Paul's Passing Thoughts

Calvinist Gospel Sexy Time is a Longstanding Reformed Tradition

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 20, 2017

A Challenge to Protestant Pastors: Your Gospel is False and What You Should Do About it; Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 18, 2017

You Be The Judge

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 17, 2017

Was Jesus talking about the Pharisees and other Jewish religious leaders, or reformed/protestant pastors and elders?

~ Andy

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” ~ Matthew 23:4-7

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Salvation is a Conditional Promise to All of Mankind

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 15, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Why are Calvinists so heck-bent on “limited atonement”? Other than the fact that salvation is not an atonement to begin with (it is an ending of sin, not a mere covering), and “particular redemption” is closer to the truth but still wrong (redemption is the salvation of the body and creation, not the soul), they are big on limited atonement because if Christ died for everyone that brings predeterminism into question.

Let’s pause for a moment and define the difference between the Protestant definition of “election” and predeterminism. The latter states that all events or anything that happens is predetermined by some force or higher order. Election, as posited by Protestantism, only recognizes salvation as predetermined.

A good picture of this distinction took place yesterday at a social gathering I attended. A bunch of Protestants were sitting in a circle playing a game of sorts. Each person wrote a question, any question, on a piece of paper and it was placed in a pot. When randomly picked out of the pot by the moderator, each person in the circle answered the question. One question was; “What is the most important decision you have ever made in your life?” The first one who answered this question was a pastor who said, “Well, normally I would say my decision to follow God, but we are all dead wood until God regenerates us and therefore unable to make that choice, so I’m not going there….” He then went on to state some other decision that he had made that apparently, he was able to make. The others in the circle followed suit accordingly.

It begs the question; why would God allow freewill for every decision in life except the decision to follow Him? However, this example is also indicative of Protestants not knowing what a Protestant is; authentic Protestantism was founded on historical-redemptive metaphysics which is, in fact, defined by predeterminism. The historical-redemptive hermeneutic posits the following: all reality is a metaphysical narrative written by God for His own self-love and glory. Whatever happens in anyone’s life is simply part of the prewritten story. The Bible is a prototype of the narrative, or a master narrative, that gives us a prism from which to interpret life. Hence, we interpret the meaning of life through the narratives presented in the Bible—they are examples of why we experience life the way we do. All of life, and all of reality, and all of history is a redemptive narrative that glorifies God. That’s historical-redemptive metaphysics. And that’s Protestantism whether most of them know it or not.

At any rate, some Calvinists see the problem with limited atonement and take this position: “The death of Christ is sufficient for all men, but not applied to all men.” This position denies that quantity is the issue but rather quality. This enables them to get around the glaring irrationality of limited atonement. Why is it glaringly irrational? Because many Bible verses state unequivocally that Christ died for everyone. I still say the best argument against limited atonement follows: Christ died to end the law, and everyone born into the world is under law; therefore, Christ died for everyone. Invariably, Calvinists reply with this silly rebuttal on either wise: “Then why isn’t everyone saved?” Answer: because the promise of salvation is conditional. We will revisit salvation as a promise, but suffice to say for now that the death of Christ made the promise possible.

Let’s look at some verses which clearly state that Christ died for everyone:

1Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

Note: in a lot of these verses we see a common thread that is easy to miss if we are not careful; Christ died for the sins of the unrighteous. Who is unrighteous before conversion? Answer: everyone. “The (definitive) unrighteous.” That is an all-inclusive statement that includes everyone in a category.

1John 2:2 – He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Any questions? And by the way, this is 1John which is not focused on the Jew/Gentile issue. Therefore, the “our” refers to believers and the “also” refers to all the unrighteous.

Romans 5:18 – Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Note: You can’t have it both ways. In the same way that one sin condemned all men, one act (potentially) saved all men. What the ESV and many other translations do with this verse is interesting. The grammar implies that all will be saved in the same way that all were condemned. This enables Calvinists to interpret “all men” as “all kinds of men and not every individual” because, of course, not all men will be saved. But please note how the KVJ translates these verses: “18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” The offer of a free gift came upon all men, not universal salvation; the necessity to accept or receive the free gift is implied, not “all kinds of men” rather than individuals. This is clarified by verse 17 in the same chapter: “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” YLT states it this way: “for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one –Jesus Christ.” The acceptance/receiving of the gift is assumed in verses 18 and 19.

Hebrews 10:10 – And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Note: again, Christ died to take away sin; so, how many have sinned? Answer: everyone. Christ didn’t die for preselected individuals, he died to take away sin for those who are being set apart (sanctified) or in other words, those who receive the gift.

1Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

I saved 1Timothy 2:5,6 for last to segue into the next point; salvation is a conditional promise, we will get to that, but it is also a grand purchase. The Bible speaks of two masters; the Sin master and Christ. In Bible lingo, we are enslaved to one or the other; Sin or Christ—under law or under grace. We are under the dominion of one or the other (Romans 6:14). Romans chapter 6 spells this out in no uncertain terms. However, in 1Timothy 2:6 the word for “ransom” is a very strange rendering. Though in all cases translated “ransom” (lutron), the word is actually “antilutron” from anti (against, or the antithesis of, or in lieu of, ect.) and lutron (ransom). In other words, Christ gave himself to vanquish the whole concept of ransom, not just to purchase particular individuals. He cancelled the ransom altogether. There is no longer any ransom to be paid for anyone.

Now let’s close with the fact that the gospel is to be preached to everyone, and another term for the gospel in Scripture is, “the (definitive) promise.” The gospel is a conditional promise. But if it is a promise, it must be assumed that the promise is to all who hear the gospel. Also, the gospel means “good news.” How can the following idea be deemed good news: “You may or may not be preselected”? Part and parcel with Reformation thought is the idea that God is glorified by the “good news” bringing about eternal life and more and more death in those who continually reject the gospel. This is referred to as “a savor of life and a savor of death.” God finds both a sweet savor because one exemplifies His grace while the other exemplifies His justice. But the problem is in the biblical nomenclature of the presentation: it is presented as a promise, and good news, when it may or may not be a promise to any given person or, in fact, horrible news to some. And consider, when was the last time a Calvinist presented the gospel this way:

“If you were preselected you will believe the gospel, so I am not asking for a decision to follow Christ because you are unable to be persuaded to make a decision because of your total depravity. We will just have to wait and see what God does.”

This flies in the face of how Paul presented the gospel to Agrippa in Acts 26 as one example among many. Also…

Acts 2:37 – Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Who then, are “the called”? The called are everyone. Acts 2:37 ff. clarifies that. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32). Actually, “all” is the word “pas” which includes all grammatical forms of declension and means “the whole.” Furthermore, “people” or “men” does not appear after pas in the manuscripts as a way to state everyone and everything…period!

The gospel is a conditional promise to everyone; another example of a conditional promise is Ephesians 6:2-3,

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

The gospel is a promise to everyone who is persuaded by a gospel presentation predicated on reason. Throughout the Bible, we see numerous examples of 2Corinthians 5:11,

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others…

It is also interesting to note that “persuasion” or “persuade” (peitho) is used interchangeably for “obey,” “trust,” and “believe/believed.” Man is primarily called on to be persuaded by the good news. This seems very strange if man has no ability to be persuaded. And why bother with persuading people if their fate is already determined? Why use “many words” to persuade as Peter did at Pentecost?

So, what is going on with Bible verses that seem to indicate predestination? Unless God is a god of confusion, and He says He isn’t, something else must be going on. Calvinists demand that we reconcile those verses and effectively ignore a whole massive body of problematic questions. They claim to appeal to reason regarding those verses in a standalone context. However, we must remember the following: none of those verses state specifically that the salvation of every individual is predetermined. That can be surmised through eisegesis, but the jury is still out concerning what exactly election is; we must remember that many things in the Bible are elected where salvation is not needed. It is most likely that professing Christendom has very little understanding of what biblical election is.

Moreover, when paradox, mystery, and unreconcilable “tension” is acceptable hermeneutics, what can be taught about limited atonement is not only unlimited, but whatever Protestants want to teach about any particular “truth.” They interpret certain verses in a certain way, and any verses that disagree constitute a “paradox.” And it is a paradox because they say it’s a paradox because they are God’s anointed because they say they are God’s anointed and have persuaded you that such is true about them.

Sorry, I’m not persuaded.

paul

Why Home Fellowships Can Help Abused Women and the Institutional Church Cannot

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

HF Potters House (2)

Originally published March 31, 2015

In our vision for a return to the way Judeo-Christian assemblies were done for about the first 300 years, let’s look at why home fellowships can help abused women and the institutional church cannot.

I would like to use this article as a catalyst for argumentation. The article was posted (author is not clearly stated) by Anna Wood who co-authored a book with Jeff Crippen, a Reformed pastor. The book can be found here.

The post is titled, What domestic abuse victims need from the church. My contention is that abused women cannot get what they need from “the church” as demonstrated over and over and over again. In fact, clearly, as also demonstrated over and over and over again as well, the institutional church adds to the abuse and becomes a co-abuser.

