Paul's Passing Thoughts

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Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 5, 2023

Free Writing Notes: “How Nurse Aides Save the World”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 1, 2023
Projected Release: August 2023

How Nurse Aides Save the World

    The Fox News TV personality, Jesse Watters, uses an exaggerated expression of self confidence as a trademark much like the late conservative pundit, Rush Limbaugh. Accordingly, Watters wrote a book titled, How I saved The World.  No one really believes he saved the world; but the use of this shtick adds humor to serious truth and creates interest through curiosity. How in the world does Watters think he saved the world? How will he make this absurd notion fit with the points he wants to make in the book?

    Regarding nurse aides, it’s not a shtick—it’s reality, and that’s what this chapter is about. This reality begins with examining the notion of, “quality of life.” If life has degrees of “quality,” life also has degrees or levels of value. This is because quality determines value. Work is virtuous, even when it pays minimum wage. We wouldn’t want to determine the virtue or value of work based on wages; work is virtuous, and valuable, in, and of itself. The belief that there is a “quality of life” is a slippery slope; who then determines what defines “quality”? It’s subjective, and is an opinion that varies greatly among people.  

    Here is how nurse aides save the world: they believe life has value, in, and of itself. They believe life value is multifaceted; life always has value, and it is a value that is defined in many different ways without a hierarchy of value. Likewise, there are many different types of work, but work is always valuable. A quality-of-life mentality will always be equal to quality of care, and that is antithetical to an equitable ideology of care. “Quality of life” is a term we hear often in healthcare culture, and that’s a huge problem. The term has no rightful place in healthcare; it is wrongheaded, and antithetical to compassion. Be not deceived, in all cases, a value placed on life will always determine the quality of care and how care is delivered. And furthermore, quality is also closely related to purpose, and this is where things can become very dark.

    Though a historical cliché, Nazism during World War II is the best example for the point being made here. The basic ideology of the Adolf Hitler regime married life value, or quality, with purpose. In other words, life value was determined by one’s ability to fulfil the purpose for living. In this case, the sole purpose of every individual living under the Nazi regime was support and contribution to the state. A person’s value was determined by their ability to contribute to the state.

    The ideology of collectivism is similar: one’s life value is determined by their ability to “contribute to the group.” Along the same lines, Altruism, the idea that levels of virtue are defined by the degree that you sacrifice yourself for others, is a pseudo-goodness. Altruism is a naive support for collectivism, which defines life value according to one’s ability to contribute to something else. Hence, as history testifies, during the Nazi rein in Germany, the feeble, mentally ill, and handicapped were exterminated. Again, the idea that life has degrees of quality and value is a slippery slope that must be rejected. What constitutes a quality of life is an open question that can only be answered with subjectivism. Worse yet, invariably, the wrong people become the judges for what constitutes a quality life. In addition, the open question of life value is almost always determined by monetary and collectivist ideas. This is because the idea of life quality was given birth by these ideologies. Here is something else to remember: history teaches us that ruling elitist minorities never live by collectivist ideology; these ideologies are always relegated to the lesser classes in caste systems created by these philosophies.

    Life, as valuable, in, and of itself, is intuitive, or as the founders of Americanism liked to say, “self-evident.” An example is the many Hollywood movies, such as Soylent Green and Logan’s Run that depict the possible outcomes of labeling life according to quality. An additional thought includes the fact that NASA spends billions every year collecting rocks from other planets in search for life in any form they might find. Life must be very important.

    But, what about end-of-life suffering? What about extreme suffering in general? Thankfully, in our day, we have drugs and other therapies that can alleviate pain. But again, the question of suffering is also a very slippery slope. How slippery? Abortion is often advocated to prevent the assumed future suffering of an unwanted child. That’s how presumptuous and subjective things can get. Not only that, suffering can come to be defined as one less brewery in the world or one less rock and roll band. According to an article on Salon .com, music superstar Stevie Nicks stated that there wouldn’t be a Fleetwood Mac (the band she sings for) if she hadn’t had an abortion in 1979. In the same article, another woman stated that she wouldn’t have been able to open a brewery that she owns.[1] A rebuttal could be just as presumptuous because someone possibly growing up and finding a cure for cancer would be much more beneficial to humanity than a brewery or a rock and roll band. At any rate, the present-day arguments for abortion are a far cry from the original premise that argued for its legalization.  

    Due to the fact that a worldview of life is linked directly to the quality and compassion of care, nurse aides must avoid all ideological slippery slopes. What then, as part of the nurse aide state of being, should be our worldview concerning life? We must believe that all life has equal value, and that all individuals are worthy of our best efforts in delivering care.

