Paul's Passing Thoughts

Spot On

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2023

Daily Tweets

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2023

A Revival At Asbury?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 12, 2023

See, a tree is not known by its fruit. In fact, apparently, a well can have fresh water and bitter water both. Many Churchians are anxious to point to events at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky this week as set against the usual weekly trends of church scandals. Supposedly, there isn’t a problem with the concept of church, it’s just full of a bunch of sinners saved by grace, and periodic “revivals” are God’s accreditation of his appointed authority over salvation on earth.

There is a lot I could write here, but I will keep it simple. With all the churches and all of the different denominations that supposedly set them apart, they all share common tenets that are problematic and antithetical to primary Bible principles.

First, church defines God’s ekklesia as an authoritative institution rather than the literal family of God functioning like a family. Institutions are driven by authority, and not the cooperation of various members that together contribute to the functioning of a body. The homeostasis of a body is determined by the health of each member and its cooperation with the other members. The health of an institution depends on obedience to authority as truth.

Secondly, church, as an institution, limits worship to a place and time, instead of being defined as one’s whole life. At Asbury, time was tossed out of the window, but notice how this supposed revival was once again, limited to a place, with the focus being, “standing room only.”

Thirdly, this “revival,” per the usual, isn’t defined by positive acts of love, but rather “brokenness” and “repentance,” leading to joyful singing (“worship”), which has been the primary focus of the church for more than 500 years (“confessionalism”). This is actually the common church doctrine of mortification and vivification, which is common in all forms of church to one degree or another. How’s it workin’ for ya?

By the way, Asbury had the same kind of revival in 1970, which was recently highlighted at the university. Hmmmmmm. However, the bigger point follows: what significant change came from it or any other revival of church history? The present-day church has never been a hotter mess or a larger train wreck.

I will keep the points basic here without visiting the the Wesleyan doctrine of the university, which is a whole other cause for skepticism.

I believe I witnessed the only true church revival ever, which was the impact of the original biblical counseling movement in the early 90’s after it began in 1970. That movement was decimated and replaced by the Neo-Calvinist movement. True spiritual revivals are going to have a broad positive impact on the lives of many people in many different ways, and are not going to be the focus of a particular place marked by emotional drama. Sure, it can start somewhere, but the true test is results over time.

let me give you an example. The first nurses were the 1st century deaconesses. Had that ministry not been wiped out in the 4th century when the ekklesia was institutionalized, we would not have a shortage of nurses today. A real revival is going to impact society in concrete ways. It will be the result of intentional loving acts, not emotional bloodletting at some alter limited to a place and time.


No Exceptions

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 11, 2023

John MacArthur, Julie Roys, and Hohn Cho’s Colossal Opportunity.

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

Oh boy, John MacArthur is really in for it this time. Probably not. In 2011, I wrote The Truth About New Calvinism, which painstakingly documents the fact that the present-day evangelical brain trust had no idea what the Protestant gospel is, and had to be informed by an Adventist theologian circa 1970. A re-visitation of this contemporary history will be the subject of our 2023 conference.

This led to the Neo-Calvinist movement, which is a return to the medieval Protestant gospel. After the American Revolution, individualistic ideas became integrated into the authentic Protestant gospel that ruled the American colonies, and church actually became a force for good in American society for the better part of 200 years. Particularly in the 60s, the church had a vague concept of the biblical new birth, but even that led to positive outcomes. The evangelical church was firmly established as a societal moral compass.

However, the authentic Protestant gospel, what Albert Mohler refers to as “confessionalism,” overtly denies the biblical new birth and redefines it as a necessary revisiting of the gospel that originally saved us. In other words, instead of being a one time event that seals us with the Spirit, it is a ritual necessary for maintaining salvation. Hence, the mantra, “The same gospel that saved you also sanctifies you.” Of course, the way this is all preached plays on the assumption that remembering our original salvation is a good idea and helps our sanctification, that is, until we are fully indoctrinated into a full-blown progressive justification, which is Protestantism, and Luther and Calvin both plainly stated such.

Post Revolution, the American church retained a progressive justification functioning, particularly in the order of worship, but had a contradictory intellectual testimony. Here is an example among many: In the 60’s, 70’s, and to a much lesser degree in the 80’s, most parishioners would have rejected out of hand the idea that church membership is essential for salvation. However, they didn’t function that way. As a church leader during the 80’s, I was ran out of town for suggesting nonattenders be removed from the membership role. It was clear, at that point, that people connected their salvation to being on a membership role, but would have, at the same time, vehemently denied it intellectually.

This brings us to the latest drama trending in the church. Stuff that has been going on in the biblical counseling movement for years is finally getting some press, and the real John MacArthur is being exposed. Women married to pedophiles, which put their own children at risk, were brought up on church discipline for leaving their husbands. Julie Roys, a journalist, wrote about a particular case at MacArthur’s church and it went viral. It is my understanding that a respected elder and attorney at MacArthur’s church, Hohn Cho, was asked to review the case. I am gathering my information from a recent Christianity Today article that picked up on what Roys has been writing about for some time.

