The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident. (NKJV)
It occurred to me that I never posted the following letter that I e-mailed to all the pastors of the AZ-CA district one year ago, and since the stance of the district presidium has not changed since then, I have decided that it is most fitting to post it now, with the continued prayer that those who have falsified the Gospel may yet repent, and that those who are still influenced by them may be awakened from their perilous slumber. I also post it here because several laymen have told me that the doctrinal comparison presented in this letter helped them considerably to understand the real difference between the two positions on the article of justification.
- has died for all people and paid for the sins of all people;
- has made atonement for the sins of the world;
- has been obedient to the Law for all people and has made satisfaction for the sins of all people;
- has earned and acquired righteousness, forgiveness of sins, life and salvation for all men;
- has redeemed the world;
- wants all men to be saved;
- truly offers and gives the forgiveness of sins in the Word of the Gospel, without any merit or worthiness on our part.
- God has forgiven all people, but if you don’t believe, then you’re forgiven but not forgiven, even though all people are forgiven, and you stand both righteous and condemned before God at the same time. ?????
- God declared all people righteous on Easter Sunday—which includes the wicked souls in hell. ?????
- Jesus saved all people, but not all people are saved. ?????
- All people were justified before they were born, but stand condemned already at the time of their birth. ?????
- God has changed the status of all people to “righteous,” but still counts unbelievers among the “unrighteous.” ?????
- God has declared all people righteous, either by imputing to all people the righteousness of Christ apart from faith (as many WELS statements teach), or by not imputing to them the righteousness of Christ at all (as Pr. Buchholz teaches). ?????
- God has acquitted all people in his courtroom of divine justice, but sentences those who have been acquitted to eternal death if they don’t believe it. ?????
Christ’s unworthy servant,