Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Crux: Husbands Must Reassume Their leadership Role Apart From Any Institution; Especially The Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 19, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Originally published September 19, 2016

For some time Susan and I have been counseling in several marriage situations that seem hopeless. We want to be involved in these situations to help as much as we can while trying to learn how these marriages can be healed. And after many months of struggling with these situations, I believe the lightbulb has finally come on.

I have come to believe that good marriages are a product of functioning within God’s design for things. It is interesting to note what the definition of mental health is: the ability to cope with life. Period. This is why family is so important: families are organized units that help people cope with life. When a family is functioning like it should, it is a mighty stalwart as set against life. Love, resolve, peace, happiness, security, help, encouragement, wisdom, experience, and perseverance is found in the milieu of life through the family unit.

Life goes much better when things are used according to their purposes; no skilled surgeon uses a Bowie knife for anything regarding a patient, he uses special surgical tools.

In focusing on what Susan and I do know in all of this, we have emphasized marrying right to begin with. In regard to the woman, that means marrying a leader.

Let me now just pull the whole elephant out of the barn for you to see instead of feeding him to you a piece at a time like a Protestant hack. A good marriage requires the husband to be a leader; a bad marriage can be made good by the husband becoming a leader. A wife may think her husband is cute, handsome, funny, and sexy, and she may even love him, but if he isn’t a leader, she will not respect him and the marriage will eventually go south.

Now it is necessary to define what a leader is. A leader is an independent thinker. A husband leader is a thoughtful person who can think for himself. A leader is not indifferent to how the world works. The world demands this of him whether he knows it or not. There is no choice in the matter. Would you like an example?

So you are just a beer drinking, take it as it comes, live and let live, football-watching Joe, right? You work hard; bring home a check every week, and watching football on the weekend is your rest and escape from weekly duty, right? But as always, hardcore reality catches up with the way we like things; ideology, politics if you will, is now part of football. As a leader, if you are one, you will finally recognize the fact that the world will not allow you to hide from ideology. You can enter the arena of ideas now, or you can eventually be run over by the chariots—your call. You can fancy yourself as a good-old-boy that just goes with the flow all you want, but the flow will eventually drown you. The mindless always end up on a deathbed padded with a mattress of regret…always.

This is a world driven by ideology. If you are a lazy thinker who fancies himself as being along for the ride of life—life will eventually throw you off the bus and run you over. Then you will run to a professional thinker who you must trust because you have no foundational thinking of your own in which to gauge what you are being told.

I would be tempted right now to think of a movie I once saw. A young thoughtless man followed his adventurous desires and rode with some outlaws. He and those he was riding with were shot by some not-so-politically-correct lawmen who rode up on the suffering boy lying on the ground, fatally wounded. One lawman looked upon the youngster, and seeing the fear in his eyes said, “Take your medicine boy.” If you are a lazy thinker, you will indeed take your medicine someday. Lazy thinkers let others think for them and end up wherever the thinkers want them to be. This is why people who need counseling hardly ever know how they ended up where they are at. And I would be tempted to gloat over the aforementioned movie motif, but as a recovering Protestant I am also guilty of letting others think for me.

Secondly, a leader is not a boss. Secondly, a leader is not a boss. Secondly, a leader is not a boss. As a husband, you have no authority. Leadership and authority are mutually exclusive. You think you have authority because you are a lazy thinker and others told you to think that. If you do have authority, you don’t need to be a leader; your wife merely does what you tell her to do for any or no reason whatsoever. Note that authority produces lazy thinking; you don’t need a good reason to demand anything in particular, it just suits your desires at the time.

Leadership and authority are mutually exclusive. And lazy thinkers will either be guided by desire or thinking. Desire always fills the void where thinking is absent.

“But, but, but, if no one is in charge, chaos will ensue!” See what I mean? Where did you get that idea thou lazy thinker? You were taught that by people who want to control you. A cursory independent research will prove that wrong.

Note: this is a discussion separate from the necessity of civil law and the proper administration of it according to God’s purposes.

Thirdly, your authority is your own conscience. Your conscience is who you are, and it is your duty to study life, and thereby inform your conscience according to truth resulting in an earned, truthful self-esteem. Before this statement makes you run to the little boy’s room, know this: somebody is going to inform your conscience which will dictate your behavior; that will be you, or others. Pick one; you have no third choice.

Fourthly, your wife has a right to her own conscience. Your wife should also be a thinker, but as a husband who leads, you are an overseer that makes sure healthy thinking is in process. You are joint-heirs of life, you are part of a family role that faces life TOGETHER, and as ONE flesh.

Be a leader who thinks and applies wisdom to your life, and your wife will respect you. If you have farmed out thinking to other authorities and have set that example for your wife, she will only respect you to the degree that you obey those authorities.

Take your medicine boy.

Listen, Susan and I hear this constantly from church wives: “I don’t respect him because he doesn’t respect the elders.” And this is regardless of anything the elders do. Why? Because they are in authority which requires no reason to do anything other than what they want to do. Worse yet, the husband’s usual objection is that they have usurped his supposed authority. Good luck with that because they are the supposed experts. Don’t play the authority game—you will lose that card game every time if you call their hand. Indeed, if you want to play the authority game, by all means, keep your mouth shut and put your temple tax in the plate. You will at least have a peaceful marriage. It’s a lie, but at least it will be peaceful.

