Top Lutheran honored for efforts for peace, yet that will ultimately lead to a biblical war


Ecumenical News reported the following:

August 10, 2017

Martin Junge, general secretary of The Lutheran World Federation has been awarded the German city of Augsburg’s 2017 Peace Prize for his work in connecting the “global north” and the “global south.”…
The prize is awarded by the city every three years since 1985 recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to promoting peaceful coexistence of different religions and cultures.

Announcing the 2017 laureate, Mayor Gribl described Junge as a “patient bridge-builder between the continents, who, due to his theological influence and his roots, connects Europe as the global north and South America as the global south.” …

“I feel honored and I’m grateful for the Augsburg Peace Prize. It encourages us in the Lutheran World Federation and me personally to continue on the path of reconciliation between churches and religions,” Junge said upon receiving news about the award. …

He described the rapprochement between the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church over 50 years of dialogue as an important example.

“The 2016 Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in Lund by Lutherans and Catholics and the signing of the ‘Wittenberg Witness’ with the World Communion of Reformed Churches are important recent milestones to recommitting and expressing anew the spirit that inspired the Peace of Augsburg,” Junge said.

This is interesting that the top Lutheran is from Latin America as is the top Roman Catholic (Pope Francis). Germans gave the top Lutheran a peace prize this year, whereas as another German group gave Pope Francis the Charlemagne Prize last year (see Pope Francis given ‘Charlemagne Prize;’ EU leaders worried about EU’s future).

While it is good that the Roman Catholics and Lutherans are no longer killing each other like they were nearly five centuries ago, their reconciliation efforts will not bring real peace. Nor will giving their leaders prizes.

Over the past several decades, the Catholics have held a lot of ecumenical meetings. This includes important ones with the Eastern Orthodox and various Protestants, as well as those involved with the Lutherans and Anglicans. The basis of these meetings is not biblical, though that is not something that is properly admitted.

In terms of the Lutherans, two groundbreaking events of their ecumenical dialogue were the joint statement on the doctrine of Justification by Faith in 1983 and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) on October 31, 1999. Here is part of the Preamble to the JDDJ:

1.The doctrine of justification was of central importance for the Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century. It was held to be the “first and chief article”[1] and at the same time the “ruler and judge over all other Christian doctrines.”[2] The doctrine of justification was particularly asserted and defended in its Reformation shape and special valuation over against the Roman Catholic Church and theology of that time, which in turn asserted and defended a doctrine of justification of a different character. From the Reformation perspective, justification was the crux of all the disputes. Doctrinal condemnations were put forward both in the Lutheran Confessions[3] and by the Roman Catholic Church’s Council of Trent. These condemnations are still valid today and thus have a church-dividing effect.

2.For the Lutheran tradition, the doctrine of justification has retained its special status. Consequently it has also from the beginning occupied an important place in the official Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue.

3.Special attention should be drawn to the following reports: “The Gospel and the Church” (1972)[4] and “Church and Justification” (1994)[5] by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Commission, “Justification by Faith” (1983)[6] of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue in the USA and “The Condemnations of the Reformation Era – Do They Still Divide?” (1986)[7] by the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic theologians in Germany. Some of these dialogue reports have been officially received by the churches. An important example of such reception is the binding response of the United Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany to the “Condemnations” study, made in 1994 at the highest possible level of ecclesiastical recognition together with the other churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany.[8]

4.In their discussion of the doctrine of justification, all the dialogue reports as well as the responses show a high degree of agreement in their approaches and conclusions. The time has therefore come to take stock and to summarize the results of the dialogues on justification so that our churches may be informed about the overall results of this dialogue with the necessary accuracy and brevity, and thereby be enabled to make binding decisions.

5.The present Joint Declaration has this intention: namely, to show that on the basis of their dialogue the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church[9] are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ. It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.

[1] The Smalcald Articles, II,1; Book of Concord, 292. [2] “Rector et judex super omnia genera doctrinarum” Weimar Edition of Luther’s Works (WA), 39,I,205. [3] It should be noted that some Lutheran churches include only the Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism among their binding confessions. These texts contain no condemnations about justification in relation to the Roman Catholic Church. [4] Report of the Joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic Study Commission, published in Growth in Agreement (New York; Geneva, 1984), pp. 168-189. [5] Published by the Lutheran World Federation (Geneva, 1994). [6] Lutheran and Catholics in Dialogue VII (Minneapolis, 1985). [7] Minneapolis, 1990. [8] “Gemeinsame Stellungnahme der Arnoldshainer Konferenz, der Vereinigten Kirche und des Deutschen Nationalkomitees des Lutherischen Weltbundes zum Dokument ‘Lehrverurteilungen – kirchentrennend?’,” Ökumenische Rundschau 44 (1995): 99-102; See also the position papers which underlie this resolution, in Lehrverurteilungen im Gespräch, Die ersten offiziellen Stellungnahmen aus den evangelischen Kirchen in Deutschland (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993). [9] The word “church” is used in this Declaration to reflect the self-understandings of the participating churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to this term.
(JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. viewed 02/27/14)

