Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Church Gospel Defines Parishioners as Biblically Unregenerate; According to the Bible, Churchians are Still Lost

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 21, 2018

Front Cover TCL“Any problem with New Calvinism is a problem with the real church gospel. The New Calvinism movement is typical of how God brings good out of evil. I believe God will use the movement to lay the groundwork for real revival.” 

If you go to church, you identify with a gospel that states the following: you remain unregenerate, and “salvation” only enables you to see this fact clearer and clearer. There is no new state of being, only an illumination that enables you to see how far away you are from God rather than closer. The church gospel defies the Bible’s gospel on every level. On every level and aspect, the church gospel is antithetical to the biblical gospel, and where terms are the same, church has redefined the terms. “New birth” is merely an illumination that enables one to see how far they are from God, not a radical change in state of being. “Imputation” is not a once and for all time imparted righteousness through a changed state of being, as the Bible states,  but is an ongoing dual substitution for the penalty of sin and good works to keep one saved according to the church, and this ongoing imputation can only be obtained through church membership.

Otherwise, why would we need church?

Yes, there are many in the church who are unaware  of this and are confused enough to be saved, but at the very least, they are sitting under teaching that will make their sanctification anemic and falling far short of what God wants them to accomplish for His kingdom. They are squandering their full reward and paying good money to do so. Church scholars are good at playing their word-shell-games to confuse listeners when confronted with these facts, but struggle most when you confront them with the issue of state of being. In a discourse between myself and Dr. James White on a UK radio program, we find an example of this:

JAMES: Well, it goes directly against the Reformation teaching of what justification was because this argument was wrong, was that justification involved an infusion of the righteousness of God to the sacrament. The Reformers taught that justification was a forensic declaration of the part of God based upon the work of Jesus Christ that says that you are right before God. And they talk about the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and the imputation of our sins to Jesus Christ, our sin bearer.

PAUL: Right. Okay. So you’re saying that the righteousness of the believer is strictly positional but not a state of being.

JAMES: State of being in the sense of being the basis of justification?

PAUL: No, I’m not talking about the basis of justification at all. I’m talking about the substantive being of the individual believer. Is he righteous or not righteous?

JAMES: Well, that’s exactly where we do get into the differentiation between the concept of sanctification and justification.

PAUL: Okay. So I think the rest of the questions might help us to clarify, but we only have ten minutes. So I must move on.

The question is pretty simple and only requires a yes or no answer: is the believer righteous as a state of being, or not? White didn’t want to answer the question directly and resorted to the typical Protestant word-shell-game using the familiar “basis of justification” and the justification/sanctification shell game. While they will preach what amounts to a “no” answer in a sermon, they avoid answering the question directly which circumvents their ability to use assumptions to nuance the point. Parishioners digest incremental truths they hear in a sermon without thinking through the elements in order to draw logical conclusions (otherwise known as “critical thinking”). The logical conclusions are already assumed by faulty presuppositions (what they think Protestantism is) until the presuppositions are replaced with what church scholars want you to believe. If church scholars want you to live by someone else’s righteousness alone, they will talk about that only and not the other resulting in your thinking being formed by the one and not both. In other words, if they want you to live by justification alone, and not sanctification, they will let you assume sanctification while only emphasizing justification. Eventually, without realizing it, you will at least function according to what has been emphasized in contrast to a balance of both. This is a classic cult communication technique. You emphasize one aspect of  a truth while allowing the listeners to assume that the balance goes without saying. Hence, the balance is eventually eliminated; out of sight, out of mind until it is no longer in your mind. This is why Churchians function according to a mere declaration about the gospel and go to church week after week and hear more and more gospel and nothing about sanctification. When sanctification is taught, it is in context of justification.

