Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Blog for TANC Ministries

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 19, 2016

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Justification Made Simple

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 23, 2017

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PLEASE! Stop Letting Calvinists Determine the Context of the Determinism Debate

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 22, 2017
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So, my daughter referred me to a Facebook page called “The Reformed Cage.” Invariably, Andy Young and I went over there and engaged in some debate. No surprises here; the crowd over there argues from a seemingly impressive array of Bible verses that seem to say God predetermines the eternal destiny of all individuals according to salvation or damnation. Of course, none of the verses cited say that specifically, but to be fair, that is the conclusion that can be drawn.

What incited this post follows: after Andy and I rattled the cage over there, the latest post on their page is an impressive laundry list of verses that supposedly prove God predetermines the salvation and damnation of individuals. This “election” doctrine is said to humble man and makes man’s ability to choose a salvation of works. Salvation is by faith alone, and our faith is granted to us by God according to what He has predetermined. Man has no free will to choose God.

While all of that may be true, here is the problem: election is primarily, if not exclusively, the darling of Protestantism. It isn’t historically unique by any means, but no other ideology rides that hobby horse like Protestantism. Their “gospel of sovereignty” is the centerpiece. And, Protestantism is a false gospel. The Reformed have effectively kept the argument focused on the fruit of their tree and not the fact that the tree is a bad tree. Election is a deep issue while their law-based soteriology is an elementary error. In fact, the Reformed keep people distracted with a myriad of residual issues while remaining very vulnerable in regard to their false law-based gospel.

And even more uncommendable is the reality that most Protestants don’t know what Protestantism is. This explains why they joyously and boastfully and zealously defend determinism; because they believe and defend the “gospel of sovereignty,” it must mean they are God’s elect. And regardless of the notion that God predetermines apart from any merit, doesn’t the fact that He chose them make them special? Why do you think they are so arrogant? Why do you think they boast in the doctrine? God has chosen them and not others. But of course, not based on any kind of merit that makes them better than an Arminian (wink, wink). Nevertheless, their disdain for those who believe in freewill is evident.

Herein is the problem; Calvin, their Doctor of election, held to three classes/categories of elect and one of them is a temporary election. In fact, ANY professing Protestant could be of the temporary elect and destined for a greater damnation than the non-elect class. In other words, their arrogance and boasting is based on ignorance. The “P” in TULIP, represents the third class of elect; those who persevere to the end according to God’s predetermined will. Does this mean that most Calvinists have no clue regarding the full ramifications of TULIP? Yes.  

Though Calvinists scripture stack verses that indicate predeterminism, let us remember that Arminians can stack just as many verses that indicate freewill. And let us also remember that God is not a God of confusion. Here is the problem: like the huge need for sanctification music in our day, there is a huge need for a body of study in reference to election and freewill. TANC has gotten the ball rolling, but a much greater collective effort of the Spirit filled laity is needed.

Stop debating Protestants about election; they don’t even hold to a biblical gospel. And therefore, their whole take on election is suspect at best. Election is an unwinnable debate at this point; debate them on the elementary theological math of their law-based gospel.

paul    

What is Salvation?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 20, 2017

Posted on paulspassingthoughts.com by Paul Dohse for the Potter’s House and TANC Ministries

Let me begin this post by stating the following: I believe most people, if not all, whether professing Christians or not, know what salvation is. The Bible makes it clear that all people are born with an intuitive knowledge of God’s existence. Knowing of God’s existence is a created state of being.

Secondly, people know salvation is about hope for a happy ending to life as set against death and judgment. In other words, people are born with a vague notion of God who vanquishes all things that distress and destroy. It is assumed God is good and will deliver all human experience from death and evil and will usher in utopia.

The Bible also states that many people will deliberately suppress this intuitive knowledge in unrighteousness, but all in all, every person born into the world has a vague understanding of these two things when all is boiled down to the least common denominator: God and hope.

Unfortunately, most gospel presentations are canned theological mini-treatises. The Bible does not contain a singular prescribed gospel presentation. Furthermore, there is something else intuitive in people that finds these canned mini-treatises peppered with Bible verses underwhelming.