Apparently, Cho was not up with how MacArthur’s church handled the situation, and insisted that the church reconcile with Eileen Gray, the wife involved in one of the aforementioned cases. The church’s refusal led to Cho leaving MacArthur’s church and becoming an advocate for other victims.

Let me set the table before we unpack all of this. First, why are there so many cases like this in a supposed evangelical bastion of Bible literacy? Second, why are these numerous cases being handled the way they are being handled? Thirdly, why is the vaunted biblical counseling movement seemingly powerless to change these men, and why is this counseling, in most cases, making the situations worse? These questions can be answered if you understand the authentic Protestant gospel that drives MacArthur’s church, and the ideology behind it.

However, I want to address Cho first. Why is he the only leader in MacArthur’s church to take a stand on this? Answer: he is a half pregnant Protestant. He really doesn’t thoroughly understand the gospel and ideology that MacArthur is functioning under. Nevertheless, what he does understand, and the application thereof, causes him to stand above the rest. He appears to be a good guy who is, thankfully, confused regarding the whole authentic Protestant enchilada. However, Cho is probably confused enough to object to me calling him good, because, you know, “only God is good.” Ok then, I assume he has repented of being an advocate for Eileen Gray, because if we are not good, we cannot do good works, right? In fact, Calvin himself wrote that NO Christian has ever done a good work and never will. Here is where Cho is confused: he thinks he is dealing with people who believe other people can do what is right. That’s not exactly the case. We can begin there: Calvin stated the aforementioned because his standard for justification was perfect law-keeping, and not the biblical new birth, which he and Luther rejected in exchange for the Protestant doctrine of mortification and vivification.

If you are born again, the fact that the Trinity dwells IN you is what makes you perfectly righteous as a state of being, and NOTHING ELSE. The biblical new birth changes our relationship to the law, this is key. The apostle Paul even states it as two different laws (Romans 8:2 [nomos for both]), and for all practical purposes, the Spirit’s two uses of the law: to convict the world of sin and the judgement to come, or for sanctification. In the latter, there is no condemnation. In other words, if you properly understand the gospel, you CANNOT have a single perspective on the law that applies to justification and sanctification both.

Clearly, very clearly, John MacArthur, and his puppet, Phil Johnson, see law and gospel through a single perspective on the law, which boils down to an under-law gospel. This is an unavoidable fact. We are either under law or under grace, we cannot be both. Clearly, the authentic Protestant gospel defines under grace as a covering for remaining under law. No, Christ didn’t come to cover sin, he came to end it. Frequently, MacArthur himself refers to salvation as an “atonement.” Nor can you separate condemnation from a single perspective on the law, which necessarily requires an ongoing rectification for “present sin.” Consequently, Phil Johnson has stated from MacArthur’s pulpit that Christians are under the “righteous demands of the law.” So, in broad daylight, he advocates for the very false gospel that the apostle Paul spent his whole ministry refuting.

I took the liberty of listening to a podcast of Cho presenting the gospel from Grace Community Church’s doctrinal statement. Clearly, he doesn’t understand the full ramifications of what he was reading and explaining, but in a good way, he kind of has a working knowledge of the biblical new birth. This is what sets him apart and has driven him to do what he has done. Also, more evidence of his fortunate confusion is his concept of justice, which is totally antithetical to the authentic Protestant gospel.

So, the reason for all of this vile behavior in the supposed bastion of evangelical biblicism is a false under-law gospel. The reason that men in MacArthur’s church are enslaved to such behaviors is because enslavement to sin is a hallmark of being under law. It’s just that simple. And usually, someone like Cho would be brought up on church discipline in order to destroy his creditability and protect the church, but in this case, Cho is too well known and respected; it would have backfired, and remember, he’s a lawyer, so…. And by the way, where is “church discipline” in the Bible to begin with, and for that matter, in Matthew 18? And where are the “elders” in Matthew 18? We have, “the Lord’s discipline” in the Bible, and we have “self discipline,” but where is “church discipline”?

In the early 90’s when Neo-Calvinists put a full court press on MacArthur to join the “gospel recovery movement,” which is an astounding notion to begin with, if you think about it, he was at a fork in the road. Had he rejected their beckoning, he wouldn’t have lost one follower, and I believe he missed an opportunity to lead a countermovement that would have turned the world upside down for the gospel. Instead, he chose to receive his full reward from mortal men.

Cho also is standing at a fork in the road, and a colossal opportunity to receive a massive reward in heaven. Sure, there is a lot more meat that could be put on the gospel basics that I have outlined here, and have been writing about for years, but Cho is obviously smart enough and virtuous enough to fill in the blanks for himself.

For sure, he is smart enough to know that a tree is known by its fruit. I pray that he realizes there is no sin in challenging our deepest held beliefs, and the fruit of that endeavor will enable him to seize on the opportunity that MacArthur passed on, because he loves the praises of men more than God.