Paul's Passing Thoughts

Chick-Fil-A, The Olympics, Jonestown, Julie Anne Smith, John Immel, Communism, Calvinism, and Redneck Suicide

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 5, 2012

“Stuff happens” is perhaps the most untrue truism tossed about in our society today. Everything happens for a reason. “Stuff “ doesn’t just “happen.” We often wallow in the symptoms, pooling together a collection of ignorance on the what rather than the why. And with a lot of confusion following unless you know the formula.

The determining factor in regard to most of what happens in Western culture centers on the question of “Who owns man?” Now, like all good Christians, you will answer this way: “God owns man!” Amen brotha! You go sista! Yes, God certainly owns man, but unfortunately, that often translates into some men owning others….on God’s behalf of course. In fact, that’s an excellent description of Reformed theology: men owning other men on God’s behalf. And if you don’t go along with the program—things get ugly.

The likes of Christian philosopher/church historian John Immel makes people nervous when he discusses issues like “who owns man?” and issues of self-esteem, but reality will come to his defense in every instance. For example, why did 900 people drink poison at the behest of Jim Jones? Who did they think owned them? Trust me, if someone tells you to drink poison, and you do it, you obviously think they own you—albeit on behalf of God notwithstanding. By the way, Pastor Jones’ theology was a blend of Marxism and biblical theology.

Between the 3rd and 6th century B.C., a fraternity of philosophers laid the groundwork for what utterly causes our culture to tick. Whether psychology, the penal correction system, public schools—you name it—the fundamental philosophy that drives it came from this fraternity. Socrates and Plato were chief among them. Even in casual conversation, their fundamental philosophical assumptions rule the day. Ever heard someone say, “You can’t help me unless you have experienced what I have experienced”? That’s Protagoras, a contemporary of Plato.  Got “rule of law”? Well, my friend, Socrates died for it 2500 years ago.

Why did he think it was so important to ignore the cell door that was left open for him and wait on the cup of hemlock the next morning? Because even though the ruling was plainly unjust, he wanted to make a statement about what he believed: though democratic rule of law was imperfect, it is best upheld for the better good of society as a whole. Better to die unjustly than to slight what holds society together. But what was the underlying assumption that led Socy to die for this truth? The underlying assumption was the inability of man , and the need for the enlightened to save man from himself through government force.

Socy, bless his heart, wanted to set the right example for the totally depraved. Trust me, as one of the enlightened ones, he didn’t think he needed the law. He, and his understudy Plato, believed rigorous study in the realm of ideas (intuitive theory) led to enlightenment, and therefore the duty to rule the great unwashed who lived in the shadows of objectivity. This is the very reason why, in our day, that obtaining a license to practice psychiatry is so rigorous. It is eight years of study in the realm of mostly theory. The conflicting sum of 200 different psychological theories is irrelevant, Socy believed that truth was found in the mind through ideas, and the pursuit was higher than the Neanderthal concept of drawing conclusions from the obvious.

Any of the above ringing a bell? How many sexually abused in the church have been told that it is best for the church as a whole if they just keep their mouth shut? Ever heard the following? “No church is perfect.” What that really means is that rightness isn’t the point—this is the point: the church (with orthodoxy and polity) is the authoritative law that saves the great unwashed from themselves, and wielded by Reformed elders. Therefore, don’t be “selfish,” be like Socy, keep your mouth shut and drink the hemlock. I mean for crying out loud, Socy didn’t even claim to be a Christian! Can’t you at least show the same “humbleness” displayed by a pagan philosopher you totally depraved piece of crap?

This isn’t rocket science. A cursory observation of history reveals how the philosophy of Who owns man? left Athens in two different directions: secular and religious, with each having their own sub-propagators/philosophers. On the one hand, Plato+Hegel+Marx =Communism, and on the other, Plato+Augustine +Luther +Calvin =Reformed. In fact, among secular academics who don’t have a dog in the fight—this is a commonly held routine observation from a historical perspective. Christian ignorance about this historical paradigm would surprise them—or maybe not, but it explains almost everything on our side of the globe. For instance, I used to be perplexed about American politicians that are sympathetic towards communism; not anymore. They are sympathetic because they share the same fundamental assumptions about who owns man (government, or himself? God owning man is an entirely different consideration all together). Think, welfare state. Think, inept man needs government to take care of him. Even though it doesn’t work because you eventually run out of other people’s money, that is making a judgment on empirical observation—the “true,” beautiful,” and “good,” (Plato’s trinity) can only be realized intuitively. This is why Communists and Calvinists alike will not repent—their philosophy will not allow it because it refuses to be judged by results. The Athens fraternity was notorious for remaining resolute in their beliefs regardless of outcomes. Likewise, Reformed elders ape this mentality with, “This must be right because the conclusion was drawn from a gospel context.”

Christ Himself arrived on the scene when this Platonist philosophy was at its zenith in the form of Gnosticism. It is no accident that He deliberately shunned formal education and chose the beggarly leftovers of Greek/ Roman society. His Kingdom Gospel absolutely flew in the face of this philosophy on every level.

Albeit an unbalanced approach, the founding fathers of America grounded the Constitution on the ability of man (great, though flawed): man owns himself; the state is subordinated to the will of individuals, and truth can NEVER be the property of the state. The founding fathers were children of the Enlightenment which pushed back against the tyranny that always follows Platonist assumptions. This is why America is the greatest nation ever to exist on Earth. That didn’t just happen. Things happen for a reason:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such

Now again, the good Christian comes forward to protest: “America is great because God (pronounced more like “Gaaawwwwdddd” by the pious. Likewise, Gospel is pronounced, “Gaaaawwwwsssfffuuulll”) chose her!” True. But God, in case you haven’t noticed, uses things to bring about His ends. Look at Europe’s history, and then look at America. Choose one. What would you like the world to look like between the two? Throughout history, we have had to save Europe from their own philosophy, and their greatest leaders have always been advocates of the Enlightenment; namely, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Other than that, Europe’s claim to fame has always been the Dark Ages. It should be self-evident that God allows ideas to have their own results, and something should be learned from those results.

