Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Perfect Life of Depression and Why Any Life is Better Than Death, But Eternal Life is Found in Christ

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 19, 2019

ppt-jpeg4“Love is a state of being; grace is an action. Grace is the activity that takes place within the love reality.”               

It’s a common story: someone who has it all; everything they have ever strived for, and yet, depressed. Someone who has good health, a wonderful loving family, financial security, a career they love, and the respect of millions can, and often do struggle with depression or drug addiction in an attempt to self-medicate. Those who don’t have the perfect life strive for it in a quest for fulfillment. Their present misery is ok; one day success will bring contentment and happiness. There is light at the end of the tunnel; there is hope. When they read or hear about a famous person struggling with drug addiction or depression, they are perplexed, but do not question the silver bullet of success.

One of the symptoms ALWAYS present in so-called mental illness and depression is anxiety. That’s fear. The Bible has a very simple grand equation for what makes life tick: love and fear. These are not merely biblical words; the Bible frames these two words as two different realities or state of beings.

Let’s deal with fear first. In dealing with fear we will add another word to help explain the equation: law. Again, like “fear,” law is not just nomenclature for some object that is part of life, law is a state of being. The Bible refers to it as, “under law.” This state of being is also referred to as being “under sin” and “under condemnation.” Consequently, we also have “the law of sin and death,” etc. Death, sin, law, judgement, condemnation, and fear are all words that define the “under law” state of being.

1Corintians 15:56 states, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” Christ came to deliver us from that state of being. That’s the gospel, that’s the “good news.” Meet Jeff. Not his real name. A young, good looking guy who had it all. Jeff had an unfortunate bout with a drug overdose; the overdose won big. Jeff is totally disabled. He can hear, comprehend, and has ways of communicating with the aides. Other than that, Jeff can do absolutely nothing on his own. Jeff enjoys a few things, and we make sure he gets them. Some time ago, according to what another aide shared with me, Jeff had a medical episode, and during that time he could speak a few words. He was offered comfort care while excluding intervention to extend life. He opted for full code, and explained the reasoning: he was afraid to die. If you understand how the Bible frames the under law reality, you also completely understand where Jeff is coming from. Jeff is like many; they know any life right now may be better than what happens after death. Indeed, the Bible states that mankind is appointed to die once followed by judgment. People know this intuitively, but more on that later.

You can’t have it all in this life until the death issue is taken care of. The true gospel must show the way to a new state of being. Church orthodoxy does NOT present a gospel that abrogates the under law state of being and transports one to the “under grace” state of being. This is because of sin’s nature. Sin, according to the Bible, is defined by a desire to control others (Genesis 4:6,7). Church is Sin’s advocate and utterly full of sin. Its false gospel reflects its incessant desire to control others because that’s the essence of sin. If the gospel truly transports one into another state of being, and it does, what do we need church for? We don’t. Sin is a master that seeks to enslave, and the church is Sin’s co-regent. This is why Christ presents Himself as the other master, the good master who sets us free and gives us life, and life more abundant. In the same way that China misrepresents itself as the “people’s republic,” church represents itself as the enemy of sin, but in reality, church and Christ are mutually exclusive.

We cannot go further to explain under grace until we take note of the works of God (also referred to as a law) written on the hearts of every individual born into the world. This law is addressed in the second chapter of Romans. It is why people are basically good; the works of the law are created (written) in every heart (mind). This law also has an internal judge called “consceience” that either accuses us or excuses us in regard to our actions and thoughts. This internal witness is in conflict with sin. This internal conflict is responsible for the vast majority of mental illness in the world. A guilty conscience can and does destroy people from the inside out. Interestingly, the Bible also states that because of sin, or a sin-driven agenda, people deliberately suppress God’s internal law. When a person is born again, the function of this law does not change and the Bible encourages Christians to “keep a clear conscience before God.” I will also add that knowledge of this law often prevents me from engaging in various and sundry cultural debates because I know proponents of  issues like abortion know it’s wrong. Often, silence on an issue allows the conscience to say its piece. Let me cite an example: let’s be honest, everyone knows late term abortions are an affront to God. The best argument is to tell proponents of such that you know that they know it is wrong. In general, to what degree do we have mental health issues in this society as related to guilt over abortion? Ample.

