Paul's Passing Thoughts

A Response to Calvary Bible Church, Columbus, Ohio

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 6, 2017

What follows is my response to a letter I received on September 1, 2017.  The original letter can be found here.  The subject matter pertains to a Reformation history class being offered this fall by Mr. Saxton.  My response is going out in the mail today.  I present it here for your consideration.

~ Andy
(related article: “Home Fellowship Distinctives Will Continue to Develop“)


David Saxton “Pastor of Discipleship and Counseling” These guys are big on titles, aren’t they?

David Saxton
Calvary Bible Church
3865 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43214

Mr. Saxton:

Thank you for your timely correspondence dated August 28, 2017, inquiring as to the health and welfare of my family and myself. After all, it has been since June 26, 2011 since last we darkened the doorstep as official “members” of Calvary Bible Church, which to my count is approximately 6 years and 2 months. So glad you finally found the time in your busy schedule. Quite frankly, the letter you sent me last week was possibly the most entertaining thing I had to read that day.

I had also previously received your voicemail message when you called a few days prior to my receipt of your letter. I simply chose not to respond to it. Had you been wise and discerning you would have taken that as a cue and left well enough alone. Instead, you unwisely chose to exercise your over-inflated sense of self-appointed “authority” which you perceive you have over me and composed the afore-mentioned letter.

Since you have chosen to reach out to me in this manner, I believe I am well within my right to offer a rebuttal to the salient points in your letter.

For starters, I never had, nor will I ever have, any desire to attend any “class” taught by you or any pastor/elder/bishop/apostle/shepherd-leader/pope (or whatever self-appointed “authoritative” title you choose for yourselves) of Calvary Bible Church regardless of the subject matter. The class on the Reformation appeared in the news feed of a mutual Facebook friend, and it piqued my own personal curiosity about all things having to do with the Reformation. Thinking that it would provide me with more details on the contents of the class, I entered my email address. I had no intention whatsoever of ever registering.

You stated in your letter the following:

“I am sorry to inform you, but I am unable to register you for the Reformation Institute class at this time. This is because of your unwillingness to follow the spiritual leadership of Calvary Bible Church and to submit to their biblical rebuke of your divisive behavior among the saints. (Hebrews 13:17; and Ephesians 4:1-6)”

Well, take heart, Mr. Saxton. No need to feel sorry, as I already mentioned I had no intention of registering in the first place. However, your expression of regret is disingenuous at best. I highly doubt that you are sorry in the least. More than likely you were giddy with delight at the prospect of invoking your power of exclusion. For what it’s worth, had I even had serious consideration in registering for this class, your response is exactly as I would have predicted it would be.

From your statement above it would seem apparent to any casual reader that the acceptance of one’s registration for said class is predicated on agreement with the leadership of CBC. But I am curious; if you are charging $50 to attend this class, would this not simply be a mutual exchange of value? After all, $50 is $50, regardless if the parties share the same philosophical ideologies or not. I’m sure that if a stranger came into CBC on a given Sunday morning and put $50 in the offering plate you would accept it readily. I’m sure it would go right into the building fund for the new elementary school building at Northside Christian School. I seriously doubt that you would first give this person the third degree about his doctrinal position and then refuse his $50 if he were found in disagreement.

You speak of a “divisive behavior”. Know this, that the division begins and ends with you and the leadership of CBC. Refusing to let someone attend a class on Reformation history because he does not agree with you is the very definition of divisiveness. If you truly believed that your ideas are so correct, that you have the best argument for why you believe what you believe, then those ideas should be able to withstand scrutiny.

Why do you fear having your ideas challenged?

Answer: Because none of your arguments are based on reason.

You stated in your very own course syllabus in section 3 entitled “Reformation Church History Class Format”, letter “c”, that there will be “Open lectures – I encourage your input, comments, and questions,” but this is an outright lie. It would have been better for you to be honest and say that you encourage discussion that only agrees with you. In truth, you fear rational discussion because it represents a direct threat to your self-proclaimed “authority” any time someone disagrees with you. And rather than refute the argument, you resort to attacking your challenger, attempting to marginalize him by using terms such as “proud”, “arrogant”, and “divisive”.

I say “self-proclaimed” authority because that is exactly what it is. Jesus stated in Matthew 28:28 that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This was one of the last things Jesus stated before He ascended into heaven. Nowhere did He outsource that authority to anyone else. We are to follow another’s example only as that person follows Christ, NOT because he has some notion of “authority” over us.

