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MARTIN CHEMNITZ PRESS

A MIGHTY FORTRESS LUTHERAN CHURCH

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

623-334-8014; chemnitz@uswest.net

 

 

 

THE UNIVERSALISM

OF KOKOMO JUSTIFICATION

 

Someone came back from vacation, looked at her email, and wondered why various Lutherans were piling on me. It just happened to take place when “Thy Strong Word” came out. When I need a few laughs, I click on the website where the Cascione disciples reveal how little they know about Lutheran doctrine. Amazingly, several men have been discussing a book, “Thy Strong Word,” they do not even possess. Rolf Preus was the first to reveal his spiritual gift of clairvoyance by declaring with authority what my book teaches even though he did not own a copy. Others followed Rolf’s example. It is jolly fun to post comments about a book without reading it, because the facts do not impede the discussion. Several times the men have been challenged to back up their accusations against me with verbatim quotations. Instead they charged ahead, sounding increasingly like the Pharisees of John 9.

 

Tragically, these pranksters lead others astray, by hiding behind such men as F. Pieper and C. F. W. Walther. The pranksters are clever enough to turn the discussion from “What Does the Bible teach about justification?” to “How Badly Has Jackson Slandered Synodical Conference Heroes?” As most of you know, I have quoted Pieper and Walther with approval far more often than they have. But the issue remains, “What is sound doctrine?” not “Who is your daddy?”

 

I was asked to look something up on the WELS website and I found the material cut and pasted below. I know WELS wants to sue anyone who quotes from their website, but I can quote it under the fair use doctrine. The entire page and its link are below:

 

 

 

FROM THE OFFICIAL WELS WEBSITE, http://www.wels.net/sab/frm-tv.html

 

 

I am a Christian

What kinds of challenges will you be faced with today? There is no one among us who can answer this question: none.

I am forgiven.

Maybe your child will make you angry. Or your spouse will disappoint you. Perhaps your job will be stressful or unfulfilling. You might find yourself depressed, or lonely, or jealous, or deeply hurt. Maybe today is when you learn that you're going to die.

I am loved.

This is life. It challenges every one. It favors no one. But if you're a Christian, you have an advantage in life. You have Jesus Christ.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, you're assured that whatever challenges you this day, or any day, is part of God's loving plan for you. You're assured that, as a child of Christ, your daily temptations or tests will not get the best of you. Most of all, you're assured that, regardless of what life puts in your way -- from minor irritations to life-threatening situations -- Jesus loves you, Jesus forgives you, Jesus is with you, and He promises you and everyone who believes in Him everlasting life in heaven.

I am saved through Jesus Christ.

We are the WELS, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. We welcome and encourage you to join us to hear the saving message of our Lord and Savior -- your Lord and Savior, too -- Jesus Christ.

Just like you.

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) believes that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, sent to earth, who led a sinless life that all humankind might be declared holy. We believe that the innocent suffering and death of Jesus on the cross served as payment for our sins. We believe that Jesus rose from death, giving us full assurance that we are forgiven so that we may live with God now and forever

 

            END OF WELS WEBSITE QUOTATION

 

There are two or more key elements of Kokomo/LCMS justification in this brief statement.

  1. Resurrection and forgiveness are linked, a reference to the Easter absolution language used once by Gerhard, repeated by Walther, and now perverted into a sect.
  2. “The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) believes that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, sent to earth, who led a sinless life that all humankind might be declared holy.” ALL fullyhumankind has already been declared holy. There is no Law and no concept of sin. This is anti-nomianism and Universalism.
  3. “I am saved through Jesus Christ just like you.” This is another clear statement of Universalism. According to WELS and the ELS, every single person is already declared forgiven and saved, without the Means of Grace, without faith. Forget the teaching of the Law to show people their true nature and their need for the Savior Jesus Christ. Forget relying on the Gospel to create and sustain faith.

 

Someone wrote about being miffed that I did not agree with every phrase of Walther and Pieper, as if anyone in Christendom is sacrosanct. Both men would be horrified with what the WELS, ELS, and LCMS have done with their words.

 

The Universal Objective Justification sectarians are trying to make everything conform to THEIR version of Walther and Pieper, a completely false view of the Scriptures and the Confessions. History does not bear them out. Kokomo Justification was not an official article of faith in the Missouri Synod until the LCMS Brief Statement of the 1930s. Only then was the world declared to be without sin.

 

If I had to choose (and fortunately, I do not), I would pick Billy Graham’s decision theology over the mish-mash of ELS/WELS/LCMS doctrine. At least Billy can preach a good Law sermon and teach about faith in Christ. He does not teach about the Means of Grace, but the fragments of the Synodical Conference do not either. At least Billy is honest in his confession. I would like to hear Graham preach a sermon in which he said, “You have already been declared forgiven in the eyes of God, even if you never believe. And remember Judas Iscariot? He is a guilt-free saint!” Wouldn’t millions of viewers say, “Huh?” and stop eating Fritos for several minutes?

 

The Kokomites do have their hellfire sermons, but the brimstone is reserved for those who do not bow the knee to their ferociously ignorant doctrine. The Kokomites offer no forgiveness for those who question that everyone is forgiven with the Word, without faith, without the Means of Grace.