Paul's Passing Thoughts

New Calvinism’s Loveless Christianity

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 4, 2013

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“…we believe that those who teach and preach the word of God are God-appointed agents to save God’s people from ignorance.” [1]

~Al Mohler

“’I only created the jinn and mankind that they might serve me’ (Koran, 51:56), i.e. that they might know me. But the greater part of men neglect this duty, except those whom God hath chosen and whose hearts He hath vivified with Himself.” [2]

~ Data Ganj Bahsh, al-Hujwiri

“† It’s all the same because it all comes from ancient caste. Hence, there is very little difference between the Reformed version of sanctification and Islamic Sufism. Both emphasize experiencing God over participating with God.  Both emphasize ‘transcendence,’ ‘manifestations,’ and ‘rebirth.’ Sanctification, in both Reformed and Islamic constructs emphasize, ‘vivification.’”

In yesterday’s post, we looked at how most false religion derives from spiritual caste. This was the foundation of false religion found in the cradle of civilization. Hence, people that believe in mythology, superstition, etc. are not stupid—they have accepted the premise that real truth is found beyond reason and empirical conclusions. Therefore, faith and reason are often dichotomized. In yesterday’s post, Moses was cited regarding the fact that some truth is beyond our reasoning abilities, but what we need to function properly as human beings is not. We also cited Moses’ concern that enlightened mediators are supposedly needed to bring truth to us from heaven or other faraway places. Moses stated that the word of God is near us, in us, and not too difficult for us.

The Tower of Babel is a good example of the idea that we have to somehow get to heaven to bring truth down to the masses. A few of the enlightened tap into God’s truth via some sort of epistemology (usually mediation), repackage it for practical application among the masses, and make it known through orthodoxy (that’s caste in a nutshell). Orthodoxy is rarely about the “why?” because it is understood that the masses don’t understand the why, it is about the what. If you ask why?, the answer is, “Because the philosopher kings say so, and you wouldn’t understand anyway.”  In contrast, the New Testament frames all of this in regard to Christ being the only mediator between God and man, and mankind being spoken to by Christ in the last days. The apostle Paul played on Moses’ concept and reiterated the fact that Christ is near to all, is in us (as Christians), and his commandments are not too difficult for us.

Spiritual caste originated in the East, and made its way into Western culture through the Sophists. Spiritual caste was solidified in the West by Plato, and was primarily integrated into Western religion by St. Augustine. Spiritual caste was the foundation of Augustine’s theory of original sin and total depravity. This can be seen in how the Catholic Church has always operated. The monks deprive themselves of the material as much as possible, get the dope from heaven through prayer and meditation, and deliver it to the popes who are Plato’s philosopher kings. It’s all basically the same gig.

The Reformation came out of Catholicism. Clearly, the Reformers didn’t reject caste ideology, they only sought to do caste in a better way.* They merely made Christ Plato’s pure form, and replaced Christ as the mediator of truth with Reformed elders. This is why there is so much emphasis in our day on the “personhood of Christ” rather than what Christ commands. The commands of Christ seen in the Bible speak to our inability to please Christ since all matter is evil to begin with. The Reformers pulled this off by making love and law the same thing in both justification and sanctification. True, there is only one love in justification, that of God. But in sanctification, we in fact love God because it is not too difficult for us. We are hindered by mortality, but “we love him because He first loved us.”

The Reformers made the definition of any valid love towards God a perfect keeping of the law. So, “If you love me, keep my commandments” must be seen in its “gospel context.” Supposedly, Christ couldn’t have been talking about us making an effort to obey as a way to please Him because He is only pleased with perfection; therefore, Christ must have been talking about something else.