In citing Hebrews 13:17 you have made an egregious interpretive assumption. The word that is translated “obey” is the Greek word πειθω (peitho), and it means to be persuaded through reason. Had the writer of Hebrews meant to say “obey” one would think he would have used the word υπακουω (hupakuo) which speaks of following the instructions of one in authority, such as when the disciples marveled that even the wind and seas obeyed (hupakuo) Jesus.

That you make such an error as this should come as no surprise, for “authority”, particularly the authority in institutional religious establishments, speaks to power and control through coercion and force. For where there is authority, reason is not necessary. When the apostle Paul journeyed from city to city and from synagogue to synagogue he did not preach, “I am right, and you must obey me because I have authority from God.” Time after time the Bible says that Paul reasoned with them out of the scriptures. His scriptural arguments were valid only insofar as they were reasonable, meaning, they flowed from a rational premise to a logical conclusion.

Not everyone took Paul’s arguments at face value. Many took it upon themselves to search out the scriptures for themselves to verify that Paul’s arguments were valid. In fact, such people were called “noble” for doing so. They weren’t labeled “arrogant”, “proud”, or “unsubmissive.”

I am still trying to wrap my head around your citation of Ephesians 4:1-6. Perhaps you could have provided some context. Perhaps it has something to do with your flawed concept of “unity”. Make no mistake; your concept of “unity” is defined as being in agreement with the leadership of CBC. Period. It is disingenuous at best for you to try to suggest anything otherwise. Regardless of what you say or what you preach from the pulpit on any given Sunday, your actions betray you. The letter you sent me last week is evidence enough. If there is one thing I have learned over the past 6 years, it is that all actions are driven by assumptions (a beginning premise or set of premises).

I will say this without apology or equivocation: Protestantism is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind since the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Protestantism is even a worse fraud than Catholicism because at least Catholics know what they believe and are honest about it. What makes Protestantism truly evil in its deception is the fact that so many Protestants are ignorant about what they believe and what the Reformation was truly about.

Despite all the pontificating about the evils of the selling of indulgences and the perceived over-reaching of the authority of the Pope (there is no end to the irony in that statement), the Reformation was about one thing and one thing only; a desire to return the Roman Catholic Church to the authentic Augustinian orthodoxy from which it had drifted as a result of St. Thomas Aquinas and his rediscovery of Aristotalian philosophy.

There is no other argument. You can sit there and preach to me about submitting to authority, but it only betrays your own duplicity, for if you were indeed truly serious about submitting to authority, you would this very instant crawl on your hands and knees to Pope Francis himself and repent and plead for forgiveness for not submitting to his authority. You cannot have it both ways. The same claim that the Roman Catholic Church uses for authority is the very same one you seek to use. So why do you not submit to Rome? What makes you think that your own personal monopoly on truth is “orthodox”?

Protestantism is a fraud because it plays upon the presumption of the unsuspecting laity by allowing them to assume the normative definition of words while gradually indoctrinating them to a redefinition of terms. Probably the best example of this is the definition of “justification by faith alone.” One is allowed to assume that “faith alone” pertains to one’s justification only, but this is not the case. Reformation Protestantism takes “faith alone” to pertain to sanctification as well.

Luther and Calvin were both clear about this; that one perseveres in salvation by continually returning to the same gospel that saved them in the first place, and this too is accomplished by “faith alone”. This is the assumption behind such catch-phrases as “preach the gospel to yourself every day,” and “the same gospel that saves you sanctifies you.” Incidentally, these were phrases I heard with regularity at CBC once Eric Sipe became pastor.

Such orthodoxy makes Protestantism no different from Catholicism. Both believe in a justification that is progressive. Both believe that salvation must be maintained throughout the life of the believer. The only difference is the means whereby such maintenance is accomplished. Catholics believe salvation is maintained through the sacraments. Protestants believe salvation is maintained by “faith alone.”

Protestantism is a fraud because its orthodoxy results in only one final judgment that determines the truly “elect” from the “non-elect.” In this case, only those who have persevered to the end by “faith alone” will find themselves “covered in Jesus’ righteousness” and thereby spared the wrath of God. This is erroneous on many levels.