And, the fact that the wife respects/obeys authority over reason is indicative of the husband’s abject failure as a leader. You farmed out the thinking to experts, now they have the marriage they want you to have whatever that might be. By the way, this also applies to the children; somebody is going to seek to lead them someplace by some kind of ideology. This is simply how the world works. As the leader you can be on top of that or asleep at the switch. If you are asleep at the switch, you might get lucky, or you might find your child in their bedroom closet dead because they misused the affixation thrill seeking technique.

In these seemingly hopeless church marriages, the hope lies in the husband assuming his role as a leader before God. This may include the defunding of the wife’s ability to follow others as pseudo authoritarians who demand the husband’s capitulation. You don’t pay for things you don’t believe in. That’s not grace and mercy; that’s stupidity.

Thriving marriages require husband leaders who know their wives and love them according to knowledge and wisdom resulting in wives that respect their husbands. The wife should contribute to figuring out life; it’s the husband’s role to make sure the figuring out is ongoing. I guess if there is one area where I have succeeded as a husband, as Susan will tell you, I constantly encourage her to think for herself according to her own pursuit of truth. A leader strives to make sure his wife and children take personal ownership of what they believe and that being a work built with their own labor.

It’s truth that sets us free.

This starts with knowledge deliberately neglected via Protestant orthodoxy which is based on authority and not leadership. It’s a knowledge that knows how the world works. Jesus calls for individuals to SEEK, not a blind following after the traditions of men cloaked in authority.

The way to heal these marriages is for the husband to become a properly defined leader; more than likely, the wife will like what she sees and follow. His life now makes more sense and works better. This also applies to husbands in general, but even more so with Christian husbands.

paul

 

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The Equivocation of Sin

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 15, 2017

Equivocation – noun;

  1. The use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself; prevarication.
  2. Using an ambiguous term in more than one sense, thus making an argument misleading.

Protestantism is a fraud because it plays upon the presumptions of the unsuspecting laity by allowing them to assume the normative definition of words while gradually indoctrinating them to a redefinition of terms. In this year’s TANC Conference, Paul Dohse gave a list of over 45 terms (and I think the list is up to 47 now and still growing) that Protestantism has redefined. This redefinition of terms is accomplished using various logical fallacies, the most seductive of which is equivocation.

To best understand the use of equivocation, consider the following example:

The Cleveland Browns are always looking for good players for their team.
Yo-Yo Ma is an excellent cello player.
Therefore, the Cleveland Browns should try to get Yo-Yo Ma to play for them.

I’m sure there are many in Cleveland who would say that the Browns couldn’t do much worse if they did sign Yo-Yo Ma to play for them. Now this may seem like a silly example, but the reason it seems silly is because the problem is obvious: it assumes a single definition of the word “player”. There is no regard given for context or perspective. In reality, the word “player” can have several meanings, and that meaning is defined by its usage.

In the first statement the word “player” is used to describe someone who plays sports. We know this because the Cleveland Browns are a professional football team (of course one could argue if the Cleveland Brows actually play anything that resembles football). In the second statement the meaning of the word changes to describe someone who plays a musical instrument. Same word, but two different meanings. The fallacy of equivocation occurs in the concluding statement because a single definition is assumed.

Context and usage define meaning.

Consider this example:

Anyone who is a Christian is a member of Christ’s church.
Joe is a member of his local Protestant church.
Therefore, Joe is a Christian because he a member of the church.

This example is probably a little more confusing, but that is what makes it a better example of the use of equivocation. The obvious question one should ask is which “church” do you mean? The definition of the word “church” is made ambiguous because of the switching of context and usage. Are we talking about “church” being the Body of Christ or do we mean the local institutional place of assembling?

Protestant pastors and elders want to have it both ways, and so their use of language is purposefully confusing. In one breath, they will declare that “the church is a body and not a building.” In the next breath they will suggest that if you are a Christian then you must be a member of a local church. Such a subtle conflicting of terms will eventually indoctrinate the laity to the underlying truth of what they really mean; that church membership equals salvation. While no one would consciously acknowledge that, such a reality works itself out in practice and behavior.

If you really want to understand just how confused the Protestant laity is, then consider how your typical Protestant understands the meaning of the word sin.

The penalty for sin is death.
Man is saved from the penalty of death through faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.
Christians still sin
Therefore, Christians still need forgiveness of sin.
Therefore, Christians need to live daily by “faith alone.”

Protestantism sees the word “sin” and maintains a single definition of it throughout scripture. What are the implications of that?

  • Sin = condemnation (death)
  • Since Christians still sin and need forgiveness, they are still under condemnation.
  • Nothing really changes for the Christian. He is still the same as an unbeliever.
  • Christians’ lives are characterized by constant fear of condemnation and lack of assurance.

