Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Blog for TANC Ministries

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If You Are Protestant, You Are Under a Curse

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 29, 2022

There is a great freedom in reading the Bible and depending on the discernment God has given you to understand the Bible. Probably the greatest onslaught against Christianity ever, 1st century Gnosticism declared itself an elitist authority over the laity. In addressing this deception, the apostle John stated, “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” Christians gifted with an ability to teach are a help to Christians, but not an authority. If the Bible is YOUR authority, this necessarily implies that it is according to your own understanding. If your understanding depends on interpretation by someone else, they are YOUR authority, and an additional mediator between you and the only head of the body, Christ.

And what is the hermeneutic? Just let the words say what they say according to the meaning of the words, and the conclusions drawn by their use in sentences. Don’t try to understand everything all at once, but use objective truths (the things you know to be true about any given passage) to build a foundation for understanding the details as more understanding evolves. Sometimes, teachers supply shortcuts to the process because they have already put the pieces together regarding certain subjects. In addition, if a conclusion is 100% objective truth, other passages must bow to that truth. The Bible does not contradict itself.

Be sure of this: the present-day church is a return to 1st century Gnosticism in every way, shape, and form.

When you partake in daily Bible reading as a free person, and not one enslaved to self-proclaimed authorities, you begin to notice words that are important foundations to more detailed truths. Recently, I started at the beginning of the Bible again, and took notice of the word, “curse.” Of course, spending a lot of years in church, this word was simply lumped in with “sin” as a synonymous idea, but as I read, I noticed something: it was the earth that was cursed, and the serpent, and later Cain, but not Adam and Eve. Yes, due to the earth being cursed, certain struggles and pains were added to the life of Adam and Eve, but they were not cursed.

Additionally, church emphasizes the disobedience aspect of Adam and Eve eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but what was the tree and its fruit exactly? Well, it would seem that the knowledge of good and evil would be the law. The results of Adam and Eve eating from the tree follow that of being under law exactly: condemnation, leading to fear of judgment. It is also interesting to note that nakedness wasn’t a sin before they became like the Trinity, knowing good and evil. What does all of that mean? I don’t know, but I do know that this knowledge brought Adam and Eve under condemnation.

However, much later in history, when the law was instituted at Mount Sinai, most of humanity is brought under the curse of the law. At that time, Moses introduced the law as “blessing and curse,” and “life and death.” At least in one sense, the law is described, and defined as a curse:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

Protestantism relies on the works of the law. Oh, I know, not by us, but rather, by Christ, I get that. However, it is still a reliance on the works of the law. This is the doctrine of double imputation, which goes like this: Christ not only came to die for our sins, but to keep the law perfectly, so that perfect law-keeping can also be applied to our lives in order to keep us justified. As RC Sproul et al have stated it, if Christ only died to pay the penalty of our past and present sin, that does us no good, because we still fall short of being righteous due to imperfect law-keeping; we are only forgiven for sin, but not righteous. This is known as Martin Luther’s doctrine of alien righteousness.

According to Protestantism, perfect law-keeping is the standard of justification. Christ died to pay the penalty of our past sins, but that is only forgiveness of sin, which doesn’t make us righteous; perfect law-keeping must be added as a substitution in order for us to be “declared righteous” via a substitution for our lack of perfect law-keeping. This is referred to as Christ’s “passive obedience” (as he died for our sin), and His “active obedience,” which is a substitution for our lack of ongoing perfect law-keeping. As Phil Johnson and others have stated it, Christians are still under the “righteous demands of the law” (for this reason Calvin stated that no Christian does a good work ever JCICR 3.14.10,11). This is under law x 4 versus the Pharisees and Judaizers, which were only under law x 2.

You see, even though Protestantism claims that Christ died once and lived once for the application of double imputation, this one time death and life must be reapplied constantly for our daily shortcomings in perfect law-keeping. In other words, justification is not a finished work, and must be completed by perfect law-keeping. You must obtain double imputation for “beginning justification,” and continually apply double imputation until “final justification” (double imputation x 2). Ongoing double imputation is obtained by “the ordinary means of grace” or “common means of grace” through church membership where you “submit yourself to godly men.” The Judaizers only required circumcision and adherence to some dumbed-down interpretations of the law (the traditions of men).

