Paul's Passing Thoughts

Stop Going to Church…Just Stop It…It’s a False Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 7, 2018

Patti’s Post:

Well, I had an interesting experience this morning. My daughter and family attend a growing church in Oklahoma City. This morning she sent me a link to a sermon by their pastor and stated, “This sermon was so good. It addresses some of the things you have been wrestling with. I hope you will take the time to listen to it.” I love my daughter so I listened. First of all, I don’t really even know what she was referring to when she mentioned “things you have been wrestling with”. But mostly what I found interesting was how much I really didn’t enjoy being preached at. It’s one thing to engage in a back-and-forth conversation. But for someone to stand in front of a bunch of people and read some scripture and then declare, “This is what God is saying here…” Well, it really rubbed me the wrong way. It came off as arrogant and manipulative. It felt like he was telling me that I had better line up with what he is declaring or I would be in trouble with God. I didn’t even necessarily disagree with a lot of what he was saying, but I really resented the tone and him passing himself off as this authority who had all knowledge and he was there to grace everyone with a piece of it. I don’t know if this was wise discernment on my part or my own lack of humility in being willing to be taught. I should mention that I haven’t heard too many sermons since I quit attending church 20 months ago. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot, but those are different than a sermon. It just didn’t set well with my spirit. And that kind of surprised me. I used to really enjoy listening to this guy in my “churching” days. Thoughts, anyone?

A response to Patti:

I would also say that we need to be careful of how we judge others. To lump all IC sermons/ leaders into one category with the characteristics of being unnecessary, and always delivered with a haughty spirit, etc. to me is quite the oversimplification. I have sat in many services where the leader has a humble heart, and opens God’s word with a true desire to edify and exhort the body of Christ. Preaching and teaching (among many others) are both gifts given by our loving Father to work towards purifying, perfecting, and building (whether by numbers or by strength) His beautiful bride!
The fact that many of the IC’s use that opportunity to save souls is not a bad thing, yes, normal Christian life ought to include the fulfilling of Christ’s great commission, but if an IC leader sees new people in the midst, I would assume that his heart would work like most of ours, and desire to see the lost come to the Life in Christ!
Though many of us may have been hurt, or turned off by experiences in certain IC’s, we are still one body with many of those attending them. The Spirit of God would have us love them, encourage them, and bear with them. Our method of correction should not look like that method which hurt or jaded us. Let us seek to respond in love, like Christ did. Let’s also remember to maintain a humble spirit, and truly love one another.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (abbreviated) I … implore you to walk with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!

My response to the response:

Whether with good intentions or not regarding IC pastors, the issue, is in fact, VERY simple and Patti hit on it: A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y. Church, regardless of the stripe, is predicated on religious authority, supposedly by God’s proxy. This is the black and white orthodoxy of every church without exception. In this age, God himself is not exercising authority and in contrast to church orthodoxy, His kingdom is NOT presently on earth. That’s why the Bible calls us, “ambassadors.” God’s time to exercise authority will be in the millennial kingdom. Church is predicated on the idea that God’s kingdom is presently on earth and Christians should be in charge of everything with the government enforcing orthodoxy. Remember, church doesn’t happen until the 4th century and was born in a church-state for the express purpose of church-state. We are not simply talking about the IC or “organized church,” as if the assembly of Christ isn’t organized for lack of being institutionalized, we are talking about church period. This authority mentality is what makes Patti, as well as many others, very uncomfortable.

