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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

LDJ–Pt 28(81-83)—those sweating in Hell redeemed? already reconciled! THE Lutheran Difference

     This continues from the previous Part 27 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 28, Endnote [H] is finished and continues on to [I], [K], and [L], there is no [J] endnote.
     Walther makes a statement that makes a lot of so-called "religious" people, even many who would call themselves Lutheran, "mad as Hell".  He says:
...also those are redeemed that are sweating in hell.
    Maybe the former members of the Synodical Conference should study this statement of Walther together for it might wake them up spiritually...  If those in Hell were not redeemed by the blood of Christ, then Jesus should not have called Judas "Friend" (Matt. 26:50)... Peter should not have said "false prophets... denying the Lord that bought them" (1 Peter 2:1)... and I am going to Hell.  Ah, but with this statement the beloved Walther pulled me off the path of despair to Hell and showed me my faithful Redeemer... it was not He who left me, it was I who had left Him. (Matt. 23:37, Luke 13:34, Ezek. 33:11)
     Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.  Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.  Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 28: Pages 81-83 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 27)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]
Hereby is also not to lose sight of the fact that a distinction is to be made between absolution and indulgence.
[1880-81] In the former only the eternal punishments of the confessed sins, in contrast all temporal sins and church punishments are by other means: works of satisfaction, Masses, church building, with the indulgences attached to it, in short: through money they should become remitted.  Moreover, the temporal punishments only cease with the Judgment Day, so that also the torments of purgatory are reckoned in addition, since most cannot carry all the unpaid temporal punishments already before their death, which is why it is again said: “Money here, so the torment of purgatory be abbreviated!”
Unfortunately! it is also in the Lutheran Church in many cases falsely taught and believed regarding absolution, in that one wants to rely on their [Essays1-58] repentance and so absolution is not believed where the repentance is not perfect.  While Pope and Enthusiasts condemn our pure doctrine on this, man generally does not want to place his salvation on something [W1859-57] outside, but only in himself.  How many temptations arise for the believers precisely from the fact that they do not always quite believe from the heart that God is already fully reconciled!  Faith is the confident appropriation of what happened in Christ and through Christ.  It does not make reconciliation, but grabs it.  Therefore the apostle does not say, e.g., “Let God be reconciled to you!” but says, “Be reconciled to God!” [2 Cor. 5:20], i.e., believe that through Christ’s merit death is swallowed up, the fire of hell has been extinguished, heaven has been opened. In absolution we apportion what Christ has acquired.  Now, He has perfectly acquired everything for everybody, so that it now says: “all things are ready!” [Matt. 22:4].  While lying in sins it is admittedly not possible to trust God, since the Holy Spirit has been forced to yield; could but all believe, then all would also be equally saved, for there is only one sin that hurls to hell: unbelief, — as our Lord Christ, among others, so clearly attested in the Gospel of Cantate Sunday [John 16:5-15]. [1880-82]
[I] Truly frightful it is that the papists will have for believers who are so little saved as unbelievers — believing fornicators, thieves, and those living in other vices.  For them, as for the Methodists, faith counts for nothing, for no other cause than that they know not the true faith.  Quite significantly Luther calls them ‘rag-washers” that one thus lets go, because they want to whitewash themselves before God with their own holiness.  But we, should learn that faith is no small thing — learn this without ceasing, that God has laid all our sin on Christ.  Then we will certainly also experience that faith is a power of God.  If we think, however, that we are able to believe only if we previously have become changed people, then we will never arrive there.
[K] The many curses our doctrine of justification in the Tridentine Confession, which indeed are loud curses on Christ and His believers, testify quite clearly to the fury and deep maliciousness of Satan and his Antichrist because of God’s graciously bestowed revelation of the blessed Gospel through the Reformation.

[L] What Zwingli said in his 1530 presentation of the Augsburg Confession on the Sacrament [of Holy Communion] was not accepted. He says namely that it does not bring the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins and it also applies to the Reformed Church in regard to the Word of God.  He held that not through the Word is the Spirit obtained, but beside it and in the instances when it is proclaimed.  His confession is that the Word is a mere invitation to the Spirit that he may come.  Therefore also the terrifying, blasphemous interpretation of Zwingli's John 3: 8, in which he appears as a very common rationalist.  So the difference between the Lutheran and the Reformed Churches consists not only, as we often think, that individual Scripture passages are viewed and interpreted differently, but [1880-83] lies in the deepest essence of faith, in that the Reformed Church “rips apart the bridge and path” by which the Lord will come to the poor sinner, and makes the free grace of God into an achievement of human power.  The means of grace are to the Reformed sects not means for the administration of God’s grace, but only means to motivate themselves to pray for grace. — Our church teaches now indeed in its confessional writings [W1859-58] and through its faithful witnesses that God provides for us so faithfully that the grace acquired by Christ will also be given us, in fact through Word and sacrament, after the clear testimony of Holy Scripture, as we have it, e.g., in 1 John 5, where the three witnesses on earth are nothing more than the Word of God, Holy Baptism, and Lord's Supper, and where it does not say: Christ is already there, before or without these means of grace, but: He comes by water and by blood”; but dear God! how is it that the Reformed error has invaded so many many of our church, so that prevails even there where, by the grace of God, the pure doctrine resounds?  Why else do some in our congregations every now and then fights against confession and absolution after the sermon each Sunday, since one indeed, if they believed that in the announcement of absolution one receives the forgiveness of sins, should then willingly run 100,000 miles for it? —  Furthermore, whence is there aversion against private absolution, as because one does not believe that everyone is already redeemed, also those are redeemed that are sweating in hell, and that now it is only necessary that man knows and believes this, and that the treasure acquired through Christ of redemption is imparted, just what happens so comprehensibly in private absolution, where God calls out to each individual, “You are meant!”?  Our congregations often believe that they are in good standing: now that they are indeed Old Lutherans, because they have a pastor of our Synod; and yet the outlook of their faith is so saddening. [1880-84]
= = = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 29  = = = = = = = = =

I ran across something of note in Everett Meier's CPH translation of Walther's essay – there were 2 added exclamation points (!) where Walther did not use them.  So what compelled the dear Mr. Meier to add an exclamation point?  Where did he find something so significant that maybe he would actually modify the original text because perhaps he thought Walther might be pleased by it?  It was this translated sentence of Walther:
How many temptations arise for the believers precisely out of this, that they do not always believe firmly from the heart that God is already fully reconciled! <<== Meier's addition. 
There was another place Meier did this, and I have bolded both examples and highlighted them in red.  Could it be that the dear Everett Meier added his own "Amen" to these statements?  Doesn't "already fully reconciled" mean Universal, Objective Justification (UOJ)?  How many ways Walther makes clear his major thesis in this essay, for example:
Could but all believe, then all would also be equally saved, for there is only one sin that hurls to hell: unbelief.
Let the so-called "conservative" and "confessional" Lutherans protest against Walther's "universalism" here for it was God who said:
I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11
This is the heart of THE Lutheran Difference.  Here is your God... believe Him at His Word!
In the next Part 29...

2 comments:

  1. Those in hell have forfeited their redemption. It is not prudent to speak of those in hell as redeemed; better, they were redeemed. One can not possess what he has cast off in rejection.

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    1. Mr. Krohn - your comment has caused me to give an extended reply, a reply far too long for this section. You will find it here.

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