First of all, believers will stand before no such judgment. The only judgment for believers will be for rewards at the Bema, NOT to determine salvation. It is only after the second resurrection that unbelievers only will find themselves before the Great White Throne and judged according to their works and subsequently cast into the Lake of Fire.

Secondly, believers are not “covered” in the righteousness of Christ. Salvation is not a “covering” of sin. It is an ending of sin. Believers need no covering because they are truly righteous as a state of being. Their righteousness is a product of the New Birth, not by some vicarious imputation of the righteousness of Jesus to them.

This brings me to the third reason, and it is yet one more evidence of why Protestantism is a fraud; its misunderstanding of the Law. This is Protestantism’s Achilles Heel. Protestantism believes in a righteousness that is the product of perfect law-keeping, or as they like to say, “the righteous demands of the Law.” According to Protestant orthodoxy, since no man can keep the Law perfectly, Jesus must keep it for us, so that his perfect righteousness can be imputed to our account. So long as one is living by “faith alone” and not depending on any of his own works, Jesus’ righteousness is continually applied to them. But there is one HUGE problem with this.

Righteousness is APART FROM the Law!

It does not matter if Jesus has to keep the Law for us, because if that is true, then that is making Law the standard for righteousness in direct contradiction to Romans 3:21 and 3:28 which plainly state that righteousness is apart from the Law. Protestants are keen on saying that justification is a “forensic” or legal declaration of righteousness. How can it be a legal declaration if righteousness is apart from the Law?

This is compounding error with error.

The standard for righteousness is the New Birth! The one who believes in Jesus Christ and accepts God’s free gift of eternal life has passed from death unto life. The old man dies, and in his place is reborn a new creature who is the literal offspring of the Father. Jesus is righteous, not because He kept the Law perfectly, but because He is the Son of God. The one who is born again is righteous because he is God’s child and has God’s righteousness; he is truly righteous as a state of being just as Christ is righteous.

This is why the apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:9,

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

The Bible speaks of two kinds of people; those who are “under law” and those who are “under grace.” To be “under law” means to be under the jurisdiction of the law and therefore subject to condemnation. Therefore, to “commit sin” has to do with being under condemnation. But because the believer is born again, he is no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1), therefore he cannot sin. Since there is no law to condemn him (he is not under law) he cannot sin. Where there is no law there is no sin.

What should be abundantly clear in scripture is that the Law was never intended to be a means of righteousness, yet Protestantism seeks to make that same Law the standard for righteousness. For the one who is under law, the Law can only condemn. But for the born again believer, the Law is a means to show love to God and others. The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. Jesus said that if you love Him, then keep His commandments. The Apostle Paul wrote that love is the fulfilling of the Law. All the Law is fulfilled in one statement; “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Born again believers do not sin because they are not under law and cannot be condemned. At worst, for the believer any failure to keep the Law is nothing more than a failure to show love, but it does not condemn!

Yet Protestantism’s misunderstanding of the Law seeks to circumvent love. Protestantism says any good works you do is an attempt to merit righteousness. Protestantism says if you try to keep the Law you are not living by “faith alone.” Protestantism takes away the very means that God made for man to show love to Him and others and makes it nothing more than a subjective experience. The result is a constant introspection where the would-be believer finds himself in a constant state of wondering whether or not he is living enough by “faith alone” at any given moment. Rather than aggressively trying to show love to God and others, his life is characterized by fear!

Is it any wonder then that so many “Christians” (especially teens) lack assurance of salvation?

Is it any wonder then why so many churches are perceived as cold and loveless?

Like I stated before, assumptions drive behavior. The assumption is that any attempt by the believer to obey the Law will result in condemnation. The only thing that condemnation produces is fear, the exact opposite of love.

This is the very thing of which Jesus accused the Pharisees and other religious leaders of His day. The popular belief is that the Pharisees were “legalists”. On the contrary, they too believed that perfect law-keeping was necessary for righteousness, but such a perfect law-keeping was only attained by adherence to some form of orthodoxy or “traditions.”

In this way, Protestantism is no different from Pharisee-ism; it is a righteousness by perfect law-keeping or a law-keeping attained through orthodoxy. It is a misunderstanding of the Law that results in the true purpose of the Law being supplanted. This is the true definition of “anti-nomianism”, or the Greek word ανομια (anomia – no law, lawlessness).   Jesus said that because of “anomia”, the love of many would wax cold. Well of course it would. When you tell people they shouldn’t try to keep the Law you take away the only means they have of showing love.