“You must be born again.” That’s what Jesus said. What does it mean? It is a change in state of being. This is the primary reason that people resist the gospel: intuitively, they know salvation means the eradication of their present life in exchange for a new one. They also know that it isn’t by their own power; they know it’s an act of God. They know that they only need to want this tranformation and ask for it. This is why Jesus died and was resurrected as the first fruits of many: this was the establishment of the new birth. When we are born again we die with Christ to the old person and are resurrected with Christ to new creaturehood (Romans 6).

The Bible uses the following terms and words to identify the new birth: under grace (the primary term), under love, under the law of the Spirit of life (as opposed to being under the law of sin and death), NO condemnation (as opposed to being under condemnation), no fear of judgment (as opposed to being under the fear of judgement), and because there is no longer any judgement and subsequent condemnation, the eradication of death’s “sting.”

According to the Bible, sin has a way of using God’s law to create desires that run contrary to God’s law. The breaking of God’s law (and basic principles for living) is NOT love. The Bible is clear: sin is empowered by the law’s condemnation. Man’s goal is to obey the law to prevent condemnation, but that’s not love either. Christ died to end the law’s condemnation. In the same way that a dead husband is no longer under the law of the living, and his wife is therefore legally free to marry someone else, the born again are no longer under the law and its condemnation. They are free from the condemnation of the law of sin, and free to serve the law of love (Romans 7 and 8). The born again believer is now free to use God’s law for love with no fear of condemnation. And beacuse there is a real change of heart, the born again love God’s law (truth) and want to use it to love God and others. Failing to follow the law is now a failure to love, but not a failure that will bring condemnation. This is why the sting of death is gone for the born again: because death doesn’t bring the law’s judgement and condemnation. And, because condemnation is gone from the law, sin can no longer enslave the born again person by creating desires contrary to love. That is, very strong desires that enslave the individual. And as discussed prior, this includes a very strong desire to control others.

However, let’s not forget another thing that happens with birth: people are born into a family. This is literal. The born again are literally God’s offspring—they are born of God. Presently, the assembly of God’s family lack a family like existence. Because church hijacked Christianity in the 4th century and made it an authority based INSTITUTION for the purpose of progressive salvation, God’s born again family has little idea of how to function biblically. For the most part, those who have figured out that church is a lie are in limbo trying to discover what the true biblical mandate is. That’s where this ministry (TANC Ministries) comes in; this is one of our primary goals. We want to learn how to function as God’s family as opposed to a top-down hierarchical salvific institution. How interesting that church scholars actually refer to the church as an institution without even blinking.

Love is a state of being. The new birth doesn’t merely declare us righteous, it makes us righteous. As God’s literal offspring, we are said to be “perfect.” This is because of our new motive as God’s literal children; we are not trying to avoid condemnation, there is no condemnation, all that is left is love to a lesser or more degree. And, according to the Bible, “where there is no law, there is no sin.” Indeed, we live by grace. Love is a state of being; grace is an action. Grace is the activity that takes place within the love reality. As mortals, we are weak and therefore fail to love at times, but the Bible never defines weakness as sin.

Those who have obtained their perfect life are not perfect; they are subject to fear while “love casts out fear because fear has to do with judgment. Those who fear have not been made perfect in love” (or made perfect by love). That’s why those who have it all also have a train wreck for a life; they are still under law, and the fear of judgement.

Christ  came to set us free from the law, and we are free indeed. As God’s literal family, we function as a body according to the Bible. And, there is only ONE head of that body, Christ. Church necessarily keeps one under the law’s condemnation and then declares itself as a sanctuary city for God’s children who are supposedly still under condemnation. The church is condemned as an imposter by this one fact alone: its single perspective on law that makes grace a mere covering for sin, and not an ending of sin.

Church must have such a false gospel to fulfill its control lust. In the same way that grace is love in action, the church’s justification by faith gospel is fear in action.



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