In the Protestant schema, the resurrection of Christ was verification to God that Christ led a perfect law-keeping life that could be perpetually applied to the “Christian” life through church sacrament. RC Sproul even suggested that Christ obtained His own righteousness through perfect law-keeping, which, of course, is overt blaspheme. In contrast, justification by new birth insists that we are righteous by virtue of Christ living in us through the new birth, and Christ’s death and resurrection made a way for us to die with Christ, and to be resurrected with Him as totally new creatures who are not under law (see Romans 7). Our new hearts will result in a focus on fulfilling the law with love without fear of condemnation. At any rate, Protestantism is hardly a “righteousness manifested APART from the law.” It is joined at the hip with the law.

We can now add cursing to this theological Protestant hot mess. If the advent of the law at Mount Sinai married the law with a curse, and it did, then the ending of the curse also signifies the ending of the law.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

So, are Protestants under a curse? Clearly, they are. All who rely on the works of the law are under a curse. If it can be said that who keeps the law is not the point because there is no law that can give life, and righteousness is APART from the law according to The Promise, not the law, which came hundreds of years later, it can be said more so regarding the curse of the law. If you are a true Christian, Christ “redeemed [past tense]” you from the curse of the law.

However, there is yet another way that Protestantism is under a curse because Protestants never defy God on a single level. Clearly, Martin Luther is the undisputed father of Protestantism. And Clearly, his overt anti-Semitism is in no way ambiguous church history. So, we read the following in the Bible about a curse:

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Does this mean that all Protestants are unsaved? NO. However, it does mean that you are likely under a curse at some level for identifying with a religion that is clearly cursed by every biblical definition.

Come out from among them and be separate.

paul

Life Lessons from Demeaning Experience at The Pine Club in Dayton, Ohio

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 23, 2022

The Pine Club in Dayton, Ohio is, according to its website, “An iconic institution of the Dayton community since 1947, The Pine Club is considered one of the great steakhouses in the United States.” The restaurant has changed ownership in 1954, 1979 (bought by David Hulme), and was purchased from David Hulme by an anonymous investor in 2019. Though some of my family members have dined there over the years, my first time was 7/23/22, and my total meal consisted of one piece of bread.

My wife Susan, and I, have been caring for my mother for 13 years, and my mother has experienced a significant decline during the past three years. Along with Susan and me being in healthcare and education careers, this has resulted in a three-year drought regarding a night out together. That is, until my brother and sister-in-law, who live in Texas, made special arrangements for us to have a night out together. This included dinner at The Pine Club, our first time there.

We arrived at opening time, 4 p.m., and were surprised to see a line for several feet on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. We were stopped for a red light in front of the restaurant and were visually unable to locate a parking lot. Susan suggested that I exit the car and get in line while she parked the car. While Susan was parking the car, the line started moving quickly into the restaurant. Once inside the door, people were greeted by an efficient staff. A lady approached me and asked, “How many are in your party?” I held up two fingers, and replied, “two.”

Let’s pause because there is something to keep in mind here. If the lady who approached me would have said, “Sir, we only seat full parties; if you would have a seat at the bar, we will seat you when your wife arrives at the first available booth,” I would have had no problem with that whatsoever. Instead, she seated me, as anyone would expect.

As I sat in the booth, still basking in the glow of finally being out with my wife, I started eating a piece of bread from a basket on the table. Susan and I had abstained from eating all day in anticipation of the “special” dinner. Right then, an older lady approached the table and stated, “I am going to have to ask you to have a seat at the bar until the next table is available; we only seat full parties.” I was stunned, and replied, “My wife is parking the car,” to which she replied, “Her and everyone else in here.” I got up, and walked over to the bar area, and to tell you the truth, the experience was so unexpected and surreal, I was in a state of mental confusion; sort of like, “Did that just really happen?”

I met my wife outside and explained what had happened, and we both agreed that it would be hard to enjoy our meal there after the experience. I returned inside and informed the lady who removed me from our table that we would never patronize their establishment in the future. She apologized and stated, “I was just trying to be fair to the other customers.” Of course, that statement made the situation worse because it implied that I had done something wrong that was unfair to the other patrons, which was indicative of her demeanor towards me originally. I suspect, maybe, that there is an assumption that everyone who eats there is a regular customer and aware of their unposted policies. Regardless, what she did was grossly unprofessional and outright malicious.

Yes, I am going to send a letter to the management with a copy of this post and payment for the piece of bread I ate, but being angry and vindictive towards an establishment like The Pine Club is counterproductive. Instead, we must take a lesson from the experience to make ourselves wiser and better people.