This is the fraud into which you have bought wholesale. As one who claims that he is a preacher of the Word of God, this is the grand lie that you are perpetrating on your unsuspecting pew-sitters. The Bible has much to say about such perpetrators of such evil, for that is exactly what Protestantism is; it is an evil assumption, and its outcome is always the same. It is an ideology that has always produced a culture of death and destruction. Those who peddle it are called ravenous wolves who have no regard for the sheep; those who serve their own belly by deceiving the unlearned with good words and fair speeches; clouds without water carried about by the wind; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. I dare say that you just might find yourself numbered among those who will have the audacity to cry, “Lord, Lord”, only to hear Jesus say to you, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work anomia!”

In your letter you spoke of a desire on your part to seek reconciliation; reconciliation in this case meaning submitting to your authority. Well, that’s not going to happen. You have no authority over me or anyone else for that matter. You have no God-given right to rule. You have no special dispensation of enlightenment that entitles you to such a position. It is not your “gift” to bring light to the great unwashed masses among your congregation. All you have is a laundry list of useless academic credentials; a certificate hanging on a wall in your office; a certificate which you purchased with a great sum but that has no real meaning in the grand scheme of things.

It is unfortunate for you that your whole identity and reason for existence is dependent upon people submitting to you, because should the members and adherents at CBC ever come to the realization that the leadership has no control over their salvation, they will walk away in a heartbeat, and there goes your way of life. You are not even qualified to utter the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”

You want to be reconciled to me? I quite honestly can’t think of any reason why I would want that. You are part of a system, an institution, a philosophical ideology that perpetrates evil against man and preaches a false gospel. Why would I ever want to be reconciled with that? Perhaps if you were genuinely repentant about your own behavior towards me and sought my forgiveness I might be inclined to give it. But I’m not holding my breath.

Sincerely,

Andrew Young
Born Again Child of God

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The Assumption of Church Authority

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

Originally published August 15, 2016

The word “assumption” can have at least two meanings. It can mean to take on or take over for oneself as a responsibility. It can also refer to a starting point of an argument; a premise from which a logical conclusion is drawn. In the case of “church authority”, both definitions are applicable.

Protestants must be aware of the assumption, the beginning premise, held by the “church leadership”, the logical conclusions of which produce the resulting behavior observed by so many who come to this ministry seeking answers. Those in so-called “church leadership” have an assumption (self-appointed) of authority based on a faulty assumption (premise).

As a result there are some questions that must be asked:

  1. Is it reasonable to assume that elders and pastors, being fallible men (because after all doesn’t “total depravity” apply to them as well?), could ever possibly be in error regarding doctrine and Biblical interpretation?
  2. If the answer is yes, then what mechanism is there in place, either from Scripture itself or a “church’s” own documented governing principles, to be able to determine if the leadership is in error, thereby making their claim to authority void?
  3. Maybe the same question only stated another way, if a discerning church member were honestly persuaded by his own personal study and illumination of the Holy Spirit that a pastor or elder was in error and promoting false doctrine, and the elder/pastor refuses to hear him, what recourse does that church member have (aside from leaving the church)? (The assumption here being that the member loves his church so much that he is concerned for the spiritual well-being of the church in general and the pastor, elders, and the rest of the laity in particular).
  4. If, on the off chance that an elder or pastor ever conceded the fact that the possibility exists that he himself could be in error concerning doctrine or Biblical interpretation, how would he know that? How would an elder or pastor know if he was wrong? (Of course that begs the question, would he ever admit to it?)

degreeThe answers to these questions should be obvious because this is the assumption: the leadership is assumed to never be wrong because they are the authority! The basis for their self-appointed authority is rooted in the simple notion that they know something that you and I don’t know – the knowledge that man cannot know real truth.  If you ever make the “mistake” of presuming that you know something, that only reinforces the reality of your own depravity and disqualifies you from taking action for good.  It is what testifies to your need for their authority to compel you to good action (“good” as defined by them of course).  Their basis for authority IS authority.

This of course is a logical fallacy. Nevertheless, an elder or pastor will ALWAYS defer to some other authority. His answers regarding doctrine and interpretation are never going to be based on sound reason from his own personal study. He will always make an appeal to the authority that instructed him (i.e. seminary, et al).

