Paul's Passing Thoughts

Romans 8:28: God’s Response to Evil

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 20, 2018

ppt-jpeg4“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Love must necessarily come from freewill. It’s doubtful that God is loved by people because He created them to do so or preordained it. Though God does intervene in the affairs of mankind to guarantee love will win in the end, for the most part God isn’t much interested in making people do what He would like to see them do. God isn’t like a lot of marriages that are under law; the wife is content to get her own way via nagging, and the husband does what pleases her to merely avoid the consequences of breaking her laws. That’s not love.

God is unlimited. A god that controls everything is limited because said god could be overcome by something that comes out of an uncontrolled freewill reality. An all-powerful unlimited God does not fear anything that might come from an unlimited freewill reality. God knowing the future is not that big of a deal if He is the author of a prewritten metaphysical narrative, but if He knows what’s going to happen in a freewill unlimited reality, that’s pretty impressive.

God has a certain way of dealing with evil. No, God isn’t the creator of a limited evil that He needs to control because He is limited and might create a rock too big for Him to move. God allows evil, but turns every act of evil against His children into good. And evil knows it. Evil knows that every act it commits will be turned into good by God, and this in and of itself causes evil to limit itself in some circumstances.

The angels rebelled, and God created man, a living being. The living beings were deceived, and God made them His very family. Formally, they were just living beings. God’s chosen people, Israel, rebelled, and God turned that rebellion into the saving of the whole world (Romans 11). That is God’s mode of operation in dealing with evil. More examples can seen throughout Scripture, and if you think about it, in our own lives.

Recently, we had a neighbor go to the city and complain about two large storage facilities that I built on our property. Eventually, after a few hearings, the city made me tear them down and allowed me to rebuild one in a different area of our property. The neighbor, a devout Catholic, by the way, waited till the buildings were completely finished before complaining to the city. She had also done her homework and knew that the buildings were in violation of a zoning law by 24 inches.

Even though it was a tough situation and very hard, I knew that God was going to bring something better out of it. I am presently finishing the reconstruction and the layout and construction of the new building is a much better situation for us in regard to the use of our property. I knew it would end up that way.

Though a trivial example, this mode of operation applies to every evil event in our lives; it’s a promise. What good God is going to bring out of the evil may not come immediately, but inevitably, it will.

paul

Curing the Matt Walsh Creationism Blues: Take One Red Herring, Authority Pill, and Call Me in The Morning

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 19, 2018

ppt-jpeg4Blogger Matt Walsh is bummed. He posted the following on Facebook recently: “Let me tell you what’s on my mind right now. I probably shouldn’t, but I’ve never been one to keep my thoughts to myself. I am feeling extremely frustrated and disheartened. Maybe you picked up on that if you watched my video today. Over the last month, as I have waded into the debate about young Earth creationism and expressed my view that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, I have seen a side of Christianity that I’d never experienced before.” Walsh continues: “Many Christians have responded viciously. Even worse than the viciousness is the close-mindedness. I don’t mean close-minded because they disagree with me. There is nothing close-minded about disagreement. I mean close-minded because they are absolutely unwilling to listen to what I have to say.”

I investigated the video and the responses. Indeed, Walsh presents formidable arguments in the video, and indeed, thank God for American separation of church and state jurisprudence or Walsh would be suffering more than bad feelings. And thank God for a well functioning capitalistic economy because in countries like Kenya, burning people alive in a ditch with brush may be illegal, but the economy is in the tank and law enforcement doesn’t have the resources to do anything about it. Here, I could go off on a rabbit trail concerning the stupidity of socialism, but I will show restraint.

Moreover, he dared speaketh against the high priest of young creationism, Ken Ham, who I have had serious problems with for a long time. Ham is not a good person, nor is he the sharpest knife in the drawer, but hey, I can say that because this is not how I make my living. And beside that, people who read my stuff are independent thinkers who are not afraid of ideas and trust me, that’s not a big number.