So what exactly is sin anyway? Protestantism would define it this way:

Sin – noun

  1. A transgression of God’s Law
  2. “Falling short” of God’s standard of “perfection”

It is worth noting that there is not necessarily anything wrong with such a definition. In fact a Biblical case can be made for defining sin in this way with regard to those who are unbelievers. It is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, for by one man sin entered the world, and with sin came death. But the problem is that this is not the limit to the Biblical understanding of sin. We must also consider that the Bible teaches that sin is:

  1. Personified as an Entity that seeks to control others through condemnation
  2. A violation of one’s own conscience
  3. Anything not done in faith (not being fully persuaded by reason)
  4. A failure to show love

To maintain a correct grammatical understanding, sin as a noun is also used as a verb. A person then “committing sin” can be said:

Sin – verb

  1. to transgress God’s Law
  2. to “fall short” of God’s standard of “perfection”
  3. to seek to control others through condemnation
  4. to violate one’s own conscience
  5. to engage in some behavior without faith (without being fully persuaded)
  6. to fail to show love

It should also be noted that all of these definitions of sin may be applied to one who is unsaved. The world is full of unsaved people who understand the difference between right and wrong and can choose to act in accordance to their conscience. The world is full of unsaved people who know how to show love to another but from time to time will not do so. But the problem for the unsaved person is not because he fails to obey the law perfectly. The problem is that because he is under law, such transgressions bring condemnation.

However, because Protestantism limits the meaning of sin to a single definition, sin can only be understood in the context of condemnation. Therefore, when the Protestant sees the word “sin” in the Bible with regard to the one who is saved, there can be only one conclusion, and that is that believers still need on-going forgiveness of sin because they are still under condemnation.

This cannot be the case because the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2

Why is there no condemnation for the believer? Because when a person is born again, the law is ended for him. He is no longer “under law”. The old man who was under law dies and in his place is reborn a new creature who is the literal offspring of the Father.

“For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” ~ Romans 5:13

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin!” ~ Romans 6:6-7

Paul understood that sin can only condemn where there is a law that condemns. Sin for the believer has a different meaning.

Sin – noun

  1. A transgression of God’s Law
  2. “Falling short” of God’s standard of “perfection”
  3. The personification of an Entity that seeks to control others through condemnation
  4. A violation of one’s own conscience
  5. Anything not done in faith (not being fully persuaded by reason)
  6. A failure to show love

Notice that the first two definitions of sin no longer apply to the one who is Born Again.  Because the believer is no longer under law, any definition of sin can no longer include any meaning that implies condemnation because there is no law that can be used to condemn him. Therefore, sin for the believer cannot be defined as a transgression of God’s Law (that law was ended). Neither can it be defined as falling short of God’s standard of perfection because the believer is righteous as a state of being as a result of the New Birth.

However, because the new creature still resides in a body of flesh that is “weak” (not evil!), the personification of Sin as an Entity still tries to tempt the believer and have control over him. Such temptation can still lead believers to violate their own sense of right and wrong (conscience). Believers may still be doubtful about the liberty they have to engage in behaviors that aren’t wrong in and of themselves. (Think of the example of meats offered to idols that Paul used in 1 Corinthians 8. Such a behavior would be a violation of conscience). Believers can, and often do, fail to show love to God and others as they ought to.

Please notice – while the Bible might use the word “sin” to describe these behaviors, none of them bring condemnation to the believer!!! They might bring about Fatherly chastisement through the natural consequences of one’s actions, but Fatherly chastisement is not the same as condemnation. Fatherly chastisement does not alter or nullify one’s righteous state of being.  This is because the law which condemns was ended!

I have often stated that any time someone asks me if I sinned today that my usual response is “No.” But since we need to be sure there is no equivocation when it comes to understanding the word “sin”, perhaps we need to employ a new strategy.

Protestant: “There is no one who is righteous. Believer’s are only declared righteous because they are covered in Christ’s righteousness.”

Me: “The Bible says that anyone who is born of God does not commit sin and he cannot sin.”

Protestant: “Did you sin today?”

Me: “How do you define sin?”

Protestant: “You know, sin. Not obeying God’s Law.”

Me: “So your definition of sin means to not obey the law. My righteousness has nothing to do with whether or not I obey the law. I am not under law because the law was ended for me when I was born again. So since the law is ended and there is no law to condemn me then, no, I did not sin today according to your definition.”

In fact, when talking about defining sin and the law, we can take this strategy one step further.

Protestant: “Sin is transgressing the law; falling short of God’s standard of perfection.”

Me: “Which law are you talking about? The Law of Sin and Death or the Law of the Spirit of Life?”

Protestant: “Ummm…uh…well…huh?”

Me: “If you mean the Law of Sin and Death, then that law no longer rules over me. I am free from it. It cannot condemn me. The Law of the Spirit of Life does not condemn. It is our means to show love to God and others. Therefore, ‘sin’ for the believer is defined as a failure to show love, NOT condemnation.”

You see, it is really the same law, but the same law has two functions. Which function depends on if you are “under law” or “under grace”. For the one “under law” – the unbeliever – it is the Law of Sin and Death which can only condemn. For the one “under grace” – the one who is born again – it is the Law of the Spirit of Life which cannot condemn and is a means to show love to God and others. Therefore, a failure to keep the Law of the Spirit of Life is not “sin” as defined by Protestantism.

With a single perspective on sin and law, the equivocation of Protestantism keeps the laity perpetually confused, which only serves to foster continuous doubt and fear. The only way the laity is going to shake off this cloud of confusion is to start asking simple questions and reject the long-standing assumptions in which they find themselves entrenched.

~ Andy

Woe to the Pastors!