The rats of European philosophy stowed away on the Mayflower and soon brought the Salem witch trials—generally thought of as a bad idea, but uniquely Reformed.  Eventually, Southern Presbyterianism (=’s Calvin) became the underpinnings of Confederate thought and brought us the Patriarchy Movement. Again, one can find the European Reformed idea of who owns man in Confederate Presbyterian thought via a cursory observation of their writings—even to the point of disdaining the North’s industrial revolution and its implications regarding man’s ability. God isn’t opposed to innovation. Really, he isn’t. But farmers are easier to control. And, once you know how to plow a field, there is no need to reinvent the plow blade. And, it keeps the populous busy working rather than thinking. Thinking and IDEAS have always been the tyrant’s worst nightmare. I will never forget the words of the Reformed elder who shut down my blog when I still attended Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio: “Paul, what is the web address of where you are putting forth your ideas?” Precisely.

This is what is driving the whole Chick-Fil-A controversy and much else that happens in our society from the mundane to the spectacular. This is about controlling ideas. In this case, Stalin’s gun is the one that fires the “bigotry” bullets, and the defamation is mental, not physical. If mental defamation does not work, defamation of the flesh will follow. This is the way it has always been—Calvin by no means excluded on any wise. In the Chick case, you have the following on one side: the social liberals, socialists, and the indifferent Reformed (who are supposedly “above the fray”). Besides, patriots (who love country more than Gaaawwwwwddddd), homosexuals, and dispensationalist evangelicals are no different to begin with. On the other side, you have evangelicals and patriots with misguided priorities. BUT, they yet understand something that is extremely important: tyranny against the freedom of ideas is a really, really, bad idea. Give them credit for knowing what a grave threat is at hand.

But the Olympics play into this? Absolutely.  America is thumping everybody on the medals, and with extraordinary life stories to boot. A 15 year-old American girl is dominating the swimming competition. Because she sees herself as inept? Hardly. Because Jesus is swimming for her? I kinda doubt it. If that’s the case, she hasn’t mentioned it yet. Not to mention the judo gold medalist from Middletown, Ohio who was sexually abused by her coach in the same sport. Instead of buying into a no-can-do euro victim mentality, she had the coach who violated her trust and her dignity thrown in jail, and left for Europe to conquer the world of judo. You can tell her if you would like that what was done to her is not that big of a deal because we are all just a bunch of totally depraved numbskulls, but that is probably a really bad idea given her talents. And there is only one reason why the other nations can even compete with us over there—because they leave their socialist philosophy behind while competing. The ineptness of mankind can pass for social engineering, but not for Olympic excellence.

All our hope is in God. I get that. But there is also inspiration in a woman from Oregon named Julie Anne Smith. I don’t know a lot about her, but it seems that she was just an everyday house wife minding her own business until she began to notice that her pastor was a bully. Reformed of course. I wasn’t able to find the original post of a blog that she authored in protest of the pastor’s tyranny, but it alluded to her assertion that it was almost as if having ideas was a crime in that church. Again, the mere fact that she mentioned that is no accident. That idea drives the very soul of that pastor, and resulted in a big-time head-on collision in civil court. Julie Anne, as she prefers to be called, kicked some serious Reformed butt, and a sigh of relief could be heard from the blogosphere worldwide. Little ole’ Paul’s Passing Thoughts .com gets its share of downloads from attorney office IP addresses located in particular geographies that share the same venues as churches that I write about. Crushing ideas is a Reformed thing—they can’t help themselves. Here is what Martin Luther himself thought of reason (Webster: “reflect, think”), regardless of the fact that God himself said, “come, let us reason together”:

“Die verfluchte Huhre, Vernunft.” (The damned whore, Reason).

“Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”

Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

“Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God.”

“There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason… Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.”

Martin Luther, quoted by Walter Kaufmann, The Faith of a Heretic, (Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1963), p. 75

“Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.”

“Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason.”

“To be a Christian, you must “pluck out the eye of reason.””

“People gave ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

Martin Luther, “Works,” Volume 22, c. 1543

It’s an American thing.  If a housewife from Oregon disagrees with being served up for an elders buffet, she can do something about it, and she did. And the Reformed crowd isn’t happy about it. Pastor John MacArthur (who has a personal relationship with Julie Anne’s former pastor) sidekick Fred Butler is now shooting Chic-Fil-A bullets at Julie Anne’s daughter. These controversies drag on for some time in American culture because neither the socialists or Reformed pastors can end disagreements quickly with the gallows. Not yet, anyway, but they are working on it. Luther himself said of Calvin’s Geneva: “All disagreements are settled by sentence of death.” But the most inspiring thing about Julie Anne is the way she is seeking to come to an understanding about why all of this happened to her family. She understands that things happen for a reason.

This brings me to the last subject of my title. “Country” and the whole stupid hillbilly thing is all the rage in this country right now. “Blue Collar” comedy that glorifies undignified stupidity and fixing lives with duct tape is the spice of entertainment for many—even in the church.  At this year’s TANC conference, the “Hillbilly Ten Commandments” were discussed and the perceived cuteness of it among Christians while Reformed elders listen and wink knowingly at each other:  “This is a good thing.”  It may be fun, but it puts our freedom in danger. Stupidity is the blood that tyrants feed on. Act stupid if you will, and have fun doing it, but let it only be an act, even a ploy to fool Reformed elders and Communists. But only an act—our freedom depends on it.

