More Forde…

gerhard_forde by theologyethics


Pelagius was a moral reformer and like all moral reformers he didn’t want a theology that allowed people to relax. So he said that man must use his God-given strength to climb the ladder. Sin is not original, it is only a bad habit that humans have gotten into. It is passed on by imitation not by heredity. What we must do is bend every effort to better ourselves and reverse the course of immorality and corruption the world has taken. To arms against evil!

That was Pelagius’ call. But the church from the beginning has resisted this call-at least in the precise form in which Pelagius put it. Why? Because, as St.Augustine-with St. Paul- said, it makes the cross of no effect. It is a call to man’s pride and pride is the deadliest of sins-especially when it thinks itself to be busy with religious affairs. It is a call which completely disregards the fact that it was man’s moral pride and religious fervor that killed God’s Son. It sets men climbing the heavenly ladder indeed, but it has no grace. It only grinds real humanity in the dust. In other words, it does not take the Grace of God as revealed in the cross at it’s word. There is no room left for mercy and love. The cross is only an example of moral striving. It is a complete misreading both of divine action and the human condition.

                                                                                                    –  Gerhard Forde



Thanks to Brent Gordon for providing me the opportunity to take this from his facebook page.



5 Responses

  1. This is what happens when you climb the moral ladder of perfectionism. You think you are pulling it off and soon the cross is just some thing you wear around your neck like a St. Christopher medal. In fact, you are quite proud of yourself until you fall into some grave immorality and the whole world points at you and says aha! Then you see you have no friends in your morality. All of your moralists are shocked and ashamed of you and the world is laughing because you have fallen. If you only stop and see that that cross whith a bleeding Christ is EXACTLY what the moralist needs. Rosenbladt on his radio show quoted Forde saying “Christianity isn’t a religion of vice to virtue, it is a religion from virtue to grace.”

  2. I am writing this from experience. I was a good little moralist until my immorality drove me to hide from God for a long while because I was trying to climb back on to the religion project and well I got stopped in my tracks almost a year ago.

    Thanks in part to you Steve!

  3. God bless you, Robin.

    Thanks be to God He has freed you from all that nonsense.

    I’m just passing along what was given to me.

    Go and do likewise, my friend!

  4. I thank God too for having been set free! Blessings!

  5. Steve,

    Very good! It even goes deeper than that, as if that were not enough. That very thing was in fact original sin. Yes, that which the “yea but” crowd holds in highest esteem and tag it “with grace”, the fruit sniffers, those who laud their works as proofs of their election, etc… is itself original sin, the first of the fall with Eve!

    Luther spells this out concerning the fall of Adam and Eve in his Luther’s Lectures on Genesis (1535-1545) that what Eve was tempted to do, original sin, was not seeking the baser things (which are the EFFECT and proof that it happened, i.e. the WORSE thing was original sin). She thus was tempted away from nude faith in God’s Word, seeking, get this, higher and more pious (we might say superior religious things reaching up to find God without His Word, in the nude) and not more baser things.

    To put a sharp edge on it, the doctrine of believers baptism, for example is infinitely worse than a gay parade! Such false doctrines ARE original sin that are the cause of the more baser sins. I.e. the reason men murder, sexual sins, theft, etc… (these are the effects) is BECAUSE of such pious things that send one out looking for the “higher” and more “pious things” of God in the nude – sans the Word!

    Put another way, to make it clear; the reason men invert things created good (e.g. sex, stealing, murder, etc…) is that these are the SIGNS of the greater original sin which sought God without His Word and thus INVERTED the relationship. This is why Paul says because they thought themselves wise but became fools…they were turned over to baser lusts in their bodies.

    Lust is ultimately Jesus + something else and not as we modern American associate the term. Something besides the revealed Word. And idolatry, Luther points out, is mostly worship of the right God but the wrong way (e.g. Cain versus Abel in worship)!

    Doctrines such as Believers Baptism and Zwinglian/Calvinstic suppers are ultimately idolatry, because they leave the Word (this is….) and then go seeking God in the nude, without the Word, in that.


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