Walsh, apparently, doesn’t know what hit him, but I do: two things; authority as truth, and the Protestant red herring. First, authority as truth. Walsh, like most Churchians, is confused about church. He actually thinks the churches (Catholic and Protestant) support independent thinking. This is cognitive dissonance of the highest order. Church orthodoxy is based on a hierarchy of spiritual authority and always has been. Regardless of the church’s overt behavior which constantly contradicts the plain sense of Scripture, the church continues to thrive while raking in millions  from the working poor. Bottom line: it sells salvation, and part of the price is agreeing with orthodoxy; heterodoxy doesn’t get you into heaven. “Secondary issues” are the sandbox that church despots allow the parishioners to play in while momma church watches from the kitchen window.

But Walsh stepped into something that he thought was a secondary issue because he didn’t get the memo. Ham, a darling of Catholics and Protestants alike, and also the undisputed Cardinal of biblical creation science, so called, has been stating for some time that a rebuttal of a six day creation is akin to denying the gospel. Other high priests of Protestant evangelicalism like John MacArthur Jr. have been aping the same thing. The reaction is the result of a perception that Walsh is denying the gospel. Never mind Walsh’s argument, which I believe has merit, he has spoken against authority as truth. Ok, so I usually don’t play the Nazi card to make a point, but we must ask ourselves why an educated society followed the likes of Adolf Hitler. Same reason.  The idea that true social justice is defined by unity for unity’s sake is nothing new and by the way, unity sanctifies the “truth.”

Ken Ham’s creation museum itself is the prime example of church cognitive dissonance. If one reads the Bible carefully, the ark was little more than a huge floating box. “Ark,” is actually a Hebrew word that means, “box.” But boxes don’t sell. You can’t raise millions to build a big box at the head of a holler in Kentucky; it has to be an elaborate boat. That’s Protestantism’s authority as truth: you look right at a big boat and call it a box; brilliant. However, the boat is a box because Ken Ham says so. Get with the program Matt. A literal observation of the Bible’s description of the ark is nothing like what Ham built, but that’s ok. However, thou darest take liberties with a literal interpretation of six days? Remember Rob Bell? He dared question the traditional understanding of hell, and the papal bull came down from John Piper in a tweet: “Bye, bye, Rob Bell.” And so it was written, and so it was done; Bell was finished.

I always ask, “why?” Why such a strong pushback to Walsh’s thesis? I stated one reason, but there is another. If you don’t believe in the literal six solar days of creation (though it is referred to in that way by Ham and others, Walsh explains why they couldn’t be “solar”), you are advocating for Evolution. Well, considering the Protestant doctrine of total depravity, it would be a shame to think we came from apes. So, what do we have so far?

A box is a boat, there are days that are solar before there was a solar system, and we object to the idea that we came from monkeys or apes, who are not totally depraved, which apparently denies our total depravity. Go to church if you will, but I wouldn’t brag about it.

At least church has enough shame left to create lots of red herrings in regard to its paramount item of cognitive dissonance: the Protestant gospel of justification by faith. That’s what the penchant for debate among Churchians is really about. If they stop arguing about “secondary issues” for any length of time, someone might start asking questions about the elementary glaring errors concerning its gospel. Catholics are far less guilty of red herrings than Protestants because they are honest about papal authority while the latter invests in steroidal propaganda concerning freedom of conscience. Walsh thought he was stepping into a Protestant “secondary issue.” NOT.

Catholics have a problem with the Protestant gospel. They deem it, “legal fiction.” The first thing that church leaders fear as a result of the great unwashed not being distracted by red herrings is a discussion about what really sparked the Protestant Reformation. During that time, the Bible was not the primary authority for truth, philosophy was. Saint Augustine was very clear on this; without Plato, there is no real understanding of the Bible. That’s what he said. That’s church history. The church, like all pagan religions before it, believed in a separation of the evil material world and the invisible spiritual world. One is mutable, and the other immutable, and mutually exclusive in all ways. This has always called for additional mediators to guide the great unwashed in the reality of evil apart from any knowledge of good. In essence, man cannot know anything about reality.