The first thing we learn follows: We should be good at what we do for our own self-esteem, but also, the benefit of others. If it is only for ourselves, it becomes an ego issue. Sure, I returned inside and gave the culprit a piece of my mind, but in this case, it was a total waste of time. You see, establishments like The Pine Club turn their success into a twisted mentality that thinks they are doing humanity a favor for being in business. In essence, eating at The Pine Club is a privilege; that’s why the lady deemed it necessary to teach me a lesson for allowing myself to be seated. How durst I behave uncomely in what they perceive to be the only steakhouse worth eating at in the Dayton area (Actually, we took my brother’s gift and went to an Outback Steakhouse, and it was exceptional). In regard to this point, it would seem others would agree:

Reviewed January 9, 2014

Outrageous Conduct by Owner

We will never return again after experiencing the rude, crude and totally outrageous conduct of the owner. Upon seeking clarification of our $120 bill for 2 dinners, the owner retorted with profanities and actions, taking offense that someone would question the restaurant’s service and billing procedures. He demonstrated total disregard of our concerns, and could care less that we had been a frequent customer over the past 40 years. A once classic restaurant, the establishment now serves over-priced, mediocre food. Customer service is totally absent due in large part to the culture that Hulme has created. Too bad. The Pine Club’s owner appears to be interested only in two things: Money….and the preservation of his inflated ego.

Date of visit: January 2014

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60785-d559426-r190263134-Pine_Club-Dayton_Ohio.html#

There is a saying in healthcare that goes like this: “Don’t be that nurse.” Yes, there are nurses that are nurses for the sake of their own egos. However, this concern applies to every job including serving steak.

Secondly, this experience teaches us that every job is important because every job involves interacting with others, and you never know what is going on in the lives of others. Perhaps if the lady at The Pine Club knew what that night meant to Susan and me, she would have reacted differently. But, the point here follows: you don’t know, so consider what your interactions with people may mean to them. Showing respect to others overall is a good coverage for what you don’t know.

And lastly, ego-driven establishments and people should cause us to reflect on how disrespect makes us feel, so we can treat others the way we want to be treated. Do your job for yourself AND others. Always show respect, because you do not know what is going on in the lives of others. Thirdly, treat others the way you would want to be treated.

In conclusion, and in addition, never waste time correcting ego-driven people. Rather, study what they do, and…

…don’t be that person.

paul

My Nurse Aide Flag is at Half Staff for Jane Doe, Not John Lewis

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 6, 2022

Originally posted 7/19/2020; reposted in honor of Ron DeSantis signing the No Patient Left Alone Act.

24273584_1148800408585892_1473850469409031960_o“There is no more prejudice in anything than prejudice in death.” 

I don’t wish death on anyone. Even though there are many politicians I wish would shut up because their agenda is more important than truth, I don’t wish death on them for that purpose. According to the Bible, death is God’s enemy. The Bible also says to be careful not to celebrate the demise of your enemies.

With that said, I am not much for making a big deal out of the passing of political hacks like Congressman John Lewis. For that matter, I am not much for making a big deal out of the passing of any high profile person; as a nurse aide, I see that as a little strange.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there should be some recognition along with honoring them by remembering the good about their life, which is always embellished with sanctified boldfaced lying, but let’s be honest, going overboard on the effort rarely accomplishes anything beneficial. For example, there was much ado about the passing of Ronald Reagan, but yet, less than 16 years later, everything that made him a successful president is all but forgotten and half of the country is on fire.

Today, flags will be at half staff for Congressman John Lewis who never wanted to declare success for his involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. While being deemed a hero for that, his present claim to fame was being a warrior for civil rights in our present day because supposedly, America is more racist than it has ever been. That’s strange. Furthermore, all of these heroes live in overt wealth in our systemic racist system, which is also strange.

Here is another thing that is strange: all of this ado for the rich and famous from the eyes of a nurse aide who sees the passing of extraordinary people with little or no recognition at all. There is no more prejudice in anything than prejudice in death. The prejudice in nursing facilities wasn’t too abhorrent until COVID-19. In that, the rich and famous in general, and the politicians in particular, have gone full throttle on dishonoring the passing of the common folk.

