Lutheran & Catholic Document on Justification


#1

Has anyone read or have oppinions on the Joint Document on Justification that has been signed in 1999 between the World Lutheran Confederation and the Roman Catholic Church. Any opservations or comments would be appreciated.

Bless you,

Newby


#2

I have posted the document on this site a few times. I think that it is great. It has finally started a genuine and real dialog that should have happened Luther first presented his thesis.

One of the great things about it is that both sides do not understand very well the viewpoint of the other. This document clears up much of that confusion. The general Lutheran will believe incorrectly that Catholicism follows a belief in “works salvation” and the general Catholic believes that Lutherans follow a doctrine that “faith” leads to salvation.

In the end though both believe that deliverance is a gift of God’s Grace alone and nothing that we say or do contributes to our salvation. Both faith and works come from God’s Grace and we do not get credit for such actions.


#3

From what I can tell, looks as if those guys were splitting hairs anyway… looks like a little open mindedness should result in a reunification… “In my life time?” probaly not… but the reason for the split in the first place seemed to be more pride than substance anyway… pride is a hard monster to kill… :thumbsup:


#4

I’ve always had mixed feelings about it. I remember it being really ambiguous. Eash passage seemed to be written in a way that could be interpreted to mean multiple things. Catholics could look at a given passage and say “See, those Lutherans finally admit they are wrong.” And Lutherans could look at the same passage and say the opposite.

I vaugely remember one place where the phrase “faith alone” was used in reference to Lutheran AND Catholic belief without an explanation of what was meant.

And the way Rome handled the signing was quite dirty. They waited until the Lutherans had all voted on whether or not to sign it and then announced some changes would have to be made before we could accept it. And thuse we have the Annex to the original document.

But, it has been a couple of yrs since I looked at it. Maybe I’ll read through it again.

James


#5

Robert Sungenis at Catholic Apologetics International wrote an article on the Joint Declaration back in 2001. It’s probably been a yr or 2 since I’ve read it but I believe he points out several problems with the JDDJ from a Catholi point of view.

catholicintl.com/epologetics/jointdec.html

James


#6

My observation is that the major stumbling block to dialogue was terminology.

The same words meaning or implying different things to different groups. This is the modern Tower of Babel, where the speaker thinks he is communicating one thing and the listener thinks he is hearing something else.


#7

[quote=T.A.Stobie, SFO]My observation is that the major stumbling block to dialogue was terminology.

The same words meaning or implying different things to different groups. This is the modern Tower of Babel, where the speaker thinks he is communicating one thing and the listener thinks he is hearing something else.
[/quote]

Yes. You are exactly right. The big problem with the JDDJ was that there was no attempt to clarify what what each term meant to each party. Thus leaving open the possibility of each side interpreting teh same passage in opposite wasys. But that really may have been the idea all along.

James


#8

Even if it is a bridge being built by two sides across two different rivers, at least we are now trying to build bridges instead of burning them down.


#9

[quote=James0235]Yes. You are exactly right. The big problem with the JDDJ was that there was no attempt to clarify what what each term meant to each party. Thus leaving open the possibility of each side interpreting teh same passage in opposite wasys. But that really may have been the idea all along.
[/quote]

It took so long to develop because of the terminology problem. JDDJ has in it sections defining terms in both Catholic and Lutheran ways and then reaching agreement on the overall concepts.

Many people have problems with this as they assume that everyone uses the terminology that they do.


#10

[quote=Shibboleth]Even if it is a bridge being built by two sides across two different rivers, at least we are now trying to build bridges instead of burning them down.
[/quote]

While I don’t tend to view the Declaration as positively as most do I am glad that it was released. It might not be enough to end nearly 500 yrs of divison but it is a start.

James


#11

The biggest problem I have with the JDF is that it was signed not by the confessing Lutherans but by the likes of the ELCA, which condone abortion and many other horrible things.

The LCMS had representives at the talks, but did not sign the document because it was basically a restatement of what each side believed. On other words, while the talks were very good and enlightening, nothing of substance was accomplished.


#12

[quote=RedGolum]The biggest problem I have with the JDF is that it was signed not by the confessing Lutherans but by the likes of the ELCA, which condone abortion and many other horrible things.

The LCMS had representives at the talks, but did not sign the document because it was basically a restatement of what each side believed. On other words, while the talks were very good and enlightening, nothing of substance was accomplished.
[/quote]

I was not aware of such things. Could you please cite the official document of the ELCA that talks of condoning abortion. Keep in mind also that the Lutheran Church does not believe that we can produce a document that is at par with the scripture, so even if they did publish such a document members could adamantly disagree based on scriptural proof.

The ELCA does differ from WELS and the LCMS in that it allows women to hold higher positions in the Church and does not practice closed communion at this time, however, neither the WELS or LCMS synods belong to the LWF. The current presiding president of the LWF is the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. The ELCA however is not the only or the primary synod in the LWF.