The only real difference between you or me and the elder/pastor is the amount of money spent on certification training. The man standing behind the pulpit paid good money for nothing more than a piece of paper that tells him that he knows that man cannot know.  But the Bible clearly states that all authority rests with Christ. The elder/pastor gets his authority from a framed document hanging on a wall in his office.

Whenever the basis for truth is an appeal to authority, there is no need for persuasion or reasoned debate. Only force and coercion.

~ Andy

Holy Schmoly…Who Needs Holiness When You Have Authority?

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 5, 2017

afshin-ziafatAfshin Ziafat holds the title of “lead” pastor and “elder” of Providence Church in Frisco, TX. He was part of a panel discussion along with Conrad Mbewe, John Folmar, and moderated by Kevin DeYoung at the 2016 Cross Conference in Indianapolis, IN. The clip below is an excerpt from that discussion. It happens pretty early on. There are several examples I could have used, but this particular exchange really caught my attention.

Here is a transcript of the above video clip.

KEVIN DEYOUNG: So let’s talk about some of these terms that are often given to describe church. This is sort of Ecclesiology, the study of Church 101. So sometimes there is a reference made to the four attributes of the church. One, holy, catholic, apostolic church. So just jump in who wants to just, 30 seconds, what does it mean, “one church”?

JOHN FOLMAR: Unified in the gospel. United to Christ by the power of the Spirit, and thus united to one another.

DEYOUNG: Okay. So Ephesians 4, there is one spirit, one body, one Lord, one baptism. What about “holy”? Afshin?

AFSHIN ZIAFAT: Um, I’m not sure exactly what you’re wanting from that.

STOP RIGHT THERE! HUH?

I’m not the smartest person in the world, and granted, as I go back and read the transcript, DeYoung doesn’t do a very good job at articulating what he’s asking, but even I understand the question. DeYoung wants to know what it means when we say the church is holy.

Yet here is a man who is supposed to have an academic and theological pedigree which supposedly qualifies him to sit on this panel of “experts”.  Here is a man who is supposedly responsible for the “sheperding” of hundreds if not thousands of people every week.  Here is a man to whom a room full of young people are looking for guidance and direction, a man whom people are supposed to submit to his “authority”.  And yet Ziafat says he’s not sure what DeYoung is wanting?  Does he mean he does not know what it means to say the church is “holy”, or does he not even know the definition of holy?  I am beyond incredulous!

Like I said, I am not the smartest person in the world- I didn’t go to seminary, and I am not the pastor of a church of thousands. I did however give a session on the definition of holiness back at the 2014 TANC conference. Perhaps Mr. Ziafat might find it useful. Here are the links to those sessions.

TANC 2014 – Andy Young, Session 1
TANC 2014 – Andy Young, Session 2
TANC 2014 – Andy Young, Session 3

Now let’s look at the remainder of the transcript:

(ZIAFAT CONTINUING) But I would say just, you know, the fact that, if I may couple with what [FOLMAR] just said, the need for you to be in the church to be shepherded, because, as I see, you know, one catholic church, but yet there’s a need for the local church that you are involved in actually being cared for. Because from the very beginning God is known as a shepherd and His people the sheep of His pasture and Jesus taught His disciples how to shepherd and Peter tells fellow elders that you are to shepherd the flock of God among you. So all that to say, I would tell [the audience] that if they are not in a local church, that’s God’s setup for how He as the shepherd is gonna shepherd them through under-shepherds. And so I think that they need to be in that local church.

Ziafat never answers the question with respect to holiness. Instead he does what politicians do when there is a question they don’t want to answer. They try to distract you by rambling on and on over talking points that you would want to hear, hoping to impress you with their verbosity, all the while saying nothing of any substance. (Donald Trump did this very effectively during the last election campaign.)

But notice what he does choose to talk about: the authority of the church in the lives of Christians. “…the need for you to be in the church to be shepherded…”, “…need for…actually being cared for…”, a local church is how God is “gonna shepherd them through under-shepherds…”, “…they need to be in that local church.” Authority, authority, authority.

I am not the only one who notices that Ziafat doesn’t answer the question. DeYoung realized it too. But rather than put him on the spot, he bails him out by actually answering the question for him. I mean, these guys have to stick together, right?

