Paul's Passing Thoughts

Home Fellowship Unity and the Dead Horse of Repentance

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 29, 2017

hf-potters-house-2

With all the oceans of ink expended by Protestant hacks, no study has been done on the definitions of all biblical definitions concerning the Bible’s defining of itself. That is part of the vast uncharted frontier of truth in the present Protestant Dark Age. This will be undertaken by a layman if it happens at all because such a study would undermine Protestant orthodoxy. Nevertheless, these biblical terms present a complete picture of God’s salvific plan and consummation of human history.

Fundamentally, the Bible has two uses by the Spirit: to convict the world of sin and to warn of the judgement to come, and to sanctify (set apart) God’s children from the world which is under the Bible’s condemnation. However, it is not the purpose of the Spirit to inflict condemnation on the world, but only to warn of it through the Bible. The primary purpose of the Bible is to inflict sanctification. Hence, “the righteousness of God has been revealed (manifested) apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it…”

The Bible gives testimony to law’s condemnation and a righteousness apart from it obtained by the new birth. This is an infused righteousness obtained by being born from above by God the Father. This is why He is referred to as our Father—the name possesses life-giving family connotations. The new birth changes a person’s relationship to the law: one Bible, two relationships; condemnation, and sanctification. However, Andy Young said well in one of our conferences, “The Bible is for sanctification, not justification.” Yes, the Bible informs us of a righteousness obtained by the new birth, but applies itself to sanctification (the life of the believer).

Application of the Bible to life does not justify, it only informs mankind of the onetime event of new birth that infuses God’s righteousness within us. It informs us of justification, but applies sanctification. The application of salvation to life via the Bible (Protestantism) is an overt denial of biblical new birth. It claims family membership by legal decree only, and not “God’s seed within us.”

The contrast of my former Protestant life has therefore made me indifferent to “reconciliation” with others. Yawn. So, for years, when you had a falling out with other Protestants who are not called “fighting fundies” for no reason, reconciliation was always a big courtroom drama decorated with Matthew 18 placards. Whenever someone wanted to prove how spiritual they were, they would “own their sin” by rehearsing all the Bible laws they broke in “sin against relationship” blah, blah, blah, gag, gag, gag, ad nauseam on steroids.

Ok, so perhaps the pushback this ministry experiences for totally rejecting the Protestantism that defines this culture has immunized me from being offended, but I think that is but a small part of it. The big difference is an increased understanding of what it is to be under the standard, law, wisdom, direction…however you want to state it, of love and not law. People don’t break the law when they offend me, they fall short of loving me.

And, love looks forward and not backward. I think love encompasses a broad spectrum of wisdom that has a forward look that doesn’t count the days but makes the best of them. It realizes that love is the only reward we will take with us into eternity. Love is a wisdom and a law that is freeing in so many ways; it is the “law of liberty.”

Even though being a nurse’s aide is one of the best professions in the world, there is no other profession marked more by backbiting, politics, gossip, slander, cliques, and outright treachery among peers. Striving to define my life by love has greatly aided me in keeping a positive perspective regarding this reality. I do not go to work to be liked, I go to work with a goal to define my trade to the best of my ability. I can’t control what others think of me, but I can control what I do. I have resolved to focus on what I can change and ignore what I can’t change. I am there for what is good about my trade, not the negative. True, I distance myself from those who are hateful towards me, but for the following reason: they are a hindrance to making the best of the days God has gifted to us. All in all, as God’s children, “we are called to peace.” We are not obligated to participate in any negative drama that disrupts our life purpose.

I have said a lot here to say this: unity is the result of sharing the common purpose and truth of love. Where the core value is truth and love; where that is the true motive, unhealthy introspection, Protestant sin-sniffing, and “being accountable”…to the law of sin and death is not only unnecessary, but should be avoided like a ghastly plague.

So, in regard to home fellowships where there is a leadership that models love in contrast to “authority” as a unifying factor, how is unity obtained? Protestantism’s unity, as with all church institutions, is defined by obedience to authority. If everyone picks an authority and obeys it, you have unity…right? Also, if you obey the authority that everyone else is obeying everyone will like you…right? Well, like communism and socialism, that’s one of those ideas that humanity is hellbent on making successful without any success so far. It’s a commitment to an idea that will save the world if someone would just come along and do it right. So far, the historical trial and error has compiled an innumerable body count.

But hang on to the two major points thus far: unity through obeying a central authority, and acceptance by the group through like obedience. Everyone agreeing to think the same will result in a group lovefest.

