Paul's Passing Thoughts

This Week’s Sinner Saved by Grace Sinning and in the News: RC Sproul Jr.

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 1, 2015 week’s Reformed leader who got caught is RC Sproul Jr. The scandals are now commonplace and beginning to lose their news worthiness. Commonness doesn’t excite; it’s uncommonness that gets people’s attention. This is why the Super Bowl only takes place once a year; it’s an uncommon event.

Sproul will be suspended for eleven months (without pay?) for…well…being who he is…a “sinner.” And if the Protestant leaders are dropping like flies, what’s going on among those they are leading? I can answer that. Lots of totally depraved stuff. Don’t let the resurgence of church discipline fool you. Church discipline, a concept NOT found in the Bible, is only for those who ask questions and do things that could involve the outside world in “family matters.”

You might want to understand the following: making RW Glenn, Mark Driscoll, Doug Phillips, Josh Duggar, Tullian Tchividjian, Bill Gothard, etc., resign from ministry for being who they are and being scandalous while preaching the “scandalous gospel” is not inconsistent if you really understand Protestant doctrine more than Protestants do. Their fall is merely a manifestation of God’s will. The Lord is “sovereign,” and the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

Let me just boil everything down and make it real simple. Protestantism was founded on the idea that all of reality is a salvific metaphysical narrative written by God who created the narrative and all of the characters to complete himself. For the sake of his own glory and self-love which apparently was lacking, God wrote history as a metaphysical redemptive narrative. Stop right where you are now and consider: what you are presently experiencing is part of the prewritten narrative which is all about redemption. The story, and everything about it, brings glory to God.

Consequently, yes, God is supposedly the creator of evil, predetermines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, and well-being comes from rejoicing in what gives God glory for the sake of his self-love; whatever is in the narrative that he pre-wrote might even include your own damnation. Of course, this makes the most excellent piety an expression of hyper altruism. It is the practical application of John Calvin’s Worm theology.

So, since everything is predetermined for God’s glory, and God is glorified by damnation and salvation alike which are eternal, every verse in the Bible is about salvation, or what we call “justification.” In the final analysis, in accordance with the least common denominator, you MIGHT be saved in the end by living by faith alone in the gospel of sovereignty. To at least have a chance, you must enter the “race of faith” in which the reward is salvation. When you hear folks talk about “sovereign grace,” and the “sovereign gospel,” and the “gospel of sovereignty,” this is what it boils down to. When good Protestants say, “God is in control,” they are not kidding—God is in TOTAL control.

This is why institutional Christians have always lacked wisdom in regard to everyday wisdom and solving the more difficult questions of life (what we call sanctification), because every verse in the Bible is about justification, ie., “what Jesus has done, not anything we do.” As one pastor told me, “I am not going to be distracted from the gospel by counseling people.” Good Protestant pastors farm out counseling to the ACBC where the counseling is “gospel-centered.” And this counseling will give people peace; after all, there is nothing you can do about anything, so stop fighting what God has predetermined. Relax, be happy, everything is predetermined for God’s glory. Got tragedy? Praise the Lord for his glory. Rejoice and be happy for this is the day he has made.

Let’s apply this to what we see on the Christian hillsides littered with dead bodies. According to what I was told by Clearcreek Chapel elder Greg Cook some time ago, counseling guru Stuart Scott is no longer an elder at John MacArthur’s church because Scott’s children were sinners saved by grace acting like sinners. This is the crux: obedience, like every other reality, is determined and delivered by God, not us. So yes, we are in fact sinners, but anything that we do that is good is performed by God, not us. Couple this with what I have heard MacArthur say on the radio: (paraphrase) “Saved obedient children are God’s mark on a man confirming his calling to the ministry.”  See how this works?

Now let’s apply this to Sproul et al. Their punishment is not inconsistent with the idea that they are punished for being what they preach because their fallenness or unfallenness is determined by God. What they did is who they are, and God did not prevent what they did, but regardless, they deserve the punishment. Why? Because God is the potter and we are the clay, and all clay pots are made for his glory whether pots of wrath or pots of glory. Look, read Sproul’s statement about what he did and his suspension, this is written all over it if you know what to look for.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, I can hear the screaming Protestant denials like alley cats in the night while in heat. But what they say reveals the foundations of their Protestant mindset: “It’s God’s will,” or “Lord willing,“ “I didn’t do it, it was the Holy Spirit,” “God is in control,” etc., etc., etc. These statements are NEVER qualified. What’s God’s will? Everything, or just certain categories? If we didn’t do it and the Holy Spirit did it, what do we do, if anything as opposed to what the Spirit does? If we drive somewhere to do a good work, does the Spirit drive the car, or do we drive the car? And if we drive the car, does that qualify as participation in the good work? To what extent is God in control? Not only that, an orientation towards solutions is hardly ever observed, but rather, “we will pray for you.” This is because solutions are irreverent in regard to what God has supposedly predetermined. Our prayers serve to display our “perplexity” as set against God’s omniscience which also gives him glory. Regardless of the circumstance, we don’t pray for a good ending, but for God’s glory, ie., whatever happens.

