Paul's Passing Thoughts

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

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 5, 2012

“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.

paul

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35 Responses

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  1. Julie Anne said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Paul – Although I personally would have preferred it to read: “Julie Anne, as she prefers to be called, kicked some serious butt, and a sigh of relief could be heard from the blogosphere worldwide.” instead of “Reformed butt”, this is your blog and your blog is your opinion just as it was my opinion that my old pastor was creepy, cult-like, and spiritually abusive. Hey baby, it’s free speech, so carry on 🙂 I don’t think anyone would think that your words are mine, and if they do, oh well.

    You’ve always been a nice guy to me, so I don’t know that I’m buying all of that mean-guy stuff, but I think I do understand your heart and a bit about what motivates you.

    I definitely think you are on to something because it is interesting through my involvement with various churches/practices throughout the country (SGM, HOFCC – family integrated, IFB, and certain Christian counseling methodologies), I have come to some of the same conclusions without having an understanding of what was going wrong, just knowing in my heart that something was not right. When you see the blatant abuse and cover-up going on – and it is widespread – and also for the first time ever in my life dealing being treated like a less-than as a woman (and I’m 48), I found it appalling that my Christian brothers were behaving in such a way. There is some sort of insanity going on.

    I’m still going to need some convincing, though, because I do see some amazing pastors in independent churches, including reformed churches (Craig) who demonstrate they are godly shepherds. I just don’t see how you can toss them under the bus.

    So, hurry up and get those books done 😉

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Julie Anne,

      It’s all about Plato. Sooooooooooooo much that I could never understand is sooooooooo plain now. Anybody who has been to seminary, including myself, will tell you that the vast majority of graduates don’t teach the congregants what they learn in seminary. Why? In fact, if you are like Immel and I, you were told in seminary specifically that it is a higher form of knowledge that the parishioners cannot understand. Seminaries are for philosopher kings. Oh my, and the neon sign is the SBC. I don’t even need a witness–parishioners do not understand doctrine or theology. That knowledge is replaced with dumbed down creeds, liturgies, and 7/11 music (7 words about Jesus repeated 11 times).

      And, there is no such thing as a “cult.” That is very unhelpful terminology. What’s the question in EVERY case? Whether it’s Beaverton or Jonestown, the question is: WHO OWNS WHO? At the former Reformed church I was a member of, those people don’t even buy new underwear without permission. Now, to the “Reformed” nomenclature. First gospel wave philosopher kings usually don’t preach a false gospel, but they are tyrants just the same and have a tendency towards bad sexual behavior. Reformed philosopher kings (second wave) teach a false gospel. Plain and simple. It’s progressive justification. They deny it, but yet, Chapter 14 in the 3rd book of the Institutes is entitled, “The Beginning of Justification. In What Sense Progressive.” Uh, ok, well, what-u-ya think?

      We went over this in detail at the conference. Calvin and Luther taught false gospels, and frankly, with very bad behavior following as one might expect. Calvin would have never dreamed of committing statutory rape (what seems to be the favorite sin of the first wavers since kings have always had concubines)–his sin of choice was murdering people. He had that right because he owned Geneva and anybody who rode into town. What did Hyles’ daughter say about him? He literally owned Hammond Ind. Why do you think he was never arrested?

      So, ya, Reformed folks need to come out from among them. That’s ALL of them. Are there saved JW’s that are a part of that, for lack of a better term, “cult”? I simply don’t know for sure, but I am sure of this: they need to shed the nomenclature. Are there Reformed folks who don’t believe in progressive justification? I would say, “yes.” And I would also say that they need to get out–it’s a false gospel.

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  2. CraigVick said, on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Thanks Paul for your thoughtful response. I’m going to chew on it a bit before I comment.

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  3. Bridget said, on August 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Argo and Paul –

    “The Reformers saw themselves as moral philosopher kings, and saw Rome as immoral philosopher kings, but they were all philosopher kings. HENCE, BOTH believed that the philosopher kings OWN man–albeit in this case by proxy on behalf of God. of course, remember that this is the religious side.”