[“The fact that many of the IC’s use that opportunity to save souls is not a bad thing, yes, normal Christian life ought to include the fulfilling of Christ’s great commission, but if an IC leader sees new people in the midst, I would assume that his heart would work like most of ours, and desire to see the lost come to the Life in Christ!”] This is the thesis that we have heard for years to explain why we go to church and hear the gospel preached to believers so much. Fact is, the real reason, whether Catholic or Protestant, is church orthodoxy concerning progressive justification. What’s that? It’s the idea, and we have all heard it, that “we are saved, being saved, and will be saved.” Or, “sanctification is the growing part of salvation.” Um, excuse me, but salvation doesn’t grow, our new life grows. Salvation is a transaction/transformation, not a progression. It’s a onetime and final act by the Spirit that seals us until the day of redemption. Inherent in church orthodoxy is the idea that church is God’s authority on earth over salvation. Or in other words, the church, along with all of its “under-shepherds,” is God’s mediator on earth and membership is synonymous with the “vital union” in which “ongoing grace is achieved” through the “means of grace” (ie., salvation). Again, that’s black and white orthodoxy whether Catholic or Protestant. When we hear, “we need Jesus just as much today as when we were saved,” that’s talking about an ongoing need for salvation or what church orthodoxy calls “final justification.” Ultimately, the idea of authority will bring the two churches back together regardless of anything. And hence, what shall we do to confuse the troublesome idea that we are God’s literal children and it’s impossible to be unborn? Oh yes, let’s make believers Jesus’ spouse instead of brothers and sisters. Why then the errant bride of Christ doctrine? Again, it’s doctrine that demands an authority prism. And again, this is exactly what troubles Patti and many others.

 

3 Responses

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  1. John said, on March 7, 2018 at 2:34 PM

    Smell it too? Anyone? The second response’s Calvinism/Reformed angle? Oh, and the person (a dedicated follower of man’s smoked-up and diabolical drivel) opens his loving response with a warning! Gasp! Horror! “I would also say that we need to be careful of how we judge others.”

    Or what? Going to find an aneurysm in your cereal?

    Someone, roll me a Swiss. And jam.

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  2. Ken B said, on March 8, 2018 at 1:59 AM

    we are saved, being saved, and will be saved

    This is a teaching I have heard British baptist teacher David Pawson espouse for a long time, mainly based on Greek tenses in the NT when referring to the notion of being ‘saved’. I’m sure he doesn’t mean a constant need to be justified again, and certainly does not mean the church is a means of keeping salvation.

    Rather it is being ‘saved’ from the power of sin to take us away from the faith. We go on being saved as we go on believing, go on being faithful.

    Part of his motivation for this is the amount of sin – sexual immorality in particular – that is known and tolerated in too many evangelical churches. His fear is that the P in TULIP or any other expression of unconditional salvation based on a past profession of faith has led to complacency that whatever we do after our initial conversion all will be well in the end.

    The notion of ‘once saved always saved’, an expression not found in the bible, has become an unquestionable orthodoxy. Pawson argues there are some 80 places in the NT that militate against this expression being true. He set this out in a talk at a Christian conference, and the organisers tried to suppress the tape! Yet in the ministry time after the talk he was later told they had not seen such a level of repentance from sin as occasioned by this talk. That doesn’t justify his doctrinal stance, which must be found in the bible, but it is food for thought.

    As I understand it, the doctrine of justification by faith of itself rules out progressive justification – you cannot be progressively put right with God. But I don’t equate salvation/being saved with justification. Those who do get into all sorts of problems, for example, with ‘baptism now saves you’ and women being ‘saved through child-bearing’, where salvation cannot mean justification (or regeneration for that matter) but something else. Liberation or deliverance are words that come to mind.

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    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 8, 2018 at 8:32 AM

      “I’m sure he doesn’t mean a constant need to be justified again, and certainly does not mean the church is a means of keeping salvation.” He could be a confused Protestant which is slightly better than a Protestant who knows what a Protestant is. Progressive salvation found only in the church is ironclad orthodoxy. Since the Bible makes it clear that remaining sin is in the “members,” there is a future salvation of the body (redemption), but the soul is born again once and for all time; you can’t be unborn. Paul’s specific cure for libertinism is a proper understanding of the new birth, which Protestantism rejects in regard to a true biblical definition. New Calvinists reject the new birth in no uncertain terms because their cause is a return to authentic orthodoxy; on that wise, they are absolutely correct. Pawson’s concern also misses the point that OSAS is merely an intellectual assent that contradicts the average parishioner’s functionality. Those who are indifferent to God’s law regarding love and haven’t shaded the church doors in years will absolutely freak out if they are taken off the church membership list. I experienced this firsthand as an SBC pastor. Many casual attenders will return with more frequent attendance when threatened with being taken off the roll. Why? Because even the OSAS crowd think they are saved by being a church member. Intellectual assent must be examined separately from how people are actually functioning. How they function is driven by what they actually believe, the rest is just talk.

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