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 14, 2017

It’s All About the “O” – Mohler, DeYoung, Lucas: We Own You

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 10, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Originally posted September 15, 2012

Join an authentic Reformed Protestant Church if you will, but let it be known: they now own you. Newsflash for the husbands: Calvinist elders believe they have the ultimate say and authority in your home. And another thing: the gospel they hold to rejects synergism in sanctification as works salvation. So, guess what? If your wife buys into that, you are now in what they call a mixed marriage. You are now dangerously close to divorce court as the divorce rate in these churches has skyrocketed.

At the TANC 2012 conference, in his third session, author John Immel nailed it—it boils down to who owns man: in the Christian realm, does Christ own you or Reformed elders? In the secular realm, does man own man or does government own man? Recently, our President stated that government owns man. Recently, in a trilogy of articles by three Reformed  pastors published by Ligonier Ministries, it was stated that the church owns Christians, and I will give you three wild guesses as to who represents the authority of the church. That would be the elders.

So it’s all about the “O.” It’s all about “ownership.”

As we shall see, these articles plainly state the Reformed tradition that came from Catholic tyranny. The Reformers never repented of the same underlying presuppositions concerning man’s need to be owned by enlightened philosopher kings. The Reformation was merely a fight for control over the mutton with the Reformers seeing themselves as the moral philosopher kings as opposed to the Romish ones. Their doctrine was just a different take on how the totally depraved are saved from themselves. But both doctrines reflect the inability of man to participate in sanctification.

The three articles posted were: Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Albert Mohler; Where and How Do We Draw the Line? by Kevin DeYoung; and, Who Draws the Line? by Sean Michael Lucas. All linked together for your indoctrination convenience.

Al Mohler states in his ownership treatise that Christians have “no right” to leave one church for another because of preferences. Emphasis by underline added:

Swami Albert Mohler

Swami Albert Mohler

Far too many church members have become church shoppers. The biblical concept of ecclesiology has given way to a form of consumerism in which individuals shop around for the church that seems most to their liking at that moment. The issue can concern worship and music, relationships, teaching, or any number of other things. The pattern is the same, however – people feel free to leave one congregation for another for virtually any reason, or no reason at all.

Church shopping violates the integrity of the church and the meaning of church membership. When members leave for insufficient reason, the fellowship of the church is broken, its witness is weakened, and the peace and unity of the congregation are sacrificed. Tragically, a superficial understanding of church membership undermines our witness to the gospel of Christ.

There is no excuse for this phenomenon. We have no right to leave a church over preferences about music, personal taste, or even programming that does not meet expectations.  These controversies or concerns should prompt the faithful Christian to consider how he might be of assistance in finding and forging a better way, rather than working to find an excuse to leave.

Where to begin? First of all, while many authentic Reformed Protestant churches will bring you up on church discipline for leaving because of “unbiblical” reasons, those reasons vary from church to church. So, not only do the reasons for leaving vary among parishioners, but so does what constitutes proper “biblical…. ecclesiology” in regard to departure varies as well. Mohler states in the same post that doctrine is a valid reason to leave a church, but yet, one of the more prominent leaders of the Reformed movement (CJ Mahaney), who is strongly endorsed by Mohler, states that doctrine is not a valid reason to leave a church. CJ Mahaney substantiated that Reformed position and clearly indicated what authentic Protestant theologians are willing to do to enforce that position when he blackmailed the cofounder of SGM, Larry Tomczak:

Transcript of Phone Conversation between C.J., Doris and Larry Tomczak on October 3, 1997 pp. 10-11:

C.J.: Doctrine is an unacceptable reason for leaving P.D.I.

Larry: C.J., I’m not in sync with any of the T.U.L.I.P., so whether you agree or not, doctrine is one of the major reasons I believe it is God’s will to leave P.D.I. and it does need to be included in any statement put forth.

C.J.: If you do that, then it will be necessary for us to give a more detailed explanation of your sins [ie, beyond the sin of leaving for doctrinal reasons].

Larry: Justin’s name has been floated out there when there’s statements like revealing more details about my sin. What are you getting at?

C.J.: Justin’s name isn’t just floated out there – I’m stating it!

Larry: C.J. how can you do that after you encouraged Justin to confess everything; get it all out. Then when he did, you reassured him “You have my word, it will never leave this room. Even our wives won’t be told.”

I repeatedly reassured him, “C.J. is a man of his word. You needn’t worry.” Now you’re talking of publically sharing the sins of his youth?!

C.J.: My statement was made in the context of that evening. If I knew then what you were going to do, I would have re-evaluated what I communicated.

Doris: C.J., are you aware that you are blackmailing Larry? You’ll make no mention of Justin’s sins, which he confessed and was forgiven of months ago, if Larry agrees with your statement, but you feel you have to warn the folks and go national with Justin’s sins if Larry pushes the doctrinal button? C.J., you are blackmailing Larry to say what you want!―Shame on you, C.J.! As a man of God and a father, shame on you!

This will send shock waves throughout the teens in P.D.I. and make many pastors’ teens vow, “I‘ll never confess my secret sins to C.J. or any of the team, seeing that they‘ll go public with my sins if my dad doesn‘t toe the line.”―C.J., you will reap whatever judgment you make on Justin. You have a young son coming up. Another reason for my personally wanting to leave P.D.I. and never come back is this ungodly tactic of resorting to blackmail and intimidation of people!