    This is the problem with SGM vs. Brent. Brent believes he has now revealed the immorality of the leaders in SGM (mainly CJ). In all fairness, he has revealed much. But he believes that he has switched to the “moral” side. However, when he wrote his post on “Apostolic Ministry,” he showed that he totally believed in the “authority” model of leadership. He used the word authority over and over again – made me want to scream! You were left with the thought that “Apostle = Authority to Rule.” It boggles me that Brent gets and loves our Declaration of “Independence” and Constitution but he doesn’t seem to want to apply that thought process to the Church (i.e. that a local body should choose from among themselves . . . ). Further, he does not seem to see that the manner in which the Apostles spoke into the churches THAT THEY HAD BIRTHED was by way of love and relationship, and not by way of “authoritative rule.” When you examine the manner and language in which the Apostles wrote to the various churches you can clearly see this. Well, I can see it anyway.

    Unfortunately, in the two different “Apostolic” family of churches I have been in, I didn’t see the function of apostle carried out as exemplified in the NT. The function was always conveyed as one of a special “authority to rule” very much like a pope. Currently, on a micro level, we see pastors functioning like this within their local body — ugh!

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Bridget,
      While visiting some friends the other day, I refereed to Reformed thought as “religious communism.”

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  4. Argo said, on August 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Bridget,

    You are absolutely right about Brent; which is why he will never ultimately see vindication (and he shouldn’t). Though he has revealed much, his continuing devotion to the doctrines that created the atmosphere for abuse of SGM pastors and laity in the first place make him as much a hypocrite as CJ. It is a shame he cannot see this. The irony, which would be so funny if it weren’t so tragic, is that with every passing moment that he refuses to renounce the false doctrinal assumptions of SGM, he confirms CJ and the Board’s VERY RIGHT, according to THAT SAME doctrine to treat Brent EXACTLY the way they did and are treating him: like a spiritual inferior, steeped in sin for not acknowledging his duty to humbly submit to the man whom God has ordained to stand in stead for him. By the very doctrine that SGM preaches, no one can bring rebuke against CJ because NO ONE in the organization is in a position to perceive and rebuke the sin in the one who clearly occupies a higher place on the spiritual hierarchy. In Calvinism, the the hierarchy of the depraved masses always ultimately culminates with one man. In SGM it is CLEARLY CJ, and always has been. So, according to the doctrine of both CJ AND Brent, CJ is completely and utterly in the right. Brent is the one in sin, by his own doctrinal definition. The only way Brent can legitimately bring complaint is to renounce the doctrinal assumptions, and then apologize for every minute he exercised his “power” in defense of that doctrine while acting as a SGM pastor. Until this happens, the story of Brent will continue to be just a simple, tragic reminder of what Calvinism does to people in the real world. It destroys them and everything they ever were and ever worked for.

    I wrote a post over at SpiritualTyranny where I stated that I was aghast that Calvinists cannot seem to make the connection between their doctrine and its practical destructive outcomes. They even give sermons bemoaning the tragedies of their own failings, and yet in the same sermon continue to emphasize that things will continue the way they are because it’s clearly “biblical”. Well…if it doesn’t work, then how biblical can it be? And even if it is “biblical”, then perhaps we need to re-evaluate our interpretive methods? And this is precisely what’s is happening with Brent. He decries the abuse and the destruction and the reduction of human lives to so much highway trash, and yet confirms that the very buses that ran the people over in the first place should continue to run on time and on schedule, with no change in direction or driving habits. It just can’t be the doctrine, after all, you know. Oh no, it can NEVER be the doctrine. It’s just our depravity. We are all just sinners. The orthodoxy isn’t wrong, its the damned human beings screwing it all up.

    CJ was a bad philosopher king. Brent is a good one. And a good philosopher king is all we need. We just need someone to do a better job at forcing people to get their ideas right. Brent clearly thinks he’s the one who could and can do that.

    Sigh.

    Those who call for change in SGM without first renouncing the “sound” Calvinist doctrine that SGM stands on are hypocrites. I don’t say this to be contentious. I say it because it is a fact.

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  5. Julie Anne said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    I have to ask – has anyone spoken directly with Brent about this conflict that he is apparently missing?

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      JA,
      I think they are talking about Brent Detwiler {sp?} He is the author of the infamous sgmwikileaks–like 600 documents gone public.

