Paul's Passing Thoughts

If You Are a Protestant; i.e., Baptist, Methodist, ect., You Represent a False Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 17, 2016

ppt-jpeg4The Protestant Reformation was never about interpreting the Bible literally, or by its plain sense. The official interpretive policy of the Reformers was historical-redemptive. What’s that? It means the Reformers interpreted the Bible as a salvific metaphysical narrative. This philosophy calls for reality to be interpreted as a prewritten movie of sorts, and the Bible is the script. Bible “stories” are prototypes for interpreting our lives according to redemption, and prophecies foretell how the movie will unfold historically. Supposedly, God decided to write the narrative for His own glory and self-love.

The soteriology of the Reformation is a product of this worldview. That’s why orthodoxy plainly contradicts the plain sense of Scripture or its grammatical sense. Of course, Reformers past and present claim they are grammarians, but that refers to grammatical sentences that explain redemptive-historical state-of -being. In other words, historical-grammatical hermeneutical processes are only a means to explaining historical-redemptive metaphysics which enables them to claim grammatical interpretation. They do this knowingly lest they would be found telling the truth about something.

Before we focus on how Protestant orthodoxy defines itself as biblically unregenerate, let’s answer the question in regard to Protestants being so confused about this very simple truth; how did it happen? From the Reformation moving forward in time, people started interpreting the Bible grammatically from a state-of-being perspective. This was never meant to be, but the natural inclination of people is to interpret reality grammatically, or literally so to speak. This resulted in Protestantism, and all of its various stripes, being half pregnant with “under grace.” The Bible’s definitions of the lost and saved, viz, “under law” or “under grace” became confused.

Actually, it became very confused. Historical-redemptive interpretation enables one to interpret every verse of Scripture as being about salvation while grammatical interpretation demands a dichotomy between Christian living and salvation. The former calls for a salvation process while the latter calls for salvation being a onetime finished work. In 1970, a think tank known as the Australian Forum rediscovered this fact and has brought the church back to its authentic roots via the New Calvinist movement.

Now let’s look at how Protestantism defines the so-called “Christian” as being “under law.” There are myriads of examples, but I will use a select few. John Calvin stated the following in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:

3.14.10 – Even were it possible for us to perform works absolutely pure, yet one sin is sufficient to efface and extinguish all remembrance of former righteousness, as the prophet says (Ezek. 18:24). With this James agrees, “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all,” (James 2:10). And since this mortal life is never entirely free from the taint of sin, whatever righteousness we could acquire would ever and anon be corrupted, overwhelmed, and destroyed, by subsequent sins, so that it could not stand the scrutiny of God, or be imputed to us for righteousness. In short, whenever we treat of the righteousness of works, we must look not to the legal work but to the command. Therefore, when righteousness is sought by the Law, it is in vain to produce one or two single works; we must show an uninterrupted obedience. God does not (as many foolishly imagine) impute that forgiveness of sins once for all, as righteousness; so that having obtained the pardon of our past life we may afterwards seek righteousness in the Law. This were only to mock and delude us by the entertainment of false hopes. For since perfection is altogether unattainable by us, so long as we are clothed with flesh, and the Law denounces death and judgment against all who have not yielded a perfect righteousness, there will always be ground to accuse and convict us unless the mercy of God interpose, and ever and anon absolve us by the constant remission of sins. Wherefore the statement which we set out is always true, If we are estimated by our own worthiness, in everything that we think or devise, with all our studies and endeavors we deserve death and destruction.

3.14.11 – We must strongly insist on these two things: That no believer ever performed one work which, if tested by the strict judgment of God, could escape condemnation; and, moreover, that were this granted to be possible (though it is not), yet the act being vitiated and polluted by the sins of which it is certain that the author of it is guilty, it is deprived of its merit. This is the cardinal point of the present discussion.

Calvin makes two things perfectly clear from the Reformed perspective: “Christians” are still judged by the law and its demand for perfection, and therefore, no “Christian” can please God via a righteous work. Simply stated, “under law.” Anyone reading this post should be familiar with many Bible verses that call us to please God with our works, but nevertheless, I will cite the following:

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

In this passage, the apostle Paul clearly delineated between the lost and the saved, and in regard to “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God,” John Calvin would say, “Yep, that’s us!” While Paul clearly stated that Christians are no longer under the law’s demand for perfection; Calvin clearly contradicts him. While Paul defines a true believer as someone who CAN please God, Calvin flatly denies it…in writing.

Calvin defines the Christian as under “the law of sin and death” while Paul defines the Christian as under “the law of the Spirit of life” which is the same as being under grace. If you reread the excerpt from the Institutes, Calvin defines the Christian in nearly the exact same way that Paul described the unregenerate. Paul distinguishes how the Spirit uses the law in regard to the unsaved versus the saved. For those under law, the Spirit uses the law to condemn only. The Reformed concur because they say this continually drives the Christian back to the cross for continued atonement for “present sin.”

In contrast, the Spirit uses the law to sanctify believers (John 17:17), and does not use the law to keep so-called Christians under condemnation. This demands a progressive salvation versus a salvation that is finished. The Australian Forum framed it this way:

The Holy Spirit gives the sinner faith to accept the righteousness of Jesus. Standing now before the law which says, “I demand a life of perfect conformity to the commandments,” the believing sinner cries in triumph, “Mine are Christ’s living, doing, and speaking, His suffering and dying; mine as much as if I had lived, done, spoken, and suffered, and died as He did . . . ” (Luther). The law is well pleased with Jesus’ doing and dying, which the sinner brings in the hand of faith. Justice is fully satisfied, and God can truly say: “This man has fulfilled the law. He is justified.”

We say again, Only those are justified who bring to God a life of perfect obedience to the law of God. This is what faith does—it brings to God the obedience of Jesus Christ. By faith the law is fulfilled and the sinner is justified (Present Truth: Law and Gospel; Volume 7, article 2, Part 2).

John Piper, the contemporary “elder statesman” of the New Calvinist movement stated it this way:

We all sense intuitively-and we are encouraged in this intuition by the demands of God-that acceptance with God requires perfect righteousness conformity to the law (Matthew5:48; Galatians 3:10; James2:10). We also know that our measures of obedience, even on our best days, fall short of this standard (Counted Righteous in Christ: Page 123; 2002).

To be under the righteous and perfect demands of the law to remain justified is clearly… “under law.” Also, note that both contemporary Reformers and Calvin always cite James 2:10 as a proof text:

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

But it is no mere oversight that they fail to contrast that with love fulfilling the whole law as well (Gal 5:14, Matt 22:40, Rom 3:10). James 2:10 is “under law” while Galatians 5:14 ect. refers to “under grace” (Rom 6:14).

Those who call themselves Protestants identify with a false gospel, but granted, could be confused enough to be saved. However, confusion in the Christian life is not good and is obviously indicative of what we see in the church.

paul

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