Therefore, for the first time in my life, I will be standing in line at Chick-Fil-A. Why? Because I’m for Christian values? No, though I am. Because I’m a patriot? No, though I am one. I will be standing in line as a statement concerning the importance of freedom of ideas—the great enemy of every tyrant who has breathed upon the earth.


35 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

  2. John Immel said, on August 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Ok… wow. Out freaking standing dude! I’m jealous. Wish I’d written this

  3. said, on August 6, 2012 at 12:50 am


  4. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    No need to be jealous, in essence, you wrote at least half of it.

  5. Craig Vick said, on August 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    For one so rightly concerned about defamation, it seems to me you’re a bit careless with the views of your “opponents”. I hope you’ll agree that you don’t own Socrates and Plato. You should at least reference Plato’s writings so we can judge for ourselves whether or not you are reading him well. I’m both reformed and delighted by the verdict in Julie Anne’s case. I don’t think you’ve read me very well.

  6. craigvick said, on August 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    For one who is rightly concerned about defamation it seems to me you’re a bit careless with the views of your “opponents”. I hope you’ll agree that you don’t own Socrates and Plato. You should at least reference Plato’s works so we can determine for ourselves whether or not your reading him well. I’m both reformed and delighted by the verdict in Julie Anne’s case. I don’t think you’re reading me very well.

  7. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Read Plato for yourself. It’s not my job to think for you, or read for you. Your Reformed; and the Dr. of Grace, and one of the forefathers of Reformed theology, Augustine (if not thee father of Reformed theology), was HEAVILY influenced by Plato. That’s common knowledge. So, why don’t you know more than I do about him to begin with? it’s usually a good idea to know the history of a movement before you join it and name yourself among them instead of taking John Mac Arthur’s word for it.

  8. craigvick said, on August 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I apologize for the double post. When I tried to post my comment I was sent to a log in page and then returned to this one, but my post was missing.

    I have read a lot of Plato, but I’d be the first to admit I don’t always get him right. That’s why it’s important for me to reference his works before I speak as an authority on his views. That way my readers can take a look and see if I’m reading him well. I agree that it’s not your job to think for me. That’s the very reason I asked for the references. I find your descriptions of Socrates and Plato to be distortions. I suppose I could have just jumped right in and starting debating you, but I thought it would be better to take a look first at what in Plato your reading. That’s very much in keeping with the spirit of the enlightenment which you profess to admire. Often, those who refuse to give references haven’t read the primary sources.

    Augustine was heavily influenced by Plato. So was Kant, the father of the enlightenment.

    I’m not sure why you assume I don’t know the history of the reformed movement. It’s true that I know almost nothing about John Mac Arthur. I certainly wasn’t aware that he is now the standard bearer of reformed theology.

  9. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    First, let me save you some time and typing by letting you know that your Reformed communication techniques for purposes of belittlement/control are a total waste of time with me. I am aware of all of them, and unphased accordingly. I was in a situation where I had to deal with a Reformed elder tutored by the best of them, and he had a PhD in Psychiatry to boot. So just skip the crap–I am a busy person. If you are concerned with any specific view I used to make my points in regard to Socrates or Plato, state them, and I will cite my source and the reasoning behind it. And if you decide to use the same old worn-out manipulation such as, “I don’t even know where to start,” well then, pick 3. Other than that, shut up and leave me alone. I will communicate with you based on substance and fact, other than that, I already know how brilliant you are by virtue of being Reformed.

  10. craigvick said, on August 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I’ll do my best. You claim Socrates’ view of the state has led to the abhorrent practice of church leaders telling those who have been sexually abused to be silent. I don’t find Socrates to be a fan of this kind of silence. He had many opportunities to avoid a trial, avoid punishment and, in the trial, avoid the death penalty. All he had to do was to give in to the authorities, to be silent and submissive. He refused. One of the reasons he gives for not escaping is that an escape would let the authorities off the hook. Had he escaped the authorities could have written him off as a law breaker and this would “confirm in the minds of the judges the justice of their own condemnation”.

    You say, referring to Socrates, “But what was the underlying assumption that led Socy to die for this truth? The underlying assumption was the inability of man , and the need for the enlightened to save man from himself through government force.” I don’t find this anywhere in the Crito. Socrates does say some things about the state that make me uncomfortable, but I don’t find those things to be central to his argument. Socrates bases his argument on what many would call autonomous reason. For example, he says, “I am and always have been one of those natures who must be guided by reason, whatever the reason may be which upon reflection appears to me to be the best”. This is an example of the strong link between Socrates and the enlightenment.

  11. Julie Anne said, on August 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    “Julie Anne, as she prefers to be called, kicked some serious Reformed butt, and a sigh of relief could be heard from the blogosphere worldwide.”

    I was just going to come here and post that I wondered what my reformed friends would think about that quote and then noticed my friend Craig commenting. I’m new to this new-Calvinism stuff as you know, Paul, but everything I’ve read of about it from you about the subject is contrary to what I have seen and read of my friend Craig. He certainly doesn’t “behave” the NC way at all. I understand this NC is a”movement”, but do we paint such a wide brush that everyone is included? Help me, I’m still learning.

  12. Argo said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:02 am

    “I’m jealous. Wish I’d written this.” John Immel

    Funny…I say that about everything John writes.