In the 13th century, the Catholic Church began to move more towards the idea that man can know reality, and began questioning the strict dichotomy between the material evil and the spiritual good. The Platonist wing of the Catholic Church was not happy about it. If man has any good in him at all, that means he needs less authority from those outside of him who guide the great unwashed through the darkness of the material world with orthodoxy. Yes, those who know that we cannot know must guide those who are affixed to their earthiness; those who are guided by shadows.

Hence, more cognitive dissonance, but this time in regard to the gospel itself. While the Bible declares that believers ARE righteous with a righteousness APART from the law, Protestantism claims that the righteousness that saves is a “legal declaration.” How is something apart from the law a legal declaration? Gee, I don’t know, how is a box a boat? How is a solar day non-solar? Why is it better to be totally depraved than of monkey origin?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that objective truth can be drawn from the Bible through reason and logic. I also believe that this will only be accomplished through the collective effort of God’s people, primarily the laity. I believe that Christians in our day know very little about the Bible because fixed orthodoxy has greatly limited our knowledge. The few have dictated “truth” to the many for thousands of years; so, here we are.

If man is completely unable, and completely disconnected from spiritual reality, it only makes sense that anyone who is saved is somehow preselected. Obviously, if anyone is going to be saved, the active spiritual realm must act upon the passive material realm. The election debate is also grounded in world philosophy, but how is it tossed about among Churchians? Right, as a “secondary” biblical issue. None of these debates have anything to do with the Bible, but rather philosophical presuppositions concerning mankind.

The whole notion that these debates are biblical is a red herring in and of itself; ALL of these arguments are predicated on metaphysical presuppositions. While accusing Walsh of pandering to the wisdom of man, that’s what church has always been founded on. There is no biblically based statement of philosophy because the church fathers hijacked that possibility as early as the 2nd century. It is a vast work that remains unfinished, and it could be argued that the work has not even been started.

If people like Walsh, who is a formidable thinker, ignores the pushback and joins a collective effort to crawl out of the church cave into the real light, he will need the right diagnosis and the right prescription: a cure for authority as truth and red herrings.

paul

The Church’s War Against The Holy Spirit

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 17, 2018

Theses: the church wages war against the Holy Spirit through;

  1. The separation of God’s word from His people. 
  2. The separation of Jew and Gentile.
  3. The institutionalization of God’s family adding additional mediators other than Christ (church, not assembly). 
  4. Denial of the new birth, or infused grace. 
  5. Progressive justification dependent on submission to the church. 
  6. The eradication of worship and love in exchange for obtaining final justification. This circumvents the Spirit’s purpose to sanctify.
  7. The execution of God’s election is transferred from the Spirt to the church. 

Let’s examine seven ways the early church began to wage war on the Holy Spirit and how these traditions continue in our day.

First, the newly appointed religion of the Roman Empire (the institutionalization of Christ’s assembly, or “church”) under Constantine sought to remove the private interpretation of the Bible from the common people. Let us remember, the word is the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6:17) and what the Spirit uses to sanctify (John 17:17).

At that time, the endeavor to hinder private interpretation was a far less problem regarding the New Testament than Old Testament Scriptures which were painstakingly preserved and canonized by the Jews. The Old Testament Hebrew had also been translated into Greek (the Septuagint) circa 250 BC. Greek and Latin were the most common languages during the Roman era, but Latin was the language of bureaucracy, law, and the military.