Why is this? The article offers a perspective from which to answer. This issue also speaks to the differences between home fellowships and the institutional church, hereafter “the church.” In an institution, it is easy to sign on the dotted line, give at the office, and pretend. Pastors can bark from Calvin’s Geneva pulpit all they want to; all folks have to say is, “Hey, I am a member in good standing, and as often heard, humble and incompetent—it’s not my gift and I am not qualified.” Likewise, in said article, the author’s call to “get involved” is going nowhere in the church in case anyone hasn’t noticed.

To the contrary, home fellowships are comprised of people who are sick of playing church, are weary of being mere spectators, and are not looking to walk into an arena with hungry lions, but know it could lead to that. They are also confident in the Spirit-filled laity and recognize where 500 years of academic popeism has brought us. In addition, they have a literal view of reality versus the functional dualism that drives orthodoxy. What am I saying? I am saying that home fellowships have a radically different worldview than orthodoxy and this will lead to aggressive participation in all kinds of needs.

Let me further this point by using the article at hand:

Statistics say that one out of four women in the United States experience domestic abuse of some form in their lifetime. Men can also be victims of domestic abuse. When those who have suffered are members of the Lord’s church, the faithful among them have an obligation to help them. And, if we know of someone in the community who is being abused, I also believe we have an obligation to help if we can. When, for whatever reason, we shy away from this obligation, either through ignorance or willful refusal to get involved, we lay waste to the Gospel we claim to believe. Christians are called to defend the oppressed yet when it comes to domestic violence, so few do.

What abuse victims need from their fellow Christians is pretty simple and straightforward. We need you to be Jesus to us. Do what He would do, say what He would say, were He the One ministering to us. Isn’t that what we all need from each other, anyway? Christians are called to stand in the place of Christ here on the earth and be His representative and do the works He would do. To fail in this is to fail in serving Christ.

Whoa, what a minute here! This is entirely unrealistic because of the message constantly drilled into the heads of Protestants. We are “all just sinners saved by grace.” We are, according to one prominent evangelical, “enemies of God.” According to yet another, “we hate God.” On the one hand, it is constantly drilled into the heads of those in the church that “when you are dead, you can do nothing,” but on the other hand we really think that parishioners shouldn’t think twice about getting involved in a domestic abuse situation?

First of all, getting involved in domestic violence is not “pretty simple.” Actually, it can get you killed by someone who doesn’t much appreciate your intervention. Moreover, getting the facts and evaluating the situation biblically is far from simple. Now couple that with the constant total depravity of the saints mantra heard in the church and it is little wonder that few will get involved in domestic abuse needs. The completely upside down worldview of the church makes laity involvement in domestic abuse nothing more than a pipe dream.

And, “Christians are called to defend the oppressed yet when it comes to domestic violence, so few do.” This complaint is not only a mere symptom, but is not even a symptom of the real problem. Congregants not only fail to defend the oppressed, they either turn a blind eye or defend the defender of the abusers—the church. Ever heard of SGM? Ever heard of ABWE? Ever heard of the SBC? In case you haven’t noticed, they are not only still in business, but business is booming! Why? Because regardless of what happens in the church, it is the only ticket to heaven. “What? so billions of people should go to hell because some bad things happen in the church that is made up of sinners? Well, get a grip—where there are people, there is sin!” That is in quotations because this is exactly what we hear in response to a “cry for justice.”

So far, if you are keeping notes, we have two reasons the church cannot help abused women: 1. The total depravity of the saints resulting in a few “experts” attempting to minister to a massive throng 2. Salvation is found in the institution, and therefore the institution will be defended at all cost. Better that a few suffer by themselves rather than all of humanity being sent to hell.

Before we move on to the next points, a little more clarification: why does the church defend abusers? It starts with its worldview. Without going into a lot of detail, we must first recognize that Calvin and Luther are the church’s heroes, and then recognize what their “theology of the cross” was all about. This is a philosophy that interprets all reality via the suffering of the cross. As Luther stated, “all wisdom is hidden in suffering.” Luther, as well as Calvin, split reality into two epistemologies: the cross story and the glory story. Only preordained leaders can lead the great unwashed masses in the cross story—only the preordained can save humanity from the story of man, or the glory story. As Al Mohler once said, “pastors are preordained to save God’s people from ignorance.”

fake-church-sign-first-baptistHowever, theologians of the cross and the spiritual peasantry have something in common: we are all just sinners saved by grace. So, everything going on in the material realm is fairly insignificant—it’s just the same old sin and dance anyway. But by the same token, theologians of the cross are preordained of God and invaluable. And besides, many are icons of the institution that keep the money rolling in. Sure, you can reject this theory and opt for another one, but in the process you will drive yourself nuts trying to figure out why ABWE defended and protected Donn Ketcham until the bitter end.