Intuitively, people know that salvation is obtained by a radical transaction enacted by God. This is the new birth described in the Bible. A vague notion of the new birth or some kind of radical transformation by God is also intuitive unless an individual has been desensitized into believing something else. People can be trained to ignore and suppress intuitive knowledge flowing from the conscience created in every person born into the world. According to the Bible, the conscience is a judge of God’s good works created in every person that either accuses us or excuses us.

People do not become saved because of four basic reasons: they find enough hope to suffice in the present world; the gospel presentations they hear do not ring true; they fear giving up who they are now for whatever God would make of them; they love their present life too much to give it up for something else.

In other words, people know intuitively that the new birth is a radical transaction; it is exchanging their present life for a new one. People who desire salvation seek an escape from their present life or life in general for a life that has eternal hope. This could be based on a deep desire to find truth regarding life’s deepest questions. Many people are tormented by confusion and unanswered questions about life.

Unfortunately, most salvation presentations focus on law and not love. Rather than focusing on a newfound love for the truth informing us on how to love God and others, the focus is living up to manmade expectations that supposedly come from the Bible. Doing wrong things is a breaking of some commandment instead of a failure to love. As true Christians, we abstain from certain things because it’s a failure to love, not the breaking of some commandment.

Salvation is the literal adoption into God’s family via the new birth obtained by believing on what Christ did to end condemnation. Christ died on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sins against the law, and was resurrected three days later “for our justification.” This established the new birth as a way of salvation. Now, those who believe this and seek entry into God’s literal family are baptized by God’s Spirit who raised Christ from the grave. The Spirit of God baptizes us into Christ’s death, and resurrects us to new life by the same power in which He resurrected Christ.

Hence, in the same way that people who have died are no longer under the reach of the law, newborn believers cannot be condemned by the law. The old us was under the bondage of the law and its condemnation, but now we are free to uphold the law for purposes of love without fear of condemnation.

The new birth established by God’s election, Christ’s death, and the power of the Spirit frees us from the law’s condemnation. In regard to believers, this defines “holiness,” not perfect law-keeping because we are free from the law’s jurisdiction in regard to condemnation. This doesn’t mean we will always follow the law perfectly in our endeavor to love God and others, but it does mean that “there is NOW NO condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

“Where there is no law there is no sin.”

This doesn’t mean that believers use this truth for an excuse to be unrighteous, that isn’t love—love is the goal, not law.

This freedom will cause conflict with religion because the new birth makes a person individually able to please God. If a child of God gifted by the Spirit can please God individually, this makes the traditions of religion and its claims of authority irrelevant. The born-again child of God is accountable to the Father of the “household of faith” and no one else.

This is why home fellowships where likeminded believers gather for edification are so important; it is a visual statement that God’s people are a literal family and not an institution. It also focuses on one authority, one mediator, and a focus on individual gifts given to free children who do not have to seek permission to practice their gifts. Like all families, they function on organization and cooperation not the authority of men claiming to be sub-mediators in addition to Christ. The family of God is organized according to gifts, not dictated by institutional authority.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

My Reply to Linda: Yes, I Am a Christian, But Not Sure You Are

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on April 19, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Originally published December 15, 2015

I no longer have patience for the evangelical regurgitation of orthodox talking points. Protestants don’t own their own faith that they have seen in the Bible with their own study.  What they think they see and understand is what Protestant academics have told them, including the idea that only they have authority to tell them what to believe. So, what is wrong with church? Church is wrong with church because it is predicated on a false gospel. That’s right, the Protestant Reformation was a false reformation founded on a false gospel. And this is why Dr. James White and others have refused to debate me publicly; the Protestant gospel as stated in its orthodoxy is the biblical definition of a lost person…under law as opposed to under grace.

Martin Luther and John Calvin et al proffered a gospel that is under law, but that is supposedly OK because Jesus keeps/kept the law for us, and that obedience is imputed to our Christian status. This is a perpetual covering of sin, or sometimes referred to as “atonement,” but not an ENDING of sin that requires no further justification. Hence, we must “preach the gospel to ourselves every day” to “keep ourselves in the love of God” (CJ Mahaney) etc.  White and others know that this is a simple matter of theological math, and do not intend to address it until enough people catch on. The only case they can make presently is for a historical-redemptive interpretation of Scripture that interprets every verse as a justification verse. Sanctification is defined as progressive justification via Protestant talking points.