    When a nurse aide exerts full efforts, as far as it is possible, in caring for an individual in the most hopeless and purposeless circumstances, that aide, is, in effect, defending the principle of life as valuable, in, and of itself. There is really no choice in the matter because anything less will always digress to the slippery slope and begin the inevitable downward slide to greater and lesser care for individuals on the same unit. No nurse aide worth their salt will accept this standard because care is based on need, and even though need varies from person to person, the true nurse aide will meet those needs to the best of their abilities. This is the nurse aide ideology and state of being: we do not judge quality of life, we assess need in the circumstances, whatever they are, and we meet that need to the best of our abilities.

    However, something else can be added here. Though so-called “quality of life” and needed care are mutually exclusive from an ideological point of view, one could argue that quality of life should be judged according to one’s level of happiness. Apparently, that’s how Jesus Christ assessed so-called quality of life in his eight beatitudes. Each one begins with, literally, “Happy are you…” when or if certain things occur. Anyone who has worked any amount of time in a long-term care facility knows that many of the residents are, indeed, happy to various degrees, and they are happy regardless of being unable to contribute anything to anybody or any institution. But, this is not entirely true; they contribute to the livelihoods of aides, nurses, and administrators. In essence, they are employers, and are paying our wages with their past industries. This is even true of many who suffer the affliction of dementia or Alzheimer’s, they are not only happy in their own world as it is (remember, for them, perception is their reality), but they are our employers, and employers are important people. In light of this, who are we to judge their so-called quality of life, which may lead to a diminishing of care that is due to them?

    There is something else we can consider. Experience tells us that people often compensate for lesser elements in their life by extracting more happiness from whatever is left. How caregivers can add elements back into their lives will be discussed in another chapter, but for now we will meet Joe (not his real name), also known as “Milkshake Man” (not the real food either) in a long-term care facility located somewhere in the United States. Joe has dementia, is a paraplegic, and enjoys watching cable TV. He also has an extreme likeness for milkshakes. Every Friday evening after dinner, an aide travels to UDF and buys Joe his favorite handmade milkshake. When the shake is delivered to Joe, it is a celebration enjoyed by everyone working on that unit. Joe enjoys his life. Also, Joe brings joy to those who care for him. Who are we to judge the quality of his life? That’s not our venue, our venue is to meet care needs.

    There is yet something else to consider. Some residents are not happy, but they are not ready to die for various reasons. Regardless of their condition, which may be severe, they do not want to die, and that is their right. Again, at least for those reading this in the United States, one way or the other, through taxes or direct funds, or both, they have paid to have their needs met. In addition, the United States Constitution establishes the right of every citizen to life and liberty.

    There is an old Jewish proverb that states the following: “He who saves one life, saves the world.” What does it mean? It means the following; if you don’t value individual life, you don’t really value any life. If one life is expendable, all lives are expendable. Collectivism is the ideology behind every mass grave known by God upon the earth. The purpose of life goes far beyond the ability to contribute to “the group,” or “the greater good,” or the state. And if you are a nurse aide, don’t fool yourself; if you will compromise care and compassion for one patient because they “aren’t going to get better” or “They are actively dying,” you will eventually compromise everyone you care for, and your lack of compassion will be plenary.

    Because a true nurse aide has the right worldview of life, that nurse aide is a defender and advocate for life, and in this way, contributes to the saving of the world.      

[1] Stine, A. (2022, July 4). Stevie Nicks’ abortion and the freedom to choose you.

Paul David Tripp

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 10, 2023

Why Every Self‐Respecting Premillennialist Isn’t a Calvinist

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 10, 2023

Originally published April 9, 2014

“One’s eschatology will be consistent with their view of justification—unless you’re John MacArthur.”  

At the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference, Pastor John MacArthur gave the opening message titled, “Why Every Self‐Respecting Calvinist Is a Premillennialist.” The message caused a hyper hissy fit among the authentic Geneva style Calvinists that used to associate with MacArthur. Most of the hysterical reviews were whining rants about how the message was an “ambush.” They came to the conference to hear solid fatalistic Reformed doctrine while enjoying sweet fellowship among philosopher kings, and instead were personally dressed down at the very beginning of the conference that they attended with hard earned parishioner money. It just ain’t right.

No doubt, the message left amillennialism naked and freezing outside in the cold. Well, sort of, depending on your understanding of Calvin’s election construct. This is why the various responses danced around the real issue and were in bondage to MacArthur’s fundamental misunderstanding about what Calvinism is while calling himself one. Paul warned the Corinthians that elitist academia is not the venue that God works from, and this fiasco is just one good example among many as to why that is so. The Geneva popes could not expose the fact that MacArthur’s fundamental premise is wrong—that would expose what Calvin really believed about election—a truth that the totally depraved artisans can’t handle.

