Paul's Passing Thoughts

Institution as God’s Mediator

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 2, 2015

The Bible states that there is one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ (1Timothy 2:5). I now realize the real significance of that after eight years of research. I see “one” really means “one.” Something has happened this week that this ministry is taking note of: HBO’s documentary “Going Clear” on Scientology premiered 3/29/2015. Megan Kelly of Fox News interviewed one of the key figures featured in the documentary who shared an astonishing bit of information: members who offend leadership are locked up in a literal prison until they repent of whatever the offence is; release is contingent on signing a written confession. Kelly was incredulous that any adult would agree to such a thing and asked the guest if he could explain it. I was surprised when the guest said he could not explain it.

Maybe the explanation is too simple, but here it is: every false gospel opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ is predicated on the idea of an additional mediator between God and man other than Christ. Even if one man or women is representative of the false doctrine, it will always be expressed in the form of an institution and its authority. Rather than all authority and mediation being in Christ, a subset of Christ’s mediation and authority is claimed; a claim that has no biblical merit whatsoever. These religious institutions always claim authority to grant salvation on behalf of God as co-mediators, but will also use the authority of government whenever they can get away with it.

So why do the institutional members of  “the church” agree to every insane notion proffered by these institutions? It’s not complicated in the least: their salvation depends on it. The temptation is great; people relate truth with authority and want to be told how to get to heaven. Some sort of lofty authority gives the seekers confidence that God will accept their salvific pedigree. And Scientology has all of the elements common with these institutions, especially a strong emphasis on glorious infrastructure.

This documentary is important because Scientology is indicative of institutional religion in general. It claims authority and mediation it doesn’t have, quibbles over words, and entangles itself in the frivolous affairs of the world. And another important element–a major one should be noted as well: cults are spawned by authority. Hence, religious institutions often get a pass on being cultic because people don’t understand the catalyst of cultism: authority.

The alternative is a functioning body under one head. Gifts replace rank, and fellowship replaces authority. The goal is agreement on truth as defined by Christ and agreement according to conscience determines who fellowships together. Christ said, “All authority has been given to me.” ALL means “all.” If people get together for the purpose of following an authority anyway, why not Christ as opposed to some man or institution? If the divide in regard to what Christ is saying is too wide, go start your own group–Christ is the final judge anyway. A final point: institutions focus on getting people to heaven; fellowships focus on the unfinished work of service to God and others.

The following are relevant video clips that make the point.

Pastor James MacDonald on Elder Authority.

3 Responses

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  1. Jerry Collins said, on April 2, 2015 at 11:46 PM

    Hello Paul: Here is a sermon by ligon duncan that seems to suggest a dichotomy between justification and sanctification as well as the need for personal effort and work in our sanctification. Would you have any initial comments about it since you have most likely reviewed previous material by him?

    ligonduncan.com/fighting-for-joy-growing-in-humility-knowing-christ-and-the-peace-that-passes-understanding-a-study-of-philippians-29-sanctification-101-and-missions-672/

    Jerry Collins

    Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on April 3, 2015 at 8:17 AM

      Jerry,

      Ligon Duncan is a master wordsmith, and uses his craft for deliberate deception. Deciphering his sermons that seem to give a nod towards synergism is a daunting task. I actually sucked it up and did a technical analysis of a sermon he preached on the ten commandments, but I can’t find it. I will look at what you have cited here and might do a quickie side by side footnote interpretation. But, of course, now that New Calvinism is completely running the show, Duncan invests far less time in wordsmithing. Example: https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2015/01/29/ligon-duncans-calvinist-denial-of-the-new-birth/

      Like

  2. Rachel said, on March 28, 2018 at 2:47 PM

    That first video of John MacArthur reminded me of this video of the pope. They basically have the same message…

    Like


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