  13. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Julie Anne,

    Personal note:

    Thanks for stopping by. My answer to you is the theses for my next two books. First of all, New Calvinism is Old Calvinism. I will get to that, and the difference between Sanctified Calvinism and Authentic Calvinism. And as far as my shoot first and ask questions latter approach, my own daughter would probably agree with you on that. I also revisited the remarks to make sure I wasn’t speaking for you in any way. I think people know you are a nice person and I’m not. But I like nice people very much–I will work on being one after Al Mohler et al are where they should be: working at McDonalds for a living where they can learn things from high school students. I only worry that they would mess with people’s food. Still, I seem to be nicer than Peter who called false teachers “brute beasts” and Paul who called them “dogs.”

    How I got here:

    When I wrote TTANC1, I was primarily concerned with dissecting the specific doctrine and discovering where NC came from historically. I have been a Christian interested in theological issues for a long time, and had never run into it. By the time I finished the work, 60% of my readership and supporters were Calvinists. Old Calvinists, though not crazy about being associated with me, feared that New Calvinists were misrepresenting what Calvin really taught. I wasn’t concerned with that–only the aforementioned focus. Also, originally, the 2012 TANC conference was a joint venture with a staunch Calvinist. Several elders from various Calvinist churches had committed to showing up. Then, in preparation for TTANC 2, I had dinner with church historian John Immel. As he leafed through volume 1, he folded the book back on page 43, slid it in front of me, and stated: “that’s what Luther and Calvin believed.” Well, of course, I had been reading the Australian Forum (the Reformed think tank that launched New Calvinism in 1970) for a year and this was their specific claim (that they had rediscovered authentic Reformed doctrine), so I wasn’t surprised.

    Here is what I found out and it will be the subject of volume2 (Fall 2012). And expanded on in “The Reformation Myth” (Winter 2013). This is just plain fact. And thoroughly documenting it is like falling off a log. And this is bad news for a lot of people because it is solution oriented and presents a choice: keep whining about the problem, or do something about it. I have an agenda behind sharing this with you because i think you are a solution oriented person.

    The Theses:

    What makes today tick in our society was determined by the Academy which was the first institution of higher learning (about 370 BC) in Western civilization. Before that, mythology ruled the day (6th century BC). The Greeks then became interested in moving from myth to science. The science was dominated primarily by Democritus (Demo) and Pythagoras (Pyth). Uh, these guys were beyond brilliant. Demo was a materialist, and invented Atomic theory. Think about that! Pyth was very religious and combined the spiritual with science and was joined by a guy named Heraclitus. They ultimately concluded that a non-material being endowed with perfect intelligence supplied the creative force of order in the universe. But it was very important to them that it was understood that this being was CHANGELESS. In other words, the being certainly could not get any smarter. That’s key–don’t forget that principle.

    Now, others came along and said: “Ok, science is great, but what good is it if it can’t tell us how to live our lives, give us purpose, and teach us how to be happy?” So, inter the Sophists. They were the first sociologists and psychologists of Western culture. And I contend that NOTHING has really been added to their theories of human existence–they invented the Western psychological wheel, and that wheel has never really been reinvented. Their theories on humanity dominate today’s culture.

    Socrates and Plato were chief among them. They agreed with the scientists; what empowers the universe is unchangeable, and the good, beautiful, and true. Plato’s trinity. They then (mostly Plato) equated what changes with the lower–not good, not beautiful, not true. If it changes, it…. well, um, is useless. Again, that’s key, don’t forget that. Also, they believed that those in the realm of what changes can never know the immaterial because of its eternal good, and nothing about it could be discovered through observation of the material. Something that was active, yet invisible like the invisible good, true, and beautiful (GTB) had to be used to access the GTB; ie, the mind/ideas/rhetoric. However, they also believed (mostly Socy) that man already knew everything about GTB, he just didn’t know that he knew (Plato: the “meno”), AND, he was strongly inclined to try to discover GTB through what the 5 senses could tell him. So then, with Socy and Plato, ALL truth was INTUITIVE (Freeman, Apple: “The Wisdom And Ideas of Plato” p. 72). By the way, this is the basis of Rogerian/Freudian psychology in our day. Also, they taught that we really couldn’t know positively what we know (Plato: “The Apology”), but in searching for the GTB through ideas, we come to the BEST SUGGESTIONS for living life (Ibid Freeman/Apple, p. 32). Remember, their opinion of the GTB was very high; ie, beyond knowing, but yet man’s only hope for direction in life. “Suggestions” are better than not knowing anything.

    The Plato Solution

    Therefore, Plato asserted that those who are gifted with loving the GTB (philosophy: “the love of knowledge”) must do so through rigorous contemplation of ideas (with the major tool being the Socy dialectic: a process of interpretive questions; used in NLP today). They must also know that the GTB cannot be obtained through observation using the 5 senses (seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling [note; how your knowledge makes people feel is meaningless], tasting). And they must know that GTB is the best suggestion/direction, not necessarily the exact representation of the unchangeable in a changing world. All that can be observed in this world is a form of the unchangeable GTB, and GTB as applied in this life is no different, but our only hope for societal stability. So, applied truth is never dogma, but a form of the perfect truth that must be obtained by the antitheses of empirical objectivity.

    ideas > the only way to the GTB > discovery > application > best happiness and order available.
    Observation > a form of the form > observation constantly changes > erroneous > living in the shadows.

    Furthermore, Plato asserted that such philosophers should rule the masses who live in the shadows. Socy and Plato believed that man was not necessarily sinful, but IGNORANT of intuitive GTB. They believed that ignorance was the root of all evil. Not sin, ignorance (Plato: the “Hippias Minor”). This is the foundation of today’s correctional facilities.

    Secondly, the Plato solution advocated government as enforcing the will of the philosopher kings on the shadowy masses when they refuse to follow the intuitive will of the philosopher kings. This is the theses of “The Republic.” And the rest is Western history, A-Z.

