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Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

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Definition:   A document that was the fruition of over thirty years of ecumenical meetings between the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church.  Historically, Lutherans have held that through faith alone the righteousness of Jesus is credited to the believer’s account so that God can justly declare them fit for heaven. Catholic teaching on justification is that the righteousness of God is infused to a person through baptism and maintained and increased through the Catholic sacraments and the lifelong cooperation of the Catholic. The document uses carefully crafted wording (and ignores important distinctions) in order to reach accord. The document was signed on October 31, 1999, the 482nd anniversary of the nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany (the event said to trigger the Protestant Reformation).

Discussion: There is no true agreement between the parties concerning the most critical doctrine of the Bible – how a person qualifies for heaven. Through wordsmithing and convergence ecumenism, the LWF has abandoned the truth. Countless souls have defended the doctrine of justification and suffered persecution or death at the hands of the papacy. The LWF defames their witness to the truth.

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