This proposed construct was a form of Neo-Platonism also dubbed “Gnosticism.” In reality, the Reformation was nothing more or less than a new twist on those movements. Supposedly, it is impossible for man to live in a way that is pleasing to God, and the Bible is merely a tool for showing us how loveless we are, and in doing that, the only objective pure form of Christ can be “experienced” on earth subjectively. In other words, we can only experience goodness, but we can’t perform it. We can only “manifest” the love of Christ or “reflect” His love, but it is not us performing it. Our only way of loving Christ is through self-depravation resulting in us being lifeless vessels that show a reflection of Christ to the world. Even these “reflections” are preordained. †

But don’t lose the main point: we can’t love Christ by keeping the law. We can only love Him through a deeper and deeper understanding of how evil we are (being matter). The Reformers believed that the essence of all sin was seeing goodness in us, and this root of all sin also transcends into Christian lifelessness. This idea that Christians are not able to please God by law keeping has always been the classic definition of antinomianism (anomia: anti-law of God). The Reformers came up with their own definition of antinomianism:

The belief that the law has been abolished and has no use for the Christian.

The Reformers protested on the basis of their own redefinition. They believed the law was critical for showing us the impossibility of loving Christ. They deemed it critical for demonstrating what we can’t do. And supposedly, according to the Reformers, the realization of our own depravity as set against the holiness of God produces “vivification” (a joy experience) in the believer. Again, this is very Eastern in regard to the idea that opposites define each other; ie., light defines darkness and darkness defines light etc.

Since the garden, the primary doctrinal nemesis for heaven has always been antinomianism in the form of “gnosis,” or secret knowledge. Instead of the law being near every person, it is afar and must be retrieved by those who claim to be mediators between us and heaven. These pseudo mediators then repackage the truth in a way that can be understood by the masses (orthodoxy). Obedience to the mediators, or at least trusting them in regard to the law is the ticket to heaven. Christ has been replaced by philosopher kings. Christ simply called all of this, “the traditions of men.” From Genesis to Revelation, it begins with disobedience, and ends with “the man of lawlessness,” literally, “the man of anomia.” Incredibly, Christ predicted that the last days would be loveless “because” of “anomia.”

The Reformation was another anomia option; perhaps, the most popular since the garden.  However, the masses that were drawn up in the movement, to a large extent, didn’t get it. In order to appear as those who wanted to place a Bible in the hands of every man, woman, and child, while propagating Gnosticism, allegorical interpretation was the mainstay epistemology. A grammatical, literal interpretation is more natural. This led to the idea that man could please God by obeying the laws in Scripture, but these same people remained under the banner of the Reformation.

This has led to periodic antinomian controversies throughout church history in Reformed circles: those who believe that we can only manifest the love of Christ versus those who believe that we can actually love Christ with our own obedience. Four of these controversies will be outlined in The Truth About New Calvinism: Volume 2, but the one we will focus on here occurred at the beginning of the present-day New Calvinist movement. The movement began in 1970 with the advent of the Australian Forum. The Forum was a Reformed think tank that rediscovered the authentic Reformation gospel. The movement spread in two directions: Reformed Baptist circles and conservative Presbyterian circles via Westminster Theological Seminary. In Reformed Baptist circles, it was an antinomian controversy, but in Presbyterian circles the controversy centered on the Sonship Theology version.

While the movement was extinguished in Reformed Baptist circles, it was launched into the present-day New Calvinist movement when the name of the movement was changed from Sonship Theology to “Gospel Transformation” in Presbyterian circles. There has never been honest discussion within the Reformed camp regarding the key issue of whether or not we merely reflect love for Christ or perform it.

As discussed in yesterday’s post, spiritual caste leads to orthodoxy, and orthodoxy leads to cultish behavior. Besides New Calvinist “love bombing,” a cult hallmark, another mark of a cult is the idea that the cult knows truth that members have to be “prepared to accept.” In other words, “truth that they aren’t ready for yet.”