    The Plato Solution leaves Athens for History

    The Plato Solution left the Academy in Athens for history in two different directions: secular, and religious. In the secular, it became Communism.

    “Karl Popper [generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century] blamed Plato for the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century, seeing Plato’s philosopher kings, with their dreams of ‘social engineering’ and ‘idealism’, as leading directly to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler (via Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx).[1] In addition, Ayatollah Khomeini is said to have been inspired by the Platonic vision of the philosopher king while in Qum in the 1920s when he became interested in Islamic mysticism and Plato’s Republic. As such, it has been speculated that he was inspired by Plato’s philosopher king, and subsequently based elements of his Islamic Republic on it.[2]”

    On the religious side, it permeated the theology of Augustine (Carrie L. Bates: “Augustine and Plato via the Neoplatonists”) who was a Patron Saint of the Catholic Church as well as the father of the Reformation. Augustine was so endeared to Plato that he contended that Plato would have been a Christian if he lived in a different era (Ibid). AND incredibly, Augustine was both the Catholic Doctor of Grace and the father of the Reformation. And the underlying philosophy that drove both, through Augustine, was that of the philosopher king. let their be no doubt: the Reformers and Rome were in agreement on this. The Reformers saw themselves as moral philosopher kings, and saw Rome as immoral philosopher kings, but they were all philosopher kings. HENCE, BOTH believed that the philosopher kings OWN man–albeit in this case by proxy on behalf of God. of course, remember that this is the religious side. On the secular side, Communists and others clearly believe that the government owns man. The founders of the Constitution of the United States founded this country on the contrary idea that the people own the government.

    Regardless of differences between Rome and the Reformers, it’s the same Platonist presuppositions, therefore, the same results:

    Communism/other religions/generic totalitarianism—————–Tyranny

    Augustine’s Platonist Gospel

    However, though Rome accepted Auggie’s philosophy, the Reformed doctrine that he developed from Plato’s presuppositions drove a further wedge between the Reformers and Rome. Augustine’s gospel eliminated mans participation in both justification and sanctification, and made church polity that of the philosopher king. If one carefully studies the Calvin Institutes and present day New Calvinism, Platonist thought is found throughout.

    BUT, because the underlying presuppositions are the same, the same result is always tyranny; ie, the church owns you. Uh, excuse me, on God’s behalf of course! Because of this, the authentic Augustinian gospel dies a social death because of the following five reasons:

    1. God’s people realize it’s the false gospel of progressive justification.
    2. Tyranny/control culminates.
    3. Our narrow role in sanctification starts yielding bad life results.
    4. Sanctification lacks intellectual challenge. liturgies become unfulfilling and boring.
    5. lack of meaningful evangelism.

    When it dies a social death from time to time throughout history, what is good and true about it lives on, BUT UNDER THE SAME NAME–BUT CLEARLY NOT BEING THE SAME; ie, Sanctified Calvinism. This is where I lost all of my Calvinist buddies. In TTANC volume 2, I will clearly show that the New Calvinism that Jay Adams (a Calvinist) contends against in “Biblical Sonship” is exactly what John Calvin himself taught. Calvin quotes Augustine over 400 times in the Institutes(on average:every 2.5 pages), and Luther was a member of the Augustinian Order. A cursory observation of their lives shows clearly that they were also philosopher kings of the first order.

    TTANC volume 2 will document all of the Authentic Calvinism/Auggie gospel recovery movements from Geneva to present. But the last one was the Australian Forum which eventually became present-day New Calvinism. And the tyranny with it.

    Communism/other religions/generic totalitarianism——Tyranny
    Reformers———-Tyranny—-[social death]—-[recovery/tyranny/death]—[AF]—[NC]—Tyranny

  14. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:31 am


    I spent a lot of time answering Julie Anne’s question about you, and though it doesn’t answer your question specifically, it bypasses the element and presents the reason why I interpret Socrates the way I do. Rather than to talk about elements, this shows my total perspective. HOWEVER, the following does address the Socy question you presented as far as how he viewed government. You will have to take the following and plug it in to what I wrote for her. Blessings, paul.

    This gives me something to work with. In regard to your first paragraph, what you state is a residual element of the primary reason Socy refused to be released. After reading the Crito, I agree with Eugene Freeman and David Appel’s commentary on the primary reason Socy refused to be released: to uphold democratic rule of law for the best interest of society as a whole:”He learned from his investigations that as far as justice is concerned, we cannot find it exemplified in the fate of a single individual. instead, we must look for it in the workings of a democratic state which strives to provide justice for all through its laws, even though it may not succeed in every single case.” And, “By freely giving up his chance to escape, and sacrificing his life to preserve the democratic system of justice to which he was dedicated….” (“the Wisdom and Ideas of Plato” p. 77) According to Socy if the laws interrogated him: “Tell us Socrates, what are you about? Are you not going by an act of yours to overturn us–the laws, and the whole state, as far as in you lies? Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and trampled upon by individuals?” (Crito).

    So, the law must be obeyed at all times, to do otherwise threatens its existence. If in regard to one it is unjust, it still must be obeyed for its own preservation. The best overall good is paramount, not the injustice to the few. Stop right there. This is only one point where Reformed theology apes Socy to a “T.” More on that in a little bit, but this is the exact same argument lobbed at victims by Reformed elders constantly. Oh my, the citations are vast, but I will use my own life. I was told that I needed to obey a group of elders or face an unjust excommunication, and the other Reformed elders counseling me admitted it was unjust, but I needed to accept that because I, as one person, was irrelevant to the well-being of the entire church. They actually quoted what Paul said about being destroyed by God if you “destroy a temple.” Ie, they thought that the church would be brought down if my story got out. It’s the whole mentality that the measure of truth is what best benefits the whole. God would destroy me if I didn’t take an unjust excommunication laying down.