This is when two primary theologians of the Roman church emerge and seek to demonize the people of God making a strong distinction between the Jews and Christianity. Remember, one of the primary objectives of the Holy Spirit was to make Jew and Gentile ONE body in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:11-22). This is/was one of the primary objectives of the Holy Spirt. The church’s two foundational theologians in its 4th century infancy were St. Augustine of Hippo, and St. Jerome. Both were Saints and Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church. And…

“Church Fathers like St John Chrysostom, St Ambrose, St Jerome and St Augustine (second only to St Paul as a Christian authority for the Western world) had by the end of the fourth century AD crysallised a demonic image of the Jew who combined superhuman malevolence with total spiritual blindness…The monkish, ascetic St Jerome, embittered by the spectacle of successful missionizing in Antioch by the large Jewish population, denounced the synagogue in theses terms: ‘If you call it a brothel, a den of vice, the Devil’s refuge, Satan’s fortress, a place to deprave the soul…you are still saying less than it deserves’” (Robert S. Wistrich: Anti-Semitism|The Longest Hatred; Pantheon Books 1992, p. 17 ). “This theology is for the first time institutionalized in the fourth century AD, when Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire” (Ibid p. 19).

To divide Jews from the body is an audacious throwing down of the gauntlet against the Holy Spirit. One of the primary objectives of the new birth is to unite Jew and Gentile into one body, scripturally, this is also known as “the mystery of the gospel.” But Jerome and company were far from going to war with the Holy Spirit on that front alone. Jerome set out to translate the Bible in the bureaucratic language of the empire and make it inaccessible to the laity and common people via the Latin Vulgate. Eventually, Rome made it against the law to translate the Bible or even teach from it unless accredited by the Church upon pain of death. This was Rome’s mandate for about 1000 years. And remember, Rome is the first “church” which is historically irrefutable:

Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.”

Ruling of the Council of Tarragona of 1234 C.E.: “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned…”

Proclamations at the Ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415 C.E.: Oxford professor, and theologian John Wycliffe, was the first (1380 C.E.) to translate the New Testament into English to “…helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” For this “heresy” Wycliffe was posthumously condemned by Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury. By the Council’s decree “Wycliffe’s bones were exhumed and publicly burned and the ashes were thrown into the Swift River.”

Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.

~ Source: Huffington Post .com: Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years; Bernard Starr, Ph.D. 5/20/2013.

The Church also took it upon itself to establish the formal canon of the New Testament which was only in the form of letters written by the apostles and others. There were many copies of these letters circulated among the laity and commonly accepted as Scripture:

2 Peter 3:15 – And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Colossians 4:15 – Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

1Corinthians 14:37 – If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

Therefore, the idea that there was no agreed upon collective Scripture for New Testament era believers is unfounded, and the body of Christ hardly needed Gnostic academics to tell them what was inspired and not inspired. Nevertheless…

The Council of Nicaea called by the Emperor Constantine met in 325 C.E. to establish a unified Catholic Church. At that point no universally sanctioned Scriptures or Christian Bible existed. Various churches and officials adopted different texts and gospels. That’s why the Council of Hippo sanctioned 27 books for the New Testament in 393 C.E. Four years later the Council of Cartage confirmed the same 27 books as the authoritative Scriptures of the Church.

~ Source: Huffington Post .com: Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years; Bernard Starr, Ph.D. 5/20/2013.

And…

In 382, Pope Damascus therefore commissioned Jerome (c. 347-420) to translate the Bible into Latin, a task which took him twenty years to complete. This Bible came to be known as the versio vulgata (common translation) and became standard for the Western Church.

~ Source: gbgm-umc.org: Three Early Biblical Translations.

Many would argue that keeping the word from God’s people is a church sin of the past, but this is not the case at all. Initially, the church taught that the laity was unable to understand the word of God except for using it to better understand one’s total depravity and total inability (historical-redemptive hermeneutic), plus censorship of the Scriptures was the law of the land. Deprived of its ability to enforce censorship through the state, the church’s ability to persuade the laity to relinquish all understanding of the Bible to church authority has proved adequate. State force is no longer necessary as the laity has been sufficiently intimidated by the church’s claim over salvation by God’s proxy. You either agree with the church or you believe a false gospel and are going to hell.