The hard determinism of Protestantism’s gospel of sovereignty is deluded over the years leaving behind anemic sanctification which causes people to look for a solution. This results in, “Eureka! Here is the problem: we have strayed away from our original gospel!” Hence, enter the New Calvinist movement.

Common sense tells us that this doctrine will lead to, at least, a relaxation of the law, or better stated, a relaxation of love (“If you love me, keep my commandments”), but there is no contradiction in these leaders paying consequences for living out the gospel that they preach…

…whether they obey/love or not is God’s doing which confirms God’s mantle upon them. If anyone loves, it is really God loving himself through the individual. As the Christian song states, “We are empty vessels waiting to be filled.” Wellbeing is defined as seeing yourself as a mere character in God’s prewritten metaphysical narrative and plying whatever predetermined role that gives him glory. If you believe that anything you do is your own choice, you are playing god and writing your own reality.

Now, apply this construct to Sproul’s post and see if it makes any sense. Will any of these guys return to ministry? Only the future reading of God’s narrative will tell…the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.


9 Responses

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  1. lindismeditations said, on September 2, 2015 at 1:10 AM

    You have very valid criticisms of the Calvinistic Reformed branch of Protestantism. Not all Protestants are Reformed.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on September 2, 2015 at 5:37 AM

      Not in word or realization, but they are all still functioning Calvinists. Election isn’t the issue, the same soteriology is the issue; the idea that we are “sanctified” by going back to the same gospel that saved us.


  2. Anonymous said, on October 22, 2015 at 11:34 PM

    Every being is naturally motivated to act in a way that gives someone glory, either self or another person, or a position or God. Many people recognize their parents or someone they honor and usually it is because that person has loved them sacrificially and their response to that love is honor and respect. God is the definition of love and all glory is due to Him because His love is perfect and infinite and independent of our actions or even existence. Love, real and true love, is never forced…it would not be love and God cannot go against His nature. When He created us in His (their) image humans were giving the freedom to choose. Choosing is a gift but when we fight God’s love for us and disconnect from the fluid flow of a loving relationship with God we choose based on selfish desires and the consequences have been detrimental for us. Because of God’s omniscient nature, He is outside our limitations of time and sees all in one snapshot as we see only in part. He knows the final outcome and gently leads us to streams of water but we choose to follow or to turn away. We see what is given and taken away and call it blessed or cursed but God sees the end result and it is always to bring us to Him because only in Him will we have what we really need and desire, perfect love that drives out all fear, condemnation, malice…But where there is love, prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, ministries will end because in Him is All and we lack nothing nor do we have to seek for more…and for such a God why not give Him all glory…who else or what else is worthy of it?


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on October 23, 2015 at 8:28 AM


      I suspect you are on Pearl’s list, nevertheless, your comment is good fodder for a response. Future postings should not be assumed. It is a snapshot of what I have devoted my life to warn people against. This is a mini-treatise for the Reformation’s culture of death; it is the heart of ISIS clothed in the demeanor of Mr. Rogers. It’s amazing how death and the plenary devaluing of life can be made to sound so pious.


    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 23, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      Anonymous’ comment is interesting because, like Paul said, it makes great fodder for a response. Not only is it intellectually vacant, it is logically inconsistent. Every statement is full of assumptions that naturally lead to a logical conclusion. For example:

      “Every being is naturally motivated to act in a way that gives someone glory, either self or another person, or a position or God.”
      What motivates people is a right to exist and the recognition of others to exist, which is manifested in a desire to produce for one’s own self-interest. But the presupposition above assumes that such self-interest is evil. This is fallacy number one.

      “God is the definition of love and all glory is due to Him because His love is perfect and infinite and independent of our actions or even existence.”
      The assumption here is that our existence has no meaning somehow outside of God’s love, which in effect destroys man making him irrelevant outside of himself. And if man does not exist, then there is no one for God to love, and thus God’s love becomes irrelevant. Moreover, if God is “infinite” in his love, then there can be no distinction between His love and our love. Ultimately then religion becomes not about God’s love for man but rather God’s love for himself. That is fallacy number two.