  15. Julie Anne said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Paul – Although I personally would have preferred it to read: “Julie Anne, as she prefers to be called, kicked some serious butt, and a sigh of relief could be heard from the blogosphere worldwide.” instead of “Reformed butt”, this is your blog and your blog is your opinion just as it was my opinion that my old pastor was creepy, cult-like, and spiritually abusive. Hey baby, it’s free speech, so carry on :) I don’t think anyone would think that your words are mine, and if they do, oh well.

    You’ve always been a nice guy to me, so I don’t know that I’m buying all of that mean-guy stuff, but I think I do understand your heart and a bit about what motivates you.

    I definitely think you are on to something because it is interesting through my involvement with various churches/practices throughout the country (SGM, HOFCC – family integrated, IFB, and certain Christian counseling methodologies), I have come to some of the same conclusions without having an understanding of what was going wrong, just knowing in my heart that something was not right. When you see the blatant abuse and cover-up going on – and it is widespread – and also for the first time ever in my life dealing being treated like a less-than as a woman (and I’m 48), I found it appalling that my Christian brothers were behaving in such a way. There is some sort of insanity going on.

    I’m still going to need some convincing, though, because I do see some amazing pastors in independent churches, including reformed churches (Craig) who demonstrate they are godly shepherds. I just don’t see how you can toss them under the bus.

    So, hurry up and get those books done ;)

  16. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Julie Anne,

    It’s all about Plato. Sooooooooooooo much that I could never understand is sooooooooo plain now. Anybody who has been to seminary, including myself, will tell you that the vast majority of graduates don’t teach the congregants what they learn in seminary. Why? In fact, if you are like Immel and I, you were told in seminary specifically that it is a higher form of knowledge that the parishioners cannot understand. Seminaries are for philosopher kings. Oh my, and the neon sign is the SBC. I don’t even need a witness–parishioners do not understand doctrine or theology. That knowledge is replaced with dumbed down creeds, liturgies, and 7/11 music (7 words about Jesus repeated 11 times).

    And, there is no such thing as a “cult.” That is very unhelpful terminology. What’s the question in EVERY case? Whether it’s Beaverton or Jonestown, the question is: WHO OWNS WHO? At the former Reformed church I was a member of, those people don’t even buy new underwear without permission. Now, to the “Reformed” nomenclature. First gospel wave philosopher kings usually don’t preach a false gospel, but they are tyrants just the same and have a tendency towards bad sexual behavior. Reformed philosopher kings (second wave) teach a false gospel. Plain and simple. It’s progressive justification. They deny it, but yet, Chapter 14 in the 3rd book of the Institutes is entitled, “The Beginning of Justification. In What Sense Progressive.” Uh, ok, well, what-u-ya think?

    We went over this in detail at the conference. Calvin and Luther taught false gospels, and frankly, with very bad behavior following as one might expect. Calvin would have never dreamed of committing statutory rape (what seems to be the favorite sin of the first wavers since kings have always had concubines)–his sin of choice was murdering people. He had that right because he owned Geneva and anybody who rode into town. What did Hyles’ daughter say about him? He literally owned Hammond Ind. Why do you think he was never arrested?

    So, ya, Reformed folks need to come out from among them. That’s ALL of them. Are there saved JW’s that are a part of that, for lack of a better term, “cult”? I simply don’t know for sure, but I am sure of this: they need to shed the nomenclature. Are there Reformed folks who don’t believe in progressive justification? I would say, “yes.” And I would also say that they need to get out–it’s a false gospel.

  17. CraigVick said, on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks Paul for your thoughtful response. I’m going to chew on it a bit before I comment.

  18. Bridget said, on August 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Argo and Paul –

    “The Reformers saw themselves as moral philosopher kings, and saw Rome as immoral philosopher kings, but they were all philosopher kings. HENCE, BOTH believed that the philosopher kings OWN man–albeit in this case by proxy on behalf of God. of course, remember that this is the religious side.”

    This is the problem with SGM vs. Brent. Brent believes he has now revealed the immorality of the leaders in SGM (mainly CJ). In all fairness, he has revealed much. But he believes that he has switched to the “moral” side. However, when he wrote his post on “Apostolic Ministry,” he showed that he totally believed in the “authority” model of leadership. He used the word authority over and over again – made me want to scream! You were left with the thought that “Apostle = Authority to Rule.” It boggles me that Brent gets and loves our Declaration of “Independence” and Constitution but he doesn’t seem to want to apply that thought process to the Church (i.e. that a local body should choose from among themselves . . . ). Further, he does not seem to see that the manner in which the Apostles spoke into the churches THAT THEY HAD BIRTHED was by way of love and relationship, and not by way of “authoritative rule.” When you examine the manner and language in which the Apostles wrote to the various churches you can clearly see this. Well, I can see it anyway.

    Unfortunately, in the two different “Apostolic” family of churches I have been in, I didn’t see the function of apostle carried out as exemplified in the NT. The function was always conveyed as one of a special “authority to rule” very much like a pope. Currently, on a micro level, we see pastors functioning like this within their local body — ugh!

  19. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Check out the themes of these two Reformed blogs and tell me what you think in conjunction to what I am saying overall between both comments to you and Julie Anne.

  20. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    While visiting some friends the other day, I refereed to Reformed thought as “religious communism.”