Attempting to obstruct the Spirit’s work in baptizing the Jews and Gentiles into one body, and confiscating the sword of the Spirit from the laity was manifested in a third way. In translating the Bible into English from the Septuagint (LXX), and for the most part not the original Hebrew, the English translators substituted the word “assembly” for “church.” The Greek word for assembly is “ekklesia” as translated from the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal, or edah.

This is a very significant fact in the transition period that produced another version of the institutional Catholic Church, Protestantism. These are merely two sides of the same institutional church that waged the exact same war against the Holy Spirit and continues to do so in our day. As aforementioned, it was against the law to translate the Scriptures without the permission of the Catholic Church, but this happened anyway because of the “Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church” (closed quotation from Wikipedia).

In the early Middle Ages, most Western Christian people encountered the Bible only in the form of oral versions of scriptures, verses and homilies in Latin (other sources were mystery plays, usually conducted in the vernacular, and popular iconography). Though relatively few people could read at this time, Wycliffe’s idea was to translate the Bible into the vernacular, saying “it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence”.

~ Source: En Wikipedia .org: Wycliffe’s Bible.

Although unauthorized, the work was popular. Wycliffite Bible texts are the most common manuscript literature in Middle English. More than 250 manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible survive.

The association between Wycliffe’s Bible and Lollardy caused the kingdom of England and the established Catholic Church in England to undertake a drastic campaign to suppress it.

~ Source: Ibid.

However, by no means did the Protestant Reformation abandon the core fundamentals of the institutional Church’s war against the Holy Spirit which was a devotion to the separation of Judaism from the body of Christ, and academic authority in regard to private interpretation of the Scriptures. Though the Protestants presented themselves as commendable for the distribution of Bible translations to the common people, they never believed the laity could interpret it for themselves, nor did they ever state such. To the contrary,

“The Protestant Reformers in leaving Rome did not leave all Romanism behind them. In particular, they brought with them the prosecuting principles of Rome, and worked them freely and vigorously in support of the Reformed faith. They changed the Pope but not the popedom… Persecution is the deadly sin of the Reformed churches, that which cools every honest man’s zeal for their cause, in proportion as his reading becomes more extensive—Hallam… Rightfully and nobly did the Protestant Reformers claim religious liberty for themselves; but they resolutely refused to concede it to others” (William Marshall’s The Principles of the Westminster Standards Persecuting (William Marshall, D.D., Coupar – Angus. Edinburgh: William Oliphant & Co. 1873).

The English translators did something in the English translation of the Bible that Rome did not even do in the Latin Vulgate. They translated “assembly” as “church” which had no validity whatsoever. The Greek word for assembly and the Greek word for church are two entirely different Greek words with completely different meanings. The Hebrew words for assembly and the Greek word for assembly allowed for a connection between the Judaism of the Old Testament and the Christianity of the New. The word “church” puts forth the idea of a completely different program and plan of some sort. In the like institutional core fundamentals, the Catholics kept the Bible from the laity, while the Protestants skinned the cat a different way by taking liberty with translation. Tyndale was much more virtuous on this wise, translating assembly as “congregation,” but unfortunately was executed by the Catholics for the effort.

The rendering of “assembly,” “synagogue,” as “church” in Protestant translations of the Bible present an egregious distorted dichotomy in regard to the Jewishness of God’s overall plan for the ages. It is best to delve into this while discussing the fact that the 1st century home fellowships were merely a continuation of the Jewish synagogue, and that word seems to suggest some sort of institution, or temple-like mini-institution.

To the contrary, some sort of substructure or mini temple version would have been a blasphemous notion to the Jews. Furthermore, for the most part historically, the Jews have had little choice to do anything other than worship in the privacy of their own homes. Moreover, synagogues were of the laity and far removed from any priestly authority whatsoever. The intended model for Christian fellowship and assembly has never changed since the exodus and before. It is a body and ground-level family unhindered by the musings of bureaucratic control. It is not a machine controlled by men, it is a body that lives and grows.