C.J.: I can‘t speak for the team, but I want them to witness this. We’ll arrange a conference call next week with the team.

Doris: I want Justin to be part of that call. It’s his life that’s at stake.

C.J.: Fine.

(SGM Wikileaks, part 3, p.139. Online source)

Of course, this example and many others makes Mohler’s concern with the “integrity” of the church—laughable. But nevertheless, Mohler’s post and the other two are clear as to what common ground Protestant elders have on the “biblical concept of ecclesiology.”

sean-lucasBesides the fact that parishioners “have no right” to leave a church based on preference, what do Protestants fundamentally agree on in this regard? That brings us to the article by Sean Michael Lucas :

Because the church has authority to declare doctrine, it is the church that has authority to draw doctrinal lines and serve as the final judge on doctrinal issues. Scripture teaches us that the church serves as the “pillar and buttress of the truth.”

So, even in cases where Protestants believe that doctrine is an acceptable reason for leaving a church, guess who decides what true doctrine is? “But Paul, he is speaking of doctrine being determined by the church as a whole, not just the elders.” Really? Lucas continues:

In our age, this understanding—that the church has Jesus’ authority to serve as the final judge on doctrinal matters— rubs us wrong for three reasons. First, it rubs us wrong because we are pronounced individualists. This is especially the case for contemporary American Christians, who have a built-in “democratic” bias to believe that the Bible’s theology is accessible to all well-meaning, thoughtful Christians. Because theological truth is democratically available to all, such individuals can stand toe to toe with ministerial “experts” or ecclesiastical courts and reject their authority.

Creeped out yet? Well, if you are a blogger, it gets better:

Perhaps it is this individualistic, democratic perspective that has led to the rise of websites and blogs in which theology is done in public by a range of folks who may or may not be appropriately trained and ordained for a public teaching role. While the Internet has served as a “free press” that has provided important watchdog functions for various organizations, there are two downsides of the new media, which ironically move in opposite directions. On the one side, the new media (blogs, websites, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter) allow everyone to be his own theologian and judge of doctrinal matters. But because everyone is shouting and judging, the ironic other side is that those who are the most well known and have the biggest blogs gain the most market share and actually become the doctrinal arbiters of our electronic age. In this new media world, the idea that the church as a corporate body actually has authority to declare doctrine and judge on doctrinal issues is anathema.

Lucas continues to articulate the Reformed tradition that holds to the plenary authority of elders supposedly granted to them by Christ:

For some of us, again reflecting our individualism, such understanding of the church unnecessarily limits voices and perspectives that might be helpful in conversation. But restricting access to debates and judgments about theology to those who have been set apart as elders in Christ’s church and who have gathered for the purpose of study, prayer, and declaration actually ensures a more thoughtful process and a surer understanding of Christ’s Word than a pell-mell, democratic, individualistic free-for-all. Not only do we trust that a multiplicity of voices is represented by the eldership, but, above all, we trust that the single voice of the Spirit of Jesus will be heard in our midst.

So, bottom line: the priesthood of believers is a “pell-mell, democratic, individualistic free-for-all.” Still not creeped out? Then consider how they answer the question in regard to elder error:

Of course, such slow and deliberate processes do not guarantee a biblically appropriate result. After all, the Westminster Confession of Faith tells us that “all synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred” (WCF 31.3). Sometimes, entire denominations err significantly as they prayerfully consider Scripture and judge doctrine. Such error, however, does not negate Jesus’ own delegation of authority to the church and set the stage for a free-for-all.

This brings us to another issue that DeYoung propogates in his post: since Reformed elders have all authority, their creeds and confessions are authoritative and not just commentaries. Hence, they declared in the aforementioned confession cited by Lucas that even though they may be in error, they still have all authority. Whatever happened to the Apostle Paul’s appeal to only follow him as he followed Christ?

DeYoung:

deyoungThose who wrote the ancient creeds, such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedonian Definition, were not infallible, but these creeds have served as effective guardrails, keeping God’s people on the path of truth. It would take extraordinary new insight or extraordinary hubris to jettison these ancient formulas. They provide faithful summaries of the most important doctrines of the faith. That’s why the Heidelberg Catechism refers us to the Apostles’ Creed, “a creed beyond doubt, and confessed through the world,” when it asks, “What then must a Christian believe?” (Q&A 22–23).

FYI: If you see something in your own Bible reading that contradicts a Reformed creed or confession, you are partaking in visions of grandeur.

This is the crux of the matter, the question of authority. It is almost crazy that Christians don’t have this issue resolved in their mind before they join a church. You could be in a church that is subtly indoctrinating your family with the idea that they are owned by the government; in this case, church polity.

Let there be no doubt about it, Reformed elders are drooling over the idea of another Geneva theocracy with all the trimmings. And someone shared with me just the other day how this shows itself in real life. “Mike” is a local contractor in the Xenia, Ohio area. He is close friends with a farmer in the area who lives next door to a man and his family that attend an authentic Reformed Protestant church.