  21. Argo said, on August 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm


    You are absolutely right about Brent; which is why he will never ultimately see vindication (and he shouldn’t). Though he has revealed much, his continuing devotion to the doctrines that created the atmosphere for abuse of SGM pastors and laity in the first place make him as much a hypocrite as CJ. It is a shame he cannot see this. The irony, which would be so funny if it weren’t so tragic, is that with every passing moment that he refuses to renounce the false doctrinal assumptions of SGM, he confirms CJ and the Board’s VERY RIGHT, according to THAT SAME doctrine to treat Brent EXACTLY the way they did and are treating him: like a spiritual inferior, steeped in sin for not acknowledging his duty to humbly submit to the man whom God has ordained to stand in stead for him. By the very doctrine that SGM preaches, no one can bring rebuke against CJ because NO ONE in the organization is in a position to perceive and rebuke the sin in the one who clearly occupies a higher place on the spiritual hierarchy. In Calvinism, the the hierarchy of the depraved masses always ultimately culminates with one man. In SGM it is CLEARLY CJ, and always has been. So, according to the doctrine of both CJ AND Brent, CJ is completely and utterly in the right. Brent is the one in sin, by his own doctrinal definition. The only way Brent can legitimately bring complaint is to renounce the doctrinal assumptions, and then apologize for every minute he exercised his “power” in defense of that doctrine while acting as a SGM pastor. Until this happens, the story of Brent will continue to be just a simple, tragic reminder of what Calvinism does to people in the real world. It destroys them and everything they ever were and ever worked for.

    I wrote a post over at SpiritualTyranny where I stated that I was aghast that Calvinists cannot seem to make the connection between their doctrine and its practical destructive outcomes. They even give sermons bemoaning the tragedies of their own failings, and yet in the same sermon continue to emphasize that things will continue the way they are because it’s clearly “biblical”. Well…if it doesn’t work, then how biblical can it be? And even if it is “biblical”, then perhaps we need to re-evaluate our interpretive methods? And this is precisely what’s is happening with Brent. He decries the abuse and the destruction and the reduction of human lives to so much highway trash, and yet confirms that the very buses that ran the people over in the first place should continue to run on time and on schedule, with no change in direction or driving habits. It just can’t be the doctrine, after all, you know. Oh no, it can NEVER be the doctrine. It’s just our depravity. We are all just sinners. The orthodoxy isn’t wrong, its the damned human beings screwing it all up.

    CJ was a bad philosopher king. Brent is a good one. And a good philosopher king is all we need. We just need someone to do a better job at forcing people to get their ideas right. Brent clearly thinks he’s the one who could and can do that.


    Those who call for change in SGM without first renouncing the “sound” Calvinist doctrine that SGM stands on are hypocrites. I don’t say this to be contentious. I say it because it is a fact.

  22. Julie Anne said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I have to ask – has anyone spoken directly with Brent about this conflict that he is apparently missing?

  23. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I think they are talking about Brent Detwiler {sp?} He is the author of the infamous sgmwikileaks–like 600 documents gone public.

  24. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Nighty night gang.

  25. Julie Anne said, on August 8, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Yes, I’m talking about Brent and am familiar with that honkin’ thang. I’ve read quite a bit of it as I was glued to the SGMSurvivor forums. We attended a SGM church in Chesapeake, VA for about a month and know several people who go there. Also, SGM has a lot of similarities with BGBC. Has anyone come out right and asked him about this conflict?

  26. craigvick said, on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Thanks for taking the time to give me (and Julie Anne) the larger context of your thinking on Plato. Before I jump in on these bigger picture issues I think I need to spend time getting better acquainted with your blog. As far as the themes of the two blogs you mention, I can certainly see how we might construe them as being overly indebted to Plato. “Between two Worlds” and “Between two spheres, gazing at Christ – our heavenly destiny” might be founded in a Platonic dualism.

    With respect to the argument in the Crito, I don’t think Socrates’ argument about reason is residual. It’s the foundation. Note how much time he spends developing this foundation. He tells Crito we can’t go by what many people say, we have to listen to reason. I emphasize this point because it links Socrates to the enlightenment and also to the ideas upon which our nation is founded.

    For the most part, we agree on the content of the argument that Socrates builds on reason. Where we see the argument differently is when you say, “The best overall good is paramount, not the injustice to the few”. I don’t think Socrates ever says this. What is paramount is not the best overall good, but the laws that make democracy possible. Imagine a football game where a referee blows a call. We here in Seattle tend to think that happens a lot. What if a team were to decide to simply ignore bad calls and do what they think is correct. One could argue that that would destroy the game. It would violate the very structure of the game in such a way that the game could no longer be played. The same is true in a democracy. Imagine, for example, if a candidate gets the most votes in an election but because of fraud and then a court decision is declared the loser. It’s clearly an unjust result. It should be fought with all legal means. At some point, however, democracy wouldn’t work if a candidate were to defy the court and take the office.

    I don’t think Socrates would have ever argued that, in your situation, you should have kept quiet and accepted an unjust excommunication for the sake of the church. That’s the sticking point with me, because I think you’re missing just how much of a fighter Socrates could be and was during the course of his trial and execution. The argument of the elders sounds much more like Caiaphas than Socrates.

  27. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Paul, I think you “hit the nail on the head” with this one!! Love this post!

    What you see throughout history is the ideology becomes the master. Whoever holds the “truth” (based on their ideology) holds the key to understanding that “truth”. We have all been guilty of it from one extent to another. Shows how intellectual persuasion is so powerful. Good ideas do have good results, as such, in the case of this country. We had men who came with the IDEA of freedom- this was an experiment, not tried; but this idea was based on the premise of man being free, not in bondage to any man. We see from the Puritan experience that their ideology of “for the common good” did not work and did not last too long. Here we see in Puritanism, the elite were the procurers of “truth”; no wonder Salem happened. They imposed their “foreseen truth” (gnosticism) on the rest. This definitely plays into Socrates ideology that reason can only be seen in “enlightened” ones that seemingly have the “truth”.

