Paul's Passing Thoughts

A New York State of Mind: This Present Kingdom is a Kingdom of Death

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 18, 2020

ppt-jpeg42One of the biblical doctrines brought under sharper focus for me in recent months is so-called kingdom theology. If you don’t mind, I would like to claim the following view of kingdom theology for the home fellowship movement: we do not believe that God’s kingdom is presently on earth enforcing its authority over creation. If it was, the results would be obvious, as it will be when Christ returns and sets up His 1000 year kingdom on earth, and will rule the world from David’s throne in Jerusalem.

Secondly, God is not all that big on authority. The last enemy of God to be defeated will be death and that will occur at the end of His 1000 year reign. That means there will be some sin in the kingdom because some death will remain, although nothing like what we see now. Why would God work with such a plan? Because He is primarily concerned with love which is not valid without freewill. In the Old Testament, there was taxation under the law, and then there were freewill offerings that were driven by love, not compelled by force. God is love, and all about love, not law.

Hence, under the new and better covenant, there is no institutional Judaism, only love offerings. There is no tithing. God’s kingdom manifestations through Israel were ended with the destruction of the second temple. No temple, no kingdom. Period. The church institution tries to get around this by claiming a “spiritual kingdom” of God and claiming that the church is the visible institution of it on earth. For some reason, God decided to put men in charge of a kingdom on earth that competes with all of the other worldly kingdoms, while claiming that God is “sovereign” and “all powerful.” Meanwhile, supposedly, despotic kingdoms constantly give Him a run for His money. Nope, don’t think so. What I think follows: when Satan took Christ to a mountain top and offered Him the kingdoms of the world in exchange for His worship, it was a legitimate offer.

So, why is there a struggle between good and evil presently? If Satan is king of this present kingdom, why doesn’t evil rule the day? One, because of the conscience within every human being, at least, most of them. Second, God’s kingdom has ambassadors on earth. Third, the presence of the Holy Spirt. Fourth, man’s practical commonsense that avoids unnecessary suffering (what is “self-evident” to all). Fifth, what God creates is still good.

Yet, the present kingdom on earth prefers death—death is its calling card. It partakes in slow death through lifestyle, promotes anti-humanity ideologies, is full of control-lust, and thinks of people on different social strata as worthy of death. Justice is illusive because justice speaks to life value. When it gets right down to it, people who value life are seen as ignorant and uneducated. God demands justice and the defense of the weak because he values His creation generally, and individual human life in-particular.

Good people are a good thing, and when they are courageous enough to defend good, that is even better, but they still need to take the extra step and rescue themselves from this present kingdom of death. They need to prepare themselves for God’s coming kingdom. There is no neutral ground between these two kingdoms. And, I do think there are hedges of protection for those who belong to God in this world. And, I do think those guided by conscience receive blessings from God.

The present COVID pandemic has revealed this world’s overt disregard for life. Politics clearly trump any regard for life. If you cannot be controlled, or you are unwilling to be controlled, you are worthy of death. For many, money has a much higher value than life. Regardless of the fact that Chinese ill behavior has claimed the lives of 250,000 people worldwide, don’t expect the NBA or its players to express horror over it. For the NBA, China represents billions of dollars in yearly profits, and often toe the Communist line for this very reason. The COVID pandemic overwhelmed healthcare systems in many countries resulting in people having to place their deceased loved ones at the street curb for eventual pickup and burial with no funerals. Yet, the production and market of expensive tennis shoes far outweigh any concern for such horrific results from the Chinese playing with dangerous viruses for questionable reasons. Past that, they CLEARLY allowed flights out of Wuhan to the rest of the world, hoarded PPE, moved in January to obtain a patent on remdesivir, and threatened to withhold it and other drugs from the United States.

My friends, in this kingdom, fancy tennis shoes are much more valuable than any life.

New York city is the blue chip of anti-humanity death ideology. CLEARLY, human life is far from being the highest priority there. Nurses from other parts of the country went to New York to help in the hospitals, and have testified to the horrifying disregard for life. At least two ER nurses have testified that patients are “being murdered” by the hundreds in New York hospitals through incompetence and indifference.