One day, his new Protestant neighbor came over to inform him that he needed to stop working on Sunday because it is the Lord’s Day, and the noise of his machinery was disturbing their day of rest. Mike’s friend told him, in a manner of speaking, to hang it on his beak. Mike believes what transpired after that came from the neighbor’s belief that he was a superior person to his friend, and that his friend should have honored the neighbors request by virtue of who he is.

The neighbor has clout in the community, and to make a long story short—found many ways to make Mike’s friend miserable through legal wrangling about property line issues; according to my understanding, 8” worth. It was clear that Mike’s friend was going to be harassed until he submitted to this man’s perceived biblical authority.

Protestants have serious authority issues, and you don’t have to necessarily join in official membership to be considered under their authority. A contributor to Mark Dever’s  9 Marks blog stated that anyone who comes in the front door of a church proclaiming Christ as Lord is under the authority of that church.

It’s time for Christians to nail down the “O.” Who owns you? Are you aware of who owns you (or at least thinks so)? And are you ok with that?

paul

A Response to Calvary Bible Church, Columbus, Ohio

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 6, 2017

What follows is my response to a letter I received on September 1, 2017.  The original letter can be found here.  The subject matter pertains to a Reformation history class being offered this fall by Mr. Saxton.  My response is going out in the mail today.  I present it here for your consideration.

~ Andy
(related article: “Home Fellowship Distinctives Will Continue to Develop“)


David Saxton “Pastor of Discipleship and Counseling” These guys are big on titles, aren’t they?

David Saxton
Calvary Bible Church
3865 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43214

Mr. Saxton:

Thank you for your timely correspondence dated August 28, 2017, inquiring as to the health and welfare of my family and myself. After all, it has been since June 26, 2011 since last we darkened the doorstep as official “members” of Calvary Bible Church, which to my count is approximately 6 years and 2 months. So glad you finally found the time in your busy schedule. Quite frankly, the letter you sent me last week was possibly the most entertaining thing I had to read that day.

I had also previously received your voicemail message when you called a few days prior to my receipt of your letter. I simply chose not to respond to it. Had you been wise and discerning you would have taken that as a cue and left well enough alone. Instead, you unwisely chose to exercise your over-inflated sense of self-appointed “authority” which you perceive you have over me and composed the afore-mentioned letter.

Since you have chosen to reach out to me in this manner, I believe I am well within my right to offer a rebuttal to the salient points in your letter.

For starters, I never had, nor will I ever have, any desire to attend any “class” taught by you or any pastor/elder/bishop/apostle/shepherd-leader/pope (or whatever self-appointed “authoritative” title you choose for yourselves) of Calvary Bible Church regardless of the subject matter. The class on the Reformation appeared in the news feed of a mutual Facebook friend, and it piqued my own personal curiosity about all things having to do with the Reformation. Thinking that it would provide me with more details on the contents of the class, I entered my email address. I had no intention whatsoever of ever registering.

You stated in your letter the following:

“I am sorry to inform you, but I am unable to register you for the Reformation Institute class at this time. This is because of your unwillingness to follow the spiritual leadership of Calvary Bible Church and to submit to their biblical rebuke of your divisive behavior among the saints. (Hebrews 13:17; and Ephesians 4:1-6)”

Well, take heart, Mr. Saxton. No need to feel sorry, as I already mentioned I had no intention of registering in the first place. However, your expression of regret is disingenuous at best. I highly doubt that you are sorry in the least. More than likely you were giddy with delight at the prospect of invoking your power of exclusion. For what it’s worth, had I even had serious consideration in registering for this class, your response is exactly as I would have predicted it would be.

From your statement above it would seem apparent to any casual reader that the acceptance of one’s registration for said class is predicated on agreement with the leadership of CBC. But I am curious; if you are charging $50 to attend this class, would this not simply be a mutual exchange of value? After all, $50 is $50, regardless if the parties share the same philosophical ideologies or not. I’m sure that if a stranger came into CBC on a given Sunday morning and put $50 in the offering plate you would accept it readily. I’m sure it would go right into the building fund for the new elementary school building at Northside Christian School. I seriously doubt that you would first give this person the third degree about his doctrinal position and then refuse his $50 if he were found in disagreement.

You speak of a “divisive behavior”. Know this, that the division begins and ends with you and the leadership of CBC. Refusing to let someone attend a class on Reformation history because he does not agree with you is the very definition of divisiveness. If you truly believed that your ideas are so correct, that you have the best argument for why you believe what you believe, then those ideas should be able to withstand scrutiny.

Why do you fear having your ideas challenged?

Answer: Because none of your arguments are based on reason.

You stated in your very own course syllabus in section 3 entitled “Reformation Church History Class Format”, letter “c”, that there will be “Open lectures – I encourage your input, comments, and questions,” but this is an outright lie. It would have been better for you to be honest and say that you encourage discussion that only agrees with you. In truth, you fear rational discussion because it represents a direct threat to your self-proclaimed “authority” any time someone disagrees with you. And rather than refute the argument, you resort to attacking your challenger, attempting to marginalize him by using terms such as “proud”, “arrogant”, and “divisive”.

I say “self-proclaimed” authority because that is exactly what it is. Jesus stated in Matthew 28:28 that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This was one of the last things Jesus stated before He ascended into heaven. Nowhere did He outsource that authority to anyone else. We are to follow another’s example only as that person follows Christ, NOT because he has some notion of “authority” over us.