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      • Julie Anne said, on August 8, 2012 at 12:32 AM

        Yes, I’m talking about Brent and am familiar with that honkin’ thang. I’ve read quite a bit of it as I was glued to the SGMSurvivor forums. We attended a SGM church in Chesapeake, VA for about a month and know several people who go there. Also, SGM has a lot of similarities with BGBC. Has anyone come out right and asked him about this conflict?

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      Nighty night gang.

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  6. craigvick said, on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Paul,
    Thanks for taking the time to give me (and Julie Anne) the larger context of your thinking on Plato. Before I jump in on these bigger picture issues I think I need to spend time getting better acquainted with your blog. As far as the themes of the two blogs you mention, I can certainly see how we might construe them as being overly indebted to Plato. “Between two Worlds” and “Between two spheres, gazing at Christ – our heavenly destiny” might be founded in a Platonic dualism.

    With respect to the argument in the Crito, I don’t think Socrates’ argument about reason is residual. It’s the foundation. Note how much time he spends developing this foundation. He tells Crito we can’t go by what many people say, we have to listen to reason. I emphasize this point because it links Socrates to the enlightenment and also to the ideas upon which our nation is founded.

    For the most part, we agree on the content of the argument that Socrates builds on reason. Where we see the argument differently is when you say, “The best overall good is paramount, not the injustice to the few”. I don’t think Socrates ever says this. What is paramount is not the best overall good, but the laws that make democracy possible. Imagine a football game where a referee blows a call. We here in Seattle tend to think that happens a lot. What if a team were to decide to simply ignore bad calls and do what they think is correct. One could argue that that would destroy the game. It would violate the very structure of the game in such a way that the game could no longer be played. The same is true in a democracy. Imagine, for example, if a candidate gets the most votes in an election but because of fraud and then a court decision is declared the loser. It’s clearly an unjust result. It should be fought with all legal means. At some point, however, democracy wouldn’t work if a candidate were to defy the court and take the office.

    I don’t think Socrates would have ever argued that, in your situation, you should have kept quiet and accepted an unjust excommunication for the sake of the church. That’s the sticking point with me, because I think you’re missing just how much of a fighter Socrates could be and was during the course of his trial and execution. The argument of the elders sounds much more like Caiaphas than Socrates.

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  7. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Paul, I think you “hit the nail on the head” with this one!! Love this post!

    What you see throughout history is the ideology becomes the master. Whoever holds the “truth” (based on their ideology) holds the key to understanding that “truth”. We have all been guilty of it from one extent to another. Shows how intellectual persuasion is so powerful. Good ideas do have good results, as such, in the case of this country. We had men who came with the IDEA of freedom- this was an experiment, not tried; but this idea was based on the premise of man being free, not in bondage to any man. We see from the Puritan experience that their ideology of “for the common good” did not work and did not last too long. Here we see in Puritanism, the elite were the procurers of “truth”; no wonder Salem happened. They imposed their “foreseen truth” (gnosticism) on the rest. This definitely plays into Socrates ideology that reason can only be seen in “enlightened” ones that seemingly have the “truth”.

    Over time in history we see this over and over again- ideologies that are implemented, but just theories; not proven. Once however, they are put into practice and we see the results and they do not work, do we give them up and go back to the drawing board? Oh no, because the ideology is the master and MUST always be true even if we do not have proven evidence that it works in the first place. We know this that freedom of man ALWAYS has produce evidence- we see that in this country and we see that through knowing Jesus Christ, our Savior. We saw this with the Mars landing of Curiosity- this was not suppose to take place. Obama wanted to scratch this project, but NASA insisted and carried on. This was their only chance to make it right and it did- made history. This is a proven fact: we can land a robot on Mars. This is the theory: is there life on Mars? See the difference between the two? But by freedom we can find these things out and DECIDE whether to scrap the whole idea that life is on Mars or not.

    Now the elite who want to impose ideologies that we know have not worked throughout history is another story. We can see that it has not by the Catholic Church, Calvin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jim Jones, etc……
    This is why the Enlightenment was a good thing because men were putting their thinking caps on and had the freedom to do so- did all the ideas work. No, but they were free to think. This is where we had a wealth of scientists (many Christian) who came up with theories that actually did produce results. Look at the fact of the Scientific Method and its profound effect in how we implement science today.