Before COVID-19 and subsequent extreme staff shortages in nursing homes as well as inadequate means to handle the pandemic, facility staff made sure a resident’s passing was dignified. Special procedures were in place to facilitate the gathering and serving of the family, etc. For those residents who died without anyone in their lives but the aides and nurses, there was always some special recognition prepared, and some tears expended by the staff that loved them.

Presently, due to out of touch politicians like John Lewis, not so much. Before a couple of months ago, I saw prejudice in death as one of those strange little deals in life that we don’t think about much, but I had an experience that changed all of that.

I was walking alone down a hall in a very large facility a couple of months ago, and a gentleman disrupted the eeriness of the silence by coming out of a room and ambushing me with a request: “Hey, I am doing a pickup and this lady’s roommate is getting upset, can you give me a hand?” As I looked in, his gurney was crowded into the room by a bed occupied by an elderly lady who was obviously deceased. No nurses or aides were anywhere in sight. The following thought entered my mind: “This lady is being picked up like a UPS package.” Then I thought: “Thank goodness for her upset roommate, maybe we will have some sort of departing ceremony.”

The roommate on the other side of the curtain was unable to get out of bed by herself, and was pleading for help to say goodbye to her friend. The whole room was crowded and I barely had enough room to squeeze her wheelchair in-between her bed, the curtain, and the gurney on the other side. The gentleman from the funeral home agreed to wait for me to get her out of bed. I wheeled her around, and she wept and stroked her friend’s hair, and kissed her cheek. I assured her that she had been a good friend, and put her back to bed. She would be alone in her grief.

I then stepped into the empty hallway and watched my Jane Doe being wheeled away. I failed to check the name on the door, if there was one, and I regret that. But yet, I stood there wondering who this women was, and wondered about her life. What did she do for a living? Did she have children? How special and great was she?

I am different now. EVERYTIME, every single time, I hear about someone famous dying, my mind sees Jane Doe being wheeled down that hallway. In my mind, it seems that I remember the hallway being dark, but it would seem the hallway lights would have been on. I see the whole scene with me standing behind myself, I am just standing there, watching the gentleman push her covered body down the hallway, and asking myself all those questions.

So, once again someone important has died. Once again, much ado will be made. Once again, flags will be flown at half staff. And again, without fail, I will wonder about her, and my imagination will suggest that she is some amazing forgotten person, and once again…

…the flag of my mind flies at half staff  in her honor.

paul

The Church’s War Against The Holy Spirit

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 19, 2022

Originally Published November 25th 2014

“Church” is a word that should be associated with institution and NOT body. Much will be said in this book about the need for a body to be organized, but much will also be said about authority and attempts to invoke life from a so-called body via a spiritual caste system. Though many will find the title of this chapter shocking and absurd, the institutional church’s war against the Holy Spirit is well-defined. If Christ’s called out assembly is a body of Spirit indwelled members, and it is, that could pose significant problems for a top-down institutional authority, and it does.

We will begin where chapter three ended with the rise of the Catholic institutional church that waged all-out war on home fellowships through academic intimidation. Finally, after a nearly 300 year effort, the church at Rome married with the state in order to enforce its orthodoxy upon the masses. Constantine The Great (AD 272-AD 337), the first Roman emperor converted to “Christianity,” consummated the marriage and his rule began the epoch of force and faith in Western culture.

Constantine was the consummate double-minded man, and like the bishops of Rome, integrated paganism with Christianity. What Victor could only verbalize at the first church counsel in AD 193, Constantine made law in the first ecumenical church council (First Council of Nicaea AD 325); that is, the recognition of Passover versus Easter. The reason this is key follows:

“This marked a definite break of Christianity from the Judaic tradition. From then on the Roman Julian Calendar, a solar calendar, was given precedence over the lunar Hebrew Calendar among the Christian churches of the Roman Empire” (Wikipedia: Constantine The Great…citing, Life of Constantine Vol. III Ch. XVIII by Eusebius).

The adoption of “church” nomenclature, as we shall see, was also very deliberate in marking that departure, but for purposes of this book, we would be errant to focus primarily on anti-Semitism; a major problem was the Jewish focus on body versus institution. Like all nations – and of course the Jews were and are a nation – institutions are relevant and needed, but religiously, the Jews always functioned as a body with heavy focus on the individual. A person is normally concerned with their own body parts in equal measure. If Christians are members (as in body parts) of one body, and they are, there should be equal concern and care for each member. This is much different than institutional membership. What the world needs are more functioning body members versus church member-ship. The teachings of Jesus, as well as Jewish traditions, are saturated with a focus on the individual life. When we think of Jewish worship, our minds, unfortunately, gravitate towards the formality of temple worship, but the temple was only a focal point of a broader interpersonal sharing of the faith.

