Search This Blog

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pastor Rydecki (suspended) calls LC-MS heterodox, a sect

I am interrupting this series on C.F.W. Walther as Theologian, because I ran across a quote in Part 6b that struck me with its truthfulness.  It has to do with how one can determine whether a church is orthodox or heterodox.

I preface this by explaining that I have had private correspondence with a conservative Lutheran who attempted to tell me the LC-MS and WELS are correct (or orthodox) on the Doctrine of Objective Justification.  How is this so, according to my correspondent?  Because they have official documents that teach it.  It is official with them, so my correspondent says, and therefore both the LC-MS and the WELS are correct on the Doctrine of Justification.  One of the documents mentioned is the 1983 CTCR document Theses on Justification, and of course the Brief Statement of 1932.  The reason my correspondent makes his claim is that he wants to debate the "hot button" controversial doctrine of Church and Ministry, where the perceived basic difference lies between the LC-MS and the WELS.

But I have had to correct my correspondent to tell him that it is not true!... that it is not true that both the LC-MS and the WELS are orthodox on the Doctrine of Objective Justification, even if they have official documents that say they are!  How is it that I, BackToLuther, can say this?  I will bring 2 witnesses to my defense:
1)  C.F.W. Walther said this (in the previous post, Part 6b on The Church, II):
Particular churches are of a twofold sort, orthodox or heterodox.  That church is orthodox in which the Gospel is purely preached and the holy Sacraments are administered according to the Gospel.  ...  For that in a church or congregation the pure Word of God or the church confession is merely officially acknowledged does not yet make a church or congregation orthodox, but it is requisite that the pure Word actually prevail in its public preaching. ...  The communions which have become guilty of a partial falling away from the pure doctrine of the Word of God are rightly called heterodox churches.  Such heterodox communions are called both churches and also sects, but in a different respect.  They  are called churches insofar as God’s Word and Sacrament are not entirely denied in their midst, but both are still essentially present, and hence true children of God are still to be found also in these communions.  But insofar as these communions persistently err in fundamental doctrines of God’s Word and have caused divisions in Christendom they are called sects, i.e., heretical communions...  (bold, italics, underlining are mine)
Walther is quite clear in his delineation of which churches are orthodox – those churches where the pure Word "actually prevails in its public preaching".  (I will comment further on Walther's definition of "sects" later.)

But who is my 2nd witness, other than the great C.F.W. Walther?  It is...

2) Pastor Paul Rydecki of the WELS who was suspended by the WELS for teaching against Objective Justification.  Now Pastor Rydecki may be shocked that I would call on him as my witness since he teaches against Objective Justification, but it is Pastor Rydecki who is reported to have said this:
If “Objective Justification” is an official doctrine of the LCMS as indicated in the CTCR report, then why are there not Bible studies proclaiming it, and why do not CPH publications and LCMS materials promote it instead of it appearing in an isolated document by the CTCR in May, 1983?
Thank you!... Pastor Rydecki, if the report is true.  This statement of yours is one of the best witnesses I have because it clearly states that today's LC-MS is heterodox on the Doctrine of Justification for it does not purely, publicly, perennially proclaim and preach Objective Justification.  Indeed, you can say to your WELS that suspended you that this is a case of "The pot calling the kettle black".

What would Luther say?  Monstrous! (monstrom incertitudinis)


  1. I accepted neither your "correction" nor your "authority" to correct anyone. Your blog has much helpful information, but the "authority" behind it is merely an errant man riding his own hobby horse. --Warren Malach

    1. I will accept your compliment even with your harsh comment.
      "Hobby horse"? It is rather a matter of spiritual life and death.

  2. Universal objective justification (UOJ) is a very subtle heresy, I am saying subtle because both the LCMS and WELS also maintain justification by grace through faith. So they teach both an objective universal justification (UOJ) and a subjective justification by grace through faith of believers. This is what makes it so difficult to detect because the heresy of UOJ is mixed with the biblical doctrine of justification by faith. But make no mistake UOJ is heresy, God does not justify anybody that has no faith, nobody enjoys the benefits of the atonement (justification) that has no faith. Justification can only apply to believers, nobody else is justified in the eyes of God but the believer in Jesus Christ. Teaching UOJ is a very serious departure from scripture, a heresy. The promises of the gospel are for believers ,John 3:16 whosoever believes in him. The promises of the gospel are not universal, and God can not justify the whole world, every sinner that will never come to faith. because his promise his promises are only addressed to those that come to him in repentance and faith. Only those are justified in his sight. It is hard for me to understand how whole confessional churches like the LCMS and WELS can fall into such serious theological error. In a way it is a form of neo universalism, where man that are dead in trespasses and sin, with no faith are universally declared righteous. This is a bizarre theological development, an innovation that runs counter to the lutheran confessions. John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” So how is it possible that the LCMS and WELS have concocted a doctrine by which those that are not born again are justified, UOJ makes no theological sense whatsoever.

    1. Bill:
      You certainly aren’t alone! I have read your objection to UOJ at many times and in many places, maybe some of them from you on the web.
      But I like your last phrase: “UOJ makes no theological sense whatsoever”. This quote fits with what Scripture says of the Gospel:
      1 Cor. 2:9 – Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
      But your real problem, the reason you call UOJ “a very subtle heresy”, is with the Bible, which says:
      2 Cor. 5:19 – God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them

      Now Bill, I won’t publish any more of your objections because this is a Christian blog. There are other web sites and blogs who will accept your comments with open arms! But the Lord warns us against your kind of objection:
      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 damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
      Do you hear that Bill?... “false prophets… even denying the Lord that bought them”! Again, who did the Lord buy in this verse… who are the “them”?
      But I will say that my blog is not largely defending against your open denial of UOJ, it is more against those who have it in their “official” documents (e.g. the Brief Statement etc.), who are supposed to be proclaiming it and defending it… but are weak at best in doing so. Could it be that your vehement denial of the Gospel (e.g. UOJ) is actually a product of their weakness on this very Gospel?


Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.