DEYOUNG: Right, for the accountability, for, you know, if the leaders of the church are accountable before God for their people you need to have some kind of membership, or to whom or for whom are they accountable, and that holy aspect is called out ones out from the world into this fellowship, shepherded, guided…

This is just one example of how these guys perceive themselves and you. You need to be shepherded for your own good. I am reminded once again of what John Immel said at the 2012 TANC conference regarding the metaphysical assumptions of reformed theology – man is fundamentally incompetent to be able to comprehend truth and know good; he therefore needs have good dictated to him; that dictated good is accomplished by the institutional church through divine mediators who presume to stand in God’s stead. And this is all done under the pretense of being done for your own good, since you poor schlubs don’t know any better.

This was the tenor of this entire panel discussion, that we should just be so thankful that we have these “godly” men to guide us poor incompetent masses though our ignorance, and we should just listen to them so that we don’t screw up our lives. I find such arrogance and condescension appalling, especially since these men are such intellectual pinheads who couldn’t come up with an original thought among the four of them to save their lives. They are simply regurgitating what they themselves have been taught. That much is obvious from this example.

~ Andy

This Is What Happens When You Challenge a Calvinist

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 27, 2016

What follows is an exchange I had with a former Facebook “friend”.  This conversation went the way every conversation goes with those who hold to Reformed/Calvinist theology.  Take note of the following:

  1. An appeal to authority over reason
  2. “Ad hominem” attacks versus rational discussion
  3. The equivocation of orthodoxy with the “gospel”

The irony is that while Jason references “religious control freaks” in his post, he engages in the same kind of behavior.

Protestant orthodoxy is rooted in the same metaphysical premise as Platonism.  You will never win a debate with a Calvinist because he begins with different assumptions about man and about reality.  All his interpretive conclusions are based on these assumptions.  The only thing you can do is expose the false teaching and faulty reasoning and allow others to come to their own conclusions.

I think the exchange below speaks for itself.
– Andy

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The Assumption of Church Authority

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on August 15, 2016

The word “assumption” can have at least two meanings. It can mean to take on or take over for oneself as a responsibility. It can also refer to a starting point of an argument; a premise from which a logical conclusion is drawn. In the case of “church authority”, both definitions are applicable.

Protestants must be aware of the assumption, the beginning premise, held by the “church leadership”, the logical conclusions of which produce the resulting behavior observed by so many who come to this ministry seeking answers. Those in so-called “church leadership” have an assumption (self-appointed) of authority based on a faulty assumption (premise).

As a result there are some questions that must be asked:

  1. Is it reasonable to assume that elders and pastors, being fallible men (because after all doesn’t “total depravity” apply to them as well?), could ever possibly be in error regarding doctrine and Biblical interpretation?
  2. If the answer is yes, then what mechanism is there in place, either from Scripture itself or a “church’s” own documented governing principles, to be able to determine if the leadership is in error, thereby making their claim to authority void?
  3. Maybe the same question only stated another way, if a discerning church member were honestly persuaded by his own personal study and illumination of the Holy Spirit that a pastor or elder was in error and promoting false doctrine, and the elder/pastor refuses to hear him, what recourse does that church member have (aside from leaving the church)? (The assumption here being that the member loves his church so much that he is concerned for the spiritual well-being of the church in general and the pastor, elders, and the rest of the laity in particular).
  4. If, on the off chance that an elder or pastor ever conceded the fact that the possibility exists that he himself could be in error concerning doctrine or Biblical interpretation, how would he know that? How would an elder or pastor know if he was wrong? (Of course that begs the question, would he ever admit to it?)

degreeThe answers are obvious because this is the assumption: the leadership is assumed to never be wrong because they are the authority! Their basis for authority IS authority. This of course is a logical fallacy. Nevertheless, an elder or pastor will ALWAYS defer to some other authority. His answers regarding doctrine and interpretation are never going to be based on sound reason from his own personal study. He will always make an appeal to the authority that instructed him (i.e. seminary, et al).

The only difference between you or me and the elder/pastor is the amount of money spent on certification training. The Bible clearly states that all authority rests with Christ. The elder/pastor gets his authority from a framed document hanging on a wall in his office.

Whenever the basis for truth is an appeal to authority, there is no need for persuasion or reasoned debate. Only force and coercion.

Andy

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