"Over against all that reason suggests or would measure and fathom, yes, all that our senses feel and perceive, we must learn to cling to the Word and simply judge according to it."


- Martin Luther




Luther's Rose


I wish most importantly to state a case for Christ and His Cross for the unbeliever, but I also wish to make the case for both the unbeliever and the "blessedly inconsistent" towards the true apostolic and catholic teachings of the blessed and orthodox Lutheran Church.



SOLI DEO GLORIA



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Have you read...


...This excellent article by Pr. Stuart Wood called:


Taking the Mask off Calvinism


The Danger of Human Reason


by: Pr. Stuart Wood


(This article is republished with the author's consent)


Dear brethren of the ELCR, we live in a dangerous time. Today, more than ever before, Satan is trying to wipe true Christianity off the face of the map. We know that he cannot ultimately accomplish that, but we also know that he will not cease his efforts until the Lord comes. Jesus said, “No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3:27). This binding of the strong man took place at the cross of Calvary. There our Lord rendered Satan powerless (Heb. 2:14). For the last two thousand years, He has been plundering his house, that is, rescuing poor lost souls who were formerly under his power. He has done this through the proclamation of the Gospel, how that “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3). When a person hears this Word and receives it in true faith, he “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). He is “delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” (Col. 1:13). But the Scriptures also tell us that this blessed time will come to an end. Revelation 20 speaks of a “little season” shortly before the Lord’s return when Satan will be loosed of his bonds and will make one last all-out assault on the Christian church. Since he is loosed, his house will no longer be plundered nor his goods spoiled. Rather, he will once again “keep his goods in peace”, that is, keep the lost in their deluded lost estate. From this we see that Satan will silence the Gospel during this “little season”.


Revelation 20 also tells us how he will silence the Gospel. He will do this by assembling together a vast horde of spiritual enemies from the four corners of the world to oppose and overwhelm “the camp of the saints”, “the beloved city”, that is, the true invisible church of Christ. The Scriptures call this horde “Gog” and “Magog”. According to St. Augustine, the word “Gog” means “a roof” and “Magog” means “from a roof”, and so the two terms have reference to “a house”. God is telling us that in the last days Satan will assemble his whole unbelieving house against the true Christian church. In every sphere of earthly power true Christianity will be marginalized, maligned, hated, and persecuted. Whether in the educational sphere, the scientific sphere, the vocational sphere, the economic sphere, the social sphere, the media sphere, the political sphere, the religious sphere, or any other earthly sphere of power, Satan will rise up as a multi-headed beast with a crown on every head. He will so vilify and malign the church, so thoroughly delude and prejudice the minds of the unbelieving, that few will dare or think to take her message seriously. The anti-Christian spirit will rule all earthly powers and will dominate and control the entire world.


Brethren, do we not see this anti-Christian spirit already in place? No matter where you turn today, the Word of God and those who truly stand with it are ridiculed and silenced. The world will tolerate anything and everything except the truth of God’s Word. And since God’s Word contains both His law and Gospel, those who rightly divide the Word are the special objects of this opposition and hatred. The world does not want to hear that they are lost sinners and it does not want to hear that Jesus Christ is the one and only Saviour from sin and death. The world seeks to kill the “two witnesses”, the law and the Gospel, who have tormented them for so long. Ultimately, due to Satan’s influence, it is the Gospel that they are most against, because Satan knows that the Gospel is the only truth by which a human soul may be saved. Satan hates souls because he hates God, the Creator and Lover of souls. He will gladly promote any religion, including all false representations of Christianity, if it is devoid of the Gospel because that does him no harm. All, except the true invisible church, will enjoy his nefarious smile and the earthly honors and treasures that go with it so long as they reject the Gospel.


One such religion that rejects and destroys the Gospel is Calvinism. Throughout this paper, I am speaking of that Calvinism that denies the universal atonement of Christ. For this reason Satan has raised it up and established it in its many forms. Its errors are subtle, reflecting the deep guile and great might of our old evil foe. The Scriptures describe the serpent as “more subtil than any beast of the field” (Gen. 3:1). The deadly danger of Calvinism is that it looks so much like true Christianity. It is a counterfeit that can easily pass as public tender. In fact, I would never have known or even have suspected the poisonous nature of this devilish lie if not for the writings of Martin Luther which taught me faith and delivered me from its terrible snare. You see, Calvinism is really a false religion, despite its appearance as an advocate for Biblical truth. It is a religion led of depraved human reason and not that true religion which belongs to the Word of God and child-like faith....Click here to continue reading this article...