The Protestants never sought to separate from the Catholic Church and indeed they did not. It was a protest, and an attempt at reform, not a revolution by any stretch of the imagination. Institutional accreditation was vital to the Protestants, and critical to their credibility. This means they NEVER left the Catholic Church. Protestants retained solidarity with the Doctors of the Catholic Church for this reason, particularly St. Augustine. The most prominent fathers of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin, were avowed Augustinians till the day they died. Contemporary Reformers constantly strive to outdo each other in quoting Augustine at every opportunity, and God’s people are completely unmiffed by the exaltation of this serial anti-Semite Platonist. Why? Because what happens under the roof of an institutional church is mostly inconsequential; it is the depot that punches your ticket to heaven.

There are four primary ways that the institutional church wages war against the Holy Spirit, and this is a joint effort that includes Catholic and Protestant alike. We have examined three of them: the separation of God’s word from His people, the separation of  Jew and Gentile, the institutionalization of God’s family adding additional mediators other than Christ (church, not assembly),  but the fourth is what separates the Catholic from the Protestant. The accusation of this war is not as absurd as it sounds, for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit suggests ability on the part of the individual. Both sides endorse the incompetence of the individual and need for enlightened mediators between the great unwashed masses and God; in other words, an efficacious soteriological caste system.

This fourth war strategy involves the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the new birth. The Catholic Church acknowledges the indwelling of the Spirit and the new birth, but insists that this only enables the salvation candidate to cooperate in the finishing of the salvation process; primarily by faithfulness to the Mother Church. Rome is not shy or ambiguous about this idea. Yes, Catholicism and Protestantism alike hold to an unfinished progressive justification which requires the mediation of the church to complete. Both are a progressive justification.

Protestants, that is, Protestants who know what Protestantism is, deny the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the new birth all together. Let’s think about this: if the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the believer, salvation MUST be FINISHED, there is simply no way around that. A permanent indwelling of the Spirit makes a progressive salvation dependent on the church completely unnecessary.

In Protestantism, the “new birth” is redefined as a perception or ability to understand the total depravity of man as set against God’s holiness, but the “believer’s” state of being remains unchanged. That is why Protestantism describes salvation as a mere “legal declaration” in which a righteousness that remains outside of the believer must be progressively imputed to the believer until “final justification.” And, this can only be obtained by faithfulness to the authority of the church.

Catholicism believes in an internal righteousness, or “infused grace,” (infused righteousness), but this only enables one to colabor with the church for a final salvation. Both are salvation via an additional mediator, viz, church, and both advocate progressive justification. Many scholars believe this was the solidary issue that sparked the Protestant Reformation. Previously, Catholic scholars held to a strict Platonist dichotomy between righteousness and humanity, but began to be influenced by Thomism circa 13th century. The Protestant Reformation was really a debate concerning Plato versus Aristotle, and both churches have sought to hide this fact from the great unwashed, particularly the Protestant stripe. It was by no means a biblical debate, but a philosophical one. The idea that the Protestant Reformation was predicated on scriptural debate is an audacious rewriting of history and rank propaganda. Simply stated, the authority for truth among medieval church theologians was the philosophers primarily and the Scriptures secondarily, and stated such in no uncertain terms.

Hence, in revisiting a prior point for clarification on the first four theses, the retranslating of God’s family function to “church” invoked the idea of authority and additional mediators other than Christ. This was the institutionalization of first century Christianity. Authority as truth: this amounts to a gospel of authority; ironically, the choosing of an authority according to one’s preference. All religions and denominations claim their own authority gospel, but it is up to the individual, at least in the post American era, to choose which authority they think will save them.

Church necessarily has a problem with individual worship. If the individual can please God with personal worship (which is biblically defined as the practice of truth), what do we need church for? However, the church makes so-called “corporate worship” efficacious to a right standing with God. Christ said,

believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The coming of the New Covenant and the “mystery of the gospel” which is the baptizing of Jew and Gentile into one body emphasizes an individual worship in the sanctified body of the believer. This makes all of life, worship in general, and the goal of worship, love, in particular. Church actually redefined worship as a corporate salvific endeavor and not an individual endeavor to use truth to love God and others. This circumvents the Spirit’s purpose of sanctification which is redefined as the progression of salvation.