Need another example among myriads? What about Jack Hyles? The guy was a mafia don dressed in Bible verses and is still a spiritual hero among many Baptists. David Hyles, Jack’s son, was also a well-respected pastor in the church who had affairs with at least 19 women and is a suspect in an unsolved murder. Yet, to the best of my knowledge to date, David Hyles is still invited to speak at Baptist conferences/churches and receives robust ovations. Jack Hyles remained in the pulpit until his death in 2001 and was succeeded by his son in law Jack Schaap who is presently in prison for statutory rape. Jack Hyles is notorious for his quip, “If you didn’t see it, it didn’t happen” and is still revered among many Baptists as the best preacher since the apostle Paul.

The article continues with its list of things abuse victims need from “the church.” But the thesis of this article is that the church is not only unable to supply these things, but becomes a co-abuser. In contrast, the original Christian model for fellowship is well able to help and more likely to do just that.

First on the list is “The Pure Gospel.”

The church long ago got away from the pure gospel. We water it down, mix it up and serve it with a side of fun. No wonder it doesn’t save. It can’t save. It’s poison. We need preachers dedicated to the truth of God’s Word who are willing to stand up and preach that truth without changing it one iota. We need Christians who long after righteousness. When we have that–the pure Gospel preached and lived–we’ll see more Christians helping abuse victims and we’ll see less abusers masquerading as Christians.

Uh, ok, not sure how to add to this. It’s a stunning admission while calling on the same church to do something about the problem it has created. We don’t need “preachers” to do anything. Preachers have been preaching long and hard for thousands of years and the results are evident. We need God’s people to stand up and get back to the first works of home fellowship. The laity waiting on the experts is long traveled and worthless. More of what is beginning to happen needs to happen more and more. Ordinary Spirit-filled Christians are meeting together around the word and fellowship, and seeking God’s face in this whole matter about how church is traditionally practiced. And the fact that the church is grounded in a false gospel is something I addressed in another article posted today and Friday.

Without addressing every single point in the article other than those mentioned already, let me move on to this one:

Someone to care for their needs

Do you know what keeps a lot of abused women and children with their abusers? The lack of money to leave. If a woman is trying to get herself and her children to safety, don’t spend time telling her why she’s wrong, what you think about her decision or trying to talk her out of it. She knows what it’s like to live in abuse and you don’t. Even if she stays, chances are great that she and her children need something or maybe a lot of things. Financial abuse often accompanies other types of abuse. Instead of lecturing, get busy serving and help them.

According to the first-century model, a home fellowship network would be several small groups meeting in several homes in the same geographical area. And because of freedom from massive infrastructure cost and “tithing” versus New Testament giving based on NEED only funds and resources to help the abused would be ample. In fact, I could share an example from our very own home fellowship. We have a young lady living with us, and other people connected to our fellowship contribute financially to her needs. She is fully supported independently from anybody who might be a problem in her life. And when people live with you, trust me, you know the facts and you do a lot of listening. She will be completely self-reliant this month after living with us for about two years.

In regard to a different kind of abuse, a home fellowship network that I know of in Africa operates in the following way: the network assimilates street orphans from Nairobi into their fellowships. There is a leader from the network, equipped with the latest information about funds and availability that goes into Nairobi searching for orphans, and upon finding some, brings them back to the fellowship network where they will have a home, food, protection, and education. Let’s say that our home fellowships are connected with theirs; many of these children could be brought stateside and assimilated into fellowship here as well.

In addition to being freed from the bondage of infrastructure expense, the authority of the church’s clergy is suffocating. Clergy, more times than not, are control freaks obsessed with keeping the herd calm. They are spiritual cowboys constantly concerned with the herd being spooked. This speaks to the rest of the concerns in the post being considered here. More times than not, the laity are kept in the dark concerning the needs of those abused. There is a wall of confidentiality between the church’s “trained” counselors and the parishioners who fund the whole mess. When red flags are raised in regard to how certain situations are handled, we are told that “we should trust the elders who are closest to the situation and know all of the details.” This continually proves to be a recipe for disaster, and elders are granted NO such authority via the Scriptures.

Small groups in private homes offer intimate support and confidentiality from the other home fellowships. It is a perfect balance of intimate care and financial support if needed. All of the different gifts and experiences of Christ’s body are brought to bear on the situation.

Also, we must remember that the home fellowship movement is comprised of people from all walks of life: policemen, mental health professionals, etc., etc. These people or their areas of expertise are not separated from any situation by the professional clergy for inappropriate reasons.

paul

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