Paul's Passing Thoughts

Beaverton Scandal is Just More New Calvinist Spiritual Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 16, 2012

Frustrating. Once again, we are focused on symptoms and not the disease. New Calvinism and its doctrine/philosophy is the disease, Beaverton is a symptom. Beaverton what? Beaverton as in Beaverton Grace Bible Church in Beaverton, Oregon. Here is their website: And here is the scandal:

Another survivors website to add to my blogroll. But it is the same old story: 1; New Calvinism comes to a church. 2; Members start asking questions. 3; New Calvinists use the techniques they learn at conferences to dissuade concerns. 4; But most churches have at least a few people that can think for themselves which = trouble/possible exposure that the leadership is slowly assimilating the “unadjusted gospel” into the minds of the people. 5; Since one of the tenets of this doctrine is that the (usually newly appointed under the new system) elders can bring someone under church discipline for ANY sin, and contesting the “underestimated” gospel is paramount to propagating false doctrine, the pesky member is disciplined and thereby neutralized as a threat to the authority of the elders. And, to discuss why the “sinner” is under discipline would be, but of course, gossip. The pesky member can now scream, squawk, or anything else they would like to do to no avail; their credibility is history. It’s the same old, worn out, five-step story being played out over and over again while rolling up the body count on the landscape of American Christianity.

This has been going on now for 42 years. The sharp increase in church discipline reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2008 is directly related to the New Calvinist movement which was launched by the Australian Forum think tank in 1970. It is a return to heavy handed Geneva style Reformed leadership—the days when Calvin had “heretics” burned and beheaded. Here in America, the scarlet letter of church discipline and lawsuits are the next best thing for those who dare contend against the “scandalous gospel.” Granted, many who contend against it don’t understand the theology per se, but have concerns about the results they see: control issues; fast changes without regard to the feelings of others; unbalanced preaching; and troublesome ideas like our total inability as believers to please God. That’s too close for comfort for most New Calvinist spiritual despots. This movement is also the primary supporter and catalyst for other movements like Quiver Full, Patriarchy, Vision Forum, SGM, Shepherding, etc. These movements comprise easily 90% of the spiritual abuse that takes place in American Christianity.

But yet again, even though it would seem like New Calvinists are on the ropes with the embarrassing revelation in the Beaverton situation concerning John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, they win. Why? Because once again, symptoms are the issue, and not the movement’s doctrine/philosophy driving the behavior. Ronald Reagan knew how to get rid of a problem. He didn’t focus on the naughty behavior of communism—he sought to destroy the beast. And for certain, many bloggers don’t want to see the demise of New Calvinism for they would have nothing to write about anymore. In the same way, the National Inquirer dreads the idea that movie stars and politicians would start behaving.

This is a nasty philosophy: a play scripted with three primary characters; the enlightened totally depraved chosen by God to contain the total depraved peasantry until the day of apocalypse, and using the law and government for guardrails. Phil Johnson’s response to the Beaverton situation is beyond disingenuous. He knows grade A well that once a parishioner is excommunicated, they can be “treated like an unbeliever.”  I can confidently say that his reference to the defendants as “believers” is not what he believes about them. With this doctrine, authority = truth which is why MacArthur will once again entertain with CJ Mahaney at this year’s Resolved Conference despite the fact that CJ has never repented of his criminal activity. Stuff happens in the messy business of controlling the totally depraved in order to present them to God as those who excepted the fact that Jesus has always obeyed for them (and any obedience on our part rejects the atonement).  CJ’s behavior is unfortunate collateral damage in a war where the one in 99 is expendable for the Geneva commune. By the way, while New Calvinists pontificate about the virtues of separation of church and state, this ministry receives information regularly about their consorted effort to get in bed with the government, especially through the U.N.

I guess my only question is how high does the destroyed family body count have to get before people wake up?

As James Carville said in the four words that got Bill Clinton elected: “It’s the economy doctrine stupid.”


31 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. BR said, on July 28, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Wow… this conversation has shamefully decended into some seriously self-righteous judgement and gossip. Taking this poor woman’s situation with a very abusive pastor and then twisting it into fodder that serves a mis-guided, anti-calvinism agena is pretty startling. Do you not realize the very attitiude many of you are accusing these “new calvinism” pastors of having, you are proudly displaying yourselves?? You have subtly but systematically abolished anyone who identifies with calvinist theology from the true church of Christ. How sad.

    Here’s a news flash for ya’ll… churches don’t descend into error and abuse because they believe in the sovereign God the Bible teaches of (Calvin’s comments on Scripture echoed words penned hundreds of years before him, including words of men like St. Augustine and the apostle Paul). No, churches decend into error because they are full of PEOPLE, and people are fallen and broken. Spiritual abuse happens in churches from ALL kinds of denominations, and where it may happen slightly more in certain circles… I guarantee you other errors and abuses of other kinds are happening in the rest. It’s simply because we are all sinners and in desperate need of a Savior.

    But here’s the crazy thing: God still chooses to love and use His broken church full of broken people… and He always has! If you read many of Paul’s letters to the churches, and the words of Jesus to the churches in Revelation, you’ll quickly see that churches have been pretty messed up since the beginning. This does not mean I advocate the continuation of error and sin… but our approach to it should be sober and in the greatest measure of grace. The church is still the bride of Christ, and one day He will come for it and redeem it.

    I sincerely hope the pastor of Beaverton Grace Bible will repent and start to show others the grace he has been shown by God, and I do hope this lady who was hurt by him can heal. Even in all this, I pray as Jesus prayed that His church would be one, united in love and on mission for the Kingdom.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on July 28, 2012 at 7:05 AM

      Super 77,
      Your four paragraph treatise is the same old scripted response handed down by mystic despots to their Kool-Aid drinking followers. Please learn to think for yourself.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s