In citing Hebrews 13:17 you have made an egregious interpretive assumption. The word that is translated “obey” is the Greek word πειθω (peitho), and it means to be persuaded through reason. Had the writer of Hebrews meant to say “obey” one would think he would have used the word υπακουω (hupakuo) which speaks of following the instructions of one in authority, such as when the disciples marveled that even the wind and seas obeyed (hupakuo) Jesus.

That you make such an error as this should come as no surprise, for “authority”, particularly the authority in institutional religious establishments, speaks to power and control through coercion and force. For where there is authority, reason is not necessary. When the apostle Paul journeyed from city to city and from synagogue to synagogue he did not preach, “I am right, and you must obey me because I have authority from God.” Time after time the Bible says that Paul reasoned with them out of the scriptures. His scriptural arguments were valid only insofar as they were reasonable, meaning, they flowed from a rational premise to a logical conclusion.

Not everyone took Paul’s arguments at face value. Many took it upon themselves to search out the scriptures for themselves to verify that Paul’s arguments were valid. In fact, such people were called “noble” for doing so. They weren’t labeled “arrogant”, “proud”, or “unsubmissive.”

I am still trying to wrap my head around your citation of Ephesians 4:1-6. Perhaps you could have provided some context. Perhaps it has something to do with your flawed concept of “unity”. Make no mistake; your concept of “unity” is defined as being in agreement with the leadership of CBC. Period. It is disingenuous at best for you to try to suggest anything otherwise. Regardless of what you say or what you preach from the pulpit on any given Sunday, your actions betray you. The letter you sent me last week is evidence enough. If there is one thing I have learned over the past 6 years, it is that all actions are driven by assumptions (a beginning premise or set of premises).

I will say this without apology or equivocation: Protestantism is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind since the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Protestantism is even a worse fraud than Catholicism because at least Catholics know what they believe and are honest about it. What makes Protestantism truly evil in its deception is the fact that so many Protestants are ignorant about what they believe and what the Reformation was truly about.

Despite all the pontificating about the evils of the selling of indulgences and the perceived over-reaching of the authority of the Pope (there is no end to the irony in that statement), the Reformation was about one thing and one thing only; a desire to return the Roman Catholic Church to the authentic Augustinian orthodoxy from which it had drifted as a result of St. Thomas Aquinas and his rediscovery of Aristotalian philosophy.

There is no other argument. You can sit there and preach to me about submitting to authority, but it only betrays your own duplicity, for if you were indeed truly serious about submitting to authority, you would this very instant crawl on your hands and knees to Pope Francis himself and repent and plead for forgiveness for not submitting to his authority. You cannot have it both ways. The same claim that the Roman Catholic Church uses for authority is the very same one you seek to use. So why do you not submit to Rome? What makes you think that your own personal monopoly on truth is “orthodox”?

Protestantism is a fraud because it plays upon the presumption of the unsuspecting laity by allowing them to assume the normative definition of words while gradually indoctrinating them to a redefinition of terms. Probably the best example of this is the definition of “justification by faith alone.” One is allowed to assume that “faith alone” pertains to one’s justification only, but this is not the case. Reformation Protestantism takes “faith alone” to pertain to sanctification as well.

Luther and Calvin were both clear about this; that one perseveres in salvation by continually returning to the same gospel that saved them in the first place, and this too is accomplished by “faith alone”. This is the assumption behind such catch-phrases as “preach the gospel to yourself every day,” and “the same gospel that saves you sanctifies you.” Incidentally, these were phrases I heard with regularity at CBC once Eric Sipe became pastor.

Such orthodoxy makes Protestantism no different from Catholicism. Both believe in a justification that is progressive. Both believe that salvation must be maintained throughout the life of the believer. The only difference is the means whereby such maintenance is accomplished. Catholics believe salvation is maintained through the sacraments. Protestants believe salvation is maintained by “faith alone.”

Protestantism is a fraud because its orthodoxy results in only one final judgment that determines the truly “elect” from the “non-elect.” In this case, only those who have persevered to the end by “faith alone” will find themselves “covered in Jesus’ righteousness” and thereby spared the wrath of God. This is erroneous on many levels.

First of all, believers will stand before no such judgment. The only judgment for believers will be for rewards at the Bema, NOT to determine salvation. It is only after the second resurrection that unbelievers only will find themselves before the Great White Throne and judged according to their works and subsequently cast into the Lake of Fire.

Secondly, believers are not “covered” in the righteousness of Christ. Salvation is not a “covering” of sin. It is an ending of sin. Believers need no covering because they are truly righteous as a state of being. Their righteousness is a product of the New Birth, not by some vicarious imputation of the righteousness of Jesus to them.

This brings me to the third reason, and it is yet one more evidence of why Protestantism is a fraud; its misunderstanding of the Law. This is Protestantism’s Achilles Heel. Protestantism believes in a righteousness that is the product of perfect law-keeping, or as they like to say, “the righteous demands of the Law.” According to Protestant orthodoxy, since no man can keep the Law perfectly, Jesus must keep it for us, so that his perfect righteousness can be imputed to our account. So long as one is living by “faith alone” and not depending on any of his own works, Jesus’ righteousness is continually applied to them. But there is one HUGE problem with this.