Though I am no big fan of the church, I would see the Samaritan’s Purse medical efforts there as totally positive. Yes, Billy Graham’s total inability of man doctrine is annoying, but nurses confused about religious issues can still be good nurses. The bottom line should be a question of whether or not their presence there saved lives. For certain, as a patient there, your survival chances are demonstrably higher in the Samaritan Purse tents. As a healthcare worker, I can tell you where I would have worked without a second thought. Yes, the mentality that prayer is needed at every turn to be successful lest we do good “by our own power” would have been annoying, but the bottom line is how many lives are saved.  Yet, Samaritan’s Purse was harassed and bullied by the New York city politicians because of their anti-homosexual position. However, I think we know a Muslim organization would not have received the same treatment though Muslim countries execute homosexuals.

Regardless of overwhelming evidence that certain treatments cured COVID patients, such treatments were deliberately withheld for political reasons. Governors even banned the treatments through executive order and threatened to jail doctors who administered the treatments. Many effective treatments for COVID were discovered early in the pandemic, but the pandemic was deliberately extended with no holds barred fear mongering for purely political reasons. Again, we must remember, control-lust is a primary element of sin, and in this present kingdom, those who will not “humble themselves” and submit to being controlled, are worthy of slow death.

And finally, regardless of the resources sent to New York to guarantee its health system would not be overwhelmed, those resources were saved for those better suited to “contribute to the group (society at large).” Older people who were hospitalized were mandated to LTC facilities that lacked proper PPE and training. This resulted in isolating infected people with non-infected people where distancing is difficult. This resulted in mass death in New York nursing homes. This was completely foreseeable. In LTC facilities we call the people who live there, “residents” because it is their home in the strictest sense of the definition. By law, they are endowed with rights to be treated with dignity, and to be free from abuse and harm. New York ran over those rights with a Mack truck.

God’s creation has value. What God creates is still good: “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” The Bible doctrine that substantiates that is “Redemption.” Redemption is NOT salvation. Something that is redeemable has value. The fact that God will resurrect dead bodies speaks volumes to life value.

And that is what justice is all about; justice speaks to life value. Any religion that downplays justice because “we all deserve hell anyway” (Luther/Calvin) is a religion that disdains life and God’s creation.

But don’t make this a religious matter only: in the same way, politics are founded on life value. Though not our kingdom, and we look for that city built God, Christians are worthy ambassadors according to their politics in this kingdom.

paul

John MacArthur Jr. and The Gospel of Authority

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 13, 2020

Slide04John MacArthur Jr. has spoken on whether or not churches should defy lockdown orders. The transcript is at the end of this post if you care to read it. He believes Christians should submit to the lockdown. Missing is any instruction on how to obtain the “ordinary means of grace [salvation]” found only at church and efficacious for “growing in grace [salvation].” During normality, pastors pound the pulpit hard on the authority of the church and faithfulness to it being synonymous with being part of the body of Christ. But, during abnormal circumstances, some sort of doctrine that keeps the “salvation process” moving along is conspicuously missing. Why?

MacArthur states WHY Christians shouldn’t defy the order, But like many other pastors, offers no HOW on keeping the salvation process moving. And yes, Protestantism clearly teaches that salvation is a process found only in the church and not a onetime and for all-time finished event.

I think the answer is found in what I refer to as the “gospel of authority.” This is salvation by submitting yourself to the authority of men. This is also a vital element of ecumenicalism. Obviously, sound and consistent doctrine is not really the issue at all; the issue is submission to religious authority as religious authority defines it. Basically, you are saved by showing a “willingness to submit to godly men.” and “obeying God’s anointed.” And of course, “Men of God (a Protestant authority designation) have disagreed on doctrine for thousands of years.” Que, sera, sera.

And obviously, no fruit demonstrated by church says anything about church at all because it is full of “sinners saved by grace.” When a leader gets caught with both hands in the cookie jar, it’s because he was taken for granted and not prayed for enough. So, shut your damn mouth and put the tithe in the plate or some man of God will remove your salvation.

