Wait, what do the Confessions supposedly say word for word? I went to a presentation tonight at Bethany Lutheran College (ELS), which I thought would be innocent, on the historicity of the Papacy. No big deal, right? Before it started, however, I was paging through the pamphlet. Sure enough, I came across the above, a manipulation of what the Confessions truly say. There were a lot of laymen and their families there, for whom I'm concerned. For all they knew, the quotation marks actually meant what quotation marks are supposed to mean. But if you do a tiny bit of research or if you've ever read the Confessions, you'll IMMEDIATELY notice, like I did, that the Confessions say no such thing. Rather, the quotations were how they wish the Confessions were written.
Now, yes, I know, I'm "judging motives" and claiming that this pamphlet was manipulative "on purpose," but what else am I supposed to think when it provides a series of "quotations" from the Confessions -- the Small Catechism -- that just aren't in the text, whether in a paraphrase or an actual quote. The laymen and students that were in attendance are going home thinking that the Confessions actually say that "God...has acquitted all men of the guilt and punishment of their sins, and has imputed to them the righteousness of Christ" (bold is mine) -- word for word. If only there were citations? But there aren't because the Confessions, no where, teach as such. Now it wouldn't be a big deal if they went home knowing that about themselves (hence the present tense of AC IV, "when they believe"), but it is clear that it was meant to teach that it is the same for them (believers) as it is for the entire world (unbelievers).
This is just another case of over-compensation for the UOJ paradigm, which must be maintained at all costs. It seems impossible for UOJ advocates to say that sinners are ONLY considered righteous by faith alone. Rather, they must twist and manipulate the minds of innocent sheep by changing what the Confessions, in the Small Catechism, do, truly, teach -- that sinners are only righteous in God's eyes when faith receives Christ's righteousness through faith, the righteousness that then covers that sinner. There's no distribution, imputation, giving out, or imparting of His righteousness apart from faith and the means of grace as opposed to what these UOJ enthusiasts teach in their own plain statements ("imputed to them the righteousness of Christ [without faith or the means of grace]") -- whether by individual teachers or official church documents. And if there's been no imputation of Christ's righteousness <b>by faith</b>, which alone protects against God's wrath, then the whole world of sinners can, in no way, be considered righteous by God without faith. It's just that simple. Kyrie, eleison.