing


way, but to paraphrase Luther, manure on a silver platter is still the same
product, no matter how it is presented.
The Arminians are named for the theologian Arminius, and should not
be confused with the charmless Kardashians, who are Armenians, an
ethnic group.
iii

Valleskeys essay on the Church Growth Movement used a string of


propositions to promote Reformed thinking and employed blatant
falsehoods to back them up. He misused Augustines spoiling the
Egyptians to claim Lutherans needed to plunder the vast spiritual
treasures of Fuller Seminary. The LCMS did a similar predetermined
study of Church Growth and found it lovely, adorning the Mistaufen
with flowery irrelevant statements. The ELS backed up spoiling the
Egyptians by having one of their professors read a paper and agree
pointedly with Valleskey. As Augustine also said, Roma locuta est, causa
finite est. (Rome has spoken the case is closed.)

iv

Universalism is a philosophy derived from a false concept of the


Atonement. I have been invited twice to teach at Universalist services
and declined both invitations. One came from my neighbor in Columbus,
Ohio. The other was from my student in Phoenix. The Universalists
originally taught that all people were saved, due to the goodness of God.
The Unitarians believed that all men were saved, due to the goodness of
man. They merged to become the Unitarian Universalist Association,
which became even more Left-wing that its founding organizations. All
the largest and old denominationsincluding the Roman Catholic
Churchteach Universalism in one form or another.
v

But this must be noted: Christ died 1900 years ago, on a certain day, at
a certain hour in time. But this counts for all time: for the entire future
time, for all the prior time. For by Christs death all died, Adam and all
his descendants. The effect covered all. It is literally true: the Lamb slain
from the foundation of the world. His death availed for Adam. All in the
Old Testament who believed were saved by that death just as all are in the
New Testament who believe. R. C. H. Lenski, Corinthians, Columbus:
Wartburg Press,195 ,p1033. 2 Corinthians 5:15
vi

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