    Over time in history we see this over and over again- ideologies that are implemented, but just theories; not proven. Once however, they are put into practice and we see the results and they do not work, do we give them up and go back to the drawing board? Oh no, because the ideology is the master and MUST always be true even if we do not have proven evidence that it works in the first place. We know this that freedom of man ALWAYS has produce evidence- we see that in this country and we see that through knowing Jesus Christ, our Savior. We saw this with the Mars landing of Curiosity- this was not suppose to take place. Obama wanted to scratch this project, but NASA insisted and carried on. This was their only chance to make it right and it did- made history. This is a proven fact: we can land a robot on Mars. This is the theory: is there life on Mars? See the difference between the two? But by freedom we can find these things out and DECIDE whether to scrap the whole idea that life is on Mars or not.

    Now the elite who want to impose ideologies that we know have not worked throughout history is another story. We can see that it has not by the Catholic Church, Calvin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jim Jones, etc……
    This is why the Enlightenment was a good thing because men were putting their thinking caps on and had the freedom to do so- did all the ideas work. No, but they were free to think. This is where we had a wealth of scientists (many Christian) who came up with theories that actually did produce results. Look at the fact of the Scientific Method and its profound effect in how we implement science today.

    I will put two simple analogies out that I have see today in our whole culture-
    I love nutrition so this analogy is based on the whole healthcare debacle that is in play. We see that many of the politicians are producing all kind of laws based on nutrition and what we should eat and what we should not eat. This is where we will see fact getting mixed up with fiction (as we see in the church landscape today). First of all we know that obesity is a problem and that is a fact- by statistics and by seeing it with our own eyes. We also know that obesity produces health issues for the individual. Here is where fiction gets thrown into facts- the politicians/elite “obviously knowing” what is “truth”. We now see bans on salt, fats, sugar, formula for babies, excercise – you name it they will come up with it. The problem is – is this based on fact that EVERYONE should ban salt from their diets? Should every women give up formula and breastfeed? Is there evidence to back up what the elite think is true? Not everyone can be without salt- some people desperately need it because they have some malfunction in their bodies to absorb salt.
    The funny thing is that this trend of healthy eating has been going on around 5-10 years ago. People were seeing by evidence that their loved ones or themselves were suffering from bad health- now not everyone sees that and thats what gets these elites feathers ruffled because “for the common good” EVERYONE must be on board because they think by their own ideologies that this will be better for society.

    The other analogy (and one that will ruffle some feathers) is the homosexual marriage issue. Here is the fact: marriage has be proven throughout history to be a stable indicator of a healthy country. Now we have the elites that tell us that homosexual marriage needs to be introduced “for the common good” and this ideology is good. Well, the fact is it has never been tried; it is just a theory. We see from fact in history that certain sexual perversions (such as homosexuality- God gives us through Scripture Sodom and Gomorrah) have had devastating effects on society as a whole. And so now we are willing “for the sake of the whole” implement what God had designed as marriage between a man and a woman as not the only way; For an ideology that will probaly end up being devastating for our country in the end- opening Pandoras box.

    As for the church, we see the same “theories” in play. The intellectual elites “think” based on a gnostic belief system, that higher knowledge supercedes what we actually have down as cold hard facts. I am sorry elites only God has that access to superior knowledge and is the only One who gives wisdom through the Holy Spirit to all who ask. Even Solomon with all his wisdom and knowledge ended up in the manure. As stated so well in Scripture:

    1 Corinthians 1:20
    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

  28. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Julie Anne, this is why I applaud you and your stand- thank you. You get it- it is freedom in Christ which makes us free! And we are free from mans tyranny on the church when we realize that. Once you know that truth no one can take it away for it is too precious to lose. This is why free will is imperative to man- it is a responsibility that God ordained and I would say predestined in man. This free will however does have boundaries that were laid down by God from the beginning, so that is clear that God is still Sovereign and omnipotent.

  29. Julie Anne said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Julie Anne, this is why I applaud you and your stand- thank you. You get it- it is freedom in Christ which makes us free! And we are free from mans tyranny on the church when we realize that.

    I get the freedom part. And I get the part that says that no one should own me. All of the other big words along with the ideas of Plato and Socrates and all of that????? Did you just hear that whooshing sound? That’s where those words went – – right over my head and just so you know, I’m quite tall (6’3″). LOL

    One day I will have big chunks of time to read about all of the above. For right now, I need it broken down in simple terms. I need a Neo-Calvinism for Dummies book :) My brain has been in overload for a while now. I’m reading here and there and picking up things along the way, so there is progress . . . . .

  30. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Julie Anne,
    If you get this part: “I get the part that says that no one should own me,” you thoroughly understand the grand antitheses of Plato’s Academy. This boils down to man’s competence. John Immel contends that we are morally accountable to God for the sum and substance of the life that bears our name. And he is absolutely right. He also contends that Reformed theology is designed for control, and I concur.

  31. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Julie Anne
    I am right there with you- I have to slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y assimilate info. to get the gist of things sometimes and even then I am particularly simplistic in how I deal with problems. I look at what works and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me if it isn’t particularly true in what I think works. But I am one to think that it is ok to digest things over time instead of rushing into believing others in what they think is good for me.

  32. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Susan and I are going to have weekend mini-conferences at our church/home in the near future. A room, food, materials all included right here. ALL will leave understanding soteriology, Reformation history/theology, and how it relates to our day along with biblical application.

  33. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Paul if I ever get up that way I will definitely stop by :)

  34. craigvick said, on August 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Julie Anne,

    I guess in a nutshell what I’m trying to say is in the fight against the horrible abuses of leadership that we see in the church today, let’s not make enemies out of friends.

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