The best example of this is the tabernacle during the exodus. Obviously, the small dwelling was not a central meeting place for millions of Jews who were part of the exodus. Even then, there were elders who led small groups among the people in the learning of the word, prayer, and fellowship. Seventy of these elders were summoned to meet with God on Mt. Sinai with Moses (Exodus 24:1,9). As we know, the temple was not always available for the Jews, and was never the central place of fellowship around the learning of the word, or discipleship, but rather a place of ritual sacrifice. Historically, that was always the norm. Even when the temple existed, the Passover meal was experienced in private homes (Matthew 26:14,15). This is also indicative of the 1st century home fellowships that met together for discipleship and mutual edification. There was fellowship around a meal, a teaching and sharing from the word of God, and singing of hymns.

There are many reasons for anti-Semitism, but one of Judaism’s foremost threats is against spiritual caste systems that have always dominated world history. Judaism emphasizes the authority of God’s word, and the ability of the individual to understand it:

Deuteronomy 29:29 – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 30:11 – “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

Herein is a major distinction between individualism and collectivism.[9] In collectivism, there is in fact an hierarchy that must “ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it… go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it.” The word, or truth, is not near to the individual, it must be brought to bear by others who are “specially gifted” to understand. Historians believe there were about 400 synagogues in Jerusalem alone during the ministry of Christ.[10] These were mostly small groups meeting in private homes. These groups were focused primarily on the reading and study of God’s word.

This is where we begin to examine four ways in which the institutional church of Rome began to wage war on the Holy Spirit. Primarily, the newly appointed religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine sought to remove the private interpretation of the Bible from the common people. Let us remember, the word is the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6:17) and what the Spirit uses to sanctify (John 17:17).

At that time, New Testament Scriptures were a far less problem than Old Testament Scriptures which were painstakingly preserved and canonized by the Jews. The Old Testament Hebrew had also been translated into Greek (the Septuagint) circa 250 BC. Greek and Latin were the most common languages during the Roman era, but Latin was the language of bureaucracy, law, and the military.

This is when two primary theologians of the Roman church emerge and seek to demonize the people of God making a strong distinction between the Jews and Christianity. Remember, one of the primary objectives of the Holy Spirit was to make Jew and Gentile ONE body in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:11-22). This is/was one of the primary objectives of the Holy Spirt. The church’s two foundational theologians in its 4th century infancy were St. Augustine of Hippo, and St. Jerome. Both were Saints and Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church. And…

“Church Fathers like St John Chrysostom, St Ambrose, St Jerome and St Augustine (second only to St Paul as a Christian authority for the Western world) had by the end of the fourth century AD crysallised a demonic image of the Jew who combined superhuman malevolence with total spiritual blindness…The monkish, ascetic St Jerome, embittered by the spectacle of successful missionizing in Antioch by the large Jewish population, denounced the synagogue in theses terms: ‘If you call it a brothel, a den of vice, the Devil’s refuge, Satan’s fortress, a place to deprave the soul…you are still saying less than it deserves’” (Robert S. Wistrich: Anti-Semitism|The Longest Hatred; Pantheon Books 1992, p. 17 ).

“This theology is for the first time institutionalized in the fourth century AD, when Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire” (Ibid p. 19).

To divide Jews from the body is an audacious throwing down of the gauntlet against the Holy Spirit. But Jerome and company were far from going to war with the Holy Spirit on that front alone. Jerome set out to translate the Bible in the bureaucratic language of the empire and make it inaccessible to the laity and common people via the Latin Vulgate. Eventually, Rome made it against the law to translate the Bible or even teach from it unless accredited by the Church upon pain of death. This was Rome’s mandate for about 1000 years:

Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.”

Ruling of the Council of Tarragona of 1234 C.E.: “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned…”

Proclamations at the Ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415 C.E.: Oxford professor, and theologian John Wycliffe, was the first (1380 C.E.) to translate the New Testament into English to “…helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” For this “heresy” Wycliffe was posthumously condemned by Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury. By the Council’s decree “Wycliffe’s bones were exhumed and publicly burned and the ashes were thrown into the Swift River.”

Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.

~ Source:  Huffington Post .com: Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years; Bernard Starr, Ph.D. 5/20/2013.