Lastly, the church wages war against the Spirit’s purpose of fulfilling God’s elected means of salvation. God’s elected means of salvation does not include the authority of men as the church asserts. There is only ONE mediator between men and God and ALL authority has been given to that one person, and that person is the ONE seed. The church cannot give life, only the Word, who is Christ. Church makes itself a major element of God’s elected plan of salvation.

According to church orthodoxy, which makes election a concern of salvific preselection, whether one perseveres in the faith or not is defined by faithfulness to church. If one perseveres to the end, they are shown as preselected by God. The verse they adore reads, “Those who are no longer among us were never of us.” Hence, one can really elect God’s election by staying faithful to church which focuses on justification and not the Spirit’s purpose of sanctification.

Love isn’t the highest priority, keeping yourself saved is the highest priority.

Paul M. Dohse

TANC Ministries

 

Happiness and Peace By Overcoming The Under-Law Mindset

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 15, 2018

ppt-jpeg4According to the Bible, there are only two basic people groups in the world; under law and under grace. If you will, lost and saved. Biblically, under law is framed as “under sin,” and “under condemnation.” It is important to understand that those under condemnation are dominated by the under law mindset. I have written about this before, but suffice for this post to say that those under sin are like sin in that they want to control others, and while condemned themselves, condemn others. As far as accusations to condemn others in an effort to control them or punish them for not being what they want them to be, people draw from the sin catalogue that violates their own consciences. This is why people accuse others of what they themselves are often guilty of. We see this constantly.

The Bible says that sin is empowered by condemnation, and that condemnation comes from the law. Because sin is at odds with God, and is driven by a desire to control humanity in unified opposition to God, it uses God’s law, which is good, to create sinful desires in people. These desires can take on a myriad of different characteristics like a desire to have sex with animals. This is kind of hard to understand, but here is an example that may help a little: have you ever stood at the edge of a cliff and had a weird temptation to jump? Of course, that would be against God’s wishes for many reasons, but hence the morbid temptation. As these desires are practiced, that is, the ones that don’t end your life, the desire intensifies leading to addiction, viz, the desire becomes so intense that we cannot say no to the desire. And yes, saying yes to the desire over and over again can add physiological dependence as well because of how cells try to adapt to a behavior’s effect on our bodies.

Jesus came to get rid of the condemnation by dying on the cross. His death ended the law. This stripped sin of its power. However, this was His primary part in salvation. God elected the salvation plan, not individuals, and the Spirit raised Christ from the dead. The Trinity worked together to establish the new birth which baptizes people into God’s family. There is a spiritual death with Christ and a spiritual resurrection with Christ BY the Holy Spirit.

THIS CHANGES OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAW. This is where all religions and denominations miss the boat, that is, their single perspective on the law. Any single perspective on the law necessarily requires that all subjects remain under its condemnation requiring an ongoing covering for sin rather than an ending of sin. I find it striking that lofty Protestant scholars constantly refer to salvation as “the atonement” (covering) rather than what the Bible calls salvation: an ending of sin. This is where assurance of salvation comes from: there is simply no law that can judge us. And…”where there is no law there is no sin.” That’s what the Bible states.

Now, being under grace doesn’t mean that we are no longer under a law, nor is it a divine legal loophole for living any way we want to. The new birth does change our hearts from ones who were once indifferent to God’s law to ones who now love God’s law. This boils down to the Spirit’s two uses of the law: for those under law; to convict them of sin and the judgement to come, and those under grace; to sanctify them. Sanctification is a setting apart from something former, and endeavoring in what is not the norm. The new creature colabors with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit in this endeavor. To the believer, the law is now God’s wisdom for loving others and finding progressive peace with no fear of condemnation. Unhealthy introspection concerning motives is unnecessarily because those who properly understand the new birth know that it is the new birth that justifies, not perfect law-keeping. It can be rightfully said that Christians no longer sin, but fail to love, which is a family matter, not a matter of condemnation. No, Phil Johnson of Grace Community Church and many others, true Christians are NOT “under the righteous demands of the law”…that’s a false gospel that denies the new birth and how the new birth changes the believer’s relationship to the law.