Therefore, few people attending New Calvinist churches know what New Calvinism is, nor do they know that they are supposedly incapable of loving Christ and others. This belief is slowly assimilated into their thinking through redefinition of terms, and the exclusion of topics like enablement and obedience. When God’s holiness and our depravity are only taught, Christians will begin to function that way unawares. We don’t practice anything that is not talked about or emphasized.

And that includes loving Christ through righteous behavior. The New Testament was written against the backdrop of an aggressive Gnostic movement. Noting this will lead to abundant understanding accordingly.

paul

1. Albert Mohler: Sermon; First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Florida; January 30, 2011

2. From the Kashf al-mahjub (The Uncovering of the veiled) by ‘Ali ibn ‘Uthman al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri, known as Data Ganj Bakhsh in the Indo-Pakistan region. Translated by Reynold Nicholson. New Edition, London: Luzac, 1967, pp. 267-277.

*Spiritual caste is the foundation for all religions where tyranny is found. It simply posits the idea that a select few are preordained by God (or some concept of a god) to lead the unenlightened masses. Instead of ONE salvific mediator and many teachers (God’s mode of operation from the beginning), it is a system that posits multiple mediators among men that impart salvation perpetually.

† It’s all the same because it all comes from ancient caste. Hence, there is very little difference between the Reformed version of sanctification and Islamic Sufism. Both emphasize experiencing God over participating with God.  Both emphasize “transcendence,” “manifestations,” and “rebirth.” Sanctification, in both Reformed and Islamic constructs emphasize, “vivification.”

7 Responses

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  1. […] New Calvinism’s Loveless Christianity. […]

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  2. Christian said, on October 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Oh so Al thinks we are ignorant? Well we must be pretty dumb to have him running one of our SBC schools!

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    • paulspassingthoughts said, on October 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Christian,

      No big surprise; Plato thought we were all ignorant as well.

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  3. lydiasellerofpurple said, on October 4, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Once you concede the premise THEY are God’s messengers to save…get this…”God’s People”!!!…. you are done. It is over. Period.

    That statement should have outed him for what he is. A Charlatan. Of course, there is a ton more evidence he is a charlatan that many chose to ignore…

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  4. Mark said, on October 4, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    The SBC needs to fully disclose or expose it’s numerous doctrines to their Churches. Many of them don’t even know the Doctrine of their Pastor and in the end may need to split.

    My reasoning is because this “loveless” battle is becoming more and more toxic as this continues on.

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  5. lydiasellerofpurple said, on October 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    “The SBC needs to fully disclose or expose it’s numerous doctrines to their Churches. Many of them don’t even know the Doctrine of their Pastor and in the end may need to split.

    My reasoning is because this “loveless” battle is becoming more and more toxic as this continues on”.

    Mark, I hate to say this but it is way too late. Most in leadership are well aware of the toxicity and chose a “unity” committee to paper over the REAL problems. The “unity” committee had the very people on it who caused the problems in the first place! Ironic, huh? The foxes in charge of the hen house.

    Now the buzzword is “unity”. Too much has taken place over the last 8 years that is pure evil and deception for anyone who cares about truth and morality to buy into this false unity. Now all you hear from that wing is “you are divisive” if you bring up anything that happened that was never admitted much less repented. So, they got by with it.

    I have a hunch the whole “unity” thing and ignoring the horrors that have taken place at top levels is more about Guidestone than anything else. If the SBC splits and the non Cals leave (because the Cals control most of the entities) then many pastors/entity employee retirements will be affected–both Cal and nonCals.

    It is always about the money and influence. Now they are trying to sell us that it is only about tiny doctrinal differences and we can live with that. No, it isn’t. It is about the very character of God and horrible behavior of too many taught and affirmed by our seminaries/Lifeway,etc.

    The SBC leadership is spiritually dead. It has been for a while.

    Oh, and the battle is going underground. Some of the stuff taking place is unbelievable. EVeyone trying to put on a “unified” public face. So fake and pretend it makes me sick.

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  6. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 1, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    Reblogged this on Paul's Passing Thoughts.

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