This JDDJ is what “the World Communion of Reformed Churches is expected to sign up to shortly” according to the piece by Vatican Radio.

In the wake of the JDDJ of 1999, round XI, “The Hope for Eternal Life” is seen as a precursor leading up to a shared Lutheran/Roman Catholic commemoration of the October 31, 2017, 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses. It appears that the Church of Rome and many of the Lutherans wish to declare an end to much of the theological divides between the two groups on or by October 31, 2017. Pope Francis plans to attend this 500th anniversary (watch Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary).

Some feel that the above agreement has already effectively eliminated Protestantism and that Protestants and Catholics are now unified. This ‘justification doctrine’ is seen by many to have been among the most significant theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Martin Luther’s movement, and it supposedly is resolved.

In the 21st century, there were major strides towards moving towards acceptance of the Anglicans as well. On October 20, 2009, CNN reported that the Vatican announced that it would allow Anglicans (and American Episcopalians) to become part of the Church of Rome without having to change much of their practices and rituals (Messia H. and Hanna J. Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic Church. CNN, October 20, 2009.

The World Council of Churches (which includes the Eastern Orthodox) also believes that the ecumenical approach will bring peace (watch World Council of Churches Peace Plan).

We continue to see that many of the institutional Protestant groups want some type of unity with the Church of Rome. The 500th anniversary later this year is intended to be a type of ecumenical celebration. While many of the Greco-Roman-Protestants will celebrate that, the Bible warns against the type of ecumenical unity that they are working towards. The type of unity that they are working towards is not biblical, nor will it lead to real peace. The Bible ties this in with “Mystery Babylonian the Great” (cf. Revelation 17).

As far as unifying with those who will not accept the original and true faith, Christians are warned:

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities…” (Revelation 18:4-5)

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 ‘I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Real Christians will be separate from those that truly will not be set apart by the truth of the Bible (John 17:17).

The type of Christian unity that the Bible speaks of will NOT happen until after Jesus returns.

Jesus did NOT come to bring worldwide unity in this age:

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

The Apostle Paul taught that true unity of faith would not happen until after Jesus returns:

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. We are not ‘perfect’ until after He comes (cf. 1 John 1:8). The prophesied unity of faith does not happen prior to Jesus’ return.

The Bible shows that a false ecumenical unity will come as people will support the “Beast of the Sea” (Revelation 13:4-8), called the King of the North in Daniel 11.

Notice also:

6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:6-7)

Notice that even true believers are warned to get away from this. The next few verses tell about the timing and that God will cause this:

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.

10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:8-13)

So, the Bible is saying that GOD will bring unity–and that is after Jesus returns.

Also, the Bible also teaches that when Jesus actually returns, He will destroy the unity of nations that are against Him (Revelation 11:15-18, 19:6,19-21). The type of world unity that many now are working towards will ultimately, though not intentionally at this time, result in nations fighting against Jesus:

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)

The Beast and the False Prophet are discussed in Revelation 13 and they will enforce a type of unity that the Bible warns against. And they will be destroyed for it.

Those involved in the interfaith and ecumenical agendas do not understand the Jesus of the Bible. This is one reason that those who unite will fight against Jesus!

Thus, no true Christian should endorse the ultimate goal of the reconciliation of the 500th anniversary of what is considered to be the start of the Reformation. These people do not truly believe the Bible and we are to realize that we must remain spiritually-separate from them. Ecumenism will not bring about real peace.

The Continuing Church of God, which is NOT Protestant, traces its history from the apostolic church established in Acts 2 and holds to the original, biblical, doctrines that the early Christians had (see Continuing History of the Church of God).

Many biblical doctrines that early Christians held to are NOT held to by Lutherans or other Protestants today. Nor the Church of Rome or the Eastern Orthodox for that matter. Those interested in the truth can prove this if they are willing (e.g., check out our free online booklet: Continuing History of the Church of God).

Some items of possibly related interest to help you do this may include:

Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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