Apparently, during an abnormal time, your assumed submission to the “men of God” secures your salvation until church resumes. Primarily, this is probably demonstrated by mailing your tithes to the church. Tithing is one of the ordinary means of salvation, so it’s probably an unwritten law that tithing covers the other means of grace (like the Lord’s Table) until church resumes. Another ordinary means of grace, “sitting under gospel preaching (because as a Christian, you still need the gospel),” can be obtained by watching videos.

However, the one most likely to elicit a mass text message is tithing.

This post will not address the mass cognitive dissonance throughout the statement, but I will close with one mention. MacArthur touts submission to the authorities, but calls a defense of the Constitution on which that authority rests as “irrelevant.”

paul

John MacArthur on churches reopening despite government suggestions and policy.

Yeah, let me make very clear this question because it keeps coming up. If the government told us not to meet because Christianity was against the law, if the government told us not to meet because we would be punished, fined for our religion and our religious convictions, we would have no option but to meet anyway. And that takes you to the fifth chapter of Acts where the leaders of Israel said to the apostles, “Stop preaching.” And Peter’s response was very simple. He said, “You judge whether we obey God or men,” then he went right out and preached.

If the government tells us to stop worshiping, stop preaching, stop communicating the gospel, we don’t stop. We obey God rather than men. We don’t start a revolution about that; the apostles didn’t do that. If they put us in jail, we go to jail and we have a jail ministry. Like the apostle Paul said, “My being in jail has fallen out to the furtherance of the gospel.” So we don’t rebel, we don’t protest. You don’t ever see Christians doing that in the book of Acts. If they were persecuted, they were faithful to proclaim the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ even if it took them to jail; and that’s been the pattern of true Christianity through all the centuries.

But this is not that. Might become that in the future. Might be overtones of that with some politicians. But this is the government saying, “Please do this for the protection of this society.” This is for greater societal good, that’s their objective. This is not the persecution of Christianity. This is saying, “Behave this way so that people don’t become ill and die.”

Now you may not think that you’re going to have that impact on somebody, you’re not going to be the one that becomes a carrier and causes something to be passed on to somebody else down the road and somebody dies. You may think that’s going to be you. But you cannot defy the government. And I don’t think pastors should do this. You cannot defy the government and say, “We’re going to meet anyway because God has commanded us to meet, no matter what damage we do to people’s lives.”

I mean, what should mark Christians is mercy, compassion, love, kindness, sacrifice. How are you doing that if you flaunt the fact that you’re going to meet; and essentially you’re saying, “We disregard the public safety issue.” You don’t really want to say that.

That does not help the gospel cause.

What helps the gospel cause is to say, “Of course, we don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s sadness, anyone’s sorrow, anyone’s sickness, and certainly anyone’s death. So we will gladly comply. This is consistent with what Scripture says, that we are to live quiet and peaceable lives in the society in which we live. We don’t rebel, we don’t do protests, we don’t fight the government, we don’t harass and harangue, we don’t march, we don’t get in parades, we don’t stop traffic; we lead quiet and peaceable lives, and we pray for those in authority over us, and we submit ourselves to them.

In Romans chapter 13, Paul says, “You submit yourself to the government, the powers that be.” But Peter adds to that, “You submit yourself to the governor and the king,” whoever that personal authority is. I’ve heard people say, “Well, this isn’t constitutional.” That’s irrelevant. That is completely irrelevant. When you’re told by an authority to do something and it’s for the greater good of the society physically, that’s what you do because that’s what Christians would do. We are not rebels and we’re not defiant, and we don’t flaunt our freedom at the expense of someone else’s health.

How do we back out of that to communicate the love of Christ? Look, Jesus came and basically banished disease from Israel. He was a healer. The last thing the church of Jesus Christ would want to be is a group of people that lived in defiance and made somebody sick, caused somebody’s death. So you restrain yourself from that.

Again, the issue is so clear that even going back to Richard Baxter back in 1600s, Richard Baxter has a great section in one of his books where he says, “If the magistrate,” as he calls it, “asks you to refrain from meeting because of a pestilence, you do not meet. On the other hand, if the magistrate tries to force you not to meet because of persecution of Christianity, you meet anyway.” I think that’s the dividing line.