MacArthur said this during the message:

“But bottom line here, of all people on the planet to be pre-millennialist it should be Calvinists; those who love sovereign election. Let’s leave amillennialism for the Arminians. It’s perfect! [laughter] It’s ideal. It’s a no-brainer. God elects nobody and preserves nobody. Perfect! Arminians make great amillennialists. It’s consistent. But not for those who live and breathe the rarified air of sovereign electing grace. That makes no sense. We can leave amillennialism to the process theologians . . . The irony is that those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election regarding the church, and its inviolable place in God’s purpose from predestination to glorification, and those who most aggressively and militantly defend the truth of promise and fulfillment, those who are the advocates of election being divine, unilateral, unconditional, and irrevocable by nature for the church, unashamedly deny the same for elect Israel. That is a strange division.”

Ok, so MacArthur highlighted one of the assumed positive notes that can be taken from the idea of Calvin’s election: Once saved always saved. And, absolute assurance of salvation because it is God’s work alone—we can’t mess it up. And, how can you proffer election for the individual and ignore the fact that Israel was elected? This put the Geneva popes in a tough spot because they know that this apparent contradiction fits perfectly with Calvin’s doctrine of election.

Calvin believed in three categories of election: the non-elect, the called elect, and the chosen elect. This necessarily denies assurance because the called elect don’t know for certain whom among them have been chosen to persevere till the end. Calvin stated this in no uncertain terms:

Let us, therefore, embrace Christ, who is kindly offered to us, and comes forth to meet us: he will number us among his flock, and keep us within his fold. But anxiety arises as to our future state. For as Paul teaches, that those are called who were previously elected, so our Savior shows that many are called, but few chosen (Mt. 22:14). Nay, even Paul himself dissuades us from security, when he says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall,” (1 Cor. 10:12). And again, “Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee,” (Rom. 11:20, 21). In fine, we are sufficiently taught by experience itself, that calling and faith are of little value without perseverance, which, however, is not the gift of all (CI 3.24.6).

You can be called, and you can have faith, but that doesn’t seal the deal, said Calvin:

The expression of our Savior, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” (Mt. 22:14), is also very improperly interpreted (see Book 3, chap. 2, sec. 11, 12). There will be no ambiguity in it, if we attend to what our former remarks ought to have made clear—viz. that there are two species of calling: for there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness (CI 3.24.8).

So, this fits perfectly with Calvin’s eschatology; Israel was temporarily elected just like many individuals are temporarily elected. The logical conclusion of Calvin is that God’s word, did in fact, fail (Romans 9:6). Moreover, and in direct contradiction to 1John 5:13, authentic Reformed doctrine has always denied assurance. This is reflected in many contemporary authentic Calvinists:

There is danger on the way to salvation in heaven. We need ongoing protection after our conversion. Our security does not mean we are home free. There is a battle to be fought (John Piper: Bethlehem Baptist Church Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Elect Are Kept by the Power of God October 17, 1993).

Words mean things. Piper is clearly saying that our battle in sanctification is a battle for justification. If you really understand the Reformed view of justification, you know: that battle is against our supposed propensity to gain favor with God through works in sanctification (“please/love God” changed to: merit for salvation). There is no separation of justification and sanctification, so works in sanctification must be sanctified with a faith alone formula. It’s salvation by Christ plus not doing any works in sanctification (Christ + antinomianism to maintain our salvation). We must be sanctified the same way we were justified so that we can properly finish justification. Therefore, Calvin believed that sins committed in the Christian life separate us from grace, and a continual repentance, the same repentance that saved us, is needed to maintain our salvation. Unless we live by faith alone in sanctification, Christ’s blood will not be applied to the new sins we commit. This is the battle Piper is talking about. Said Calvin:

…by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God… Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God (John Calvin: Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles; The Calvin Translation Society 1855. Editor: John Owen, p. 165 ¶4).

And, guess what? It just so happens that your local Reformed elder, via the Reformed power of the keys, has the authority to forgive those pesky sins that take away your salvation. Whoever would have thunk it?

To impart this blessing to us, the keys have been given to the Church (Mt. 16:19; 18:18). For when Christ gave the command to the apostles, and conferred the power of forgiving sins, he not merely intended that they should loose the sins of those who should be converted from impiety to the faith of Christ; but, moreover, that they should perpetually perform this office among believers (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.22).

Secondly, This benefit is so peculiar to the Church, that we cannot enjoy it unless we continue in the communion of the Church. Thirdly, It is dispensed to us by the ministers and pastors of the Church, either in the preaching of the Gospel or the administration of the Sacraments, and herein is especially manifested the power of the keys, which the Lord has bestowed on the company of the faithful. Accordingly, let each of us consider it to be his duty to seek forgiveness of sins only where the Lord has placed it. Of the public reconciliation which relates to discipline, we shall speak at the proper place (Ibid).