The LWF has 136 member churches in 76 countries, representing 62.3 million of the 66 million Lutherans worldwide. These churches declare doctrinal agreement insofar as they recognize each other as proper in the proclamation of the Word, and are united in pulpit and altar fellowship. It is like one big world-wide “synod;” but the goal is more than talk. They use the power of this unity for work in humanitarian aide, environmental issues, human rights, land mines, refugees, development education, medical epidemic work (HIV/AIDS) and migration and resettlement.

I would hardly consider this group minuscule and unsubstantial.


#13

A friend of mine is studying to be a minister in the ELCA, and abortion is in their health plan. I will attempt to see if I can get some of the doc’s and post them.

The ELCA is also currently “studying” the oridination of openly homosexual ministers. I know that this is not something many of the members will agree with, but it is still being put forward.


#14

[quote=RedGolum]A friend of mine is studying to be a minister in the ELCA, and abortion is in their health plan. I will attempt to see if I can get some of the doc’s and post them.
[/quote]

This is disturbing and I would definitely like some information on the matter because I will make a fuss about it in the Church. Do you know if it is a second or third party insurance such as: Blue Cross or Medica. I think those have set rules that cannot be adjusted by the organizations in which they service. If it is an inside insurance than this needs to change.

[quote=RedGolum]The ELCA is also currently “studying” the oridination of openly homosexual ministers. I know that this is not something many of the members will agree with, but it is still being put forward.
[/quote]

Yes I think this may unfortunately lead to another division in the Lutheran Church. Of course Lutherans do not differentiate between sins. Luther’s famous quote, “If you are going to sin, sin boldly.” However, the Church does not allow people to continuously sin unrepentantly, so I am not sure what the outcome will be on this matter. Premarital sex is wrong, if I had a priest that continuously engaged in it without repentance I would ask him to step down.

If someone states that they are a homosexual but does not engage in sexual activity, I not only say let him be a priest but I would also revere him for his fortitude.


#15

Hey Shibboleth:

I have read many of your posts in this and other threads with great interest and really appreciate your knowledge, sincerity and interest in matters of faith. I have limited time to participate, but I think you and I would have a lot to talk about. I’m a cradle Catholic who left the Church - and organized religion in general - in my teens for many of the standard reasons. I came back to Christ through an ELCA congregation that my then girlfriend, now wife, belonged to. We were happy, active members of that congregation for over 20 years until the Holy Spirit inexplicably called us both to the Catholic faith (long story!). I fought it like crazy, telling my wife I had “been there, done that”, but the more I studied the more in love I, and we as a family, became with the Church.

One thing that really knocked us for a loop early on in the process was learning that the ELCA does provide insurance coverage for abortions for its clergy and employees. It chooses to do so and is not tied to it by the insurance carrier. We had our pastor investigate this and he confirmed it to us. Now this was not the ultimate cause of our leaving, but I thought it was a great example of the kind of moral relativism that can occur when you have no real authority in a church.

God’s blessings to you, hopefully we can speak (as it were) more in the future.


#16

Can someone post the official site where I can access the document on the Joint Declaration on Justificaton.

Thanks much!:blessyou:


#17

elca.org/ea/Ecumenical/romancatholic/jddj/jddj.html


#18

Hey Shibboleth:

I have read many of your posts in this and other threads with great interest and really appreciate your knowledge, sincerity and interest in matters of faith. I have limited time to participate, but I think you and I would have a lot to talk about. I’m a cradle Catholic who left the Church - and organized religion in general - in my teens for many of the standard reasons. I came back to Christ through an ELCA congregation that my then girlfriend, now wife, belonged to. We were happy, active members of that congregation for over 20 years until the Holy Spirit inexplicably called us both to the Catholic faith (long story!). I fought it like crazy, telling my wife I had “been there, done that”, but the more I studied the more in love I, and we as a family, became with the Church.

One thing that really knocked us for a loop early on in the process was learning that the ELCA does provide insurance coverage for abortions for its clergy and employees. It chooses to do so and is not tied to it by the insurance carrier. We had our pastor investigate this and he confirmed it to us. Now this was not the ultimate cause of our leaving, but I thought it was a great example of the kind of moral relativism that can occur when you have no real authority in a church.

God’s blessings to you, hopefully we can speak (as it were) more in the future.


#19

[quote=DianJo]Can someone post the official site where I can access the document on the Joint Declaration on Justificaton.

Thanks much!:blessyou:
[/quote]

catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1345

this has the catholic anex and all the documents that pertain to the catholic understanding of the JDJ


#20

[quote=newby]catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1345

this has the catholic anex and all the documents that pertain to the catholic understanding of the JDJ
[/quote]

Thank You very much!!!:thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.