Why You Must Flee Church in General and Protestantism in Particular

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 13, 2020

New Church Scandal is Irrelevant Because Good and Evil is Irrelevant

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 6, 2020

Front Cover TCLIn this kingdom, issues of good and evil are pure pretense. As a culture, we pretend it matters and even use goodness for an argument when it fits our narrative. Don’t get me wrong, goodness and justice still matter to many people, but common goodness is not the driving force behind politics or religion in this kingdom. The driving force is control-lust because that’s the essence of sin. Freedom and slavery are dominant biblical themes.

Let’s define the present kingdom ruling on the earth. The Bible makes it clear that the kingdom of darkness presently rules. God’s kingdom has representatives here (“ambassadors”), and there is common goodness and justice because the works of God’s law are written on the hearts of every person born into the world, but the Bible also states, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Hence, the conflict we see between good and evil is a war between evil and good manifested in God’s creation and presence.

I am a rabid supporter of America because I really don’t want to live in another Dark Ages until Christ comes back and establishes His kingdom here on earth. In fact, Christ says we are to uphold justice and defend the weak until He returns. That means we defend American principles.

That brings us to presuppositions about mankind and reality itself. That determines your religion and politics. Let’s look at the least common denominator, reality; state of being. The philosophy of choice for the kingdom of darkness is Dualism. What’s that? The material world is evil, and the spiritual world is good with a strict dichotomy between the two. ALL things that can be sensed with one of the five senses is evil. But hold on, that also includes knowledge; all empirical knowledge is evil and a delusion. The cardinal sin is thinking you can know. So, the wise of this world, and wisdom itself, is defined as knowing that you cannot know.

Don’t confuse this with “worldly wisdom” and “spiritual wisdom.” Worldly wisdom has a practical use, according to Dualism, that serves selfishness. Cars are a wonderful invention, no? They enable us to zoom around at 50+ MPH etc., but on the other hand, they destroy the earth with carbon emissions…supposedly. Radical environmentalists are not crazy, they are driven by a succinct ideology. You, as a selfish individualist, are willing to satisfy self at the expense of the whole world. Man indeed is technologically able, but all of humanity’s earthly practical wisdom is for “consumerism” and other selfish motives.

So, according to this philosophy, good cannot really be known per se. Hence, seers, who are all wise because they know goodness cannot be known (Socrates), are qualified to lead us through the world of darkness for the best possible utopia that can be obtained. Utopia is the relinquishing of all concept of self and the individual with complete submission to the knowledge that man cannot know. It’s really an anti-humanity ideology and always has been.

This is where pretense is really important. The all wise must meet the unenlightened where they are at in their thinking. They must play along with the strong tendency of the commoners to think they can know things; particularly, the difference between good and evil. The all wise use a pretense standard until the pitiful commoners, those enslaved to the 5 senses, are indoctrinated.

Show me ANY church, and I will show you this doctrine. But first, let’s look at the political angle. We have Democrat women saying they believe Tara Reade, while also saying they are going to vote for Joe Biden anyway. This perplexes many people, while it does not perplex me in the least. Biden’s morals matter not; what matters is his presuppositions regarding mankind and reality. Is Biden going to invoke policy that makes individuals responsible for the sum and substance of their own lives, or is he going to demand total obedience to collectivist seers who will save the world and usher in utopia? This is about the mother-state versus a representative republic.

Last week, I was emailed information about the newest church scandal. It involves Cedarville University, again, which is right down the road from TANC Ministries. Apparently, if I read it right, the university hired a naughty person onto the staff who had been caught with both hands in the cookie jar, and as an old nurse mentor of mine often stated, “God only knows where those hands have been!” Then, if I understand my cursory reading of it, the university  lied about knowing the guy’s decadent resume, and that claim turned out to be a lie.