6 comments:

Great article. But I do have one question. If Christ paid for all the sins of all mankind, is the sin of unbelief also paid for? Because I have not always believed, I need for Christ to pay for that sin as well. Well if He did pay for that sin for everybody, then there is no difference between those who believe and those who don't. Both have had the sin of unbelief paid for. Then who then goes to hell?

February 27, 2009 at 8:53 PM  

First I will say that I'm not the author of this article, so I can't speak for him.

However, I must ask this, when you say:

"Well if He did pay for that sin for everybody, then there is no difference between those who believe and those who don't. Both have had the sin of unbelief paid for. Then who then goes to hell?"

Are you making a distinction between atonement and justification, or do you believe they are one in the same?

February 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM  

Anonymous,

As with all issues of faith, we must put aside our vain depraved reason and only be guided by the clear objective verifiable Word of God. From the Word of God, we can say that Christ died for all sins, including the sin of unbelief. In fact, all sins are really sins of unbelief. John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin (singular) if the world" (John 1:29). Christ took the whole lump. And the Apostle John says that "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). So that point is conclusive.

Now the same Apostle John says in the same Epistle, "There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." (1 John 5:16). And Jesus said in Matthew, "whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Matt. 12:32). So, we can say conclusively that there is a sin unto death that is unforgiveable, even though Jesus paid for all sins for all men for all time. That sin is persistent unbelief in Christ and His atoning work despite the clear testimony of the Holy Ghost in the Holy Scriptures.

Now, what do we say to this seeming paradox? We say what Drew said above, that there is a distinction between the atonement of Christ which was universal and remains true whether a man believes it or not, and the application of that atonement which necessarily must come to the lost sinner via the means of faith. The Lutheran theologians make a distinction between the objective justification of the whole world in Christ and the subjective justification that applies only to those who believe, that is, to true Christians.

So to summarize, in answer to your question, we would say that Christ died for all sins, including the sin of unbelief. However, because of the unique nature of the sin of unbelief (in Christ's atonement), this sin, if persisted in, is at some point unforgiveable because it closes the avenue of faith which is the only means by which the forgiveness of all sins can be received. While the sin of unbelief is paid for and forgiven in God's sight, it cannot be received by the lost sinner, and thus he dies without it.

In your case, if you now believe that Christ died for your sins based upon the saving Gospel Word that He died for the sins of all, then you are saved. However, if your faith in Christ's death is not derived from the Word of God then it will prove false - since there is only one true saving Gospel. The fact that you did not believe before makes no diffeence, as the unforgiveable sin is persistent hardened unbelief which in God's sight is confirmed unbelief.

I trust that you are sincere in your question and not just trying to bait us as the unbelieving Jews tried to bait Christ. But assuming the best of you, as a Christian should, I hope this is a helpful answer to you.

God's blessings,

Pastor Wood

February 27, 2009 at 11:48 PM  

Unfortunately you are most definitely wrong concerning the doctrinal purity of the Australian ELCR. They are wrong on justification, holding to the Missouri Synod's false Objective and Subjective Justifications; against which Ichabod constantly protests.

The ELCR also have a very legalistic teaching and practice view on women's dress lengths, women not wearing slacks (trousers), and the necessity of women wearing hats.

The LCR - based in the US - had doctrinal talks with the Australian ELCR some years back, with whom they share the false UOJ/SJ doctrine, but fellowship talks broke down over the latter mentioned areas.

November 21, 2010 at 8:45 PM  

Hi Toni,

The ELCR is correct on the issues of distinctive dress (Deut. 22:5) and the women's headcovering in public worship (1 Cor. 11:2-16). I'd be willing to send you material that easily and clearly establishes those points. Also, "legalism" is seeking to establish your own righteousness through your own works. This the ELCR does not do, neither with these issues nor with any other issues. Rather these are issues of Christian righteousness, that is, "observing all things whatsoever that Jesus commanded us" out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us.


As to your other issue, I have never heard of this issue of objective and subjective justification as a problem. Can you please elaborate on what you regard as the error there so that I might better be able to consider your point?

Thanks so much,

Stuart Wood

November 22, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

Hi Stuart.

I have not seen ELCR's statments as yet. We have here the AELC whose statements I have seen. Without seeing ELCR's statements, I was not surprized with Toni's comments but I do like to see their official statements. AELC has one and there I have identified their UOJ formal statements, of which LCAus has none.

Legalism does not only pertain to setting up one's righteousness, IMHO, it also pertains to persecuting those that do not conform.

LPC

November 24, 2010 at 9:48 PM