Paul's Passing Thoughts

Deb and Dee of Wartburg Watch .com: Gossip, Not Gospel; Hobby, Not Hope

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 3, 2015

There is a huge problem with the Christian blogosphere; it is very comfortable with hopelessness. In fact, hopelessness has become a hobby. The real world simply can’t function without solutions, but the Christian e-world seems to be exempt from that reality.

I started this blog when most blogs that address trends in Neo-Calvinism started, circa 2009. The goal was to find answers and an eventual solution to the New Calvinist movement that continues to turn the church upside down. Perhaps my solution-oriented bent comes from my entrepreneurial background; without solutions—you don’t make payroll. I never had to face any of my employees and say, “I can’t pay you this week” because the possibility was too terrifying. Trust me, it was all about solutions for many years.

The problem is simple: the recent and ongoing tsunami of spiritual abuse is due to a false gospel which shouldn’t surprise us. That was my first goal; to find the “why.” Then I found the solution.

What is more obvious than the fact that the institutional church which some call, “the evangelical industrial complex of celebrity pastors” makes the ongoing abuse possible? What is more obvious than the fact that institutions cannot function without money? Take ABWE of the missionary kids infamy. GARB churches could have brought ABWE to its knees inside of a week; yet, even in light of unspeakable atrocities against children, not one congregation pulled support.  Hence, the situation dragged on and on for roughly twenty years with little or no justice brought to bear. Why? Where are the missionary kids today? Does anybody even remember them? Oh, I forgot, their situation isn’t trending right now; that would be the latest drama everyone is feeding on: Jordan Root and Matt Chandler’s Village Church.

The discernment blogosphere could stop spiritual abuse dead in its tracks. We are talking about huge numbers and people who have immense influence.  Why would you continue to give any credence whatsoever to an institution that makes abuse possible? Churches are either directly involved in abuse, or turn a blind eye to it. Pastors who dwell in the institutional church could indeed put a stop to it as well. For example, a handful of IFB pastors could have stopped the Jack Hyles cartel from wreaking havoc on innocent lives, but they didn’t. Why?

Obviously, it’s a preservation issue of some sort at the expense of innocents who are attending church and trying to do what’s right. Instead, they fall prey to tyranny and pedophiles. There is a reason why the Protestant church now bears the same fruit of the Catholic Church while both continue to thrive. How can this be?

Let’s pause for clarification of points:

  1. The Protestant/Catholic/evangelical industrial complex of celebrity pastors is predicated on a false gospel, specifically, the false gospel of progressive justification. Protestants and Catholics merely disagree on man’s role in the progression. False gospels bear bad fruit—this should be evident.
  1. Catholic/Protestant hierarchies both claim God’s authority on earth to oversee the progression of salvation. The Catholics are more upfront about the idea, Protestants less so; nevertheless, this ministry has a cache of quotations from leading evangelicals that make the same claim. And they get that directly from Calvin and Luther.
  1. Participants of the evangelical industrial complex of celebrity pastors knowingly profess progressive justification, or unwittingly function by it.
  1. Progressive justification calls for an institution vested with God’s authority to oversee salvation. We hear all of the time that formal church membership is synonymous with being in the “body of Christ.”
  1. Progressive justification, theologically, allows for any and every kind of sin under the auspices of authority. We simply must not question God’s anointed who “stand in the gap” and “stand in our stead” before God. Our role is “humble submission” before God. If those who stand in the stead have wronged us—they will answer to God, not us. Our role is to “forgive the way we have been forgiven.”

Break point: most discernment blogs are pundits of this system. Their only hope is in the system itself. This is why they refuse to associate ideology with behavior. Regardless of what’s going on in the “church,” the goal is to somehow fix the church. Since 2009, they continue to whine, cry, and beg the institutional church to behave itself. They gather together, moaning and licking each other’s wounds, crying out to the institutional church as god rather than the Prince of Peace.  Really, it’s pathetic.

The paramount example of this sad scene is Deb and Dee’s Wartburg Watch .com. In their attempt to save the institutional church, they have become a celebrity subculture that mediates between the hierarchy and Churchianity’s sheeple herd. They are also a model for most of the other discernment blogs.

Listen, when the focus of salvation is a system, people will cling to that system at all cost. It is NEVER the ideological foundations of the system; it is ALWAYS a few bad apples that are to blame. If you suggest that it is the system itself that is the problem, you better go to that conversation in full riot gear.

And yesterday was a good example. It’s an amazing scene. In the same way that celebrity pastors get a pass from their followers, Deb and Dee not only get a pass for their illogical ways and steroidal hypocrisy, but also, as I found out yesterday, a vibrant defense from their faithful followers. Dee, and probably Deb as well, stood by while I apparently got what was coming to me. And cursory observations of their comment streams reveal that they are selective in regard to who receives this verbal abuse.

