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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Grace.–F. Pieper(Pt 6-devil's apostle, Peter/Judas)

Continued from Part 5, a translation of Franz Pieper's essay "Grace" from Lehre und Wehre in 1904 (Table of Contents in Part 1).  This installment shows Pieper exposing the fact that just within the Lutheran church have come teachers who falsify this basic teaching of Christianity – "Grace".
Underlining is in the original, highlighting is mine.
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by Franz Pieper
(continued from Part 5)
     And now, nevertheless, there have even been people within the Lutheran church where this confession of Boerhaave and all Christians: "I know not any reason besides the (page 436) grace of God why I do not lie here in his position", not only rejects, but also describes as a serious error.  So says the later Melanchthon: "It must necessarily be that in us is a cause of the difference, why a Saul is rejected and a David accepted."  So also all modern Lutheran theologiansDieckhoff in his polemical writings called our Synod Calvinistic, if the reason why some people are converted and saved does not lay in the "fact" that certain people are less reluctant.  It is also known that the Ohio Synod through their spokesmen refused in the strongest terms that in the grace of God should be sought as the only basis for explaining the conversion and salvation of a person.  The "Kirchenzeitung" of 18 April 1891 wrote: "If now the conversion of man depended in yet no sense on something other than grace and also yet ... on the means of grace, so indeed would all be converted and saved."  Further: "'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling', the apostle exhorts in Philippians 2:12.  More strongly could it not be expressed that the salvation of man is not solely dependent on God in every respect." (Kirchenzeitung, May 15, 1885)  And again: "According to the revealed order of salvation the actual final result of the means of grace" (also faith and salvation) "depends not on the sufficiency and efficacy of the means themselves” (that is, the divine grace effective in the means of grace), "but also upon the conduct of man in regard to the necessary condition of passiveness and submissiveness under the Gospel call." [2. Lutheran Standard, February 28, 1891 - Ohio Synod].  Furthermore: "We think it is unchristian and heathen, whom it is said that the real attainment of ... salvation in no respect is caused by the behavior of the people of God's grace Opposite, but in all respects solely dependent on God.  Furthermore:  "We believe it is un-Christian and heathen, that whoever says that the real attainment of ... salvation is in no respect caused by the behavior of the people compared to God's grace, but in every respect is solely dependent on God.  A pastor who preaches according to such an ungodly doctrine and uses it for spiritual welfare is a wolf and devil's apostle."  (Kirchenzeitung, 1885, pg. 76)  Pastor C. Blecher, an ardent opponent of Missouri Synod, denied yet recently the "equal guilt" with the following words: "Further so much is certain: If we be also 'everybody in the same guilt', so that God to us his Word, Spirit and grace is not guilty; the matter will be different, 'when he's out of grace'.  For no two people are in the same guilt, one of which by innate blindness and weakness reluctant of God's grace, as Peter, however, the other willfully and intentionally, like Judas.  And never are two people in the same debt, of which one willfully, but not persistently resists willfully and is converted, the other in contrast willfully opposes and remains obdurate.  Where would justice and righteousness be on earth (page 437) if one immediately pays the debt where the guilt accordingly is different!  They want to honor God and makes him an unjust man." [Der Lutherische Herold, March 5, 1904]  How energetically Blecher maintains the lesser guilt in relation to the better behavior of one who is saved!
     For the full characterization of modern Lutherans from Melanchthon on up to Blecher one must presently hold thus: In a series of sayings they say that man is saved "by grace", "grace alone" etc..  But once they compare those who are blessed with those who are perishing, they insist that the former have a lower debt to God, behave better, less reluctant, etc. and that the reduced debt from the lower reluctance, the omission of willful reluctance, from the "behavior" etc., they explain the conversion and salvation of certain individuals.  But hereby they take back not just something, but everything of what they have said before of "Grace".  According to the Scriptures precisely this belongs to grace – that the grace of those who are saved by grace find nothing which they stand out, excel, recommend, etc. before others.  Not what stands out above all others, but τὰ μὴ ὄντα, what are not, God has chosen, 1 Cor. 1:28.  Does anyone have anything by which he is distinguished above all others, to this not precedes grace, but this is a result and effect of grace.  "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" 1 Cor. 4:7.
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No wonder Herman Sasse did not follow the fathers of the Missouri Synod.  No wonder Dietrich Bonhoeffer totally ignored the churches of the Missouri Synod when he travelled to America.   The old (German) Missouri Synod was called "Calvinistic" and "wolves" and yes, even "devil's apostles"!  Yep, that's right, if you follow this blog, you are following the "devil's apostles", C.F.W. Walther and Franz Pieper.

In the next Part 7, Pieper continues to turn up the volume against false teachings against those Lutheran teachers who falsify the doctrine of "Grace".

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