The Church also took it upon themselves to establish the formal canon of the New Testament which was only in the form of letters written by the apostles and others. There were many copies of these letters circulated among the laity and commonly accepted as Scripture:

2 Peter 3:15 – And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Colossians 4:15 – Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

1Corinthians 14:37 – If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

Therefore, the idea that there was no agreed upon collective Scripture for New Testament era believers is unfounded, and the body of Christ hardly needed Gnostic academics to tell them what was inspired and not inspired. Nevertheless…

The Council of Nicaea called by the Emperor Constantine met in 325 C.E. to establish a unified Catholic Church. At that point no universally sanctioned Scriptures or Christian Bible existed. Various churches and officials adopted different texts and gospels. That’s why the Council of Hippo sanctioned 27 books for the New Testament in 393 C.E. Four years later the Council of Cartage confirmed the same 27 books as the authoritative Scriptures of the Church.

~ Source:  Huffington Post .com: Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years; Bernard Starr, Ph.D. 5/20/2013.

And…

In 382, Pope Damascus therefore commissioned Jerome (c. 347-420) to translate the Bible into Latin, a task which took him twenty years to complete. This Bible came to be known as the versio vulgata (common translation) and became standard for the Western Church.

~ Source: gbgm-umc.org: Three Early Biblical Translations.

Attempting to obstruct the Spirit’s work in baptizing the Jews and Gentiles into one body, and confiscating the sword of the Spirit from the laity was manifested in a third way. In translating the Bible into English from the Septuagint (LXX), and for the most part not the original Hebrew, the English translators substituted the word “assembly” for “church.” The Greek word for assembly is “ekklesia” as translated from the Hebrew word for assembly,  kahal, or edah.

This is a very significant fact in the transition period that produced another version of the institutional Catholic Church, Protestantism. These are merely two sides of the same institutional church that waged the exact same war against the Holy Spirit and continues to do so in our day. As aforementioned, it was against the law to translate the Scriptures without the permission of the Catholic Church, but this happened anyway because of the “Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church” (closed quotation from Wikipedia).

In the early Middle Ages, most Western Christian people encountered the Bible only in the form of oral versions of scriptures, verses and homilies in Latin (other sources were mystery plays, usually conducted in the vernacular, and popular iconography). Though relatively few people could read at this time, Wycliffe’s idea was to translate the Bible into the vernacular, saying “it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence”.

~ Source: En Wikipedia .org: Wycliffe’s Bible.

Although unauthorized, the work was popular. Wycliffite Bible texts are the most common manuscript literature in Middle English. More than 250 manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible survive.

The association between Wycliffe’s Bible and Lollardy caused the kingdom of England and the established Catholic Church in England to undertake a drastic campaign to suppress it.

~ Source: Ibid.

However, by no means did the Protestant Reformation abandon the core fundamentals of the institutional Church’s war against the Holy Spirit which was a devotion to the separation of Judaism from the body of Christ, and academic authority in regard to private interpretation of the Scriptures. Though the Protestants presented themselves as commendable for the distribution of Bible translations to the common people, they never believed the laity could interpret it for themselves, nor did they ever state such. To the contrary,

“The Protestant Reformers in leaving Rome did not leave all Romanism behind them. In particular, they brought with them the prosecuting principles of Rome, and worked them freely and vigorously in support of the Reformed faith. They changed the Pope but not the popedom… Persecution is the deadly sin of the Reformed churches, that which cools every honest man’s zeal for their cause, in proportion as his reading becomes more extensive—Hallam… Rightfully and nobly did the Protestant Reformers claim religious liberty for themselves; but they resolutely refused to concede it to others” (William Marshall’s The Principles of the Westminster Standards Persecuting (William Marshall, D.D., Coupar – Angus. Edinburgh: William Oliphant & Co. 1873).

The English translators did something in the English translation of the Bible that Rome did not even do in the Latin Vulgate. They translated “assembly” as “church” which had no validity whatsoever. The Greek word for assembly and the Greek word for church are two entirely different Greek words with completely different meanings. The Hebrew words for assembly and the Greek word for assembly allowed for a connection between the Judaism of the Old Testament and the Christianity of the New. The word “church” puts forth the idea of a completely different program and plan of some sort. In the like institutional core fundamentals, the Catholics kept the Bible from the laity, while the Protestants skinned the cat a different way by taking liberty with translation. Tyndale was much more virtuous on this wise, translating assembly as “congregation,” but unfortunately was executed by the Catholics for the effort.