There is no room here by any means to document the full brunt of their ideological disconnects and hypocrisy, but I will touch on the basics. Let me start with explaining their intolerance of me regardless of the following: the price I paid for asking New Calvinists too many questions rates near the top of the abuse scale, so why did Deb and Dee stand by while I received my verbal beating which included blatant false accusations and baseless name calling? Because like black conservatives who are not black because they are conservatives, I am not a fellow victim because I offer an articulation of the problem and a solution.

Besides the fact that Deb and Dee are not victims of the institutional church, an articulation of the abuse problem and a solution threatens their hobby; ie., gossip mongering. For years, they have held an endless recycling of trending drama in the institutional church with spotlighted victims coming and going. They have their own Top 40 hits of the trending victims that eventually drop down to number 200 or lower. The discussion held on their blog is the musical hit of the week until people get tired of it and wait at the doors of their Wartburg castle with bated breath for whatever is trending next.

But here is the bottom line: Karen Hinkley will not find justice any more than the missionary kids, and that’s NOT ok with me. Karen Hinkley is at the top of the chart right now, and the missionary kids are not even on the chart. Deb and Dee are comfortable with that because trending victims come and go feeding their hobby and celebrity status as hopeless gossip peddlers. Their gargantuan pooling of opinions has not solved anything and has actually enabled the institutional church to continue in tyranny and abuse. They are facilitators—not advocates. They only have talk and have no solutions. In other words, they offer no hope.

Let’s put feet on this a little more. Deb and Dee see no real power in the truth or a connection between ideology and behavior. The latter has been my primary problem with them for several months. In a venture to keep people connected with the institutional church in some way, shape, or form, they offer an e-church hosted by none other than Wade Burleson who is a consummate Neo-Calvinist.

Let that sink in a little. While supposedly taking up the cause of those abused by the New Calvinists, they endorse a New Calvinist, and make it a point to expose others to his teachings.

Really? Do I really have to expound on this further? Look, I could cite the lame excuse they present for doing this on their blog, but I can’t really muster up a mental incentive to do so. This comfort with metaphysical contradictions is post-modernesque in the extreme.

Now, regardless of the fact that I rarely, actually, VERY rarely visit other blogs, and the subsequent accusation by Dee’s minions yesterday that I am a “low grade troll,” I was beckoned to Wartburg yesterday in regard to a statement that she made which leads me to the next point. Since the obvious must be discussed in our day, it stands to reason that the obvious must also have need of being articulated. This speaks to the other problem I have with Wartburg: they do not see truth as efficacious to healing.

Let me be clear and make a statement that I fully intend to stand by: Deb and Dee believe a false gospel. How do I know this? Dee said so. The statement that was brought to my attention follows:

Remember, we are all positionally holy but we are all functional sinners.

This is clearly a false gospel that denies the new birth. In fact, it is a return to the same authentic Protestant gospel that New Calvinism is predicated on. Deb and Dee cannot help people victimized by New Calvinism because they are functioning New Calvinists and that’s exactly why they are hooked up with Wade Burleson which should be more than obvious, but anyway, it is what it is.

Sigh. Ok, let’s start with the fact that the biblical definition of a “sinner” is someone who is unregenerate. Really? Do I have to explain this? Do I have to point out that Dee called “believers” functioning unregenerates? Are evangelicals that far gone? This is the exact same gospel that John Piper et al hold to. He states it plainly all of the time: Christians still need ongoing salvation that can only be found in the institutional church. Furthermore, that also comes directly from Calvin and Luther both in no uncertain terms. Deb and Dee, as well as many of their minions, are well aware of this ministry’s numerous citations that establish this as fact, but…

…they simply don’t care about the truth nor do they see it as relevant, except for the fact that it threatens their hobby and celebrity status. Clearly, their problem with John Piper is primarily his tweets, not his gospel, and they have as much said so in the past. Why? Because they believe the same false gospel.

Christians, if they are really Christians, are not merely “positionally” righteous, they are in fact righteous beings because they have been literally born again of God. In the gospel according to Deb and Dee, there is no understanding of sin in regard to justification and sin under grace. UNDER LAW (the biblical definition of a lost person) and UNDER GRACE (the biblical definition of a saved person) are not separate—“Christians” remain under law and under grace is merely a covering supplied by a perpetual imputation of Christ’s righteousness. This is the New Calvinist false gospel that Deb and Dee buy into while claiming to be champions for those abused by the “Calvinistas.” It’s otherworldly ironic.

