Thank You for Going to the Concert
The Protestant Reformers, for all practical purposes, made every verse in the Bible about justification. Hence, according to the primary interpretive hermeneutic of the Reformers, the Bible is not God’s statement about the multifaceted state of being, but rather what we call a “metaphysical narrative.” This is the idea that God controls everything perceived in reality as a story that pleases God only. Your reality is a prewritten experience for God’s glory only.
That may mean that your life will glorify God by you realizing how depraved you are, and thereby obtaining gratitude for God’s saving acts that are in the narrative. The more you understand your depravity, the more gratitude you have, and the more God is glorified. According to the Reformers, whatever happens in life is the metaphysical prewritten narrative, and the Bible is the handbook that guides us in interpreting the story. This is the redemptive-historical hermeneutic.
In Martin Luther’s doctrinal construct, this is the Theology of the Cross, or the “Cross Story.” All those who do not interpret their existence according to this worldview, according to Luther who is the father of the Reformation, are advocates of the “Glory Story.” In Martin Luther’s formal worldview, all of reality is divided between the Cross Story (the story of God for His glory) or the Glory Story (the story of man and his glory) with NO in-between objective reality. Those who are part of the Glory Story are predetermined by God as well and will suffer in eternal hell; likewise, for God’s glory and good pleasure.
This idea is what led evangelical “pastor” Steve Lawson to suggest that Christ Himself will personally torment people in hell forever. Protestantism, whether people will face it or not, is predicated on the idea that God is just as pleased with eternal torment as He is with eternal joy; BOTH bring Him glory. Ever perplexed by the goofy things that go on at the local Baptist church? However far removed from the primary premise, the behavior finds its roots in Reformed tradition; particularly the lack of wherewithal to deal with spiritual abuse.
This reality, no pun intended, is what makes articles like the one recently written by Dr. Albert Mohler egregiously disingenuous. In that article, Mohler bemoans Bible illiteracy among evangelicals. And of course, his kind of biblical prowess is the answer after Protestant academics have created the problem to begin with. There has been no movement ever in history that has made more money by creating misery and then presenting itself as the cure.
TANC ministries is focused on an interpretation of reality based on what God truly intends for it to be. This necessarily involves a focus on sanctification in the same way that Protestantism focuses on justification albeit an errant one. In the same way that a skewed understanding of sanctification distorts justification, a skewed view of justification makes Christian living a study in steroidal confusion. TANC has dedicated five years of research to justification, with a prior investment by me of three years totaling eight. The TANC assertion has always been that a proper understanding of justification is the key to understanding the deep waters of Christian living, viz, sanctification. This is now where TANC has redirected its focus; the time has come.
This new focus necessarily demands a plenary investment by all of God’s people without any caste mentality. Religious academia not only contributes little to the cause, it is an immanent threat to the testimony of Christ and the true gospel as unrevised history has well documented. The collective free and independent interpretation by Spirit-filled Christians is essential as well as a breaking down of barriers between the library and the walk of the new man in the world; the Bible interprets reality, and multifaceted real-life experience lends vast understanding to what is being stated in the Bible.
In Protestantism, people who have to function in the real world go to church every Sunday and allow those who live in libraries to interpret their reality, and for some bizarre reason, pay good money for it to boot. If you only pay 10% or less, you are supposedly robbing God by not paying money to people who couldn’t survive in your reality for one day. This is why of all world religions Protestantism makes the lesser sense of the bunch. Nothing is more confused than a Protestant.
In regard to justification, I spent the better part of eight years doing research, but now with the proper keys to understanding Christian living, I have found a career in what I think is very well fitted for lending understanding to life and biblical reality. That career regards ADL service; that is, aiding people in activities of daily living. As I reflect my experience against the wisdom of Scripture, learning and understanding is taking place. I wonder what empowers the individual more than understanding why we do what we do?
But there is another key ingredient to this understanding: others who get it. With the use of the Bible and things self-evident according to God’s vast creation design, TANC co-author Andy Young wrote a post this week about self-value and the value of others. This post lent understanding to how my conscience was guiding me in some issues regarding work. I have remained plugged into a particular client because my conscience was compelling me to do so, but I really didn’t understand why my conscience was pressing me in that direction.
I am presently working with clients that I initially envisioned myself working with. This has been a long process. However, I have a client who was one of my first and has much lesser ADL needs; specifically, nothing but house cleaning. This is far less unfulfilling for me than medical type ADLs. The perception is depth of need. But after reading Andy’s post, I understand why I am committed to this client; now I understand what my conscience was trying to tell me.
Now I understand why I can dismiss the voices of my past Reformed ideology posing as my conscience. In addition to the outrage against the very idea of self-value harassing me while I was reading the post, I can also dismiss the accusation that my conscience is telling to be a, “people pleaser. Did not the apostle Paul tell us to please others whenever possible unless they are trying to persuade us to do something not pleasing to God? Sure he did. But why?
Because we are wired by God with a desire to please others. But why? Because we place value in them. Because we are created in the image of God who values Himself and others. He also values what He created, viz, life, and He demands that others value it as well. This may very well lead us to do things for people that we don’t enjoy doing, but finding the joy in pleasing them through the act. If we enjoy doing what is pleasing the person, that’s a double blessing. But if we don’t enjoy doing what we are doing for the person; yet, joy is found in pleasing the person that we value. Nevertheless, does this eventually lead to finding joy in the task itself? I think it often does.
In this particular case, the client has put a high value on me because of my cleaning. The client is very insistent that I be her HHA (Home Health Aid). And I must say, she values me more than SOME clients who depend on me and others for medical type ADLs. A messy house is one thing, but lying in your own waste for any period of time is another. Yet, the one who values me praises me while the other curses me. Indeed, as I have learned, the level of task rendered by no means determines the value. And here is an aside that you may apply to many other areas of life including childrearing: aids often no-call/no-show clients; and why do they do this? They don’t value others. And by the way, because they do not value others, neither do they value God from whom all blessings flow.
What else did I learn from Andy’s post in partnership with God’s word and life experience? A why. Why are ADLs so important? Sure, I gain self-satisfaction in doing ADLs, but why does this make any sense? After all, these are people who can no longer contribute to others, right? The answer follows. They value themselves. They value their own lives. This is intrinsic. This is intuitive. This is how God wires us. To not value self and others is unnatural and against God’s creative elements. God values Himself and those He creates.
And this is fact: the more a client values their own life and strives to make the best of it, the more the aid values their work. And I believe life in general works little different from this. I have clients who strive to make everything of their life that they can. This endeavor for self-actualization regardless of their condition raises the self-value of the aid, and by this they love the aid by loving themselves. This idea is anathema to Reformed ideology which places no value on human life. Protestants deny this while proudly pontificating “total depravity” because like I said, Protestants are confused in general while funding Neo-Platonist academics who hate life.
Why are we all inspired by disabled people who excel in life and happiness? Because they put a value on their life, and life in general which increases our own value when we help them. This pleases God and we value Him as the first priority. Striving to please those we value is a natural element of creation. This is why I am so overjoyed that a client of mine is going to a concert next month. If you knew this client, you would be very surprised that he would venture to go to a concert. But the client’s love for life increases my value and the service I supply. This is why an aid’s job is harder when a client fails to love themselves—to value themselves. Therefore, to all those who need help with ADLs…
…thank you for going to the concert. By loving yourself you are loving me.