      “When He created us in His (their) image humans were giving the freedom to choose. Choosing is a gift…”
      Given the freedom to choose? Choosing is a gift? This is an attempt to reconcile a determinist construct with man’s responsibility. And if you paid any attention at all to John Immel’s session this year, you know that this has been the dominant philosophy for centuries. Moreover, free-will cannot be a gift, because in order to accept a gift (i.e. receive it) you must exercise volition (free-will/choice). The two ideas contradict each other. Being made in God’s image means that we share His attributes, including free-will and the ability to volition of His own self. This is fallacy number three.

      “but when we fight God’s love for us and disconnect from the fluid flow of a loving relationship with God…we choose to follow or to turn away…”
      One must ask, who is the “we”? Is it the unregenerate or mankind in general, including believers? Such ambiguity is rampant in reformed/protestant orthodoxy, as Paul and others have well documented over and over again. This is yet one more example. What are the consequences for “disconnecting from the fluid flow?” What happens to us when we “turn away?” Must we return again and again to the same gospel that saved us? This is clearly progressive justification on full display! Fallacy number 4.

      “God sees the end result and it is always to bring us to Him because only in Him will we have what we really need and desire”

      So it doesn’t matter that an elder sexually abused a twelve-year-old girl at a shepherding meeting. It doesn’t matter that the youth pastor abuses young boys on youth outings. They need to understand that God allowed this to happen to show us our sinfulness and need for Christ. And in the end, man once again has no free will, it is all the result of a determinist force working for our benefit or destruction, whichever side of his whim we happen to end up on. And therefore man is absolved of all responsibility. Fallacy number 5.

      So much thanks indeed should be offered here to Anonymous for giving us this window into the mind of reformed thought for all of us to see the evil that it is!


      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on October 23, 2015 at 3:53 PM

        …and all is predicated on two realms–one good, and one evil that are mutually exclusive.


  3. Jeff said, on January 15, 2021 at 10:52 AM

    “Sproul will be suspended for eleven months (without pay?) for…well…being who he is…a “sinner.” 1). Ligonier let everyone assume he was suspended without pay, but their tax returns subsequently confirmed he’d been suspended with full pay. 2). Ligonier is a Christian ministry that claims to uphold biblical standards for its ministers (Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim. 3:1-7). Seems that, if anything, Ligonier was far too lenient on Junior. According to biblical standards he fails the test of what it takes to be a minister. They should have fired him rather than give him a paid vacation at donor expense. Better still they never should have hired him in the first place. But with Ligonier it all comes down to nepotism.

    Is it appropriate for a donor-funded tax-exempt religious organization operate to enrich family members? That in fact is exactly what Ligonier Ministries is. Ligonier pays out $millions every year to Sproul family members — sons, daughters, spouses, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins. The name “Sproul” is all it takes to get a six-figure job that you have no professional qualifications for.

    As for RC Jr, 5 months after he was “restored” to Ligonier over his Ashley Madison “Life is short, have an affair” account, he was arrested and convicted of felony DUI (booze and opioids). He arranged a six-figure golden parachute “severance package” and allegedly “resigned.” But RC Jr is still riding the Ligonier gravy train, getting paid six-figures as an “independent contractor.” Ligonier has done their best to conceal it from their donors.
    Ligonier Ministries Still Paying RC Sproul Jr Big Money


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on January 16, 2021 at 8:07 AM

      Hi Jeff. Sorry for the delay in approving your comment. I think I am going to post on your comment as I believe this is all indicative of the institutional church in general.


      • Jeff said, on January 17, 2021 at 11:08 AM

        Thank you Paul. I’m hoping what we’ve witnessed with RC Jr and Ligonier Ministries isn’t indicative of the institutional church in general, rather the exception. But I’m probably just being sentimentally optimistic.

        Elsewhere I discovered a tongue-in-cheek comment about RC Jr. Sums things up pretty well:
        Ministerial expert RC Sproul Jr. is now available for consultations to ministers embroiled in scandals. Areas of expertise include (but not limited to) DUI, online adultery accounts, sexting, tax fraud, identity theft, pilfering church coffers, fundraising scams, spiritual abuse, keggers, defrockings, and much much more. Ministerial expert Rev. Sproul will guide you in pretend-repenting as you arrange to be suspended (with full pay). A year later you can return from your suspension/paid-vacation as you arrange the terms of your “restoration,” including a pay raise. Should a scandal be massive in scope Ministerial expert Rev. Sproul will counsel you how to resign “for personal reasons” while arranging a massive severance package. Rev. Sproul will guide you how to maintain a steady six-figure paycheck as an independent contractor from the ministry you resign from. Faux-repentance is your key to success. Having family connections (nepotism) further enhances the odds of success. It may not be ethical or moral, but it’s all “legal.”


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