So in the final analysis, the Wartburg Watch offers no one hope—victims are only fodder for their hobby, regardless of their motives, and they offer no true good news, but rather replace the gospel with gossip.


73 Responses

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  1. lydia00 said, on June 21, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Looks like I am very late to this thread. Oh well. A few thoughts:


    I had a history prof, a PhD, who was very proud of his peer reviews as we heard about them all the time when he actually made it to class. When he showed up (we had to wait 20 min because he was PhD) he also extolled the virtues of Mao. What should that tell me about his peers?


    Wade is the sort of pastor who would accompany you to the court room and then proceed to broker a repentence deal with your rapist during break…. and then tell everyone about it.


    I had you pegged for the Arian. :o)


    Cult leaders make money off their followers. What on earth is your problem? Seems you only have readers.

    A mom,

    I am tolerated but I am not big on being in clubs or part of the “in group” anymore…anywhere. Survivor blogs can become notorious for that with backchannels and such. However, I comment in lots of places were I disagree. I just pick and choose my battles these days. I also have no problem with a blog that only presents spiritual abuse with no solutions.


    I want a shirt.


  2. lydia00 said, on June 21, 2015 at 11:30 PM

    Did you guys see the thread (cannot remember which) concerning Karen Hinkley where Wade came on suggesting someone set up a gofundme account and he would donate 1000 bucks? Then a bit later he makes the suggestion that Karen go to Dallas and “forgive” Matt Chandler.

    You cannot make this stuff up.


  3. lydia00 said, on June 21, 2015 at 11:50 PM

    Oh, A mom,

    So glad you are not the one who thinks fornication is A-Ok. :o)

    Paul, Even your readers need to be peer reviewed, it seems one is an Arian and another approves of fornication.

    Argo, do you remember how much trouble you caused simply by questioning the word “Trinity”?


    I sure would love to have some links to Pelagius’ writings that have been translated. All I could find was a newer translation of his commentary on Romans and it was much too pricey to justify buying. And some other fragments claiming to come from him. Most of his stuff was destroyed by Augustine and other detractors and most of what we know about him comes from his detractors who saw him as a threat because he was advocating that people could choose to behave. I think he was a whipping boy for the ones who loved power.

    I fear the guy has gotten a bit of a bum rap in history but how would we really know? In many reformed circles calling someone a “Pelagian” is akin to calling them a low down fornicating viper or something similar.

    You know, we all come to this mess with our bents and bad experiences. I can relate to being leery of someone advocating cheap grace as in we are in Christ so we are not able to sin. But I don’t think that is what I have read from Paul. There is the problem of every single time you write something you have to give copious background on what you are NOT saying so people won’t jump to conclusions. NT Wright once said this is his biggest frustration.

    My understanding is that we can be righteous (yes we need to define that) as new creations and we should be striving to be perfect like our heavenly father is perfect. Jesus said so…in Matthew. (“perfect” meaning maturing becoming “completed”) The problem is what people define as perfection. It is not platitudinal. It is not being a door mat for Jesus, either.

    Seeking truth is a messy business. It really gets people going.


  4. lydia00 said, on June 22, 2015 at 12:01 AM

    “This is probably one of the worst misused verse among these sovereignty guys. The word translated “chief” is the greek word πρωτος (protos) and it means first in order or position. I believe it is a purposeful mistranslation to translate this word as “chief”. There is another word in the greek, αρχς (ar-cho), and it means first in rank or power. We get word like “arch enemy”, or “archangel”. If Paul meant to say that he was the worst, or “chief” of sinners, why didn’t he use “archo” instead of “protos”?”

    Yes, it is often misused on purpose, Andy. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting on this verse. What boggles my mind is that as kids we were taught this passage exactly the way you have outlined it in your comment. It was not taught that Paul remained a horrible sinner. After all, what would have been the whole dramatic Damascus point?

    It never ceases to amaze me what has changed in interpretation in certain circles over the last 20 years or so in my neck of the woods. It is like a whole other bible. And it makes NO logical sense.


  5. lydia00 said, on June 22, 2015 at 1:30 AM

    “You want to watch Man miss the obvious and live in squalor? Let us return to the days where the Church ruled the world with an iron fist and demanded obedience to peer reviewed academics.”

    This gives me chills. Our culture is mimicing the state church mentality culture already. The government experts who know better than us how we are to live, spend our money, health care choices, etc. They beleive that keeping people as serfs to the government is compassionate. What is going on in churches is going on in government.

    I will NEVER understand the people who disdain the authoritarianism at church but then love authoritarian government. And there are plenty of them at TWW. They simply cannot connect dots.


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