Paul's Passing Thoughts

“Secular” Is NOT Synonymous with “Evil”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 27, 2014

Gnosticism does not interpret reality in three dimensions. That’s why it is of the Dualism family of philosophy. EVERYTHING is good or evil, material or invisible. This is the “knowledge of good and evil.” ALL of reality is interpreted and defined by one or the other. This also involves Anti-Type epistemology as well: opposites define each other; we would not know light if not for darkness, and evil gives deeper understanding of good and vice versa.

This was the basic hypothesis of the Calvin Institutes (see 1.1.1.) and Protestantism in particular. Martin Luther interpreted ALL reality via the “glory story” and the “cross story.” The story of man and the story of redemption. Luther believed that man cannot reason or know reality, and God sent Christ to marry the invisible to the visible as the only gateway of wellbeing—the only gateway of understanding between the shadow world and the true forms through suffering. This IS the Redemptive Historical Hermeneutic so highly touted in Reformed circles. It is behind comments by the likes of John MacArthur Jr. that people doubt their salvation because they have not suffered enough as a Christian.

This worldview has seriously crippled Christianity’s ability to minister to the world because, among many examples, the secular is always defined as being evil. America was founded on secular principles: separation of church and state. The founding fathers saw the secular as a force for good that freed man to pursue life and happiness. This was the first time in history where faith and force were separated.

Other words that are unfortunate Christian synonyms for evil… “flesh,” and “leaven.” The latter often denotes influence whether good or evil; the former, like the secular, can be used for good or evil. The framers recognized that church and secular together,  never turns out well. This is why movements such as the Moral Majority are egregiously misguided.

Here is an example of God using the secular for good purposes, and His call to Christians to support such:

Romans 13:1 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.


10 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on August 27, 2014 at 9:41 PM


    Been awhile since I posted a question. Sorry for it being off-topic but I’ve seeking opinions about Lifeway Sunday School Curriculum and Young Life.

    The seed of Calvin has been planted in the local Baptist Church and the person reaching out to teens is Reformed.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM


      They own everything now. The movement has grown consistently since its conception in 1970. Since 2010, we have received emails stating that every church in a given city is New Calvinist regardless of denomination, we are talking fairly large cities. BUT, this is a good thing–the Lord will use this to force His people into going back to the original model of home fellowships.


  2. Mark said, on August 28, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Is Lifeway a New Calvinist curriculum?


  3. Mark said, on August 28, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Many thanks, Paul.

    This site is very informative.


  4. Lydia said, on August 28, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Mark, there was(finally!) a lot of pushback on their big Gospel Project curriculum. Cradle to grave. All of the advisors/editors were Calvinists but Lifeway insisted it was not Calvinist focused and dared anyone to prove it. You can start with all the quotes, the definitions, etc. But they also changed a few to throw some bones to the free will folks.

    The bottomline is you cannot trust anything coming out of the SBC. How can I say that? Go read Quiet Revolution and focus on chapter 4. The go read and from there Al Mohler took the torch and built an empire he basically influences.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Dared someone to prove it eh? Wish I would have heard about that.


  5. Mark said, on August 28, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Lydia and Paul,

    I guess a way to prove Lifeway is Calvinist inspired curriculum. is reveal that Lifeway curriculum “Won’t” contradict TULIP. (if anything authenticate TULIP).


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