All of this can be well illustrated by an article published by Pastor John Piper on Romans 3:9–18. Piper’s ministry is sort of an anomaly as he was getting away with teaching that believers remain unregenerate as early as the 90s at the church where he pastored. Yes, “believers” remain unregenerate and unchanged, except for their ability to see how unregenerate they are, and church keeps them declared righteous through ritual. That’s the Protestant gospel plain and simple, and always has been. After the American Revolution, Protestant orthodoxy became integrated with Enlightenment ideas and the belief that the new birth actually transforms the individual into a righteous state of being. However, the order of so-called “worship” that fits progressive salvation, and for that matter other theological presuppositions as well,  were never abandoned leading to a weak sanctification. During this time, circa 1800’s to the 1970’s, the Bible was seen as a guide to living a righteous life; or in other words, for purposes of sanctification. While this is not an argument for Enlightenment ideas, the American church was steered closer to biblical truth by them, but unfortunately, not close enough. Clearly, justification was seen as a one-time finished work in the believer while sanctification was seen as something totally different and a progression of righteousness within the believer. But again, in regard to church orthodoxy in general and Protestantism in particular, it was NEVER so. The present-day New Calvinism is merely a return to the real church gospel.

The controversy is a very good thing, for without this controversy, professing Christians would not be forced to rethink church. Any problem with New Calvinism is a problem with the real church gospel. The New Calvinism movement is typical of how God brings good out of evil. I believe God will use the movement to lay the groundwork for real revival.

The Bible states plainly that there are only two people groups in the world: lost and saved; under law versus under grace. The apostle Paul states clearly in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (NASB). In said article, Piper brazenly declares the exact opposite using Romans 3:9-18. So, what’s really going on in the context of those verses?

First, what was the primary purpose for the book of Romans? Paul was hindered from going to Rome to address a very serious problem among the assemblies there. Rome illustrated the very “mystery of the gospel.” What’s that? It is the revelation that God’s purpose was to baptize Jews and Gentiles into one body. Things were going on in Rome that were greatly hindering the mystery of the gospel; specifically, class envy. It was a clash between strong Jewish tradition and secular paganism. It was an epic collision of two cultures. In said article, Piper makes Paul’s point the following: Jew and Gentile both means EVERYONE is under sin. That’s not Paul’s point at all. Paul’s real point follows: the Jews are no better off than the Gentiles in some sort of spiritual pecking order. Whether Jew are Gentile, both are born under sin. And by the way, as can also be ascertained in the same chapter, “under sin” is absolutely synonymous with being under law.

Another thing that is abundantly obvious is that Paul was talking about race, not those inside the church and outside the church. The Jewish race and Gentiles are both under sin, not everyone including lost and saved people. The point and context is race, not lost and saved. When Paul writes, “What then? Are we Jews  any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin…,” the “we” is Jews, not lost and saved. Paul’s argument is that the Jews need salvation just as bad as the Gentiles and once saved are not any more saved than any Gentile: “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and once saved are all part of the same body.”

Later still, in chapter 3, when Paul asks, “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded,” the “our” there is not everyone including Jew and Gentile, the “our” speaks to Jews specifically. They are not any more lost or saved than anyone else, and equals in the family of God.

In the same article Piper proclaims “believers” to be yet under sin, under law, enslaved to sin, under the condemnation of the law, and “children of wrath.” In all cases, the Bible defines this as unregenerate. Church is an institution that is a sanctuary city of sorts to protect the unregenerate “saved” until the judgement.

Also in chapter 3 of Romans, Paul shares how he suffered the same accusations as those who advocate for justification by new birth versus the church gospel of justification by faith. Since the church gospel rejects the new birth and how the new birth changes the believer’s relationship to the law, to reject “under law” as a status for professing believers is to reject the law altogether. This is a single perspective on the law that necessarily demands that the “believer” remain under the condemnation of the law requiring an ongoing covering for sin supplied by the church. Paul goes on to explain how the new birth frees the believer from the LAW of sin and death to serve the LAW of the Spirit of life. Two different laws, same Bible. True, for those under law, the Bible can only condemn and aide one in pursuing more and more justification/salvation. But under the believer’s relationship to the law, the believer is free to use the Bible to learn how to love God and others aggressively with no fear of condemnation. This doesn’t mean that Christians are not subject to the Father’s discipline for failure to love. Clearly, the church gospel makes no distinction between family sin and condemning sin.

Consequently, church will reject justification by new birth because it strips the church of its authority and control over professing Christians. Love is not a freewill offering, but a bid to keep one’s salvation intact.

paul

 

 

 

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