    I will put two simple analogies out that I have see today in our whole culture-
    I love nutrition so this analogy is based on the whole healthcare debacle that is in play. We see that many of the politicians are producing all kind of laws based on nutrition and what we should eat and what we should not eat. This is where we will see fact getting mixed up with fiction (as we see in the church landscape today). First of all we know that obesity is a problem and that is a fact- by statistics and by seeing it with our own eyes. We also know that obesity produces health issues for the individual. Here is where fiction gets thrown into facts- the politicians/elite “obviously knowing” what is “truth”. We now see bans on salt, fats, sugar, formula for babies, excercise – you name it they will come up with it. The problem is – is this based on fact that EVERYONE should ban salt from their diets? Should every women give up formula and breastfeed? Is there evidence to back up what the elite think is true? Not everyone can be without salt- some people desperately need it because they have some malfunction in their bodies to absorb salt.
    The funny thing is that this trend of healthy eating has been going on around 5-10 years ago. People were seeing by evidence that their loved ones or themselves were suffering from bad health- now not everyone sees that and thats what gets these elites feathers ruffled because “for the common good” EVERYONE must be on board because they think by their own ideologies that this will be better for society.

    The other analogy (and one that will ruffle some feathers) is the homosexual marriage issue. Here is the fact: marriage has be proven throughout history to be a stable indicator of a healthy country. Now we have the elites that tell us that homosexual marriage needs to be introduced “for the common good” and this ideology is good. Well, the fact is it has never been tried; it is just a theory. We see from fact in history that certain sexual perversions (such as homosexuality- God gives us through Scripture Sodom and Gomorrah) have had devastating effects on society as a whole. And so now we are willing “for the sake of the whole” implement what God had designed as marriage between a man and a woman as not the only way; For an ideology that will probaly end up being devastating for our country in the end- opening Pandoras box.

    As for the church, we see the same “theories” in play. The intellectual elites “think” based on a gnostic belief system, that higher knowledge supercedes what we actually have down as cold hard facts. I am sorry elites only God has that access to superior knowledge and is the only One who gives wisdom through the Holy Spirit to all who ask. Even Solomon with all his wisdom and knowledge ended up in the manure. As stated so well in Scripture:

    1 Corinthians 1:20
    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

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  8. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Julie Anne, this is why I applaud you and your stand- thank you. You get it- it is freedom in Christ which makes us free! And we are free from mans tyranny on the church when we realize that. Once you know that truth no one can take it away for it is too precious to lose. This is why free will is imperative to man- it is a responsibility that God ordained and I would say predestined in man. This free will however does have boundaries that were laid down by God from the beginning, so that is clear that God is still Sovereign and omnipotent.

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  9. Julie Anne said, on August 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Julie Anne, this is why I applaud you and your stand- thank you. You get it- it is freedom in Christ which makes us free! And we are free from mans tyranny on the church when we realize that.

    I get the freedom part. And I get the part that says that no one should own me. All of the other big words along with the ideas of Plato and Socrates and all of that????? Did you just hear that whooshing sound? That’s where those words went – – right over my head and just so you know, I’m quite tall (6’3″). LOL

    One day I will have big chunks of time to read about all of the above. For right now, I need it broken down in simple terms. I need a Neo-Calvinism for Dummies book 🙂 My brain has been in overload for a while now. I’m reading here and there and picking up things along the way, so there is progress . . . . .

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Julie Anne,
      If you get this part: “I get the part that says that no one should own me,” you thoroughly understand the grand antitheses of Plato’s Academy. This boils down to man’s competence. John Immel contends that we are morally accountable to God for the sum and substance of the life that bears our name. And he is absolutely right. He also contends that Reformed theology is designed for control, and I concur.

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  10. trust4himonly said, on August 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Julie Anne
    I am right there with you- I have to slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y assimilate info. to get the gist of things sometimes and even then I am particularly simplistic in how I deal with problems. I look at what works and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me if it isn’t particularly true in what I think works. But I am one to think that it is ok to digest things over time instead of rushing into believing others in what they think is good for me.

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Susan and I are going to have weekend mini-conferences at our church/home in the near future. A room, food, materials all included right here. ALL will leave understanding soteriology, Reformation history/theology, and how it relates to our day along with biblical application.

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