Now a short conclusion concerning the thesis of this post: Even Christians who understand the new birth intellectually often function like they are still under law. That includes me. Habits and church brainwashing die hard. FYI: living statistics for church people and secular people are the same for one reason and one reason only; both are still under law.

In the conclusion of this post, I will point out some under law mentalities. First, we judge how well people are doing by how well they keep the law, that is, laws that are often those of our own preference. When someone offends you, did they actually break a law, or one of your personal preferences that you have made into a tablet of stone? Marriage is probably the best example with personal preference laws complete with punishments like the silent treatment and withholding sex. The silent treatment is actually a bloodless death penalty: you no longer exist in the household till the sin is atoned for in full, or until you “ask for forgiveness.” Pardon me, but Christ already took care of that. Certainly, an apology for failure to love may be in order, but we should be careful with the “forgiveness” approach, especially when a personal preference law has been broken. It may not be a sin just because someone didn’t do something you wanted them to do.

Secondly, under law thinking doesn’t consider another person’s motives. That’s because under law doesn’t care about motives, it only considers whether or not a law has been broken. Did we not hear the following in church for years? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” To tell someone, “Oh my goodness! I didn’t mean to do that! That wasn’t my intentions at all!” is only making excuses and “not owning your sin.” Excuse me, but the Bible says, “love believes all things” and by the way, there is no sin to own, Jesus ended it.

Thirdly, the person is not seen through the lens of the big picture, that is, the sum and substance of their whole life, but the person is evaluated based on the present and particular “sin.” Is this not another thing we heard in church for years? Taking James 2:10 out of context, “If you break one law, you are guilty of breaking the whole law.” Trust me, many, many marriages are like that. Good luck.

Fourthly, under law thinking doesn’t employ biblical patience. Patience is enabled by seeing the person through the lens of their efforts and motives. Patience is possible when we know who the person really is, and the offence is seen as a stumbling, not a disrespect to one’s authority based self-importance. The Bible calls this a “love covering.” This is important because in the offenders mind, especially one who understands the new birth and makes every effort to live by it, they can never do enough to earn the approval of those who have under law thinking, and basically, that’s true. While striving to do what the Bible commands, viz, “make every effort to love God and others with all of your heart, soul, and mind,” under law thinking never remembers that this is how you live your life, but rather rejects the premise about you all together because of a single sin. The Bible says believers have a “willing spirit,” but are weak, and in some cases weaker because of some present life challenge. Under law thinkers disregard the willing spirit altogether.

Moreover, under law thinkers often cause others to function under law according to the following: others don’t do things for under law thinkers out of love, but rather to prevent condemnation by the offended. In marriage, we call it, “nagging.”

Fifthly, all in all, we must remember that church orthodoxy calls for a remembrance and looking for sin in order to appreciate what Jesus has done for us. This calls for all of reality to be interpreted through the law prism. This merely throws gasoline on the fire of humanity’s sad under law existence saturated with condemnation.

This has been drilled into our heads for years and evolving from this mindset will take work. This post only presents a few basic thoughts to get the ball rolling. But it begins with judging people by how much they love, not how much they sin.

The Bible says that love doesn’t keep a record of wrong, so we may assume that it keeps a record of right, and judges others accordingly. When someone offends you, where does your mind go? Which record does it focus on?

In many cases, in under law thinking, only one record exists in our mind to begin with. That’s not only a lie about the other person, but is more akin to hate than love.

paul

“Tell Me the Words” Why the Protestant Empire Must Not be Allowed to Stand Against Children

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 14, 2018
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