Obviously, the university didn’t care about the guy’s morals, because obviously, it doesn’t matter. However, they must now address the pretense standard critical for their survival. I have watched the game being played this way for what, forty years now? In “The Church Lie,” I devote all of chapter 7 to pretense standards and how they work. The good is defined by knowing how unable and totally depraved mankind is, and the church along with the Democrat party define it the same way.

Please, just stop going to church, and while you are at it, stop being a Democrat. Both share the exact same disdain for human life.

paul

The Church Lie, The Gospel, Men, Marriage, and Millstones

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2020

ppt-jpeg42I would like to begin this post with ground zero on marriage. This is from the perspective of children. In a marriage with children, the children find all of their security and trust in the family unit. A child’s worldview is formed by what he or she sees and experiences regarding the parental marriage.

I speak from firsthand experience, and I believe my experience speaks to a common rule. A child’s security comes from seeing the love, commitment, and trust between their parents. When parents divorce, certainty collapses within the children. Nothing, and no one can be counted on when the chips are down. Children of divorce will see the world through the eyes of pessimism.

With that said, sometimes divorce is necessary. In those rare cases, the circumstances should be used to show the ideal contrast. An ideal second marriage can rebuild a proper worldview within the children and a contrast to the first.

Susan and I did a series on marriage some time ago and it didn’t focus on fixing a bad marriage, it focused heavily on doing marriage right the first time. A large and very important part of parenting is equipping your children with knowledge to do a marriage right the first time. We should know what marriage is, and why we get married. Few people know the real what and the real why of marriage. The wedding vows are mere words spoken for tradition like the part where we feed each other cake.

In our day, marriage has become almost irrelevant. Primarily, the church is at fault for this. I became a church member in 1983, and even that far back, “members in good standing” who lived together out of wedlock was commonplace. Our society has vested most of its marriage etiquette in the church and looked to the church for all of the important principles.

But, the church had other priorities. Good marriages do nothing to increase the control churches have over people. Indeed, what church emphasizes is the “Bride of Christ” doctrine. The church is supposedly the bride of Christ, so, your faithfulness to the church makes you a faithful spouse to Christ. Marriage between you and your spouse is merely a “picture of the church,” and golly gee, it’s a plus if you have a good one. But, if it doesn’t work out, oh well, after all, “we are all just sinners saved by grace.” The important marriage is your marriage to Christ judged by your commitment to the church. In vogue of late is divorcees pointing to their wedding rings as now symbolizing their marriage to Christ. That’s just another church lie.

While the Bible dismisses under-law marriages that are terrible, but somehow commendable because “God hates divorce,” the fact that the Bible strongly applies a legal element to marriage cannot be denied. And, why is that? We will apply another example  using children.

Growing up, my brother had a friend from a very dysfunctional family. He was always spending the night with us and eating at our house and he was always welcome. I am sure he appreciated our hospitality, but how much security could be found in it? You have heard of people overstaying their welcome, right? How often did this young man feel like he was imposing on us? But, let’s say our family had adopted him legally; that changes the  ballgame totally, no? Now, the parents come forward and offer to be committed to him as much as their own children. Now he is secure, but the security comes through a legal commitment. Officially, my brother’s friend becomes my brother; this changes everything. Before, our family was his friend, now he is our family. In that, he is now secure. In that, he knows his presence is not imposing on us.

It’s really about commitment. And what I described above is little different from the gospel. Being adopted into God’s family goes way past God supplying your needs out of compassion, God is now committed to you as a child. God is love, but his love must be qualified. “Adoption” encompasses God’s mercy, compassion, and COMMITTMENT. The doctrine of adoption makes you secure as God’s literal family member.

The apostle Paul had a primary objective in his ministry; to make the Gentiles understand they were not mere guests of Israel’s house, but family. Paul wrote, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Paul also Calls Him the “Spirit of adoption” because we (Jew and Gentile) are baptized into the one body of Christ by His power.

This doesn’t mean that salvation comes by the law. Salvation is issued by God through believing The Promise. The new birth saves you, but like in the world, when you are born into the world, it gives you certain legal rights. However, remember, birth in this world gives you legal right to the world’s laws, the new birth into God’s family gives you legal rights to the laws of heaven and the commonwealth of Israel.

