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