Calvinism is an egregious false gospel being flaunted in broad daylight by academic elitists who are in reality clueless, which brings me to my second point. This is where the vast majority of American Christians are functioning Calvinists…among many other ways while vehemently denying Calvin. Specifically, the whole idea that eschatology is a “secondary issue.” No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Eschatology is gospel; you cannot separate the cross from eschatology. One’s eschatology will be consistent with their view of justification—unless you’re John MacArthur.

The number of resurrections and judgments, and who stands in those judgments, are indicative of a particular view of justification, and election in particular. MacArthur’s dispensationalism coupled with naming the name of Calvinistic soteriology, which really isn’t Calvin’s soteriology to begin with, is a dumbfounding contraction that leaves one without words to fully explain. Calvin’s eschatology calls for one resurrection and one judgment at the end of time where everyone sweats it out while waiting to find out if they were antinomian enough. Some of the books at the Great White Throne Judgment are the books of the law that will be used by God to judge the works of those standing in that judgment. As one aspect of Christian security, we will not stand in that judgment because we are not under the law. Furthermore, we don’t wait to see if our antinomianism sufficiently utilized the “doing and dying” of Christ to cover our sins—our sins have been completely eradicated.

The number of resurrections and judgments speak to our view of what part of Christ’s works on the cross are finished and not finished, the separation of justification and sanctification, the new birth, election, and future Israel. Eschatology is gospel.

That’s why every self‐respecting premillennialist isn’t a Calvinist, and why MacArthur isn’t a Calvinist, but he thinks he is a Calvinist. As stated by Richard Muller,

There is every likelihood that John MacArthur’s “Calvinism” would probably not be recognized by Calvin himself.

It’s all simply pathetic.


What’s Going On At Asbury, and What’s Driving It?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 24, 2023

If you are reading this, you have probably heard of the spiritual “revival” at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. The event has become famous, with everyone from the blogsphere to Tucker Carlson of Fox News weighing in on the event. Journalists like Carlson were persuaded not to do any onsite reporting on the event in order to, supposedly, “keep Jesus front and center.” By the way, considering the critical thinking skills of the average American, I deem it necessary to inform you that Jesus did not attend and speak. However, thousands of attendees able to jump and chant at the same time spoke many things for Jesus throughout the revival. This reminds me of the various church councils throughout history where dogma was determined by church authoritarians; we must remind ourselves that Jesus did not attend any of them. Basically, if you accept the authority of any of these councils, you are trusting the musings of men rather than the one who received ALL authority IN HEAVEN and ON EARTH (that pretty much covers everything) from God. The Bible is clear on this; the Bereans vetted the apostle Paul’s teachings with their own understanding of the Bible and were commended for it by the Holy Spirit. If the apostle Paul did not have the authority to tell people what to believe, no one does.

There is one common theme throughout the reporting of this event; it’s some sort mysterious moving of the Spirit that no one understands. Be sure of this: It’s not the Spirit’s work, and what is going on is perfectly understandable. The vast majority of American churchgoers don’t know why they do anything they are told to do, nor do they know anything about what they supposedly believe. So, the first element is mystery, then there are two more subthemes that define the event: “Brokenness,” marked by confession and repentance (which sparked the revival), and praising God.” These two define the lion’s share of the event’s activity. That’s because these two elements define the Protestant doctrine of mortification and vivification. And few of them, if any, know that this is what’s driving the activity because, again, people who go to church don’t know why they do anything except for the assumption that it is getting them to heaven because some pope or pastor said so.

So, what is the doctrine of mortification and vivification? Well, instead of defining the new birth as a one time act of God upon an individual that seals them with the Holy Spirit for eternity, mortification and vivification defines the new birth as a perpetual reoccurring event that must be pursued with intentionality in order to remain saved. Also, this doctrinal endeavor must take place in a location ordained by God and under the auspices of his appointed authoritarians, viz, church. That’s why this “revival” took place in a chapel. And, it’s why the event is marked by nonstop praise and worship, as that defines the vivification (rebirth) part of the process. The participant partakes in repentance for “present sins,” leading to brokenness (death, or mortification of sin, or death to self), which results in the Spirit re-resurrecting you (vivification, or what John Piper calls, “exultation”). John Calvin referred to it as a re-visiting of our original baptism, which signifies our death and resurrection with Christ (new birth). According to the biblical gospel, water baptism is only a picture of what God does spiritually to make us a once-and-for-eternity child of his, but Calvin and Luther both defined water baptism as an ordinance that supplies the power needed for continual re-salvation through the mortification and vivification process. Also, according to Luther and Calvin, water baptism initiates us into the church marriage covenant, where we have access to the ordinances that make mortification and vivification possible.

Asbury is just the practice of mortification and vivification x 10, or as one person put it, “nothing but a long church service.” And yes, it’s works salvation, or Jesus + church ritual…clearly. Hence, the number of people showing up shouldn’t surprise us; Asbury is a place to get a stronger dose of Jesus, which is efficacious for the progression of salvation.