We will make this point here, but will revisit this issue in a later chapter because the rendering of “assembly,” “synagogue,” and “church” in Protestant translations of the Bible present an egregious distorted dichotomy in regard to the Jewishness of God’s overall plan for the ages. It is best to delve into this while discussing the fact that the 1st century home fellowships were merely a continuation of the Jewish synagogue, and that word seems to suggest some sort of institution, or temple-like mini-institution.

To the contrary, some sort of substructure or mini temple version would have been a blasphemous notion to the Jews. Furthermore, for the most part historically, the Jews have had little choice to do anything other than worship in the privacy of their own homes.  Moreover, synagogues were of the laity and far removed from any priestly authority whatsoever. The intended model for Christian fellowship and assembly has never changed since the exodus and before. It is a body and ground-level family unhindered by the musings of bureaucratic control. It is not a machine controlled by men, it is a body that lives and grows.

The Protestants never sought to separate from the Catholic Church and indeed they did not. It was a protest, not a revolution by any stretch of the imagination. Institutional accreditation was vital to the Protestants, and critical to their credibility. This means they NEVER left the Catholic Church. Protestants retained solidarity with the Doctors of the Catholic Church for this reason, particularly St. Augustine. The most prominent fathers of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin, were avowed Augustinians till the day they died. No citations will be noted here due to the immense common knowledge of it. Contemporary Reformers constantly strive to outdo each other in quoting Augustine at every opportunity, but God’s people are completely unmiffed by the exaltation of this serial anti-Semite Platonist. Why?  Because what happens under the roof of an institutional church is mostly inconsequential; it is the depot that punches your ticket to heaven.

There are four primary ways that the institutional church wages war against the Holy Spirit, and this is a joint effort that includes Catholic and Protestant alike. We have examined three of them, but the fourth is what separates the Catholic from the Protestant. This war is not as absurd as it sounds, for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit suggests ability on the part of the individual. Both sides endorse the incompetence of the individual and need for enlightened mediators between the great unwashed masses and God; in other words, an efficacious caste system.

This fourth war strategy involves the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the new birth. The Catholic Church acknowledges the indwelling of the Spirit and the new birth, but insists that this only enables the salvation candidate to cooperate in the finishing of the salvation process; primarily by faithfulness to the Mother Church. As we discussed in the first two chapters, Rome is not shy or ambiguous about this idea. Yes, Catholicism and Protestantism alike hold to an unfinished progressive justification. Again, this was addressed in some detail in chapters one and two.

Protestants deny the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the new birth all together. Let’s think about this: if the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the believer, salvation MUST be FINISHED, there is simply no way around that. A permanent indwelling of the Spirit makes a progressive salvation dependent on the church completely unnecessary.

So, what are the specific differences in this fourth aberration of the Spirit’s work, and what are the specific differences in their progressive justification constructs? In addition, how does authentic Protestantism explain away the new birth, and how is the new birth redefined by them?

In the next chapter, these questions are answered in detail.

Endnotes:

  1. Collectivism defines the worth of an individual by their ability to contribute to the common good. That adds up to the “collective good” which determines the overall wellbeing of a society.
  2. Talmud: Bavli Ketubot 100a; there were 394 synagogues in Jerusalem. Yerushalmi (Ketubot 8:1); there were 460 synagogues in Jerusalem. Yerushalmi (Megillah 3:1); in Jerusalem, there were 480 synagogues.

What I Would Say

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 10, 2022

I must say that my journey in nursing school, so far, is bitter sweet. Nursing school is hard, and hard work and best practice is no guarantee that you will make it. One thing that is particularly difficult is learning to think like a nurse. It is a different way of thinking, but more on that another time.

I have seen the sacrifices being made by people to become nurses, and it astounds me. Humanity has many intriguing breeds, and nursing is one of them.

But the purpose of this post follows, as I must, once again, hurry to class. My experience is bittersweet because I see the emotional fallout at school from those who think they have failed at something. It’s no surprise that this is seen more often during midterms or finals. Whether sitting in their car alone sobbing, or walking down the hall looking like they just survived an electrocution, this is what I would say to them:

You haven’t failed at anything till you quit. Your desire is your calling. Stay the course. Find a way; the world needs your heart.

That’s what I would say, so that you do not make me sad.

paul