Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Blog for TANC Ministries

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

What Everybody Is Missing About Sex Abuse: The Truly Biblical New Birth

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 19, 2018

ppt-jpeg4This morning, I received this link for an article written by Matt Walsh. In the article, he rightly assesses that sex abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem, but a huge problem across the board in all…and the use of this word is significant, “institutions.” Not only does Walsh make his case inarguably on the specific point that he makes, but he also points out the primary means of the abusers: power, and next to that, coverup.  That is, power often found in institutions, and their attempt at coverup to protect the institution; this is significant. And per the usual, Walsh, though spot on in describing the problem, is vague on the cure. Like many who do church, the often heard diagnosis proclaims that the problem will always be with us because of man’s “fallen nature.”

Let’s talk about this church idea of The Fall a bit. A reminder: unless you have some understanding of world philosophy it is absolutely impossible to have a clue about what’s going on in church. Like many, Walsh uses The Fall theology to speak of the total depravity or “sin nature” of humankind. The Fall speaks more to the Platonist Origen of the church’s total depravity doctrine. No, I didn’t make one of my usual typos and pun is intended. The origin of this doctrine came  from many of the early church fathers like Origen who integrated Platonism with so-called Christian thought. The idea follows: man’s fall was progressive from higher to lower degrees. Here, I will oversimplify it for overall general understanding: most of humanity fell to the bottom and are totally enslaved to interpreting reality with the five senses. Those who fell the least are the philosopher kings who should rule over those who think they can know reality because the philosopher kings know better. Those who fell a little further know more than those who fell to the bottom: they are the warriors who are called on to enforce the will of the philosopher kings. And there you have it: the very premise for institutions and their top-down authority.

Institutions and authority/power go hand in glove. With church, it is the marriage of faith and force. Until the Enlightenment Era, there was only one kind of institution (under the auspices of collectivism), but later in history, a second form of institution emerged for the support and protection of individualism. In the first form of institution, the sole value of an individual depends on his/her’s ability to contribute to the state/government/society, or “the group.” This is “collectivism.” The second institution may sound familiar: a government for the people and by the people.

In either institution type, the problem with abuse of power aptly described by Walsh will take place; the point here was a short treatise on where the idea of The Fall came from. Whether predetermined or earned individually according to the coinciding philosophy, power is power and can be abused for the fulfillment of sinful desires. But, we will now begin to narrow this down to the church venue.

Until the American Revolution came along out of the Enlightenment Era, and based on the collectivist ideology that dominated ALL religion until that time, salvation was through obedience to some institution. We will call it “institutional salvation.” The American Revolution confused the construct to a point, but this has never changed. All other religions aside, Catholicism and Protestantism are clearly institutional salvation. This, like Walsh’s description of the problem, is not arguable. Before America, the church could execute you or take your salvation away, or both; now they can supposedly take your salvation away, but that’s where the power is yielded. So, how can church possibly still be in vogue as set against the trending headlines? It may be a banged-up bus in dire need of a paint job and a nasty interior to boot, but it’s the only bus going to heaven. And obviously, if a member, and much more a pastor or priest molests a child, the reputation of the institution must be protected; better the loss of a few children rather than millions going to hell, right?

Necessary for institutional salvation is the idea that people are totally depraved and unchangeable. Did you catch that in Walsh’s article?

We will never “solve” sexual abuse. It is not a curable disease. But it can be treated, contained, and managed.

Problem: if the biblical new birth truly changes people; if it does cure sin with sexual abuse included, if sin is a curable disease, what do we need church for? Answer: we don’t. As one commenter noted here at PPT, “Church has a vested interest in sin.”

Here is what church does because it is not filled with people who are any different from those outside of it: it contains and manages sin, and COVERS it through church sacraments, but it doesn’t END it. Church’s definition of the new birth is merely a change of perception which enables one to see the depths of their sin unlike those pesky Pharisees that Walsh mentioned. Protestantism has always denied the new birth as an actual change in a person’s state of being.

This is why Walsh is right: church has no cure for sex abuse or any other sin anymore than any other institution of this kingdom.

Now, of course, churchgoers are quick to say, “non-institutional groups holding to justification by new birth are not immune to sex abuse.” This is true to a very, very, small point. If you understand how God’s ekklesia truly functions, and the tenets of justification by new birth, you know that sex abuse in this venue will be VERY unlikely though remotely possible.

This is opposed to Walsh’s admission that the same sin in church is very likely. So, you do the math.

paul

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