One day in my personal Facebook account I noticed the following comment to me by a “Linda”:

“Are you a Christian Paul? And secondly do you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God? That would be my two questions for you. Romans says, ‘There is none righteous, no not one.’ That includes you and me. This doesn’t mean that we never do a kind act or good deed. It means that we don’t and can’t do enough of them to be declared ‘RIGHTEOUS’ by God. We could never do enough good deeds and kind acts to get us into heaven. Therefore we need the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us in order to go to heaven. God imputes this kind of righteousness to those who believe and accept HIS son Jesus and his shed blood as atonement for their sins and their UNrighteousness. We are part of God’s family by adoption. Nothing can make us righteous enough to go to heaven. The righteousness that is applied to our never dying soul can only come from Christ. The ‘part and parcel’ of our own being is puny compared with what God demands. In one place in scripture our puny ‘part and parcel’ is described as ‘filthy rags.’ So our own human effort at righteousness is from our flesh. Our flesh is not saved from sin and unrighteousness. Only our soul is. We are not capable of learning and loving enough to be declared righteous enough for heaven. We could learn and love enough to help another person with a kind act or good deed. But that does not fit our soul for heaven. I don’t understand your third question……’Christ imputing sin’ ????”

Her comment was in reply to previous comments I had made in regard to a post. She was replying to a comment I made regarding her initial comment.

“I am a never dying soul whom Christ died and rose for, approved of by God because I have HIS righteousness. Just by learning and loving we are different. Better means ‘improved in some way.’ Not hard questions for me.”

Here is my reply.

“Linda, where does the Bible say you have the righteousness of Christ? That’s the first question. The second: Are we only approved of God because we ONLY have the righteousness of Christ and none of our own? What about the new birth? If we are literally born of God and now part of His lineage, would that not make us righteous? Do you mean to say that we have a righteousness LIKE Christ’s because we are a member of the same family, or ONLY His righteousness and none that is part and parcel with our own being? Are we truly righteous, or only declared righteous? Third question: was Christ’s role in salvation an imputation of sin AND righteousness, or just sin? On the one hand, you seem to state that we only have the righteousness of Christ, but on the other, you say we learn and love. How exactly do we learn and love if we ourselves are not righteous people? So, I am not trying to be a jerk here, I am simply resolute that Christians should have a clear definition of who they are. Yes, I know exactly what the Reformers believed about our identity, but I would like to see your clarification.”

This is the extreme Protestant cognitive dissonance resulting in the train wreck we call “church” that I no longer have patience for. People who are serious about following Christ need to take their true gospel and leave the institutional church for home fellowship networks. The institutional church is part and parcel with the authority that demands a denial of the obvious. Authority has replaced truth. Nevertheless, I do believe evangelicals will have to eventually address their under law gospel.

I will make this as simple as possible as I am weary of addressing it. Much, much, thanks to Andy Young who is helping to carry the water on this as well. Linda’s response is pretty much the Protestant gospel talking points that we hear often, and pregnant with cognitive dissonance. All in all, her answers to my questions are, “NO.” Please start by noting that. This is where we discuss another disservice the Reformers performed: adding chapters and verses to the Bible. This circumvents the need to read all of Scripture in context. You can form a theological argument by using John Immel’s pet peeve: Scripture stacking. Basically, Linda is using the same verses to argue for the same Protestant talking points that she has received from Protestant academics. As a result, if one examines her statements, the blatant contradictions are stunning.

Where to start? ALL of our works are filthy rags (Isiah 64:6), yet, we can do some stuff that is good? So, “all” doesn’t really mean “all”? Per the usual, Protestants profess a double false gospel because they don’t rightly understand the gospel taught by the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther. In fact, Luther taught that EVERY deed of man is evil, even those that appear good because man’s “good” deeds always have a flawed motive. Calvin taught the same. Hence, if one believes that we can do a good deed, that is “mortal sin” and cannot be forgiven by the church. But, if one believes that every work we do, even works that appear good, are actually evil, all of our sin can be forgiven by revisiting the same gospel that saved us, and that revisitation is only valid under the auspices and oversight of the clergy. This is Luther, this is Calvin, this is the Protestant gospel. I have documented this backwards and forwards as those who follow TANC Ministries know.