Righteousness is APART FROM the Law!

It does not matter if Jesus has to keep the Law for us, because if that is true, then that is making Law the standard for righteousness in direct contradiction to Romans 3:21 and 3:28 which plainly state that righteousness is apart from the Law. Protestants are keen on saying that justification is a “forensic” or legal declaration of righteousness. How can it be a legal declaration if righteousness is apart from the Law?

This is compounding error with error.

The standard for righteousness is the New Birth! The one who believes in Jesus Christ and accepts God’s free gift of eternal life has passed from death unto life. The old man dies, and in his place is reborn a new creature who is the literal offspring of the Father. Jesus is righteous, not because He kept the Law perfectly, but because He is the Son of God. The one who is born again is righteous because he is God’s child and has God’s righteousness; he is truly righteous as a state of being just as Christ is righteous.

This is why the apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:9,

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

The Bible speaks of two kinds of people; those who are “under law” and those who are “under grace.” To be “under law” means to be under the jurisdiction of the law and therefore subject to condemnation. Therefore, to “commit sin” has to do with being under condemnation. But because the believer is born again, he is no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1), therefore he cannot sin. Since there is no law to condemn him (he is not under law) he cannot sin. Where there is no law there is no sin.

What should be abundantly clear in scripture is that the Law was never intended to be a means of righteousness, yet Protestantism seeks to make that same Law the standard for righteousness. For the one who is under law, the Law can only condemn. But for the born again believer, the Law is a means to show love to God and others. The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. Jesus said that if you love Him, then keep His commandments. The Apostle Paul wrote that love is the fulfilling of the Law. All the Law is fulfilled in one statement; “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Born again believers do not sin because they are not under law and cannot be condemned. At worst, for the believer any failure to keep the Law is nothing more than a failure to show love, but it does not condemn!

Yet Protestantism’s misunderstanding of the Law seeks to circumvent love. Protestantism says any good works you do is an attempt to merit righteousness. Protestantism says if you try to keep the Law you are not living by “faith alone.” Protestantism takes away the very means that God made for man to show love to Him and others and makes it nothing more than a subjective experience. The result is a constant introspection where the would-be believer finds himself in a constant state of wondering whether or not he is living enough by “faith alone” at any given moment. Rather than aggressively trying to show love to God and others, his life is characterized by fear!

Is it any wonder then that so many “Christians” (especially teens) lack assurance of salvation?

Is it any wonder then why so many churches are perceived as cold and loveless?

Like I stated before, assumptions drive behavior. The assumption is that any attempt by the believer to obey the Law will result in condemnation. The only thing that condemnation produces is fear, the exact opposite of love.

This is the very thing of which Jesus accused the Pharisees and other religious leaders of His day. The popular belief is that the Pharisees were “legalists”. On the contrary, they too believed that perfect law-keeping was necessary for righteousness, but such a perfect law-keeping was only attained by adherence to some form of orthodoxy or “traditions.”

In this way, Protestantism is no different from Pharisee-ism; it is a righteousness by perfect law-keeping or a law-keeping attained through orthodoxy. It is a misunderstanding of the Law that results in the true purpose of the Law being supplanted. This is the true definition of “anti-nomianism”, or the Greek word ανομια (anomia – no law, lawlessness).   Jesus said that because of “anomia”, the love of many would wax cold. Well of course it would. When you tell people they shouldn’t try to keep the Law you take away the only means they have of showing love.

This is the fraud into which you have bought wholesale. As one who claims that he is a preacher of the Word of God, this is the grand lie that you are perpetrating on your unsuspecting pew-sitters. The Bible has much to say about such perpetrators of such evil, for that is exactly what Protestantism is; it is an evil assumption, and its outcome is always the same. It is an ideology that has always produced a culture of death and destruction. Those who peddle it are called ravenous wolves who have no regard for the sheep; those who serve their own belly by deceiving the unlearned with good words and fair speeches; clouds without water carried about by the wind; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. I dare say that you just might find yourself numbered among those who will have the audacity to cry, “Lord, Lord”, only to hear Jesus say to you, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work anomia!”

In your letter you spoke of a desire on your part to seek reconciliation; reconciliation in this case meaning submitting to your authority. Well, that’s not going to happen. You have no authority over me or anyone else for that matter. You have no God-given right to rule. You have no special dispensation of enlightenment that entitles you to such a position. It is not your “gift” to bring light to the great unwashed masses among your congregation. All you have is a laundry list of useless academic credentials; a certificate hanging on a wall in your office; a certificate which you purchased with a great sum but that has no real meaning in the grand scheme of things.

It is unfortunate for you that your whole identity and reason for existence is dependent upon people submitting to you, because should the members and adherents at CBC ever come to the realization that the leadership has no control over their salvation, they will walk away in a heartbeat, and there goes your way of life. You are not even qualified to utter the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”

You want to be reconciled to me? I quite honestly can’t think of any reason why I would want that. You are part of a system, an institution, a philosophical ideology that perpetrates evil against man and preaches a false gospel. Why would I ever want to be reconciled with that? Perhaps if you were genuinely repentant about your own behavior towards me and sought my forgiveness I might be inclined to give it. But I’m not holding my breath.

Sincerely,

Andrew Young
Born Again Child of God

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