Paul's Passing Thoughts

To Joni Eareckson Tada: Your Circumstances do Not Trump the Truth

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 25, 2018


Dear Joni, someone sent me the screenshot seen here in this post last night, and though I have passed on many trending things in churchworld to post on lately, I am not going to pass on this.

Isn’t life strange? Unlike many that surround you, I am going to tell you the truth. I have included the whole screenshot because it was posted publicly and needs to be addressed publicly. Those who swoon over your statement in the comment stream are indicative of the church at large: rich in lazy thinking, and bankrupt concerning critical thinking flavored with naive trust in self-proclaimed mediators other than Christ.

First, as a healthcare professional, and a truth seeker, let me say that pain is bad and not good. Pain, and bad feelings in general, hinder opportunity to love and serve others. I understand the Protestant worldview on these things because I have actually read the foundational documents of the Reformation unlike most who go to church or lead in the church. In contrast to Martin Luther’s twisted Gnostic view of reality, God did not create pain for a Sunday School lesson, nor for purposes of spiritual growth, and pain does not goad us to return to the cross where we obtain more salvation.

God brings good out of evil, or said another way, turns evil into good, but He is not the creator of evil. Now, if you want to say that church orthodoxy doesn’t make God the creator of evil, I am sure you are a very nice person and well-meaning, but egregiously ill-informed like the vast majority of people who do church.

And by the way, church membership doesn’t equal oneness with God, and water baptism under the authority of the church does not enter one into the “race of faith” which is really a race to obtain “final justification” by being faithful to church where the “means of grace” are only obtained. Nope, that’s just a lie from the pit of hell.

And, for certain, God is sovereign, but He is not defined by sovereignty. Newsflash: God is not obligated to obey Luther and Calvin by being sovereign in everything He does. Sovereignty doesn’t define what is done well or not done well. God is all powerful, and has no need to be in control of everything. God is, yes, ABLE to create beings who choose to love Him from their own hearts. Man-made gods must create beings that are programed to love through sovereignty and for curing the god’s low self-esteem. The Protestant church god is not anything new under the sun.

I have a suggestion for you. Instead of focusing on your level of pain and praising God for supposedly predetermining your circumstances, be thankful instead. No, not church thankfulness that blames God for evil, pain, and suffering; that is, Martin Luther’s Theology of the Cross that interprets all reality through death and suffering, but rather what God has done for you, and how He has improved your circumstances. I serve people in your condition and worse who do not have your means or the storied life that you have. Many would give a couple more limbs or other body parts to be in your shoes.

Suffering is not an epistemology, and in most cases, according to my experience, the suffering of the people I serve shows who they already are, and doesn’t make them who they are. And this I know: the medical landscape is littered with suffering people lacking care while the church spends an immense amount of time doing temple worship, pandering to the perceived needs of young people, manipulating the ignorant, and attending conferences. My goodness, are there enough Christian conferences out there?

As Al Mohler rightly stated at this year’s SBC Convention, another “Christian” conference, the church religion is “confessional.” Being interpreted, especially via “Dr.” Michael Horton’s  book, Christless Christianity, church is all about the re-ratification of the gospel to the saved and unsaved alike through profession and confession, and not about doing anything, like, you know, love, and stuff like that. In fact, the doctrine of Double Imputation circumvents the possibility of any person practicing love that would “escape God’s condemnation” (Calvin Institutes 3.14.11).

Yep, that’s church.

Since I believe in the gospel of justification by new birth rather than the false gospel of justification by faith…alone apart from any love in sanctification except for stuff we say, so that the gospel is supposedly about God and not us, I pretty much worship God in everyday life. And, I fall short in that endeavor constantly, but since I am not under law as justification’s standard, I do not need temple worship to cover sin, my sin is ended because justification by new birth ended the “righteous demands of the law” that Protestant scholars admit they are under. Truly, I sit dumbfounded when I hear teachers like Phil Johnson openly admit that churchians are “under the righteous demands of the law.” Yikes! Really?

The law is now for loving God and others; it is a standard for loving that fulfills the law, not a standard that demands a weekly re-visitation of the same gospel that originally saved us. You once said the following: “It’s not our natural inclination to go to the cross every day.” Your point in the statement follows: suffering encourages us to return to the cross daily for more salvation.

Joni, if you still need the cross, you still need salvation. That would seem evident. And since you suffer more than many, does that make you more saved? And how do we have time to love if the priority is staying at the foot of the cross for more salvation? Yes, I know, as we are more saved Jesus does the loving for us. This is because perfect law-keeping must be maintained by someone until “final justification.” Sorry, I reject that notion with extreme prejudice. But, it is Protestantism. It is church.

This post was probably incited by a combination of what happened to me during church hours last Sunday, my long-term experience in caring for people in your condition and for the most part, worse, and the screenshot I was sent. I care for people who cannot do anything but pray, and they do, to my shame because I am not exactly the prayer warrior I should be. But regarding their lives as set against your life, it causes me to ponder. They are often alone, financially destitute, lacking in basic care, and have companionship limited to their caregivers.

And you are some kind of martyr for the cross? Really?

Those are the real spiritual heroes who don’t get little FaceBook hearts. And if our goal is to be shamed as much as possible, they are much more qualified than you though you get all of the attention. And my church and my honor is caring for them. I do not neglect the assembling together with other saints…

…I gather with them, and I am free to love them aggressively according to the law without fear of condemnation. And you can bet we encourage each other unto good works. That’s the purpose of fellowship, not the obtaining of more forgiveness for the “present sin” Christ ended. And if they are not Christians, let them see the love of the law in what I do, not just what I say.

Yes, you can have your “confessional” religion, but I would strongly recommend that you flee from it.



3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Lydia said, on September 26, 2018 at 2:24 PM



  2. republican mother said, on September 27, 2018 at 7:31 AM

    I would also add that this is almost the exact same “spirit” that Mother Theresa put out there. She got millions of dollars for her charity work, but the sick and dying were still lying on the ground with no pain medicine. According to her, that was a feature and not a bug of her ministry. This brings them “closer to christ”, I lower case because it’s a false Christ these people are worshiping.


    • lydia00 said, on October 2, 2018 at 10:58 AM

      Great comment! And I look at it from another point of view too. The more people focus on cultural climate and diversity at the expense of core mission, innovation and creativity, the further away we get from cures and therapies to relieve suffering.

      frankly I don’t see any difference between how these people think when it comes to God and the godless sjw left that wants to micromanage Our Lives and announce us as guilty because we dare dissent from their political identity group Bolshevik approach.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s