That’s what the Old Testament is. It’s a will. The will didn’t save you, but you obtained it by believing The Promise. The Promise is the good news. The Promise is the gospel. Nevertheless, the details of your inheritance are documented therein. You are now a legal citizen of God’s kingdom. And God has not only showed His love towards you, He has adopted you into His family. You are secure, and your security is documented in the courts of heaven with the Holy Spirit testifying. He stands there with you before the throne of God.

God truly loves the world, but for those who would be part of His family, he adds the force of law. You are not merely a recipient of His love and mercy, He petitioned the courts of heaven to adopt you.

There is no family apart from a legal commitment. You may very well help a beggar and that is an honorable thing, but you have not committed your life and belongings to that beggar. When you die, he will not receive your inertance.

Loving words and loving acts are indeed sweet, but going past the words, and even the actions, and committing your whole life to others is a whole other matter. It is a signed confession that there is no exit when the going gets tough. It is also a commitment to that person when you find out you cannot control them. It’s a funny thing, people avoid marriage because they don’t want to be controlled, but marriage is about the opposite. You have committed to that person whether you can control them or not.

These are not the exact words my daughter said to me the other day, but in essence, “The whole family knows you are insufferable, but we also know who we can count on when the chips are down.” I’m totally ok with that. In fact, I would love that to be on my epitaph. Nevertheless, in my endeavor to be more wise when people do come to me, when they do, which means they are in some really deep stuff at that point, I listen very carefully to what they say, and also others who share what they have said.

Let me share a reoccurring theme that I hear: women seem to think, by virtue of being the birth mother of a child, that the absence of marriage leaves her in total control of the child’s welfare. In other words, the lack of a marriage commitment is all about being in control by not being in a legal commitment with the father. Lack of trust much? Am I saying that a person who doesn’t want to be legally committed to someone might have baggage that is a red flag? That’s exactly what I am saying. Granted, the experience of a childhood divorce may foster trust issues. That’s why, if divorce is necessary, there must be a strong emphasis on repairing the damage to children. But the point here follows: commitment is all about giving up control, not obtaining it.

On the other side of the coin, Susan and I have counseled many men who became fathers because they are clueless. They are even content with being part time fathers on the weekends. At any rate, in many cases, we have children growing up in an uncommitted relationship. They are guests in an uncertain household. Love is more about personal politics for an individual agenda than commitment.  You piss me off, and all I have to do is pick one of Simon and Garfunkel’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” You see, a lover is a much different thing than being a family member. Commitment is what makes love more than a convenient action to pad one’s self-esteem. True love isn’t always fun. True love can be very messy.

Though love always has demonstrably more benefits than the cheap versions, playing the love game without commitment invariably puts one on the wrong side of the law. In the Old Testament law, our will, all sin is imputed to that law. When we are adopted, the law is executed and all sin imputed to the will is cancelled. All condemnation under the law is eradicated, and the law is now our guidance for loving God and others. Of course, no one would say we can love God with no commitment. No one respects a “fair weather friend.”

Whether you are a true child of God or not, putting children in a volatile, unstable, and uncommitted environment is very ill-advised. Christ put it this way: it would be better to have someone tie a millstone around your neck securely, and then jump into a lake. Don’t mess with children, God will hold you accountable and it won’t be pretty. Having children is a matter of liberty; please be sure of this: choosing to not have children is NOT immoral and does not in any way cheapen the value of your life.

But also be sure of this: jumping into parenthood without wisdom is a death sentence. Please don’t confuse the slow death of a miserable life with some dramatic formal execution. If you find yourself in the former; fix it, like yesterday. It is fixable. If you find yourself way in over your head, it may mean adoption in some cases. And by the way, by no means do professing Christians have the market cornered on wise parenting for reasons previously discussed in this article. Does that offend you? Then the only other choice is to step up to the bar. You can do it; God will help you.

Commitment is about being all in with no exit door. Even God thinks it’s important to do that in writing among witnesses. Don’t be fooled…

…a family without marriage is NOT a family.

paul

 

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