Likewise, church will not give up the ideology of unity through authority. In order to obtain this unity, people must think the same and obey the same. Next point: that’s not a body. Instead of a healthy body that has many members performing different roles for homeostatic function, the church version of a body is to abandon individual thinking and think the same thoughts leading to a single function. This defines the body as having one single focus: mindless obedience to some authority. This denies a multiplicity of gifts given to those born of the Spirit and makes obedience to authority the only relevant gift. Love is defined as obedience to authority and not one of many gifts granted to the body of Christ. Job-one is obeying authority for the sake of “unity” and group acceptance, not the discovery of one’s role in the body of Christ. Be sure of this, any independent thinker in church will feel the burn of otherization without exception.

So, how does unity happen in a home fellowship where leadership, freedom, and individualism without authority is emphasized? Answer: it’s the core value of love. Part and parcel with love which is many-faceted is a love for truth. We are talking about a body of free members held together with the ligaments of love and truth. This should be defined biblically as the body common, the expression of many local bodies, and the function of individual members. As far as the universal body, Christ is the only head. “Only” means just that, ONLY. Locally, we have been given “the mind of Christ.” Unity is achieved by seeking out the one mind of Christ and individual members discovering their roles in the body. As this happens, a healthy body emerges which impacts the world in Christ’s name.

Now, obviously, there will be disagreement as to what the mind of Christ is, and that’s ok. With the exception of core values, the Bible states that everyone should be convinced in their own minds with, at times, the persuasion of those gifted with leadership. Elders are merely those gifted with discernment that oversee (as in keeping watch) the body and warn against anti-love doctrines and philosophies. Yet, individual members are to discern for themselves regarding the biblical accuracy of their oversight (think…“Bereans”).

It should be safe to assume that anyone objecting to the core values in a local body is gifted with eldership. Therefore, there is no reason for drama, they simply need to start their own home fellowship. This is not a bad thing at all, and they should be granted God’s speed in doing so. If they indeed share the same core values of biblical love, the differing groups will eventually reunite in fellowship. Therefore, those who possess the same core values will actually increase the body through periodic separation. The mutual seeking of Christ’s mind will occasionally have to take separate routes to the same destination. Paul and Silas are probably an apt example that could be cited.

In contrast, an institution can never take the place of family, is authority-driven by definition, and can only achieve unity through the eradication of free thinking according to individual conscience. Authority has no need for leadership or love, just the abandonment of free thinking that is accountable to God alone and not mere men. Again, Christ is the only head of the body. New creaturehood assumes an affection for the Father’s core values and ideology. That core value of love will carry the day.

The law of love supplies a personal purpose and focus that does not enslave one to the acceptance of others, looks to the future and not the past, and is free to love aggressively without fear of the law’s condemnation. If these core values exist in a temporary separation of routes in the journey, reconciliation does not need to be an excessive Protestant mourning in a ceremony covering the subjects with sackcloth and ashes.

Christ died on the cross to end the law’s condemnation and set us free to serve another law—the law of the Spirit of life. This is the law that liberates us to love. Any theology that keeps us at the foot of the cross misunderstands Christ’s command to take up the cross and follow Him…

…the cross was the consummate act of love to free us from condemnation, not to keep us under it. Hence, unity and reconciliation is not the flogging of the law’s dead horse, but a proper acknowledgment of wrong that quickly moves on to the purpose of love.

paul

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4 Responses

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  1. John said, on March 29, 2017 at 5:42 PM

    Lovely piece, Paul, and a great quote. “Love looks forward and not backwards.”

    Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 30, 2017 at 12:11 AM

      Thanks John, always a joy to hear from you.

      Like

  2. Kim White said, on March 30, 2017 at 2:08 AM

    True. I am constantly told I need to fellowship with other Christians ( meaning come to their church). They don’t want my fellowship. If they did they would seek it when I stopped going “to church”. They also don’t want to acknowledge that we can live in victory without them. It’s easier to follow a victorious friend than to be demeaned every week because pastors think we are like them, weak and depraved. It’s also amazing that fallen pastors are always told the path back to their job is to submit to the church leadership for a while. I thought they were doing that when they fell. I think needing accountability partners helps you fall. If you don’t have integrity it doesn’t matter how many people are watching you. If Christ isn’t enough to keep you from sin I don’t know how anyone else can.

    Like

    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on March 30, 2017 at 8:33 AM

      “If you don’t have integrity it doesn’t matter how many people are watching you.”

      Excellent point!

      Like


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