Now, for the Protestant part of this that Linda got right, and in fact a mainstay of Protestantism, but still a false gospel. Luther and Calvin orthodoxy already condemns her to hell, but they would agree with her making the law the standard for justification. Biblically, there is NO law in justification. The Bible testifies about justification, but law and justification are mutually exclusive. It doesn’t matter who keeps the law, there is no law in justification. What determines justification is the new birth. The law is strictly for love in the Christian life. Again, the law informs us about justification, and here is the information: law is not the standard for justification, the new birth is. The apostle Paul wrote the epistle of Galatians to make this very point. Again, I predict that folks are going to start catching on to this in the future and the who’s who of evangelicalism are going to have to make a defense; good luck to them as that attempt will be interesting. The Protestant under-law-gospel, also stated by Linda, has Christ fulfilling God’s “demands” in our stead when God’s only demand regarding justification is that we be born again.

In order to make the law the standard for justification, the Reformers resorted to Saint Augustine’s Neo-Platonism, which later became Gnosticism and wreaked havoc on the first century church. We see this in Linda’s talking points about “the flesh.” ALL of our works come from where? Right, the flesh which, like the Reformers, she deems as inherently evil. That’s Gnosticism. The Bible teaches that our bodies, or members, are “weak” not inherently evil. When the Bible speaks of the “desires of the flesh” and the “deeds of the flesh,” that speaks of when our members are used for sinful purposes. Obviously, if Linda would stop long enough to read her own Bible with her own understanding given to her by God, she would see that our body, or “flesh,” can also be used for holy purposes (Romans 12:1 among many other passages). And, what is more obvious than the fact that our bodies are declared to be the temple of God? Actually, a word study reveals that the Holy of Holies is being referred to.

This brings us to Linda’s Protestant confusion in regard to the difference between salvation and redemption. The former is the saving of the soul, the latter is the saving of the mortal body which can be used for evil or good depending on which desires we are obeying. Christians, through the new birth, have the ability to obey the desires of the Spirit stated in the Bible and the ability to say “no” to evil desires that remain part of the body’s weakness and mortality. Because Christ ended the law through the new birth, sin has been stripped of its ability to enslave and condemn. If Christ obeys the law for us, we are still under it and enslaved to sin. The old us that died with Christ violated the whole law with every sin; the new us that was raised with Christ fulfills the whole law with one act of love. Christ didn’t come to obey the law for us—He came to END the law. Christ didn’t come to cover our sin—He came to END our sin.

A book could be written here, but time won’t allow it; nevertheless, let’s address Linda’s confusion, typical among Protestants, in regard to gift and reward. We cannot birth ourselves, but we can obtain the baptism of the Spirit by faith alone in “the promise” (see Galatians chapter 3). Once the gift is received, it is ours to utilize by loving God and others. Exercising the gift is not taking credit for the gift. The Bible states that God would be unjust to forget our good works and service to the saints (Hebrews 6:10). “Unjust”? Yes, because as those literally born of Him (1 John chapter 3), and literally a part of His literal family, our reward is due us as siblings working for the Father. As a slave to the former master, we could only earn death wages—now we can earn true reward. Read the Parable of the Talents and see what the outcome is for those who fear and want to give God back only what was given and nothing more. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the new birth.

As a policy, I don’t judge the salvation of others. I believe that there are Protestants who are confused enough about Protestantism to be saved. So, yes Linda, I am saved, but I find your assurance that you are saved indicative of your confusion. Protestant orthodoxy CLEARLY states that the motor of sanctification moving justification forward is doubt of salvation because being under condemnation is part and parcel with being under law…the standard for justification according to Protestantism. In Calvin’s words, if “Christians” are not still under condemnation, what further need is there for Christ and His righteousness?

So Linda, I am saved, but I recommend that you start thinking for yourself. All of the Protestant academics you trust will not stand in your stead at the judgment. You will be standing there alone.

And you better have more than a covering with sin underneath it, you better be a literal child of God before Him.

paul

Protestantism and “Good Germans” | It’s ALL About AUTHORITY

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 19, 2017
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