Monday, April 15, 2013

UPDATE: A Deceptive Pamphlet from Bethany Lutheran College (ELS)

UPDATE:  Please note Rev. Moldstad's apology in the Comments below the post.

HT: Ecclesia Augustana

Maybe these things shouldn't surprise me anymore, but they still do.  The graphic below was posted last evening by Ecclesia Augustana.  It is a copy of a pamphlet being handed out at Bethany Lutheran College by their chaplain, Rev. Don Moldstad, for a presentation he was making on the papacy.

It's bad enough that this pamphlet misrepresents the Scriptural and Lutheran doctrine of justification.

But equally disturbing is the deceptive manner in which these statements have been presented.  They are listed under the column entitled "The Lutheran Confessions."  They are directly listed, in quotation marks, under "Luther's Small Catechism."  But they are not found in Luther's Small Catechism.  Anywhere.  They come, instead, from the ELS's explanations of Luther's Catechism.  A pastor who cannot distinguish between the Lutheran Confessions and the writings of his own synod is inept.  A pastor who knows the difference and still presents his synod's writings, in quotation marks, under "The Lutheran Confessions," is being deceptive.

If Rev. Moldstad is led to recognize his error, at very least his error of misrepresenting the words of Luther's Small Catechism, we will welcome his public apology and gladly publish it here on Intrepid Lutherans. 

Under the column entitled "The Lutheran Confessions":

From Luther’s Small Catechism:

“I believe in the forgiveness of sins because the Bible assures me that God the Father has by grace forgiven all sinners and declared them righteous.”

“God can declare sinners righteous because, (sic) on the redemptive work of Christ, He has aquitted (sic) all men of the guilt and punishment of their sins, and has imputed to them the righteousness of Christ. He therefore regards them in Christ as though they had never sinned.”

“I receive this justification when the Holy Ghost through the means of grace, leads me, the sinner, to believe that God has forgiven all my sins for Christ’s sake.”


Don Moldstad, Chaplain said...

This is Chaplain Don Moldstad responding: I do apologize for not being more accurate with my source. I was simply attempting to show how the Confessional Lutheran church has confessed this blessed truth in contrast to Rome. Thank you for your attention to detail. My apologies.

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Thank you, Rev. Moldstad, for this apology. It is certainly accepted. It will be easier to discuss the issues surrounding the article of justification if we can clarify what the confessional Lutheran doctrine is (that is, the doctrine expressed in the Book of Concord), in comparison with the subsequent articulations of any given synod.

Joe Krohn said...

Please. The bigger problem here is the language in the pamphlet that interchanges objective thought/terminology with subjective thought/terminology. It is here that I feel Pr. Rydecki's pain of being ousted from the WELS as that of my own.

My Luther's Small Catechism (NPH 1956 Gausewitz) as well as the BoC (under Election) nor scripture ever speaks of an imputed righteousness (subjective justification) to an unbeliever. It only speaks in terms of the forgiveness of a debt without regard to an individual (redemption and reconciliation); which is imputed to an individual through faith: Justification by Faith Alone through the MoG by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Roland Sckerl said...

The issue in question is a very important one, since it is on justification, the heart of our Christian faith. I might be, as I see it, the wording in the ELS Synodical Catechism isn't the best one, but the the doctrine is that of general justification or reconciliation, based on 2 Cor. 5:17 ff.; Rom 4:25 and its relation to personal justification. All that is very important. It is Biblical doctrine, that, IN CHRIST, God is reconciled to the world, IN CHRIST, God is not imputing the trespasses unto sinners. That all is reality, it is the reality of Easter. There is nothing you have to do for, since it is done - and it is the fundament for personal justification, that you can grasp that by personal faith, worked by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel. General justification is a fact - but you have the blessing of it only by personal justification, which is through personal faith.

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